Becoming a Vegetarian and Learning What to Eat

What to Eat?

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Meat-Free Sausage Patties

Becoming a Vegetarian

When my son was young, he came to me one day and said, "Mom, people are always asking me what I eat. Do they think we don't eat?" I can assure you, vegetarians eat! If you are planning on becoming vegetarian, you need to know what to eat.

Right now, you probably make meat the focus of your meals. If your brain can't wrap itself around the idea of making vegetables the focus, start replacing meat with meat substitutes available at your supermarket. The ground meat-type granules can be used in sauces, casseroles and stews. Tube type faux ground "meat" and "pork" are great for loafs (like meatloaf), burgers and patties. I have used vegetarian faux meat products at meals when no one suspected I wasn't serving the real thing.

Vegetarian Meals

On becoming a vegetarian here are some meals you can make or purchase.

Breakfasts might consist of fruit, cereal with soy, almond, rice, or coconut beverage, meatless links and patties, breads and biscuits, waffles or pancakes (with egg substitute), or soy yogurt.

Lunches could be bean burritos or tostadas, meatless veggie pizza, soup and salad, baked potato, veggie sandwich with or without faux lunchmeat and faux cheese, falafel pitas, or vegetable spring rolls.

Dinners could include pastas, spaghetti squash, vegetable stews, chili, stir fry with rice, baked eggplant, casseroles, and Spanish rice. Any of these can be made with or without a faux meat product.


Sample Easy Meals

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Fruit Cup, Sausage Biscuit, Hash Browns
Soup & Salad
Stir Fry with Rice
French Toast with Fruit & Nuts, Herb Tea
Baked Potato & Waldorf Salad
Lentil Stew & Wild Field Salad
Granola, Fruit Juice
Reuben & Carrot Slaw
Spaghetti Squash & Mashed Potatoes
Nondairy Yogurt with Fruit & Nuts with Fruit Stuffed Biscuits
Tostada & Spanish Rice
Easy Pot Pie & Salad
Stuffed Baked Potato, Almond Smoothie
Pizza & Salad
Chili, Corn Bread, Veggie Tray

Breakfast Baked Potato

Scrub your large potato and remove eyes. Microwave 5 minutes, or until a fork can be easily inserted.

Toppings: Top with your favorite vegetables. (Tofu eggs: 1/4# firm tofu, mashed with a fork, 1 T. chopped celery, 2 T. chopped onion, 1 T. nutritional yeast, 1 T. Better than Sour Cream (Tofutti brand), sprinkle of garlic powder, salt, & pepper; fry in coconut oil until hot.) Add salsa and/or Better than Sour Cream.

Easy French Toast

1 1/2 cups nondairy milk
2 tablespoons unbleached flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon-sugar (stevia)
6-8 slices of bread
chopped fruit

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl whisk milk, flour, and cinnamon-sugar. Pour into a wide, shallow bowl. Dip the bread into the mixture, coating each. Place, side-by-side, on a large, greased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes. Serve topped with chopped fruit. Serves 4-8

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Easy Fruit-Filled Biscuits

1 9.5-oz. pkg. refrigerated flaky biscuits
1/2 cup frozen fruit
2+ tablespoons simply fruit jelly

Preheat oven according to biscuit package directions. Grease 10--2 1/2" muffin pan cups. Separate biscuits in half, horizontally. Spoon fruit topped with jelly onto 1/2 of the separated biscuits. Top each of these halves and pinch the edges to seal. Place in muffin cups. Bake 12 minutes, until golden brown.

Reuben Sandwich & Carrot Slaw

Sandwich:

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 cup onions, thinly sliced, separated
margarine
2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed & drained
salt & pepper
6 slices Swizz cheese
12 slices pumpernickel bread, toasted
faux corn beef slices, if available (optional)
Thousand Island dressing [Thousand Island dressing: Mix ketchup with mayo (use Vegenaise: tofu mayo). Stir in pickle relish.]


Fry mushrooms and onions in margarine 4-6 minutes over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and heat sauerkraut 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread dressing on one side of each slice of toast. Fill 6 slices with mushroom mix and top with cheese, then top with bread slices. Makes 6 sandwiches

Carrot Slaw:
8-10 carrots, peeled, shredded
1 cup pineapple, canned, crushed, drained (reserving liquid to moisten, if needed)
2/3 cup raisins
1/2-2/3 cup mayo* (Vegennaise mayonnaise)

Mix all ingredients. Chill for 2 hours before serving.

Lentil Soup with Barley

Crock Pot Lentil Stew

You can do all of your vegetable chopping the night before and refrigerate or use frozen, chopped vegetables.
3 cups water
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup rice
1 cup uncooked lentils, washed
1 tablespoon dry parsley
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Add all ingredients to crock pot. Cook on low all day. Serves 4-6.

Easy Pot Pie

4 1/2 cups fresh vegetables, chopped (broccoli, carrots, peas, celery, mushrooms, potatoes, onions), or use chopped, frozen vegetables
3 refrigerator biscuits, large, flakey
4 tablespoons margarine
3 tablespoons flour, white unbleached
2 cups almond milk
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large sauce pan heat margarine & vegetables to soften on medium heat. Sprinkle with flour; stir. Add almond milk and spices, stirring constantly to thicken slightly. Spoon the mixture into 6 individual casserole bowls or pie tins. With your fingers divide the biscuits in half. Place one section on the top of each bowl or tin, stretching the dough to the edges. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until biscuits are browned. Makes 6.

Appetizers, Desserts, Snacks

Appetizers
Snacks
Desserts
Pinwheels
Nut Butter Stuffed Celery
Cherry Tarts
Stuffed Dates
Trail Mix
Banana Ice Cream
7-Layer Dip
Popcorn
Skewered Frozen Fruit
Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
Fruit Tray with Soy Yogurt Dip
Sand Cookies

Appetizer Recipes

Pinwheels:

Spread soft tortillas with chopped onions, sliced cheeze, and faux lunch meat, roll & slice.

Stuffed Dates:

Soak almonds overnight, rinse & drain; place into slit dates (seed removed), cover slit with cashew butter, roll in shredded coconut.

7-Layer Dip:

Heat vegetarian refried beans with salsa and layer into the bottom of a rectangular dish; top with Better than Sour Cream (Tofutti), guacamole, then shredded cheeze, then shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, & sliced black olives. Refrigerate. Serve with chips.

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes:

Use tomatoes slightly larger than cherry size. Mix Better than Sour Cream (Tofutti) with chopped walnuts, shredded spinach leaves, and onion powder. Hollow and stuff tomatoes.

Dessert Recipes

Cherry Tarts:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill 4 oven-safe dessert dishes with 1 can cherry pie filling (divided). Top with 1 cup granola cereal. Bake 20 minutes, cool 10.

Banana Ice Cream:

Peel one, ripe, organic banana per serving. Slice and freeze. In a food processor with an S blade, blend bananas with coconut milk, using only enough milk to make an ice cream texture. Add: a few drops of vanilla or berries or maple syrup or top with fruit.

Frozen Fruit:

Place chunks of fruits & berries (watermelon, pineapple, grapes, strawberries, blueberries) on a skewer and freeze. Drizzle frozen berries with liquid white chocolate, yogurt candy, or peanut butter candy (melt chips).

Sand Cookies:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a skillet heat 1 cup margarine (stirring). Cool. Beat, in a bowl, with 2/3 cup granulated sugar & 2 teaspoons vanilla. Stir in 2 cups flour mixed with 2 teaspoons baking powder. Cut dough in fourths. Shape each fourth into 12" long rolls. Cut into 1" pieces. Place on greased cookie sheet. Press a pecan half into the center of each cookie. Bake 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Makes 48.


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