After some research and thought...I've decided to cut WAY back on my meat consumption (one or two servings of meat per week). I've gotta give you vegetarians creative props...its been a little tricky. The recipe sticky has been great, thanks!
However, I find I'm mostly snacking (pita w/ hummus, muffins vegetables, fruit). I think it would help if I could see what everyone is eating. If anyone gets a minute and would like to help me out...let me know what you ate yesterday or today for breakfast, lunch, dinnner.
My meals are usually combinations of beans/legumes and whole grains, with vegetables. For instance
Curried Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Spinach, served with brown basmati rice
Lentil Veggie Burgers served on a whole grain bun with a big salad
Vegetarian Chili served with real yellow corn tortillas (not those white things)
Red Beans and Brown Rice served with a salad
White Beans and Greens served with whole wheat pasta
I also do a vegetable platter with a big baked potato, steamed carrots and broccoli, and roasted tomato halves.
Most of my meals are the exact same as a non vegetarian meal but I just use a meat substitute instead, so vege chili, curry, shepherds pie, bolognaise etc.
Then there are lighter meals perfect for lunch like omlette, jacket potato, soup which are vegetarian on their own if you choose the right filling or whatever, I usually have these with a salad or something.
Snacking rather than eating meals isn't necessarily a bad thing if it's convenient and doesn't bother you, it'll keep your metabolism up. Just make sure you're getting all the right nutrients.
I eat the same thing most days - or rather very close variations.
A typical day for me:
*Breakfast - smoothie with frozen berries, light soymilk, oats and spinach * Midmorning snack - 1 tbsp peanut butter on 1 slice vegan bread * Lunch - spinach salad with chickpeas, tomatoes and balsamic vinegarette dressing or brown rice and vegetables * Dinner - tofu "eggs" and vegan sausage or a miso style soup and vegetable sushi (no fish) rolls or brown rice with vegetables and tofu
In soups and other things, I use TVP (texturized vegetable protein) as a meat replacement. It absorbs the flavor of the soup and is a little like ground meat when it's wet. You can also add bread crumbs and spices to make a (not)meatloaf type thing. A great resource for meatless and/or dairyless recipes is vegweb.com. I've gotten a lot of recipes and ideas from the members there.
Excellent. Thank you all so much. This is really helpful.
I'm making a modified version of beans and greens for dinner (puree'd the beans so my 2 year old would eat it and added some "reds" ;). Yum.
Tell me more about "meat substitutes", I don't know much about them. Are they mostly made from soy? Are they processed a bunch? (She said while a box of Town House crackers peeked around the back of the laptop, LOL).
What the? How can you keep that up for the rest of your life?
Something my kids loved (still do) is a dish they named "bean goop." It's mashed or pureed beans with some salsa stirred in, eaten as a dip. It can be heated in the microwave to delicious warmness, and a little cheese melted on top, if you eat cheese.
It was well balanced and filling :)
Original Post by betzc:
What the? How can you keep that up for the rest of your life?
Is that question for me? If so...
Of course, I don't eat the same thing every single day but that "typical day" is what makes me feel the best. I also love bean dishes - black beans with rice, peppers, onions and salsa. I also love thai and indian food. Yesterday I had a whole wheat bagel with tofutti cream cheese, chives and a slice of tomato for breakfast. For lunch I had mixed vegetable sushi rolls. For dinner I had fresh from the garden green beans and potatoes and baked tofu.
I eat a lot of tofu. I haven't read anything bad about tofu but that doesn't mean it won't pop up someday (like everything else). For a meat substitute I freeze firm or extra firm tofu then thaw it and squeeze the water out. Cube it and marinate it in anything you want. Then you can bake or saute it. For cream sauces I use the silken version.
There are recipes for seitan (which I've never been able to cook right) to make a chicken replacement. My favorite chicken replacement is a combination of TVP, vegan instant potato flakes and fake chicken bullion. (The recipe is on vegweb if you're interested.)
I also use nutritional yeast flakes. It is a great source of B12 which is really had to get if you don't eat red meat. Nutritional yeast has a nutty-cheesy flavor that I really like on potatoes and vegetables. I also use it to make a "cheese" sauce. Leafy greens are also important - you can throw spinach in almost anything and it won't change the flavor.
I make a meat salad replacement from mashed chickpeas, vegan mayo and pickle relish and it tastes an awful lot like chicken salad to me. For a sea taste (like tuna) add kelp powder. It's great to have on hand for a quick sandwich.
I used to get so discouraged when it came to vegetarianism because everything seemed so complicated. It doesn't have to be that hard. Have fun with it and keep trying new things until you find what works for you.
Your dinner last night sounds so good!
I have just discovered bulgar wheat and I love it. You cook it like couscous and can mix it with pretty much anything you like, it has a grainy texture, but not much flavour on it's own. The best part is, it's super high in both protein and fibre, so it's great if you're not eating much meat.
I, on the other hand, eat it with meat, but it would be an alright sub for protein...last night I made a tabulehi-type salad, mixed bulgar wheat, cilantro, chopped tomatoes and salt a pepper, and had some poached chicken on top. Very tasty, the salad was really the best part though!
Edit: I was just thinking that you could do a grilled firm tofu on this too, or seafood and it would be super tasty. My lil' sis is veg and she eats grilled/bbq-ed tofu on a lot of things that the rest of the family would have meat on.
I'm no veggie by any means but I love veggies in general so I eat em a lot. I eat a whole bag of "Broccolie Cole Slaw" from Safeway's 'Eating Right' collection every day. 100 cals, heck-of-a lotta food, and about 4 tbs of 10 calorie dressing or 4 tbs of etra spicey salsa and I'm good to go. It fuels me up for about 3-4 hours... tons of healthy carbs too!
OH and Yves is your friend... their Meatless Ground Turkey is bomb-dizzle and so is the Taco Stuffers. I also like TVP but that's just me ;D
clairelane - when you have your meals (such as the curried chickpeas, etc.), do you have anything else with it? I mean like is the curried chickpeas your only item for the meal? Or do you complement it with a salad, etc.?
rocklobster, this may not be all that helpful, as I don't know what you calorie/grade goals typically are. Since I've discovered that my weight stays exactly the same whether I'm eating 3000 calories a day or 1200, I have gotten much less strict about carefully counting (although I prefer to stay under 1800). Also, I am quite happy to end up with a B or B+ for the day, rather than striving strictly for the A. My goal is to eat healthfully, but at the same time not to feel like I'm depriving myself (and CC hates anything alcoholic!).
Bearing that in mind, here are some of my typical meals:
Yogurt (I opt for no-fat or low-fat organic yogurt)
Fresh fruit (bananas, blueberries, strawberries, mangoes, papaya, kiwi, dragonfruit, watermelon, whatever's in season - I live in a tropical climate, so I eat a lot of weird fruit)
Smoothies (Mango, Mango & Strawberry, Peanut Butter & Banana)
Muffin (I make all sorts... Pumpkin Muffins, Banana Bread, White Chocolate & Cherry)
Corn Cakes with Broiled Tomatoes
Wraps made with whatever veggies, cheese, dressing I find needs using up :)
Various salads, such as:
Italian Lentil Salad
Cucumber Salad (my personal favorite! And one nevarren made up!)
Edamame with Tomatoes and Cilantro
I also have a couple recipes for really good salads that aren't on here - but try tossing together some chickpeas, spinach, and olives with oil & vinegar... or try a salad with avocado, cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and oil & vinegar... both salads recommended to me by nevarren, who really does deserve an honorary degree in putting menus together :P
Halibut with Summer Vegetable Sauce
Mexican Corn Salad
Poached Tilapia in Wine with Green Beans (a recipe I made up)
Salmon with Guava sauce (another one of my concoctions)
Vegetable Soup (I make it by tossing in whatever in my kitchen needs cooking)
Curried Chickpeas & Potatoes (I halve this recipe, then make it into two dinner-sized portions so I don't have to make anything else, but follow this recipe if you plan to have rice or steamed veggies as a side)
Veggie or Bean Burgers (no bun)
I also eat a lot of salads for dinner :) Although this seems fish-heavy, my diet really isn't and on average I only eat fish a couple times a week, if that. I just happen to have been experimenting recently :)
Baby carrots dipped in light ranch dressing
Celery with peanut butter
A small portion of salad
Hope that helps!
Just wanted to thank everyone some more for the ideas. Things are going well :). I've made some *yummy* stuff that I probably never would have tried.
This Quinoa salad was soooo good:
Quinoa Salad with Lime-Cilantro Dressing
2 cups uncooked quinoa
4 cups water
8 dried apricots, finely diced
¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 ears of corn, cut off cob
6 small green onions, sliced in rounds
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
½ cup finely diced colored bell peppers
1 can artichoke hearts or bottoms, drained and chopped (reserve 2 bottoms for the dressing recipe below)
¼ cup toasted slivered almonds
1 avocado, chopped
Toast the quinoa in a dry skillet for a few minutes. Add boiling water, apricots and sun-dried tomatoes. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Add the corn kernels and let rest for 10 minutes. Transfer to a fine mesh strainer and allow to rest for another 10 minutes so it is well drained. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
2 artichoke hearts or bottoms, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed well, stems removed
4 stems basil, rinsed, stems removed (optional)
1 tablespoon honey or Agave nectar
½ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
juice of 3-4 limes
Place all dressing ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until well mixed. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired, adding salt to taste (optional). Toss with the quinoa mixture and serve. The grains will absorb some of the tartness of the dressing, and it will seem milder when served with the grains.
I'm going to try lentils next week....wish me luck cooking them :) ;)
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