you know something - food is such a huge part of our life that trying to change requires a lot of work. A LOT.
if you want to succeed it isnt just about being a vegetarian, but making big changes in your life. and let me tell you i have discovered that it usually takes people on an average of two years before they can change over completely.
now here's the thing. one of the things that one replaces the proteins with are beans. so you cant have the excuse that you hate soaking and cooking beans. one quick thing i do is cook a bunch of beans and then freeze them in portion sizes so i dont have to go through the whole process of soaking and then cooking.
yes veggies sometimes take more prep time. however if you are serious you can pick a day and decide to do the chopping for the week. of course it means you'll have to plan your meals a bit. and yes you need to watch them too so they dont overcook.
for me what helped was looking at cooking differently than before. to look upon it not as a chore but as a way to relax and a way of contributing healthy food to my family. THAT made a huge difference and soon after a long hard day at work, i really enjoyed coming home to cook a meal for my family. while my other friends watched TV to relax, i discovered i cooked to relax. esp. when you factor in the presentation of the food itself too. it actually became family time as dd started helping with cooking.
the key with cooking is experimenting. what kind of cook are you? do you follow recipes or do you 'throw' things together?
what is your personal feelings towards vegetarian cooking. i recall when i was becoming a vegetarian, i was disgusted by the amount of cheese that was used. almost all veggie recipe books had every second recipe full of cheese.
my goal of becoming a vegetarian was to enjoy the taste of the vegetable itself - without drowning it in other flavours.
one of our favourite quick dishses is to throw in chopped veggies for the last 5 mins in the rice cooker and then bring it out and season with soy sauce or tamari and use this. http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/category/furikake-seasoning
or i stir fry veggies and toss with garlic and pasta (no sauce)
now in winter i roast root veggies in the oven with salt and oil and maybe rosemary or thyme.
one thing i always try to do is balance my meals. that is - include both cooked and raw veggies. maybe a leafy salad, maybe a veggie salad. i always make my salad dressings in big batches and have them in the fridge.
the key with having my child eat veggies - i have found is going ethnic. i have found dd likes asian spices and a drizzle here and a drizzle there really quite changes the flavor. also what was funny while she helped me in the kitchen she ate more while helping - even eating a couple of raw potato slices, than actually eating at the dinner table.
honestly though i agree with what the Secretary General of the UN said - he implied you dont really have to stop eating meat. he said 'just eat less meat' which you guys are doing already.