Whats the deal with Textured veg/soy protein? I bought some flakes at the store today and dont know what to do with it. I guess I soak it then use it as "ground beef" in recipes? I also got some frozen "meat" crumbles, but they were expensive. I need to do this veg. as inexpensivly as possible so dh will be on board.
I am also clueless about temph and tofu.
Do you use TVP and temph and tofu to replace meat in all recipes?
Is soy milk ok to give to DS (12 months)?
I really want DS to grow up NEVER having eaten meat, I am excited for this healthy change for my family but need some help getting there.
Thanks a BUNCH!
Tempeh, tofu, TVP/crumbles, and beans are all easy substitutes for meat in recipes. I generally base my decision on the *texture* of what I'm trying to replace -- crumbles or TVP replace ground meat well, tempeh is great for strips or chunks, extra firm tofu with the water squeezed out is good cubed, in stirfries, etc. Beans can go in just about anything, but they have their own taste, unlike soy, which tends to soak up the flavor of the seasonings really easily.
Quinoa (KEEN-wa) is also a great source of protein; it's a grain that cooks quickly, like a cross between rice and couscous. You can buy it in bulk for about the same price as a pound of pasta. It's naturally coated in saponin, which can make it bitter, so, like rice, rinse it well under warm water before cooking. Your basic recipe is: 2 cups of water to 1 cup quinoa, bring to a boil, then simmer (covered) for about 10 minutes, or until almost all of the water is soaked up. You can eat it as a hot cereal in the morning; mix it with beans and veggies for a pasta salad, use it as a base for a stirfry. . . .
Vegetarian Times magazine has a good, free recipe search on their website. The recipes tend to be a little involved, but they're fun for holidays and showing off.
Vegetarian Fast Food by Rose Elliot is a good starting book (and a great busy-mom book!) -- the ingredients are everyday, easy-to-find items, the recipes generally take under 45 minutes to put together from start to finish, and she does a good job of making the meals nutritionally complete.
Have fun experimenting! I've found that the longer we're vegetarian (I've been veggie going on 24 years, dh about 4 years), the less we use meat substitutes and the more we use fresh fruits and veggies as the bulk of our diet, with whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds rounding out our nutritional needs.
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I highly recommend getting friendly with beans! They are a wonderful, healthy source of protein, and are so versatile and cheap.
There are also non-soy, non-dairy "milks" made from almonds, oats, hazelnuts, or rice that you might want to try if you are concerned about taking in too much soy.