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I'm interested in vegetarianism. I am not against meat, but I don't like to prepare it. I hope that doesn't sound like a wimpy reason!<br><br>
Help me get started. I don't want to just eliminate the meat, I need to learn to cook good meals for my husband, just w/o meat!<br><br>
I don't plan on giving up dairy and eggs.<br><br>
I guess I always thought that to be a healthy vegetairn, you had to cook exotic meals!!!<br><br>
Talk to me!
 

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Hi! Here is some advice that I hope helps.<br><br>
Think of all the things you usually eat that are already meatless, and serve them more often. Examples are things like baked ziti, eggplant parm, bean burritos, veggie pizza.<br><br>
Maybe think "cuisine by cuisine" -- start by listing all the Italian meals without meat, then Asian, then Mexican, etc.<br><br>
Think about your favorite meals, and ask yourself what would happen if you just left out the meat -- would you miss it? For example, I found that my favorite part of a chicken pot pie was really the veggies and sauce -- so now you have a veggie pot pie (yum, and you can add veggie "chicken" like Quorn or soy cutlets, and never know the difference)!<br><br>
Read ingredients -- lots of stuff has some meat extracts (like "chicken flavor" or beef fat) that rarely affect taste if you can find things without.<br><br>
Try substitutes that are real food, like an extra vegetable or beans, rather than commercial meat substitutes at first, especially if your family is at all reluctant. The tastes will be more familiar to them.<br><br>
Over time, leaving out the meat becomes second nature.<br><br>
A great book with simple recipes and tips is "The Clueless Vegetarian." Another good book, "The Passionate Vegetarian," has slightly more complicated recipes but lots of good information and advice.<br><br>
Bon apetit and have fun!
 

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My dh and I eased in to it 5 years ago.<br><br>
Ive got a great cookbook called "Almost Vegetarian" . gives meat replacements but also has recipes for chicken fish etc......so you can do either. Great ideas on how to make the switch, buying/cooking veggies/grains etc I STILL use this book alot!!
 

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My favorite cookbook is Lean and Luscious and Meatless by Bobbie Hinman and Millie Snyder. There are 12 recipes in there I make a LOT.<br><br>
They have stew recipes that are thick, hearty, and you just don't miss the meat. Turkish stew, potato lentil stew, split pea stew, and veggie stew to name my 4 favorites. Recipes for veggie enchiladas, corn creole, mexican pizzas, thai green beans, etc. Soooo good!
 

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We eat a lot of baba, veggie pizza, and soups...<br>
Thick stews are really easy to make, even if you have no time; I just put eveything in a crockpot and let it cook all day while I go about my day. I think it's easier than cooking meat!<br><br>
Also, I found that when I switched a few years back, I would start craving meat after a while...then I realized, I was not getting enough protein in my diet. If you don't love legumes and hummus and soy products now, I would start increasing them into your diet...for me, it was an acquired taste. In my house growing up, we ate steak, not beans, for dinner. It took me awhile to get adjusted, but now it's easy to find healthy and tasty protein sources.<br><br>
I also found this was a big issue for family when we decided to raise dd vegetarian: "But she NEEDS meat, she NEEDS protein." I don't even think they knew you could get your RDA from plants! If you have your diet figured out ahead of time, it's easy to convince yourself and others that this is a healthy decision.<br>
That may be a little OT, but it's part of the whole converting thing....good luck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Good luck! We eat a lot of soups, stews and one pot meals- lentils cook up fast and can be used in stews. A good stew is lentils, pototoes, canned tomatoes, carrots, celery, bay leaf and sauted onion and garlic- I sometimes add rosemary or italian seasonings. Broccoli or peas are good added near the end of cooking.
 

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You don't need to cook exotic meals to be a healthy vegetarian. The only thing I can think of that you might want to consider putting some emphasis on is making sure you get enough protein by combining grains with legumes, and adding to that some amount of eggs or dairy. Adding some animal products to this combination will increase your body's ability to absorb the maximum amount of protein from the grains and legumes. This is what alot of traditional vegetarians do around the world.
 

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HI<br><br>
I always recommend this link to newbies getting their start:<br><br><a href="http://www.goveg.com/vegkit/index.html" target="_blank">http://www.goveg.com/vegkit/index.html</a><br><br>
It has a starter kit and can answer those dangling nutritiona questios you may have and also has links to vegetarian recipes.<br><br>
Three great cookbooks to grab:<br><br>
The Greens cook book (ewveryting in it gourmet and delicious - people don't even know they're ating vegetarian) the mushroom lasagne knocks people out<br><br>
The Moosewood Cookbook - a classic<br><br>
and The Passionate Vegetarian - has 1000 recipes also gourmet and simple - incredible!
 
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