You’re a Vegetarian? What do you eat? or How do you get your protein? are the first things meat eaters ask me as soon as I tell them I am a vegetarian.
About six years ago, I cut back on red meat because I discovered how wrong our farm animals were being treated. In the mean time, I became an animal rights activist and cut down on chicken as well. Since I loved sea food so much, it was very difficult for me to stop eating it. A lot of times when my family or my girlfriends and I would go out, we would go out for sushi or crab legs, and this made my transition to become a vegetarian even more difficult. It took me overall two years to cut down on sea food, but I did it!
I remember when I first became a vegetarian, I opened my fridge, stared at it for a while, and thought I was going to starve to death with my new diet. As a vegetarian, it is easy to eat unhealthy and lack some nutrients if you have no idea what you are doing. Do your research before your big transition!
You would be surprised at how delicious and healthy vegetarian food can be.
A good tip would be to make your favorite dish and either take the meat out or substitute it with something else. I like to substitute my meats with mushrooms. Season the mushrooms really well, spray it with PAM, and mix it around until it is done.
Here are several good tips to start off with:
* Avoid using a lot of cheese. Just because cheese is vegetarian, doesn’t mean its healthy.
* Instead of using sugar, use Agave or even raw honey.
* Use PAM, olive oil or nut oil instead of butter when cooking.
* Include avocados, nuts, soy foods, and legumes in your daily diet.
* Substitute cow milk with either soy milk or rice milk.
Here are several delicious recipes that will satisfy the entire family and are very inexpensive.
Hope you all enjoy these just as much as I do!
Main Dish: Vegetarian Shepherds Pie
3 Big potatoes
2 Celery sticks
1/2 Cup of peas
1/2 Of corn
1/2 Black beans
1 Cup of mushrooms
1 Bag of Mozzarella cheese or Vegetarian cheese
2 Garlic cloves-minced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Boil the potatoes in water, peel them and mash them. Mix the potatoes with minced garlic. Saute or steam the celery, peas, corn, and carrots. Boil the beans separately until its ready. Cut the mushrooms and season the mushrooms with your favorite seasonings. Spray the mushrooms with PAM and sear it on medium heat. Then mix all of the vegetables together. Lightly season them if you must. Grease the bottom of the oven pan lightly with olive oil and spread out the mixed vegetables evenly. Spread out the mashed potatoes on top of the vegetables and layer out the Mozzarella cheese. Place the pan into the oven until the cheese turns golden. (About 15-20 Mins)
Side Dish: Green Beans and Mushrooms
3 Cups of Green Beans
1 Cup of almonds or your choice of nuts
1 Cup of mushrooms
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 Cup of black beans
Cook the black beans until ready. Cut up the mushrooms, season it with Season All or your choice of seasonings, spray it with PAM, and sear it until ready. Saute the green beans. Mix it with the minced garlic. Toss them all into the same pan, mix it well and add the nuts.
Dessert: Vegan Chocolate Cake by Alicia K from Instructables.com
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp distilled white or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp soy milk
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
The Vegetarian Food Guide Pyramid from The American Dietetic Association is a good tool to follow as a beginner.
VegetarianTimes.com is a great website full of delicious recipes.