Thursday, September 23, 2010

Calling all vegetarians, vegans, and the like!!

Because I had generally heard about the health benefits of a vegetarian diet and because I typically like vegetarian food and because I just like learning new stuff, I was surfin' the web the other day to find some good vegetarian recipes. Really, I don't know how to cook many vegetarian dishes and the ones that I do only happen by chance to be vegetarian, or are regular meals I eat without the meat so I was interested to find out how I could become a vegetarian (or at least eat more vegetarian food).

In my quest, I stumbled upon this awesome "Vegetarian Starter Kit" at
Click here to download it as a pdf!
(It's a packet of helpful hints....)

It lists the many health benefits of vegetarianism, which went far beyond what I had previously thought and helps ease you into cooking vegetarian meals with simple ideas for substitutes for meals you already make. It also gives a basic nutrition guide so you are sure to get the proteins and such that you are getting from meat.

Though I won't promise that I am going to become a vegetarian, this packet really did encourage me to eat more vegetarian cuisine so much so that I took a humus, tomato, and cucumber sandwich on whole wheat bread today for lunch. :)

So vegetarians, vegans, and the like, what are your tips? your recipes? your wise words of wisdom?


  1. I tried to cook primarily vegetarian for a while, but had a hard time getting enough calories in my diet. I still love to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables but I have to include some meat or else I don't end up eating enough. I ran into a lot of problems finding recipes to use because so many had meat substitutes like tofu and fake eggs and things like that, and I'd rather use real, natural ingredients and make things that are just veggies.. :) Your lunch sammie sounds good though! Get the mediterranean veggie sandwich next time you're in Panera!

  2. 1) Order "How it all Vegan," the cookbook. It is pretty much the best kickstarter ever. It is super simple, beyond words delicious, and it has more than just recipes. It has tips, nutrition facts, substitutions, etc.
    2) Check out my Call Me Vegan blog for some great nutrition facts, websites, books, etc. My regular blog has a lot of recipes mixed in there too.
    3) Don't be intimidated. It may seem hard to cut out meat or get enough food, but if you know what to eat, it's really easy. Add a lot of beans, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. And experiment!!!
    4) Be really careful. Lots of people who go vegetarian at first end up substituting extra cheese, dairy, pasta, and bread into their meals where they take out the meat. This will lead to health problems and weight gain, and is not good for you. Don't add any more of those things than what you already eat. In fact, you might want to think about cutting back on them too.
    5) Watch out because once you get the hang of it, and start feeling good, and learn more about the health, economic, environmental, and humane aspects of food... you'll probably end up vegan. ;)
    6) I'm in school for Nutrition right now, and if you want to make sure you're on the right track with everything, I can help you out.
    7)Also, I agree with the person above me about lots of recipes having fake food substitutes. While tofu is actually pretty good for you, don't fall for the faux cream cheese, soy dogs, etc. Those things are overprocessed. Use olive oil instead of butter or margarine. It works in everything. Or canola oil. Check out nutritional yeast for cheese substitutes. Beans of all sorts are great in tacos and other meals as meat-like fillers. Also asian mushrooms have a really meaty texture and are delicious.

  3. In the recipes substitute processed chicken for tofu, it tastes better.