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Turning vegetarian-this should be simple right?

ReenieHJReenieHJ Posts: 326Member Member Posts: 326Member Member
I can do without pork and red meats. But I like chicken and occasionally fish too. However my empathy and love for animals always makes me harbor guilt when I eat meat. That's just me and I don't mean to start any battles about eating/not eating meat. :blush: So how do I go from that to cutting it out entirely? I'm not much of a cook so don't do a lot of recipes. :( I've tried tofu but haven't found any way to cook it that I like. I like beans but not to excess. I do like cheese but those calories can add up quickly.
Any advice?? This may be my New Year's resolution. :)
Thanks!!
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Replies

  • DancingMoosieDancingMoosie Posts: 4,587Member Member Posts: 4,587Member Member
    Eggs, egg whites, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt are all high in protein.
  • chris89topherchris89topher Posts: 116Member, Premium Member Posts: 116Member, Premium Member
    I’ve been vegetarian for quite a while and I agree with you about the Tofu!

    Fortunately, these days there are more and more easily accessible sources of vegetable protein in the shops. Seitan, Tempeh, TVP, Pea Protein, Quorn...to name just a few!

    Most can basically be used to directly replace meat in most forms - just check the packaging because, as you might imagine, the cooking times will be different. Often it would require you to cook the sauce part of a curry, for example, then add your vegetable protein towards the end rather than starting with browning your meat.

    Start with something basic to see if you like the texture and flavour of a product then expand from there!

    I know it may sound a little strange, but I love dipping tofu in pancake syrup (Walden Farms zero calorie feeds my syrup habit). It makes it taste like french toast. Very good that way!
  • Rhumax67Rhumax67 Posts: 158Member Member Posts: 158Member Member
    Google "change to vegetarian diet" Lots of info :)
  • apullumapullum Posts: 4,498Member Member Posts: 4,498Member Member
    If you ate tofu plain, right out of the package, then you’re probably not going to like it. Regular tofu packed in water needs to be pressed to remove the water, and then it can be seasoned however you like. Marinating is usually a good option. I often marinate it and then bake it until it’s crispy, or crisp it in a pan.

    Seasoning is crucial for many vegetarian proteins other than the packaged “meats” that are usually preseasoned. Tofu, tempeh, seitan, TVP all need marinades, spices, sauces, etc. They don’t have much flavor on their own and most people don’t eat them plain.

    For many people, going vegetarian means re-learning to cook. When I went veg 14 years ago, I started with just replacing all meat with the most similar prepackaged vegetarian protein. The only brands I could find at that time were Morningstar and Boca, so I ate a lot of those brands’ soy crumbles, “chicken” strips, burgers, etc. I made the same recipes I had been making, just substituting veg protein. Today, there are more and better products in most areas; I think Gardein is the best one that’s readily available. This was far easier than figuring out how to cook new proteins when I was in college.

    Tempeh may be harder to find, though Trader Joe’s carries it if you have that. It has a distinctive, nutty flavor and texture. Most people prefer to steam it for about 10 minutes before seasoning and cooking it, since steaming reduces any bitterness it may have.

    Seitan is a good option assuming you have no problems digesting gluten. You can make your own seitan; I’ve had good results with little effort when I make it in a crock pot.

    I also really like TVP and soy curls. These are just dehydrated soy protein. You can rehydrate them, season, and use them wherever you want. I like to add TVP to sauces and soups for more protein and bulk, and I will often marinate soy curls, bake them, and serve over veggies.
  • MelanieCN77MelanieCN77 Posts: 3,763Member Member Posts: 3,763Member Member
    Tempeh is pretty great, and I use dried TVP a lot. Quinoa is a good protein, as are eggs. Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese, beans.

    Tofu I can usually take or leave, but I do enjoy it pressed, sliced and pan fried for sandwiches. The slices keep well in the fridge and you can just throw them on like lunch meat.

    In the freezer, the Quorn meatless pieces are good chicken substitute (not in that it tastes like, but the appearance and texture seems to make them a good swap) and their grounds or Morningstar are the best in that category. I tried a couple Gardein things and did not like at all. Morningstar or Boca patties are all much of a muchness.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,770Member Member Posts: 12,770Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    <self-quote major snip>

    Soon sauce or miso-based sauce is good, but I especially like peanut sauce.

    Man, there were a lot of typos in my post! Most are intelligible, but the bolded one bugs me: Soy sauce. I meant soy sauce. I have no idea what "soon" sauce would be. SMH. :grimace:
  • Zinka61Zinka61 Posts: 357Member Member Posts: 357Member Member
    If I were you I'd look at some vegetarian/vegan blogs or vlogs and do some reading about vegetarian diets. You don't have to cook tons to be vegetarian. My favorite recipe for tofu is to dice it and toss it, cold, with my favorite guacamole. I do the same thing with canned, drained small red beans. Find a hummus recipe you really like (I actually love this one: ) and put it on some whole grain bread and pile on the veggies, even just baby kale from a bag. For a combination meal/dessert, I love nicecream made with sliced, then frozen banana, powdered peanut butter, and cocoa powder, maybe some protein powder for texture, but not necessary, pureed in a food processor. Roasted veggies always taste best to me, and my favorite combination is frozen/sliced Brussels sprouts, diced butternut squash and diced Pink Lady apple on parchment paper, no oil, oven 420F for about 45 min, or potato sticks (russet potatoes or sweet potatoes) given the same roasting treatment and dipped in ketchup. None of those meals take much actual cooking. I went vegetarian for love of animals, too, but I soon discovered the health benefits as well. I gave up meat 30 years ago, and I didn't have a long transition. I just got quit cold turkey and gave away everything in the house that didn't conform, then found some cookbooks at the public library--no internet in those days! Some great sites are https://www.forksoverknives.com, https://ohsheglows.com/categories/recipes-2/. I just googled easy vegan recipes for beginners and found: https://www.acouplecooks.com/easy-vegan-recipes-for-beginners/ and https://www.cookinglight.com/food/vegetarian/simple-vegetarian-recipes...There is so much out there! It's not hard to be vegetarian, honest!
  • PrismaticPhoenixPrismaticPhoenix Posts: 34Member Member Posts: 34Member Member
    My advice for going vegetarian is to check everything to see what it has in it, and I mean everything.

    I had an oopsy the other day when the pancake mix I bought for a staff function turned out to have lard in it. I did not know that pancake mix could have lard in it. Apparently it can (not always). Yogurt can have gelatin in it and marshmallows and gummy candies usually do.
  • nytrifisoulnytrifisoul Posts: 444Member Member Posts: 444Member Member
    If you are vegetarian, isn't eating eggs a contradiction? Asking because someone suggested eggs.
    edited December 2
  • MikePTYMikePTY Posts: 3,399Member, Premium Member Posts: 3,399Member, Premium Member
    If you are vegetarian, isn't eating eggs a contradiction? Asking because someone suggested eggs.

    Everyone's individual definition of terms vary slightly, but in general, eggs are considered permitted (along with dairy) by most vegetarians. They would not be permitted on a vegan diet.
  • nytrifisoulnytrifisoul Posts: 444Member Member Posts: 444Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    If you are vegetarian, isn't eating eggs a contradiction? Asking because someone suggested eggs.

    Ovo-lacto vegetarian is still normally considered vegetarian.

    No dairy or eggs is sometimes called strict vegetarian, or fully plant-based. Strict vegetarian or fully plant-based and vegan aren't necessarily identical (can differ with respect to non-eaten animal products such as leather; things like honey; etc.)

    The terminology is a little murky in practice, though there are sites/organizations that try to promote precise definitions.

    But wouldn't that also depend on why someone is vegetarian? I mean, if you choose to be vegetarian due to the "meat" aspect, then eating eggs i suppose could sound logical. But if you are vegetarian based on the unwillingness to eat animals, then one would assume eating eggs would contradict this moral stance?
  • MikePTYMikePTY Posts: 3,399Member, Premium Member Posts: 3,399Member, Premium Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    If you are vegetarian, isn't eating eggs a contradiction? Asking because someone suggested eggs.

    Ovo-lacto vegetarian is still normally considered vegetarian.

    No dairy or eggs is sometimes called strict vegetarian, or fully plant-based. Strict vegetarian or fully plant-based and vegan aren't necessarily identical (can differ with respect to non-eaten animal products such as leather; things like honey; etc.)

    The terminology is a little murky in practice, though there are sites/organizations that try to promote precise definitions.

    But wouldn't that also depend on why someone is vegetarian? I mean, if you choose to be vegetarian due to the "meat" aspect, then eating eggs i suppose could sound logical. But if you are vegetarian based on the unwillingness to eat animals, then one would assume eating eggs would contradict this moral stance?

    Not necessarily. As many would not consider the egg to have been alive. As Ann mentioned, there are different definitions and they would not. Necessarily be acceptable to all vegetarians, but to most they would be considered to not contradict their reasoning.
  • JRsLateInLifeMomJRsLateInLifeMom Posts: 922Member Member Posts: 922Member Member
    They got chicken flavored vegan meats some are wonderful others blah.It’s just like any other foods got to try a few to find a brand for your taste to health needs. Even chicken flavored bullions . Theirs ways just get out look at what’s hidden in your local stores. Theirs even vegan cheeses to other options. My Daughter is Pescatarian naturally since birth. To each their own I say. Find what fits you your beliefs to what you like .In the end it’s what right for you personally you’ll be happy with your choice.

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