Meat Free Diets

Due to recent health complications my GP has told me by body can no longer tolerate me eating any meat or meat products, therefore for the past few weeks I've been following a vegetarian diet. I love having a varied balanced diet and was never a big meat eater anyway.
Just looking for some inspiration in the kitchen! Any good recipes you have found or a good website to have a look through?
How long have you been meat free for?
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Replies

  • MaltedTea
    MaltedTea Posts: 6,287 Member
    What does a "vegetarian diet" mean for you? I ask as there are different types of vegetarians.

    If it matters I used to be vegan years ago (zero animal products of any kind) but am now more "plant-based," prefer not to eat red meat or pork and have other picky-peculiar eating habits that may have nothing to do with animal welfare or climate change lol
  • estherdragonbat
    estherdragonbat Posts: 5,285 Member
    edited February 2020
    I'm an ovo-lacto vegetarian. Have been for 28 years.

    The Vegetarian Times website has a lot of recipes online. So does The Spruce Eats. Or Google Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

    For a number of years, I've been working my way through the 1,000 Vegan Recipes cookbook. Not that I won't repeat a recipe or flip around, but every week, when I'm planning out what to cook on Thursdays (my major cooking day), I know that one thing I'm making is whatever's "next". This week, it's kabocha squash stuffed with brown rice, black beans, and mango.

    My diary is open; if you see a dish in there you'd like, drop me a PM. (I think you might need to send a friend request first; sometimes the site won't let you see messages from non-friends).
  • LenGray
    LenGray Posts: 709 Member
    Hullo! I've been a vegetarian for a little over a year now and love it :) I'm ovo-lacto, but I eat a lot of vegan and plant-based dishes.

    I tend to have a lot of 'hands-off' cooking, like soups, stews, and simple grain bowls. Lately, I've been really into pumpkin mac n'cheese, which takes 15~ish minutes (a huge bonus since I get home late) and is comforting goodness with all the cold weather. I also have been really enjoying chickpea+avocado salad sandwiches with broth-based bean soups recently.
  • bathsheba_c
    bathsheba_c Posts: 1,866 Member
    I’m not vegetarian, but I’ve been reducing my meat consumption by a lot. What helped me more than specific recipes was knowing what a balanced meat-free diet looks like. I had trouble getting enough protein without meat and enough fiber in general. I solved that by increasing my consumption of pulses (only one portion a day; too much too soon causes major gas) and *cooked* vegetables. Cheese and nuts are good sources of protein, but you have to limit how much you eat because they are high in fat and calories. The pulses need to be combined with grains to create complete proteins (not at the same meal necessarily; the same day is good enough). If you choose whole grains, you are less likely to overeat them, plus you get fiber, which slows how quickly your body absorbs the carbohydrates.
  • PKM0515
    PKM0515 Posts: 2,714 Member
    @LenGray, would you happen to have recipes for the pumpkin mac and cheese and the chick pea and avocado sandwich? Thanks! 😃
  • AmyMummyTummy2
    AmyMummyTummy2 Posts: 24 Member
    Thanks for your replies everyone.
    @estherdragonbat I'll definitely look into those websites!
    I used grains, lentils, pulses, beans and things in my meals quite often, I'm just trying to get to know what goes best together and add new ingredients into dishes I havent tried before.
  • RCPV
    RCPV Posts: 342 Member
    SaraKim17 wrote: »
    @LenGray, would you happen to have recipes for the pumpkin mac and cheese and the chick pea and avocado sandwich? Thanks! 😃

    I second that - especially the pumpkin mac and cheese, please! :)
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,205 Member
    Pinterest
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,894 Member
    I would go to your library and try out some different vegetarian and vegan cookbooks. There are lots of great ones these days.

    I'd also check out different websites. One I really like is 101cookbooks -- you can pick a season or ingredient and get inspired.
  • gremloBBPT
    gremloBBPT Posts: 48 Member
    Pasta with white beans and a leafy green (I usually use spinach or kale) is one of my fav combos. I also use parmesan cheese, but I'm not sure if cheese is out for you.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,973 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    I would go to your library and try out some different vegetarian and vegan cookbooks. There are lots of great ones these days.

    I'd also check out different websites. One I really like is 101cookbooks -- you can pick a season or ingredient and get inspired.

    Yes, my library system has over 400 each Vegetarian and Vegan cookbooks.
  • LenGray
    LenGray Posts: 709 Member
    Sure thing, @SaraKim17 and @RCPV :)

    I got the pumpkin mac n' cheese recipe from Minimalist Baker, but I'm posting it here since I shortened the cook time a lot.

    Pumpkin Mac n' Cheese

    Ingredients
    1 can pumpkin
    1 Tbsp oil
    1 Tbsp minced garlic
    2 Tbsp cornstarch
    1.25 cups milk (I used almond)
    0.5 tsp salt
    2 Tbsp ground sage
    4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
    3 Tbsp parmesan cheese
    .25 tsp allspice
    .25 tsp red pepper flakes
    10 ounces noodles

    Directions
    Boil noodles according to directions. Heat oil over medium heat and saute garlic. Add pumpkin, milk, and cornstarch, stirring until combined. Add seasonings and stir constantly, until thickened, 3-5 minutes. To serve, add cooked pasta and toss to combine.

    *For protein, I like to add great northern beans or green peas, which you can add when you add the spices.

    I don't alter the chickpea+avocado sandwich, except to occasionally add celery, and the link is here: https://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/smashed-chickpea-avocado-salad-sandwich/#wprm-recipe-container-41806
  • PKM0515
    PKM0515 Posts: 2,714 Member
    @LenGray, thank you! 💕
  • RCPV
    RCPV Posts: 342 Member
    @LenGray, Thank you so much! Just copied the mac n cheese to my recipe file. :)
  • CILLAJ8
    CILLAJ8 Posts: 99 Member
    I’ve been a vegetarian for 2.5 years now. Check out Minimalist Baker website for great recipes. I don’t think I ever made something I didn’t like from there. Cookie and Kate, Cooking Classy. Search vegetarian recipes on Pinterest as well. Typical weekday lunches are veggie wraps with hummus that we make at home. So good. My diary is open if you’d like to send me a friend request. 😊
  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,722 Member
    SaraKim17 wrote: »
    @LenGray, thank you! 💕

    Thanks from me too!
    Can that be turned vegan by subbing the parmesan or leaving it out entirely?
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,973 Member
    edited February 2020
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    SaraKim17 wrote: »
    @LenGray, thank you! 💕

    Thanks from me too!
    Can that be turned vegan by subbing the parmesan or leaving it out entirely?

    Yes, nutritional yeast is often used in place of Parmesan. I don't care for nutritional yeast myself, so you may wish to experiment.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,973 Member
    LenGray wrote: »
    Hullo! I've been a vegetarian for a little over a year now and love it :) I'm ovo-lacto, but I eat a lot of vegan and plant-based dishes.

    I tend to have a lot of 'hands-off' cooking, like soups, stews, and simple grain bowls. Lately, I've been really into pumpkin mac n'cheese, which takes 15~ish minutes (a huge bonus since I get home late) and is comforting goodness with all the cold weather. I also have been really enjoying chickpea+avocado salad sandwiches with broth-based bean soups recently.

    Kripalu Cookbook has a much more labor intensive version of vegan mac and cheese. My mom grows butternut squash, so I usually make this every fall. It would be easier with pre-peeled and chopped squash. I tried it once with frozen squash and didn't care for it.

    I use ACV instead of the umeboshi vinegar but do not sub the miso or tahini. It doesn't taste like much going into the oven, but when it is done baking it was worth the effort.

    https://kripalu.org/resources/kripalu-recipe-squash-roni
  • VeggieMeg71
    VeggieMeg71 Posts: 219 Member
    I've been ovo-lacto vegetarian for almost 30 years. I highly recommend Vegetarian Times. Their website is good, but I really enjoyed having a subscription to the magazine when I was a new vegetarian. Of course, 30 years ago we didn't have blogs and youtube to rely on! Someone else mentioned Minimalist Baker, and I second that recommendation. I also like Oh She Glows, The Chubby Vegetarian, and Oh My Veggies. If you would like to see my food diary, feel free to add me as a friend. There is a group called Happy Herbivores here on MFP you may want to join also.
  • katec418
    katec418 Posts: 5 Member
    I just started shifting to a pescatarian diet due to health reasons. I still eat eggs and fish, but it’s low fat focused. It really does force you to be creative in the kitchen. Pinterest has become a great tool for me!