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Please educate me on vegetarian meals

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My husband has wanted to switch to vegetarian for several years. About a month and half ago he just did it. I'm happy for him because it's what he has wanted to do, however, I don't feel any desire to go that way. We aren't heavy meat eaters anyway. However, meals are a pain. We switched to eating out at just about every meal but breakfast because of it. I'm not going to make two separate meals and I don't want him to just eat sides every meal.


So, my question is two-fold, I think. What are some of your favorite vegetarian suppers (we eat out for lunch automatically every day) and is there a best way to transform most recipes to vegetarian? In the past we've used a little hamburger meat, occasional pork chops and tenderloins and mostly chicken.


Any thoughts would be appreciated!


P.S. after posting this I found some related conversations from the past that the search didn't bring up for me. Any further additions to previous conversations would be still be greatly appreciated. :)

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First of all, it must be amazing to have the financial flexibility to be able to eat out that often! :cool: I can only dream!


Not vegetarian here, but do have several vegetarian lunch meals at my blog that are YUMMY! We are working hard at increasing our fresh veggie intake, and lunch is a fabulous time to do that. These could also be used for dinners, though.


Specifically, try the Black Bean Couscous Salad or the Mexican Wraps. I think you would find these delicious. For several of the wraps listed, you could sub beans for turkey, or just set out canned turkey and canned black beans and have people build their own wraps, depending on their preferences.


Would a build-your-own wrap buffet ever work for you? Another idea is to get a vegetarian cookcook and make foods that would appeal to you. I got mine at Borders for $2.99 on clearance - and I have loved the things I have tried. Just add grilled meat on the side if you want it.






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This recipe from Mrs. Mungo was most excellent and Dh said he would like to get away from eating meat if we could eat things like this.


Spinach Enchiladas!


You'll need:

corn tortillas



verde sauce

grated monterey jack cheese (split)


garlic, 5-6 cloves

lemon or lime juice (just a splash)


First, roast the garlic in the oven but if you're pressed for time you can chop it up and cook it with the onions.


Second, cook the onions (and possibly garlic) in a little olive oil until onions are translucent. Add the spinach and lemon/lime juice and allow it to wilt a bit. If you roasted your garlic, squeeze it into the spinach mixture now.


Mix the cream and verde sauce: 2 parts verde sauce to 1 part cream.


Steam the tortillas then dip in the sauce mixture. Fill each one with some cheese and spinach mixture. Roll and place in pan, seam side down (I use 7x11 pans because they are the perfect size). Cover with remaining sauce and cheese. Bake at 375 degrees until sauce is nice and bubbly (usually about 20-25 minutes).


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Our easiest veggie meal is spaghetti (angel hair cooks faster) with a jar (or two) of sauce we like (we currently buy Classico Tomato and Basil). I like to roast some garlic in olive oil to go with it, and also I love sauteeing onions in olive oil to go on top of the spagetti (along with Parmesan and Romano).


You can do tacos/burritos/taco salad where everyone serves themselves- you could do meat AND beans for any of those.


Vegetarian Lasagna; you can get Smart Ground as a ground beef substitute for stuffed peppers or other dishes.


Chili and cornbread (you can do chili with just beans, or beans and Smart Ground).



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Thank you for these ideas. Thank you Amy for that recipe. It looks great! I've looked at SO many cookbooks and all the vegetarian ones are so unrealistic for me. I don't live somewhere that makes it easy to get my hands on unique ingredients. However, I see that SavingDinner has come out with a vegetarian book. I think I'll be placing that order tonight.

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Since Jessica started this thread, may I ask a question that may benefit both Jessica and me?


Can someone supply a recipe that is absolutely foolproof for lentils. My husband despises lentils but I have a bag and a half of them and I want to use them. I need something that disguises the lentils very, very well.

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I have turkey lentil soup(just leave out the turkey ;) ) that is so good. We all like this one.


I always double this:

2T butter

1 carrot, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 leek, white part only, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 1/2 c chopped mushrooms

1/4 white wine (I use it if I have it, if not, no biggie)

1 1/4 chicken stock

2 t dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1/2 lentils

3/4 c diced turkey meat

s&p to taste


Melt butter in saucepan. Add vegetables and cook for 3-5 min until golden.

Stir in wine and stock, bring to boil. Add thyme and bay leaf. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 30 min. Add lentils and continue cooking for 30-40 min longer until lentils are tender. Stir occasionally. Add turkey and s&p. Cook until heated through.

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We're not vegetarian, but until recently we didn't eat very much meat at home. Nor did we use many meat substitutes. We really like Mexican food, so we ate a lot of beans. (Still do!) We also made veggie fajitas.


All sorts of curries can be made without meat, as can pasta. Soups are another easy way to just leave the meat out! :)


Are there any certain things you like to eat or a type of recipe you're looking for?



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One of my sons is a vegetarian AND we're on a tight food budget, so we eat a lot of vegetarian meals here. My favorite cookbook is: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. http://www.amazon.com/Vegetarian-Cooking-Everyone-Deborah-Madison/dp/0767927478/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205121567&sr=8-1 I use it quite a bit. There are several recipes I'd love to try but haven't because of various food allergies. Costco used to carry this book if you have a membership.


Two easy recipes that I use a a lot:


Easy Lunch/Quick Dinner Sandwiches:


Ingredients: flat pita bread, hummus, shredded cheddar cheese, granny smith apples sliced very thin


Spread a layer of hummus on the flat breads, arrange apples on top of this, cover with cheddar cheese and stick under the broiler for about five minutes. It sounds kind of weird, but it's really delicious.


Black Bean/Tortellini Soup


Ingredients: vegetable (or chicken) stock; tomato paste, tortellins (frozen or dried), black beans (canned or cook your own), garlic, rice vinegar. water. For the six of us (me, dh, three teen boys, 1 8 yr old boy) - I use about 6 cups water, 6 cups stock, 1-2 pounds of precooked black beans, a big bag of frozen tortellini from costco, a full can of tomato paste, 4 T rice vinegar and a 3 or so chopped cloves of garlic.


Directions: finely chop the garlic and sautee in olive oil in the bottom of stock pot until soft, add the water and stock, black beans, rice vinegar and tomato paste. Bring to boil. Dump in tortellinis and reduce heat and let simmer for 30-60 minutes. This is a really nice, hearty soup. You definitely good bread to go with it!



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We switched to eating out at just about every meal but breakfast because of it.


I confess, I'm curious...So more-often-than-not you dine out for both lunch and dinner? Doesn't that throw a bit of a wrench in your day (lunch-wise, at least) as far as school is concerned? Just curious how you work that out.


As far as vegetarian meals are concerned, I've got a lot of them but not the werewithal to type out the recipes.;) I use a lot of quinoa, rice, beans, tofu, etc. The possibilities are endless, really.:)

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Nava Atlas cookbooks. She does use some fake meat in some of her dishes, which for us is ok.

I checked out 2 books of hers from the library, and don't know if I can give them back! My current favorites are Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet and Vegetarian Family Cookbook. She also has a website and a blog here:








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