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Vegetarian Cookbook Reccomendation
Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:32 amFood.com Groupie
My husband just asked, last night, if we couldn't move to eating vegetarian two days a week. This may have been prompted by the horsemeat in the ground beef scandal in Europe, but it doesn't matter, I'm all for it.
In addition to the vegetarian recipes here on the site, would anyone have a good, all around cookbook reccomendation to make? I think eggs and cheese will still be in the picture, but this is something I don't know too much about and I want to be able to make food that is attractive to the husband so he will maybe stick it out.
I've just made the highest rated vegetarian meatloaf recipe here from the site as a start, but I'm afraid a lot of the recipes look the same, chilis, or curries, or that type of thing, and that will bore the husband eventually, so I'm hoping to branch out a bit. Thanks for any input.
Wish I Could Cook
Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:57 pmFood.com Groupie
That's a great move you're making, whether it's for your own health, or for the environment, or for the animals!
These days it's super easy to be vegetarian because there are so many substitutes. You'll find as you continue cooking veggie you won't need them, but they are great to transition, and they are also great convenient food. Instead of putting meat in your cart, put in Gardein brand chickn, Field Roast sausages, Boca Ground Crumbles or burgers. There are just so many options. (They all taste great, but enjoy them for their own flavors, not expecting them to be the same as meat.) Or you can use seitan or tofu depending on the recipe.
Same for veggie cheese and non-dairy milks.
I would suggest that you start by using them as ingredients instead of sitting as the principle item on your plate. Basically that opens up every casserole in the world to you.
Lasagnas and pasta are easy to make veggie, same with Mexican food and really just about any 'ethnic' cuisine. Quiches, breakfasts, salads and sides are easy. Actually now that I think about it, there's probably a vegetarian version of just about any recipe you can think of. And don't be afraid to look at vegan recipes. Some people have a fear that vegan = bland, but that's so far from the truth. Eggs and milk are the easiest things to replace, so nowdays, vegetarian and vegan recipes are just about interchangeable.
As far as cookbooks, that's hard to say not knowing if you like to cook or "have" to cook. I really like Veganomicon, Hearty Meals for Monster Appetites, 30-minute Vegan/Vegetarian, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookies Jar, Vegan Table.
And there a ton of good websites and blogs -- vegetariantimes.com, vegnews.com, ohsheglows.com, lunchboxbunch.com, findingvegan.com, and lots more.
One of my never fail recipes is Mini Vegan Wellingtons. I also just fell in love with Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage (Ww). There are many more, but I'll try to hold back since you really were asking about cookbooks.
I usually join in on the monthy recipe swap in this forum because it gives me lots of new ideas. I see the sign up thread is posted so why not jump in. It's super simple -- not one of those huge games with complicated rules. Just pick a listed chef and make two recipes.
Hope that is a helpful start, if you have any questions, just post them, and I'm sure you'll find a variety of options to get you thinking.
Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:10 amFood.com Groupie
Wow, great advice and ideas of websites to look at too. I'm in a bit of a different situation, I live in France, so there are very few packaged products that are ready to go. I need to do things the old fashioned way and cook with real ingredients, which is no doubt better anyway.
I'm off to a decent start I think. I've made a veggie meatloaf, veggie quesadillas and enchiladas, a sort of savory cake with spelt flour, nuts, tvp, lots of spices and chopped green beans, veggie chili and a quinoa-feta-spinach dish that was really great. I do have access to tvp and tofu, so we'll be experimenting with that too.
So far, so good, last week I would say was more than 60% vegetarian. The goal isn't 100% so that was fine.
Looking for recipes on line is even easier, now that I've got some good reccomendations and ideas. The biggest problem, which i was trying to explain to my husband, isn't not eating meat, it's making sure what you are eating has enough protein and everything else and isn't just full of cheese and fat to make it taste good. Thank goodness for beans and lentils.
Thanks a bunch!
Wish I Could Cook
Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:48 amFood.com Groupie
Too funny! I live in France too! Where are you? I'm in Paris.
And I have to agree with you that's it's a little more difficult to find subs here, but the bio stores usually have a few and unmondevegan.fr has a whole bunch and ships all over France pretty reasonably. They also have a store in Paris. I also shop occasionally from veganstore.uk.co because the shipping isn't bad. And even Amazon.fr has some stuff. But I guess the goal should be to use what you can find locally. I don't use the subs much anymore (except for veggie burgers, I always have a pack in the fridge for when I don't feel like cooking at all), it's really just a transitional thing during the stage when your paradigm of what makes a meal is changing.
Would you like some French websites for ideas?
As for protein, don't worry a bit about that. That's a myth that us vegetarians are always fighting because we were all raised where we learned that protein comes from meat and calcium comes from milk. I can give you the long scientific answer if you want, but basically don't worry even a little about either one. I guarantee you are both getting enough (probably too much) as long as you aren't on an ultra-low calorie diet where your total food intake is low. And the plant based sources of both are more bio-available anyway.
It's great that you are already finding some good recipes. Another tip that I have is to sub mushrooms in recipes where you would normally use pieces of beef. Like beef stroganoff is a perfect one.
And you've already noticed that it's too easy to replace meat with cheese and cream, so you won't fall into that trap.
Let me know if I can help share other experiences of being a vegetarian in France. It does pose its challenges compared to the US. Did you grow up in France, or are you originally from someplace else?
Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:28 amRegular "Line Cook" Poster
I'm glad to be part of this forum and am very excited to learn new things and know more about healthy diet and lifestyle.
Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:52 amFood.com Groupie
Herbivoracious, by Michael Natkin. He also has a blog by the same name. Anything by Deborah Madison is pretty good, too.
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