Sick of eating frozen food and burritos. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-20-2009, 02:02 PM
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Ugh! I need some help from you guys. It would be greatly appreciated.



Lately after becoming a vegetarian (Since August) I've only been eating the Lard-free re-fried bean burritos, spaghetti, and frozen all ready made foods (MorningStar, Boca, etc.)



I need some new recipes, it's becoming hard for me to think of anything. I also need stuff that isn't too hard to make. I'm not so creative, so it's hard for me to think of anything. I like alot of pastas/taco like things and a number of sandwiches, but I just have a cooking-block .



Can anyone help? Thank you.
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#2 Old 09-20-2009, 02:05 PM
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There is a great recipe section here on VB where you can peruse the recipes and look for ones that seem tasty and easy to make using ingredients you probably already have at home. I love browsing veg*n food blogs doing the same. Over time you start to accumulate recipes that you enjoy.
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#3 Old 09-20-2009, 02:06 PM
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Make stews and gratins, that's easy and affordable food.

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#4 Old 09-20-2009, 02:25 PM
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You can also get lots of ideas from the web by typing "vegetarian recipes". I made some really good and easy pumpkin soup by doing that today.
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#5 Old 09-20-2009, 02:50 PM
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supercook.com is a pretty good website for cleaning the fridge/freezer/cabinet while being able to exclude/meat/dairy/animal products.
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#6 Old 09-20-2009, 02:59 PM
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Pastas and tacos... that's like, 5 of the 4 basic food groups round here!



For pastas, I like to throw in some frozen veggies. There's a couple of blends that I really like - one has asparagus in it, the other one is a stir-fry blend I think (water chestnuts, baby corn and the like). If you're not into blends, individual frozen veggies work, too. Spinach, cauliflower, broccoli - all delicious in pasta. You can either boil them up with the pasta or throw them in with the sauce while its heating. It's good both ways. For sauce, there's a few Hunts (US) varieties that are vegan and I think other brands are, too, but I'm not sure of that (I usually make my own sauce). I've also thrown beans in at times (it's really good with pasta) and topped my spaghetti, farfalle, etc with ground nuts instead of a vegan parm. Yummay!



For a change-up, I like to make rice or another whole grain and throw in whatever veggies suit my fancy along with whatever beans I'm in the mood for. Top with ground nuts or sliced avocado and dig in. OR you can take that veggies/beans combo and pile it on a baked potato. Top with a nutritional yeast sauce or a good bean dip, slightly thinned.



For tacos, I like no-fat refried beans. The ingredients are usually more simple (beans, water, salt) than other varieties. I doctor them up with a bit of minced garlic and a few splashes of El Pato or a favorite chunky salsa and heat them slowly. For the add-ons, shreadded cabbage, finely chopped kale, diced tomato, diced avocado, sliced Mexican squash or just about anything would be good. I've even taken frozen veggie blends, heated them up a bit, chopped them finely and put them in my tacos. If you like fake meats, they're pretty good in a taco too but some fakies are better than others to be warned.



And don't forget that whatever is good in a taco will absolutely rock as a tostada, too. Just sub out the folded shell for a flat one and treat it like a pizza.



I've also just recently gotten into raw foods which is pretty nice because that stuff isn't cooked at all - just whirred in a processor and piled on to something else. Handy.



As you can see, my approach isn't learning a bunch of recipes; it's learning how to make a few things then changing up those ingredients to make it seem like it's something completely different.
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#7 Old 09-20-2009, 03:00 PM
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first, what kinds of things did you eat and enjoy before becoming veg? We can probably give suggestions on modification.

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#8 Old 09-20-2009, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4EverGrounded View Post

Pastas and tacos... that's like, 5 of the 4 basic food groups round here!



For pastas, I like to throw in some frozen veggies. There's a couple of blends that I really like - one has asparagus in it, the other one is a stir-fry blend I think (water chestnuts, baby corn and the like). If you're not into blends, individual frozen veggies work, too. Spinach, cauliflower, broccoli - all delicious in pasta. You can either boil them up with the pasta or throw them in with the sauce while its heating. It's good both ways. For sauce, there's a few Hunts (US) varieties that are vegan and I think other brands are, too, but I'm not sure of that (I usually make my own sauce). I've also thrown beans in at times (it's really good with pasta) and topped my spaghetti, farfalle, etc with ground nuts instead of a vegan parm. Yummay!



For a change-up, I like to make rice or another whole grain and throw in whatever veggies suit my fancy along with whatever beans I'm in the mood for. Top with ground nuts or sliced avocado and dig in. OR you can take that veggies/beans combo and pile it on a baked potato. Top with a nutritional yeast sauce or a good bean dip, slightly thinned.



For tacos, I like no-fat refried beans. The ingredients are usually more simple (beans, water, salt) than other varieties. I doctor them up with a bit of minced garlic and a few splashes of El Pato or a favorite chunky salsa and heat them slowly. For the add-ons, shreadded cabbage, finely chopped kale, diced tomato, diced avocado, sliced Mexican squash or just about anything would be good. I've even taken frozen veggie blends, heated them up a bit, chopped them finely and put them in my tacos. If you like fake meats, they're pretty good in a taco too but some fakies are better than others to be warned.



And don't forget that whatever is good in a taco will absolutely rock as a tostada, too. Just sub out the folded shell for a flat one and treat it like a pizza.



I've also just recently gotten into raw foods which is pretty nice because that stuff isn't cooked at all - just whirred in a processor and piled on to something else. Handy.



As you can see, my approach isn't learning a bunch of recipes; it's learning how to make a few things then changing up those ingredients to make it seem like it's something completely different.



This is a great post and how I approach cooking most days. I tend to do far more rice than pasta, and sometimes I'll switch it up and have quinoa or couscous as my base starch. I love making dahl (think indian lentil stew). It's so easy. Just boil some lentils in some veggie broth for about 20 mins, then add some diced tomatos, some spinach or kale, curry spice, tumeric, sauteed onion and garlic and serve over rice.



I guess the moral of the story is. Grain, protein and veggies, combine, shake and repeat

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#9 Old 09-20-2009, 05:59 PM
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Here's a great recipe for fried rice:



http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/f...ipe/index.html



I usually cut down on the oil, use tofu for eggs and a few extra peas. I also use regular mushrooms, a whole container instead of meat.



Definitely buy the peanut oil and sesame oil, it makes it really authentic.



It's awesome and it makes a lot!
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#10 Old 09-21-2009, 04:46 PM
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4evergrounded has good suggestions.



i like burrito shells (usually corn tortillas but sometimes flour ones) filled with black beans, tomatoes, onion, lettuce/kale, and sometimes a smooshed baked sweet potato added in.



stir fries or steamed veggies on top of rice or a baked potato or sweet potato



garbanzo beans (chick peas) smooshed and warmed with pasta sauce and some spices... maybe add some onion and tomato... top with lettuce... and viola! a simple veggie sloppy joe! if you wanna get a little "creative", saute some onion, mushrooms, and green peppers and then add the chick peas and sauce until heated. yummers.



if you're okay with tofu, stir fry some firm tofu (press out the water first) and add some onions, frozen peas, frozen corn, and some italian spices. heat until warmed through then add pasta sauce and warm. very filling on top of pasta. even my omni husband likes tofu like this. (if you don't like tofu or are leary of it still, substitute white beans or garbanzo beans in its place.)



there are all sorts of recipes out there for simple vegetarian chilis, soups, and lasagnes, casseroles, stuffed shells, and so on. take a look at some of the links above or just google what you feel like having. i like vegweb.com, but it might take a little searching to find a particular "simple" recipe.



happy eating.
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#11 Old 09-21-2009, 06:27 PM
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The key is to not be afraid of failure. I've had some failures in my adventures cooking, but I've also had some big successes!! Try a new product, (tofu, tempeh, etc), or a new recipe. If it comes out crappy, you eat a frozen meal once in awhile, so what? Over time, you will figure out what works!! Eating frozen entrees constantly is no way to eat, and no better for you health-wise then eating meat all the time. That stuff is processed and it's not REAL food. Real food has an expiration date in the near future...if it will still be good in a few months, you shouldn't be eating it! An occasional treat or on-the-run frozen/boxed meal is okay, but if I were you I'd focus on eating more whole foods.



My favorite places to get recipes besides this site: VeganDad's blog, theppk.com, soychick's blog, Whole Foods website, and just plain old googling. I became a member of a local CSA type thing, where they deliver veggies to my house that are organic. I don't pick the produce, so I am forced to try new things. So when I get my weekly email telling me what I will be getting in a few days, I search through all my websites for ways to cook whatever I am getting. If we like a recipe a lot, I print it out and put it in a binder. I make notes on recipes that didn't turn out with ways to try to make it better next time.
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#12 Old 09-21-2009, 06:41 PM
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I try to have a grain/starchy thing (rice, pasta, tortilla, bread, potatoes, dumplings, biscuits, or something) and a protein-ish sorta thing (beans, lentils, chickpeas, corn - also a grain, nuts, seeds, tofu or fake meat, eggs or cheese if you eat them or seitan if you can buy/make it) at my main meal.



You can just eat them as is, or hold it all together with a sauce if you like that sort of thing... spaghetti sauce, taco sauce, enchilada sauce, curry sauce, teriyaki sauce, peanut sauce, cheezy sauce, cream gravy whatever you like...



Also, it's good to add a bunch of veggies (frozen blends as mentioned above are good!!) to fill in. Believe me, you can mix these combinations in a zillion ways according to what tastes and textures you like.
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#13 Old 09-23-2009, 08:30 AM
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I often make my own taco salad, starting with crunched up tortilla chips, then the refriend (fat free) beans, if I made soyrizo, just a little dab here and there. Then I put on my soy cheese shreds, so they will melt over the hot beans/sorizo. Lots of lettuce, and half cut cherry tomaoes, onions, and salsa and more soy cheese(cheddar pepperjack shreds) with about 2T of guacamole. Squirt of lime juice on top.



I don't think I'd like plain bean burritos. I have to add things. I always have a prechopped bag of red, green and yellow peppers, and onions in a freezer bag, frozen. I would sautee them in olive oil and add them to the bean thing, with a sprinkle of soy cheese. Some whole grain rice with something mixed in it, like salsa or veg cube or a spanish type rice, or a veg*n dirty rice dish would go great.



I buy a whole grain pasta by Heartland and use Ragu Lt on it. You can add Meal Starter Crumbles and sautee it with peppers and onions before adding the sauce. Be careful about which Ragu you buy. I nearly bought the Organic Ragu and found it had beef something in it. I often find the fake meatballs in the section where the soy cheese in, and use it with the Ragu. We only eat 3 at a time. Then I use the Galaxy Veg*n Parm cheese sprinkle.



I have used the 'steak' or 'chikn' strips and sauteed them (as above) and put over quinoa or whole grain wild rice. I think 12 strips are a seving, but we only eat about 3 strips each, that I've cut up in to chunks after they cooked. Mushrooms, water chestnuts also go well with that. If I have seitan I've made, I use that instead.



Check myh food blog in my sig!
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#14 Old 09-23-2009, 01:35 PM
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What I LOVE - and it's vegan too, is just dicing half an onion, a crookneck squash, a zucchini, and a bell pepper.. putting it in a big ol' skillet with some olive oil and garlic and stir-frying, then adding one or two Tofurky Italian sausages. I am not a cook, so it was a little messy and all that the first time, but I did it again and it was easy-peasy. I serve it over quinoa or you can eat it plain. It's SO good.



Eating it, I had other ideas... making some raw pasta sauce and using the Tofurky sausages in it.



I don't like the idea of relying too much on processed foods, but using lots of fresh veggies with a little bit added in is fine with me. Good luck!



Also, make up some quinoa. It's so versatile. I love it with soymilk & fruit in the mornings for breakfast, or with black beans and sweet potato for dinner... Make a batch and experiment with it.
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#15 Old 09-23-2009, 11:22 PM
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Oooh, I can help!



There is an EPIC cooking book called PostPunk Kitchen. It's got some awesome recipes, and they aren't too hard to churn out.



Try making some Indian or general Asian food (like stirfry with peanut sauce or something), it's pretty easy and you can just search "vegetarian Indian recipe" and you'll have tons of results.



Salads are always good too.
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#16 Old 09-24-2009, 01:58 AM
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There are 800+ free vegan recipes you can download in my signature link below. Just flip through them until you find a few that appeal to you and make them.
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#17 Old 09-24-2009, 06:27 AM
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^ Mr. Falafel,



I tried downloading those, and I couldn't. I think I didn't have the right programs with which to open them. Do you have to do something special?



on topic:



I think you need to get a good veg cookbook. I'm guessing you actually didn't cook too too much when you were an omni either. Is that correct?



I do get stuck eating mexican, and that kind of sucks. I would look into different ethnic foods and try to veganize them.
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#18 Old 09-24-2009, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ket View Post

^ Mr. Falafel,



I tried downloading those, and I couldn't. I think I didn't have the right programs with which to open them. Do you have to do something special?



on topic:



I think you need to get a good veg cookbook. I'm guessing you actually didn't cook too too much when you were an omni either. Is that correct?



I do get stuck eating mexican, and that kind of sucks. I would look into different ethnic foods and try to veganize them.





They are Microsoft Reader eBooks. Download MS Reader (free) here: http://www.microsoft.com/Reader/ I use the one for my PDA/phone and always have hundreds of recipes with me wherever I go.
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