Don't know what to eat for main dishes - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-02-2014, 12:51 PM
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I have tried to be vegetarian quite a few times before and did not have success with it. I could not figure out what to eat without getting very hungry and have only lasted a couple of days. I currently do not eat any commercially processed foods and don't plan to change that. I have a lot of food allergies and don't eat anything I don't know what's in it, as well as having to avoid a lot of ingredients. (Some of which are dairy, garlic, ginger, virtually any artificial sweetener including sugar)


Where can I find food ideas for main courses? I have Googled and almost everything I find is full of sugar, dairy or some other ingredients that I can't eat. I make soups, stews, smoothies, and salads as well as eat veggies as a side item. I don't need recipes for these since I just put in whatever I want and I'm pretty good with choosing spices. This will get boring after a while though and would like some more recipes that are "main-course" like. I'd like to find at least 10 recipes before I start so I don't have to make plans while I'm hungry. I'll end up just eating out if I do which will usually mean eating meat since it's one of the lesser processed foods at restaurants.


My typical meal plan now consists of:

Breakfast: Eggs & Green Smoothie or oatmeal

Snack: Fruit and/or Nuts

Lunch: Sandwich or leftovers

Snack: Fruit and/or Nuts

Dinner: Something that includes a small portion of meat and a large portion of veggies.

Snack: Fruit and/or Nuts


I'm looking to remove the sandwich and meat at dinner first. Then I can remove the eggs later.

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#2 Old 01-02-2014, 01:36 PM
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Try doing a better search of recipes? I guarantee you that there are plenty of recipes out there that don't include sugar nor dairy. I personally love .

Also, remember that if a recipe asks for an ingredient that you cannot eat, you can just substitute that ingredient for another one you think will make the dish taste good, or not put it in at all. You don't have to follow the recipe 100%.

"We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form." - William Ralphe Inge

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#3 Old 01-02-2014, 02:44 PM
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Thanks for the link. I found 4 recipes there already. I'll have to eliminate the garlic in two of them but they have other peppers so I should just be able to increase that ingredient to make up the difference. Garlic has been a big eliminator for me on vegetarian recipes because I can't think of a suitable substitute. I often use onion powder though. It looks like I'll be doing some cooking this weekend. :)

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#4 Old 01-02-2014, 07:18 PM
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It might be worthwhile looking into asafoetida, a lot of Indian people use it as an onion and garlic substitute for religious reasons - . I don't really process onion very well, so I bought some from the local Asian supermarket with the idea of using it as a substitute.  I haven't got around to using it yet though.  edit - also called hing.

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#5 Old 01-02-2014, 11:27 PM
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Enchiladas-Trust me, you can put in (or leave out) what ever you like, no one's going to notice. ;)  Lasagna, again, choose your own adventure.

Soups, stews, curries---Good stuff. Check out the Food Porn thread, the Food Porn from the Internet thread, and the Recipe sub Forum. I really hope this helps. Good luck.

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#6 Old 01-02-2014, 11:35 PM
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Spaghetti with sauce. Meat not required (but watch out for the garlic!)

"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#7 Old 01-03-2014, 05:44 AM
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Thanks for the ideas everyone. I'm feeling more encouraged already. I want to do the 30 day challenge once I find about 10 main dish recipes. In the meantime, I'll still be moving in that direction since I'll be trying these out. My only condition on the recipes is that they need to be normal ingredients that I can get at the grocery store. A lot of recipes have too many ingredients that I've never heard of and neither have they at the store. If I can figure out what they are I can substitute. I had brine boiled lupine beans once in a non-potato salad recipe. I just substituted white beans and some sea salt. The recipe was still delicious so I was happy with it. It was a Dr. Oz recipe.


I have found that browsing this site has been better than googling for information. I had never thought about a vegetarian forum before yesterday. I don't know why, I use them for many other things. I don't really know what to google for at this point since I'm a beginner so browsing this "Transitioning to Vegetarian" or "...Vegan" forums is really helpful. I plan to eat Vegan but won't be true vegan since there are too many things to check.

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#8 Old 01-03-2014, 10:59 AM
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I agree with Purp enchiladas! Here is a neat video too! smiley.gif
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#9 Old 01-03-2014, 11:09 AM
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I practically live on beans and rice.  I mostly used canned beans (drained and rinsed well) but you can cook your own, and substitute 2 cups cooked for a 19 oz can.


Here's a link to 1 of my favourite sites, though you'll probably have to modify the recipes to get away from processed foods, if that includes canned goods.

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#10 Old 01-04-2014, 11:20 AM
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I've decided that today was the day to start. I talked with my wife last night and she is joining me too. We both quit dairy quite a while back so it's basically just giving up beef, chicken, & eggs. There are some side things I'm sure we'll find out about as we go like butter. It will be a learning process. I've been disgusted with the inhumane treatment of animals for quite a while but have not become vegetarian because of my food allergies. Even though I'm not allergic to meat, I have come across research that it may play a role in people with multiple sensitivities such as myself. I have been on a limited meat diet for a number of years but still have eaten it almost every day at least once. We're going to try the 30 days vegan as best as possible. I have found a lot of great, simple recipes on this web site that should help. They've been better than recipes I've found on cooking sites because they are more realistic, not having 30 ingredients and massive prep times. Also, fewer ingredients is less likely to have something I'm allergic to. I'm going to repost over in the other thread so the headline doesn't go off topic. Hopefully I can get some early days support there.






Here's my list of 10, plus basics like salads, PBJ, etc.: (I'll be making some modifications due to sensitivities.)

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#11 Old 01-04-2014, 10:35 PM
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E2's Macaroni & Not Cheese- can't get enough of this stuff!!
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#12 Old 01-05-2014, 12:20 PM
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Here are some easy and fun ones!


1. Quinoa + Curried Tofu + Kale + Cholula

Boil the quinoa

Use cumin, chili pepper, salt, pepper, and tumeric to season the tofu with some olive oil. Bake until golden

sauté kale with salt pepper garlic and lemon

Mix it together and top with some cholula for a nice kick.

The entire dish should be ready in 20 minutes. 


2. Indian Upmah


3. Lentil Shepherd's Pie

I haven't tried this yet, but it looks unreal

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#13 Old 01-05-2014, 12:41 PM
Not such a Beginner ;)
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I bookmarked #3, looks amazing! smiley.gif
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#14 Old 01-11-2014, 01:54 PM
Don't Eat Animals.
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Brian -


CONGRATS to you & your wife!!!!   :wayne:


I hope your journey is progressing OK.  Take it one day at a time.  Anything is possible.  You will be amazed at what lies ahead.  Enjoy your new food choices & realize that it's better for you.  It gets easier the longer you do it.


Keep going!!!   :sunny:

All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.
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#15 Old 01-11-2014, 04:57 PM
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Thanks. It's been surpisingly easy so far. I thought it would be tougher. It's a little more effort cooking now but we'll adjust and once we're not having to read recipes it will be just about the same. Plus, I'm cooking more stews and soups for microwave ready use.


We're having Smoky Black Eyed Pea and Kale Stew tonight. Smells great.

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#16 Old 01-11-2014, 05:45 PM
Not such a Beginner ;)
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Great, Brian! It sounds as if you've gotten off to a great start. smiley.gif
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#17 Old 02-22-2014, 07:10 PM
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11

I find that rice and beans are really helpful in helping you feel "full".  At first, I was like, I just can't feel "full" without meat for dinner.  BUT when I added beans and rice and tofu to my dinners regularly, it really helped!!  I also have a ton of veggies and fruit but the other things can help you with the rest of your diet.  Pasta is something else that can be nice on occasion :)

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