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Hi my name is Dave, I definitely can't label myself as a vegetarian yet. I am so new to this, to date, my only meals that I have ever had that I can say are vegetarian are tomato soup, breakfast cereal and scrambled egg on toast.<br><br>
I have been thinking about becoming vegetarian for a couple of years now and have finally decided to do something about it. I have no idea what to eat or actually how to cook properly. I have decided that the best way to become vegetarian is to replace some of the meals that I eat now for vegetarian alternatives. I am hoping to get some 'simple' recipe ideas and build some basic knowledge around nutrition on this forum. My first quest is to adjust the lunches that I take to work, to meat free alternatives. If I can do this then I will be happy that I have made a convincing start.<br><br>
After I have had a look around I am sure to be asking plenty of questions and relying on everyones knowledge.
 

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Welcome to VeggieBoards! Don't worry too much about being new to cooking, I was pretty much in the exact same boat when I decided to go vegetarian. Luckily, there are tons of easy recipes out there so you can ease into vegetarian cooking. The forums have a great recipe section and websites such as Vegweb also offer tons of variety. You'll get the hang of it, I'm sure!
 

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Hi Davem!<br>
It tastes some getting used to, and a good bit of research, but so well worth it!<br>
For starters, get some cans of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), fat free refried beans (no lard!), maybe salsa, some torilla wraps...<br>
Mash chickpeas well, and add whatever you would use for tuna or egg salad! Mayo, celery, pickle relish, onions...<br>
Spread wrap with refried beans, salsa, onion, pepper tomato<br>
Hummus! (easy to make but for now feel free to buy!) Veggies to go with it.<br><br>
Check out the stock your pantry thread<br>
Welcome!
 

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Welcome! In the beginning, there are plenty of vegetarian processed foods and microwaveable meals to use as a crutch while you get your cooking skills up to snuff. To be honest, though, I don't do all that much real cooking myself.
 

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Be sure to have a pressure cooker <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> !! Very good suggestions above.
 

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I agree that there are plenty enough convenience foods to keep you going! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Frozen meals like Amy's...Lean Cuisine Veggie Cuisine...canned soups...instant rice...frozen stir fry veggies...you can whip up a stir fry in no time and all you need is a skillet.
 

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Yes, acceptable packaged foods are now available at some supermarkets, mostly marketed as Meatless menu. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"> Tofu is usually easy to find and add to your stir fry. Absorbs flavor from whatever you cook with it -- I usually start some tofu mixture in small skillet then add to large wok of veggies. Probably a lot more options will be for sale, too, if you're shopping in a big city or in the right kind of town. Off-the-shelf hummus varieties make terrific spreads; traditionally eaten with pita bread, but you <i>could</i> use tortillas in an impromptu TexMex/Mediterranean chowdown, I suppose, or just dip crackers/chips in it. Hummus with red peppers is especially healthy, as a complete protein. Tahina hummus makes for a nutritious, creamy plant-based condiment. You might find it ready-made in a kosher section, or if you own a food processor and you're lucky enough to have a health food store nearby, it's very simple to make your own tahini from sesame seeds. Also, look for farmers markets and food co-ops; local grown organics are the best way to go. Often, I’m more excited to score a fine spice than any kind of “central” ingredient.<br><br>
Another good first recipe, if you really want to cook, would be an easy lentil pilaf. Wash a cup of lentils with cold fresh water, then boil on high in medium sauce pan, removing foam and stirring slightly every 10 mins. After ½ hour, they should be tender; add or remove so there’s two cups of water left, reduce heat to medium, add an onion soup packet and a half cup of rice. Cook for 10 mins. Meanwhile, or alternately to soup packet, you can fry some fresh onion in olive oil (if you wanted to chop up a large one before you put the pan on) then slowly pour over lentils and rice. Reduce heat again to low, do not stir. After another 10 mins., thoroughly mix ¼ cup balsamic vinegar into everything. Let stand covered for 15 minutes. Sure to impress: show friends what vegetarians eat. Later, you can look for other rice pilaf recipes and/or experiment with variations: using garlic and such, rice like brown basmati, preparing carrots and other suitable vegetables, etc.<br><br>
Peas, beans, nuts, and seeds are wonderful for vegetarian chefs. You want to be sure to eat enough of the right things to get all the nutrients you need. Otherwise, these are all just suggestions: it’s up to you how serious to be about your diet.
 
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