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My daughter announced that she wants to be vegetarian. LOL, I couldn't even get her to eat any vegables when she was living at home. So now, she's home from college for Christmas break. Im sure her entire diet has been friench fries and coke. I want to help her make better choices but I have no idea what to cook for her and make sure she gets her protein. I want to be supportive. Any suggestions would help.<br><br><br><br>
I've purchased tofu before but I cant cook it and make it taste good. Any secrets?<br><br><br><br>
By the way, hello to all. Im Lisa, 48, mother of two teens and for myself, Im diabetic, so going vegan, although I would like to, is just an option Im exploring at this point. I do agree with the philosophy, however, I dont tolerate grains of any kind and my diet is more like Atkins than anything else. Its the only way I have found to control this disease. My diet is largely protein and fat (I know people are cringing out there) but my cholessterol has gone down greatly and my blood sugars are normalized. So Im here to observe and decide if I can do this at all. In the meantime, I can give my daughter support.
 

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well sometime you can put tofu in a salad and the dressing will make it not as a bad tasting or there all lots of diffrent things to cook and recipes and good website for reciepes is <a href="http://www.vegweb.com" target="_blank">www.vegweb.com</a> lots of diffrent foods for veggie i hope this helps or fry the tofu i really dont now how to do that but protein is importatn protein smoothies are awsome too hope this helps
 
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hi! welcome to veggieboards, and may i just say your daughter is lucky to have such a cool and supportive mum <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
as a start point, i'd check out the 'tip of the day' thread in the 'new to vegetarianism' forum.. hopefully this link'll take you right there: <a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=50249" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=50249</a><br><br><br><br>
tesserract has done a really good job of providing a huge base of knowledge to work from in this thread, it covers a wide range of things from using and identifying different types of tofu to finding good sources of protein, iron, calcium, and the like- its definately worth a read!<br><br><br><br>
as h1pp1eboy said, vegweb has loads of excellent recipes, the recipes here aint bad either, lol, and i'd also like to suggest investing in a few good vegetarian cookery books- your library should be able to get them in for you if you don't want to buy any just yet, or maybe you could get your daughter a book like 'easy vegan cooking' by 'leah leneman' (its vegan, so no dairy or eggs either, but its got a nice broad base of recipes including loads of tofu ones, fake meat things you can make, and has plenty of desserts and cookies too, lol!) for the holidays, if you're into buying gifts.<br><br><br><br>
as for advice, i'd encourage your daughter to try lots of new foods- fruits, veggies, grains, etc, as well as ethnic foods like falafels, curry, asian foods, mexican, etc, and to broaden her horizons food wise, so that she doesn't feel like she's loosing food choices, just changing them a bit- coke and fries may be classic student fayre, but it's gotta get boring sooner or later, lol, and isn't really covering all the food groups either!<br><br><br><br>
if she doesn't like something new she tries (like tofu, for example), i'd not write it off after one try, but revisit it later, or try a different brand later, or try it prepared a different way, etc, as peoples tastes do seem to change after being veggie for a while, and how something is prepared definately affects how tasty it might be!<br><br><br><br>
and try and get her doing some of her own cooking- even simple stuff and thinking outside the box about food options (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are veggie, so are baked potatoes with loads of toppings!) , otherwise you'll be doing extra work, and she'll be back on the fries when she goes back to school!<br><br><br><br>
if you are cooking for her and the rest of the family still want to eat non veggie- many meals can be separated out before the meat is added (eg: you could do spaggetti, a tomato sauce, and fry some mince in one pan, and veggie mince in another, and get 2 different meals without having to cook twice... same with tacos, stir fries, etc) cooking like this wherever possible will save you a lot of hassle and time!<br><br><br><br>
if you have a large grocery store or healthfood store near you, utilise it!- you'll probably find a wealth of vegetarian alternatives to loads of things- ours has tofu near the salad veggies, as well as all kinds of tofu based products and fake lunch meats, marinaded chiken skewers, and other mysterious goodies in a designated chiller, and frozen veggie burgers, veggie pizzas, soups, frozen filled wraps in the freezers, etc- these things 'aint really cheap, and obviously aren't ideal as staples, but they're nice if you feel like some meaty junk food on occasion, or in transition if you suddenly find yourself craving a ham sandwich, etc. also, if she starts to panic over a holiday dinner choice, you could look out for a tofurky (fake turkey) if you're in america, or for something similar in other countries (ask around in the regional forums to find out whats available where you live!) while you're doing the shopping, lol.<br><br><br><br>
good luck, and i hope you both have fun trying out new things! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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oh, wow. I think HCJen covered everything I could have said <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
I will add not to stress about protein. It's a common worry, but it's really not difficult to get enough protein on a veggie diet. As long as she is eating one 'protein' (meat sustitute, tofu, beans, etc) most days she will be fine.<br><br>
I'm a lazy teen so I know a lot about college style cooking even though I'm not there yet. Linda McCartney sausages & veg from frozen, smothered in tomato sauce; Potato waffles, baked beans (though I've heart they're not usually vegetarian in the USA - how wierd!) and peas; cereal with soymilk (she might prefer dairy, though, if she's not giving it up) with some form of fruit in; tacos made from the box-kit-thing but with TVP instead of beef - these things are a few of my staples. All of these are ridiculously easy to make and all of them contain a source of protein.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Lots of good advice already in this thread, so I just wanted to thank you for being supportive of your daughter (believe me, there are lots of new vegetarians who can't say the same about their families). Welcome to VB! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hi.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hi:">
 

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hi Lisa <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hi.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hi:"> and welcome! There have already been some excellent suggestions...<br><br>
I just wanted to add a book reccomendation. "Students go Vegan cookboook" It's filled with easy and inexpensive meals.<br><br>
That's wonderful you're being so supportive of your dayghter... kuddos!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":up:">
 

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welcome. No advice that noone else has mentioned, so I just wanted to welcome you and say how nice it must be to have such a cool mom <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Again, advice has been done really, but I wanted to say well done for being so supportive and interested. That is really great. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>LisaP</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
My daughter announced that she wants to be vegetarian. LOL, I couldn't even get her to eat any vegables when she was living at home. So now, she's home from college for Christmas break. Im sure her entire diet has been friench fries and coke. I want to help her make better choices but I have no idea what to cook for her and make sure she gets her protein. I want to be supportive. Any suggestions would help.<br><br><br><br>
I've purchased tofu before but I cant cook it and make it taste good. Any secrets?<br><br><br><br>
By the way, hello to all. Im Lisa, 48, mother of two teens and for myself, Im diabetic, so going vegan, although I would like to, is just an option Im exploring at this point. I do agree with the philosophy, however, I dont tolerate grains of any kind and my diet is more like Atkins than anything else. Its the only way I have found to control this disease. My diet is largely protein and fat (I know people are cringing out there) but my cholessterol has gone down greatly and my blood sugars are normalized. So Im here to observe and decide if I can do this at all. In the meantime, I can give my daughter support.</div>
</div>
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WOW! You're approaching this with more determination than many. I don't have diabetes, but it does run in my father's side of the family. I control my weight for that reason (and also to prevent cardiovascular disease... which is prevalent on my MOTHER'S side of the family.) I think I posted in a thread about the glycemic index of different foods. It surprised me that whole wheat bread causes almost as fast a spike in blood glucose levels as white bread does... UNLESS the bread has many whole kernels of grain in it- that is, it isn't made from very finely ground flour. The carbs from legumes tend to be more slowly absorbed. (I'm just beginning to learn about this stuff. Please discuss it with your doctor.) I just went searching for my post and couldn't find it.<br><br><br><br>
Your daughter realizes that she can't just cut meat and fish out of the usual American diet and be healthy, I hope. You mentioned tofu... as you probably know by know, it's common in various Asian cuisines, but since it has little flavor of its own, it can be prepared a wide variety of ways to make snacks, desserts, or savory main courses. I would suggest that you or your daughter either get some cookbooks out of the library to try a few things (an economical way to try new foods), or going to some local restaurants to see what they have to offer.<br><br><br><br>
About becoming familiar with other vegetarian foods in general.... If you still include dairy and eggs (at least for now), you probably won't feel so restricted initially. Long ago, I thought veganism to be unthinkably difficult, but I've been heading in toward veganism for about 15 years now.<br><br><br><br>
I don't like to fuss in the kitchen much, so I like recipes that are healthy, tasty, and easy to prepare.
 

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I guess it depends on how much stuff you cooked and what you cooked before, but I started by taking regular foods I already knew and made them vegetarian.<br><br><br><br>
For example, speghetti, but instead of meat balls, use chopped up veggieburgers, meatless crumbles, or vegetarian meatballs. I usually throw in tofu. I cube it and fry it up (not too much oil, cast iron works best but is not necessary.) When I was getting used to tofu, I would first cube it and soak it a few hours (or over night) in a container of vinegrette or other mixture of dressing, vinegar and spices. Be creative.<br><br><br><br>
Deli sandwiches- omit meat, add avocado, guacamole, babaganoush, hummus, artichokes, mushrooms, sprouts, baked or fried tofu or eggplant.<br><br><br><br>
Soups- most family soup recipes can be altered easily.<br><br><br><br>
Chilli- get a can of vegetarian chilli and add onions, meatless crumbles, TVP, etc. for an easy meal<br><br><br><br>
casseroles- many can easily be made vegetarian but omitting meat. Diary based ones can be made vegan with vegan mushroom soups from health food stores, or by looking in vegan cookbooks for similar alternatives.<br><br><br><br>
If you use a pressure cooker, there are lots of risottos which are super easy to make. You can get creative with these, too, adding in whatever combination of veggies you want.<br><br><br><br>
There are so many recipes on the net, but libraries can be a good source if you are not ready to take the plunge and buy a particular book.<br><br><br><br>
For beginners, I find the cook books by PETA to be good, along with the Vegetarian Times ones and the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=veggieboards.com-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FVegetarian-Meat-Potatoes-Cookbook%2Fdp%2F1558322051%2Fsr%3D8-1%2Fqid%3D1166227899%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_1%2F002-7839429-6804005%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks" target="_blank">Meat and Potatoes vegetarian</a> cookbook.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tom, speaking of blood sugar spikes, yes, whole wheat is just as bad as white if you're diabetic. Its pretty depressing. Just eating healthy isn't good enough, you have to be very choosy about glycemic index foods, so Im not a stranger to dietary control.<br><br><br><br>
However, this vegetarian thing is very hard. Ive been trying to help my daughter find good things to eat, but its not easy. I give you all a lot of credit for your perserverence.
 
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i'm sorry you're finding it a struggle to find good things to eat <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br><br><br>
if it'd help, perhaps if you give us an idea of where abouts you are, if you're ina town or city or the middle of nowhere, what stores you have nearby, and what sort of stuff you and your daughter like (eg: indian, thai, chinese, quick to make, easy, not too spicy, cheap, if you're big fans of soup, pizza, and hate cabbage, etc), everyone can come up with some some suggestions for products and recipes you might enjoy?<br><br><br><br>
i know that when i first started looking around for specialty foods, it was quite hit and miss, i hated some of the first things i tried, and more than ten years on, i'm still discovering new things- i think it'd be great if we could give you a bit of a shopping list of things and a point in the right direction- much less difficult than trying to find things yourself, or work out how to adapt recipes and habits, when you're new to it all.
 
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