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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! My husband and I are thinking about becoming vegetarians, mainly for the health benefits. Unfortunately, when I look up vegetarian recipes, most of them contain ingredients I'm either not familiar with or have no idea how to cook. Hopefully, hanging around here will change that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Hi! Welcome to the forums! In my opinion, a lot of recipes use meat and/or broth as a crutch, so cooking veg*n requires learning all over again. It's fairly easy to pick up though; I'm sure you'll get it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I have a pretty long list of things I want to try. Number one is quinoa. I bought some and have been staring at it, trying to figure out what to do with it!<br><br>
I guess I didn't include very many other details about myself...I'm a 40 year old mother and grandmother. I live in KS and will graduate next spring with a degree in Sociology. (I've been working on my degree for a long time. I could have been a doctor by now!) And, to be perfectly honest, I am not an animal rights activist, although I am not a fan of mistreating them. I also know I could never slaughter an animal, no matter the reasons. My husband and I own one chihuahua, two horses, and one pony. I wasn't sure if I should share that or not, but I believe in honesty so I thought I would go ahead and throw it out there.<br><br>
Anyway, I found this form after doing a search for vegetarian forums. I have about one bajillion questions and have been doing quite a bit of reading here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Welcome! Quinoa is very easy to make. Basically, you cook it similar to rice. I find it's very tasty if you use vegetable stock instead of water. The package should have instructions on it. Just follow those! I like to add some sort of sauteed vegetables on top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I bought it in bulk, so had no directions. (I guess I didn't think that out very well...) I've read about how versatile it is, so I'm really excited to try it!
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>jeneric</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3011642"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I bought it in bulk, so had no directions. (I guess I didn't think that out very well...) I've read about how versatile it is, so I'm really excited to try it!</div>
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rinse it very well<br><br>
this is my all time favourite recipe that uses quinoa and has "normal" ingredients (if you do a search on that site for quinoa you'll get lots more inspiration)<br><a href="http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2008/02/vegetable-fried-quinoa.html" target="_blank">http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2008/02...ed-quinoa.html</a><br><br>
but you can just mix in or top it with veggies, sauces, anything you can think of. it tastes good cold to
 

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About a month ago my husband and I got serious about being vegetarian and I started out by making familiar recipes and omitting the meat/chicken. Snowcone is right, it takes a little re-learning, so don't get overwhelmed trying too many new things at once.<br>
You just have to look at meals differently. Instead of starting with "are we having meat or chicken tonight, now what should I do with it?", start with a whole grain, and add a vegetable. A recipe that combines the two is perfect.<br>
Try this delicious Potato Leek Soup recipe. It's easy to make, with familiar flavors.<br><a href="http://almostvegangirl.blogspot.com/2011/10/potato-leek-soup.html" target="_blank">http://almostvegangirl.blogspot.com/...leek-soup.html</a><br><br>
I like the blog.fatfreevegan.com website too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My husband and I are going to check out Whole Foods and Green Acres Market today. I'm excited to see what they have! As a matter of fact, I'm working on making my grocery list right now. There are several things I want to try, with quinoa being at the top of the list. I'd also like to try making hummus and then I'd like to figure what the heck I'm supposed to do with tofu. (although, it sounds like it's very versatile)
 

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jeneric- I don't eat soy for a variety of reasons but I did experiment with tempeh yesterday and quite enjoy it!! I'll probably only dabble in it a few times a month but I was really surprised how much I liked it!! I'm a newbie too but have been cooking and baking with whole clean ingredients for many years now. Keep us posted on your progress! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Welcome!<br>
Changing your food habits definitly takes adjustment! I remember all too well eating crunchy quinoa. It's not supposed to be crunchy-rinse it well in a screen type sieve and when properly cooked will look like itty bitty condoms!<br>
There really are so many ingrediant substitutions, and you'll probably be surprised how many were hiding and you just didn't notice them before.<br>
Check out vebweb.com. There are many discussions on food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks, all!<br><br>
We went to two different stores today and wandered around. We came home with some whole wheat pasta and some pasta made from quinoa, tofu (which the lady who checked us out cautioned us against...she said it was genetically modified food), quinoa polenta, tortas, snacks made from wheat, a "powder" substance that you add boiling water to and then make "hamburgers" out of, and a couple soup mixes from Bob's Red Mill; whole grain and beans, and veggie. We also bought some random drinks like coconut water (Zico) and pineapple/coconut juice. The main thing we didn't get that I really want to is some other kind of milk, be it soy or coconut or whatever.<br><br>
We discussed how hard we thought it would be to stick to this and we both agreed we feel so much better when we avoid "heavy" foods. My husband also said he either read or heard on the radio that meat really isn't that great of a source of protein anyway. Whoever he was listening to said that if you have to slice your food like that (as in steak, I suppose) it isn't going to be easy for your body to digest. I know that just the changes I have made so far make it pretty much impossible for me to eat anything fried or greasy. It literally makes me sick. (which I think will be a great deterrent against eating that way)<br><br>
I've always been curious about the vegetarian lifestyle, but grew up the daughter of a ranch hand. Plus, everything we ate was cooked in about an inch of grease. Yuck. I wish it hadn't taken me so long to realize how much I really didn't like food like that and also how unhealthy it was. About two years ago, I was 32 pounds heavier than I am now and had a cholesterol level of 260. My doctor said my cholesterol had to come down and I've been working on it ever since. The last time I had it checked, it was 180. Yay!<br><br>
But, I digress...thank you for the warm welcome! I just have one more question...are there any good vegetarian cookbooks out there that are designed for beginners? I know I can find recipes online, but I guess I'm still a bit old-fashioned and really like having a book in front of me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Hi and welcome to veggieboards.<br><br>
If you want simple recipes you could try the Happy Herbivore books - here's a link to some of her recipes so you can see if they are suitable for you: <a href="http://happyherbivore.com/recipes/" target="_blank">http://happyherbivore.com/recipes/</a><br><br>
You'll get lots of help and advice here, so keep asking questions <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I've been vege for 7 years now and I've never tried quinoa, maybe I'm missing out :S
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>LadyMetal87</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3013310"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I've been vege for 7 years now and I've never tried quinoa, maybe I'm missing out :S</div>
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you are <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>angie54321</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3013293"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Hi and welcome to veggieboards.<br><br>
If you want simple recipes you could try the Happy Herbivore books - here's a link to some of her recipes so you can see if they are suitable for you: <a href="http://happyherbivore.com/recipes/" target="_blank">http://happyherbivore.com/recipes/</a><br><br>
You'll get lots of help and advice here, so keep asking questions <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"></div>
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Thank you for the link! I will definitely check it out!!
 

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I am pretty new to quinoa as well, and I can't believe I waited so long to try it! Anything you do with rice you can do with quinoa. I usually cook it in some sort of vegetable broth instead of water, and throw in whatever herbs and/or vegetables I have on hand. I usually saute the veggies for a few minutes in a little olive oil and minced garlic (which comes already minced in a jar. SO convenient!), then throw it in when I start cooking the quinoa.<br><br>
Tofu I have found VERY tricky to cook yourself when you are first starting out. We are lucky enough to live in an area with a lot of ethnic and vegetarian friendly restaurants, so I usually try tofu at those places instead of making it myself. That's the only way I was able to figure out if I actually liked it! You should try out some vegan/vegetarian recipe books as well. Happy Herbivore (as mentioned above), Kathy Freston, and The Kind Diet all have good recipe books that i've used recipes from. They are vegan, but most vegetarians I know tend to cut out a lot of the dairy they eat anyway. Also, check out some of the recommended websites on this forum that will educate you on why meat isn't the best source of protein, as well as how you can get adequate protein, iron, B vitamins, etc. in your diet. I've found myself constantly checking out new websites, blogs, and books about the subject of a meatless diet. The more you know the easier it is! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
I was always VERY picky about the milk and dairy I ate, and I have found almond milk to be pretty good. They have individual serving sizes in most of the different milks that make it easier to try without wasting a big container of it if you end up not liking it.<br><br>
Welcome, and good luck!
 

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Hello and welcome! Congratulations on making the change. Most meals are easier to cook without meat, than with it. You just need to learn a few new techniques and not be afraid to experiment. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Tonight was our first vegetarian supper and it wasn't too bad! I made the quinoa pasta and some kind of "burger". (It was a powder that you add boiling water to, let it sit for 10-15 min, then form into patties and brown on both sides. The ingredients were all natural, but I don't remember what they were. We got it out of a bulk container.) I also cooked some of the polenta and then put honey on it. I need to work on my polenta skills. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)"> Anyway, it was hard to wrap my brain around the fact that there was no meat on our plates! One thing I'm noticing now is that I don't have that heavy feeling after eating, which is awesome!<br><br>
I bought a carton of almond milk...yum!!! I can't wait to try it on my cereal!!<br><br>
Tomorrow, I'm going to tackle tofu. Wish me luck!
 
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