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Hi<br><br>
I am Samantha from Barnet, North London (UK). Recently gave up the fight to ignore the growing ethical worries I had about eating meat. I also realised more of my friends are now vegetarian than not so I figured dinner parties would get easier all round if I got good at cooking vege food rather than panicking about how to turn my super brilliant 'entertaining' recipes into vegetarian recipes without ruining them. Don't get me started on the dinner party in which I forgot to check if the cheese was vegetarian...Anyways, so far my answer to most vege cooking related questions has been 'if in doubt, stir fry with chilli and garlic'. One more stir fried lentil and I will scream so am joining this forum on the hunt for ideas.<br><br>
On a more serious note, for a beginner vegetarian things can be a bit confusing- different products definitions of 'suitable for vegetarians', which food additives are suitable for vegetarians etc, getting the right balance of vitamins and minerals in the diet, so hoping to pick up on more about those things. I also would like to pay more attention to a more animal friendly life in general and figured this would be a great palce to meet likely minded people who I can swap website and product discoveries with. Which reminds me, did you guys all know Harribo makes a vegetarian version of its sweets? Awesomeness!
 

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Hi Samantha, and welcome!<br><br>
I've been vegan for 6 weeks now, and believe me, it's the best choice I've made in my life. Believe me, the egg and dairy industries are just about as bad if not worse than the meat industry. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("> So I went from omni to vegan pretty much overnight, as I'm lactose intolerant anyway, and eggs never were something I was particularly fond of. Being vegan has changed my outlook in every way for the better, not just with what I put in my body, but also how I relate to everything and everyone around me.<br><br>
One rule of thumb I've heard when planning your diet that works very well for me is 1/2 fruit and veg, 1/4 whole grains (especially sprouted grains if you can find them, which are awesome for the digestion, quinoa is a good one too which also has protein and is super-easy to cook), and 1/4 plant protein (such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc). That works very well for me, and I have so much more energy than ever. Also, I'm making a conscious effort to avoid refined carbs such as conventional pastas and sugars while making this transition, and it is helping me out so much. Otherwise it's easy to have carb overload on a vegan diet, and get exhausted.<br><br>
Green smoothies are a quick and easy way to get your fruit and veg, and to use produce in your fridge that's about to go off. I usually do mine with 1/2 combination of green leafy veggies, such as kale, spinach, and parsley, 1/2 fruit such as strawberries, oranges, bananas, and pineapples, ice to taste, a serving of hemp protein powder (which does not get you high, but is the cheapest and easiest to find vegan source of protein I have found!!), and a squirt of agave nectar. As you're in a cooler climate, I'd suggest for your purposes using maple syrup, as it's probably cheaper for you than something like agave, which comes from a hot climate.<br><br>
Also, Kimberlilly and I were talking about vegan pasta ideas, she has a yummy carbonara recipe that I need to get asap! I've figured out how to make fake bacon which tastes authentic; basically take soy bacon rashers, marinate for about 10-15 minutes in a mixture of olive oil, basil paste, and garlic paste, then fry. Those 2 mixed together would probably be tasty. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
And finally, try to make sure you get plenty of iron from plant sources such as spinach or black beans, or take a supplement. Also, a B12 supplement is important.<br><br>
Good luck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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Welcome to veggieboards! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/broccoli.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":bobo:">
 

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Welcome to veggieboards!<br><br>
Vegetarian is really easy - most labelling systems (the Vegetarian Society, and supermarket own brands) are pretty trustworthy these days.<br><br>
The UK Vegetarian Society is a good place to start for information, and recipes - <a href="http://www.vegsoc.org" target="_blank">www.vegsoc.org</a><br><br>
As for recipes, there are many many many sites now with veggie recipes - just type 'vegetarian recipes' into google and that will keep you busy for a while. Or you can try <a href="http://www.vegweb.com" target="_blank">www.vegweb.com</a> - that's a great source.<br><br>
As Mia82 mentioned, there is cruelty in dairy and egg production too, so please don't replace your meat with extra dairy and eggs. Instead, be adventurous and try lots of difference ingredients - if you have a local Asian shop, they will sell items like lentils, beans,coconut milk and soya mince/chunks much cheaper than supermarkets do. Experiment with tofu too - don't be put off if you haven't liked it before, there is a technique to getting it right (as in removing the water from it first before you cook it!).<br><br>
If there is anything you need to know, just ask on veggieboards - I guarantee that either someone will know, or someone will go out of their way to find the information for you.
 

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Hi and welcome! Lots of great advice already but stir frys are definitely not the be all and end all of veggie recipes! The links angie provided are good for recipes, don't forget you can have things like pasta, asparagus tarts, roast potatoes, risotto, chilli, tagines, fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, pizza, vegetable sushi, etc etc etc... These things can all be made vegan as well if you fancy giving egg and dairy free cooking a shot.
 

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Welcome! These boards are packed full of information and inspiration. I'm a new veg, too. I envy you being in London where vegetarianism has been easy to do for years. I'm in Texas...you can imagine what it's like here, although luckily the co-op store that I've found is full of fantastic options.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Mia82</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2888227"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Also, Kimberlilly and I were talking about vegan pasta ideas, she has a yummy carbonara recipe that I need to get asap!</div>
</div>
<br>
Why was I not included in this conversation? X^D
 
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