Author Topic: A Full And Balanced Vegetarian Meal, can anyone give me ideas?  (Read 5159 times)

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Dorrie78

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Re: A Full And Balanced Vegetarian Meal, can anyone give me ideas?
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2012, 06:12:24 AM »
I think it would be very difficult to go from such a meat-heavy diet to vegetarian (2 days a week) in one step and stay satisfied. Since your goal is to eat healthier, maybe it would be easier and more satisfying to incorporate more vegetables while cutting way back on the meat a couple of days a week and the eventually eliminating the meat twice a week (your goal). Try a broccoli stir fry - I use 3-4 ounces of chicken in my stir fry, plus a mountain of broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and whatever else I have on hand. I also make chicken fajitas with 4 ounces of chicken, plus half an onion, half a green pepper and half of a red pepper.  (I freeze chicken in 4 ounce portions).

I also will brown 4 ounces of hamburger and add a jar of spaghetti sauce for pasta night.

I also crave giant ribeye steaks (added this so you know how much I love meat).

Personally, unless there's a health reason to avoid meat, I would try to reduce it in stages rather than quit cold turkey for those two days. I also think that as a carnivore, I would avoid the meat substitutes.

cicero

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Re: A Full And Balanced Vegetarian Meal, can anyone give me ideas?
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2012, 06:55:59 AM »
Thank you all so much! I am not going totally vegetarian, but I am going to be adding two days of no meat to my diet.  I love my meat, don't get me wrong, but I think change and expanding my palate is good in more ways than just nutritionally. :D
i noticed a lot of foodie bloggers are talking about "meatless wednesday" (or whatever day they choose). one such place is http://theshiksa.com/ she has a lot of meatless main meals. i'm sure there are others out there.

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Thipu1

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Re: A Full And Balanced Vegetarian Meal, can anyone give me ideas?
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2012, 10:24:21 AM »
With a small salad on the side, a baked potato stuffed with vegetarian chile, cheese and yogurt makes a nice, filling meal.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: A Full And Balanced Vegetarian Meal, can anyone give me ideas?
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2012, 10:32:26 AM »
Personally, unless there's a health reason to avoid meat, I would try to reduce it in stages rather than quit cold turkey for those two days. I also think that as a carnivore, I would avoid the meat substitutes.

This is kind of what I was thinking.  Instead of having a big ol' steak or full chicken breast, make fajitas with lots of veggies and use 1/3 of that meat.  Or do a stir fry and use the smaller amount of meat.  You could even grill up some steak or chicken strips ahead of time and add them to your salads throughout the week.

I used to be a real carnivore - meat at breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Now, I generally have a good sized serving of meat with my lunch and then eat lighter for dinner.  And the only time I have meat for breakfast is if I have company or it is brunch and I only intend to eat two meals for the day.
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blarg314

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Re: A Full And Balanced Vegetarian Meal, can anyone give me ideas?
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2012, 11:10:21 PM »

Yeah, there are lots of ways to tweak your meat-vegetable balance.

Personally, I don't count leafy salads when it comes to figuring out if I've made enough food for the meal - I love leafy salads, and they're nutritious, but they aren't that filling, and if it is filling, it's probably loaded with enough high calorie ingredients to make it less healthy.

Things like stir-fries and stews are a good way to stretch a small bit of meat a long way in flavour. If you're a chunk of meat eater, you can still give yourself a chunk of meat, but a small one - cut the pork-chop or steak into two portions, or have a chicken leg instead of full breast, and then add an extra vegetable dish or two.

So for example

- Small grilled steak, baked potato with a bit of butter, steamed green beans with grated parmesan, garden salad with vinagrette dressing, chickpea salad with mint and tomato.

- Single baked chicken leg with Mexican seasonings, beans and rice, corn on the cob, salad of chopped cucumbers, tomatos, onions, cilantro and lime juice.

- Hearty bean soup [sautee a small onion, stick of celery, one carrot and a handful of mushrooms, a small piece of smoked ham or pepperoni. Add two cups of water, a can of diced tomatoes, and a can of mixed beans (rinsed), plus a bay leaf, and a bit of rosemary and black pepper. Simmer until tender.] Serve with good bread, and a salad.

- Indian Potato and cauliflower curry, dhal (stewed spiced lentils), rice pilaf with vegetables, sliced tomatoes with chaat masala, stewed spinach.

For vegetarian that's filling and tasty, check out Indian cookbooks. They use a lot of rice and lentils and chickpeas and the like, as well as eggs and cheese.

As an aside on tofu - I like tofu in a lot of dishes, but I don't like it as a meat substitute. The taste, texture and the way it cooks are totally different. So check out tofu dishes, but go for Japanese or Chinese ones where it's cooked on its own merits, rather than ones that tell you to substitute marinated pressed tofu for beef or chicken.


Saki_Fiz

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Re: A Full And Balanced Vegetarian Meal, can anyone give me ideas?
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2012, 11:34:11 PM »
Another E-hellion recommended this cook book to me:  http://www.amazon.com/How-Cook-Everything-Vegetarian-Meatless/dp/0764524836/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342322733&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+cook+everything+vegetarian

I like this book because it explains how and why you use the ingredients you use.  Though for full disclosure, I will say that I am not a vegetarian, and will sometimes used meat based ingredients in the recipes (bouillon, for example).

But if you aren't actually wanting to become vegetarian, but just have a more vegetable centric diet, then I suggest to start by taking your normal cooking and adjusting the portions.  So if you would have a big steak with a baked potato and (maybe) a green vegetable... then adjust it to a 4-6oz serving of steak, half of baked potato, and half of your plate filled with a green vegetable.

I can also PM you a good Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole recipe, and a good Vegetarian Moussaka recipe, if you are interested.

Nika

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Re: A Full And Balanced Vegetarian Meal, can anyone give me ideas?
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2012, 11:54:58 PM »
Saki: Instead of PMing those recipes to the OP, I think you'd better share them with us all.  ;)
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sweetonsno

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Re: A Full And Balanced Vegetarian Meal, can anyone give me ideas?
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2012, 01:11:47 AM »
When cooking for die-hard carnivores, I try to keep a few things in mind:

1.) They are probably less used to having the taste/texture of meat at every meal as they are having what feels like a "real meal." Heck, I tend to avoid composed platters (essentially, larger portions of side dishes) unless i have no other option. They don't want to be aware of the fact that the meat is missing.

a.) Solution One: Make dishes that are familiar (or brand new) that wouldn't normally include meat. For example, people aren't going to "miss" the meat in saag paneer or falafel because meat isn't traditionally included. If you're watching out for your health, then you should probably avoid heavy dishes that are mostly made of eggs and cheese, but for a special occasion, a cheese soufflé will wow everyone.

b.) Make something else the "visual anchor" for the meal. If your typical meal is Meat Item plus Starch Item plus Cooked Veggie, the plate is going to look mighty empty if it doesn't have a focal point. You can do a number of different things here. A savory crepe might be nice. A slice of quiche? A stuffed pepper?

2.) Meat adds flavor and texture to your dishes. If you usually top your spaghetti with a  thick meat sauce, it's going to be lackluster if you just slop on some jarred tomato sauce. Spice it up. Sauté some onions, garlic, mushrooms, and pepper and add them to the sauce. Sprinkle in some fennel seeds and crushed red pepper if you normally put in sausage (it'll add some of the flavors that you're used to).

3.) Meat also adds nutrition. We generally rely on meat for protein and fat (at least in this culture). Make sure that you aren't just taking the meat out. Add something new in. Beans have protein. You can also switch to whole grains over the processed variety.

Finally, consider using some meat alternatives. Some of them are horrible, so prepare to need to experiment a bit. I really like Quorn brand "meatballs." For faux chicken, Gardien makes some great "tenders." They're tasty, have great texture, and are a lot lighter than real breaded chicken.

blarg314

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Re: A Full And Balanced Vegetarian Meal, can anyone give me ideas?
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2012, 10:56:48 PM »

I really like sweetosno's advice for cooking vegetarian for carnivores - it applies particularly well to cooking for hearty eaters.

I've seen it happen where a light-eating vegetarian prepared what they thought was ample food for a group at an event, only to have some of the heavier eaters breeze through it as an appetizer, eager for the main course.

I'm a thorough omnivore, but I'm also a light eater. So an assortment of salads, or a variety of side dishes is a great meal for me and I can happily make a meal of dim sum, or tapas. My husband has a much faster metabolism, and I quickly learned that this sort of meal is generally not enough for him, so I tend to save meals like that for lunch, or when he's away.
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Saki_Fiz

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Re: A Full And Balanced Vegetarian Meal, can anyone give me ideas?
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2012, 11:32:40 PM »
Since there was a request, here's the moussaka recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegetarian-moussaka/detail.aspx

I don't pan fry the vegetables.  I either oven roast them, or send them out to the grill with my husband.  If you can't find canned lentils, cooking lentils is easy.  I've used both regular and red lentils in the recipe.  Both are good.

katycoo

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Re: A Full And Balanced Vegetarian Meal, can anyone give me ideas?
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2012, 11:36:42 PM »
Make sure you include some dense veggies - sweet potato, pumpkin, and other root veggies like parsnip and swede to help feel full.

hannahmollysmom

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Re: A Full And Balanced Vegetarian Meal, can anyone give me ideas?
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2012, 01:54:21 AM »
I've been making a wonderful pizza with mashed cauliflower!

One cup mashed steamed cauliflower, 1 egg, 1 cup skim mozzarella. Spread in sprayed cookie sheet (about 8-10" round patty) and bake 400 degrees until it starts to brown.

Remove, add pizza toppings then broil until the cheese melts.

I also made it one time with a low fat alfredo recipe http://www.grouprecipes.com/29385/low-fat-alfredo-sauce.html and added precooked chicken and mushrooms with a little more cheese.

I'm a recent diabetic so trying to find low carb recipes. Often I end up vegetarian using beans instead of meat. Rachel Ray has a wonderful chili recipe that is quick and vegetarian. It uses a can of nonfat refried beans as a thickener as well as other beans.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 01:56:10 AM by hannahmollysmom »

Isometric

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Re: A Full And Balanced Vegetarian Meal, can anyone give me ideas?
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2012, 02:44:50 AM »
Good for you snowdragon! Eating less meat has so many excellent benefits, health, budget and environmentally wise!

My favorite vegie meal at the moment is homemade wedges, you can adjust however you like!

Cut up potatoes into wedges, very lightly spray with olive oil, sprinkle with herbs and spices, and bake until cooked. (turn halfway through)

We then add; kidney beans, cut up tomato, avacado, cucumber, capsicum, leafy lettuce, and light sour cream on top. Extremely filling and very tasty!

There's been some very yummy suggestions, might steal them for myself too!

Miriam

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Re: A Full And Balanced Vegetarian Meal, can anyone give me ideas?
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2012, 03:34:17 PM »
Try Chef Chloe's webpage. It has amazing recipes for vegan dishes, which can be changed to simple vegetarians. The newest recipe is for sloppy joes, which I made some easy french fries to go with.

http://chefchloe.com/vegan-recipes.html

She has desserts, sides, drinks even, meals and little snacks. Her cookbook is my favorite (tomato soup..yum)
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snowdragon

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Re: A Full And Balanced Vegetarian Meal, can anyone give me ideas?
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2012, 09:30:38 PM »
Another E-hellion recommended this cook book to me:  http://www.amazon.com/How-Cook-Everything-Vegetarian-Meatless/dp/0764524836/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342322733&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+cook+everything+vegetarian

I like this book because it explains how and why you use the ingredients you use.  Though for full disclosure, I will say that I am not a vegetarian, and will sometimes used meat based ingredients in the recipes (bouillon, for example).

But if you aren't actually wanting to become vegetarian, but just have a more vegetable centric diet, then I suggest to start by taking your normal cooking and adjusting the portions.  So if you would have a big steak with a baked potato and (maybe) a green vegetable... then adjust it to a 4-6oz serving of steak, half of baked potato, and half of your plate filled with a green vegetable.

I can also PM you a good Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole recipe, and a good Vegetarian Moussaka recipe, if you are interested.

Could you please either post them or PM them?  THank you so very much!
And to all of you thanks - this is very appreciated.