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Vegetarian Staples - all you veggies, please help a newbie

(19 Posts)
lucyellensmumisgreat Tue 16-Jun-09 16:54:34

As a result of being stuck in a traffic jam for two hours on the M20, next to a crate of cows, my partner and i have decided to go veggie. I will most likely still cook a few meat meals for my DD.

What do you guys eat on a regular basis - we have been on holiday this week, so its been great whilst having stuff cooked for us, but now i have to decide what to eat every day, and that was hard enough when we ate meat.

I feel much better after just a week actually, but want to make sure that we don't miss out on essential vits etc, especially as DDs diet (aged nearly 4) will be principally veggie.

So, the cupboard is bare - hellllllp

PS: We are not fussy and like most things.

lucyellensmumisgreat Tue 16-Jun-09 16:56:17

I should add, i am allergic (properly admit to hospital in a umbalum allergic) to quorn

TheProvincialLady Tue 16-Jun-09 17:00:26

We eat a lot of chick peas and lentils, eg rice and dal or pasta with tomato, veg and chickpea sauce.

Tonight we are having tofu and veg thai curry. We eat a lot of tofu eg in stew.

Eggs - omelette/spanish omelette

I can't eat dairy ATM but there is always cheese in its many forms.

steamedtreaclesponge Tue 16-Jun-09 17:09:56

I don't really eat any Quorn, so don't worry on that front! I'm not mad keen on tofu either, so most of my protein comes from eggs, cheese and pulses.

I eat a lot of curry (esp with paneer, spinach and lentils), chunky vegetable soups/stews (another good way to include beans, grate cheese over the top) plus all the usual stuff like pasta, big interesting salads with feta and nuts in them, that sort of thing.

I guess my main top veggie tips would be:

1) Don't try and eat exactly the same as you were previously, only replacing the meat with substitutes. This really limits the meals you can cook and you will always feel like there's something missing

2) Look to the East! [poncey emoticon]. Loads of Asian and Middle Eastern food is naturally vegetarian and it's a great way to get inspired - think Thai green vegetable curries, chinese noodles with tofu and peanuts, middle eastern mezze with pitta bread and rice pilaff, that sort of thing.

3) There are actually some traditional meat dishes that do work really well without meat. Try veggie lasagne made with roasted mediterranean vegetables instead of mince, or anything Mexican - cook veggies up in fajita spices, add chili non carne (actually v easy to cook without meat, just replace the mince with courgettes and aubergines chopped small), then stuff tortillas with this, salad, grated cheese, guacamole... you get the idea.

Hope this helps - and well done for making the plunge! Try not to worry too much about nutrition - I'm sure you'll find yourselves eating much more vegetables, and before long it'll be second nature to you. smile

Millarkie Tue 16-Jun-09 17:13:40

pasta and sauces, pizza, spanish omelette, bean chilli, spag bol using soya mince, veggie lasagne, stirfrys (usually veg and tofu), tofu burgers, dahl and rice, mushroom stroganoff, veggie sausage casserole (we use tesco lincolnshire sausages which i think are soya based rather than quorn), veggies in sauce in cheesie pastry (an invention of grannys), lentil bake, nut roast, almond savoury cakes.
That's the sort of thing we eat (plus quorn) - ds now 7 has been veggie since birth and has no obvious dietary needs lacking...most important thing is to ensure plenty of iron (think red lentils, apricots, leafy veg like spinach).

sarah293 Tue 16-Jun-09 17:18:20

Message withdrawn

lucyellensmumisgreat Tue 16-Jun-09 17:18:57

might even lose some weight! that wouldnt be a bad thing - we do feel better actually, as we have ended up cutting down on fat big time.

So, for protein i should be looking at?
Milk and cheese? Beans? nuts? Seeds?

steamedtreaclesponge Tue 16-Jun-09 17:20:46

A combination of all of the above, ideally! You will get bored if you try and rely on the same thing all the time but it's easy to add a sprinkle of nuts to one thing, and grate some cheese on something else. Handy BBC article on vegetarian nutrition here

SpawnChorus Tue 16-Jun-09 17:22:43

Agree with most of steamed's post, but would say that I quite often do adapt meaty recipes with veggie stuff. e.g. Spaghetti carbonara - replace the ham with sundried tomatoes, some meaty dishes can be made with porcini mushrooms (and/or regular mushrooms). Chickeny things can often me made with tofu.

Mince can be replaced with lentils - especially puy lentils...they're by far the tastiest. If you want a more mincey texture you can use dried soya mince. Totally bland flavourless stuff, but it soaks up the flavours of the sauce really well.

I love reading food mags, and have often cobbled together really yummy versions of their meaty recipes by substituting ingredients in this way.

Lizzzombie Tue 16-Jun-09 17:31:56

I'm totally allergic to quorn as well, so don't touch it at all.

Our regular meals include:

Tofu stirfry (marinated tofu is expensive but best for this)
Spinach & chic pea lasagne
Roasted Veg and hummous stuffed pitta breads
Shepherdess pie (lentils instead of mince)
Stuffed baked potatoes
Arabiata pasta
Puff pastry meditaranean (sp!) tart.


PavlovtheForgetfulCat Tue 16-Jun-09 17:32:41

Look for food combinations such as lentils/veg/rice, pulses/veg/pasta that kind of thing, good comibations help to absorb the right food.

For example iron deficiency is common when meat is cut out, so combine iron rich food with vit c rich food which aids iron absorbsion. Spinach is not in fact a good source of iron, as although it is iron rich, it is in a hard to digest form, but is good for other minerals and folic acid for example. Pulses are high in iron, so a lentil and tomato/vegetable sauce would be a great source of iron, served with pasta for carbohydrate.

Chickpea and potato curry is great - use both normal potatoes and sweet potatoes for variety, add spinach to the rice.

Macaroni, cauliflower and broccoli bake. (cheese sauce, fried onions/leeks, cooked macaroni (al dente, or just under), mix with chopped uncooked cauliflower, broccoli, cover in grated cheese and put in oven for 45 mins, serve with peas/garlic bread (i have chips with it, cos I am piglet!).

Falafel, greek salad, pitta, potato salad, humous.

Roasted vegetable pasta - with or without lentils.

chilli - we don't use meat anyway for our chilli - we use mixed beans (you can buy a can of ready mixed beans/pulses) and another can of kidney beans. (Then we do strips of chicken seperately for those who want meat), served with rice.

Vegetable lasagne.

spinach and ricotta canelloni, with salad (and for me, chips, as always blush).

lucyellensmumisgreat Tue 16-Jun-09 17:38:17

I'm hungry already!!!

One question - do you find it more expensive to be veggie? This does worry me a little as we are on a tight budget just now - want to try and keep our weekly shop below £50

SuperBunny Tue 16-Jun-09 17:47:13

I think it is much cheaper to be veggie. Even cheaper if you are vegan.

Here is my old list:

Egg & chips (!)

Veggie Bake
Grilled Portobellos w/ roast toms & ricotta on sourdough
Onion & Olive Pissaladiere (puff pastry)
Onion & Goat’s cheese tarts (puff)
Tomato & Tapenade Tarts
Sweet potato & chick pea curry
Baked spuds
Potato & Onion Tortilla
Spicy Roasted Veg
Veggie/ Allotment Pie
Chunky Veg Chili
Leek and Potato Gratin
Paneer, peas and potato curry
Cauli Cheese
Baked Figs with Stilton
Stuffed Peppers
Black bean, mushroom and quinoa stuffed peppers
Stewed Okra w/ tomatoes
Baba Ganoush
Aubergine Parmegiana
Aubergine & tomato gratin
Aubergine in cheese sauce
Eggplant and artichoke alla napoletana
Roasted Eggplant, Zucchini, and Chickpea Wraps
Perciatelli with Roasted Tomatoes and Eggplant
Cheesey leeky bakey thingy
Ginger Roatsed Winter Veg
Roast veg in Phyllo cups

Black Bean Burgers
Mushroom veggie
Carrot Lentil

Pumpkin, Walnut & Blue Cheese Gnocchi
Spinach & Ricotta Lasagna
Roast pumpkin and mushroom lasagna
Goats Cheese and Pesto Cannelloni
Lentil Lasagna
Tagliatelle w/ Veg ribbons
Macaroni Cheese
Whole-wheat spaghetti w/ fontina & Kale
Conciglie con broccoli
Orecchiette w/ cherry tomatoes and kalamata Tapenade (v)
Sundried Tomato Pesto
Penne w/ mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and artichokes

Pea Risotto
Veg risttoto
Lemon zucchini rissoto
Mushroom and sundried tomato risotto
dirty rice
Rainbow Rice
Mushroom Stroganoff
Dahl & rice
Tahini Lemon Rice & Beans (v)

Red Beans and Rice
Chermoula Chickpea burgers
Chick Pea Burgers
Chickpea and spinach Curry
Lemony Chickpea stir fry (w/ tofu)
Tuscan beans w/ tomatoes and sage
Adzuki Bean Stew
Parsley & butterbean stew
Black-eyed peas (w. rice)
Homemade baked beans
2 bean salad
3 bean salad
Chipotle, Corn and black bean stew
Black-eyed pea and quinoa croquettes with mushroom sauce

Crunchy Lentil Loaf
Cheese & Lentil Loaf
Lentil Stew
Lentil Shepherds Pie
Spiced Lentils
Lentil Chili
Lentil, cheese and carrot wedges

Quinoa tabbouleh
Quinoa w/ avocado and mango
Quinoa with pesto & everything else
Quinoa with broccoli, ginger and pinenuts
Jeweled Quinoa
Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa
Lemon-scented quinoa (w/ tahini dressing)
Quinoa in coconut milk
Veg fried quinoa
Couscous with spicy chickpeas & veg
couscous w/ peas and mint
couscous w/ raisins and pine nuts, thyme and onion

Pies/ pizza/ Tarts/ wraps/ sarnies
Spinach, Goats Cheese & Pepper Quesadilla
Cheese & onion pie
Leek & onion tart
roast veg wraps
Vegetable Tart
Bruschetta w/ sundried tomatoes & mushrooms
Hummus, avocado and tomato wrap
Banana and Almond butter pita pockets
Cheeseless pizza (tomato, olives, roasted red pepper, caramelized onions)
Phylo pies w/ lemony artichoke & spinach
Goats cheese, leek, mushroom and pesto tarts

Black bean & cheese quesadillas (use black bean dip)
Spinach and Mushroom w/ blackbeans & salsa

Mexican Lasagna (black beans, salsa, pasta)
Mexican Lasagna with tortillas (refried beans, sour cream, spicy veg)
Mexican Lasagna (Vegan)
3 bean chili

Potato wedges
Stir Fry
Sweet potato wedges w/ thyme
Spicy Sweet potatoes

Veg Soup
Barley & Veg sop
Tomato & Lentil
Winter squash (Roast pumpkin/ Butternut & onion)
Cream of watercress & stilton
Spicy Carrot
Pea and bacon soup
Carrot and sweet potato
Pumpkin & Red Pepper
Tortellini Soup (w/ escarole/ spinach)
Tomato Veg soup
Black bean tortilla
Split pea and ham
Corn Chowder
Carrot Bisque
Roasted butternut
Curried split pea
Potato and Asparagus
White Bean and Roasted Garlic
Black and White bean soup
Spicy sweet potato
strawberry soup w/ almond milk

Pasta w/ green beans & mushrooms
Beetroot & mint
Fried Halloumi & grape
Tomato, Bean & fried Basil
Watermelon & Feta
|Roasted pepper
Arugula & mushroom w/ pine nuts & red peppers
Greens w/ almonds, crystalised ginger and raspberries
Apple-fennel Poppyseed coleslaw
artichoke and arugula
carrot salad

sarah293 Tue 16-Jun-09 17:55:17

Message withdrawn

ilovemydogandmrobama Tue 16-Jun-09 18:03:51

pea and bacon soup?

What's pierogi?

SuperBunny Tue 16-Jun-09 18:04:09


Sadly, whilst I have along list, all I have managed to 'cook' for the past week is toast blush

SuperBunny Tue 16-Jun-09 18:07:23

Erm, yes... bacon is not veggie, is it. This came from a long list from my pre-veggie days. Some meaty ones may have slipped through blush

Pierogi are little Polish pasta type things filled with potato and cheese or fruit (or meat).

ilovemydogandmrobama Tue 16-Jun-09 18:14:30

That sounds interesting -- wonder if nearby Polish deli will have them? Love the watermelon and feta combo. I do a beetroot/feta salad, but watermelon sounds more interesting. Didn't you suggest at one stage orange and fennel? It's fab! grin

SuperBunny Wed 17-Jun-09 00:32:25

The best place round here is the Polish Delis so that'd be worth a try. You can also get them in the frozen section of some supermarkets but I don;t know if UK ones do that. Or, you can make them...

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