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Topic: Help for a beginning Vegetarian!  (Read 3499 times)
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« on: May 23, 2006 05:15:40 PM »

Alright, everyone, I am in the process of building up my iron/calcium/ect levels with vitamins, and decreasing my meat intake. My last day of school this year is going to be my last day of eating meat (it's June eighth). Any advice, special recipes, ect? Everything, even support, is helpful.
Thank you!

« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2006 05:44:27 PM »

Here's a recipe that I really like.

Black Soy Bean & Tomato Chili Salsa


1 can Eden Organic Black Soy Beans, drained
1 can Eden Organic Diced Tomatoes w/Green Chilies, drained
1/2 cup red onion, minced
2 Tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 teaspoons Eden Organic Shoyu Soy Sauce
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon green onion, chopped

Combine all ingridents in a bowl. Mix, taste and add extra lime juice and shoyu, if desired. Serve with Eden Chips or organic tortillia chips.

Pg. 54 from Readymade magazine (April/May 2006)

http://freegan.info/ (This site is different, but you might like it.)

If you go on Peta.org or PETA2.com, you can order a free vegetarian starter kit from there.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2006 09:08:02 AM by veganxwater » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2006 11:48:13 AM »

hey, I'm a beginning vegetarin too. Here's a really good taco salad recipie that you can make with regular  ingredients.
The "meat": One can chick peas mixed with  1/2 a bag of taco seasoning.

The salad:
shredded carrot
 Grated cheese
  and other regular taco stuff.

Top with corn chips or broken up tacos. This recipie can also be a seven layer chip dip.

If these walls came crumblin' down
Fell so hard, to make us lose our faith
From what's left you'd figure it out
Still make lemonade taste like a sunny day
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2006 03:06:23 PM »

Start saying to yourself regularly "On June 8th I will be a vegetarian."  Sounds dorky, but that's what I did 16 years ago.  I never had the desire to eat meat again (now cheese, I struggle with that still.  I need to work on 'I'm a vegan.")

Read May All be Fed by John Robbins.  Less intense than Diet for a New America (which is fantastic, but sometimes daunting for some).  May All be Fed also has some tasty recipes in the back.  Also, The Vegan Sourcebook by Jo Stepaniak excellent for helping one cope with the emotional aspect as well as the eating aspect of the changeover.

Visit these helpful websites for some tasty recipes:

http://vegsource.com  This site also has excellent boards for support, with input by folks like Jo Stepaniak and Bryanna Clark Grogan

Check your library for any of these amazing cookbooks:
Table for Two, Vegan Vittles, Ultimate Uncheese, Saucy Vegetarian  by Jo Stepaniak (she has others, as well.  These are my favorites)
Nonna's Italian Kitchen, Authentic Chinese Cuisine by Bryanna Clark Grogan (she has others, as well.  These are my favorites)
Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson
How it all Vegan, Garden of Vegan, La Dolce Vegan - Tanya Barnard & Sarah Kramer

Cooking items I am never without:
brown rice
arborio rice (risotto)
canned black beans (I usually cook from dry, but for in-a-hurry)
canned garbanzo beans (I usually cook from dry, but for in-a-hurry)
canned tomatoes
tomato sauce
tomato paste
frozen corn
frozen green beans
frozen spinach
lots of spices (I buy the bagged kind - fresher and less expensive)
fresh herbs (I grow them)
fruit in season
other veggies in season

Good luck!  Don't beat yourself up if you have an off day.  Just begin where you left off.  It's all about the journey.


ps - if you're low iron, make sure you eat your iron-rich veggies with a fruit or veggie containing vitamin C.  It will help your body assimilate the iron better.
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2006 04:18:53 PM »

Cook a few meals a week in a cast iron pan, this is how our low meat diet pilgrim ancestors kept their iron levels up. I am not a vegetarian, but I eat a low meat diet and I have never had a problem with low iron which I contribute to eating iron rich veges and cooking in a cast iron pan. Another suggestion is to get some mylicon drops for the first few weeks that you increase your grain and fiber intake because while you are getting used to that you might have some gas buildup issues.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2006 04:21:49 PM by rhiandmoi » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2006 03:03:31 PM »

(now cheese, I struggle with that still.  I need to work on 'I'm a vegan.")

There's an amazing vegan cheese that is sold at Whole Foods. (Depending on where you live, it might be different.)

Vegan Gourmet Cheese Alterative
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2006 03:54:01 PM »

I don't know about you but I hate cooking. And when I'm absolutely forced to cook, I will die of starvation before the half hour of steaming my artichoke is up. You'll find that although vegetarianism has gotten a lot more popular in recent years, the world is still set up for meat-eaters.

Since I love instant gratification and often find myself at work when I'm hungry where my resources are limited to a mini-fridge, a microwave, and some plastic silverware, I have scoured the grocery stores for plenty of vegetarian nourishment that takes under 10 minutes and very little effort!:

I LOVE Ramen noodles and was not about to give them up! I still buy my noodles, but when I am making the soup I throw out the little packet of seasoning that comes with them. This takes a tiny bit more cash but I also buy either separate vegetable broth bullion or cans of vegetable broth. Also Top Ramen's Oriental flavor no longer has meat products in it.
The frozen aisles of the grocery store are my favorite place. Frozen bags of vegetables are quick and can do amazing things! Soups, stirfrys, mix with rice, anything. Oooh! Speaking of stirfrys Green Giant has this great frozen stirfry kit that comes complete with veggies and sauce! If you add extra firm tofu it's soooo good.
For even less frozen effort, all grocery stores carry Morning Star and Gardenburger products. And in grocery stores like Giant Eagle or Wegmans you'll find WAY more selection. Two brands called Amy's Kitchen and Linda McCartney have complete vegetarian meals that only take about 4 minutes in the microwave, and they are DELICIOUS.

Oh also vitamins are a very good idea! Just look out for the ones that include gelatin!
Hope some of this helps!
« Last Edit: May 25, 2006 04:01:06 PM by catsprefermarlie » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2006 06:11:46 PM »

I just happen to have a couple of /fantastic/ vegetarian recipes that, while I don't know your preferences, sound really good to me.  I can't wait to try them and I hope you feel the same.

1. Cucumber Sandwich:
2 thick slices whole wheat bread
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
6 slices cucumber
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tomato, sliced
1 leaf lettuce
1 ounce pepperoncini, sliced

Spread each slice of bread with 1 tablespoon cream cheese.  On one slice of bread arrange cucumber slices in a single layer.  Sprinkle with olive oil and vinegar.  Layer tomato slices, lettuce, and pepperoncini.  Close and serve.

2. Broiled Tomato Sandwich:
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, divided
2 slices bread, lightly toasted
Preheat oven to broil.  In a shallow bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Marinate the tomatoes in the mixture, stirring occasionally.  Place marinated tomatoes on 2 slices and sprinkle on the cheese.  Place on a baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes.

3. Corrigans Minestrone
2 tablespoons olive oil
5potatoes, peeled and cubed
5 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 ounce) can vegetable broth
1 quarts water
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Stir potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic into pot.  Mix in tomato paste, beans, broth and water.  Season with basil, oregano and salt.  Cook and stir 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.  Mix macaroni into pot.  Continue cooking 10 minutes, or until macaroni is tender.

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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2006 03:05:12 PM »

First off, congrats.

The first year or two of being a vegetarian is always the hardest, not only do you need to find new ways of cooking, but your body also has to adjust to the new way of eating.  The two things that can be issues for a veg diet are iron and B vitamins.   I just had my blood checked and my doc told me I have better iron than most meat eaters -- she asked me what I ate so she could reccomend it to her veg patients.  I didn't want to say doritos and slurpees, which are a major part of my diet, so I said black beans which I generally eat 3 times a week.  I like to make quesadillas for breakfast that are a mix of black beans, tofu and sauted veggies. I throw that mix into a tortilla with cheese, fry it and eat it with salsa.  I credit the black beans for my awesome iron count.  The other thing about iron is that caffiene blocks absorption, so if you are eating a high iron meal try not to have caffiene within 30 minutes of it.  My roomate was always bruising, she found this out and stopped drinking tea with her meals and her bruises disapeared.
An easy way to make sure you are getting B vitamins is to buy some red star nutritional yeast and sprinkle it on top of meals.  It has a slightly cheesy taste and you can puit it on pasta, popcorn or hummus among other things.

It is easy to be healthy on a veg diet, but at first you may feel tired as your body learns to get protein and iron from new sources this will pass.

Good luck.
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2006 03:50:31 PM »

this might be info you already know/someone already posted, but there is a lot written, and im not into reading it at the moment, but i just wanted to let you know about gelatin, since its not vegetarian. i didnt know this until about 4 months after i became vegetarian, but its like, bone marrow or something.
marshamallows have it in them. it took me a long time to find that one out. just read the ingredients on stuff before you eat it.
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