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KESTRYLL Posts: 9,792
3/26/13 9:14 A

Great comments, I would just add that vegan and vegetarian are two different diets. If just startiing out, vegetarian would be the best way.

LOVEMOUSE82 SparkPoints: (3,788)
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
Posts: 349
3/17/13 10:02 A

You have " just recently gone vegetarian".

Can I ask why? I know there are lots of vegetarians out there, but if you are new to this, I just want to say please be careful. It may be hard to meet your protein requirements as well as calcium if you are going all out vegan. I believe eating a variety of foods is important, and I know there are certain reasons why people choose to be vegetarians but I always feel I should caution people on this. Not only should you be careful of protein and calcium but there is also a certain amount of fat your body needs to function and to feel full, and a lot of that we get from meat.

Hopefully you've taken those things into consideration. If you go vegetarian and don't know what you're doing, your health can go downhill fast.

Again, I know lots of people are, and there's nothing wrong with it, but I have had a few friends who tried the vegetarian thing because they were being over zealous in beginning a diet, and it actually caused a few problems later as well as vitamin/mineral deficiencies. They also were miserable and never felt full because they weren't getting enough protein or fat in their diet.

SHEILAV56 SparkPoints: (2,872)
Fitness Minutes: (4,045)
Posts: 3
3/14/13 8:41 P

I've been vegetarian over 15 years. I eat from the earth, nothing boxed. Fruit salads, salads with fruits, nuts, cranraisins, goat and feta cheese, are good starters. There's a brand of meat substitute called Gardein, that's available at Targets. They have a variety that you can use for stir fry, Chinese , Thai , and Mexican. If you go to their site, there are recipes. If you can cook a little it won't be difficult to transition. Boca and Morningstar also have good items for breakfast and lunch.
Rice can very be versatile as well.

BUUKWORM14 SparkPoints: (77,369)
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Posts: 950
3/14/13 10:09 A

How adventurous are you? Indian food is great for veggie/vegan recipes. I'm flexitarian and make lots of bean/lentil stews or grain salads for lunch. I use mostly on-line resources. I'd check out serious eats (especially the recent "Vegan Experience") and 101 cookbooks.

Here are some links I've particularly loved:

MASHAMOO Posts: 1,667
3/14/13 1:26 A

OP, are you planning on going vegan? Your menu choices will depend on whether or not you are avoiding all animal products.

3/13/13 4:46 P

I'm not up on what is an appropriate amount of carbs, but here are a couple of vegetarian dishes my family loves:

(6 servings: 307 calories, 15 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 15 g total fat (6 g saturated), 8 g fiber, 27 mg cholesterol, 654 mg sodium)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed
1 cup frozen (thawed) corn
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
1 can (10 ounces) red enchilada sauce (about 1 cup)
9 small corn tortillas
6 ounces Muenster cheese, shredded (about 1-1/2 cups)
Sour cream and hot sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In large skillet on medium, heat oil. Add onion and cook, covered, 5 minutes, stirring. Add jalapenos, bell pepper and garlic. Cook, covered, 6 to 8 minutes, or until vegetables are just tender, stirring. Stir in beans, corn and chili powder, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in lime juice and cilantro. In bottom of 8-inch square or 1-1/2 quart baking dish, spread 1/4 cup enchilada sauce. Top with 3 tortillas, tearing them to fit as necessary. Spread one-third of the remaining enchilada sauce over the top (about 1/4 cup). Top with one-third of the bean mixture and ½ cup cheese; repeat twice. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until heated through and top is beginning to brown. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve with cilantro, lime wedges, sour cream, and hot sauce, if desired.

(4 Servings: Calories 550.2, Fat 12.8 g, Cholesterol 17.0 mg, Sodium 854.8 mg, Carbs 87.0 g, Fiber: 14.5 g, Protein: 23.2 g)

1 cup salsa (roasted bell pepper or cilantro lime flavor)
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 zucchini, shredded
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (use jalapeno-style for an extra flavor kick)

In medium bowl, combine salsa, beans and zucchini. Spread 1/4 of the mixture over each of 4 tortillas. Top each portion with 3 tablespoons cheese; cover each with another tortilla. Heat an 8- or 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. One at a time, carefully cook each quesadilla, turning once, until cheese is melted, about 1 minute on each side. Cut each quesadilla into quarters; serve immediately.

(5 Servings: Calories 172.6, Fat 4.4 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 817.8 mg, Carbs 28.8 g, Fiber: 4.9 g, Protein: 6.0 g)

1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can tomatoes with green chilies (Ro-Tel brand is good)
1/2 cup diced onions
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground coriander
3/4 cup vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil over medium heat for about two minutes. Stir in cumin, ginger and coriander. Cook until onion is tender. Add chickpeas, vegetable broth and tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for ten minutes. I used chicken broth and served over brown rice. Very good flavor – although I liked it even better the next day – the rice had soaked up more of the liquid and it was less runny. Would also be good with chunks of chicken and cooked in chicken broth. Of course, changing the broth and adding chicken completely negates the whole “vegan” aspect of this recipe, if you’re into that!

(4 Servings: 2 burritos (calculated without salsa and sour cream) equals 534 calories, 19 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 25 mg cholesterol, 1,057 mg sodium, 71 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 22 g protein)

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Salsa and sour cream

Place beans in a large microwave-safe bowl; mash lightly. Stir in the chilies, onion, peppers, oil, chili powder, garlic, oregano, cumin and salt. Cover and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until heated through, stirring once. Spread about 1/4 cup bean mixture down the center of each tortilla. Top with 2 tablespoons cheese; roll up. Place seam side down in an ungreased 11-in. x 7-in. microwave-safe dish. Cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 25-40 seconds or until heated through. Serve with salsa and sour cream. Yield: 4 servings.

TURQUOISE64 SparkPoints: (30)
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Posts: 1
3/12/13 8:57 P

Ive just recently gone vegetarian. Im feeling a bit frustrated as i am in need of recipes that are low carb also. Im feeling great other than that. Thanks a bunch:) emoticon

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