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Vegetarian Cooking
Gigi Louis
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Gigi Louis
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Date: 5/31/05 9:16 AM

I'm on a bit of a health kick lately - I'm really, really, really trying to lose these 20 lbs. that have been following me around!. I'm practicing Bikram yoga 5 times per week and am doing my best to eat vegetarian during the week and then relaxing a bit on Friday and Saturday nights. I'm trying to stick to fish on my off days but geez, it's hard to give up meat altogether!
Anyway, at this point I am thoroughly bored to death with sauteed vegetables and salads. Plus, I don't think I'm getting enough protein during the week. I need to learn to cook vegetarian! If anyone has any good (but simple as I'm not much of a cook) recipes or ideas to share, I'd love to hear them!

-- Edited on 5/31/05 10:18 AM --

amadoofus

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Date: 5/31/05 9:27 AM

Here's a popular site:http://vegetarian.allrecipes.com/

Leslie in Austin
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Leslie in Austin  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/31/05 10:22 AM

If you're missing the texture/substance of meat, a couple of foods you might try are seitan (wheat gluten) and tempeh.

Seitan is very chicken-like in taste and texture to me (well, as best as I remember--I haven't had chicken in more than 20 years). It's fat free, high fiber, and loaded with protein (20 g per 140 g serving). I'm partial to White Wave's Chicken-Style.

Tempeh doesn't have a meat equivalent I don't think, but it also provides that substance that you seem to be craving. It's high in protein, but like most soy-based products, it does contain some saturated fat.

We also add extra firm (regular, not siken) tofu into many dishes: stir fry, curry, etc. If you press out the water, then freeze the tofu before using, it increases the chewiness even more.

Dig around on the White Wave website. There are lot of recipes for using their products.

Happy healthy eating!

------
Leslie

Gigi Louis
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Date: 5/31/05 10:30 AM

Leslie, that sounds really good! I see it's available not only at Whole Foods but Albertson's and Publix too. Sounds like I could stir-fry it with my veggies and then perhaps serve it over pasta or rice.

I've never actually tried tofu. I guess I'll have to get over it - who knows? I might like it.

Amadoofus, thanks for the recipe link. There are a lot of yummy-sounding recipes there that I'll have to try. The only trouble with most of them is I'll be cooking for one - such a pain....

Cornelia
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In reply to Gigi Louis


Date: 5/31/05 10:40 AM

Gigi, I applaud your determination. Years ago I had a very simple nutritional analysis program and spent some considerable time entering in everything I ate. I found some very interesting things. The first was that, since I was reducing meat to reduce fat, the primary source of protein was from vegetables and grains. I had set a reasonable goal for protein consumption and just couldn't keep from greatly exceeding it.

Here's a site: humannutrition.com. I haven't used it, but it may help you plan you meals with less concern about your protein intake. Eating should be fun and relaxing, not stressful.

------
Cornelia"Love" is a verb.

keric
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In reply to Gigi Louis


Date: 5/31/05 10:42 AM

Instead of breaking down the recipes into 1 serving portions, make 2 - 4 portions, and you've got lunch or dinner for the next few days!!!! Unless of course, you're like me, and forget to use up the leftovers!!!

Gigi Louis
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Date: 5/31/05 10:45 AM

Cornelia, that nutritional analysis program is so cool! Food is fun for me - just a little too much fun. ;-)

Leslie in Austin
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Date: 5/31/05 11:00 AM

Quote:
I've never actually tried tofu. I guess I'll have to get over it - who knows? I might like it.


Or you might not..... Even though it has almost no taste, It's not for everyone.

Personally, I like even plain raw silken tofu--tastes like boiled egg whites to me. But don't start there. Instead, start with one of the extra firm non-silken ones. Cut it into slabs ~1" thick, lay the slabs between a couple of doubled-up sheets of paper towel and press the slabs for 15 minutes between a couple of dinner plates weighted down with cans or something. Then, be sure to give it a good soak it in something yummy (like stir fry, curry sauce, or BBQ sauce)--it will absorb all the flavor of the sauce.

Another good way to incorporate tofu is to use extra firm silken tofu to make "egg" salad. Just replace the eggs in your favorite egg salad recipe with tofu, adding some tumeric to mimic egg yolk color.

But Cornelia's right. Unless you're specifically working on building muscle mass, you'd be surprised at how little protein your body needs.

------
Leslie

KimB

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Date: 5/31/05 11:02 AM

Gigi,

I love Lorna Sass's Complete Vegetarian Kitchen (NAYY). She describes all sorts of different grains and vegetables, and has a lot of really healthy and delicious recipes. This is one of only two "fail-safe" cookbooks I've ever used - everything I've made from it has been absolutely delicious, and it's really inspired me to eat healthier and try new things. And, it has the world's yummiest hummus recipe, which all my friends beg me to make!

I would unreservedly recommend this cookbook if you're looking for new ideas.

Regarding tofu, be aware that it makes some people very gassy. (I tried to say that more politely, but I couldn't figure out how! ). And, make sure that you heat it thoroughly, like you would chicken - it can have bacteria that contribute to gassiness that need to be killed. For that reason, it generally shouldn't be used raw. That said, I love it in stir-fries, and usually marinate it in soy sauce, garlic and ginger before frying it in a nonstick pan with a little PAM. You'll want to cook it separately from your other ingredients so it doesn't crumble, and really let it sit on a side before you turn it - when it browns, it's really yummy.

--Kim

Gigi Louis
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Date: 5/31/05 11:03 AM

I like to add nuts/seeds and some cheese to my salads. Maybe I can get enough protein that way?

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