Many people who have attempted a vegetarian diet often feel discouraged quickly because they feel like they’re “missing something”, and that can often be the case if you’re making your regular recipes and just subtracting the meat. You have to re-think your plate. Instead of basing your meals around your protein, you have to start thinking of dishes as a whole. Basing the meal around whatever sauce you are wanting to make is a great way to re-train your brain. Making a hearty, vegetarian meal requires very little effort, once you get the hang of it. Here are a few ideas to help you:
- Remember that the majority of our world rarely (if ever) eats meat, and so you will want to be willing to look to different cultures and flavor profiles to see what other cultures eat– it may require you going out of your comfort zone, but it can be a worthwhile adventure!
- Don’t be ashamed of making”one pot meals” as these are often the source of great vegetarian cooking– plus it can save you time!
- Base your meal around your sauce and go from there.
- Tofu is a great option for a adding chunky, protein-filled punch to your meals
- Having various kinds of beans and lentils on-hand to add to dishes that normally would call for chicken or ground beef makes these proteins easily interchangeable.
- Eggs are also a great source of protein and can be easily added to sauces (see: How to temper an egg), fried over-easy and put on top of pasta (non-tomato based sauces), baked on top of pizzas, boiled and put on top of salads, fried into a sheet and cut up to add to pasta and rice dishes. Eggs are really a versatile wonder-food!
- Lastly, try to remember that vegetarian cooking is not about taking something out, it’s about replacing what you usually use as protein with something else. There are a great many opportunities to try your hand at vegetarian cooking, so take on the challenge– you might be pleasantly surprised!
* Feel free to comment and ask any questions you might have. If there’s a particular recipe that you’re wanting to know how to make in a vegetarian way, I can try and help you! Look over some of your favorite recipes, check out new recipes from other cultures, and just get creative. And remember, I’m always here to help 🙂