New beau is vegetarian. He eats veggie sandwiches on whole-grain bread, omelets in the morning, lots of salads with as many interesting things as he can combine, meals with tofu in place of meat (like when we go out for Chinese or Thai food), veggie pizza, soups (black bean, squash, tomato-basil, etc.).
Lots of ethnic types of foods lend themselves naturally to vegetarianism - beans and rice are a complete protein (Mexican), tofu or stir-fried veggies (Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese), Indian foods work well with no meat.
I have had three or four vegetarian cookbooks for years that I pull meals out of on occasion - I like the Moosewood series.
I haven’t gone vegetarian, but I am eating less meat just because of the ease when I cook, or not having him cook something different for me, or when we go out ordering veggie so we can share our meals. It’s not really very hard, and I only occasionally have a “I must have dead animal flesh NOW” craving.
I’m not right now, but was for a number of years. Probably will be returning to it shortly.
I prepared a lot of variations on burritos and stir-frys for my daily eating. Plenty of beans. It was quick & easy, and usually very cheap. Pasta dishes were frequent. We could eat a week on one of those big Stouffer frozen cheese lasagnas and salad. Luckily my husband isn’t fussy and can eat the same thing every day for a while before getting bored with it, so I could make a giant crock-pot of something on Sunday and not worry about cooking again until Thursday.
Kidney bean or black bean stew with rice and green salad
Lentil dal with rice and cucumber raita salad
Chickpea, aubergine (eggplant) and squash stew with couscous and green salad
Pasta with tomato-based sauce and parmesan and green salad
Spinach and ricotta cannelloni and green salad
Different types of vegetable curry with rice and carrot or cucumber raita
Vegetable paella and green salad
Mushroom/carciofi risotto and caprese salad
Vegetable stir fry with tofu and noodles/rice
Vegetable shepherd’s pie (with lentils instead of meat) and salad
Spanish omelette and salads
Cream of vegetable (e.g. squash/zucchini/watercress/mixed) soup, crusty bread and salad
Home-made hummus/baba ganoush with pitta bread and salad
Most of these are fairly standard and simple to make, although dried beans need to be pre-soaked and boiled.
Martha Medea has actually given you quite a variety of ideas for vegetarian meals. You don’t say what your dietary restrictions are, jsgoddess–can you eat dairy? What about gluten?
I’m not a vegetarian now, but was once, years ago. You do have to be careful to make sure you’re getting complete proteins, hence the beans and rice. We ate a lot of dairy too, cheeses and yogurt. There are also the meat replacers, most of which are soy/tofu-based, as well as quinona (spelling?), it’s a grain, I think, from South America, and quorn, which is a fungi, like mushrooms. I’ve had a few dishes prepared with the quorn and it’s actually quite tasty. I’m sorry I don’t have any recipes for you–lol they’d be woefully out of date too, I’m afraid! My suggestion is to go to Whole Foods or another natural foods store, try out some of the vegetarian foods–WF usually has a prepared food buffet, but there are also frozen foods, like Seeds of Change brand, that if you got them at least you’d be able to decide if it was something you might like.
I have IBS, so I can eat dairy and gluten, but I can’t each much in the way of tomatoes, onions, spices, garlic, insoluble fiber, peppers, etc. Basically, if it’s really flavorful, chances are good that I can’t eat it, which is especially terrible for me since I like strong foods and lots of spices. (I’m closing in on 18 months since I was diagnosed and I’m still angry about it.)
I was afraid if I listed all the things I couldn’t eat, no one would be able to reply at all!
My impression from talking with vegetarians is that much of vegetarian cooking takes advantage of the sorts of flavors I can’t really eat any longer, but my impression was formed more by special dinners than day-to-day eating, if that makes sense.