A friend of mine1
mentioned that when you've not been vegetarian and you're trying it on for size
, it's difficult to decide how to plan your week's meals/grocery list.
I've gotten most of my meal planning from my mother and grandmother. They've always been about simple, healthy meals. This is what I default to when I'm doing meal planning. I can cook big, elaborate meals, but you know...I'm not being paid to cook, so I've got to be economical with time during regular days.
The biggest thing to remember, for anyone planning a meal for vegetarians, is that you cannot directly substitute meat from meals with vegetables.
For example, if you take a beef stew and change it to be zucchini/courgette stew, it won't have the same sticking power. Put another way, you're probably not going to feel as full. Why? You taken away the fat and protein from the dish.2
So, when you plan your meals, think of what you will use for protein, and yes, fat, in each dish. If you can't think of a way to alter a recipe to include protein/fat, have some nuts or a bit of cheese as a side dish.
So, a sample week.
I do meal planning from Friday to Friday because I like to have the best selection in my pantry/something already prepared for Sabbath.
Also, in case you're wondering, this list is largely gluten free. I'll indicate any places that would need substitution.
I'm not including lunch/breakfasts, for the most part. I eat very little other than fruit/cheese/raw veg for those meals, so there isn't much I can tell you about them.
Friday: Put some beans on to soak in the am. (Pinto or black, black for preference.) In the afternoon, boil them and have some of those beans with some rice for supper.
If you're not into beans, have some lentils over the rice instead.Beans or Lentil recipe
Once boiled, season with salt and pepper. For a bit of interest, stir in some tabasco sauce or some garlic oil.
Boil for the time listed on the packaging. (I've been using Sainsbury's brown lentils, boil for 20 minutes.)
For taste, boil with a bay leaf in the pot. Lentils are also nice with garlic, if you feel like mincing.
While you're preparing for Friday's dinner, make up a casserole with the rest of the beans, if you've made them. If you're not into making your own beans, you can cut corners and use the Heinz Mexican beans/pinto beans in water that come tinned.Tortilla casserole recipe, this is redthought's by the way.
Layer tortillas, salsa, the beans, and cheese in a baking pan.
Start with the salsa, then tortillas, then beans, ending each layer with cheese.
Homemade salsa is a nice touch, but not a requirement. :)
Make it gluten-free with all corn tortillas.
Bake casserole. Eat. (Ah, simplicity.)3
This usually ends up to be an eating out sort of day.
If it isn't, I make some sort of curry.Fast Thai and Indian Curry recipes
Serve both of these with rice.
Mix anywhere from 2 to 6 tablespoons of curry paste (get it at a Asian grocery) with a tin of coconut milk. Stir to combine the two over low heat.
Add whatever veg/ingredients suit. I personally like the Quorn chicken pieces and broccoli. Asparagus, edamame, green peas, snap beans, tofu,4, baby corn, or mangetout are also good.
If you're feeling fancy, garnish with chopped peanuts.
Chop up onion (or puree in a blender if you're not a chunks o' onion fan) and sauté it in about 1.5 Tablespoons of ghee (also available at an Asian grocery, it really makes a taste difference).
Once it has started to get tender, add a tin of chickpeas/garbanzos, a tin of chopped tomatoes, and a half a tube/a small tin of tomato paste.
When it's all warm and mixed together, season it to taste with white pepper, coriander, and cumin.
If you're feeling fancy, garnish with coriander leaf/cilantro.
You will have leftovers from something from the weekend.
Eat those. Leftover curry is brilliant.
Pasta. Use rice pasta
if going gluten free.
Serve with sauce.
Have a side of carrots.
Serve with a cheese toastie/grilled cheese sandwich. I make gluten free bread in my breadmaker when needed, but you can buy it very easily
in the UK and relatively easily
in the US.
Eggs, sausage, peas, and oven browned potatoes.Oven browned potatoes recipe
Cut raw potatoes into long strips. Aim for about 8 strips per potato.
Spray with a little oil (Pam is great stateside, we purchased a hand pump spritzer to do the same here) over the potatoes and then season with salt and pepper. Lawry's Salt was a favorite when in the US.
Bake at 200C/450F for 30 minutes...or until it's done/burnt to your satisfaction.5
I prefer the Cauldron Cumberland Sausages, though they aren't gluten free. drjoan
has a fantastic burger/sausage recipe.
Perhaps she'll post it... She did, there it is.
So, that's a sample week. Hope it's helpful.
I'll be sending more recipes along to him via email, but I'll ask:Got a good vegetarian recipe you'd like to share to get him started?
1- percible, for the curious.
2- Yes, I know that fat is teh evilz, but we need a bit of it every now and then.
3- I eat my biggest meal at lunch time on Sabbath.
4- The firm kind. Seriously, if you get silken tofu and try to put it in things, it will fall apart. Such is the way of silken tofu. Trust me on this.
5- I love burnt things. I don't know why. It's genetic. drjoan does too.