Recipes for carnivores making the transition
I've been aware of the benefits of vegetarianism for ages now...unfortunately, my father has never shared my affections for meatless food.
Recently, howe'ver, he has developed Gout. After much prodding from me, he agreed to try regulating it with cherry juice and since then he has never had an episode(something he couldn't achieve with months of the medicines perscribed. He still has the medicine, but since he's started drinking cherry juice regularly, he hasn't needed it! Say what you will about natural cures, this one definitely worked... :D) After that, he's become much more open to a reduced meat diet, and is trying to cut some of it out. SO! I was wondering if there are some recipes out in this wonderful site that are particularly good for someone who is transitioning toward eating less meat...perhaps ones that the carnivores in your lives have come to deeply love?
My husband is NOT a vegetarian, howe'ver, I cook vegan meals and he LOVES the "meatloaf" recipe I made a few weeks ago. IT is from the La Dolce Vegan cookbook, but if you do not have it, I can give you the recipe. It is SOOOO good, and I also used it to stuff peppers, and served it to friends with a pasta side dish. There are also alot of prepared vegan/vegetarian meat alternatives out there...Quorn is a brand that makes really good chicken breast substitutes (hubby loves them)..they have some egg white in them, but they are a mushroom-based product w/out soy...definitely worth a try to convert a carnivore. Hope this helps a little.
I would start with typical meals that you simply just leave out the meat. Spaghetti in a lovely red sauce with onions, garlic, mushrooms, zuchinni, bell pepper. Lasagna with spinach instead of cow. The best chili recipe is here and titled Ultimate Vegan Chili, try that. Rice and beans, pasta with veggies in a balsamic sauce, roasted potatoes and veggies.
My suggestion is to start off easy, just modify the existing food you cook before moving onto things that are more 'strange and unusual'. Tofu, tempeh and seitan are awesome and should be tried but for the first month, I would stick to familiar things. I find that for me making baby steps helps me stay with something a lot longer than huge leaps.
What are his favourite recipes now... perhaps we can suggest alternate recipes for you.
Learn to cook with tempeh. I was afraid of tempeh for many years. Then I got Vegan with a Vengeance & with one recipe, the Sausage Tempeh Crumbles, I have learned to cook & love tempeh! There is a recipe on this site called Sloppy Steves that I made with tempeh instead of tofu. It was wonderful! There is another recipe called Salisbury Tempeh that is very good, too.
Tempeh does need to be cooked, but it is so easy. Take your tempeh, cut, sliced or crumbled, depending on the recipe, & place in a pan. Pour water till the tempeh is just barely covered. Cook on medium-high heat until water is gone. Now you can sautee it with onions, fry it or add sauce makings to your pan & cook. It has a meaty texture & takes on the flavor of what it's cooked with.
I now buy more tempeh than tofu. ;)
Does your father like biscuits with sausage gravy? GimmeLean Sausage flavor tastes just like sausage & it makes a wonderful sausage gravy.
Good luck with your vegan experiments!
I've been veg for five years, but my boyfriend became a vegetarian a few months ago. He is very skeptical of meat substitutes, and doen't like tofu, tempeh, or seitan too much. Thankfully he loves all kinds of ethnic foods, so it's been an easy transition.
His favourite dishes from VegWeb are:
-Unbelievable Lentil Tacos
-Manicotti with Herbed Tofu and Marinara Sauce
-Veggie pizzas with Gimme Lean (or tempeh) Sausage Crumbles
-General Tao Tofu
We eat veggie burgers, mushroom stroganoff, veggie-stuffed ravioli with marinara sauce, corn chowder--there's lots of options. There are lots of good veg foods out there, and meat substitutes like Yves Chik'n Strips and Gimme Lean Sausage Style Crumbles are scary-real tasting. It seems a little hard at first, but after a couple of weeks veggies start tasting good!!