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Old 11-06-2008, 05:25 PM   #1
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Vegetarians at DC?

I know Larry's family is vegetarian. Are there others here? I'm not but I am trying to increase the veggie content in my diet. Everyone has a different reason for going veggie. I'd like to know if yours.

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Old 11-06-2008, 05:47 PM   #2
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My reason is that I was surrounded with it as I grew up in India. There are so many vegetarian options that it was not very difficult to find things you liked.

To me vegetarian items was never hidden in my meals it was always out there in it's glory - everything from okra to eggplants to bitter gourd to long beans and not to mention a dozen different pulses that we cook in ten different ways.

I am not a vegetarian but I consume vegetarian food atleast 5 days out of the 7 because its comfort food for me and the bonus is that some of it happens to be good for health :-)
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:23 PM   #3
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I am a pretty strict vegetarian. I don't eat meat and don't cook with eggs or dairy. I'm not too diligent in looking for eggs or dairy when I eat out, though.

As for reasons:

1) Health - I've got naturally high cholesterol and had high blood pressure. I didn't get my triglycerides under control until I gave up cheese. I was a pretty hefty cheese snob too.

2) Environment - Once I had mostly given up meat, this became an easy decision, kind of like recycling when the the garbage man already provides a recycle bin. Meat eating is horrible for the environment. Eating meat contributes more to the global warming, for instance, than driving.

3) Animal welfare - This isn't really a reason, but Its good knowing that my food choices lead to less suffering. This is a big reason that two of my kids went vegetarian.
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:03 PM   #4
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I was a vegetarian for almost 10 years. A true vegetarian who watched that I got enough protein from legumes, tofu, etc. I had no desire to eat meat. Then I got terribly sick. My doctor said I was anemic and I needed meat protein. So I added a small amount of fish and poultry but that wasn't good enough. So I have to have red meat at least once or twice a week but I cook a lot of chicken and fish for my "family". I do make at least one meatless meal a week and most of my lunches are meatless. If there is something meatless or vegetarian on a menu when we are out, I will always order that over a steak or even chicken. I guess at heart I will always prefer the vegetarian lifestyle.
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:24 PM   #5
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i eat very little red meat, but do love chicken and fish. don't think i could live without it. i have a friend that does, and she is always sick, but says diet is healthy for her. i would be very interested it how she would feel if she added more protein to her diet. i do know she eats the same thing everyday, and it doesn't strike me as very healthy. she eats the cheapest frozen dinner she can find, budget gourmet no dairy, no eggs
no beans, i think it is no wonder she feels lousy all the time. i would think she would find that very boring, i know i would.
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Old 11-07-2008, 03:37 AM   #6
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I am a fairly lax vegetarian. I eat dairy, eggs and fish. Just no furry critters.

It all started with me because of the awful, heavy "o-my-gawd-I-want-to-nap" feeling that always overcame me after eating a slab of red meat. Pretty soon I realized how much better I felt when I also removed even pork and chicken from my diet. Its probably been about 10 years or so since I made the change.

Once I started to educate myself and become concerned about the foods that I ingested, it was a no-brainer for me to continue. I raised a happy carnivore (who tried to convince me I was missing out on "beefy goodness" haha). I also was / am still fussy about where the meat I do cook for others comes from. No factory-farm tortured ... errr, raised animal meats! I am convinced that animals who lived happy lives and died humanely taste better.

I started buying organic milk and related products when the only place that carried them were local co-ops. It wasn't about being a food snob but was instead all about not putting more unnessary chemicals into our bodies. Common sense tells us that what an animal eats and drinks, we eat as well.

I eat delicious food. I love cooking. I'm not emiciated nor unhealthy in the least little bit. There are tons and tons of non-meat foods out there. And I'm happy with my choice.


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Old 11-09-2008, 06:14 AM   #7
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I'm answering this, even though I'm not a vegetarian. A number of years ago my mom came down with diverticulitis and then a rare form of cancer. meat just didn't agree with her. Plus one of her best friends was a vegan. SO I learned to cook those special meals. If you need some hints, just yell, we're here for you. One of my greatest secrets, whenever I go to Florida to visit the family my mom wants what she calls "Claire's ratatouille." I take all sorts of vegetable (strongly featuring zucchini, eggplant, onions, but pretty much everything goes), brush with olive oil and my favorite garlic seasoning, and put them over charcoal for a few minutes. Chop and voila, a cookout a vegan can love. I toss in a tomato (seeded if you have diverticular friends) or two. This was such a hoot when I was on the road. We'd be sitting in front of our mini weber, and these old farts would come by and want to know what I was cooking that smelled so good. They assumed it was meat. I'd reply "squash and onions?" They wouldn't believe me until I took the lid off and showed them. This makes a great ingredient for beans and other soups/stews that usually use smoked meat (ham bones or ham hocks).
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:28 AM   #8
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My story is, at the age of 7 or 8 i stopped eating things with bones in it ( like steak fried chicken ...) But still ate meatballs, tacos, burgers ( double quarter pounder with cheese or whopper were my 2 favorites, extra pickles of of course). Basically, all the fast food crap, which tasted great. At 17 I went for a physical before going to college, where I found out my cholesterol was 300 + and triglycerides were 450 +. I was told i'd crap out at about 30 of a heart attack if I didnt change my diet. Having always wanted to make the complete conversion to be a veggie, but never did, I took this as my time to make the tansition. Stopped cold turkey ( sorry for the pun). Went back 2 months later for a re check and my cholesterol dropped to about 190 and triglycerides dropped as well.

So basically have been a veggie 20 + years. I do eat cheese, eggs, dairy ....

I do not eat any animals, animal fat ..if i can avoid it , although restaurants and things like that obviously use chicken broth and thins like that.

My overall main reason is the animal thing, I love animals and dont care to eat them. But the health issue is what pushed me over the edge. Im not sorry one bit, because being a veggie has made me a more creative chef. I liked the taste of meat ( at least the fast food crap) and im always trying to be creative to make vegetarian things taste good. I am not a " health nut, sprout eating, tofu munching freak. I like good tasting stuff like everyone else. My wife made the transition a year or two after I did ( just dating at the time) But I think what pushed her over the edge is that she doesnt like to cook, so since i do all the cooking, doesnt have much choice. And my 11 and 13 year old veggies since birth. They never had an interest to try it. If they did, its their choice not mine to make. But in my house , they eat what i cooke. They are healthy. We have seen a dietician , pediatrician... so for all the people about to tell me that they are nutritionally deprived, dont worry, i got that covered

so thats my story
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Old 11-09-2008, 11:33 AM   #9
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We aren't vegetarians, but my husband hasn't eaten any - & I mean ANY - red meat or red-meat products in 36 years. Thus, my cooking consists of poultry, seafood, & vegetarian meals. Have a number of vegetarian cookbooks & really enjoy utilizing them, as well as my large collection of ethnic cookbooks, to make vegetarian dining "dining", rather than the culinary "sentence" that some folks feel it has to be.

As a result, I'm the only member of my family, including a younger brother, who doesn't have a hypertension & cholesterol problem. And I do believe my diet - which does include 1/2 & 1/2 in my morning coffee, lots of cheeses, & cooking moderately with butter (as well as lots of extra-virgin olive oil) - the reason!
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Old 11-09-2008, 12:56 PM   #10
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This is my first post on this site! Although I am not a strict vegetarian, when I cook, I cook vegetarian. I've found that it is more healthy, challenging, and just tastes good. The only meat I eat is from canned soups, sushi, eating out, etc.

I do use dairy, skim milk, hard boiled eggs in my salad, and some cheeses. If I cook with cheese, I try to use tofu cheese. It isn't that great on a cracker, but in a recipe, or melted on top of my veggie burrito's, its quite good. Also love tofu sour cream, I've served this to others without telling, and they all want to know where I got the fantastic sour cream. You should see their faces when I tell them what it is :)
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:04 PM   #11
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I grew up eating food...it appeared on the plate and I ate it. Not always safe to ask or guess what it was. Street life, the army, college and marriage to a woman who thought of cooking as an excuse to drink wine pretty much cured me of culinary selectivity. But about 19 years ago, for health reasons (hepatitis C, it turned out), I lost interest in eating meat. First to go was red meat, then poultry, and finally, someone said to me, "Well, then, you're a vegetarian." I replied, "No, I still eat fish," but as I said it I realized I hadn't had any fish in nearly a year. I kind of slid on into veganism, and that lasted for about 9 years. I started lifting weights and running (marathons!), and discovered I just wasn't getting enough protein, so I began adding meat to my diet. Not much, and more poultry and fish than red. Eggs, but little dairy, and only as an ingredient.
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:25 AM   #12
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This line is really amusing me. A number of years ago my mother was having severe diverticular problems. Whenever I'm in the state, I am the family cook. One thing she just could not stomach was meat. She loved meat, and could eat soups, stocks, etc, just not the meat. So I had to learn to be what I call weirdo vegetarian. Gravy, stock, broth, ok. Just no pieces of meat. On top of it, one of her dearest friends is a generations-long vegan, and now I have a neighbor who is a committed vegan (well, I'm not sure how committed you are when I had to explain to her that she shouldn't have Worchestershire sauce). So I've learned the ins and outs. And, Yes, Yakuta, my first line of restaurant defense is always Indian food. My husband and I are committed omnivores, but we often eat vegetarian meals. We love Kitchens of India and use them as a shortcut often. One of my dearest friends is from Pakistan (he's old enough that he was born in India) and they are the family who introduced me to the Kitchens line.
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Old 11-17-2008, 02:54 AM   #13
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As many know, I worked at a camp a few summers ago and was the special diets cook there. This included gluten and lactose free, diabetes, etc. But the biggest group were the vegetarians and vegans. Having eaten that way myself I knew a lot about what to serve and everyone was really happy with my choices. Until I met my match one day. One of the counselors arrived and informed me that she was a vegetarian but was allergic to all raw veggies and some cooked ones! And she refused to eat lentils or eggplant in any form. Since ratatouille, eggplant Parmesan and lentil loaf were three of my mainstays I had my work cut out for me with this one. We worked it out, but I think she got tired of eating leftover tofu scramble and quinoa and black beans!
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:03 AM   #14
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Just as an aside, my husband was being interviewed for a college project by the daughter of a friend. I'd planned on lunch, and was just about to ask him if she was a vegetarian, as many college age girls, if not committed to the lifestyle for life, at least go through a phase. We decided on carry-out pizza, and he did mention that she'd become a vegetarian. So we got two pizzas, one with the works, the other meatless Mediterranean. When we opened the boxes, the young lady yelled, "Oh, MEAT!!!" and scarfed up the pizza with the works! Just goes to show how mercurial that age group can be!
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Old 12-15-2008, 10:12 PM   #15
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Well I have been a vegetarian for almost a year and a half.... Yes I fit in the age of "a college girl" But am clearly not one.... I have always desired to be a vegetarian as I truly felt it was animal crulety, but never had the disipline to do so after so many years living at home and having no option of the menu at hand was forced to do so.... my rule was nothing with skin or veins and my parents usually did so. Later though after the birth of my 2 boys I was always sick and it always seemed to be after a meal but mainly dinner (larger portions). Went to the doctors seen a dietician and it was detected that my body has a hard time breaking down saturated fat... I still eat eggs and dairy, not overly though and if I do eat to much of it in a day I get just as sick, but it only took one meal to screw me up, so it was a well needed push to put me where I want to be, my hubby and kids eat meat and vegetarian meals, I willingly cook them and buy them. But I have almost all the support of my family and friends but I love the line "OH JUST TAKE THE BACON OUT OF THE SALAD" OR ITS ONLY CHICKEN BROTH" I always respond with if I am not going to eat the good tasting filling part why do I want their fat and grim in my body....... duh! But unfortunately not everyone will get it.....

Thats my story sorry for the novel!
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:16 PM   #16
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I want to lead a more vegitarian life, but I really like my protien. I, like others, have concerns about living green, animal walfare and my health. I do eat meat, but I purchase my meat from local farmers who raise their livestock off the land. And the animals are free of hormones, antibiotics... and the best reason, not run through commercial processors. I don't think I could ever be a TRUE vegitarian, but I think I could do much better than what I am doing now.
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:40 PM   #17
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Hey not sure the resources you have available in texas, but here in canada we have a lot of alternatives, we have simulated chicken, beef, steak and sandwich meat.... I would say some of it doesn't taste bad but is a far cry from a meat taste. But others I could fool ya! the steak is really good and as far as I know they make it so you get the same nutrients the products I buy are alot of yves veggie cuisine.... I'm sure if you looked on their site they could maybe point you to an area you can get it, also one thing I didn't know when I first started was that most of the vegetarian meals are in the produce section, I also purchase and really enjoy chicken and cheese with ham, or the chicken brocoli and cheeese rolls, like cordon bleu but obviously all simulated meat, really good and I find that in the meat section, worth a try even just to say you did.... this life style is not for everyone and I am definately not a preacher.....
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:40 AM   #18
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Coming from a vegetarian who likes to cook, eat, and has a good memory of what meat tastes like, some of my favorites are the following.

Hot Dogs = worthington leanies ( frozen)
Burgers = Morningstar Farm Original Grillers ( frozen)
Chicken = Boca Chicken patties ( not the spicy ones) ( Frozen)
= Quorn also makes a good Chicken with gruyere cheese
= Yves ( or smartlife, I forget) made a good chicken stuffed with cranberry
stuffing
Chopped meat = Morning star crumblers ( good for chili, lasagna, meat sauce , tacos.....but will NOT stick together when trying to make meat loaf, meat balls... unless u add a lot of cheese/ eggs ........

I havnt found great, or even good meat balls, although there is a recipe i have somewhere that has walnuts, eggs, cheese, breadcrumbs.... and they texture is actually pretty good. Needs some tweeking, but definitely doable.

****Im not saying the above taste like meat, so no one shoot me down at tell me that they dont taste anything like it. All im saying is that when comparing to the others ( in my taste) these are among the better tasting ones. With the leanies, if u toss some mustard and sauerkraut on top, very close, although a little salty. And the grillers, add the special sauce, lettuce , cheese , pickles , onions on a sesame seed bun ( anyone else singing, I know i am ) and it will taste just fine.

trust me , although im a vegetarian, I cant have a slab of tofu with sprouts on it, Id rather eat meat ( joke, but not totally)
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:49 AM   #19
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Having been a vegetarian for 20 years, ive kind witnessed the evolution of the veggie simulated meat products, which started with 'tofu pups' which was pink, salty, squishy tofu, loaded with a nutmeg-like flavor stuffed into a sausage shape. And for burgers was a pasty pressed vegetable bean patty. Maybe the new products are not as meaty as meat is (since they are not meat i dont ever expect them to be) But for those who have shopped for and eaten these things over the past 20 years must agree that they not only have come a long way, but are also so much more available ( at least here in new york). I can go to any supermarket, and there is a freezer or freezer section dedicated to vegitarian products, where as years ago, id have to go to a vegetarian/ health food specialty store.

If anyone else knows of really good vegitarian products id love to hear about them. I love trying new things.

And just to show u how much more i like the leanies than the other hot dog produts, for awhile i couldnt get them near my house, so i found a place online to get a case of them for about $90, then spent another $90 just to ship the frozen products to my house. Now, for whatever reason, my local stores still dont sell them ( even after me complaining about it), but i drive about 45 minutes out to the Hamptons to buy a case of them every 3 months. Call me crazy, But I ( and my kids ) love our leanies :)
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:20 AM   #20
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The absolute best 'meat' that I've found is Field Roast sausages and lunch meat. They're seitan instead of whatever they put into the Morningstar type stuff.

Nothing beats homemade though. I make my own hot dogs, sausages and cutlets. I'm looking for that elusive meatball and the one I'm trying next is a mix of wheat gluten and tempeh. I make several burgers, but I don't even try to make them like meat.
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