Exactly two weeks ago, my 14-year-old DD announced she was converting to vegetarianism. That was fine with me, because I think it's a pretty healthy way to eat. Funny thing is, I ended up liking what she was eating so much that I, too, haven't had any meat/fish/poultry in the past two weeks. I didn't see that coming!
The first week, her meals were adaptations of the rest of the family's. For instance, if the guys were having hamburgers, my daughter and I had veggie burgers, and we all ate the same side dishes (salad and waffle fries). When I made meat sauce for pasta, I left some sauce meatless. Pepperoni calzones were easy to adapt - no pepperoni for the girls, soy cheese for me, regular cheese and 'roni for the guys. We always have loads of steamed vegetables, salad and beans to round out the meals. Nothing fancy, but definitely nutritious and easy.
Week 2 arrived, and I was starting to get bored, so I bought a copy of Vegetarian Times. Inspiration hit and I made Cheesy Cauliflower and Tomato and Fennel Soup from the magazine, and created my own Quinoa-Vegetable dish, Tofu-Mushroom-Spinach Stroganoff and Refried Bean Tacos. Of course we had pasta one night, and pizza on Friday. Those two favorite meals are very easy to adapt to please both vegetarians and meat-eaters.
Yesterday, I picked up a couple of vegetarian cookbooks at the library and am overflowing with ideas for the coming weeks. From the Joy of Cooking's All About Vegetarian Cooking cookbook, I've already made a double batch of vegetable stock to use for soups and other dishes, and have put Kasha Varnishkes, Couscous with Chick Peas, and Stir-Fried Vegetables with Lentils on my "to try" list. We just dined on Falafel sandwiches, couscous salad and red grapes for lunch. Since my muse is going out with her friends tonight, I will probably have the leftovers for dinner.
As we enter the third week of her vegetarian diet, I have never felt better, or eaten more produce, in my life. Who says you can't learn a thing or two from your children?