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Kitchen Experiences of a Student

Vegetarian Times Cookbook 
Jun. 25, 2010 12:04 pm 
Updated: Jun. 25, 2010 6:11 pm
Every year my city has a huge used book sale, and this year I picked up some great cookbooks! My favourite one is the Vegetarian Times Cookbook – a great manual on eating vegetarian, cooking vegetarian, and converting to a vegetarian lifestyle. The first quarter of the book is all about vegetarianism as a lifestyle, with tips on keeping a pantry stocked with meatless foods and so on. It has some great advice and even though I’m not going to go all vegetarian right away, I can definitely use some of this information! And the best part is... it was only $2!!!

My boyfriend and I have been trying to eat less meat at meals – it’s better for you (according to my book, 46% of vegetarians say health is the number one reason for converting to a meat-free diet), it’s cheaper, and it’s better for the environment. I’ve been picky about meat since I was a kid – I don’t like steak or pork very much, the only meat I’m really fond of is chicken. So, it seems kind of perfect to go semi-vegetarian. We’re aiming for only one meat dinner per week, including when we go to restaurants. We’re still deciding on whether seafood is included under meat – seafood isn’t technically vegetarian, of course, but I think for the first little bit while we get adjusted we’ll allow one seafood and one meat meal a week.

So, how do I go about cooking vegetarian? My family always thought you couldn’t have a dinner without a meat product, and that’s sort of engrained in me – but of course, plenty of our meals have no meat! Pizzas, pastas, salads, and so on. Now I’m just taking that a step further!

My idea is to cook my way through the Vegetarian Times cookbook – I want to make every recipe in the book. Whoa! It’s kind of daunting, but I’m really excited! The book is divided into appetizers, desserts, and so on, so I won’t go in order, but hopefully over the next (looooooong) while I’ll cook everything in it! The only exceptions are if the recipe includes something neither myself nor my boyfriend like – if I don’t like it, the boy will eat it, so things with mushrooms are not off the table :) Tune in next week for my first vegetarian meal! I’d definitely appreciate any tips you have on going vegetarian!
Jun. 25, 2010 4:00 pm
I like the idea, PolkaDot! If you post recipes would you feature some main courses? I try to fix vegetarian for the same reasons as you but what I prepare always seems to be more suitable as a side dish.
Jun. 25, 2010 4:24 pm
That sounds great! I look forward to reading more as I am trying to do more vegetarian meals. Mike Harvey - I read in a different cookbook ("How To Cook Everything Vegetarian") that you might want to approach vegetarian meals differently - as, like you say, most dishes seem more like sides - don't think that you MUST have a main dish - each dish is equal - just cook 3-4 dishes and you have a meal!
Jun. 25, 2010 6:11 pm
Thanks! Yes, I'm thinking I'll try to do 3-4 side type dishes to make a meal if one thing doesn't turn out like a "main". I'll post the recipe on the blog and hopefully have some photos, and add some of the tips or facts from the first part of the book too! I'm really looking forward to it! Thanks for your words of support :)
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Member Since
Sep. 2009

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About Me
I'm a 22 year old novice cook - I live with my boyfriend in a small apartment with a teeny kitchen. Right now I'm trying to eat healthier and cut some meat out of my diet - I'm writing a blog about cooking my way through a vegetarian cookbook! I love trying new recipes, and adjusting them to suit my tastes.
My favorite things to cook
I love BBQing, making casseroles, and putting together any kind of soup. I'm also trying to get into baking - my kitchen is tiny so I have to use simple recipes, but I love making muffins and cookies to share.
My favorite family cooking traditions
When I was little my mom taught me how to make brown sugar syrup for our homemade pancakes - everytime she made pancakes at home, I would make the sauce to go with them.
My cooking triumphs
Lasagna Day - My first ever dinner party in my apartment, I made spinach salad, stuffed mushrooms, lasagna from scratch, and apple crisp. It was a hit with my friends, I got so many compliments!
My cooking tragedies
When I was in high school I decided to make some cinnamon buns, but the only recipe I could find was a huge batch, so I cut it in half. However, when I went to mix the ingredients, I found myself adding the full amount of some but only half of others, and I couldn't remember how much of each I'd already done. I tried cooking them anyways, but they were terrible!
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