Vegetarian support thread: meal plans and ideas

  • I didn't see any recent threads dedicated strictly to vegetarian eating (only some worries and passing mentions) so here goes:

    I'm on week three of the challenge and would love to swap meat-free recipes/meal ideas with other vegetarians (and veggie-loving omnivores too, of course). Here's an easy one I came up with yesterday: 


     Scrambled Egg Whites with Ground Tofu "Beef"

    Cook one small onion and about 1/4th of a bell pepper (both chopped) in a pan (I use a super tiny squirt of olive oil followed by some water later; hopefully that's not dooming me to dietary failure? ;)). Once they've softened, add three egg whites, and once they've cooked a bit, add about 50grams of ground tofu "beef"/tofu burger crumbles and scramble. Freshly ground salt + pepper and a dash of cajun seasoning are recommended.

     This was insanely filling and came out to be about 6 grams of fat, 21 grams of protein and 210 calories. I was also happy that it tasted shockingly decent, as I'd found the plain egg white omelette to be really unpalatable. 


    So, what have you been cooking up lately?






  • YAY Unicycle - you started the thread!  :)

    We will need to let djbeth know that it is up here.  

    I have a few meals that I create.  This weekend I will analyze them for protein/carb amounts etc and write them down (I really don't measure anything) and then I will get them posted up here.  Can't wait to see more ideas.  I am afraid of getting bored with my meal options before the 12 weeks is up.  

    Thanks for doing this U!

  • i am a big proponent of emily alvers who won BFL a couple years ago. this past fall she challenged herself to eating veggie for a month. this blog has a lot of BFL friendly meals and recipes. it's called

    hope this helps guys! :)

  • I know, I love her too.  Her transformation during her challenge was so inspiring.  And then to see the new direction her life went in after BFL is even more motivating.    I haven't looked at her site lately.  But I will check out that blog.  Thanks so much!

  • Here is a quick meal that I usually eat in the early afternoon at work.

    1 Morningstar Chik pattie (cooked in microwave as directed)

    1 oz. fat free crumbled feta cheese (I use the President name brand)

    2 tsps of French's honey mustard sauce

    I cook the Chik pattie, cut it into chuncks, top with feta and honey mustard.

    Total meal is 195 calories, 5 g fat, 19 g carbs (only 3 from sugar), 15 g protein and 2 g fiber.

    I find this is quick and easy to eat at my desk in the afternoons when I am busy.  ENJOY!

  • This is a large salad that I usually have at dinner time.  My kids even like it. I honestly don't measure any of it, but if I did, it would probably look something like this...

    1 c fresh baby spinach

    1 tbsp diced onion

    about 6 baby carrots diced

    1/2 c tomato diced

    1/2 c cucumber diced

    1/2 cup fresh chopped broccoli

    1 Morningstar Chik pattie (cooked in microwave according to the directions) cut into chuncks

    1 oz fat free feta cheese

    1 tbsp olive oil

    2 tbsp red wine vinegar

    Toss all ingredients together and enjoy!  There's at least 15 g of protein in this salad.

  • Hi Unicycle,

    Great idea this will soon become part of my daily routine as I plan to go Vegan on April 4, I'm reading the Mcdougall Diet for maximum weight loss. What he is saying is starting to make alot of sense to me now. I have been a meat eater ever since I can remember. My daughter wants to be a vegetarian so I will travel down this road with her to ensure she is doing all the right things to stay healthy and I'm thinking it can't hurt. Once I start I will post the recipes I use from these books and keep you posted on how it's going without a hunk of meat in my diet.


  • Here is what I made for dinner last night.  You will notice that it has most of the same ingredients as my last few posts because I am working with what I have in my house at this time.  What I liked most about this meal was that I could cook some real chicken (cut into chuncks) on the side and add it to my family's plates so we were all eating together.  My boys are only 5 years old.  They thought this dish was a bit too spicy.  Again, I don't ever really measure anything, so I am guessing at that.

    Boil 1/2 box Barilla whole wheat linguini according to the directions on the box (do not overcook).

    In large skillet, saute 1 small onion (chopped) in about 2 tbsp olive oil for a few minutes.  Season with a dash of crushed red peppers (more or less to taste).  Add about 1 cup chopped fresh broccoli and continue to saute.  (add more olive oil if needed) Once broccoli starts to soften (just a few minutes) add about 2 - 3 cups fresh chopped spinach and continue to saute.  Spinach will wilt.  Once it does, add a can of diced tomatoes (drained).  I usually opt for the seasoned ones, either in garlic or oregano, etc. You can use fresh diced tomatoes too.   Reduce heat to low and simmer just until heated through.  Turn off heat.  Strain the pasta and add directly to your skillet.  Toss together.   I top this meal with either the real chicken chunks for my family or the Morningstar Chik pattie chunks for myself.  Top with fat free feta or grated parmesan cheeses.

  • At the end of the week I'm going to post my meal plan for five days. It would be great if others could do the same. I too fear getting bored with my meals before the challenge is over, so some foodspiration is a must!

    @claude - going straight to veganism will be very interesting! i wish you luck with your transition.

    @nancy, your pasta recipe sounds like something I will incorporate, perhaps with my beloved tofu ground beef.

  • Thanks for the vote of confidence Uni,

    Here's my plan. I will make Vegan meals for my daughter and myself. I will also make extra for the wife and son as a side dish to go with whatever meat they choose so it shouldn't be that hard. The last time I tried something like this I only ate vegies and the only meat was fish and shellfish for lent which is 40 days. Drove my wife crazzy but I stuck withit. This time we just finished stocking the freezer with meat then I decided to go Vegan. She is not impressed ooooppppssss! April 4th we begin along with C2. BFL has helped me to refocus on portion control and I have made some gains not as much as I wanted to. That's for the next challenge. I have measurements to put into my bio and measurements for C1. Hopefully I will be able to do that soon.

  • I've had a few stints with veganism and thoroughly enjoyed it (although I ultimately decided on lacto-ovo vegetarianism). It broke my over-reliance on dairy -- what? you don't have to smother things with cheese to make them taste good? -- which I'd previously considered impossible. You also get to know a lot of interesting ingredients and flavor profiles that you otherwise wouldn't encounter. The first six-time winner of the Iron Man did it all while vegan, so I see no reason it couldn't work for BFL.

  • My concern with being vegan is only that I don't know any good recipes or know "interesting ingredients and flavor profiles" as you stated.  But that is why I love this thread - so I can learn!  I would love to try some new recipes that I can share with my family (who are non-veggie people)!  I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian (I don't actually eat eggs as a meal - but I do use products made with eggs - breads, pancakes, some recipes if it isn't "a lot" of egg).  Hope that makes sense. LOL

    I am not a good cook!  :)  So, I tend to stick to easy meals that I already know.  This week I purchased some extra firm tofu.  I have no idea what to do with tofu!  But I was reading some recipes on line and thought I would give it a try.  Each recipe said to "press" the tofu.  How is this done????  When I pressed it - it fell apart.  So I ended up sauteing it with some onions and peppers like an omelet.  Not bad, but probably could have used some additional flavoring.  Please help!!  :)

  • I usually press tofu by sandwiching it between two plates with a heavy jar/pan on top for at least 20 minutes. Drain the liquid and sponge off the rest with a cloth or paper towel. Don't physically press down on it, because it'll fall apart (perhaps that's what went wrong?).

    I'm no tofu expert, so whenever I cooke  it it's usually nothing to write home about. However, I'm hoping to try this "dry fry and marinate" method soon:

  • So, here's my meal plan for the past week. (Unfortunately I forgot to record Sunday, but I can assure you no feats of culinary genius took place on that day.)  

     Looking it over it seems I could fit in some more vegetables. I'll make that a goal for next week.

     I do quite a bit of weighing certain foods. I'm finding that my digital food scale is indispensable for keeping track of protein/fat/calories, as the fist method only goes so far for vegetarians.  Weighing your food is anal retentive and unappealing, but it gives me peace of mind that I'm not overeating. I'd recommend it to anyone who's unsure about portion sizes.



    200g .4% fat cottage cheese 

    big salad w/ 1 cup edamame + 2 tbsp balsamic


    1/2 low carb peanut caramel protein bar

    1 pink lady apple 


    vanilla protein shake with 70ml 1.5% milk + water + ice

    .1% fat blueberry yogurt


    (this isn't really representative; no appetite today) 



    200g .4% cottage cheese

    1 pink lady apple


    big salad w/ 1 cup edamame + 2 tbsp balsamic

    1/2 cup green beans

    1 bite of multigrain roll

    1 kiwi


    1/2 low carb peanut caramel protein bar

    1/2 blood orange


    vanilla protein shake with 90ml 1.5% milk + water + ice

    1.5 millet seed rice cakes


    veggie burger with onions, bell pepper and salsa

    .1% raspberry yogurt



    200g .4% cottage cheese + 1tsp strawberry rhubarb jam 

    1/2 cantaloupe


    vanilla protein shake with 60ml 1.5% milk + water + handful fresh blueberries


    5 egg whites + mustard + fresh black pepper on a whole wheat english muffin

    (was surprisingly delicious. will add vegetables next time) 



    * 1/2 veggie snack sausage  

    * 1 slice lite cream cheese  

    * 1 millet seed rice cake  

    * 4 baby carrots

    * .1% peach passion fruit yogurt  


     raspberry shake with 60ml 1.5% milk, water, frozen strawberries and 3tbsp oats

    1 millet seed rice cake



    200g .4% cottage cheese

    1.5 blood oranges 


    big salad with 1cup edamame + 2 tbsp balsamic + a few slivers of parmesan

    1/2 multigrain roll   


    1 prepackaged chocolate protein shake

    1 egg white + handful of grapes


    egg white omelette:

    * 1/2 onion + 1/2 bell pepper (both small)

    * 80g tofu burger crumbles

    * 3 egg whites

    * 2 tbsp salsa

    1.5% cherry yogurt


    raspberry vanilla shake 

    * water, 70ml 1.5% milk 

    * 3 tbsp oats

    * frozen raspberries 


    (was incredibly hungry today and ate more than I would've liked to. but one should probably listen to their body. as long as your body isn't telling you to binge on donuts. )



    200g .4% cottage cheese + 1 tsp strawberry rhubarb jam 

    1/2 cantaloupe 


    raspberry vanilla shake

    * water, 80ml 1.5% milk  

    * 1/2 frozen banana

    * 1 tsp oats 


    leafy green salad with:

    * 1/2 avocado  (mmm essential fats)

    * 30g low-fat mozzarella 

    * 3 egg whites

    * a sprinkle of raw basil tofu

    * 2 tbsp light yogurt dressing

    1 millet seed rice cake with a smear of ajvar  


    1/2 low carb peanut caramel protein bar

    1% lemon yogurt


    1/2 veggie snack sausage

    1 slice 5% fat cheese (i won't lie, this cheese is really awful, but it's nearly 7 grams of protein per 35 calorie slice, so I'll finish the pack)

    1 millet seed rice cake

    handful of blueberries 


    SATURDAY (free day!) 

    starbucks grande soy latte

    german style soft pretzel with butter and fresh chives


    2 rolls with herb butter

    roasted eggplant and garlic pizza

    beer lemonade mixed drink


    1 cornflake milk chocolate bar


  • nancy, I just made your broccoli tomato sauce concoction using tofu crumbles, wheat berries and a sprinkle of parmesan.. it was delicious!