Tuesday, 19 January 2016

What's for dinner? ~ a menu of vegetarian choices

The sense of strength and energy, and indeed confidence, that comes from having eaten well is unmistakable, and yet the question of "what's for dinner?" can often be a source of worry and tension, especially when we are tired and hungry.


A good substantial and sustaining meal is of central importance to all of us, regardless of what sort of food we eat, whether we are vegetarian or meat eaters, or adhering to any other kind of diet.

I've found that having a list of all the meals I can prepare, grouped according to the protein part, has been a great help.  When I am in need of ideas and / or looking for inspiration casting my eyes over a list of my own recipes immediately increases my sense of choice many times over.  

I share my list here in hope of providing encouragement and ideas for others.  it's an incomplete list of course, but a bood base.  

Grouping them according to protein helps me keep a broad range in mind.  I think that probably many people are like me in having a tendency to make a fairly limited range of meals, simply because that's what we've become used to, or it's the easiest thing we can think of.  Glancing over my comprehensive list I can see there are plenty of easy choices!

A balanced diet includes the food we eat throughout the day so in this list I've included some choices that are not mains dishes, but which none the less contribute to a good range of protein-based nourishment throughout the day.  

I've added a list of vegetables and fruit at the foot of my list to remind me to shop for a reasonably wide range.  I find shopping arduous, and so generally have my head down and eyes on my shopping list, rather than taking a good look at what's on offer.  My list reminds me to include more than the usual fruit and veg.

With few exceptions the choises listed below are those I am accustomed to making - and enjoying.  Most of them include dairy products and eggs, but some are vegan.  

Vegetarian food suitable for the frail and or elderly is really a sub-group of its own which I may write about at a later stage.  During my mother's last years I did my best to discover exactly what vegetarian recipes and foods worked well for her.  That was a complex situation and there were plenty of surprises.  Loss of appetite in the elderly and frail is common, so this is no small challenge, and one of the most important factors was getting sufficient nourishment into her to keep her weight stable and at an adequate level. 

In the list below I've have included links to those of my articles which include the recipes.  As I publish more recipes I'll add those links.     

Vegetarian menu choices - strating with the main protein ingredients:

Eggs, cheese and milk:

Lentils

Chick peas

Walnuts

Almonds
Snack on these (vegan obviously!)

Cashew nuts

Peanuts
  • Peanut loaf
  • Rissolnut coated fritters

Seeds - sunflower and pumpkin

Baked beans
  • Beans on toast (vegan) 
  • Shepherds pie (vegan, if you skip the cheese in the mashed potato)

Chilli beans
  • Nachos

Tofu and soy beans

Combination:

Kidney beans

Nutolene: this food is described in the article about macaroni cheese

Lunch

Accompanying veggies
Raw:
Tomatoes
Carrots
Rocket
Mint
Mushroom
Celery
Cucumber

Cooked
Potato
Aubergine / eggplant
Pumpkin
Carrots
Leeks
Asparagus
Capsicum / bell peppers
Onions
Cabbage
Silverbeet
Cauliflower
Parship
Kumara
Peas
Beans

Fruit:
Apples
Bananas
Pears
Apricots
Berry fruit
Lemons


I've hardly mentioned baking and desserts...

A full list of my recipes which include baking, desserts, preserves and food that can be frozen, can be found via the following link:
Articles about housekeeping and shopping can be found viat the link below:
My articles in the Elderly and Dependent series can be found via the link below:
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