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I learned to cook vegetarian dishes from necessity. My niece was bringing up her fiancé to meet her Dad and Kevin was a vegetarian. My Mom was a typical Midwest meat and potatoes cook and was at a total loss of how to cook while they were here. I volunteered to do the cooking. When I moved down here to North Carolina to be near Bernadette and her family I experimented more with vegetarian cooking. Her husband and daughter are vegetarians and she and her sons are carnivores. I have had them over for dinner several times and I’m getting rather good at planning a meal that has both elements. One of the things that has really helped are the Morning Star meat substitutes. It has allowed me to take some of my meat recipes and make them vegetarian. I knew I was on the right track when my niece’s husband told me that my Shepherd’s Pie was better then the version they served at a famous Irish restaurant in town. My niece said my Easter Pie was better then the one from the recipe she had. If you want something that disappears fast try the Teriyaki Grilled Mushrooms.

There are different types of vegetarian diets. A vegetarian eats no meat at all, including chicken and fish. A lacto-ovo vegetarian eats dairy products and eggs, but excludes meat, fish, and poultry. A lacto vegetarian eats dairy products but not eggs. An ovo vegetarian eats eggs but not dairy products. A vegan excludes all eggs, dairy products, and animal products like honey and gelatin.

With the high cost of meat these days many people are embracing vegetarian cooking because it is cost effective. Many others are cutting back on meat for health reasons. A vegetarian diet can be very healthy as long as you plan carefully to get the essential nutrients needed. Here is a Vegetarian Food Pyramid that can help. Following are some of the vegetarian recipes that I have created. These are vegetarian and not vegan since that is what my family members are and the recipes do contain dairy products.

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Asian Tomato-Potato Soup
Serving Size: 6    

Amount     Measure          Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------        ------------         --------------------------------
3                cups                low sodium vegetable broth
8             ounces               no salt added tomato sauce
6             ounces               no salt added tomato paste
14½        ounces               no salt added diced tomatoes -- drained
14½        ounces               canned potatoes -- sliced
1             cup                     instant rice
1             clove                  garlic -- minced
1             tablespoon         light soy sauce
1             small                  onion -- minced
1             tablespoon         butter
1             tablespoon         Lawry's Asian Seasoning
½            teaspoon            salt

Melt butter in large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender.

Add rest of ingredients except rice. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Add rice and simmer for 15 more minutes.

Per Serving: 208 Calories; 2g Fat (9.7% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 37g Carbohydrate; 10g Dietary Fiber; 5mg Cholesterol; 907mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1½ Grain (Starch); ½ Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; ½ Fat.

Fettuccine Ala Michele
Serving Size: 6    

Amount     Measure         Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------        ------------        --------------------------------
8               ounces            fettuccine -- cooked
1               cup                  fat-free sour cream
½              cup                  Italian six cheese
2               tablespoons     chives -- finely minced
1               tablespoon       butter

Cook fettuccine until al dente. Drain. Toss with butter.

Put sour cream in a small saucepan. Add cheese and stir until it melts. Pour over pasta and add chives. Toss until well coated.

Per Serving: 183 Calories; 3g Fat (12.3% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 9mg Cholesterol; 51mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 2 Grain (Starch); ½ Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; ½ Fat; ½ Other Carbohydrates.

Grilled Teriyaki-Ginger Portobello Mushrooms
Serving Size: 6    

Amount     Measure           Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------        ------------          --------------------------------
½              cup                   low-sodium teriyaki sauce
2               teaspoons        ginger root -- minced fine
4               tablespoons     balsamic vinegar
12             ounces             Portobello mushrooms -- sliced ¼ inch thick

Mix teriyaki sauce, ginger and balsamic vinegar together in a large Ziploc plastic bag. Add mushroom slices. Let marinate for 15 to 30 minutes.

Remove mushrooms from marinade and grill 3 to 5 minutes.

Per Serving: 36 Calories; trace Fat (5.1% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 296mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1½ Vegetable; 0 Fruit.

Rainy Day Corn Chowder
Serving Size: 10    

Amount     Measure              Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------       ------------              --------------------------------
11             ounces                 Mexican style corn
1               small                    onion -- diced
1               clove                    garlic -- minced
14½          ounces                 potatoes, canned -- drained and diced
8¾            ounces                 no salt added white corn or yellow corn
8¼            ounces                 no-salt-added cream-style corn
16             ounces                 baked beans
1               teaspoon              dried basil
1               teaspoon              seasoned salt
½              teaspoon              lemon pepper
2               cups                     low sodium vegetable broth
1               teaspoon              Dijon mustard

Add everything to a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.

Per Serving: 136 Calories; 1g Fat (7.6% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 631mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 2 Grain (Starch); ½ Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Red Pepper Pizza
Serving Size: 16    

Amount      Measure          Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------         ------------         --------------------------------
¼                teaspoon        seasoned salt
1                 whole              shallot -- minced
1                 clove               garlic -- minced
8                 ounces            mushroom caps -- sliced
6                 ounces            roasted sweet red peppers -- drained and chopped
14½            ounces            tomatoes with green pepper, celery, onion -- drained and diced
6                 ounces            no salt added tomato paste
8                 ounces            no salt added tomato sauce
20               ounces            pizza dough
8                 ounces            Italian five cheese
1                 teaspoon         Italian seasoning
¼                teaspoon         crushed red pepper
2¼              ounces            black olives -- drained and sliced
                                           vegetable cooking spray

Heat oven to 425°F.

In a small bowl mix tomato sauce, tomato paste, seasoned salt, crushed red pepper, shallots and garlic.

Spray 2 pizza pans with vegetable spray. Divide dough and spread half on each pan.

Spread half of sauce onto dough of each pan.

Divide tomatoes, olives, red peppers, and mushrooms and spread on top of sauce.

Sprinkle half the cheese onto each pizza.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until cheese melts.

Per Serving: 158 Calories; 5g Fat (27.7% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 22g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 10mg Cholesterol; 259mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Grain (Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; ½ Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers
Serving Size: 4    

Amount      Measure            Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------         ------------           --------------------------------
2                 large                  bell peppers -- any color
1                 cup                    cooked rice
1                 small                 onion -- diced
1                 clove                 garlic -- minced
4                 ounces              diced green chilies -- drained
2                 ounces              pimientos -- drained and diced
1                 cup                    corn
½                teaspoon           cumin
½                teaspoon           oregano
½                teaspoon           chili powder
½                teaspoon           turmeric
8                 ounces              no salt added tomato sauce
½                teaspoon           salt
1                 tablespoon        olive oil
                                             vegetable oil spray

Heat oven to 350°F.

Slice each pepper in half lengthwise. Remove seeds, stems and ribs.

Heat olive oil in frying pan. Add onions and cook until tender. Add garlic, corn, rice, green chilies, pimentos, oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt and tomato sauce. Cook until warmed through.

Spray a baking dish and place pepper shells into it. Stuff the shells with the rice mixture. Place any extra in the dish surrounding the peppers.

Cover and bake a 350°F for 30 minutes.

Per Serving: 180 Calories; 4g Fat (20.6% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 297mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1½ Grain (Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; ½ Fat.

Spicy Chinese Noodles
Serving Size: 8    

Amount      Measure            Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------         ------------            --------------------------------
                                             boiling water
8                ounces                noodles -- dry
2                tablespoons        light soy sauce
2                tablespoons        sweet sherry
2                tablespoons        Tiger Sauce -- or other chili sauce
½               teaspoon             sesame oil
1                tablespoon          plum vinegar
1                tablespoon          brown sugar
4                ounces                mushroom caps -- sliced
1                cup                      frozen peas -- defrosted
1                small                   onion -- minced fine
1                clove                   garlic -- minced fine
1                tablespoon          ginger root -- minced
1                tablespoon          vegetable oil

Make noodles according to package directions.

Heat small saucepan to medium high and add oil. Add onion, garlic and ginger and cook until softened.

Add soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, and brown sugar to saucepan and heat until boiling.

Drain pasta and put in bowl. Add mushrooms and peas. Pour sauce over and mix well.

Per Serving: 168 Calories; 3g Fat (18.4% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 27mg Cholesterol; 629mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1½ Grain (Starch); 0 Lean Meat; ½ Vegetable; ½ Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Vegetable Stew
Serving Size: 6    

Amount       Measure           Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------          ------------           --------------------------------
1                  large                 summer squash -- sliced
1                  large                 cucumber -- sliced
8                  ounces             Portobello mushrooms -- baby sliced
2                  large                 tomatoes -- chopped
1                  small                 onion -- diced small
2                  cloves               garlic -- diced fine
2                  tablespoons      olive oil
2                  tablespoons      unsalted butter
1                  tablespoon        balsamic vinegar
1                  teaspoon           Italian seasoning
½                 teaspoon           seasoned salt
¼                 teaspoon           seasoned pepper
6                  ounces              no salt added tomato paste
1                  teaspoon           A-1® Steak Sauce
1                  teaspoon           Dijon mustard

Remove the seeds from the squash, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large pan or Dutch oven. Add squash and cucumbers and cook for about 10 minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients mixing well. Cover and cook on medium for 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Per Serving: 139 Calories; 9g Fat (53.4% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 10mg Cholesterol; 161mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain (Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 2½ Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1½ Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Vegetarian Easter Meat Pie
Serving Size: 6    

Amount      Measure            Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------         ------------           --------------------------------
2                 9-inch                piecrusts
15               ounces              low fat ricotta cheese
3                 whole                eggs
1                 cup                    Italian five cheese -- shredded
6                 ounces              Morning Star Crumbles
4                 ounces              Morning Star Sausage Links -- 6 links sliced
1                 ounce                Morning Star Bacon Strips -- 4 pieces diced
½                teaspoon           garlic powder
1                 teaspoon           Italian seasoning
1                 tablespoon        olive oil

Heat oven to 325°F.

Heat oil in a frying pan and add crumbles, sausage, and bacon. Heat until warmed through.

Put ricotta in a bowl and add eggs one at a time beating until smooth.

Add Italian cheese and meats to the ricotta mixture.

Put one of the pie dough into a 9-inch pie pan and push up the sides. Pour cheese mixture into pie pan smoothing top.

Place second pie dough over the filling mixture and press the dough together and crimp the sides. Cut slits into the top to let steam out.

Bake for 1 hour and golden brown.

Per Serving: 618 Calories; 37g Fat (53.2% calories from fat); 37g Protein; 36g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 163mg Cholesterol; 1347mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 2 Grain (Starch); 2 Lean Meat; 4 Fat.

Irish American Shepherd's Pie - Vegetarian
Serving Size: 8

Amount      Measure              Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------         ------------             --------------------------------
1¼             pounds                 Morning Star Crumbles
1              tablespoon             olive oil
3              ounces                   baby carrots -- diced
8              ounces                   mushrooms -- sliced
1              cup                         celery -- diced
1              cup                         frozen green peas
1              cup                         frozen corn
1              small                      onion -- diced
2              cloves                    garlic -- minced
1              tablespoon             Dijon mustard
1              tablespoon             A-1® Steak Sauce
¼             cup                         red wine
½             teaspoon                seasoned salt
¼             teaspoon                seasoned pepper
½             teaspoon                allspice
1              tablespoon             cornstarch
1½           pounds                   potatoes -- peeled and cubed
½             cup                         low-fat sour cream
1              cup                         low sodium cheddar cheese -- shredded
½             teaspoon                salt
¼             teaspoon                white pepper

Add potatoes to boiling water. Cook 15 minutes or until tender. Drain.  In a separate pan cook carrots in boiling water. Drain.

Mash potatoes with sour cream, cheddar cheese, salt and white pepper.

Add olive oil to large frying pan and heat. Cook crumbles, onions, mushrooms and garlic until no pink remains in beef and vegetables are softened.

Add carrots, peas, celery and corn. Cook until vegetables are softened.

Mix cornstarch and wine. Add to crumbles and vegetables. Add Dijon mustard, A-1 Sauce, seasoned salt, seasoned pepper and allspice. Mix well and cooked until gravy has thickened.

Put crumble and vegetable mixture in a 2-quart casserole. Cover with mashed potatoes.

Bake uncovered at 325°F for 35 to 40 minutes.

Per Serving: 477 Calories; 12g Fat (22.1% calories from fat); 21g Protein; 75g Carbohydrate; 11g Dietary Fiber; 17mg Cholesterol; 825mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 4½ Grain (Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Vegetables Galore Lasagna
Serving Size: 8    

Amount     Measure               Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------        ------------              --------------------------------
2                large                    zucchini -- sliced thin
1                medium               sweet onion -- diced fine
2                cloves                  garlic -- minced
1                medium               red pepper -- diced small
12              ounces                Portobello mushroom caps -- sliced thin
14½           ounces                low sodium tomato, canned -- diced
1                tablespoon          olive oil
1                tablespoon          butter
16             ounces                no salt added tomato sauce
6               ounces                no salt added tomato paste
½              cup                      red wine
1½            teaspoons           Italian seasoning
½              teaspoon             seasoned salt
¼              teaspoon             seasoned pepper
⅛              teaspoon             nutmeg
12             ounces                lasagna noodles
16             ounces                ricotta cheese, part skim milk -- *see Note
1               cup                      mozzarella cheese, part skim milk
½              cup                      parmesan cheese

Heat oil and butter under melted. Add onion, garlic and red pepper. Cook until softened.

Add mushrooms, zucchini and tomatoes. Cook until softened.

Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, red wine, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for ½ hour.

Meanwhile cook noodles according to package directions. Mix the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.

In a 13x9x2 pan spread ⅓ of the tomato mixture, ⅓ noodles, ⅓ of the ricotta, ⅓ of cheese mixture, repeat layers topping with cheese mixture.

Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 40 minutes, uncover and bake for 20 minutes or until browned.

NOTES : You can use small curd cottage cheese.

Cover unbaked lasagna tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate up to 24 hours. If you prefer, freeze up to two months. To bake from refrigerator add 10 minutes. To bake frozen lasagna, thaw in refrigerator overnight and bake according to above directions.

Per Serving: 416 Calories; 13g Fat (27.8% calories from fat); 22g Protein; 52g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 33mg Cholesterol; 395mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 2 Grain (Starch); 1½ Lean Meat; 3 Vegetable; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Wild Mushroom Soup
Serving Size: 4    

Amount     Measure               Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------        ------------              --------------------------------
8               ounces                 mushrooms -- *see Note
24             ounces                 low sodium vegetable broth
½              cup                       sherry
2               whole                   shallots -- finely minced
2               cloves                   garlic -- finely minced
1               teaspoon              ginger root -- finely minced
2               tablespoons          butter
1               tablespoon            low sodium soy sauce

Melt butter in large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add mushrooms, shallots, garlic and ginger and cook until soft.

Add broth, sherry and soy sauce. Heat until boiling.

Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

NOTES: Use a wild mushroom mix such as Portobello, shitake, crimini or oyster. You can use button mushrooms but the mixed mushrooms give the soup a more exotic taste.

Per Serving: 148 Calories; 6g Fat (43.9% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 16mg Cholesterol; 566mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1 Fat.

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Originally posted to Street Prophets on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 09:51 AM PDT.

Also republished by Environmental Foodies.

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