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Need some suggestions!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm going grocery shopping today and I need some suggestions.

I've stopped eating meat, and it's making it very difficult for me to actually get to eat. John's dad cooks dinner for everyone a couple times a week, but in between those times there is no food in the house other than ham lunch meat which I will not eat.

I've been buying Ramen noodles because they're quick to make and cheap. I have a package of those for lunch nearly every day, along with some kind of canned vegetable. But John's dad has been cooking less and less which means Ramen again for dinner almost every night. It's really starting to make me not feel so great to be eating junk like that for every meal.

I need some suggestions for things I can get at the store, for both my lunches and dinners most days. It can't be anything that has to be refrigerated or frozen because we share the refrigerator and freezer with John's family and anything we would put in there would be eaten by John's brother very quickly.

I have tried the Uncle Ben's 90 second rice which I love and will be getting a bunch more of those today. I don't really like to eat soup, I'm really weird about that because I have always viewed soup as "sick food" (food to be eaten when you're sick) and I just don't like it very much.

I really have run out of ideas, I know there have to be some more quick, microwaveable meals on the market but I have no idea what to look for!

I'd really appreciate any suggestions you guys might have!
post #2 of 23
Would you eat tuna??? How about canned baked bean varieties??? Peanut butter with crackers.
Lots of the convience foods have lots of salt in them.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
Would you eat tuna??? How about canned baked bean varieties??? Peanut butter with crackers.
Lots of the convience foods have lots of salt in them.
Tuna doesn't like me very much , so unfortunately that's out of the question. I'll add the canned beans to the list. I already eat peanut butter and crackers once in awhile, but I'm not a huge fan of peanut butter so I couldn't stand to have that every day.
post #4 of 23
You could buy a little dorm sized refrigerator and put a lock on it, for yourself and John. That way, you could have different cheeses and perishable things that wouldn't get devoured by anyone else. You can also get soups and pour over rice or noodles, or even instant mashed potatoes, which would make them a different texture, so you wouldn't look at them as "sick" food. When I was first married, and in college, my husband and I made 'gravy' out of different soups and ate it over mashed potatoes and noodles. I'd thicken the soup with a little flour/butter, and serve it over the rice, noodles or mashed potatoes. It was tasty and filling, and most importantly for us at the time, inexpensive!
post #5 of 23
Will you eat eggs or cheese? What about chicken? What about salads? Mac/cheese? Tuna?
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Will you eat eggs or cheese? What about chicken? What about salads? Mac/cheese? Tuna?
I can't eat eggs or tuna (stomach issues), but I do love cheese. Salads are great. And I love mac and cheese.. which I do already have on the grocery list. But again I have the problem of not being able to store anything in a refrigerator or freezer so salad and cheese are out. John bought us a refrigerator on ebay from Disney World... it's actually a huge TV stand, media center, with a built in fridge, but it's currently at his grandparents house in Florida right now. John's parents have been planning a trip down there to pick it up since February but things kept coming up and they haven't gone yet. So once we get that it will be a lot easier because we'll be able to have cold foods again.
post #7 of 23
what about beans? mixing a legume [bean] w/a grain will give you all 8 of the essential amino acids you get in a meat-based protein. my mom's from south louisiana, so i've had red beans & rice all my life - but you can mix any legume w/any grain & it'll work. that's why peanut butter w/crackers is a good choice, protein-wise. peanuts are a legume, crackers are made w/grain.
you can use canned beans & something like instant brown rice, for example, & get tons of fiber, as well!
post #8 of 23
I don't eat very much meat, and I find myself eating salad a lot. I buy bagged salad and cut up cucumbers and put some mixed cheese on it (I usually have the mix of cheddar and mozzarella) and I use the balsamic salad spritzer. It is yummy. I am eating it right now actually.

I also buy pre-made pizza crusts from the store and make pizza with those. You could make just a cheese pizza or a veggie one. I also buy frozen stir-fry packs and make that with instant rice. I usually add chicken to it, but you could leave that out.
post #9 of 23
Oh dear! Definitely get off the Ramen noodles kick...you'll pass out!

Does your local grocer offer a health food aisle? If so, definitely take a walk down that because often times you find things that vegan friendly, gluten free, etc. Find items that are suppliment your food groups, since you don't eat meat protein from cheeze, tufu, etc are a definite good source.
Bulk up on fruits and veggies as well for your vitamin intake.

Long time ago, I decided to stop eating meat. However it didn't last long when I became anemic and passed out in school. My whole diet was really crackers, cheese and pasta. It was either that or see a dietican according to my doctor.
post #10 of 23
Buy veggies and grains! No one else with touch them, lol! Cook some brown rice and steam a veggie or two (carrots, kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, whatever) and/or some raw vegetables to eat (tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers).

I found it difficult to get enough protein while I was vegetarian, and if you don't eat eggs, you have extremely limited choices, most high-fat. You could make smoothies with fresh/frozen fruit, unflavored yogurt, and whey protein powder.

Check the ingredients and nutrition facts in the ramen noodles and Uncle Ben's rice (or other packaged foods like that). They are full of junk with very little nutrition.

To eat a healthy vegetarian diet you have to do some research about nutrition and then eat a wide variety of foods. Sounds like you need to start doing some cooking on your own so you can eat some real foods. Good luck!
post #11 of 23
Can't you label your stuff (like salads)? I find that horrible that people in the house would not respect your stuff. That's just plain rude! Can't you talk to John's parents and siblings about that?
post #12 of 23
Another good veggie meal is what I used to call a "salad sandwich." Two pieces of sprouted grain bread, slices of avocado, tomato, and lettuce with some nayonaise (vegan mayo which is yummy).

http://www.nasoya.com/nasoya/nayonaise_index.html
post #13 of 23
if you're interested in trying out some whey protein powders, i recommend this site: vitalady. she offers samples @ about $2 each, so you can 'try before you buy' a big jug, & not get stuck w/something you don't like!
these are my faves: Champion Nutrition's chocolate, cookies & cream & banana whey stacks, & Syntrax Nectars in stawberry-kiwi, natural peach, roadside lemonade & fuzzy navel flavors.
post #14 of 23
It really is hard to get enough protein on a vegetarian diet. I second what others have suggested about that, and add one word:

NUTS!

Not greasy, over-salted snack nuts, but some good raw almonds and hazelnuts and walnuts you can either eat as-is or roast in the oven without oil or salt. They're great for you, and they come in bulk at Whole Foods.

And I agree with GK -- it's outrageous that you can't leave food in the refrigerator and trust it'll be there when you come back for it. Surely that's an issue that can be addressed with the rest of the household! You really need to be able to keep cheese around (not that so-called "American" non-cheese, but the real thing). Without refrigeration, you end up with very little to eat that isn't primariy carbohydrate.

Hey -- you could always try some psychology to keep people out of your food. Whenever you make yourself a casserole or soup or whatever, put it in the fridge with a big label that says something like "Macrobiotic Quinoa Hash w/Shark Cartilage Supplement." I dare 'em to snitch that!
post #15 of 23
There are quite a few "meat substitutes" available, by a couple of companies. The biggest is Worthington/Loma Linda, which used to be two separate companies:

http://www.kelloggs.com/brand/worthington/

Their foods are made from soy, mostly.

But I learned very young that while $5 will buy very little steak, it will buy a LOT of beans, and the beans are just about as nutritious. You can get all sorts of canned vegetables. I used to carry those, and a glass bowl that I could microwave in (my truck had a microwave), and i ate probably as well as I ever did.

I like the ramen noodles occasionally, but you can't live on it if you're old enough to have graduated from college.
post #16 of 23
A wonderful salad I make is raw baby spinach, a handful of pine nuts, (toasted or raw) (store in your room) a handful of garbanzo beans (chick peas) (protein) (I bet he wont eat those!) sprinkle feta cheese (protein) on top and top with your favorite dressing. I use the salad spritzers so I can control how much I am using, and it's lower in fat. I could eat this every day. For when you get a fridge.
post #17 of 23
That really sucks you can’t use the fridge or freezer. That makes eating and storing fresh foods hard! Please add more healthy options into your diet; I can see you getting very sick eating like you are. Can you go to the library and check out books on how to eat without meat in your diet, they have tips and recipes that would be very helpful to you. There is also a ton of stuff online that will help. You can look at "normal" recipes and just leave out the meat. We make chili without beef. Still tastes great.

I don’t eat much meat at all. I am not a doctor nor have I studied nutrition formally but maybe some of my meal ideas will help you. For instance, this morning I ate whole wheat blueberry waffles, no oil, I used applesauce instead with real maple syrup, no butter or anything like that and a glass of orange juice. For lunch was homemade iced tea with a slice of fresh lemon, half a thin Swiss cheese sandwich grilled with pam and spray butter -wheat bread, and a huge strawberry spinach salad with thin almond slices and homemade dressing. The dressing was white vinegar, a whole fresh lemon, a pinch of in the raw sugar, and a bit of olive oil. Dinner will be grilled salmon with roasted baby red potatoes. Last nights dinner was a veggie stir fry with brown rice, my favorite thing to make due to the freshness and easy of cooking. We have a rice cooker so I clean the rice and put it in the rice cooker. Then I cut up fresh veggies of my choice, last night I had red pepper, mushrooms, white onion, lots of broccoli, celery, fresh ginger, and garlic. I heat the pot and when it is hot I put in some olive oil and cook all the veggies until they are not crunchy, but not mushy either. It takes only a few minutes, they should still be bright and fresh. Then as they get close to being done I move veggies to the side and add a homemade sauce mixture (last night was oyster sauce, chicken stock, a drop of sesame oil and soy sauce, and a pinch of corn starch to thicken the mixture when on high heat) and mix it all together. Then I serve on top of the rice.

I also eat a lot of homemade small pizzas. For the crust you can use the flat breads. You can brush a bit of olive oil on the crust, then a bit of pizza sauce (I found the Bertolli Olive Oil and Garlic brand of pasta sauce to work the best – at least for my family as far as taste) then add a bit of shredded mozzarella cheese to taste on the top and load it up with fresh veggies, black olives, onion, peppers, mushrooms, etc. If you like grilling you can grill really wonderful breads and also fresh veggies and fish and make them taste very good.

Maybe you don’t like soup as a meal but can it be a side course? We are big on soups here, I like them, but they are always a side course. Do you like tortilla soup, it is easy to make minus meat. My favorite soup is miso soup. This involves finding an Asian market or whole foods market, as fresh miso is sometimes tricky to find as well as another key ingredient. But it is very food for you and can be used in marinades and a lot of things. Have you tried sushi? It took a few tries to roll it correctly but actually it is easy to make at home. If you like beans there are lots of tasty ways to prepare them. Have you ever tried hummus? That stuff is really good in the middle of pita bread with some fresh bell peppers in the middle and a dash of fresh lemon. Fresh veggies, nuts, beans, these things are important but don’t forget fresh fruits - tis the season for fresh fruits at their peak, go visit a farmers market and go to heaven, fresh fruits are my favorite food when in season, the peaches, the pears, the cherries. Whole grain cereals with lowfat milk ( I love Kashi granola) can make a quick snack as can yogurt. You can make taco salads, or nacho salads, pasta salads, Asian foods, crab cakes, and lots of other things.

If you could get a rice cooker that would save a lot of money rather than buying the packet rice. Also it will be healthier for you as that type of rice will maintain more nutrients. If you can’t get a rice cooker get a box of 10 minute brown rice, you can cook it on the stove and it is really great as well.
post #18 of 23
Are you cutting out meat for your health? To save money? And I agree that there should be a household discussion about not eating up other people's foods. That really isn't fair. You shouldn't have to make those sacrifices - living off boxed and canned foods with all of the salt and other junk in it.

Others have given you excellent suggestions about protein sources and doing some reading up on the subject of vegetarianism, because if you go into it uninformed you can do more harm than good.
post #19 of 23
What did you end up getting at the store?
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampWitch View Post
Buy veggies and grains! No one else with touch them, lol! Cook some brown rice and steam a veggie or two (carrots, kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, whatever) and/or some raw vegetables to eat (tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers).

I found it difficult to get enough protein while I was vegetarian, and if you don't eat eggs, you have extremely limited choices, most high-fat. You could make smoothies with fresh/frozen fruit, unflavored yogurt, and whey protein powder.

Check the ingredients and nutrition facts in the ramen noodles and Uncle Ben's rice (or other packaged foods like that). They are full of junk with very little nutrition.

To eat a healthy vegetarian diet you have to do some research about nutrition and then eat a wide variety of foods. Sounds like you need to start doing some cooking on your own so you can eat some real foods. Good luck!


Kale
Bok choy
brociflower
bell peppers
tofu
Tepei if you can handle fermeted items
post #21 of 23
Pasta - Boil in salted water and add some broccoli florets during the last 3 minutes. Drain. Sautee some garlic in olive oil. Add mushrooms. Combine with pasta and broccoli. Top with parmesan cheese. (Steal the cheese from the fridge) Marinara sauce is optional.

Tortellini have cheese inside. Some varieties are boxed and found on the pasta aisle.

Rice with beans and olives - yum!

The "cheese" in the can doesn't need to be refrigerated. It's not the best cheese, but it's an easy snack on a cracker.

Health food stores sell vegetarian chili in a can.

I know this one sounds kinda wierd, but peanut butter and raisins on green pepper slices is really good.
post #22 of 23
How have you been eating? I am really worried about you!
post #23 of 23
I would recommend buying "Super Natural Cooking" by Heidi Swanson. It is an excellent veggie cookbook that really changed the way I cooked and stocked my pantry. We are not veggies but I make one or two veggie meals a week.
Can you shop every day or so? I do, so I get the freshest veggies. She uses lots of grains, nuts and seeds, too.

Pasta is great with cheese or tomato sauce (with veggies). There are lots of veggie just heat foods like chili and Boca burgers.

Happy Cooking!
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