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Going veggie is easy. Here are several ways to get a satisfying vegetarian meal. Listed from easiest to more involved.

Eat out

Restaurants – Treat yourself to a night out. Do a google search for vegetarian-friendly restaurants near you. Ethnic restaurants, especially Thai, Indian, Ethiopian, Chinese, and Mexican, are usually a good choice, as they offer a variety of vegetarian and vegan options.

Fast food – Grab a quick bite on the go. Most chains offer a vegetarian meal. Choose from: tacos, veggie burgers, baked potatoes, pasta, falafel, salads and more. Vegans can usually order pizza without the cheese but loaded with vegetable toppings, like peppers, mushrooms, olives and artichokes. See veg.ca’s Fast Food Report.

Order in

Do a google search for vegetarian-friendly restaurants near you.  Most will do take-out or delivery.

Heat-and-serve

Supermarkets and natural food stores usually carry quick vegetarian meal items. Choose from: savoury pies, seasoned tofu, veggie burgers, chili, a wide range of soups, and more.

Veggie convenience products

Build a meal around any of the following items. You can add your own veggies, rice, noodles, cooked grain, wraps, or breads.

Mock meats – If you like the chewy texture of meat, there are many products that can be added to your meals. Choose from bite-sized pieces of “chicken” or “beef”, meat analogs that are crumbly like ground beef, or substantial offerings like vegetarian “turkey” substitutes.  It is a good idea to try several different brands, as there is a wide range of styles and quality. Mock meats, nondairy cheeses and milks, and other vegetarian foods are sold in most major supermarkets these days, and health food stores offer even more. VegCooking.com has an excellent list of these kinds of products.

Meal kits – Look for veggie meal mixes and dried soups. Flavoured rice mixes can be made into an entrée just by adding a can of beans.

Tofu – a pre-cooked soy product that is great for picking up flavours from the veggies and seasonings that you cook it with. The firm style is best marinated, baked, or stir-fried. Soft tofu can be blended to make creamy dressings, puddings, dips, and smoothies.

Tempeh – a cultured whole soy product available at natural food stores. Fry till golden and crispy, then add to a dish or serve on the side with Dijon mustard.

Seitan – a chewy meat-like product made from wheat gluten. Available at natural food stores.

Canned items – chickpeas, lentils, white beans, refried beans, hearty soups, etc.

Adjust the meals you currently make

Many of the meals that you prepare regularly can easily be adapted to a vegetarian menu. For example, a favorite spaghetti or chili recipe can be made with all of the same ingredients; just replace the meat with beans, textured vegetable protein (TVP), or a commercial ground beef analog.  Make burritos using canned vegetarian refried beans instead of beef. Many soups, stews, and casseroles also can be made into vegetarian dishes with a few simple changes.

Breakfast and lunch are easy. Try muffins with fruit spread, toast, or cereal for breakfasts. Make sandwiches with spreads like hummus, veggie pate, black bean dip, nut butters, or white beans with lemon and garlic. Pasta, rice or potato salads, and even dinner leftovers make great lunches.

Make something new

The possibilities are endless – stir-fries, hearty soups and stews, pastas, creative salads, Indian curries, tacos, avocado sushi, chili, oven-roasted vegetables, and much more.

Veggie breakfast ideas 
Toast, cereal, granola, muesli, hot oatmeal, apple pancakes, miso soup, tofu scramble. See our breakfast page for plenty of delicious recipes and tips.

What’s for lunch?
Delicious veggie options for sandwiches, salads and more. See our lunch page.

Main meals – Hearty soups, stir-fries, pasta, curry and more – suggestions for preparing a delicious and satisfying vegetarian meal.

Cookbooks – check out some vegetarian cookbooks from the library and experiment with the recipes until you find some that are delicious and easy to make.

Cooking classes – vegetarian classes are a great way to learn new techniques and recipes. Many include a delicious meal. Do a google search for vegetarian-friendly cooking classes near you. Or search YouTube for recipe videos.

Web – The recipes page at veg.ca features the best recipe sites, including Food.com with 65,000 vegetarian recipes rated by users.  Or simply try a google search for “vegetarian recipe” or “vegan recipe” plus the main ingredients you want to use. Also see our Meal Planning page.

Tips

Shortcuts to vegetarian cooking – see veg.ca for  Tips for shopping, meal preparation, and cooking that can save you hours in the kitchen.