Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Vegetarian Recipes - Easy to Moderate
    MariaK813 posted:
    My 19 year old daughter recently became a vegetarian. She has been doing this for two weeks now. Can anyone suggest some easy to moderate veggy dishes that she can prepare herself? Thanks!!
    rohvannyn responded:
    You can make a lot of regular dishes but just substitute other protein sources for the meat, or just don't put the meat in. Vegetarian chili, casseroles, wraps, soups, stir fry, all kinds of things. The main thing to tell her is to keep track of the nutrition. Make sure she's getting vitamins and protein. As you probably know, "vegetarian" does not automatically mean "healthy." Show her how to read labels if you haven't already so she can avoid some of the nasty glop that gets put in as flavorings, too. A lot of recipe choices will change depending on if she's ovolactovegetarian or piscovegetarian or what.
    WildSpirit009 responded:
    I'd suggest watching how much pasta she is eating, too. I have a lot of family members go into this diet and they have become pastaterians. I would say salads are easiest, and at certain resturants, you can also ask for a meal without specific items. I love making fruited rice. It is fairly simple and you can use whatever kind of fruit you'd like:
    This should be fairly simple and fun for her to make. It is also very healthy.
    Nyxy_23 responded:
    First of all allow me to command you on supporting your daughter in her decision. That's quite fantastic!
    I have been a vegetarian for 9 years now and as of my last check-up I am in great health, even my iron and B-12 are good (those two are the main concern for those who are on a veggy diet), so I am pretty confident that I know what I'm doing by now.
    As someone previously mentioned eating too much pasta is not a good way to go. For vegetarians or otherwise. It's yummy but really has very little nutrition.
    Grains are your friends. There are a lot of them (rice, buckwheat, quinoa, barley, cous-cous) and most of them pack a great variety of nutrients. You can find them in quick to make variety and the takes-forever-kind so make sure to read the preparing instructions.
    Green leafy vegetables. The darker the green the more nutrients. Iceberg lettuce "026 not so great. Spinach? Fabulous! That actually applies to all coloured veggies. The deeper the colour the more nutrients it contains.
    Nuts. All kinds of nuts, if she is not allergic they are great for snacks and to throw into a salad. Same with dried fruit and berries.
    Now-a-days there are a lot of substitutes for meats available. My fave are mock chicken and mock fish. Some Asian supermarkets have great meat substitutes in the frozen food isle, like mushroom "lamb". Even my non-vegy friends absolutely love that stuff.
    Since you said vegetarian I will assume she will still eat eggs and dairy. In that case eggs are a fantastic source of protein and vitamins/minerals.
    The recipes she will choose to use will really depend on what she likes. The best thing is to try to include a wide variety of foods in her diet. What I usually do when I don't have much time or motivation to spend in the kitchen is make buckwheat (takes about 10min), a quick salad with my fav veggies (cucumber, tomato, spinach, green onion, bell peppers, etc) and then fry up some vegy chicken bits with a bit of sauce and one egg. (This also takes may be 20 min all together) Quick delicious and great nutrition.
    One thing your daughter will probably notice is that she gets hungry faster so make sure she know to have some healthy snacks on hand. Peanut butter/banana sandwiches are glorious!
    The main nutrition concern she will have is getting enough iron and vitamin B12. Those two are almost impossible to find in non-animal products. She will most likely need some supplements. My fav so far is Noni fruit powder for iron (you gotto be careful not to overdose but it is rather wonderful).
    Anyway, sorry for blabbing for so long, but i get a bit excited when someone joins this lifestyle and I wish for them to succeed, feel great and be healthy. Hope the above helped even if a little. Cheers!
    An_246751 responded:
    Yea for her! As the previous poster said, anytime someones decides to be vegetarian, other vegetarians are so happy. I have been one for 14 years and have had three healthy babies while being a vegetarian, so it is a smart dietary choice. Like the previous poster said, just make sure you are getting adequate B12 (you can find it in multivitamins or a separate B12 supplement) and omega 3's (flaxseeds, chia seeds, plant based algal supplements will all work - you can even use the algal formula they sell for pregnant women). If she is going to eat dairy and eggs, she shouldn't really have to worry at all about supplementation because they will provide B12, but if she is excluding those then she will want a supplement for sure. This facebook page has a lot of vegetarian recipes: and this website is a vegetarian community: . Good luck!
    Meri307 responded:
    There are lots of good recipes here. Combining some items like beans, corn, rice, dairy, cheese, etc., can make a complete protein. I have Diet for a Small Planet from which lots of these recipes came. Also Recipes for a Small Planet. Both are good.
    Some recipes are VERY easy. Bon appetit!
    An_246763 responded:
    I'm 20, similar in age to your daughter, and I cook largely for myself. Meat is expensive so I tend to find other protein options to use in my cooking when I can (lentils/beans, eggs, nuts, greek yogurt); in essence, I'm vegetarian 6 days of the week.

    In the beginning it was tricky figuring out how to make meals seem like meals and not just random items thrown together to meet nutritional needs, and something that helped me was finding recipe resources from other people. One book suggested to me that I now own and really enjoy (it teaches you about nutrition, how to cook, substitutes, etc) is Mark Bittman's cook book, "How to cook everything Vegetarian." It could make a nice birthday present! In it, she's bound to find something she'll like and want to cook. It also made me more open to free-styling and developing my own recipes based on what I have in the fridge that day.

    Hope you like it!

    Helpful Tips

    Another Roasted Garlic
    This is in response to charlie16220 on his Roasted Garlic: You can use left over whole garlic heads from a seafood boil on the grill for ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    4 of 4 found this helpful

    Expert Blog

    Healthy Recipe Doctor - Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

    Dietician Elaine Magee has the secret recipe for creating healthy meals that are guaranteed to please any condition or diet...Read More

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.