I became a vegetarian a little over a month ago, and I'm doing great at it so far. The only problem is that I'm getting a little bored with veggie burgers, tofu, and beans (for my main courses). I do still eat fish, which I have for dinner usually twice a week.
If any of you more experienced vegetarians could make suggestions, I'd appreciate it.
You can do a lot with pasta! There are so many different types of sauces you can make and add a variety of vegetables. Another favorite dish of mine is veggies with a little soy sauce over brown rice. I haven't made this myself, but there are a lot of recipes for a black bean salad with corn, salsa and whatever else you like. Oh, and veggie burritos with a whole wheat tortilla.
I stopped eating meat about 10 years ago (but I still eat fish) and I really never miss it anymore. My staples are stir-fry with jasmine rice & tofu or shrimp, bowtie or spaghetti pasta with olive oil, fresh tomatoes & parmesan, tempeh tacos (you should check out tempeh if you haven't already -its a good meat substitute), any of the pre-prepared Trader Joe's fish - herb-crusted salmon, trout, etc, pizza, soba peanut noodles & sushi. I cut out recipies from Real Simple & try them sometimes, they are usually easy & healthy. Also Quorn makes good meat-free chicken fingers! Hope that helps!
Don't forget the wide variety, healthy fat and protein that nuts offer! You can get savory or sweet nuts (Brazil, Macadamia, hazelnut, etc.) Try toasting them with different hot sauces and seasoning salts. They also are great candied with a little brown sugar. My husband makes a great sweet and spicy nut for salads: he will put Crystal hot sauce, brown sugar, sea salt and a little butter in a pan and make the most delicious walnuts! They add that meaty richness to all things.
Also, this evening, I had sauteed mushrooms with shavings of Parmesean cheese, fresh herbs, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. If you are missing the savory flavor or texture of roasted poultry or meat, this will definitely fulfill that craving.
Check out Quorn brand "chicken" products. I like their grillers, which look like boneless, skinless chicken breasts. They are made out of mushroom, but you would never know it. They are really good. You can get them at a lot of health food stores. Cook them as you would chicken. Also, I am a big fan of dried seaweed and steamed rice. Use the seaweed to pinch off some rice into a makeshift sushi-style roll and dip in soy sauce. So good!
Lots and lots of veggies! The one thing that is hard to get out of is the meat centered "main course" that we had as a meat eater. You have ot figure out how you can let go of always needing a "meat main course," even if it's veggie meat. We eat vegetarian taco salad and tofu burritos alot, as well as stir fry and fajitas. (We obviously like mexican food :) Sometimes I just eat quinoa with green beans. Get creative! I think recently we had tuna (I eat fish sometimes as well) sauteed chard and rice pilaf the other night. Who knew I liked greens? I recently discovered a love of chard!