I need food help!

I need food help! I am a vegetarian who eats fish/seafood and the rare chicken/turkey, although I managed through my entire pregnancy without any poultry since it made me ill. It looks like Ophelia doesn’t like it when I eat lentils or beans, problem is I tend to throw beans in a lot of foods to get protein. The worst days that she has had have come after lentil tacos for both dinner and lunch the following day and then again after 4 bean chili for lunch and black bean quesadillas for dinner. These days are the only times when she refuses to sleep, only wants to be held, spits up large amounts which always end up on me, and is extremely gassy leading to multiple diaper changes. All this makes for a tough day for me. I need more ideas for easy vegetarian meals without beans. I love tofu from restaurants, but all my attempts to cook with it at home have been failures, any secrets?

The other thing I need is simple, healthy snack ideas. With the return to running and breastfeeding I am always hungry and tend to reach for convenient foods such as granola bars. I am keeping plenty of fruit in the house and made up a huge batch of granola to eat in yogurt, but need other ideas for quick things or those that I can make ahead for later.


  1. Hi - I've been following your blog for awhile (actually have a link to it in my sidebar - hope you don't mind!). Anyway I am not vegetarian but am trying to reduce the amount of meat I eat. Some veggie meals I have fixed for dinner recently include: cheese & veggie omelettes (really fast), frittata (essentially an omelette but fancier), meal salads i.e. salads with a ton of stuff in them including avocados, nuts, pear, dried cranberries, spinach then all the typical salad veggies. You can also make a decent chilli using TVP (texturized vegetable protein) instead of lentils/beans.
    I hear you about breast feeding... I am far hungrier breast feeding than I was while pregnant. Quick snack ideas: avocado half w salad dressing, apple with cheese (sharp cheddar, yum!), popcorn (not so nutritious but yummy), celery sticks w peanut butter (though some people advocate no peanut butter while breast feeding if allergies run in your family).

  2. Your help! plea caught my eye while I was reading sealegsgirl's blog post.

    I think the trick to tofu is either:
    1) draining it for about an hour before use. drain it on cloths with something heavy-ish on top of it like a pot or book. (it's amazing how much water comes out of it)
    2) freeze it over night and then thaw it before cutting it into chunks and using it in a recipe. it gives it more of a meaty texture.

    then you can throw it in stir fry, bake it with a little soy sauce or my favorite, drench it in egg/egg replacer, coat it with cornstarch and then pan fry it.

    i wonder if it's the fiber, the oligosaccharides or both causing her trouble. soaking dried beans over night before cooking them is supposed to help break down the sugars that cause gas but i don't if that works for you & her or not.

    can she maybe handle other vegetables that have some protein in them such as spinach, brussel sprouts, broccoli? have you tried frozen sweet peas?

    also, grains such as quinoa, amaranth, and millet have a decent amount of protein in them and the best part is that they cook up in 15 min.

    oh and have you tried tempeh or seitan? i prefer them over tofu.

    good luck!

  3. Hi, sorry to hear the vegetarian diet isn't working for baby! When it comes to tofu, use the extra firm stuff. Cut into cubes, marinate in soy/tamari sauce with honey, garlic, other spices (I actually like turmeric and curry powder) for a few hours, then stir fry....or cut into larger bread width slices, do the same as the above, then add a slice of cheese on top a couple of minutes before remoing from pan, yum.
    I agree on the beans. If you buy them canned they need to be well rinsed, or if they are dry beans soak them overnight, rinse, then cook. Also, have you tried cooking with quinoa (keen-wa). It is the grain with the highest protein content, should be able to find on the natural food shelf or bulk bins of supermarket (or natural health store). Cook 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water (like rice). Only takes 15min to cook (til water evaporates), then cool with lid on for 10-15min. Throw in a good dash of olive oil, sea salt, herbs, lemon juice for flavour, makes a great snack or base for dishes (like rice). Actually come to think of it, Kathleen said it all! Oh well, here's hoping some of the tips offered helps so you can stay vegetarian!

  4. Thanks for all the suggestions, time to try some tofu again. I hadn't thought about soaking overnight, I'll have to give that a try too. I do use the TVP a lot and have some quinoa in the house. I think I need to get back to the grocery store and spend some time cooking ahead of time to have lunches and snacks available.

    PicolaPineCone, feel free to link to my blog :-)


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