Elizabeth Turner: Hi! this is Elizabeth Turner with Vegetarian Times Magazine. Now, I want to talk a little bit about how to make a successful transition to a vegetarian diet. There are couples of ways that you can go with this. One way is just to go a full month completely vegetarian and the upside of this is that you get to really experience how different a body feels on a strictly vegetarian diet. If going cold turkey just isn't for you, you can try the gradual approach. You can do meatless Mondays, you can go vegetarian before 6 o'clock at night, you can go vegetarian on the week days or vegetarian on the weekends. There are a lot of options if you just want a break into it gradually.
Either way you definitely want to plan ahead for nights when you are busy and not wanting to be too creative in the kitchen. So here is the tip for that. Think about meals that you make already; that are already vegetarian. So if you like spaghetti with marinara sauce, that's one of your go-to meals for busy nights. You like veggie tacos, then that's one of your go-to meals. Then think about few things that would be very easy to makeover vegetarian. If you are great with chili, just make it a vegetarian chili. If you love a burger, get some veggie burgers. These are the things that will keep you satisfied when you just don't have time to cook something new or special. When you're putting together a meal, here is very great tip to keep in mind. Think of your plate as a pie chart. When you are filling up your plate, make sure that half of it is covered with fruits and vegetables, another quarter should be covered with main vegetarian protein, and the forth quarter should be covered with whole grains. If you just follow this pie chart, you have a well rounded meal. When you are cooking with whole grains, think beyond pasta, Quinoa is the best. It cooks up in 12 minutes and it's great in pilafs and salads. Another thing you try is different rice blends; for beaten rice and red rice all kinds of great rices out there to discover. Finally, it takes a little longer, but steel-cut-oats on the Sunday morning is the best breakfast, you just add nuts and fresh fruit, and you'll be really really happy.
Another really great idea is to add avocado and nuts to your salads and pilafs for just extra yummy factor. For nights when you have little more time or are feeling a little bit more adventurous, teach yourself some new tricks in the kitchen. Stir fry some kale, make some Brussels sprouts, roast them in the oven or head out to the grill and grill up vegetables. You won't believe how good they are. So I hope you'll use all these ideas to make your vegetarian meals delicious and satisfying and your transition to a vegetarian diet successful. Bon Apptit!