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Take it Easy

By • May 13th, 2006 • Category: Vegetarian Tips, Vegetarianism Print Print

Take it Easy

I receive many emails with questions about preparing vegetarian meals and recipe ideas. I really believe everyone is good, maybe even great, at preparing something. I’m not a professional chef, have never claimed to be, and truly that’s not something most people strive for. Most of us simply want to eat healthier (better) and be comfortable preparing nutritious food that goes over well with friends and family.

One thing I suggest is to take a recipe or some basic ingredients that you’re comfortable with and expand on them. I love recipes that can be used many different ways, and just about every recipe has that option. This concept makes it easier on you, the kitchen cook, and everyone you cook for. If you are really good at Italian cooking for example, you’re just a small step away from literally hundreds of vegetarian meal ideas. It’s a great way to develop your own vegetarian “comfort zone” and, frankly, that’s probably the most important element for doing anything in the kitchen.

Cooking is a process and the more relaxed you are the more you and everyone will enjoy your culinary creations. Keep things simple, especially when you’re just starting out. Never hesitate to experiment with new foods, but don’t raise your stress level by jumping into complicated recipes if you’re entertaining or especially when feeding children who may not be ready for exotic or experimental combinations.

Eating vegetarian cuisine should not be about deprivation and what we’re leaving out. Rather, it should become all the wonderful things we can add to create delicious, colorful meals that will leave you, and your friends and family healthy, happy, and satisfied. Chances are if you list all the individual foods you love, they can be converted to vegetarian options, and mixed and matched easily. Please feel free to use this blog page to share your ideas, questions, and solutions with others. It’s my experience that most people love to share ideas and learn more about food, so we hope you’ll visit us often.

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is Toni Fiore was raised by an Italian-American father and a German mother who instilled in her a sociable nature and the love of travel and of good food. She has lived in Italy and Germany and now resides in southern Maine. She is the author of: Totally Vegetarian: Easy, Fast, Comforting Cooking for Every Kind of Vegetarian
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Hi Frank, Thanks for writing. I really like the flavor of the vegetarian chorizo, however I have a bit of a texture problem. I usually remove the 'sausage' from the casing when I prepare it, and then I add a half to a whole package of veggie beef style crumbles to boost the texture. I find this combination works very well. One of my favorite recipes is Black Bean Burritos with Chorizo. Here it is! Olive oil 1 pkg Veggie Chorizo 1 8-12 Oz pkg veggie crumbles 2 15 oz cans of black beans drained and rinsed 1 large onion diced 4 cloves garlic crushed 1 green or red pepper diced 1 jalapeno pepper diced with seeds 1 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes 1/2 tsp ground cumin Heat a heavy skillet, add olive oil and onions.Cook onions for about 6-8 minutes, then add garlic. After two minutes add peppers. Cook until vegetables become soft but not browned. Squeeze chorizo out of the casing and add to the veggies, blend well and add crumbles, cumin and salt and pepper. Add a little more oil if necessary. Cook for about ten minutes and then add the tomatoes and beans. Continue cooking on low heat. At this point feel free to add you own favorite spices. Serve on warmed flour tortillas or in taco shells. This is great as a side to eggs or even as a topping on pizza shells! Fresh avocado is a wonderful compliment. Enjoy..


Hi Toni, I've seen your show on WNYE in Westchetser County in NY. Its very inspiring for me. The other day I bought some vegetarian chorizo because it looked appealing to me (like meat but I'm trying to cut down). I didnt know what to do with it so I went online and found a bunch of good recipes, eggs w/chorizo, Bean and chorizo tacos, pasta with chorizo. I went with the pasta recipe it was very good. Anyway I wanted to ask you if you had any chorizo recipes. Thanks, Frank

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