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Part-Time Vegetarian Recipes

Ready to give part-time vegetarianism a try? Start with a "meatless Monday," and work your way up to even more vegetarian meals each week. It might be easier than you think.

Here are a few recipes to get you started.

Vegetarian Sausage & Sage Gravy

Journal as: 1/2 cup "vegetables with 1 tsp fat maximum"
OR 1/4 cup "starchy foods and legumes with 1 tsp fat maximum"

You can use this gravy in all sorts of dishes, from vegetarian Shepherd's pie to vegetarian casserole to pot pie.

4 links vegetarian sausage links or patties, like Whole Kitchen brand from Whole Foods (about 3 ounces)
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons Wondra quick-mixing flour (or all-purpose flour)
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon dried ground sage

  • Heat the oil in a large, nonstick frying pan, then add the vegetarian links or patties and fry until done, crumbling into small pieces as it cooks.
  • Add 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth and the 2 tablespoons of flour to a small, nonstick saucepan and mix together to make a paste. Slowly whisk in the remaining vegetable broth.
  • Whisk in the salt (if desired), pepper, sage and cooked sausage pieces with oil. Bring mixture to boil and stir until it reaches desired thickness (about 2 minutes).

Yield: 1 1/4 cup gravy (about 4 servings)

Per serving: 93 calories, 6.5 g protein, 5.5 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.6 g fiber, 410 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 48%.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Journal as: 1/4 cup "starchy foods and legumes with fat" + 1/2 cup "vegetables with 1 teaspoon fat maximum"

15-ounce can chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 cucumber, unpeeled and finely chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, finely diced or cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Add chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, garlic, parsley, basil, and mozzarella to medium serving bowl.
  • Drizzle olive oil, vinegar, and salt over the top, and toss all ingredients well to combine.
  • Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 1 hour to let flavors blend.

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