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From Barnes & NobleReview of OK, So Now You're a Vegetarian
Like 16-year-old Lauren Butts, author of OK, So Now You're a Vegetarian: Advice & 100 Recipes from One Teenage Vegetarian to Another, I too became a vegetarian as a teenager. An early believer in animal rights, I first stopped eating red meat at age 14 and gave up poultry two years later. And, also like Lauren, I didn't quite realize what I was getting myself into (or just how much I would miss bacon!). Suddenly faced with far fewer sources of protein, I struggled with what to eat when Mom served meat loaf for dinner, and the preparation of protein substitutes like bulgur and tofu puzzled me.
I have always suspected that I was not alone with these difficulties; now Lauren's book confirms my suspicions. Full of important, useful, and straightforward advice, OK, So Now You're a Vegetarian begins with a preface by registered dietician Donna Shields. She reviews the tenets of basic nutrition, including the vegetarian food pyramid, how to estimate daily calorie needs, and what nutrients (like protein and iron) new vegetarians are in danger of inadvertently skipping. Then, Lauren takes over with a useful guide to the different types of vegetarianism. An invaluable glossary deciphers various protein substitutes and, for the beginning cook, she also includes a lesson from her Home Ec class on basic cooking techniques.
Most of the recipes themselves are tried-and-true teen favorites (lasagne, tacos, Sloppy Joes) adapted for a vegetarian diet. Flavorful and nutritious, the recipes are easy to make with easy-to-find ingredients. Many of the recipes make creative and tasty use of those strange protein substitutes, and Lauren skillfully walks the reader through their preparation. A nutritional analysis accompanies each recipe.
While the subtitle primarily aims this book at teens and young adults, OK, So Now You're a Vegetarian is an excellent starter volume for any new vegetarian convert, no matter how old or how strict. I would have loved a cookbook like this when I first gave up meat.