Review the things you’re used to cooking. Probably quite a few of them will still work for you, especially if you look at the side dishes. Start to use some of the more substantial sides as your main courses.
Salads and soups tend to be especially promising. It’s easy to replace the meat in a soup with beans. Remember you have several options, you may want to consider white beans, black beans or garbanzo beans to name a few. As for salads, think about all of the options at a really great salad bar, minus any meat or dairy. Dressing can be slightly trickier, we have several recipes on this blog – click on the link at the top of the page – and there are a lot more out there if you just look around. Often people find they don’t miss the dressing if the lettuce is chopped fairly finely and some type for fruit is included in the salad, mango, pineapple, berries, etc. Currently one of my favorite ways to dress a salad is with a combination of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt – courtesy of cousin Pam.
A ratio I’ve been happy with is:
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 1/2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
and Salt to taste, start with about 1/2 teaspoon
This amount works well with about 5 cups of salad/greens
Most of us have a few favorite dishes or comfort foods that it seems we just can’t live without. I would suggest living without them for a short time before you try to find a substitute. This is because the substitute is bound to taste slightly different. In fact I think it’s worth spending some time thinking about what it is about the dish that you really enjoy, maybe it’s largely the texture, or the flavor of a sauce, in which case it might be better to focus on finding a new dish that is similar in that aspect rather than trying to duplicate the recipe exactly.