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We are a family of three and both my husband and I want to eat healthier and lose some weight, now that we are in our late forties and have discovered we can't eat what we please anymore. We've enjoyed the recipes we've tried on your website.
Our daughter is 16, very slim, and a vegetarian, but my husband and I are not. How many calories should she have every day? How we can best combine everyone's needs without having to cook separate meals?
There are a couple of approaches that you can use.
1. Selecting vegetarian recipes (and doubling them, if necessary) that have a lot of leftovers like soups, chili, or pastas would create enough leftovers for your daughter to have for meals when the rest of the family is eating non-vegetarian dishes.
2. Many recipes on the Dr. Gourmet site work well using tofu. (I realize that this comes close to making two different dishes.)
For instance, with a recipe like Spiced Chicken with Honey Glaze you can easily substitute extra firm tofu for the chicken (choosing the extra firm tofu is key). Cut the tofu into 2 ounce slices and saute it just as you would the chicken in the recipe. You can make this in two separate pans quite easily, or just cook the tofu before cooking the animal protein (to avoid cross-contamination).
It's best to use a non-stick pan with a light spray of oil. Heat the pan over medium-high just as you might when searing chicken or fish. Add the slices of tofu and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
For otherwise vegetarian recipes that call for chicken stock you can use vegetable stock.
Other recipes that work well using tofu in place of the meat include:
Chicken with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce
Chicken with Tarragon Mustard Cream
Ginger Chicken with Edamame
Ginger Chicken with Napa Cabbage
Roasted Papaya Chicken | Low Sodium Version
Spiced Chicken with Honey Glaze
Tarragon Mushroom Orzo with Chicken
Yellow Pepper and White Asparagus Soft Tacos
Halibut with Basil Pea Puree
Halibut with Curry Butter and Snap Peas
Halibut with Meyer Lemon and Basil Butter | Coumadin Safe Version
Halibut with Peanut Cilantro Butter
Halibut with Rosemary Maple Glaze | Low Sodium Version
Halibut with Seven Spices
Seared Halibut with Basil Oil
3. Keep good quality frozen vegetarian meals on hand for those nights when you can't make it work otherwise. Here are our reviews of vegetarian frozen meals.
Depending on how active your daughter is, her baseline calories should be about 1500 - 1800 calories per day. Active teenagers may require as many as 2000 - 2500 calories per day. Check with her physician about what a good weight is for her considering her growth in the last few years and her activity level.
Thanks for writing,
Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS