My husband and I turned vegetarian about 6 months ago. As most of you understand, its a difficult concept for?!

Question: My husband and I turned vegetarian about 6 months ago. As most of you understand, its a difficult concept for?
our family and friends to get use to. We're going on a family vacation in June (about 12 of us) and we are the only non meat eaters. It's a big Greek family and if any of you are Greek you understand that this means a lot of big family meals cooked by all the women folk, lol. I don't want to appear rude by not eating what they cook and so I plan to bring recipes that my hubby and I enjoy. The difficulty? I must be honest and tell you that it will be hard to refrain from the lamb after smelling it cook all day. And their breakfast with bacon won't be easy either. We didn't turn vegetarian because we don't like the taste of meat but more for environmental and health reasons. Can you think of some dishes that'll knock their socks off and make them wish they were eating our way rather than the reverse? Also, I must admit, we will throw in the towel just once on our vaca to enjoy lobsters, we had them at our wedding reception 29 years ago and celebrate our anniversary each year in the same manner. Please don't be picky about that, just try to be understanding. : )


I think they will be very understanding if you explain to them that you're both vegetarian and won't hesitate to prepare side dishes for you. Greeks who strictly adhere to the Orthodox fasting periods have experience with vegetarian and vegan cooking since they abstain from meat, dairy and eggs during Easter, mid-August (Theotokos), and Christmas. The very devout ones will abstain for 120 days total each year (40 days for each of the three holidays). Strangely enough, octopus is sometimes consumed during the fasting periods, but other than that, everything is strictly vegan.

There are quite a few Greek foods that are suitable for vegetarians... I know, having traveled there around 10 years ago (wasn't a veg*n back then, but I still know what meals are suitable for us now). They have a vinegary lentil soup called Fakes (fah-kehs), Melitzanokeftedes (that's a mouthful to say)... they are similar to ground beef patties but use mashed eggplant and TVP (texturized vegetable protein) instead of beef, Revithosoupa (a yummy chickpea soup), Spanakopitas (spinach pies - they're delicious).

There are also plenty of appetizers that are suitable for vegetarians, the most popular being Melitzanosalata (again a mouthful to say) which is an eggplant dip, Dolmadakia (grape leaf stuffed with rice, vegetable and sometimes pine nut fillings), and if you allow dairy, which I did at the time, you can have Tirokafteri, which is a very spicy and salty feta cheese spread. Their salads are of course very bulky and filling with the olives, cucumbers, olive oil, tomatoes, lettuce... They have a lot of desserts such as semolina pudding w/ raisins (Halvas), fried dough bathed in sweet syrup, Cinnamon and topped with nuts (Loukoumathes), and more.

As far as recipes you can bring along with you - how about some Mexican, Southwestern or even Southern vegetarian dishes (vegetarian Jambalaya!) that use beans, corn, rice, vegetables, etc as staples (all easy to find in Greek markets and grocery stores). Pretty doubtful that many Greeks have tried any, since many Europeans tend to think of only hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza when they think of American food. :-)

Some ideas...
Vegetarian Jambalaya:…
Vegetarian Enchiladas:…
Southwest Bean and Corn salad:…
Southwestern Vegetarian Pasta:…
Vegetarian Tacos:…

(There are certainly other versions you can try if you look online, but I would think along the lines of Southwestern American, Southern American and Mexican vegetarian food. These were just to give you a few examples)

These three websites also have incredible recipes you might want to try - and they have better presentations than the links I gave you above.

Lentil burgers, vegetarian versions of American favorites (especially on, Asian food, etc. They never disappoint.

Enjoy your trip!

I wouldn't be able to be a vegetarian. I need to have my meat. You, however, are not me and can eat what you like. Here is a website with a bunch of vegetarian meals:

Vegetarians dont eat seafood, fish or any animal in a shell because they are all meat. You can eat whatever you like but you will not be vegetarian if you only eat seafood on special occasians.

You probably won't pick this as the best answer but I just wanted to say you don't need to worry about eating lobster. Many of my vegetarian friends eat seafood very often (to most they would be called pescatarians) and it doesn't make them NOT vegetarians because seafood is not meat, its seafood (I personally am a vegan and don't eat anything that comes from animals like dairy and eggs) If you only eat seafood once a year for anniversary there is also another name for them but I forgot what it was called, sorry, haha.

I'm a vegan, I know this stuff, lol.

"we will throw in the towel just once on our vaca to enjoy lobsters...just try to be understanding."
try to be understanding of the lives youre taking. you are not a vegetarian if you eat meat for ANY reason---even if it's just on vacation. i understand that you are not vegetarian for animal welfare reasons, but maybe you should research why you should be. it will be a lot easier to stick to veganism once you truly realize and accept how a nonvegan lifestyle is exploitative of (and therefore abusive of) other living species.

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