Introduction: There are few human beings who do not like food. It is obviously necessary for human life. Not all of us like cooking, but I do. Except for a brief 6 year interlude, I have always enjoyed cooking. I loved to watch Mom cook when I was growing up. She taught me a lot about cooking. I took 2 years of cooking in high school, but I learned more from my mom by far. All of her food was delicious, she was not afraid to try new things, and except for baking, she seldom used real measurements.
Most of the recipes here are vegitarian. Some are vegitan (pure vegitarian but may use honey, ie, a plant based diet), one older one include dairy (dairy has risks, perhaps a dairy free creamy mushroom soup and soy parmesan can be used in the one dairy recipe). Some are adaptations of family favorites, others are inventions of my own. I use the following meat substitutes on a regular basis (kosher ones only, of course): Morningstar farms (Grillers, Chick patties, and sausage patties), Chinese style firm tofu and chicken style seitan by White Wave, Yves products, and LightLife products. By the way, White Wave also makes Silk, a very good soy milk certified by the Denver vaad (which is listed as a reliable heksher by the Feldheim book "Is it Kosher?" and which my friend who went to school in Denver confirms is a valid certification).
If you, like me, don't want animal products or derivatives in your soy milk, be sure that the vitamin D is listed as D2. If the product just has D, it may be D3 which comes from lanolin (the fat from sheep's wool). My favorite soy milk, Silk, uses D2, thankfully.
When looking for meat substitutes, I try, whenever possible, to get ones that don't contain genetically modified organisms. We simply don't know enough about the long term effects of using those products on our health and on the environment. I think hybrids are fine and useful, but gentically modifying an organism to produce its own pesticide, one that we cannot remove by washing, seems short sighted to me.
For those who are concerned about nutrition problems that might occur with a vegetarian diet, I refer you to the Mayo Clinic information page on vegetarian nutrition