Help me become a vegetarian in 2010

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By Evergreen,
Portland Writer

During December I decided to go on a fruits and vegetables diet to battle the holiday temptations and get a running start on the new year.    It was an unbelievable good choice as I could feel the difference quickly.  I felt healthier and more stable energy.

The bad news is (or the challenge is) how in the world do I make this a lifestyle choice?   I give myself many choices as I eat grains, cheeses and nuts but reject sweets and snacks.  I can only eat pasta and cheese sandwiches for so long?  I have been so used to eating meat twice a day that I do not know how to make an interesting salad or eat rice without it.

The fascinating insight I gained from my 30 day experiment is how so many people feel that they cannot serve a vegetable dish without meat.   Perfectly good green beans are lumped together with bacon, Brussel sprouts are lumped with ham strips, and salad must of course be layered with chicken or turkey.

My goal is to move vegetarian (with some exceptions) as a major life choice change.  Where do I start?   What are some lasting dishes I can make that will be a friend to my appetite for the future?    If I am going to pull this off in 2010 I need more ideas, resource at my disposal.   Thank you for listening.