I'm a lifelong vegetarian though my husband is not and here are my suggestions:
1. Don't try and throw tofu into everything. I don't know why restaurants throw tempeh or tofu into pasta --- it doesn't work. There are many other protein substitutes other than tofu and tempeh. I use tofu and tempeh in Asian food and that's it. If I'm making Italian, then I use garbanzo beans and cannellini beans as protein subs (which makes sense, since that's what the Italians would use.) With Indian, I use lentils and so on. In my opinion, the fastest way to turn a burgeoning vegetarian away from vegetarianism is to use processed "fake meat." It doesn't taste good so don't use it.
2. There are lots and lots of great veggie websites and cookbooks but here are a few of my faves:
- 101 Cookbooks (website and cookbooks by Heidi Lawson) --- she leans toward using more unconventional ingredients like quinoa and amaranth flour but her recipes are great. I LOVE her garbanzo bean burger.
- Veggie Meals by Rachael Raw: This is simple, easy to make veggie food using ordinary ingredients you'd find in your grocery store. Easy and quick and great for new vegetarians or those trying to incorporate more veggie eating into their diet.
3. Eat what you like but experiment with new products. One of the great things about cooking vegetarian now versus 15 years ago is that there are so many more options for vegetarians in the United States. I love trying new substitutes: agave nectar instead of sugar or honey; white whole wheat flour instead of white or wheat flour; kale crisps instead of potato chips; and so on.
4. Have fun relearning how to cook!