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I went the opposite direction. I was vegetarian for over 30 years. That is what got me interested in international foods/cooking/recipes.

I make a lot of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Indian & other Asian dishes and, luckily, live in a neighborhood where I can find any ingredient I might fancy. In all seriousness, that is what led me to live in the neighborhood I moved to over two decades ago. The markets are an endless source of fascination and inspiration.

I think the next cuisine I experiment with will be Ethiopian. There are more and more Africans moving to Chicago and, in addition to a number of excellent Ethiopian restaurants near me, there are now also a couple of markets.

So, my advice is go ethnic.There are lots of meatless (and often even cheese-less and egg-less) high flavor dishes out there from all over the world.
 

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Right now one one of the most interesting chefs working is Yotam Ottolenghi. He is Israeli. He has restaurants in London. Plenty is vegetarian, I believe. His partner in the restaurant "Plenty" is Sami Tamimi, also from Jerusalem but Palestinian. Ottolenghi has several cookbooks that are worth a look & The Guardian--among other on-line media sources--often run recipes by him. My favorite of his cookbooks are Jerusalem and Plenty More. Check them out for absolutely beautiful, fresh and interesting vegetarian food.
 
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