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Is anyone else here a vegan?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
A few weeks ago, I decided to go from mostly vegetarian to mostly vegan (I say "mostly", because when I am at someone else's place, I will eat whatever is served).
I found that I had really no desire to eat animal products anymore. I made the decision for ethical/religious, environmental and health reasons.
(no worries, the cats are still carnivorous)

But now I'm finding it a bit difficult. I don't know what to eat anymore. I know I can find lots of interesting vegan recipes out there, but I don't always have the time or energy to look up a recipe, get the ingredients and prepare the food. I need things I can prepare easily.

I have been eating a lot of bean salad and I think I'm really sick of bean salad now.

It's still too hot for soup.

I bought some veggie burgers, but I would prefer to avoid processed food generally.

I am also having a hard time with snacks. It's too hot to replenish my reserves of baking and aside from toasts with peanut butter, I'm stumped. Luckily I just discovered that the no-name Nutella has no milk products in it.

Maybe I'll make some hummus today. I would also love to make vegan sheppard's pie again (made with lentils. soooo yummy!) but it's too hot for that.

I'm also having a hard time making good tofu.

Any suggestions?
post #2 of 13
Well, I'm vegetarian, not vegan, but I might be able to help a little...
I find that most meat-containing dishes can be made using zucchini as a replacement, or, if you prefer, you can use eggplant.
I have a lot of fruit and veggies, raw, as snacks... and you could try soy yogurt, I hear it's not bad.
In terms of tofu, make sure you press it! Press press press. Take it out of the container, put it between two cloths or something absorbent, and weigh that sucker down with anything you can think of for a few hours. The texture is much better without all that extra moisture. Then, make sure you marinate it in something tasty as tofu only tastes like what it's with, and I find it's best if you cut it into chunks, marinate, and then lightly fry it in a bit of oil with some garlic. Nummy! You can also sautee it fairly easily.
post #3 of 13
Well I'm not sure I can give much help considering I'm bordering on being the anti-vegan But I was reading a mag last night and came across a recipe for mixed vegetable curry that might interest you.

I don't know if I can post it here because I can't link to it and it's copyrighted... so if its something you might be interested in, let me know and I'll pm you
post #4 of 13
Humm usually i can come up with some pretty decient recipes- but the vast majority of them are not vegetarian, and none of them i can recall are really vegan. (not sure how strict you are.) I have special dietary needs that require meat/etc in my diet- so i'm definitely not a vegetarian or a vegan.I don't have any vegan recipes on me at the moment- but i would be happy to looks some yummy ones up for you when i get a chance!

Maybe you can pick one day a week or every other week to hang out in the kitchen and cook up a storm, then freeze a lot of your meals so that way you have snacks/dinners during the week that are easy to get to. That's what i do a lot- i don't eat out very much at all -just about everything i eat, i make myself as there's a lot of stuff i can't have so i have to be careful- the best way for me to do that is to make everything myself- that way i know it's healthy too!

btw- how strict of a vegan are you? do you exclude all dairy or do you eat/drink some?
post #5 of 13
I'm a lacto-vegetarian, so most of my meals contain cheese in some form... but I'm trying to work up to one dairy-free meal per day, and that meal usually consists of:

* True French bread, which has no eggs or milk

* Salad made with red and green leaf lettuce, carrots, and walnuts

* Dressing made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, basil, and cracked black pepper

I dredge the bread around in the salad dressing and to me, it feels like a wicked indulgence.
post #6 of 13
MMMm... it is, though. Bread is just... mmm.

I'm not a vegetarian, but I'm currently being forced to be a near-vegetarian because I can't afford meat, so I get my protein from beans and canned tuna.

Highly recommend all sorts of breads--rye, oats, seven-grain... especially if you bake your own.

Do you bake your own bread? Once you learn that--start with plain white wheat, to learn what good dough feels like--then you can make a lot of very good bread without meat/egg/milk in it.

My advice to people trying to eat healthy is always, Keep it simple. Enjoy the flavors of foods as they come, without doing a lot of mashing and cutting and spicing. It's kind of hard to ruin something like a boiled potato... but very easy to ruin a vegetable casserole!
post #7 of 13
I do my best to abide by a vegan lifestyle (but my kitty doesn't!). I also eat a lot of beans/rice (I like them!). However there are a lot of other options out there. A wondeful site is vegweb. It has many recipies that are supplied and critiqued by other vegan/vegitarians.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beccory View Post
In terms of tofu, make sure you press it! Press press press. Take it out of the container, put it between two cloths or something absorbent, and weigh that sucker down with anything you can think of for a few hours. The texture is much better without all that extra moisture. Then, make sure you marinate it in something tasty as tofu only tastes like what it's with, and I find it's best if you cut it into chunks, marinate, and then lightly fry it in a bit of oil with some garlic. Nummy! You can also sautee it fairly easily.
oh, thanks. I didn't know about the pressing. I knew that it was better marinated, but I'm still not sure what to marinate it in. I'll have to look into it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
MMMm... it is, though. Bread is just... mmm.

Do you bake your own bread? Once you learn that--start with plain white wheat, to learn what good dough feels like--then you can make a lot of very good bread without meat/egg/milk in it.
Not yet. I have been meaning to learn to make my own bread but I haven't had much time lately. I tried before the the bread never seems to rise properly.

I am considering getting a bread maker if I can find one fairly cheap (or if Santa feels generous this year)

Thanks everyone for the advice. I guess part of my problem lately is that all my energy has been going towards work and renovating my apartment. Changing my diet at the same time has been a little difficult.

Anyway, just came back from the farmer's market. I got a big bag of red peppers (for $2 ), some eggplants, carrots, broccoli, onions and apples. Later today I'll roast the red peppers and eggplants (I'll have to find out how) and find a recipe for broccoli soup.

But now, back to the cleaning / renovation.
post #9 of 13
Good on you and good luck to you, for your transitioning over to veganism. I don't know how you can cope, but already being vegetarian is a great start.

On a side note. I am interested to see how different this thread will be here. TCS is a real interesting place as opposed to a lot of other forums. I have seen this topic create wars on other at other forums.
post #10 of 13
Good for you!

My sister is a strict vegan and I don`t know how she does it. I know she uses alot of soya products in place of dairy.

Here is a link for the Vegan Society. My sister gets alot of info from them and orders some things on line. Funnily enough they have an office 5 minutes up the road from me

http://www.vegansociety.com/html/

She lives on Orkney and there just isn`t much in the way of specialist vegan products there and I wanted to send her some treats. So I spent ages in the health foods shop in town and got all these goodies


I know it`s mostly sweets and biscuits but I think it`s knowing where to look and I couldn`t send perishables or they`d be ruined but they had plenty of things there.

Good luck!
post #11 of 13
Wow!! That looks like one of my mom's care packages--she's a health nut, and sends me a lot of things like that. They really come in handy when I don't have time to make a meal, and supplementing a generally sparse diet with that kind of vitamin-rich stuff is really helpful! (I do take multivitamins, but the body absorbs it much better when it's in food, obviously.)

Re. Bread: A lot of the heavier-grain breads don't rise very easily. White-flour bread is the easiest to make, and usually rises fine; anything with less than half white flour will usually be rather dense... It won't be like that cardboard-tasting American fluffy wonder-bread stuff; but a meal in itself.

Once you have got the recipe adjusted so that it bakes right through to the center (without being sticky), that's about as good as you can expect. That kind of bread, you just put on butter and eat it plain like that... It has its own flavor, and is much more filling than the stuff you get off the shelf in the store.

Highly recommended: Gluten flour. This is the part of wheat that makes the dough springy and stretchy when it is kneaded, and when added to lower-gluten flours like whole wheat, rye, oats, etc., can help to give you a higher-rising dough.
post #12 of 13
I'm not trying to discourage you from becoming vegan... but it sounds like you might need to do a little more research and planning before you actually start living vegan. If you're eating enough of one food to be sick of it, you're eating too much of it.

Why not go back to your old diet for a little while, before you make yourself ill? Take a little more time to figure out and plan your vegan diet, and then start for real? If the weather is too hot to eat the food you want, maybe start in a little bit when it's cooler outside. By then you will have found enough recipes and new foods that you won't even have to wonder what you'll eat, you'll have a hard time selecting it.

Being vegan requires a lot of knowledge about your health, nutrition, and food, and without it, you can do major harm to your health. Not that eating 10 cheeseburgers a day doesn't...
post #13 of 13
I am neither vegetarian or vegan, but I say you can eat soup all year round, You can even eat the ones that are supposed to be hot cold, I love dipping my spoon in leek and potato, or carrot, or even pea soup when its in the fridge!
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