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 Post subject: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me!)
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 10:05 am 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 10:03 am
Posts: 2
Hello there! *wave*

I have been watching a couple of shows and documentaries lately that have really opened up my eyes to the vegan world. I have never been a big meat eater, especially red meats - my parents would call me a "lazy eater" but in reality I have never enjoyed the taste, texture or the idea of what I have been eating with my family. I think at the moment I have a "healthier" (obviously I would like to remove meat) diet, I am a great weight for my height and am generally active.

I've got a few vegetarian friends but never really thought about changing my own diet myself to remove meat. Now, a couple of days ago I started to prepare a bacon and lettuce sandwich and had to stop, something in my mind just made me think differently after watching some of the documentaries - I felt like I had just watched something about crime and was about to commit one myself! Anyway, I have decided I would like to try out a vegan lifestyle for at least 2 weeks and see how I feel by the end of it. If I am happy with things I will alter my diet completely. I enjoy Japanese food a lot and I feel great after eating it so to go vegan I think would give me several health benefits. I am a huge animal lover too and I would like to stop using animal products for this reason also.

I have bought a few vegan food books and quite honestly I am very overwhelmed with ideas and information. I would like some kind of simplified version of what I could have for 2 weeks that will be a good experience for me. I am also a student so I would like to keep prices for food shopping as low as possible while still being quality food.

So what I would like to ask people of this forum is what typical things do you have at these parts of the day (copy and paste them and fill in if you want to I would really appreciate it!). Include some of your favourite foods, add several to each section if you vary it a lot. If you have any tips for when you were starting out - or some things I could try out then please feel free to add them.

Thank you so much, I hope to be part of this community for many reasons!
(also I have recently cut out cow's milk for the past 2 weeks and I am not missing it at all now I am on Alpro!)

(copy & paste and fill in)
BREAKFASTS:
LUNCHES:
DINNER:
SNACKS:
DESERTS:


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 11:16 am 
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Mispronounces Daiya

Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:49 am
Posts: 1389
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Hi! Welcome! I've only cut out animal products for the past year, so I am for sure new at this, but my advice is to pick up Appetite for Reduction (AFR). The recipes are on the simpler side and pretty pantry friendly; I think it might work well with your student time and budget.

Since you mentioned Japanese food, the possibilities for vegan sushi are pretty endless. My go to rolls are avocado and cucumber and tofu mashed with vegenaise and sirachi. And of course, miso soup.

Regarding your sample meal question, a typical breakfast for me is probably a smoothie or oatmeal or a tofu scramble/wrap.

Lunches and dinners are pretty interchangeable for me. This week for lunches I think I'm going to make the tofu paid thai salad from AFR and a vegetable and bean curry. Also note for lunches, bowls are your friend with endless combos for beans, veggies, proteins, dressings. AFR has some good ones, and I think there is a thread about bowls somewhere in this forum.

Dinners this week will probably include fajitas with onion, green pepper, and seitan or soy curls; a stirfy fry with purple kale, chinese eggplant, tofu, and black rice; pasta with beans and chard; tacos; and pizza.

Snacks tend to be fruit or veggies with hummus.

I don't make a big deal out of desserts for everyday, but there's always oreo's...

Hope that helps a little. There is a lot of info out there and it can get overwhelming, so maybe just try and wade through that info simply by focusing on what you like to eat and what sounds good. For specific questions you may have, there's a plethora of info on the forums to search through, and otherwise I think PPK'ers are pretty helpful overall.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 11:39 am 
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Fair trade, organic mistletoe
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:52 am
Posts: 3507
Location: Toronto
In my own experience, two weeks wouldn't have been enough. I initially went vegan for a month and by week two I was still ironing kinks out, wanting cheese, etc. By a month I was set.

BREAKFASTS: toast with pb&j, tofu scramble, breakfast burrito, leftovers, pancakes
LUNCHES: big-ass salad, usually leftovers from dinner
DINNER: pad thai (I make the Vegan With a Vengeance one just about once a week), curries, stir-fries, pasta
SNACKS: fruit, veggies, hummus, granola, larabars, clifbars
DESERTS: chocolate mousse (basically silken tofu blended with melted chocolate--it's to die for!), cookies, cake, pudding

I went vegan five and a half years ago and there was much less out there for vegans. Now, you can find just about anything!

Good luck!

_________________
"I'd rather have dried catshit! I'd rather have astroturf! I'd rather have an igloo!"~Isa

"But really, anyone willing to dangle their baby in front of a crocodile is A-OK in my book."~SSD


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 12:54 pm 
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Impressive boner
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:57 pm
Posts: 4061
Location: Nottingham.
When I was starting out I read a lot of the recipes and threads within this forum. I got some cookbooks out of the library so I could have a good look at them before I decided to buy my own. I was prepared to experiment a lot and risk having some recipes not work out well the first couple of times. I learned to cook all over again and I'm so happy that I did.

Typically I eat the following sorts of meals -

BREAKFASTS: porridge with fruit and nuts (made with non-dairy milk), scrambled tofu burritos, meat-free sausage sandwiches.
LUNCHES: hummus with crackers/bread and crudites, chickpea curry and rice, pasta pomodoro, big salads with lots of different veggies, seeds and a protein source (beans, hummus or baked tofu).
DINNER: BBQ tofu with baked potatoes and veggies, Chinese food - black bean or kung po tofu with rice and vegetable spring rolls, Japanese curry with tofu or mock chicken, Indian curries such as dhal or vegetable balti, lasagne with garlic bread. I love Caribbean foods too - jerk mock chicken, fried dumplins, paratha roti with vegetable curry.
SNACKS: nuts and dried fruit, salted tortilla chips. I like to have a Sun Warrior protein shake every now and then, but that's just my preference because of my exercise routines.
DESERTS: apple crisp with custard (made with non-dairy milk), cookies, homemade coconut milk ice cream.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 1:22 pm 
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Banned from Vegan Freaks.

Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:39 pm
Posts: 388
welcome! the first couple of weeks can be tough as you're adjusting to new eating patterns, so don't worry if you slip up, just keep on trying and you'll get the hang of it.

breakfast: smoothie (usually 2 frozen bananas, big spoonful of peanut butter, cocoa powder, ground flax, almond or soy milk) or pb&j on wheat toast

lunch - weekdays: grain/bean/green salad, for example kale, quinoa and chickpeas with lemon-olive oil dressing and lots of nice add-ins (nuts, dried fruit, snap peas, peppers, tomatoes, whatever you like) or leftovers from dinner

lunch - weekends: grilled cheese (google vegan diner smokey mountain cheese for a great grilled cheese recipe), homemade pizza (lots of veggies, tofu ricotta on top), or more beans & greens salad.

dinner - lentil soup, burritos (amy's), pad see ew, polenta rancheros, chick'n nuggets & roasted broccoli, giant salad, pumpkin baked ziti, chickpea cutlets & kale, hot sauce glazed tempeh & pineapple collards are a few of the dinners I eat pretty regularly. All of these can be made with less than 1/2 an hour of hands on prep time and most much faster than that.

snacks - hummus & veggies, popcorn with nutritional yeast or maple pepper, justin's dark chocolate pb cups, fruit (obviously, but figured I'd mention it)

desserts - peanut butter blondies, cookies, hot chocolate with vegan marshmallows

I second the recommendation for Appetite for Reduction. It has great recipes that your whole family should enjoy. The pineapple collard recipe I use is from AFR.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 2:01 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:15 am
Posts: 1806
Location: rva
BREAKFASTS: (my favorites)
- bagel with vegenaise, tomato slices & sprouts
- oatmeal with a dollop of peanut butter and jelly
- english muffins with baked tofu, tomato slices & fresh spinach
- "buttermilk" pancakes with "sausage" patties (both ricki's & jes' are awesome)
- quiche
- grits 'n greens
- latkes

LUNCHES:
- chickpea "tuna" salad & crackers
- steamed veggies, baked tofu & brown rice + any yummy sauce i'm feeling
- hummus 'n veggies
- quinoa, bean and veggie mix

DINNER:
- enchiladas
- pretty much anything smothered in Desdemona's gravy
- pasta, red sauce & chickpea ballz
- tacos!

SNACKS:
- Mo's potato salad
- amey's whitebean & basil spread (scroll down for her recipe)
- kittee's oven fries

DESSERTS:
- brownies 'n soy or coconut milk ice cream
- cookies

and these threads are super helpful for eats ideas:
what's for breakfast: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=21267
what's for dinner tonight: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=191
snack attack: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=26572
sunday thread: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1799


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 2:26 pm 
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Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:51 am
Posts: 1000
Location: RI
BREAKFASTS: english muffin with tofutti cream cheese or PB, avocado toast, peanut butter frozen banana smoothie, tofu scramble
LUNCHES: kale salad or other salad, veggie burger with veggies daiya vegenaise, hummus & veggies & crackers, leftovers
DINNER: curries, tacos, crock pot stews/soups, pasta with veg, stir fry w/ veg & tofu, lettuce wraps, spring rolls, recipes from the PPK blog or Appetite for Reduction! Sometimes tater tots.
SNACKS: potato chips, nuts, fruit, PB crackers, more hummus
DESERTS: dark chocolate, coconut based ice cream


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 4:14 pm 
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Saggy Butt

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:36 am
Posts: 296
After awhile, things just become second nature.

For me, I only make breakfasts and dinners. Lunches are always leftovers. Most of my dinners are leftovers, too, as I make my meals on the weekend (including my oatmeal breakfasts).

I share my recipes on my blog for all of the above. I have some Japanese recipes but my vegan versions are not very traditional:
http://tastespace.wordpress.com/tag/Japanese/

I have documented one day of my eats once, if that helps give you a better idea what I eat on a single day:
http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2013/02 ... uice-wiaw/

I look forward to seeing how you enjoy your 2 weeks of vegan eats. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 4:17 pm 
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Saggy Butt

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:36 am
Posts: 296
Oh, not sure if this will help not to feel overwhelmed by new ingredients, but this was a round-up of easy to make foods I wrote up for my friend:

http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2011/09 ... -and-lime/

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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 6:07 pm 
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Invented Vegan Meringue
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:12 pm
Posts: 3831
Location: Canberra, Australia
I guess one of the big things for me was treating vegan foods as new foods, rather than replacements for non-vegan things that you loved. I remember shortly after I went vegan, my tattoo artist recommended a brand of vegan white chocolate that he swore tasted just like the non-vegan kind. I tried it and thought it was terrible, just because I remembered what the 'real thing' was like and I was expecting exactly that. These days, I love that vegan brand! The same goes for vegan cheese. I always think it's better to replace the qualities of cheese (avocado is great for replacing the fat in some applications!) at first rather than falling back on smothering your food in vegan cheese (I don't know about the US, but that stuff is expensive here too!).

There are so many great vegan recipes out there that I'm always cooking something new, but here's a rough guide to how meals look in my house:

Breakfast: Tofu scrambles (I mix them up the night before, then in the morning just empty the bowl into a pan- perfect for busy mornings before work!). If tofu for breakfast is too 'weird' for you straight off the bat, I ate a lot of avocado on toast at first, usually with pesto or vegan cream cheese and baby spinach. I also love granola or muesli with fresh blueberries when they're in season and cheap.

Lunches: I try to cook up a big batch of something on Sundays to take to work for lunches, so that I'm not tempted to buy something and waste money. It's usually some kind of curry with brown rice- this week it's a Thai root vegetable green curry. During the warmer months I'll have some kind of filling salad with a protein and a grain of some sort. The edamame sushi salad from Appetite for Reduction is a favourite. My partner usually takes the leftovers from dinner for his lunches.

Dinner: It always changes, but a few things we fall back on here are tofu stir fries with rice (there are two in Appetite for Reduction which we repeat often), curries of all sorts (mainly Thai and Indian), burritos, pasta (the penne vodka from Veganomicon is a favourite for a quick meal- the recipe is Google-able if you don't want to buy the book just yet), tofu 'ricotta' and spinach lasagne, big sandwiches like tempeh BLTs or Reubens, and risottos (not as hard as they sound, and they usually make a ton!). We're currently saving for some upcoming travel, so for the last couple of weeks we've been trying to intentionally make cheap meals that will feed us for a few days- tonight and tomorrow night we're having potato and kale enchiladas, then during the week I'll make a big pot of tempeh and bean chili. We'll probably use the leftover chili for chili dogs one night, and for loaded baked potatoes another night.

Snacks: Hummus and crackers, those raw energy bar things, homemade zucchini bread or mini-muffins, toast with PB2/peanut butter.

Desserts: I don't do dessert most days- if I'm feeling like something sweet after dinner I'll usually have a speculaas cookie or two (you know, those Dutch windmill cookies? Totally vegan!), a couple of squares of dark chocolate, or I'll make a small hot chocolate with soy milk (that one's only been happening recently, since it's started getting cold here!). If I'm having people over for dinner, I'll usually make a pie and some vegan ice cream (homemade because that stuff is really expensive here- but if you're in the US, you've got some great storebought options).

Good luck, hope this helps a little bit!

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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 8:16 am 
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Angrily Posting on Facebook
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:50 pm
Posts: 3179
Location: The Bene
Welcome! Other people have given some great tips. I agree that two weeks is a short time. I didn't really hit my stride until about a month in, especially since there were a lot of new ingredients that I had to get in my pantry (nutritional yeast, vital wheat gluten, tvp, etc.) and it took a while to get to the point where I felt I had a good store of things and could just simply follow recipes. That said, I'm also a lazy cook, so there are a lot of things you can do without special ingredients. I'll second the recommendation for Appetite for Reduction. It was the book that convinced me that this vegan thing was doable! Here are some of my lazy day fallbacks:

Breakfast:
- two slices of whole wheat bread with peanut butter (pretty much what I have every day).

Lunch:
- wrap with hummus and veggies
- white bean "tuna" salad sandwich
- white bean "tuna" pasta salad
- vegan ramen noodles with broccoli florets and a handful of cubed tofu
- toasted bagel with hummus and avacado
- Redwood "fakin' ham" slices on toast with veganaise

Dinner:
I do a lot of bowls for dinner. A bowl is basically a grain/starch, a protein, lots of veg, and a sauce. Lately I've been doing this one a lot: pasta with steamed broccoli or brussel sprouts, some smoky tvp (reconsituted in broth with a splash of tamari and liquid smoke and then sauteed to brown) and Isa's Red Hot Tahini sauce from the PPK blog. But the beauty of bowls is you can totally mix it up. You could do rice with baked marinated tempeh, steamed/sauteed kale, and a garlic tahini sauce, or a dragon bowl with noodles, grilled courgette/zucchini, baked tofu and a miso gravy.A couple days ago I did pasta (I like pasta) tossed with sauteed red onion and asparagus and a spoonful of store-bought hummus. Basically, the sky is the limit!

Hope that helps!

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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 8:50 am 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:14 am
Posts: 1091
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
I would second others who've said try it for more than a week; a lot of groups and organisations suggest going for 30 days, which certainly worked for me! Also, although it's not necessarily food-related, I would really encourage you to reach out and meet other vegans in your area; face-to-face support really helps. When I finally managed to succeed in going vegan (I'd tried a couple of times before and failed), it really helped that I had supportive vegans in my social group. I also recommend getting as informed as you can: get books out of the library on animal rights and vegan philosophy, read some vegan blogs, listen to podcasts (Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's podcast Food for Thought is very good).

So, food I eat often:

BREAKFASTS:
    Cornflakes with plant milk (almond milk is amazing!) and a sliced banana
    Fruit
LUNCHES:
    Soup with bread
    Sandwiches
    Beans on toast
    Vegetable pasty (usually with puff pastry)
DINNER:
    Pasta and sauce
    Chilli and rice
    Lentil shepherd's pie
    Curry with rice or naan bread (although be careful to check that the naan is vegan if buying from a supermarket as they often contain milk)
SNACKS:
    I carry a small pot of dried fruit and nuts with me everywhere I go
    Fruit
    Snack bars, such as the Nakd bars
DESSERTS:
    Poached fruit
    Vegan chocolate
    Fruit sorbet or vegan ice cream (such as Swedish Glace)

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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 9:00 am 
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Invented Vegan Meringue
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Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:25 pm
Posts: 3652
Location: Nashville, TN
Look at some vegan food blogs and/or buy some cookbooks and start cooking! I think that's the most effective way to get comfortable with vegan food. Try new things, not just vegan versions of your favorites. That way you're less likely to be disappointed if they're not exactly the same. We cook new recipes all the time, but this is a vague version of what we eat.

breakfast - usually toast & nut butter, but sometimes breakfast burritos, oatmeal, scrambles. pancakes or waffles on the weekend.

lunch - almost always leftovers from dinner, but Amy's Kitchen convenience foods are nice fall-backs

dinner - Asian stir-fries with vegan egg rolls and rice, Indian or Thai curries, bean & rice dishes, a billion varieties of pasta/noodles, veggie/lentil soups, tacos, fajitas, pizza, NACHOS. We get take-out from our neighborhood's vegan restaurant or Ethiopian food about once a week.

We don't do dessert on a regular basis, but it would basically just be vegan versions of whatever omnis eat.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 10:18 am 
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Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:51 am
Posts: 1000
Location: RI
A month was the amount of time it took me to feel like yes I can really do this! And substitutes like fake cream cheese and cheese took me years to like. .. It's like you have to forget what the real thing tastes like. For the beginning of veganness I put a ton of avocado or hummus on everything to get that creamy fatty taste I was missing from cheese, mayo etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 12:19 pm 
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Smuggling Raisins

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:16 am
Posts: 328
Breakfast - Scrambled tofu, non-dairy yogurts with granola, nuts, and fruit, pancakes or waffles made with non-dairy milk and egg substitutes, smoothies
Lunches - Salads with grains or beans, quesadillas made with hummus, salsa, and veggies
Dinners - Bean tacos, lasagna with tofu ricotta, (from Veganomicon,) veggie stir-fries with tofu, chickpea cutlets, (also from Veganomicon.)
Snacks - Kale chips, hummus, chips and salsa
Desserts - Brownies made from a mix and one can of pumpkin, and cheesecake made from non-dairy cream cheese and silken tofu)


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 6:44 pm 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 10:03 am
Posts: 2
WOW! Thank you for all of the suggestions! I am going to make a list of some of my favourites on this list and try them out :D


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 4:58 am 
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Bathes in Braggs
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:38 am
Posts: 1295
Location: Windmill row
I love your username :-) You've gotten a lot of suggestions already, but I'll give you my two cents. My partner and I were vegetarian before going vegan. It took us two years to work up the courage and skills to be successful vegans, but we have been fully vegan for almost five months now, and we love it. It's amazing how your taste can change. At first, my partner said all the vegan foods tasted like beans, and he missed cheese terribly. Now, he loves beans, doesn't mind that I use them in everything and we have both grown to like most vegan cheeses.

BREAKFASTS:
Puffed rice cakes with some type of nut butter or tartex paté
Alpro Mild&Creamy yogurt with oatmeal and fruit
Some type of 'healthy' muffin (I make a big batch every once in a while and freeze them)

LUNCHES:
Leftovers from dinner
Simple 'throw it into the bowl' salad with a selection of leafy greens, vegetables and grains, beans, nuts and seeds
Sandwiches with nut butter, hummus or a meat substitute slices and some veggies
If we're at home I sometimes make pancakes or waffles

DINNER:
Bean chili with tortilla wraps
Coconut curry with cauliflower and chickpeas
Spicy lentil soup with lots of veggies and some bread on the side
Stir fry with green veggies, mushrooms and tofu or seitan with some noodles or rice
Roasted potatoes, steamed veggies and a meat substitute
Pasta with tomato sauce and soy crumbles
Lasagna with vegan bechamel sauce

SNACKS:
Crackers
Dried fruit
Fresh fruit
Nuts and seeds

DESERTS:
Cookies (read the labels in the supermarket, there are probably some delicious vegan cookies waiting for you)
Homemade cakes and muffins
Alpro chocolate pudding

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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 8:32 am 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution

Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:35 pm
Posts: 164
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
When I first made the transition, I gave myself two weeks as well! I've been eating vegan for more than two years, and while I'm certainly not an expert, here are my meal suggestions:

BREAKFASTS: avocado on toast or bagels (careful with buying sliced bread, which often has whey); cereal with soy milk; amy's vegan burritos (some varieties are vegan and some are not, so read the labels).
LUNCHES: amy's soups (the vegan ones of course!); salad; vegetable based sushi; hummus sandwiches/wraps (i was in college at the time, so i ate what was available in the dining hall!).
DINNER: peanut sesame noodles with shredded carrots, cabbage, peppers, and/or cucumbers; Veganomicon's Chickpea Cutlets: http://www.theppk.com/2010/11/doublebat ... a-cutlets/ (making these changed my vegan world!); frozen french fries & veggie burgers; pasta primavera; vegan chili (may recipes out there, i love the one from the PPK).
SNACKS: veggies & hummus; peanut butter on apple slices or crackers; my go-to late night snack when my omni housemates made quesadillas was to spread canned refried beans (amy's is good, but i remember loving another brand as well) on a tortilla and cooking in a pan like a quesadilla, serve with salsa and guac if you have!
DESERTS: there's a brand of soy milk-based pudding that's delicious; vegan oatmeal cookies with raisins or chocolate chips


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 2:46 pm 
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Addicted to B12 Enemas
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:25 pm
Posts: 260
Location: Central Coast of California
Erinnerung wrote:
I guess one of the big things for me was treating vegan foods as new foods, rather than replacements for non-vegan things that you loved. I remember shortly after I went vegan, my tattoo artist recommended a brand of vegan white chocolate that he swore tasted just like the non-vegan kind. I tried it and thought it was terrible, just because I remembered what the 'real thing' was like and I was expecting exactly that.


A big amen to this. Comparing the "replacements" (especially what they call vegan cheese) to your accustomed tastes is a recipe for disappointment, because they will generally fall far short.

That said, 5 items that have been my saving grace, and essentially supplied what I thought I could *never* live without:

PPK Cashew Queso (fools ALL omnis, and they love it like I do! Party and everyday hit.)

Nutritional Yeast (sprinkled on anything hot and moist - scratches the cheese "itch")

Earth Balance spread (buttery yumminess)

Soy Curls (re-hydrated and fried or in a saucy dish, are so reminiscent of something meaty)

Bologna sandwiches (with mustard, Vegan Epicurean mayo recipe, and tofurky bologna)


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 3:27 pm 
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Lactose Intolerant...Literally

Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:26 pm
Posts: 727
Location: Baltimore/Washington
First, it's awesome that you're trying out a vegan diet! and it's even better that you're asking vegans for advice, because it definitely can be a bit daunting to navigate in this meat and dairy filled world.

BREAKFASTS: oatmeal with fresh berries, peanut butter toast, cup of soymilk.
LUNCHES: big fat salad with spinach and some sort of protein, usually tofu. My absolute favorite dressing is the ceasar salad from Vegonomicon which i believe is posted on the PPK
DINNER: so many things! A super-easy, tasty meal is pasta with frozen veggies. Toss with olive oil or earth balance, maybe add some beans, plus garlic powder, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Pizzas loaded with veggies and a flavorful sauce. Tacos made with whatever you want! I usually find that when making things that are typically cheese-heavy, i don't miss the cheese if i make some flavorful sauce to go with it, so top your pizzas with garlic-jalapeno pesto and slather your tacos with cilantro-lime (nondairy) yogurt sauce.
SNACKS: fruit, vegan chicken strips (Trader Joe's brand and Gardein are my favorite), smoothies made with bananas, berries, and frozen kale. Hummus, chips, guacamole, salsa
DESERTS: i mostly bake my own snacks. the Sticky Fingers Cookbook makes AMAZING desserts if you are into baking. Trader Joe's has lovely icecream. If i am craving just a little somthingsomething sweet, i tend to eat a few chocolate chips.

Best of luck!

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lack toast intolerant: intolerant of not having toast


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start with trying out a vegan diet? (convert me
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:39 am
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Location: Sweden
I was converted by the PPK (and some books and stuff)!

BREAKFAST: bread and peanut butter or hummus (I'm really impressed by the breakfasts described in this thread! You people eat a hot meal in the morning!)
LUNCH: Leftovers. I have access to a fridge and a microwave at college, so most kinds of food work. If there's lots of leftovers we freeze some ready-made lunch boxes, very convenient. When I want to treat myself I buy sushi for lunch.
DINNER: Lately there's been loads of cooking from Appetite For Reduction. We also love Indian(inspired) cooking - there's so much great food that is already vegetarian or vegan and not a "vegan version" of something. Not that there's anything wrong with vegan versions of things, but I can't help comparing them to the meaty originals. In spite of that, we eat vegan convenience foods at least once a week - stuff like veggie burgers, soy mince etc.
SNACKS: I usually have two snacks, one a sandwich and one fruit and nuts.
DESSERTS: Usually just fruit (vitamin C to help iron absorption!) but sometimes a fruit crumble, some ice cream, cookies or cakes.

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I tend to hook up with people who give me chocolate, but I fail to see how this is a bad thing./tofulish


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