View Full Version : Vegan Food Question, Fairly New Vegan Here

Jul 6th, 2005, 03:24 AM
Hello Everyone. My wife and I recently converted from heavy meat eaters to vegans. It took a matter of one week to make a full conversion. We are proud to say that we feel so much better now. I never knew how terrible animals were treated. I am ashamed that I am almost 27 and have contributed to evil for so long. I cry day after day after day at how horrible people can be. I wish I could do more. I love farm sanctuary, adopted a pig named Lil' Bud. I also read "Diet For A New America," by John Robbins and absolutely loved it. My brother and his wife have been vegans for a year now and just decided to slowly let us know how bad things really were and let us decide on our own what to do. Anyway, I just love having this board now to talk to people like me. Thank you.

My question deals with food. My wife and I are eating fairly well now. We have a lot of falafel, arabic salad, hummous, vegan stir fry, pasta (wheat mostly), etc. But, I live in a small college town and options are slim sometimes. One of the best ways for me to convert was by eating "fake meats." No one seams to talk about these much on here. I eat some BOCA vegan burgers, BOCA Vegan Chik'n Patties (wonderful, my favorite), and other products like that. The Vegan cheese substitute I found in really bad. I found a lot that I liked, but they all had caisen in them. Any suggestions would be great. We are slowly going to learn to cook more original things. We shop at natural food stores (thank the lord there is one 1 hour from us, we just bring the ice chest). We eat soy yogurt a lot (yeast is vegan, right?), soy dream and soy delicious ice cream, soy milk, etc. Any thoughts on this? One thing that is nice about the fake meats is that the people around me eat a lot of meat. If they have a substitute that is good, they may eat less meat and more of the substitute. Most people think vegans eat carrots and lettuce. I thought the same until a few months ago. I am also trying to sell my darn leather seat camry now. Drives me crazy that I was ever so inconsiderate and heartless....

Thanks again and I hope to spend a lot of time on here....


Realfood Mary
Jul 6th, 2005, 03:39 AM
Hi there!

Nice to see you.

I have to go to bed now, it is twenty to three in the morning here, but I just wanted to say, thanks for going vegan, and keep up the fantastic work. I will write more tomorrow, but I just wanted to say, at least you went vegan! Maybe you need to cry for the past, but think of the future too. Think of the difference you will make in the world by your compassionate example. You cannot change what has been, but you are doing the right thing now.

So feel good about yourself and your wife - what youse are doing is great.


Jul 6th, 2005, 03:43 AM
Hi Lee!

First of all, you shouldn't dwell on the past - most of us were brought up as meat eaters, but the important thing is that we have recognised our ability to change - so well done :)

Second of all, fake meats are a matter of choice. There is nothing wrong with them if you like them. They help many people transition. Personally, I don't like them - but as a child, I didn't like meat anyway (besides fish). Most people would agree that if you are going to be vegan, you have to accept that vegan cheese sucks! Some people like it, and apparently their are some good recipes for vegan cheese. The uncheese cookbook might be worth investing in if you are a cheese lover.

Oh and BTW, yeast is vegan ;)

And good luck selling your car

Jul 6th, 2005, 03:58 AM
Congrats on going vegan! I think you should venture out into the whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit, get some recipes, and start cooking. Get the creative juices flowing!

Rice, quinoa, pasta, couscous, barley, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds are a few examples of items you can cook with.

A great site for recipes is www.vegweb.com

Good luck!

Jul 6th, 2005, 03:59 AM
Cow-milk cheese needs no substitute, in my opinion, as we are human and shouldn't have ever had cow secretions, but The Uncheese Cookbook is a great resource, as people suggested. If you need/want fat added to your diet, try olive oil, avocados, and nuts. :D

Cheese, vegan or not, usually takes away from the wonderful flavors of the vegetables and herbs.

Jul 6th, 2005, 04:53 AM
Thank you all so much for your support, living in a small college town in South Carolina, you can imagine there aren't too many vegans here, just a bunch of rednecks who drive trucks with bumper stickers that say, "I'd rather be deer hunting." Think I'll make one that says, "I'd rather be hunting people who would rather be deer hunting." People make me so angry!!!!!!! Anyway, thank you all again. What a wonderful place to become a part of. Good night.


Jul 6th, 2005, 05:36 AM
Hi there :)

My husband and I eat a lot of the store bought veggie meats, especially during BBQ season. I do cook more veggie food now than I did when I first became vegan and I'm sure you will too once you get the hang of it!

I still have a leather jacket that I hate seeing in my closet, so I know how you feel about your car ;)


--oh, I dislike the vegan cheese as well, when I first became vegan I thought I'd go nuts without cheese...but I don't miss it now, nor do I need a replacement (though I do like yeast flake cheese on nacho's!)

Jul 6th, 2005, 06:10 AM

I think some people start out being vegan/vegetarain by eating subsistuites and then gradually branch out as they become more comfortable. A lot of meat eaters can't even imagine having a meal without meat, so switching to a veggie burger or fake chicken is easier for some then starting with say, making a lentil cassarole. As you start to eat more veggies, a lot of the fake meat tastes very salty and, well...fake! I eat it occasionally, sometimes I really crave it, other times I can do without. It is also more expensive then a block of tofu, or some beans and rice! I do drink soymilk almost everyday. And i was never a big cow milk drinker - I just love the stuff!

As far as cheese, I think you will find that adding guacamole to mexican dishes or sandwiches and olives to a salad or to pasta kind of makes the cheese unecessary as they satisy that need for something rich and fatty. Beans also seem to cut down on people's taste for cheese, or sometimes just olive oil (like in a lasagna or on pizza).

Nutritional Yeast is used as a sub for powdered cheese and tastes pretty close. I buy a snack called Tings! Which are vegan cheetos. I haven't tried cooking with the stuff, but adding it to things should give a cheesy taste.

I haven't tried it, but Follow Your Heart (http://www.imearthkind.com/) brand vegan cheese is supposed to be amazing. If they don't sell it by you, you can order it online, just follow the link to the website. They also make Veganaisse - vegan mayo that is supposedly very good (I have a fear of mayo in general anyway, so I don't know personally).

Check out this (http://veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2776) thread for some of our favorite american vegan foods...

Jul 6th, 2005, 06:27 AM
[QUOTE]Welcome! I think some people start out being vegan/vegetarain by eating subsistuites and then gradually branch out as they become more comfortable. A lot of meat eaters can't even imagine having a meal without meat, so switching to a veggie burger or fake chicken is easier for some then starting with say, making a lentil cassarole.

That is very true, as a vegatarian I always felt the need to have something on my plate to replace meat. Funny thing is I was a vegetarian for a few years and I have only just began to minimize my veggie meat intake after adopting a vegan diet! I look back and think it was so silly ;)

Jul 6th, 2005, 08:02 AM
When I first went vegetarain - 15 years ago - we didn't have any substituites sold by me. I basically just ate what most people would call side dishes - potatos, pasta, beans, fruits and veggies. So when subs started becoming available (about 7 or 8 years ago) I was totally amazed by them and bought them up. they were easy to cook, bring with to people's houses and even get meat eaters to try! I still buy them sometimes, there are some I like. My partner will eat them up as well (he is a sorta-vegetarian - eats some dairy and fish).

Jul 6th, 2005, 08:23 PM
Hi Lee and congratulations to you and your wife for becoming vegan! :D

I eat veggie meats from time to time and really like the Tofurkey slices. They taste very nice on a sandwich with mashed avocado and cranberry sauce. I also like the Yves brand of veggie hot dogs and spicy italian sausages. The Tofurkey brand make a very nice spicy italian sausage too, but it contains a lot more fat than the Yves brand.

Best of luck to you on your new vegan path!

Jul 6th, 2005, 08:47 PM
Hi Lee and welcome. :)

I think I have been vegan now for about 1.5 months (not 100% sure) and I ate loads of fake meats initially.
Gradually I have stocked up my cupboard with all of the things that I need to make healthy fresh foods. I has taken a while though. As people have said, you become more adventurous with time and until then, fake meats are a great alternative.
I can't get enough of Fry's sausages for example! :D


Jul 6th, 2005, 09:11 PM
I almost forgot to mention.....Yves ground round is a great alternative for ground beef in recipies.

Jul 7th, 2005, 11:38 PM
I love Yves deli slices. Makes sandwiches so easier (especially when I need to bring lunch with me to work/school).

Jul 8th, 2005, 02:03 AM
Hi there,

I like to make sandwiches out of seasoned baked tofu (available prepakaged), sliced tomato, lettuce, and veganaise. If I have them, I add avocados. It's the best sandwich ever!


Jul 8th, 2005, 04:27 AM
I've heard tofu is EXTREMELY hard to cook... am I right? I would love to start using it...

Jul 8th, 2005, 04:30 AM
Well, if you have some oil, a frying pan, and a stove, I think you're okay. :D

Jul 8th, 2005, 04:36 AM
I've heard tofu is EXTREMELY hard to cook... am I right? I would love to start using it...

you don't even have to cook it! :D

you can eat it cold, on a salad

grill it on the bbq (just slap it on, or marinate and put it on skewers)

saute it in some olive oil in a pan

you can even deep fry it!

I personally think it is pretty hard to screw up tofu. I have never burned it ever. :eek: But even if I had, it would probably still be good, since I have had blackened tofu in resturaunts and it's great!

you could even just heat it in the microwave (it takes maybe 30 seconds) and throw it in some soup.

freezing it first makes it a bit lighter.

I like this tofu the best, i think it's excellent. www.whitewave.com much better tasting and firmer than the unrefridgerated asceptic packaged stuff.

the only thing I use the asceptic package for are -

making a dip, by blending it up in the blender.

or making tofu scramble - crumbling it in a frying pan like scrambled eggs with some spices. www.fantasticfoods.com makes a tofu scramble mix (http://www.fantasticfoods.com/scripts/display_prdct.php?product_id=61), it is a bit salty but yummy!

I just haven't tried the firmer kind for that kinda thing, who knows, it may be tons better.