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Thread: Vegan cooking for the (severely) cooking challenged?

  1. #1
    100% sure – I'm going vegan!
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    Default Vegan cooking for the (severely) cooking challenged?

    Would really love some help and advice I am utterly useless in the kitchen (trust me, that's not an exaggeration, I can boil water to make tea and that's about it...). I was vegetarian for about a year and a half a couple of years ago, but stopped because I wasn't feeding my self right so I went back to eating what my family cooked at home. I moved out on my own about six months ago and I'm trying to get back into eating healthy. I'm so sick of fast food and eating out but I also really hate cooking and don't know how to. Eating at home only ever includes things I can pop into the microwave or canned stuff.

    I don't have a clue as to were to start or what to buy. I bought a couple of vegan cookbooks, but the recipes seem complicated to me and I'd really like to start with very basic stuff, preferably cheap too as I'm a full time student who only works part time. What kind of groceries and snacks do you guys stock up on a weekly basis?

    Thank you so much in advance!

  2. #2
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan cooking for the (severely) cooking challenged?

    Hello. I don't like cooking either and like to spend as little time as possible on it. I and other half mostly just make stuff like stir fries, pilafs, soups and stews or stuff you can do in the oven like baked potatoes (nice with hummus) and roast vegetables.

    We get a veg box delivered weekly, which is something you might want to look at as it saves shopping - some firms will do small one-person bags/boxes. Other than that we buy stuff like pasta, rice (and quinoa and other grains sometimes), tinned beans, dried lentils, tofu from supermarkets and health food shops.

    I think a lot of recipe books make things more complicated than they need to be. Websites like this one http://www.parsleysoup.co.uk/ can be more practical.

    ETA sorry, just noticed you're in the U.S., not sure if they have the veg deliveries where you are?

  3. #3
    Draíochta Blueberries's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi red_shoes, I agree with you that most cookbooks, despite their best intentions, are not aimed at complete beginners. Cookbooks are written by people who like to cook and are very good at it, their idea of 'basic' and 'easy' is not always such!

    I think start with things that you only have to boil water for and build from there. Grains and pasta only need a pot and boiling water. Vegetables can be boiled in with the grain- throw in some tinned beans and put some jarred sauce on and you have a nice meal that only took one pot, boiling water and opening a tin and a jar.

    Another one I like is boil some red lentils in a pot for about 15 mins with water and whatever seasoning/stock you want. With lots of water and a blender it can be soup, with less water it canbe dahl which can be eaten on it's own or with rice.

    Gradually as you get comfortable with different foods you can experiment and build your knowledge .
    Houmous atá ann!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Vegan cooking for the (severely) cooking challenged?

    I do love to cook but I understand where you are coming from as I have been trying to find a simple cookbook for my sister who recently turned vegan and has no clue how to cook AT ALL. I have literally sat on the floor at Barnes and Noble and looked through twenty plus cookbooks trying to find something she could handle. I finally found one that is semi practical that might work for her. It is this one:
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Vegan-Kitc...ractical+guide (The Vegan Kitchen: A practical guide to vegan food and cooking with over 40 tempting recipes, including nutritional advice and more than 350 step-by-step photographs).

    Might be worth looking in to. The book doesn't have a ton of recipes but it gets into basics and gives you some practical ideas with a list of ingredients to have on hand. I ordered mine through Amazon.com for much cheaper than I would have gotten it at B&N and I am waiting for it to arrive so I can get it ready for my sister for a Christmas present. Just a thought.

  5. #5
    Rentaghost Marrers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan cooking for the (severely) cooking challenged?

    You might want to look at the UK listing for the book Robinwomb recommends as it has more info including a list of the recipes. It has been scored badly by customers because it is very basic which is great if that is what you need!
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Vegan-Ki...ractical+guide
    Idleness is not doing nothing. Idleness is being free to do anything. - Floyd Dell

  6. #6
    CATWOMAN sandra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan cooking for the (severely) cooking challenged?

    Hi red mouse, I wasn't that great at cooking either before I became vegan 7 years ago but through time I have vastly improved. If you make things like stew or casserole you can just chop up potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnips or any other vegetable you like and put it all in together with some vegetable stock or vegan gravy powder and cook it for an hour or so, then you can have a meal without too much fuss.

    We are all here to help you and if you need to you could always send one of us a pm with any particular question you might have.
    I like Sandra, she keeps making me giggle. Daft little lady - Frosty

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    Rentaghost Marrers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan cooking for the (severely) cooking challenged?

    And if the stew is not great I always find it improves if you blend it into soup! (Try to keep an eye on nutrition too and add sources of protein to soups and stews.)
    Idleness is not doing nothing. Idleness is being free to do anything. - Floyd Dell

  8. #8
    CATWOMAN sandra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan cooking for the (severely) cooking challenged?

    Good idea Marrers, I usually add Realeat 'chicken' pieces or soya mince to my stews and casseroles.
    I like Sandra, she keeps making me giggle. Daft little lady - Frosty

  9. #9
    100% sure – I'm going vegan!
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    Default Re: Vegan cooking for the (severely) cooking challenged?

    Thanks so much for the advice so far, I ordered the book Also went shopping and bought a whole bunch of vegan friendly things. I don't think I've ever had this much food in my place!

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