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New at cooking

I am new at cooking so I am a bit nervous. Normally we eat a lot of easy food or take out but I want that to change. I want to make healthy and yummy food for me and my family so wish me luck during this new journey.

Good for you nikki808!  I rarely ever eat out myself for a variety of reasons, and love to prepare my own foods.  I have been this way for years.  I spend a little more at the grocery, but save a ton of money not eating out which to me is more expensive.  I enjoy social outings of other types besides eating at a restaurant.

It helps to plan a week of dinners and then make a grocery list of what you need to make those dinners happen.  Even if plans change, you have something on hand then. If you keep certain staples around it makes it much easier too.  I always keep dried beans on hand, and various grains such as rice, millet, bulgur wheat, quinoa, and buckwheat, maybe some whole wheat spaghetti.  I like to have nutritional yeast on hand, and chickpea flour (makes a great chickpea flour omelette and also a base for gravy or sauces).  I have lots of spices and seasonings, and staples such as lemon and lime juices, tamari, liquid smoke, tomato paste and tomato sauces, dijon mustard, vinegars (cider, white, red wine, rice), maple syrup, unsweetened applesauce, frozen veggies and fresh fruits, always lots of fresh vegetable produce and especially onions and leafy greens, seeds such as sesame and sunflower, tempeh..  I don't buy them all at once but just keep an eye on what is running low.  Once you acquire the basics then shopping is much easier and cheaper, and as you get used to cooking and preparing whole foods from scratch, you know what you need and you can be more spontanious with what to eat for dinner.  

Homemade soups are incredible and hard to mess up, and bean or veggie burgers are fun to experiment with.  Even something as simple as a baked potato with a vegan homemade sauce over it and steamed brocoli and lentils is good.  Try the creamy pumpkin "cheese" sauce from the Oh She Glows blog that has nutritional yeast and almond milk in it for pouring over a baked potato.  Browse the recipes on vegweb and pick out meals that look interesting.  When I went vegan in 2011, I used this site heavily and printed meals here that I was successful with and enjoyed, and made a three ring binder organizing it into main dishes, sides, breads and baked goods, blender, dessert...I probably have over 200 recipes from here by now in there lol, and countless vegan cookbooks.  And I have acquired my own original recipes too!  

Best wishes and hope you have lots of success!

 

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Good luck, Nikki808! We hope you're able to find some really yummy recipes on VegWeb for you and your family to enjoy! Tasty, unqiue salads are a great option when new to cooking––so easy to make, healthy, and tons of combinations to try!

Here's a few of our favorite salad recipes:
http://vegweb.com/recipes/amazing-arugula
http://vegweb.com/recipes/easy-cucumber-salad

May we also suggest tofu scrambles? So delicious and simple!
http://vegweb.com/recipes/tofu-scramble-perfect-tacos-and-burritos

Best of luck on your path to wellness!
Melissa 

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