New to Vegan/vegetarian cooking
Hi. I'm new to all of this and have not quite made up my mind if I am willing to go all the way. I am 32 years old, married with no kids. I have 1 dog (King David), 2 cats - (Bubu and Ore'). I live in Texas, and there's only 1 vegetarian in my whole family. As of today, I am what you all call an "Omni". I came across this website by accident, as I was looking for different types of cooking techniques and recipes. I have tried multiple recipes from this site and I am beginning to fall in love with vegan food. I am very curious and have a love for all things edible. I've begun trying new food stuffs (like tofu, vegan cakes - love the baking soda and vinegar thing, ground flax - as an egg substitute). I recently bought some seitan and can't wait to try that out). I would like to say, that I love this website and I appreciate all of the creative people who come up with these wonderful recipes.
Awesome! believe it or not... a lot of us started out this way. ;)b
A whole lot of vegan food is really yummy... keep experimenting, and who knows where you'll end up on the veg spectrum?! At any rate, welcome to VW, and let us know if you ever have any questions or problems with veg cooking. Welcome!
PS-- love the quote under your profile pic!
Nice to meet you! Glad you made the introduction! All the best to you!
Not sure how best to help, but happy to try!
First of all, don't be hard on yourself if you're not 'perfect' at veg eating right off the bat... taste is largely set by habit, and LOTS of now-veg*ns started out just like you! It just takes time to make changes, sometimes: habit is a powerful force. Don't give up just because you're not (yet?!) able to go completely 100% plants! Less is more, with animal junk... even cutting back is beneficial, from health/ environmental/ ethical standpoints, ESPECIALLY if you frame it as 'working towards' more & more veggie-based eating! ;)b
Now then: what's getting in your way? are you having trouble cooking with novel ingredients (tofu, tempeh, etc)? or having trouble finding veggie foods you really enjoy? or sometimes just can't resist cravings for the animal-based stuff? or encountering resistance from friends/ family? or...??
What helped me most was knowledge... A lot of standard-american-diet (ie meat/egg/dairy)-eating hinges on the consumer not knowing (a) what's IN their food, or (b) what was done to GET it... 'out of sight out of mind' is how most folks approach this issue. Focus your attention on it, on the actual reality of it, and that stuff looks A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT less appealing! (example: google 'pink slime, ammonia, and beef'! ew ew ew ew)
If you're an eager reader, obtain and absorb any (or all!) of the following: *Eating Animals (Foer)(*personal favorite!), Diet For A New America (Robbins), Fast Food Nation (Schlosser), Animal Factory (Buscemi), Meat Market: Animals, Ethics, and Money (Marcus), The World Is Blue (Earle)(specific to ocean creatures), or The China Study (Campbell)... If you're more a movie watcher, seek out Food Inc (netflix, amazon); Farm to Fridge (free online); Eating, 3rd edition (on amazon); or Earthlings (free online). If you're more web-based researcher, google 'why not (meat/ eggs/ dairy)' or 'why vegan', and read what comes up... there's SO much stuff that i will never ever support again, now that i know what i know about industrial animal ag! No matter *what* it tastes like: i will simply never again pay someone to DO that... I wouldn't eat that stuff any more than i'd eat stir-fried human toes... it just does NOT look like food, when you know what's in it & what's done (in your name) to get it to the plate. That's how it was for me, anyway.
No one's perfect; we all just do the best we can to live in a way we can be proud of... but if i can offer any specific ideas, or more support, i'd be glad to try! message me, or give more info on this thread about your stumbling blocks, & maybe we can brainstorm it out.
Don't be too hard on yourself; and don't give up! it's worth doing; and you're doing it better than most folks you know. :)
Welcome! You will find lots of great information here and everyone is so helpful and encouraging! Where in Texas are you?
My advice would be to get a few good cookbooks (check out the Awesome cookbook lab!) and experiment. I haven't tried seitan or tempeh yet and the only thing I've done with tofu is the silken in either a dessert or an "alfredo" sauce. But I eat a lot of different types of beans, grains, I do stir fries pretty much every week with a bag of the fresh veggies (broccoli, carrots, snow peas, bean sprouts) add mushrooms sometimes, and either put over brown rice or whole wheat pasta with a sauce. I've found several "cheesy" type sauces that I really like. and I've been making vegan muffins that I'm loving! Of course, I've had my share of flops too, but I'm learning which are my favorites and I'm trying new foods I've never tried before, like kale. I can't get over how I've gone my whole life without trying it and now I love it.