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shopping help

Hi all, I just became a vegetarian about a month ago.  I love it, wish I did it years ago.  I need some more info on a few things though.  I have heard a lot about:

tempeh
seitan
hemp protein
edamame
whole grain teff

First question is, what is this stuff?  And secondly, where do I find it in the grocery store?  I live in a small town and don't have any Asian grocery or Whole Foods Market stores nearby.  There is a more "upscale" grocery store close to my house though and a small Indian grocers.  Thanks for your help on this! 

Tempeh and seitan are meat substitutes. There are several recipes on this site to make your own seitan, either by washing regular wheat flour until what you have left is the gluten, or buying gluten from a healthfood store or maybe your upscale grocery.
Tempeh is made of fermented soybeans. There are also ways to make your own, or depending on where you live, it can be bought at some healthfood stores (maybe your Indian shop would have some, or might get it if you asked. Many Indians are also vegetarians. They might be able to give you some advice and hints, if you explain.)
In the States and UK you can order a lot of products online or from catalogues; I live in Spain and it's an expensive proposition here. I can only find gluten etc at the health store, fortunately we do have an Asian market where I can get tofu very reasonably.
As to the hemp protien and teff, I have no idea what they are, as I say our supplies are limited here! Enjoy the adventure!

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whole grain teff is wonderful stuff. it's the smallest known grain and is versatile as well! i use it to make pancakes and breads and breakfast cereals. it's high in protein and iron, too. it might be hard for you to get your hands on being in a small town, though... but it's sooo worth it if you can :)

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Hemp protein is in powdered form and you use it just like a soy-based or whey-based protein powder - drink it or sneak it into some of your food. Hemp protein is a "complete protein." You can find it at a health food store, or you can buy it online:

http://www.nutiva.com/index.php

You can also eat hemp seeds, which are rich in protein as well.

Edamame are just green soybean pods. You can buy them fresh or frozen. You can boil them or steam them, and eat them in salads, dishes with some Asian flair, or as a snack (They're good with sea salt). Sometimes they're served as an appetizer in Japanese restaurants. Edamame isn't too hard to find. I've been buying store brand (Meijer) edamame. If you can't find edamame in your area, maybe you can find a soybean farmer?  :o

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As far as hemp goes, The powder is just the hulls. The best part is the 'heart'. It has lots of good oils and very absorbable protien.It also tastes very yummy! Here's more info: http://www.nahanniriverherbs.com/252,282

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Just a side note on hemp powder - I tried this at a Natural Products Expo in October and it made me gag.  :-X The flavor wasn't bad at all, but the consistency was slimy.  It reminded me of a flax egg replacer.

Thanks for the info on the hemp heart, healthymama.  Maybe hemp and I will reopen our lines of communication.

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You can order teff flour and whole grain teff from Bob's Red Mill.  The website is bobsredmill.com

I have ordered a number of products from them before.  They are very friendly and helpful and the prices are quite reasonable.  Also on the website they have a huge recipe index that is searchable by ingredients.  It's great if you want to try a new product but aren't quite sure what to do with it.

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A lot of those items do not need to be refrigerated (maybe none of them) so next time you leave the area or have a visitor you can stock up and store some of these things away. Most (or all) do need to be refrigerated after opening though (like hemp hearts).

As a side note to MD vegan, hemp can taste very different depending on its forms. I love hemp hearts and sprinkle them on my food, but hemp butter is green and looks scary and doesn't taste that bad but I can't bring myself to eat it...so don't give up on hemp because there are so many forms of it! (all that iron, omega 3, protein...)

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I don't care for tempeh, and I have tried it everyway I can think of.  To my tongue, it is just so much moldy beans.  I can get tofu in the small place where I live because we have a major chain that actually carries it.

I am currently off on soy concentrates.  I have ordered from healthy-eating.com and dixiediner.com. I have things I like from both places.  Healthy-eating has something called a chiken cutlet that is the size and shape of a small boneless poultry umm part.  It comes dry and 1/2 lb had 45 cutlets in it.  You reconstitute them.  I use them anywhere I'd use chiken and my next order will be 10 lbs worth.  I make the General Tsao tofu on this site with chicken instead.  sooo good and cheap!

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If you ask your grocery store's department heads (produce, frozen goods, the manager), they might turn out to be surprisingly helpful about ordering veg*n goods for you.  Bring a list of goods you're interested in trying and their brand names.  Be up-front with them: tell them these are things you'd love to try and that you will buy them steadily if you turn out to like them.  I've had good luck, and bad luck, with this approach, but you've got nothing to lose.

Good luck!  ;)

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Thank you all for the fabulous advice!  I love this website, it's my favorite!  I'm a big fan of online shopping so I'll definitely be checking out those.  Now if I could just get my family to stop looking at me like I have three heads every time I pass on the meat entree....oh well  ::)

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