Several of my friends are vegans. Their diet includes no meat, no dairy, no eggs, which means no cheese! I’ve read enough to understand the health benefits of that sort of diet. And I haven’t been particularly interested in meat for a long time. Still. It seems overwhelming to move to the Land of Vegan.
I’m considering it more seriously now after attending a Veg-Fest last winter with vegan friends. I learned a lot, saw a lot of interesting things, but felt a lot of the booths at the show were hawking treats, chips and other type things that I’m already trying not to eat. I can’t imagine spending money to buy vegan versions of things I’ve been avoiding for years.
Like brownies. Or vegan ice cream. Which, by the way, was amazingly yummy. I ate two samples.
Still, I am beginning to explore recipes for main dishes that exclude meat and dairy. I’ve read 3 or 4 cookbooks, and gone to a healthy grocery story to find ingredients foreign to me. Seriously, what do you do with millet? I thought that was in birdseed? And ground flax? Chia seeds??? People eat those?
Today I made Lemony Red Lentil Soup. Hearty, easy and delicious. Could be a main course with some crusty homemade bread. Do I have time to make homemade bread? Well…yes…if I get organized.
Maybe there’s something to this vegan thing.
What is it about new things that frighten us? For me it takes longer to cook vegan because I’m always checking the recipe. Plus it seems like there’s a lot more stuff that needs to be chopped up. More planning ahead required. Different shopping at a different store takes time too.
For now I’m looking for a good bean burger recipe. If you’ve got one, feel free to share. And any other advice is welcome too. I’m going to try to incorporate a meatless meal into our weekly schedule — at first once a week, then maybe two days. We’ll see how it goes.
And I wonder if my vegan experiments should be described in a second and separate blog? Can I manage two blogs? Would anyone read them both? Would I just split my readers up or would I gain a different following? Does the world even need another vegan blog? I’ll have to marinate on that.
Marinate. Get it?
I crack myself up.
June 23, 2016 at 10:51 am
More power to you, Dawn, but I don’t think total Vegan is for me. I love cheese too much, ha!
June 23, 2016 at 12:52 pm
I tried vegan for awhile, a very long time ago when my kids were babes. It seemed to consume too much of my day back then. Now I lean towards vegetarianism, although I do eat a little bit of meat occasionally, I much prefer mostly vegetables with some rice or asian noodles or beans. Giving up cheese would just be asking way too much for me. A fried of mine has gone on a Paleo diet, and she and her husband have both lost some weight quickly, and are feeling better she says. The problem with Paleo is too much meat for me, and I’d miss bread and cheese. For recipes that require a lot of chopping, I often do the advance prep earlier in the day and refrigerate it, because come dinnertime I have much less interest in applying much effort.
June 23, 2016 at 5:06 pm
Love the marinate joke 🙂
Kathy (Lake Superior Spirit) should have lots of tips. She’s well-versed in veganism. I’m not happy as a vegan, because I like cheese and eggs and dairy too much. But I have found that you can replace dairy in soups with blended (think Vitamix blended here) cooked squash or cauliflower.
Do you make curry? That’s an easy vegan meal. We add chick peas for protein, and use lots of full-fat coconut milk in it. MMMMMmmmmm.
June 23, 2016 at 5:41 pm
What about smoked salmon? Or Smoked turkey at Thanksgiving? Or just a touch of butter, melting on that warm, fresh baked crusty homemade bread?
I don’t like most vegetables, and I don’t like chick peas. I couldn’t do it, but you should give it a try.
June 23, 2016 at 6:50 pm
I haven’t eaten red meat in over 40 years – not for any ethical reason – I just don’t like red meat. I will occasionally (like once a month) have chicken or some shrimp. I do love my fruit though and can live on just that but I try to include plenty of veggies and bread and cheese. Sadly my stomach can’t handle grains and beans but I do fine without them 🙂
June 24, 2016 at 2:38 pm
Oh how fun! I loooove cooking vegan stuff at home! It tastes better than anything on the planet, I swear, once you get a taste for it. However, full disclosure required, it’s been a long time since we used the label “vegan” and only did that for a short while. We used to call ourselves “vegan with fish”. Nowadays we eat mostly anything–mostly when we’re out an restaurants–and I stick to cooking “vegan with fish” mostly at home. I like not labeling myself as anything. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, but gosh vegan food is delicious!
June 24, 2016 at 3:27 pm
lol! Marinate on it. I love it. 🙂 We eat a mostly vegan diet. It’s difficult to do when we have guests who are mostly carnivores or when we travel so we’re not strictly vegan. Plus the seafood is great here, and I wouldn’t want to give that up. Oh, and there’s cheese, which is a weakness of mine. I try not to indulge that weakness too often.
I would read a separate vegan blog if you decide to do it. It might help me get back into the swing of vegan things again. Seems like M and I have been indulging a lot lately when it comes to dairy products (ice cream!).
June 25, 2016 at 9:49 pm
I love meat. And dairy. And veggies and fruit, too, fortunately.
For various reasons, I don’t eat meat all that much any more– well, maybe 3 or 4 meals a week (e.g., maybe bacon at breakfast, something with chicken for lunch or dinner, etc.). I don’t miss eating a lot of meat even though I like meat. So many other combos of food that are also yummy! Well–I’ve been trying to eat more fish, but still don’t manage usually more than once a week, and I do try to follow the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s guide to sustainability. (http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/conservation-and-science/our-programs/seafood-watch?gclid=COer0fDIxM0CFUMlgQodkIUKXQ)
Oh, flaxseed, shows up in salads all the time around here, and quinoa, and all kinds of things I’d certainly never heard of as a kid.
Weight watchers is also a good source of recipes without meat.
Lots of frozen meals that don’t include meat. Amy’s has a wonderful line (of course frozen meals all have the sodium thing, which is making it tougher for me).
And I love pizza, too; don’t have meat on it if I can avoid it except if someone else orders “Hawaiian”. But of course it has cheese.
Good luck with your adventures in food.
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