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Author Topic: vegan tricks
cool87
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Okay, so I've been a vegetarian (except that I eat salmon once in a while) and a vegan (no eggs, cow milk, butter or cheese) since a few years but I'm a zero, really, when it comes to it. I'm not kidding. I don't know a lot of recipes and I think I'm starting to miss some real nutrients such as proteins given my unhealthy eating habits that has been going on for some time now.

So I need BIG help on this from you vegetarian and vegan out there. I don't even know where to start.

I do eat lots lots of vegetables and fruits (basically in healthy home-made smoothies lately). Most of my meals consist either of a salad, boiled vegetables or starch such as rice or pasta. Sometimes I eat portabella mushroom or yves's veggie sausages but that's mostly, aside from soy milk, the only sources of proteins I get, except for when I eat salmon (but that happens like once a month or something).

I've tried tofu but I don't like the bitter taste of it and I don't even know how to cook it. And as a cook, I'm zero and it's sad cause I have to make my own meals ALL the time, my family eats meat most of the time and won't cook my meals. And I'm often on the rush to cook meals also, I might add.

I've found that I digest far too easily the food I'm eating and that I'm always left hungry. So I think I need to eat more proteins but I don't know where to start. Even if I went to the grocery store, I wouldn't know how to cook most of the stuff and anyway we don't have lots of vegan food choices in stores over here.

So any help you guys could give me ?

[ 06-12-2007, 09:13 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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faifai
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I'm in tons of food communities and am in the process of trying to find some good links to vegetarian/vegan recipes, tips on how to incorporate more protein, have food that is good for you and also filling, etc. It could take a few days to compile it all together but when I do, I'll add it to either the Gen. Health FAQ or make its own post.

In the meantime, check out the "yummy and healthy in your pots and pans" thread that is stickied, I'm sure you will find some good recipes in there.

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AB
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You find tofu bitter? Maybe it was bad tofu, because tofu doesn't really have a taste at all.
I'm vegan, and have been so for a while, and I had a lot of troubles with getting protein because I didn't eat enough tofu or anything...

One thing that really helped was Tofurkey sausages. They are soooo good! They don't taste anything like tofu and you can get Italian sausages.. Polish Kielbasa sausages.. etc.. and they say vegan right on the package.

Quinoa is always good, and relatively easy to make. It's a rice-like grain and it is loaded with calcium and nutrients.
I will usually make some pasta with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes and some tofurkey and quinoa on the side.

I dunno... I don't really have that many good suggestions, but there is this site that really helped me when I was a vegetarian and trying to be vegan.

http://www.vegweb.com

It's a fantastic vegan recipe site and the people are sooo helpful on the boards. I suggest checking it out.

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"think outside the box, collapse the box, and take a f***ing sharp knife to it."
- banksy

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Ecofem
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What about flavored tofu, cool? I still don't like eating plain tofu when I prepare it (whereas in restaurants it's so delicious; I wish I knew their secret!) but smoked or herbed tofu is yummy.

Since you said you like pasta, I'm working on typing up a basic favorite dish of mine (and trying to link a pix) to post in a bit. [Smile]

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cool87
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That would be awesome Lena...thanks !

As for flavored tofu, I haven't try it, no.

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Ecofem
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Hey cool, I'm back with the veggie pasta recipe-- the pictures didn't turn out, so you'll just have to see it for yourself when you make it. [Wink] I usually go by feel, but I tried to guesstimate the amounts of ingredients. I'd say it serves maybe 2.5 people (or makes some pretty delicious leftovers!)

In a large saucepan pour a generous amount of olive oil to coat the bottom. Turn the burner on high and add the following ingredients: chunks of bell peppers of all colors and chopped onions. This would also be the time to add minced garlic, if that's your thing. I like to enjoy the natural veggie flavors, so I'll add a lot of freshly ground salt and pepper; I'm a big fan of the flavored varieties, like smoked sea salt or pepper-with-garlic.

*The key is to let those veggies become tender but maintain their crunch, maybe four to six minutes or so, depending on your range; be sure to keep stirring with a (wooden) spoon or spatula. The veggies plus olive oil and seasoning should give it a sort of, uh, saucy appearance. Add more olive oil if you'd like. (I love it!)

Add a regular-sized can of red kidney beans, undrained. They just need to warm up (as to not lose the veggie's crunch!), maybe two to four minutes.

Then I add tomatoes, either entire cherry/plum tomatoes or smaller chunks, plus lots of fresh basil. Personally, I find cooking these items with the other stuff makes them lose their unique flavors, so I add them just before serving. (If you were to go non-vegan, adding a cheese like feta, this is also when I'd do it.)

Alternatives
If you like eggplant, cook that first by washing the aubergine, then cutting it into thin slices. Cook them before any of the other ingredients in the big saucepans, using lots and lots of olive oil and salt, rotating them from side to side throughout. I'd then cook the peppers/onions as previously mentioned, adding them before the beans.

Instead of beans, veggie sausage works great. Before you cook any other ingredients, make the veggie sausage into chunks, then fry them in a small amount of olive oil. Again, they just really have to be browned versus cooked. Add them when you'd add the beans, except you don't really have to warm them much longer.

This is a really basic recipe, but something I've worked on over a few years as to perfect the textures and tastes (well, according to my liking that is. [Wink] I think a big part of making it a filling vegan dish is serving equal portions veggie mixture and pasta, in a bowl at that (it is rather soupy.)

It's intended to be hearty; beans for protein and yumminess (although the veggie sausage is SO good!), all those fresh veggies for vitamins and that good stuff, and olive oil (did I say I recommend it) leaves you feeling full. The pasta's more like one of many ingredients rather the central food or "stuff the sauce is for."

Hmm, this is pretty basic and surely something you're doing already, but that's my take on it. [Wink] Random: Do you have any good vegan pancake recipes?

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AB
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Lena, that sounds oh my gosh so good... I was wondering, can I substitute the kidney beans with another kind of bean?
I wanna make this tonight, but I don't have any kidney beans. I have black beans, garbanzo beans, navy beans and lentils.. any suggestions? Would it taste weird with a different bean?

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"think outside the box, collapse the box, and take a f***ing sharp knife to it."
- banksy

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Ecofem
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Hey Imogen Eyes, so glad the recipe appeals to you! Which of those do you like the best? (And which are already hydrated?) I'd probably go with the garbanzo beans in terms of this specific recipe. I use the kidney beans because they're so cheap; I cook with the other beans a lot, too, but I make different recipes with different spices. It could taste weird, but it could also be the discovery of a very pleasing combination to your unique taste buds. [Smile]

What about substituting the beans with a "butter-y" nut like walnuts or pecans? (Add them at the very end, just before serving, too.) And/or a crumbly cheese or mozzarella if you eat cheese? (Oh, olives of all sorts are always a plus in my book.)

Tomorrow I'll post more about "beans, beans, the magical [legumes]". [Wink]

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cool87
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Wow...thanks a lot for your recipe Lena. I'm definatly going to try it when I'll have some time. It sounds really delicious ! ...You seem like an awesome cook by the way...just wish you could pass me some of your skills. [Wink]

quote:
Do you have any good vegan pancake recipes?
Nope. Not a vegan one. Well, it could be if I substituted the egg. Mine is like one of the most easiest recipe on earth to make, if not the most, (I just mix 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of soy milk (one of my favorite brand is Silk) and 1 add one egg, mix all those ingredients together and I add a toping of my choice once it's cooked..generally it is a home-made fruit syrup--such as a strawberry sirup with no added sugar or anything--with plenty of fruits pieces added to it) although not the most healthiest and nutritious one. So I'd be thankful if you had a real vegan pancake recipe that you'd want to share with me...

(And thanks again for having taken the time to post your recipe [Smile] )

[ 07-17-2007, 08:00 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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AB
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Thanks, Lena. I'm thinking of using the garbanzo beans because I'm the kind of person who will keep a bowl of them in the fridge to munch on when I'm snack hungry.
The walnuts/pecans idea sounds yummy. I have some cashews that I wanna use up... I wonder if that would work...
And oh man, olives. My favorite food in the world is black olives.
Oh, and about the vegan pancake question, I have a recipe for vegan pancakes that I really like.

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash of cinnamon
2/3 cup soy milk (more if needed)
1/2 banana (very ripe and mashed)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together. In another bowl, combine all other ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir well. Add more soy milk if batter is too thick.

Cook on medium-high heat till browned on both sides. Makes about 8 small pancakes.

Serves: 2-4

(I add a lot more soy milk then the recipe calls for, I'm not sure how much more, you might have to experiment with it)

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"think outside the box, collapse the box, and take a f***ing sharp knife to it."
- banksy

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Ecofem
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Hey, thanks Imogen Eyes and Cool!! I'll be sure to try out those recipes in a bit. [Smile]

Imogen, it sounds like you're already a bean expert if you keep a bowl of them in the fridge, just for snackin'. They're a personal staple because they're cheap, packed with nutrients, and easy to use as a base in many recipes. I know beans have a reputation for making people gas-y, but I don't find that's the case for me. (Either my body is used to them or something's happening when I'm asleep...)

I generally mix beans with rice or past, depending on the dish. I know rice and beans are considered a "complete protein" so that's a preference. I mix it up with different types of rice, like jasmine or basmati (never the minute stuff), buying it in those big 10 lb. (?) bags to save money.

black beans esp. like them with adobe seasoning, garlic, oregano, thyme, lime juice, chiles, corn tortillas, cilantro, etc.

kidney beans please see above

lentils tomato paste, cumin, nutmeg, ginger, tec.

chick peas lemon juice, fresh mint, parsley, onions, etc.

(There's so much more out there and other spices to recommend, but those are the ones that come to mind first.)

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AB
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I adore lentils, chick peas, and black beans. I use black beans on tacos, like in place of hamburger(me being vegan). Have you ever tried black bean soup? Yummmmm..

Yeah, rice and beans go so well together. I actually can't remember the last time I've had white rice, and I've never even tried minute rice. I grew up in a health crazy family, everything being whole wheat, organic, no sugar blah blah blah... which is really nice because that's what my taste buds are accustomed to.

Hey, does anyone here have a good recipe for vegan quiche? I adore quiche, and used to eat it all the time when I did eat eggs and cheese. I can't seem to find a good vegan recipe for it.
Any suggestions?

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"think outside the box, collapse the box, and take a f***ing sharp knife to it."
- banksy

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Leabug
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Just a very random suggestion... if you're into Facebook, search for the group "Vegan Recipe Exchange"... there are a TON of awesome vegan recipes there. [Razz]

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Lea

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AB
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I am on facebook, thanks!

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"think outside the box, collapse the box, and take a f***ing sharp knife to it."
- banksy

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