So I would currently call myself a "flirt" and hoping in the New Year I can transition to full vegan. I was vegetarian for ten years when I was younger but I never felt good so I went to eating meat in my late 20s. Now I am 32 and a mother of an almost 2 year old and I want to back to being full veggie - and after reading The Kind Life I would love to be Vegan. In theory though because currently I am clueless as to where I can get many of these ingredients that the book calls for in NH. Also, it appears that when I do find these Vegan alternatives they are SO expensive. I know not to eat processed foods but as a working mother and living with a meat eating husband it isn't easy just jumping on board with all of this, nor have I found the time to incorporate cooking! Anyhoo my son is crying and I have to go get him and finish up report cards.. busy busy.. any other NH vegans-mothers that can inspire me? :)
Well, I'm not a mother but I can somewhat relate. It can be hard when you live with someone that is not a Vegan/Vegetarian. My boyfriend loves meat, and although he loves my Vegetarian cooking he still insists on having some meat a couple of times a week. I have no problem with it because I believe my lifestyle is my own decision. Try cooking meals and having meat as more of a side item rather than the featured dish. For example make a Veggie Stir Fry with rice and saute some chicken on the side, separately. That way your husband can still have his protein but you are sticking to your healthy lifestyle. One of my favorite things to make is tacos (or fajitas) and I make them all vegetarian and cook some shrimp on the side for my boyfriend to make him happy.
As far as the more expensive part I wouldn't necessarily agree. My pantry is stocked with assorted rices, grains, and every bean you can imagine. These ingredients are actually pretty cheap. Invest in a rice cooker. You will LOVE it. Make up 2 or 3 different kinds of beans on a sunday and then you will have an easier time preparing meals the rest of the week.
Monday-stuffed peppers with beans and rice
Tuesday- bean and rice tacos with chicken on the side for the hubby
Wed- bean and veggie soup with baked potatoes
etc. ... you get the idea. It works best if you think AHEAD and plan for the week. That way you are not scratching your head while standing in front of the fridge and wondering how you are going to accommodate your healthy diet and meet everybody else's need. If you crunch your time the more likely the chance of slipping up or making a choice you might regret later.
Thank you. This all is very helpful and I checked out your website, very nice. Question - When you prepare the beans on Sunday, do you mean soak them and put them in a container in the fridge? Sorry I am really new at this. :)
Lindsay probably means cooking them? I like to soak mine Saturday night, then cook them, usually with just onions and spices, in a crockpot Sunday so they're ready that evening. I also make a big pot of rice on Sundays. Then, two or three days later, I'll make lentils because those take less time to prepare, or sometimes a veggie soup, and more rice or quinoa. I personally don't like to keep things sitting around in the fridge for too long, but I do prepare things that will last about three days at a time. These are easy things to have ready to go and it's simple to add fresh steamed or sauteed veggies to them or even frozen ones for those nights when you just can't get anything else together.
Oh, and as Lindsay said, it doesn't have to be expensive. It's not necessary to buy some of the more exotic things Alicia uses, those are just her recipes (they are good, though!). But you can just start simple with beans and rice and veggies, and start expanding to different grains and veggies and spices that you have never tried.
Well said Hazel! Yes, I mean soaking AND cooking the beans. It is not too difficult of a process, just takes some time. I usually soak my beans overnight (sometimes 2 or 3 varieties at a time) and then cook them the next morning before work, or even after work when I come home. Each bean is different, but with most beans you want to bring to a boil and then simmer for anywhere from 30 min to an hour (depending on the bean). Google it or check out The Kind Diet for specifics. After cooking I fill my bowls and store in the fridge for meals for the next couple of days. And you can make rice in advance too if you are really time crunched during the week. With rice and beans made in advance meals should be relatively easy throughout your week. And like I said, you can always add a meat on the side to satisfy the hubby :) Although I feel like my man is really growing to love and appreciate my Vegetarian and Vegan cooking the more time we spend together. Maybe the meat additives won't have to last for too much longer! :) Hopeful thinking perhaps!