I have made my new year plan to seriously flirt with being a vegan, but I am in small town in Alberta, Canada, and I am wondering where to start..alot of the recipes have ingredients I have never heard of, does anyone have any good suggestions for meals that are basic and easy to make???
I will tell you that I am NOT a cook. All the power to Alicia, but I just don't know how to cook. I aspire but she and others on here are waaaay more talented than I am.
But I can tell you some easy things for the non-talented people like me - and maybe yourself with your menu challenges.Everything I am listing below is available at Safeway and Sobeys:
Breakfast, I buy Bob's Red Mill organic cereals with fresh fruit and soy milk. Becel makes a good vegan margarine for any organic bread you might buy, and in the natural food section at Safeway you will find a brand called "better than ..." which makes soy cream cheese and sour cream (the cream cheese is esp fabulous! really yummy!!!)
For lunch, I take to work brown rice with tofu (also found at Safeway, it comes with Teriyaki sauce, or Szechaun or Curried (which is super hot!!!) and vegetables, soygurt (also found at Safeway in the same section as the sour cream and cream cheese) and fruits and vegetables for snacks. Also in the veggie section at Safeway will be Tofurkey slices, veggie ham and salami and such for sandwiches. With sprouts and spicy mustards, very very yummy!
Dinners tend to be - again- soy chicken or beef strips made with veggies for stir frys or I make veggie refried bean tacos and things like that. Safeway and Sobeys carry all these things and you should be able to find them quite easily.
As I say, I am NOT a cook. Even when I ate meat, I never cooked and just never had a talent for it at all. I wish I did. But these kinds of simple things may help you along your road and they are acessible.
My one caveat: cheese. I have NEVER in 15 years been able to find a cheese replacement. The soy loaf sold at Safeway is really terrible, though the slices are pretty good actually! So if you find any cheese out there to replace dairy cheese, let me know!!!
Hello, Miranda! You are so cute! I love it. Since you are "flirting", I have a few suggestions that I hope will be valuable for you. The first, other than Alicia's book, is to read "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell. Let me stop here to mention that I am coming at this from a medical/health perspective bc I'm a physician and it is what I know. Alicia is a better resource when it comes to animal welfare. Second, you may be interested in following the "mini-experiment" that I am conducting (starting Jan 15th) in which people are switching to a vegan diet for 60days. I will be measuring specific changes in biomarkers, such as cholesterol to measure the health benefits of a vegan diet. The participants will be blogging about their day to day experiences of switching to a vegan diet. My blog is at: www.theplantrx.com.
Regarding the more basic recipes, etc -that is what I know. I am a single girl so I 'm not cooking up anything fancy. I do the basics. Every once in awhile I venture out of my comfort zone, but not often. I can tell you two things helped me out a lot when I transitioned. The first was a substitution list - a list of vegan substitutes for non-vegan recipes. Thus, you plug those into your normal recipes to make them vegan. (I also have this on my blog under the cooking & recipes resources if you are interested). The 2nd is a "beginning" shopping list. I haven't posted these up yet but I will over the next few weeks because I am re-doing them for the participants in the experiment.
Anyway, hoping that is a at least a bit helpful for you. Best Wishes and Kindest Regards, Jenna
I live in a small town in Alberta too! Where are you from? (send a private message if you'd prefer)
Congrats are your flirting status. I will say this about being vegan in a small town: it can be challenging sometimes. However, being vegan (or flirting with it) can be as easy or difficult as you choose to make it (I've been saying this a lot lately). From experience, I think it's best to start with simple things, and not worry about the really hard to find or obscure ingredients that have odd sounding names. Once you get the hang of things (basics like cooking tofu , brown rice and other grains, ect.) you can venture into trying different ingredients and recipes.
I'll send you a private message with more details of some easy recipes you can make. Living in a beef and oil town, I feel like I should give as much support to others as I can!
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