Hi gang! I am a "newbie". Personally I have been able to eliminate meat and most dairy from my diet but my husband and 2 children have not followed suit. So, knowing that chucking everything in my fridge is not an economical or realistic way to get started, any one have a good transition plan they used to first go vegetarian...we'll work up to vegan soon. :)
Part of my plan is using "real" food with very few vegan subs. I've found it a lot easier turning other people on to vegan food when I use familiar ingredients. Although tofu, seitan and tempeh can be delicious, you will never pass them off as "meat" so there's no point in even trying. Find recipes for those ingredients that are made to work with what they are instead of trying to make them something they're not.
In the meantime, here's a whole list of vegan recipes that have gotten rave reviews from all my very non-vegan taste-testers =)