Vegan Basics

We are Day 2 of a mostly-Vegan diet. I was pretty irritable last night, but it may stem from the fact that I have 3 children that were not-so-peachy yesterday. I’m finding myself steering clear of the animal proteins I still have stocked in my house, even though I said I was going to use them up, because I don’t want to waste the food I have. However, I can’t bring myself to serve that pre-made meatloaf, mainly because I want to be able to recognize the changes in how I am feeling without those factors. I may change my mind when I’m tired of cooking for the entire second half of the day (which I did yesterday to make 2 dishes).

There are a couple of scary things about changing our diets.

1) I will be shopping for a whole different array of recipes! I have so many recipes floating around in my head, but most of them have meat and/or LOTS of cheese.

2) I’m realizing just how toxic some of the foods I have in my house (and have been feeding my kids) are. We just celebrated birthdays, so I had leftover frosting, which would probably survive a nuclear attack.

3) I have to learn how to use new ingredients.

Any time you start something new, you have to “learn the ropes”. I started by focusing on what the Hubby was going to miss the most: Cheese and Dessert. Then I started doing some recipe searching for those categories and took note of ingredients that appeared in most of them:

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  • Nutritional Yeast (aka “Nooch”), which lends a cheesy flavor to dishes
  • Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, for breakfast cakes and such. I’m going to be making carrot cookies this week!
  • Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), as far as I can tell, it’s a dehydrated tofu, broken into little bits. It adds a whollop  of protein (12 grams per serving!) and can easily be added to a variety of dishes (pasta sauce, oatmeal, and I put it in Split Pea Soup last night. I think it continued to absorb the liquid in the dish, because I had to keep adding water to my soup to make it the right consistency.
  • Plant-based Milk, I bought DreamBlends, mainly because there was a $1/1 coupon on the front of it. It’s a blend of almond, hazelnut, and cashew. I was hoping it would be sweet enough to use as a coffee creamer, but I’ve been proven wrong. I had to add a little sugar to my joe this morning, and my sugar/creamer addict Hubby would probably shudder at the sort of earthy, woody taste my coffee had. I’m less picky than him.

I stopped short of buying Mellow Yellow Miso (which makes things saltier) and tofu. Maybe those will be the next to grace my fridge shelves. For now, I’m still reeling from the fact that I bought, used, and enjoyed nooch and TVP.

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6 thoughts on “Vegan Basics

  1. I had a bunch of meat in my freezer when we switched. A friend had just had a baby so I spent a day cooking about 5 meaty meals and took them to her. I’m glad I did it at the beginning because now I can’t stand the idea of cooking meat. I gave other meat and cheese from the freezer to another friend.

      • I’ve been really enjoying your blog! I’m excited to read more. I agree that there is a long lag time to learn “everything” but I think your husband will be pleasantly pleased. My 3 year old even says his favorite thing to eat is “leaves” which is really spinach. It took a while though.

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