Aiming for vegan - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-02-2014, 12:08 PM
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Aiming for vegan

Firstly, I just wanted to say thank you for the supportive nature of this forum - I haven't posted anything until now, but have spent a bit of time reading the Transition thread. I've also checked out a few other threads and it seems that some vegans are less accepting of 'transition' than others. So, thanks in advance for being kind to me!

I have been l/o vegetarian for just over 3 years, with a few other lifestyle changes thrown in. We continue to wear leather shoes we bought pre-veg, still have our leather couches (they are wearing brilliantly for 10 years old and I think we'll be stuck with them for life at this rate) but haven't bought any leather since becoming vegetarian. We've used mostly cruelty-free toiletries & cosmetics for many years - I did that long before becoming vegetarian and in fact I now make all my own. I also make household cleaning things rather than use commercial products so won't need to transition there.

We want to move towards being vegan so are looking to give up dairy, eggs, honey & wool - shouldn't be too hard. Except for....you guessed it, the cheese. We fell into what I expect is a fairly common vegetarian trap and eat a lot of cheese which we both love.

Being vegetarian in Portugal can be challenging - the pro is that the supermarkets have a great range in what we call their 'happy hippy' aisle of things that we wouldn't have been able to find so easily when we lived in the UK - several different options of TVP & chunks, nutritional yeast, seitan. There is also a reasonable range of plant milks, although I think this is more due to the high instance of lactose intolerance here than anything else, so they might not be vegan. The downside is that eating out is very hard where we eat unless we want to eat pizza or omelette - the Portuguese cuisine is very meat-heavy and a lot of things include meat even if you think they wouldn't/shouldn't. We don't eat out often, but am very aware after having a holiday with family from the UK and eating pizza every night that we ate out!

I have just found a Portuguese online shop that carries three varieties of Sheese, but there is no such thing as vegan spread, mayonnaise etc. Products aren't labelled as suitable for vegetarians, let alone vegans and my Portuguese isn't great yet.

I'll get to my question now shall I? I'm looking for suggestions for websites that include recipes for things like 'cashew cheese', a homemade vegan mayo etc, made with basic ingredients rather than processed/branded ingredients. I cook from scratch all the time so making it myself doesn't bother me, I'm just not sure where to start.

Anyway, apologies for the length of the post, I guess I am just having a bit of a brain dump at the moment, having been thinking about this pretty much full time for a couple of days!
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#2 Old 08-02-2014, 12:25 PM
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Just do a google search for vegan cheese recipes, there are tons of sites, same for mayo.
It's odd the markets happy hippie isle doesn't have soy, rice or nut cheeses or veganaise etc. maybe if you asked the store manager to stock some ?

Caring about our health is caring about our very state of being and future which is a very good thing to be seriously concerned about making the most of.

 

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#3 Old 08-02-2014, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHappyBeans View Post
Firstly, I just wanted to say thank you for the supportive nature of this forum - I haven't posted anything until now, but have spent a bit of time reading the Transition thread. I've also checked out a few other threads and it seems that some vegans are less accepting of 'transition' than others. So, thanks in advance for being kind to me!

I have been l/o vegetarian for just over 3 years, with a few other lifestyle changes thrown in. We continue to wear leather shoes we bought pre-veg, still have our leather couches (they are wearing brilliantly for 10 years old and I think we'll be stuck with them for life at this rate) but haven't bought any leather since becoming vegetarian. We've used mostly cruelty-free toiletries & cosmetics for many years - I did that long before becoming vegetarian and in fact I now make all my own. I also make household cleaning things rather than use commercial products so won't need to transition there.

We want to move towards being vegan so are looking to give up dairy, eggs, honey & wool - shouldn't be too hard. Except for....you guessed it, the cheese. We fell into what I expect is a fairly common vegetarian trap and eat a lot of cheese which we both love.

Being vegetarian in Portugal can be challenging - the pro is that the supermarkets have a great range in what we call their 'happy hippy' aisle of things that we wouldn't have been able to find so easily when we lived in the UK - several different options of TVP & chunks, nutritional yeast, seitan. There is also a reasonable range of plant milks, although I think this is more due to the high instance of lactose intolerance here than anything else, so they might not be vegan. The downside is that eating out is very hard where we eat unless we want to eat pizza or omelette - the Portuguese cuisine is very meat-heavy and a lot of things include meat even if you think they wouldn't/shouldn't. We don't eat out often, but am very aware after having a holiday with family from the UK and eating pizza every night that we ate out!

I have just found a Portuguese online shop that carries three varieties of Sheese, but there is no such thing as vegan spread, mayonnaise etc. Products aren't labelled as suitable for vegetarians, let alone vegans and my Portuguese isn't great yet.

I'll get to my question now shall I? I'm looking for suggestions for websites that include recipes for things like 'cashew cheese', a homemade vegan mayo etc, made with basic ingredients rather than processed/branded ingredients. I cook from scratch all the time so making it myself doesn't bother me, I'm just not sure where to start.

Anyway, apologies for the length of the post, I guess I am just having a bit of a brain dump at the moment, having been thinking about this pretty much full time for a couple of days!
CONGRATS on your progress!!!!
GOOD LUCK, & let us know how it goes!!!!

All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.

Last edited by Vegan Dave; 08-02-2014 at 02:17 PM.
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#4 Old 08-02-2014, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Enthios View Post
It's odd the markets happy hippie isle doesn't have soy, rice or nut cheeses or veganaise etc. maybe if you asked the store manager to stock some ?
I think most of the products that are available are because of health reasons e.g. soy mince for occasional use to reduce saturated fat consumption. I don't think they are really there because of animal ethics concerns. And the range of products available generally in local supermarkets (I live in a fairly rural area) is a fraction of what I could find in, for instance, UK supermarkets. Fortunately, there are plenty of whole foods - beans, grains, great fruit & veg - so cooking from scratch is easy for vegetarians, slightly more challenging for vegans.

And thanks Vegan Dave
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#5 Old 08-02-2014, 03:15 PM
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Hello HappyBeans!

I was recently given the book 'Artisan vegan cheese' by this lady: http://www.artisanveganlife.com/ which is full of nut and yoghurt based vegan cheeses. I have made a sharp cheddar and Boursin so far and while the cheddar texture was different I found the sharp taste very pleasing and felt like I was able to have nice cheese and chutney sandwiches again. Can you order it online?

As for mayo I have not tried it but I think there is one on the PPK website (along with many other delicious recipes)... let me look...
Ta da! http://www.theppk.com/2013/07/homema...ed-mayonnaise/

Good luck, and let me know if I can help with anything else

That awkward moment when your partner walks into the kitchen to find you huddled in the corner with an open container of nooch and a spoon and your mouth encrusted with little flakes...  
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#6 Old 08-02-2014, 03:25 PM
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Hi The HappyBeans, welcome! I have found and used this great easy mayo recipe, these are the only ingredients. If you have a blender, it's easiest, but I've made it with just one of those stick immersion blenders.

"1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons agave
1 cup organic canola oil"
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12119...your-mind.html
Vegan Dave likes this.

Last edited by LedBoots; 08-02-2014 at 03:28 PM. Reason: Adding recipe link
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#7 Old 08-03-2014, 03:30 PM
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Thanks everyone. I'd completely forgotten about the PPK blog, although I have Veganomicon & Vegan with a Vengeance - I should probably get those out and have a read through!

I had my first look at products in our local supermarket today - they have a few soya margarines (none labelled as vegan), a couple of flavoured soya yoghurts (one labelled as vegan) and a good range of soya milks (some labelled as vegan). The vegan-labelled range are Alpro from Belgium - the other soya products, plus the oat & rice milk is not even labelled as vegetarian! I've been looking some recipes and making a list of ingredients I think would be useful and will be going to a city about an hour away tomorrow which has bigger supermarkets, so fingers crossed I'll be able to find some of them.

We decided to give vegan a go now because we have just returned from holiday and had virtually no animal products left anyway - it made sense to use up what we had, not buy any more and see how we go. So we are still using milk on our muesli but have now used the last of the eggs, cheese & butter. Our last three nights dinners have been completely vegan - tonight I made my favourite dahl recipe but used coconut milk instead of the normal cream and it was much nicer!
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#8 Old 08-03-2014, 10:11 PM
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I haven't tried all of her recipes, but Fat Free Vegan is a pretty awesome online resource-

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/recipe-index

If you search for 'cheese' on her site, you're sure to find some great recipes!

Something I use instead of coconut milk, or even flour because our tums aren't super happy on loads of wheat, is silken tofu. I blend it up (sometimes adding a little soy milk helps) and it tastes lovely and light.

If you need a baking replacement for eggs- No Egg (if you can find it) is good. Apple sauce also works as a binding agent.

Good luck and good on you for trying to take this next step!
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#9 Old 08-07-2014, 11:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post
Hi The HappyBeans, welcome! I have found and used this great easy mayo recipe, these are the only ingredients. If you have a blender, it's easiest, but I've made it with just one of those stick immersion blenders.

"1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons agave
1 cup organic canola oil"
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12119...your-mind.html

How long does this last in the fridge?
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#10 Old 09-07-2014, 09:39 AM
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Well, a month in and everything is going very well.

After my original post, we went to a couple of bigger supermarkets in a city about an hour away and also found a little health food store in the same city. I found vegan mayonnaise (OK, but not that special so will make my own now I've finished the jar I bought), Tofutti shredded mozzarella (revolting and have decided to have pizza without it), vegan margarine (also revolting but have found that I can pretty easily do without) and vegan fortified plant milks - turns out I like the almond far more than I ever liked dairy milk.

Still haven't bothered buy any of the Sheese and have found that I can eat something other than cheese for lunch - who knew? I've found other products and recipes that I really like - yay for scrambled tofu - and can honestly say that I don't miss anything. I've found it is better to find an alternative rather than a replica for things, if that makes sense. So, where I would have put grated cheese on pasta, I remembered something called pangritata or poor man's parmesan - breadcrumbs & garlic fried in olive oil. Not the same as cheese, but absolutely delicious and a great (and much cheaper) alternative. I'm broadening my food horizons and enjoying every meal.

I've even managed to have one meal out - bruscetta, cheese less pizza and salad - not the most original meal, but pretty good for small town Portugal where a meat less meal is pretty much unheard of.

If I'd known it was going to be this easy, I would have done it years ago.
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