Amazing New Foods - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-30-2015, 08:36 AM
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Amazing New Foods


I've recently transition from a meat diet to a vegan diet and I've been trying to keep it varied in order to keep healthy.

Previously, I've been known to be bad at cooking and there's some pretty basic foods out there which I haven't tried before.

Since turning vegan (1 week ago) I've tried hummus, spiced tofu and aubergine (eggplant) for the first time! Personally aubergine is amazing and I love eating it raw. The tofu was okay, but maybe I need to try it in a meal as opposed to as a snack?

So, what foods did/has turning vegan encouraged you to try? What new foods do you like, and what do you recommend to others starting their vegan diets?
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#2 Old 04-30-2015, 10:38 AM
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Hi Mr. Bearding,

Being vegan is such an eye-opener. I've enjoy foods that I never would have tried when I was an omnivore.

You don't need to eat a wide variety of food to be a healthy vegan. I've been a vegan for 24 years, and I really only eat 2 kinds of beans (pinto, lentil), 3 kinds of grains (wheat, rice, corn), and 2 kinds of leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach).

Mercy for Animals has published a nicely-written vegan guide. The nutrition part of the guide begins on page 7:

Tofu is great when added to other foods. I like to add mashed tofu to spaghetti sauce, or to oatmeal.

Canned vegetarian chili is delicious, and it works great in many dishes. It is almost always vegan, and even regular grocery stores sell it. You can add canned vegetarian chili to spaghetti, burritos, and tacos. It's also good in a bowl, with some corn and avocado added.

Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines have great vegan options (watch out for dairy, though). Some stores have mix packets, so that you can make it yourself at home (even some regular grocery stores carry these mixes). Middle Eastern cuisine is served at Greek, Mediterranean, Persian, Lebanese, and Armenian restaurants. Here are some of my favorite of these dishes:


Dal makhani (spiced lentils in a sauce, usually served over rice)

Channa masala (spiced garbanzo beans, usually served over rice)

Samosas (fried/baked pastry, usually containing peas and potatoes)

Middle Eastern:

Falafel: Spicy fried patties made from garbanzo beans, coarsely-ground wheat, parsley and spices. Served in pita bread with lettuce, tomato, pickles and tahini sauce

Tabouli: Finely chopped salad made from coarsely-ground wheat, parsley, tomatoes, mint, garlic, and lemon juice


Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization

Last edited by David3; 04-30-2015 at 10:40 AM.
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#3 Old 04-30-2015, 06:36 PM
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Hello again MrBearding!

I was a sort of healthy foodie before I went vegan but my food world actually exploded with creativity and variety when I went vegan! Lets see. Some stuff I discovered as a vegan...

Using cooked wild rice or bulgur wheat with tomato paste and spices in place of hamburger/ground beef for sloppy joes, in spaghetti sauce, as a "meat" in tacos, in chili, atop a homemade vegan pizza.

Homemade vegan mayonnaise using blanched almonds, canned coconut milk, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, pinch of sweetener and pinch of oil blended in my Blendtec (works in a food processor too). Tofu also works in place of the almonds (or cashews). Avocado mayo works great for pastas and avocado pesto is awesome too!

Never knew how incredibly delicious frozen and slightly thawed bananas are all by themselves. Banana ice cream is so good!

Avocado chocolate frosting...two avocados, 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup pure cocoa powder. I made this on top of banana muffins (all vegan) for my coworkers and they had no idea the frosting was from avocados. Shhh!

I discovered bean dips and spreads for sandwiches. And along with my homemade vegan mayo, I discovered chickpea salad sandwiches...mashed chickpeas, chopped onion and celery, spices like ground mustard or turmeric and black pepper, and a dollup of vegan mayo all mixed together and added to a sandwich. So much better than egg salad!

Homemade bean soups with veggies. You can never go wrong with homemade soup. I have made more soups as a vegan than a lifetime of when I was an omnivore...creamy potato wild rice soup, chickpea sweet potato soup with tomatoes or bell pepper, split pea soup, countless versions of chilli, cream of broccoli soup, cream of asparagus soup, cabbage/sourkraut/tomato/potato/red lentil soup, thai soups, black bean tortilla soup.

And did you know you can make a creamy alfredo sauce with cauliflower?

And nutritional yeast was a huge discovery! It's one of those foods that seems odd at first but really grows on you. It is my go to "cheese". I am NOT a fan of commercial vegan cheese (and was never a fan of dairy cheese either).

I also discovered agar flakes. They are expensive and can be hard to find, but a little goes a long way, and they can be used in making homemade nut based "cheeses" or lemon custard or vegan jello.

And besan (chickpea) flour for omeletes. And tempeh....

Simple foods like mangos and jicama. I am embarassed to admit but I never tried those foods in my 38 years as an omnivore. I also discovered collard greens, bok choy, chicory leaves as a vegan.

Sometimes the most satisfying meals are the simplest. Like a baked potato with steamed broccoli over it and some nutritional yeast sauce or cauliflower alfredo sauce or some kind of homemade gravy over it all. Or for breakfast, I like to try different whole intact seeded grains like millet, quinoa, wild rice, oat groats, buckwheat groats, wheat berries. I'll add some fresh fruit to it and some nuts/seeds for breakfast.

In the beginning I kept it fairly simple and stayed away from the commercial vegan meats/cheeses and yogurts etc. I wanted to learn to cook with dried beans, grains, whole vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, vegan staples, then branch out from there. I made a good bit of homemade bread too. Oh yeah, beans on toast. I learned about that breakfast option from some of my vegan English friends online. I like kidney beans and salsa over toast, and also white beans and molasses. But black beans and cocoa powder isn't too bad either.

Today for a morning snack at work (after an intense bike ride in) I had a handful of roasted and salted pumpkin seeds mixed with a small single serve box of raisins. I liked the mixture of sweetness and saltiness of it. All my coworkers chowed down on Little Debbie snacks someone brought in and they all complained about how hungry they were an hour later. Not me!

Do you have any cookbooks? I read a ton of vegan cookbooks in the beginning. Libraries are getting better at stocking a variety of them. Many vegan cookbooks have information about staples to stock and snacks to have on hand and so on.

Best wishes!

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#4 Old 05-06-2015, 08:29 PM
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What David3 said.

I ate a lot of ethnic food before quitting meat, & I continued eating like that.....without the meat. A lot of Asian, Middle Eastern, Indian & Hispanic foods taste great without meat.

Tofu with a veggie stir fry was one of my main foods....literally.

Search this site, or in some books & you'll be amazed at the variety of food available.

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.
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#5 Old 05-06-2015, 10:18 PM
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I'm a great fan of tempeh rather than tofu, it's nice in so many dishes like pasta, baked on it's own or made into burgers.

I totally agree about nutritional yeast, that's also good in pasta sauces and I use it to make cashew cheese.

Veggie burgers are a great way to make easy vegan food - I basically whizz up a selection of veggies in a food processor like carrot, broccoli, onion and garlic, then in a mixing bowl mix the veggies with some protein like chopped up tempeh or legumes like mashed chickpeas or red kidney beans, add breadcrumbs to bind it , plus nutritional yeast for added flavour, and some herbs or otherwise curry spices and cayenne pepper. I use a ladle to make the veggie shapes and roll them in breadcrumbs and then bake for about 30 mins at about 180c and freeze the rest (before cooking). Or I fry them in coconut oil.

Great served with sweet potato chips! Or otherwise with salad.
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#6 Old 05-31-2015, 12:12 PM
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Sounds good
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#7 Old 05-31-2015, 12:24 PM
Not such a Beginner ;)
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Originally Posted by Hagiel View Post
Sounds good
It does, doesn't it? I have made some burgers with this base recipe, as I can usually find some.of the ingredients! I usually use oatmeal for the base grain part, but substitute cooked rice or bread crumbs sometimes too. I love grains and don't avoid them.
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