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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, over the past month or so I've basically eliminated all animal products from my diet. And I feel great. I've lost some weight. I'm enjoying all kinds of great new foods, and I'm rediscovering other foods that I've always loved but just didn't prepare very often.<br><br>
But here's the thing... I'm a really good cook. It's part of my identity. And I'm feeling like in some ways, that particular slate has been wiped clean and I'm starting all over again. Sure, I have a good base of cooking skills to work from. And that's definitely a big advantage. But it's kind of humbling to have to learn to cook all over again with all kinds of new ingredients that I've never used. I have to find new sources of recipes, new ways to balance my meals, and I have to experiment with new recipes until I get them right. I cook meals and some are fabulous, some are fine, and some are just passable.<br><br>
Mostly it's a lot of fun, but I'm missing that ability to just whip up something fabulous without much thought, research, or reading.<br><br>
Any of you other "new to veg" folks struggling with the learning curve?
 

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Yup.<br>
I've always considered myself a good cook.<br>
But, my first several months were hard.<br>
I had to re-learn how to cook!<br>
I went from an 80% meat diet to straight veganism.<br>
I wound up buying new cookware to suit changing needs.<br>
I ate a lot of "accidentally vegan" foods like bean burritos, spaghetti, PB&J, etc... until I expanded my menu.<br><br>
Kinda reminds me of watching an aircraft mechanic try to figure out how to fix his car.<br><br>
There's a whole world of food out there to explore.<br><br>
My fav cookbooks: are Veganomicon (I recommend the chickpea cutlets) and anything by Madhur Jaffrey (I recommend her lentils and spinach)
 

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yeah, but it's going to be so much fun!<br><br>
welcome
 

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I'm actually just starting to cook more. I'm single, live alone and work a lot. So, I always grabbed food that was fast and easy. Now, I feel like I've rediscovered food, cooking and how good food tastes. I forgot I actually enjoy cooking!
 

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Greenish,<br>
We're now talking about a vegan alfredo sauce in the slut thread:<br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/showthread.php?124044-SFP-XC-The-Newest-Slut-Thread-with-Slut-in-the-Title&p=2871889&viewfull=1#post2871889" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/newvb/sh...=1#post2871889</a>
 

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learning to cook and learning to be a vegetarian all at the same time lol. and someday maybe soon will be learning how to do the vegan-thing :p. used to just throw stuff in the oven or microwave or whatever can't do that anymore haha. looking at it as more of a fun learning experience though <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I will say it's probably a very good thing I decided to get rid of dairy. Otherwise, I have a feeling I'd be relying very heavily on cheese and egg-based dishes just because they would be more familiar/easier.
 

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I know I post this link all the time - probably five or six times a week - but in the off chance you haven't read through any of the other threads, whether you get the hard copy of this or just use the html version <a href="http://www.veganoutreach.org/guide/" target="_blank">this Guide</a> is one of the better resources I know of to transition to more plant based meals.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mandyliza</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2871950"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
learning to cook and learning to be a vegetarian all at the same time lol. and someday maybe soon will be learning how to do the vegan-thing :p. used to just throw stuff in the oven or microwave or whatever can't do that anymore haha. looking at it as more of a fun learning experience though <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">.</div>
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It is fun I think. I'm learning about all the substutions. It's funny to me that I was resistant to trying vegan for so long because of my sweet tooth. I crave things like ice cream, pie and cake. It's so easy to make them and some things even taste better veganized!
 

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It sucked for me too. It felt like waking up with an entirely different kind of hair. I had NO idea how to handle it at first. But as time goes on, I'm figuring out how to play with it, what styles I like, and that I can do brand new things, and a lot of the same old things I was worried I wouldn't be able to do.<br><br>
I've discovered foods I really like that I had never tried before - like sundried tomatoes. Holy hell are they good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Josh James xVx</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2872151"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I know I post this link all the time - probably five or six times a week - but in the off chance you haven't read through any of the other threads, whether you get the hard copy of this or just use the html version <a href="http://www.veganoutreach.org/guide/" target="_blank">this Guide</a> is one of the better resources I know of to transition to more plant based meals.</div>
</div>
<br>
I hadn't seen the link yet, so thanks for posting!
 

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Yep! That's me. I'm a total hobby chef. In fact, I was so frustrated by the entire thing that I went and deleted some 300 recipes I had collected over the years, and now I have like... a total of maybe 7 on my website... which I decided to start to keep track of my vegan recipes and share with others. BUT, but, but but... I've tried foods in the last month that I've never tried! And so, I discovered while I felt like, "There's only so many ways you can cook a chicken breast," I don't feel that way about lentils (which I've fallen in love with).<br><br>
The possibilities are endless!
 

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I was just to opposite.<br><br>
Ive always done the cooking, wife works hard enough all day that it makes sense for me to do it, plus Im home an hour before she is so I do it and have it ready most the time.<br>
Having always cooked meat as 90% of the meal, I was starting to get bored with the same crap (yes I called it that) every day. When I/we went vegitarian I started to enjoy the cooking again, new foods, new tastes and that always critical first bite to see if it gets tossed or not.<br>
Spices that I never used before are now in my spice cabinet,, like Cumin?<br><br>
Its great, and I think its one of the things that made the conversion to a healthier diet possible.<br>
And to top it off, with most meals I cook, even if I pig to the point of possible explosion, I usually have a hard time hitting 1400 calories a day. (this explains the weight loss) I used to be able to get 1400 calories in just one number one meal supersized at McDonalds.<br>
I have cheated and gone to McDonalds for french fries a couple time though.
 

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Fatman, Hungarian and Smoked Paprika! YUM.<br><br>
That's where I am too. I was on a low carb diet for a number of years, so even though at first it was intimidating, going vegan really renewed my zest for cooking.
 

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I love to cook as well -- I've worked in both bakeries and restaurants, so I know how it is going to be for me as well. I could look at it that I feel as though I need to relearn everything, but in actuality, neither of us does. We can still draw on our experience, but I think of it as a way to challenge myself. I probably make some things more difficult on myself, because I won't buy canned beans, I cook them -- I won't add salt and a few other things, but it forces me to use spices properly and without using salt as a crutch. I'm not struggling too much with the learning curve, because I experiment with everything. I was messing around with recipes long beforehand, trying to figure out how to make pancakes and other random foods with NO milk (not even soy), no eggs and whatever else I could do. Is there a learning curve? The challenge is what I love about cooking, what I missed when I worked in a restaurant and bakery and why I went a direction other than culinary arts <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
You'll be fine!
 

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Greenish...maybe you can concentrate on just a couple of dishes first. I know I liked, as a new vegan, having just a couple of things to be able to please most everyone (veggie chili and stuffed shells were favorites). Then, you can work on expanding your repertoire. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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You could spend some time in the food porn thread *drool* for inspiration. And try out some of the recipes on here. Or buy some awesome new cookbooks.
 

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Actually, I cook much better and much more easily than before - lived out of cans and bags before, now I can whip up pasta and sauce within 15min if I have to, but I love making more elaborate things too.<br><br>
Don't worry, you'll be fine <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Takes getting used to, I suppose, but I have every confidence that you'll master this.
 

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I went veggie before I learnt to cook properly (I was 14). So I started to learn almost completely from scratch. It was so much fun though! And you can always go back to the recipes you loved to make and alter them so they're suitable! I make a point of doing that at least a couple of times a week; dragging out a classic dish and adding a vegan twist. It's amazing what you can turn out!<br><br>
Also, we need more awesome veg*n cooks to show the world that our food is NOT bland and same-y and boring.
 

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Use it as an excuse to buy new cookbooks - vegan ones - that's what I did! You can get secondhand ones on Amazon & really save a ton. Otherwise, check out some awesome vegan cooking blogs and sites. My favorite is fatfreevegan!
 
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