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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In this thread I am going to reprise the Tips from the Goin' Veg Club thread where newbies can easily find them. I don't have as much time to write tips as I used to, but I will <span style="text-decoration:underline;">try</span> to get new ones up on some sort of regular basis. Once I get all the old tips reposted (which I am doing now), I would also encourage other experienced veg*ns to submit their own tips on any subject that seems relevant and helpful. Heck, I could benefit from some tips myself-- I recently bought my first jar of miso and am not sure what to do with it!<br><br><br><br><b>Today's Tip: Helpful Links</b><br><br>
compiled by Goatee<br><br><br><br>
Try these links for some lists of suggested staples:<br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=45326" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=45326</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=31023" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=31023</a><br><br><br><br>
Also, try these links for some quick & easy meal ideas:<br><br><a href="http://home.swbell.net/jonceram/cheap.html" target="_blank">http://home.swbell.net/jonceram/cheap.html</a><br><br><a href="http://www.simple-vegetarian-recipes.com/" target="_blank">http://www.simple-vegetarian-recipes.com/</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=45565" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=45565</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=22115" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=22115</a><br><br><br><br>
If your kids are going veggie, this thread could be invaluable, since it's a running log of what the parents here feed their veggie kids:<br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=16935" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=16935</a><br><br><br><br>
This post also contains a bunch of links to vegetarian resources that may be very handy for all new vegetarians. Thanks to lilgirl252729 for posting it:<br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showpost.php?p=979528&postcount=6" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...28&postcount=6</a><br><br><br><br>
Other links:<br><br><a href="http://www.nutrispeak.com/veganpyramid.htm" target="_blank">Vegan Food Guide Pyramid</a><br><br><a href="http://www.peta.org/accidentallyVegan/" target="_blank">I Can't Believe It's Vegan!</a><br><br><a href="http://vegweb.com/" target="_blank">http://vegweb.com/</a><br><br><a href="http://www.vegcooking.com" target="_blank">http://www.vegcooking.com</a><br><br><a href="http://www.vrg.org/index.htm" target="_blank">http://www.vrg.org/index.htm</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veganmania.com/" target="_blank">http://www.veganmania.com/</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veganpeace.com/index.htm" target="_blank">http://www.veganpeace.com/index.htm</a><br><br><a href="http://www.nutritiondata.com/" target="_blank">http://www.nutritiondata.com/</a><br><br><a href="http://www.fitday.com/" target="_blank">http://www.fitday.com/</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
<b>Today's Tip: Tofu</b><br><br><br><br>
There are two kinds of tofu, silken (aka Japanese) and regular (aka Chinese). Both types are available in soft, firm, and extra-firm. Silken tofu usually comes in a cardboard aseptic carton and can be stored at room temperature for many months. One of the most well-known American brands is <a href="http://www.morinu.com/" target="_blank">Mori-Nu</a>. Regular tofu generally comes packed in water in a plastic tub like <a href="http://www.nasoya.com/nasoya/tofu_extrafirm.html" target="_blank">this</a> (you can also buy it fresh at Asian markets, where you just scoop your block out of a massive tub of water and put it in your own container). It must be kept refrigerated and generally keeps for several weeks, but not as long as silken tofu.<br><br><br><br>
When preparing regular tofu, you'll want to drain the liquid and usually you'll press it to get the extra water out. This gives it a denser, firmer texture which most people seem to prefer. Some people just squeeze it with their hands, or you can put it on some towels between two plates, weigh it down with something, and leave it for a while, changing out the towels as needed. You can also do this with silken, but silken tofu contains much more water, so it's less likely to make a significant difference.<br><br><br><br>
You can also freeze regular tofu, which gives it a firmer, chewier, more "meaty" texture and makes it much more porous, so it soaks up sauces and marinades like a sponge. (This is not recommended for silken tofu, although some people here say they freeze silken tofu with no problem.) You can drain and press it first, then wrap the block and freeze it, or you can simply stick the whole unopened package in the freezer. Overnight is fine, or you can store it in the freezer until you're ready to use it, then thaw. Freezing will slightly change the color from white to beige- don't be alarmed. (I personally prefer to press it once, put the pressed block in a baggie, store it in the freezer, then thaw and press again when I'm ready to use it.)<br><br><br><br><b>Some Simple Tofu Recipes</b><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Glazed Tofu</span> (courtesy of <i>Vegetarian Times</i>)<br><br>
2 tbsp soy sauce<br><br>
3 tbsp maple syrup<br><br>
3 tbsp mirin, sake, or sherry<br><br>
1 block firm or extra-firm regular (Chinese) tofu, drained and pressed for at least 15 minutes (but not frozen)<br><br>
1-2 tbsp frying oil<br><br><br><br>
Mix the soy sauce, maple syrup, and mirin/sake/sherry in a small bowl and set aside.<br><br><br><br>
Cut tofu into 3/4-inch cubes. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and fry until golden, turning every 3 minutes, about 12-15 minutes total. You may want to use a splatter guard. Add the glaze mixture and cook another 3-4 minutes, turning frequently, until the glaze is thickened and the tofu is well-coated.<br><br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Orange Lacquered Tofu</span> (adapted from <i>Vegetarian Times</i>)<br><br>
1 package extra-firm regular (Chinese) tofu<br><br>
3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce<br><br>
3 Tbsp orange juice<br><br>
2 tsp maple syrup or honey<br><br>
2 tsp dark sesame oil<br><br><br><br>
Split the tofu through its thickness into two layers, then drain and press each layer for 15-30 minutes, changing the towels if needed. Then slice the layers crosswise into 1/2-inch strips.<br><br><br><br>
Combine soy sauce, orange juice, syrup, and sesame oil in a small bowl and set aside. Season to taste with black or cayenne pepper.<br><br><br><br>
Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and fry the tofu over medium-high heat until crisp and golden, about 7 minutes on the first side, and 5 minutes on the second side.<br><br><br><br>
Reduce heat to medium and add the glaze, shaking to coat the tofu. Cook 2-3 more minutes until glaze is thickened and tofu is well-coated.<br><br><br><br>
Either of these recipes are great served with noodles and peanut sauce, stir-fried veggies and rice, or really anything sort of Asian in flavor.<br><br><br><br><a href="http://vegweb.com/recipes/breakfast/1955.shtml" target="_blank">Mock Scrambled Eggs</a> (I usually use firm silken tofu for this recipe)<br><br><br><br><a href="http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=7675" target="_blank">Tofu Bacon</a> (use regular firm or extra firm tofu here)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<b>Today's Tip: Top Five Non-Vegetarian Ingredients or "Hidden Meat"</b><br><br><br><br>
1. Gelatin: made from the boiled skin, bones, and hooves of slaughtered animals, gelatin is found in gelatin desserts, marshmallows, many chewy candies (eg, Skittles, gummy bears) and hard-shell chewing gums (eg, Trident Splash), and in a surprising array of other products such as some grocery-store guacamoles and sour creams, and many brands of yogurt. Also very common in vitamin pills and other capsule or coated medicines. Note: There are some vegetarian alternatives such as agar-agar, which are sometimes referred to as "vegetarian gelatin," but they are chemically different from true gelatin. There is no vegetarian source of true gelatin that I'm aware of. If you see the word "gelatin" on an ingredient list, the product is not vegetarian.<br><br><br><br>
2. Anchovies: Anchovies are a small fish, found in most Worcestershire sauce, Caesar dressings, some barbecue sauces, and occasionally in seasoned croutons. Some store brands of Worcestershire sauce are anchovy-free.<br><br><br><br>
3. Rennet: An enzyme traditionally taken from the stomach linings of slaughtered calves, rennet is used in making cheese. The good news is, many mainstream cheese makers now produce rennet microbiologically by fermenting yeast in vats. The bad news is, you can't really tell from cheese labels whether the rennet is animal or microbiological in origin-- it usually just says "enzymes." Here's a link to the <a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=46149" target="_blank">Rennet-Free Cheese Thread</a>. The best way to find out if your favorite brand has animal rennet is to call the 1-800 number on the package and ask. Don't forget to post your findings!<br><br><br><br>
4. Lard: In case you didn't know, lard is pig fat. Lard rears its ugly head in everything from seasoned beans to pie crusts to Emeril's show.<br><br><br><br>
5. Chicken fat or chicken stock: Like lard, chicken fat/stock is widely used to flavor things like seasoned rice and stuffing mixes, vegetable soups, etc. It can even be found in some really crazy places like Salsa Verde Doritos, so keep your eyes peeled. (Ditto beef stock in soups, although beef stock isn't found in as many different foods as chicken stock.)<br><br><br><br>
6. Bonus ingredient- rendered beef fat: Also known as suet or tallow, it isn't as widely used as pork or chicken fat, but it does occasionally crop up in pastries, bread/muffin/biscuit mixes, and Hostess snack cakes.<br><br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">The Bottom Line</span>: You MUST learn to read and understand labels if you want to avoid hidden meat. But if you make a mistake, don't beat yourself up or feel like you've failed. We've all been there, it's OK!<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.peta.org/accidentallyVegan/" target="_blank">http://www.peta.org/accidentallyVegan/</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=10394" target="_blank">Surprisingly Vegan Foods thread</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=10432" target="_blank">Surprisingly NOT Veg*n Foods thread</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
<b>Today's Tip: Eating Well in Veg-Hostile Restaurants</b><br><br><br><br>
1. Call ahead. That's what I did when I knew I was going to a family dinner at Pappa's Seafood House. I spoke to the manager a day or two beforehand, explained my predicament, and asked what they could do to accommodate me. He was very helpful, and even offered to have the chef purchase vegetables just for me. I had a very nice vegetable plate with roasted asparagus, baked potato, mixed sauteed veggies, and bread.<br><br><br><br>
2. Know you're not limited to what's on the menu. Most places I've been to will work with you regarding substitutions, and the better places will even make you an entree from scratch- generally a vegetable plate, but hey, whatever. When at a Tex-Mex place with lard-infested rice and beans, I just asked the waiter to have the kitchen grill up a mess of whatever fresh vegetables they had in the kitchen and put it on the side. It was delicious with my chile rellenos.<br><br><br><br>
3. Be friendly and polite with your requests, and acknowledge the restaurant's attempts to accomodate you. I usually phrase it as a request for help. *Big smile* "Would you mind checking with the kitchen whether that has lard in it?" "D'you think you could get the chef to throw on some fresh veggies instead of those beans?" "Oh, you will? That would be great. Thanks so much!" "Wow, that looks terrific. Mmm-mmm!" Waiters usually get big smiles on their faces when they see how happy they're making me, and it's obvious that they enjoy helping out.<br><br><br><br>
4. Don't be afraid to ask for the manager. Particularly if the waiter's being a dink, but sometimes I'll ask for the manager on principle if the menu is unsatisfactory, and explain what kinds of changes I'd like to see made as a vegetarian customer, and would they consider possibly adjusting their recipe for item X? Managers are there to keep customers happy, they are usually experts in customer service, and they're used to handling special requests. And the more we tell them what we want (politely, of course), the more likely they are to listen. Even if they can't get you what you want, they will often comp your meal if you make it clear to them that you're dissatisfied.<br><br><br><br>
5. Learn to like all vegetables. I regularly tell waiters, "If it's a vegetable, I'll eat it!" It makes life so much easier if you can just tell them to cook up whatever veggies are in the kitchen. If you hate something really common, like mushrooms or zucchini, things are going to be much more difficult. This is a controversial principle here on VB, and certainly vegetarians have as much right to their likes and dislikes as anyone else, but I stand by it if you want to make eating at restaurants a more enjoyable experience.<br><br><br><br>
6. Don't go ballistic over a small amount of an offensive ingredient. True for any ingredient, but it's especially true for butter. This is one area where life is so much harder for vegans than l/o's. Just try getting a vegetable plate that's totally free of butter! Even though I don't eat butter at home, I just remind myself how glad I am it's not a big piece of bacon. Frankly, if you can't bend on this one, I'm not sure how much good my other tips are really going to do you. But if your potato comes out drenched in melted butter and you can't eat it, don't lose your cool. Eat the rest of your meal and ask for a replacement potato-- it may or may not arrive before the rest of the dinner is finished.<br><br><br><br><span>"Hey there, Tess.... I just wanted to mention that most Italian places, even if not vegan-friendly (like Buca di Beppo's), do have olive oil, and will gladly accomodate you if you ask for this as a substitute for butter." -froggythefrog</span><br><br><br><br>
7. Nicer restaurants often have a variety of sides that are served with the various entrees, so try scanning the entire menu for sides, and then ask the waiter if the kitchen will put together a plate of side dishes. At some of these restaurants, you can even ask to speak directly to the sous-chef in charge of vegetables.<br><br><br><br>
8. Never ask the waiter, "Is this vegetarian?" Many, many people in the food service industry have no idea that vegetarians object to things like lard in their tamales or chicken stock in their soup... and that's assuming they even have any idea what's in the tamales or soup. Instead, ask about specific ingredients like the ones mentioned in yesterday's tip. If there's the slightest hesitation, ask them to check with the kitchen. That said, I'm not sure that rennet is one you'll ever get a satisfactory answer on. I've concluded that eating out is simply a craps shoot as far as rennet is concerned. Some people are willing to eat the cheese without knowing for sure, others aren't... you must simply decide what your comfort level is.<br><br><br><br>
9. If the entree menu is hopeless, try scanning the appetizer menu, and after that, go for drinks and desserts. You many not get a nutritionally balanced meal, but you can still have a damn good time!<br><br><br><br>
10. If all else fails, eat your dry salad and roll with good grace and remind yourself that you're here to spend time with your family/friends, not for the food. You can sneak to the bathroom and have that Luna bar that's in your purse. And don't forget to treat yourself to an awesome veg*n meal tomorrow.<br><br><br><br>
Link to an entire thread on this topic with more tips and discussion:<br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=47169" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=47169</a>
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":up:"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":up:"> to Tess. These tips are great for everyone, not just new veg*ns <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smitten.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":smitten:">
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<b>Today's Tip: Beans</b><br><br><br><br>
Beans are a great source of fiber and a popular vegetarian protein source. Beans are part of nearly every cuisine in the world, so there are are dozens of varieties and literally thousands of ways to eat them. My favorites include black beans, red kidney beans, pinto beans, and cannellini beans (a large white bean often called for in Italian recipes). Another bean that's relatively unknown outside the vegetarian/health food/asian community is the tiny sweet adzuki bean (also seen as azuki or aduki), whose claim to fame is that it has one of the highest protein/carbohydrate ratios of any bean.<br><br><br><br>
You can't beat the convenience of canned beans, but they are relatively expensive compared to dry beans and often include added salt, sugar, and non-vegetarian ingredients such as lard, so read labels carefully! You can usually avoid these villains by choosing organic brands such as Eden or Westbrae if you can find them and are willing to pay the extra cash. Eden canned beans are cooked with kombu, a sea vegetable that adds certain essential minerals such as magnesium and reputedly helps soften the beans and make them less gassy.<br><br><br><br>
Dry beans are super cheap and many people prefer the texture and flavor of home-cooked beans to canned, but they take some planning. Most sources recommend soaking them in room temperature water for 8-12 hours to lessen the cooking time and remove the 'gas.' You can also use a quick soak method that takes only one hour. (See links for details) Once soaked, most beans take 1-2 hours to cook on the stove. Chickpeas take the longest, at 2.5 - 3 hours. But if you have a pressure cooker, they generally take less than 10 minutes! See links for tips on different cooking methods.<br><br><br><br>
For faster beans without the expense of canned, try dry lentils, mung beans, or split peas, which don't require pre-soaking and can be cooked in as little as 25-40 minutes. <i>(Thanks to froggythefrog for reminding me!)</i> You can also get instant dehydrated refried beans which are cheap, easy to use, and tasty. Simply reconstitute them with water.<br><br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Do beans really cause gas?</span><br><br><br><br>
If they're not cooked properly, they can. Some people are more sensitive than others, and simply acclimatizing your gut by eating them regularly can help. I learned three simple rules for minimizing gas:<br><br>
1. Soak them for at least 8 hours.<br><br>
2. Don't cook them in the soaking liquid - drain and rinse them well, then cook in fresh water.<br><br>
3. Cook them thoroughly. A fully cooked bean should mash easily between your tongue and the roof of your mouth. Test several beans for doneness, as they can cook at different rates.<br><br>
4. Some people also drain and rinse all canned beans before using them. I personally don't. But if you notice that canned beans give you more gas, try it.<br><br><br><br>
Conversion tips:<br><br>
1 15 oz can of beans = 1.5 cups cooked dried beans with liquid (according to Vegetarian Times)<br><br>
1 cup dry beans = 2 to 2.5 cups cooked beans<br><br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Today's Recipe</span>: <a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=46688" target="_blank">Garlicky White Beans with Spinach</a><br><br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Beany Links</span>:<br><br><a href="http://www.centralbean.com" target="_blank">http://www.centralbean.com</a> (contains non-vegetarian recipes)<br><br><a href="http://la.essortment.com/gastintestinal_rvgh.htm" target="_blank">http://la.essortment.com/gastintestinal_rvgh.htm</a> (they recommend Beano, which contains gelatin)<br><br><a href="http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/1120.html" target="_blank">http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/1120.html</a><br><br><a href="http://www.recipegoldmine.com/beans/beans.html" target="_blank">http://www.recipegoldmine.com/beans/beans.html</a> (contains non-vegetarian recipes)<br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=47550" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=47550</a><br><br><br><br><span>"Oh, and to add on your tip about beans, Tesseract..... beans are super-easy to cook in a crock pot, too. Just sort, rinse, toss them in with some water and some spices, and give them an 8-hour cook (I never soak my beans because I'm rarely that organised )." -4EverGrounded</span>
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<b>Today's Tip: Creating Vegetarian Nutrition</b><br><br>
Courtesy of 4EverGrounded<br><br><br><br>
Becoming veg is not just about cutting out meat (and possibly milk products) and eating what's left. You have to add things in to make up for the nutrients you're "missing". Protein, iron, zinc and fat (and calcium if you're going vegan) are the main ones to make sure you're still getting. Protein is found just about everywhere but iron, zinc and fat are a bit more challenging to get (but not impossible). Iron is found in deep green leafy vegetables especially and they're best absorbed with some vitamin C eaten at the same time (bell peppers, especially red and orange ones, have more vitamin C in them than an orange). Zinc is best gotten though beans and seeds. Especially pumpkin seeds, sesme seeds, cashews, black beans and white beans.<br><br><br><br>
Fat is one thing that a lot of people are afraid of, but fat is an essential nutrient, imo. Fat is what helps fat-soluable vitamins (A, D, E and K, iirc) absorb better and fat is what helps keep a person feeling fuller longer (I've noticed a lot of people going veg and then wondering why they're starving all the time. Chances are, they're not eating enough fats). Plant-based fats are better than animal ones (duh) and they're best found in avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut [oil] and olive oil. It's best to have a bit of plant-based fat with each meal if you're going vegan. If you're LO, then chances are the fat issue isn't that much of a problem but it's still best to go with plant-based fats whenever possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
<b>Today's Tip: Protein Woes... or Not?</b><br><br><br><br>
"But how do you get enough protein?" is probably one of the most common questions you'll be asked as a vegetarian. Getting enough protein is far easier than most people think. In fact, it's hard NOT to get enough protein, unless you're anorexic or you're eating nothing but candy.<br><br><br><br>
Most reputable nutrition sources I've seen recommend somewhere between 2.5% and 15% of protein from calories for normal healthy people. Or to measure it a different way, 30-60 grams per day. (I've obtained these numbers from different sources and haven't done the math converting between them, so they may not quite match up.) Even the U.S. Army formulates its MREs for soldiers in the field to provide 50% carbohydrate, 35% fat, and 15% protein.<br><br><br><br>
How hard is it to get 15% of your calories from protein, using only vegetable sources? Newsflash: ALL vegetables have protein. So when people ask, "Where do you get your protein?" you can honestly answer, "From everything I eat." For example, spinach, not exactly known as a protein powerhouse, has a whopping 36% of calories from protein. (Another source listed it as 49%. I'm not sure which one to believe, but they're both pretty impressive.)<br><br><br><br>
Here are some other vegetable protein stats:<br><br>
broccoli - 33%<br><br>
cauliflower - 26%<br><br>
Green beans - 18%<br><br>
Potatoes - 8%<br><br>
Sweet potatoes - 7%<br><br>
Lentils - 30%<br><br>
Kidney beans - 27%<br><br>
Tofu - 40%<br><br>
Oatmeal - 15%<br><br>
Cantaloupe - 9%<br><br>
Peanuts - 18%<br><br>
Almonds - 13%<br><br>
Rice - 8%<br><br>
Whole wheat bread - 15%<br><br>
(Source: <i>Diet for a New America</i> and <i>Becoming Vegan</i>)<br><br><br><br>
Of course, these numbers aren't the whole story, since foods like grains, nuts and beans are much more calorie-dense than foods like spinach and zucchini. But the bottom line is, if you fill up on a meal of steamed spinach, sweet potatoes with pecans, and sauteed zucchini, you've just gotten enough protein for one meal, even though it doesn't seem like a protein-dense meal. If you want to punch it up some more, you could add some whole grain bread or a bean salad.<br><br><br><br><b>What about complete protein?</b> Most vegetable foods are not complete proteins-- that is, they don't contain all nine essential amino acids. Soy is a complete protein, and I've seen some sources that say avocado is. Many other vegetables are only one or two amino acids short of being complete, so it's easy to combine them for complete protein. We now know that it's not necessary to carefully combine proteins at the same meal in order to get complete protein-- just eat a varied diet throughout the day. But if you want to combine proteins, just about any pulse (a bean or legume) combined with nearly any whole grain will provide complete protein. Some examples are:<br><br><br><br>
red beans and rice<br><br>
chickpeas and couscous<br><br>
lentil soup and bread<br><br>
bean salad and tabouli<br><br>
hummus and pita bread<br><br>
peanut butter and whole wheat bread<br><br>
pinto beans and corn chips
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<b>Today's Tip: Vegetarian Menu Planning<br><br></b><br><br>
To people who have grown up eating meals of 'meat and two sides,' cutting out the meat can leave an empty hole in your dinner plate and an empty feeling in your belly. Making complete, satisfying vegetarian meals isn't hard-- it just requires a shift in thinking. I recommend you stop thinking of foods as 'entrees' and 'side dishes' and start creating combinations of foods that please the senses, fill the belly, and provide complete nutrition.<br><br><br><br>
One of my simplest kinds of meal is to simply replace 'meat and two vegetables' with 'starch and two greens.' So I keep a mental list of starches and greens, and pick an assortment for meals when I'm planning my grocery shopping. It might go something like this:<br><br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Starches</span><br><br>
White potatoes<br><br>
Sweet potatoes<br><br>
Pasta<br><br>
Beans<br><br>
Rice<br><br>
Corn<br><br>
Any other grain, such as barley, millet, quinoa, bulghur wheat, etc.<br><br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Greens</span> (by this I simply mean non-starchy vegetables)<br><br>
Spinach<br><br>
Broccoli<br><br>
Asparagus<br><br>
Cauliflower<br><br>
Carrots<br><br>
Tomatoes<br><br>
Zucchini<br><br>
Green Beans<br><br>
Kale<br><br>
Collard Greens<br><br>
There are many more, of course-- these are just some that come to mind.<br><br><br><br>
If you want to be sure you're packing plenty of protein, you can add a third mental list of <span style="text-decoration:underline;">high-protein foods</span>:<br><br>
Tofu<br><br>
Tempeh<br><br>
Seitan<br><br>
Mock meats such as Quorn or Morningstar Farms<br><br>
Beans (a great protein source as well as a starch)<br><br>
Nuts<br><br>
Dairy & Eggs (if you're lacto-ovo)<br><br><br><br>
Come up with your own mental list of foods you're comfortable with, and try adding something new every week or two. To make a complete meal, just pick either 1 or 2 starches plus 2 greens, or 1 starch, 1 high-protein, and 2 greens. You may want to learn to take somewhat larger servings of your veggies than you used to, since many vegetables are less calorie dense than meat.<br><br><br><br>
A few examples from my own kitchen include:<br><br>
Baked sweet potato, steamed spinach, and roasted asparagus (add protein: whole grain bread)<br><br>
Whole-grain pasta tossed with sauteed onions, peppers, & cherry tomatoes (add protein: pine nuts)<br><br>
Stir-fried broccoli, peppers & carrots with rice (add protein: glazed tofu)<br><br>
Taco salad with beans, salad greens & vegetables (add protein: seasoned taco "meat")<br><br><br><br>
Link: <a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=47437" target="_blank">The Inspiring Meals Showcase</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<b>Today's Tip: Packing Plenty of Protein</b><br><br><br><br>
If you've been following along, you know that I already posted a tip discussing how easy it is to get enough protein. But since the protein issue is such a common question, I'll address it from a different angle... making sure you're getting enough.<br><br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">How Much Is Enough?</span><br><br>
The USDA thinks that about .36 grams per pound of body weight per day is enough. If we throw in an extra safety factor to acount for issues unique to vegetarians, we get .45 grams per pound of body weight (or measured a different way, ~10% of calories). So if you weigh 100 pounds, 45 grams is your daily RDA of protein. If you weigh 125 pounds, it's about 56 grams. 150 pounds, 68 grams. (Some sources cited in <i>Diet For A New America</i> think you need even less.)<br><br>
Source: <a href="http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.htm" target="_blank">http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.htm</a><br><br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Foods High in Protein</span><br><br>
Cooked soybeans, 1 cup - 28.6 g<br><br>
Firm tofu, 1/2 cup - 19.9 g<br><br>
Lentils, 1 cup - 17.9 g<br><br>
Seitan, 1/4 cup dry mix - 15.9 g<br><br>
Tempeh, 1/2 cup - 15.8 g<br><br>
Kidney beans, 1 cup - 15.4 g<br><br>
Pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup - 8.5 g<br><br>
Pine nuts, 1/4 cup - 8.2 g<br><br>
Sesame tahini, 3 tbsp - 8.1 g<br><br>
Sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup - 8.0 g<br><br>
Peanut butter, 2 tbsp - 8 g<br><br>
2 slices whole wheat bread - 6 g (white bread contains slightly less)<br><br>
1 medium egg - 5.5 g<br><br>
1/2 cup cowmilk - 4 g<br><br>
1/2 cup soymilk - 3.5 g<br><br>
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Animal foods for comparison<br><br>
Ground beef, 2 oz - 10.6 g<br><br>
Chicken, 2 oz - 15.3 g<br><br>
Salmon, 2 oz - 15.5 g<br><br>
Source: Becoming Vegan (and a few nutrition labels in my kitchen). You can also get more protein data here:<br><br><a href="http://www.veganpeace.com/nutrient_information/nutrient_info/good_sources/good_sources_protein.htm" target="_blank">http://www.veganpeace.com/nutrient_i...es_protein.htm</a><br><br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Some Examples of High-Protein Vegetarian Meals</span><br><br>
1/2 cup fried tofu with with stir-fried vegetables and rice<br><br>
Chili made with beans and a meat alternative such as seitan or TVP<br><br>
A peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread<br><br>
A sandwich on whole wheat bread with tempeh, tofu, or vegetarian deli slices (don't forget the veggies!)<br><br>
A bean and rice burrito on a whole wheat tortilla<br><br>
A bowl of whole grain cereal with nuts and cowmilk or soymilk<br><br>
Taco salad with beans and hamburger-style crumbles<br><br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Other Tips for Adding Protein</span><br><br>
Spread hummus on sandwiches instead of mayo<br><br>
Sprinkle nuts or sunflower seeds over salads or hot/cold cereal<br><br>
Make creamy dressings with soft silken tofu<br><br>
Try recipes using tahini<br><br>
Try commercial meat analogs-- many of them are quite high in protein<br><br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Disclaimer</span> - I've never counted grams of protein since I've been vegetarian, or worried about how much protein I eat. I just eat, and I feel fine, so I'm not really practicing what I'm preaching here. Since I've been tracking my food on FitDay.com, I've noticed I routinely get between 10 and 15% of my calories from protein, without making a point of eating high-protein foods. See? It's easy! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/yes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":yes:">
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
<b>Today's Tip: Vegetarian Diplomacy</b><br><br><br><br>
Chances are, you've already faced questions about your decision to be vegetarian. You may get questions and comments from people who are genuinely interested, those who are merely curious, and those who are actually hostile because they feel threatened by your choices. How you respond to these people can make a big difference in making your life easier or harder, and it can and will influence how they view vegetarianism.<br><br><br><br>
1. You're not on trial. You don't have to respond to any question or comment that makes you uncomfortable. Know you have the power to end a conversation that's going beyond your boundaries.<br><br><br><br>
2. Be your own best advertisement. Nothing warms people up to vegetarianism like meeting a healthy, happy vegetarian who's comfortable with herself and her choices (and who eats drool-icious food that makes all the meaters jealous! )<br><br><br><br>
3. If you want to make a practice of discussing vegetarianism with people, arm yourself with knowledge. Read, read, read, and be ready to discuss what you read! (Even if you don't plan to discuss it with people, it's a good idea to educate yourself about your choices.)<br><br><br><br>
4. This one is always controversial, but IMO, being angry, accusatory and judgmental of other people's choices rarely does much to advance vegetarianism as a way of life.<br><br><br><br>
5. Recognize everyone, even the most hostile critic, as a potential vegetarian. It may seem ludicrous, but I've heard some amazing stories of the most hostile meaters ending up as the happiest vegetarians. Many of these people are so frightened by the idea of life without meat that they use hostility as a defense. More than being told their way of life is wrong, they need to be reassured that life can still be good without meat.<br><br><br><br>
Recommended reading: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=veggieboards.com-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fproduct%2F0826415539%2Fqid%3D1140983620%2Fsr%3D2-1%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_b_2_1%2F104-5303209-4959140%3Fs%3Dbooks%26v%3Dglance%26n%3D283155" target="_blank">Living Among Meat Eaters</a> by Carol J. Adams
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK, that's it for now! Whew! I would write a fresh tip for today, but I have a killer headache- cutting and pasting is about all I'm up to at the moment. But I nominate any or all of the following topics if anyone wants to take them on: eggplant, miso, tempeh, seitan, bulghur wheat, barley, kale, tahini, chickpeas, foods rich in iron, foods rich in calcium, vegan meat analogs, vegan egg replacers, nutritional yeast, handling holidays... gosh, the list of great tip topics goes on and on!<br><br><br><br>
And thanks for the props, guys! I was a little afraid I might be seen as tooting my own horn since I wrote most of them so far.
 

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Since most of these were originally in the Goin' Veg Club thread, they may not have been seen by some people, who could really use these tips, so it's useful to have them in their own thread. Thanks, Tess! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":up:">
 

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Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I found this thread to be extremely helpful. I read the entire thing and feel a little better about my protein intake since it has been a point of concern for me. Thanks Tess!
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>celery</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
My only tip is to eat lots and lots of Celery</div>
</div>
<br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/toilet.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":flush:">
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
<b>Today’s Tip: Dairy Alternatives</b><br><br><br><br>
Thinking of reducing dairy or eliminating it from your diet altogether, but don’t know where to start? VB can help! Here are some common replacements for dairy products to help you get started.<br><br><br><br><b>Milk:</b> Yes, you can still enjoy a warm, chewy brownie and a tall cold glass of milk! Soy milk is the most popular alternative to cow milk. It tastes great and cooks in recipes just like cow milk, in my experience. However, not everyone likes it at first taste. Silk is one of the most popular American brands, and many people find that it tastes the most similar to cow milk. But if you don’t like the first one you try, don’t give up on soy milk, because brand and flavor preferences are highly personal. There are many brands to choose from, including several that are cheaper than Silk, and nearly every brand has its advocates, as well as its detractors. Most plant milks come in aseptic 1-quart cartons which can be stored at room temperature for several months, although a few brands also come in cartons similar to cow milk, sold in the refrigerator case. Most grocery stores these days will probably carry at least one kind of plant milk in the natural foods section or near the produce section, although you’ll often find a better selection at health/natural food stores. (Note that 8th Continent soy milk contains vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), which is derived from sheep’s wool and is therefore not vegan. AFAIK, all other brands are vegan.)<br><br><br><br>
Kpickell says: <span>"8th Continent used to use D3, but it does not any longer. It is suitable for vegans."</span><br><br><br><br>
If you really don’t like soy milk, or you want to limit your soy intake, there are other delicious plant milks available that some people prefer, including rice milk (Rice Dream is very popular), almond milk (Almond Breeze gets a lot of recommendations), other nut milks like hazelnut and cashew, and oat milk.<br><br><br><br>
Rawgirl says: <span>"It's really easy to make almond milk at home and rice milk. Just soak the rice or almonds overnight, then blend them with water in a 4 to 1 ratio of water to grain or nut. Strain and drink. To make it chocolate, after straining, add cocoa powder and agave nectar, honey , brown rice syrup, or whatever sweetener you like. Yummy. You can also use carob powder for carob milk which is also yummy."</span><br><br><br><br>
When using any plant milk in cooking, just be careful not to use a sweetened variety in a savory recipe, as it will affect the flavor. Many brands, including Silk, sweeten their “plain” flavors. But Silk and Edensoy also sell unsweetened versions, and other brands may as well.<br><br><br><br><b>Ice Cream:</b> No, giving up dairy doesn’t mean you have to give up ice cream! There are a number of good non-dairy frozen desserts on the market, including Tofutti, Soy Delicious, Rice Dream, Soy Dream, and others. Some of them are so rich and creamy you’d never know they’re dairy-free! They come in a number of yummy flavors, although the fancier flavors may not be available in all areas. Tofutti Cuties are one of the most consistently popular items among VB members, according to the <a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=48636" target="_blank">Favorite Commercial Food Products</a> survey.<br><br><br><br><b>Cheese:</b> Survey says, cheese is the toughest dairy product to replace in a dairy-free diet. While there are many “non-dairy” cheeses on the market, most of them contain casein, a protein derived from cow milk, to help them melt smoothly and be more “cheesy.” Depending on how thoroughly you want to eliminate dairy, you may or may not consider them appropriate. <a href="http://www.followyourheart.com/cheese.php" target="_blank">Vegan Gourmet</a> consistently gets high marks from VB members as the best truly non-dairy cheese, but it can be hard to find. Nutritional yeast can also substitute for cheese in some recipes, such as macaroni and “cheese” and nacho “cheese” sauce.<br><br><br><br><b>Other Items:</b> For a non-dairy cream replacement, try Silk Creamer. Many people here enjoy it in their coffee, and say it works fine as a replacement for cream in cooking. For Half&Half, blend equal parts Silk Creamer and unsweetened soymilk. (Note that many coffee creamers labeled as "non-dairy" actually do contain dairy derivatives such as sodium caseinate.)<br><br><br><br>
Tofutti makes two great products to replace sour cream and cream cheese: Better Than Cream Cheese, and Better Than Sour Cream (a.k.a. Sour Supreme). BTCC is pretty consistently popular, while Sour Supreme has some detractors. I personally like Sour Supreme just fine.<br><br><br><br>
Most mainstream brand margarines contain whey, which is derived from cow milk. Others may contain vitamin D3, which is also non-vegan. Smart Balance Light is known for being one of the few mainstream brands that is completely free of animal products. Regular Smart Balance is not dairy free-- only the Light. The same company also makes a product called Earth Balance, found in the natural food section of regular groceries or at health/natural food stores, that is not light and is suitable for cooking. Spectrum Buttery Spread, Blue Bonnet Light and Smart Squeeze are also dairy-free.<br><br><br><br>
There are also at least a couple of dairy-free whipped cream products on the market including <a href="http://www.nowandzen.net/hipwhip.html" target="_blank">Hip Whip</a> (on the idea of Cool Whip) and <a href="http://www.soyatoo.com/" target="_blank">Soyatoo Soy Whip</a> (in a traditional whipped cream spray can). These products have both fans and detractors. Some VBers swear that an accidentally vegan product called <a href="http://whiptopping.com/" target="_blank">Rich's Whip</a> beats both of these hands down.<br><br><br><br>
No, you do not have to give up chocolate, either! Although all milk chocolate and some dark contains dairy, there are many brands of dark chocolate which are dairy-free. Here's a link to the latest dairy-free chocolate thread: <a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=29320" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=29320</a><br><br><br><br><b>Hidden Milk:</b> The three most common milk derivatives you're likely to see on labels at the grocery store are whey, lactose, and casein.<br><br><br><br><b>Related Links:</b><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=36734" target="_blank">Weaning Off Dairy... the SUPPORT Thread!</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=52155" target="_blank">Soy Milk Poll</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=51322" target="_blank">Soyatoo Soy Whip thread</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=25520" target="_blank">Punkmommy's nacho "cheese" sauce recipe</a><br><br><a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=21449" target="_blank">The thread in which VB members rave about the nacho "cheese" sauce</a><br><br>
I wanted to post the vegan brownie recipe, but I can't find it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/help.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":help:">
 

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<a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showpost.php?p=469903&postcount=3" target="_blank">Here's</a> punkmommy's brownie recipe as pictured <a href="http://www.veggieboards.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=6260&catid=searchresults&searchid=3606" target="_blank">here</a>
 
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