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From: Bryanna (
Subject:         Re: New Vegan needs cooking help
Date: November 17, 2008 at 8:01 am PST

In Reply to: New Vegan needs cooking help posted by Dev22 on November 14, 2008 at 9:33 pm:

Sorry I didn't answer earlier-- I was away for the

First of all, I urge you to read the books
“Becoming Vegetarian” and “Becoming Vegan” by vegan
registered dieticians Vesanto Melina, Brenda Davis
and Victoria Harrison. (Your library may be able to
get books for you through inter-library loans if
they do not have them.)

In “Becoming Vegetarian”, BTW, there is a good
chapter called “From market to meals" that helps
with meal planning.

Here are some ideas for planning a better diet
written by Ginny (Virginia) Messina, RD (registered

Also, try PETA's recipe site:

For recipes, you might want to check out my
cookbook "20 Minutes to Dinner" (amazon or, and also my blog, Notes
from the Vegan Feast Kitchen, which you can link to
from this page:
There are lots and lots of recipes!

About tofu-- the recipe that we still use over and
over after all these years, is in almost all of my
books, and has converted more tofu-phobes to tofu
lovers, is "Breast of Tofu". You can find the
recipe here:

I also have a large free recipe archive on my
website here:

The following link is for the Vegetarian Resource
Group's book catalog. They produce some very simple
vegan cookbooks that might help you, such as
"Conveniently Vegan", "Vegan Handbook", "Meatless
Meals for Working people", and "Simply Vegan".

They also have some excellent articles from their
journal on their site-- they do excellent work.

Make creative use of such things as Yves "Ground
Round" or other vegetarian “hamburger crumbles",
which is like cooked hamburger and can be added to
all kinds of things. You can buy the Yves stuff
quite cheaply (cheaper than ground beef!) in a
large 4-pack package. Tofu is also cheap and quick
and easy-- grill with any kind of sauce and serve
with rice and veggies! (Use extra-firm tofu for
grilling and stir-frying.)

Stir-fries are also excellent-- click this link for
62 vegan stir-fry recipes!

Vegan crockpot recipes!

There are many many good vegan blogs, too. Email
me for some recommendations.

Clark Grogan:

You may be worried that, despite your good reasons
for becoming vegan, the food will be so dull that
you won’t be able to stick it out. Fortunately,
there are so many wonderful vegan foods out there
that a lifetime is not enough time to sample all
the possible combinations! It’s a challenge, there
is no doubt, but give yourself time to change your
“cooking mind set”, as I call it, to vegan
ingredients and vegan meal-planning—it took me a
year to be really comfortable. Don’t beat up on
yourself if you mistakenly eat an animal food at
first—just tuck away your new knowledge about that
food, and keep on eating vegan!

It’s a lot easier to eat vegan than it was 10 years
ago. There are fabulous vegan frozen entrees, dairy
substitutes, meat substitutes, canned soups,
cookies, chocolates—the list goes on and on! These
can be expensive, however, so you will probably
want to cook a lot of your own foods. The internet
can be a big help here, as you will find dozens of
vegan websites with great recipes, information,
articles, and discussion boards, and online vegan
stores and bookstores will have pages of vegan
cookbooks for you to peruse.

Health food stores have a lot of the products you
will be using, but many supermarkets are branching
out and are good sources of nondairy milks, organic
produce and bulk items, and even meat substitutes,
so shop around. Asian markets have a lot of
interesting items, including frozen vegetarian
“mock meats” and “mock seafoods” that are fabulous
and that you can get nowhere else!

(There is a long tradition of Buddhist vegetarian
“meats” in Asia-- visit a Chinese or Vietnamese
Buddhist vegetarian restaurant if you can, and you
will be amazed at the fabulous food and long menus!
Here is a site where you can purchase these online: )

If you have a local vegetarian society, join it—
you’ll be able to participate in potlucks where you
can sample vegan dishes and swap recipes. You
probably have some vegan recipes in your repertoire
already, and you don’t even think of them as vegan—
four-bean salad; meatless spaghetti sauce; lentil
soup; etc.. Often, recipes need just a little
“tweaking” to become vegan-- substituting soymilk
for milk, or vegetarian “hamburger crumbles” for
the ground beef.

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