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From: Bryanna (
Subject:         Re: Wanting to become Veg but where to start?
Date: July 27, 2010 at 3:11 pm PST

In Reply to: Wanting to become Veg but where to start? posted by TJ on July 24, 2010 at 3:53 pm:

First of all, congratulations on your decision! But realize that you can't make your
family become vegans or even vegetarians. It's a
personal decision.

There are ideas on transitioning on this page:

That said, here are links to essays by vegsource’s
own Jo Stepaniak, a fellow cookbook writer and
board moderator, on "mixed marriages” (so to
speak!) and family friction over vegetarianism:

I would also recommend the book "Living Among Meat-
eaters" by Carol J. Adams.

That said, the good news is that my husband was a meat-eater when we married 18 years ago. I didn’t preach to him, just cooked
good food. After a while, he only ate meat in
restaurants and at other people’s homes. I never
said a thing. Then he stopped ordering it in
restaurants. About 10 years ago he gave up dairy
(he still succumbs to a bit of cheese now and then,
but prefers soymilk to milk now). A couple of
years ago he announced that he was officially a
vegetarian. He still eats free-run eggs now and
then, but is a near vegan (he never did like

I tell you this so that you don’t worry about your
family too much. Let them add a piece of meat
alongside what you cook, or added to what you cook
(they can cook it and clean up after it themselves-
- spaghetti sauce, stir-fries, tacos, chilies, etc.
are good examples of dishes you can make veg and
then they can add meat.). After a time, they may
decide that they don’t need the meat!

My granddaughter is a vegetarian but the rest of her
family is not. My daughter makes alot of stir-
fries, pasta dishes and Mexican dishes and leaves
out the meat until the end. Then she takes out Savannah's portion and adds the meat to the rest.
She adds beans, tofu or a meat substitute to

Savannah came to my house and learned to cook some
dishes for herself, so it would be a good idea to
get your family involved in cooking.

Try PETA's cooking website for easy recipes,
products and ideas:

See this post:
for more ideas and advice.

I suggest that you browse vegetarian and vegan blogs cookbooks from your library. No doubt you will find a number of recipes that everyone might like. There are so many and the new ones get better and better! There are books on incorporating grains into your diet and books just on beans! I have written several cookbooks myself:

You can get to my blog via this link:

(I can't post my actual blog address here, but go to
the bottom of that post and click the link to my blog,
then go to the "Recipe Links" page-- link at the top
of every page on my blog.)

So-called "fake meats" can be helpful, especially for a teenager who
is going to be faced with challenging social
situations. It is a good transitional food and is a
good stand-by when time is short. Many brands are,
in fact, much less processed, certainly less fatty
and salty, than meat products. It has gone way beyond Boca burgers!

We don't eat them alot (and I make my own), but we
always have some Yves "ground round" in the freezer
for emergencies (it's great in tacos, spaghetti sauces and the like), and also dry Soy Curls® (see recipes on my blog), which are
a great dry chicken substitute similar to textured
soy protein, but made from the whole soybean. That's
it-- only whole soybean, nothing else! They have a
great texture when rehydrated with broth. (Though
they are dry, keep them [double-bagged] in the
freezer to keep them fresh, because they contain the natural oils.) Check them out (and for retailers or
ordering) at .

I have a page on my website which lists brands of
meat subs that are low in fat and have a reasonable
salt content:

Tofu is such a versatile vegetarian food that she
needs to give it another try! Baked and seasoned
tofu and smoked tofu, that you can buy in
supermarkets and health food stores, are delicious
and are good in sandwiches and wraps.

There are many other delicious tofu recipes on the
Internet, including on my blog. Tofu soaks up flavors, so use your
favorite grilling sauces on cubes and grill or broil
them (maybe in kebabs with veggies), use marinated
slices in stir-fries, etc.

Of course, it is always a good idea to rely on beans
and grains and veggies, and there are scads of good
recipes around. You can find some good ones on my
blog: check the Recipe Links page at the top of each page of my blog for lists of recipes in
categories, and there is one for beans and legumes.

Cheese is always the hardest-- trust me! My husband still struggles with it. It's so pervasive in North American cooking. If you email me at the link with my name, I can email you a file of my homemade cheese subs. Vegan bechamel sauce is a must, as it can be used in and on casseroles instead of melted cheese (this is actually traditional in many Italian lasagne) for that creamy quality.

If you prefer to use commercial ones, Galaxy Foods vegan Soy parmesan is very good, though it only comes in tiny shakers. There is a new vegan cheese (made with pea protein!) called Daiya that tastes good, melts, and stretches! It is not that easily available in retail yet, but many vegan vendors online (in the US and Canada) carry it. Other good ones are Vegan Gourmet (Earthkind) and Sheese. There are also a couple of vegan cheeses from the UK that are available online -- I haven't tried them yet. If you email me and tell me where you live, I can point you in the right direction. Tofutti makes a good vegan creme cheese, available in lots of places.

When I beame a vegan, there were very few cheese subs available and they were AWFUL (so were most of the recipes for subs)! So I got used to most foods without cheese or cheese subs, until I invented some of my own. I often make pizza without cheese-- it's delicious if you have a good crust, a good sauce, you use lightly-sauteed vegetables and a drizzle of good olive oil. And, as i said, a vegan bechamel sauce can make all the difference!

Some other books:

Feeding the Healthy Vegetarian Family by Ken

Complete Idiot Guide To Being Vegetarian by S
Havala, RD

The Natural Lunchbox: Vegetarian Meals for School,
Work & Home

The Vegetarian Lunchbasket: Over 225 Easy, Low-Fat,
Nutritious Recipes for the Quality-Conscious Family
on the Go

Better Than Peanut Butter & Jelly: Quick Vegetarian
Meals Your Kids Will Love! Revised Edition

The Jumbo Vegetarian Cookbook by Judi Gillies and
Jennifer Glossop – "If you are having trouble
finding new and exciting vegetarian dishes, this is
the book for you. Although The Jumbo Vegetarian
Cookbook is geared toward younger cooks, the food is
something the entire family will enjoy."

The PDQ (Pretty Darn Quick) Vegetarian Cookbook by
Donna Klein – "Busy families do not have time to
slave away for hours cooking dinner. The ingredients
and prep work are simple and the meals are designed
to take no more than 30-minutes from start to
finish. Fast and delicious, what more could you ask

Email me if
you need more specifics:
Good luck, and keep posting!

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