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From: David ( -
Subject: Re: Newbie
Date: March 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm PST

In Reply to: Newbie posted by Jessica Taylor on March 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm:

I have been a total vegetarian (vegan diet but without the animal rights activism) since last June.

I originally started this diet because a lacto-vegetarian friend asked me to create some vegetable based protein dishes for her that didn't use cheese. Her doctor had said that she had high cholesterol and that she needed to reduce her intake of saturated fats.

As a culinary arts instructor, I knew that if I was going to help my friend, I would have to explore a vegan/total vegetarian diet. I also decided to go on this diet for the summer as a way of losing some weight.

By the time summer had ended I had created 70+ recipes for my friend. Although summer ended 8 months ago, I am still on a vegan/total vegetarian diet because I found that I didn't miss meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, or dairy products.

The way I was able to adapt to this diet was simple. I created vegan version recipes of my popular comfort foods. (See picture above. These products may look like the real thing but they're entirely vegetable based).

Today I eat vegetarian versions of chicken fried steak with country gravy, grilled steaks with au jus, meatloaf, spaghetti with meat sauce, sloppy joes, tacos, chicken mu-shu, beef stew, Swedish meatballs etc.

I'm also writing a ten volume cookbook series called "The Unintentional Vegan, Vegan Version Recipes of Popular Comfort Foods." I've finished volume I and have tried publishing it as an e-book through but have had problems with formatting. Since I'm being laid off at the end of May due to budget cuts, I've turned my efforts away from publishing and towards finding a new job for the coming school year ... so it will be a few months before I publish.

In the meanwhile I am continuing to create new recipes for beef, pork, chicken, sea food, breakfast dishes, side dishes, soups and salads, appetizers, desserts, and cookies and breads.

In terms of advice, I'd suggest that you start out by trying vegan friendly processed foods that you can find in the frozen section of your local supermarket like soy burgers, "chicken" patties etc. I've found that it's easier to go total vegetarian if you're eating food that resemble and taste like the food that you're used to.

If you enjoy cooking, you could purchase vegan cookbooks (not mine since I'm not yet published) or you could look on-line to find some free recipes.

I have 3 free recipes at my website for coconut ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. My website may be found at:

Best wishes,


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