“recognize meat for what it really is:
the antibiotic- and pesticide-laden corpse of a tortured animal. “
i’ve been a vegan for about two years now and before that i ate very little meat. like every other vegan/vegetarian i’ve seen peta’s videos on the injustice of animals and factory farming; or like me, they’ve just known there was something weird about consuming harmless animals. or quiet possibly you were brought up by vegan parents based on a belief. whatever your reason, your compassion is helping animals everywhere. before vegan-ism was introduced into my lifestyle, i knew nothing about the basics of vegan baking or cooking.
you are probably familiar with mush, it is the equivalent of mashed potatoes. this normally happens when you think everything needs to be placed into one dish to an entree.
for anyone who is switching to a vegan diet, you must understand that you will not lose weight switching to this diet if you do not couple it with exercise. exercise does not have to be strenuous, but something that raises your heart-rate and will make you perspire.
as well: read all ingredient labels! some meat substitutes contain or were manufactured in facilities that produce milk, wheat, eggs, and peanuts.
naturally i prefer ota tofu, but it is made locally, so second on my list is azumaya tofu. you can find it at your local grocers; it comes in silken, firm, extra firm, lite and lite extra firm. silken tofu is used mostly for baking; while firmer tofu be used in stir-fries, lasagna, pasta, burritos, to replace egg, etc. if you don’t want to spend $5 or more dollars on a different meat substitute, this doesn’t break the bank and is a perfect dinner treat. in later chapters i’ll explain cooking with tofu and what types of tofu are perfect for certain meals.
gimme lean ground sausage/beef style is a protein crumble and is great in tacos, spaghetti, breakfast patties, etc.
for another great faux meat selection ranging from shrimp to chorizo you can visit:
seitan is a great way to substitute chicken, roast, turkey, beef, and pork. it is made up from wheat gluten so i wouldn’t recommend this for people with wheat allergies.
portabella mushrooms are great for burgers and because of it’s tough meat-like texture fits in most dishes.
burger patties, chik’n nuggets/strips, wings (http://www.bocaburger.com/)
and the ever popular bacon (not for those who love real pork).
in some of the dishes i recreate i’ll explain when to use these faux meats and how to make them exciting to a carnivores taste buds.
it is important to remember that vegetables are not side dishes, but the main dish itself. because vegetables are high in protein and fiber it is not necessary to use a large amount of faux meat. vegetables should be steamed, sautéed or baked; boiling vegetables results in a loss of nutrients.
fruits are usually used in desert style dishes and don’t need much added to give it great flavor. in order to sweeten or enhance a fruit salad garnish with a lime and drizzle with agave nectar.
vegenaise and earth balance butter:
soy milk/almond milk/hemp milk, etc… i will leave that up to you to find your favorite milk. i prefer silk or earth balance, but flavor is an “to each their own” kind of thing.
for the occasional snacker:
amy’s frozen vegetarian/vegan meals are amazing! moo enjoys them for lunch when he’s at work or when i don’t feel like cooking XD ( http://www.amys.com/)
there is also annie’s who has a large line of mac and cheeses and cookies (some are vege and some are vegan).
and there is newman’s own who has a bunch of snack items (i believe most products are vegan).
to assure that what you are buying is vegan check for symbols like:
or you could just re-read the ingredients to be completely sure.
to conclude: there are certain vitamins and amino-acids that need to be made up for in a vegan diet. for example: you can buy nutritional yeast to supplement vitamin b12 and bragg’s liquid amino-acids is a soy-sauce alternative and is complete with all (and i mean all) the amino-acids (http://www.bragg.com/).
i’m sure i’ve touched bases on all the basics for a healthy vegan diet.
my next post will be on the use of cast-iron: who, what, where, when, how and why!?