going vegan without soy and on a budget? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 01-12-2011, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i've been considering going vegan for a long, long time. now i think i'm finally gearing up to take the plunge. is it fairly easy to do without eating much soy? we don't eat soy here. also, i'm on a REALLY strict budget, so any tricks for dealing with that are welcome too!


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#2 of 17 Old 01-12-2011, 07:29 PM
 
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I'd say it's even easier to do since you won't have the temptation of so many of the nondairy products made with soy. Of course there are the coconut milk ones... eat.gif But even still, beans, nuts & seeds, whole grains, and veggies are easy to get and make cheaply.

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#3 of 17 Old 01-12-2011, 07:38 PM
 
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Soymilk is cheaper than other non-dairy milks, even comparing organic soy and conventional whatever, but you don't NEED milk subs, really. 

 

I'm not soy-free, but most of my meals are, and another big chunk would be easy to adapt by using a different alternative milk than what I choose. Lentils, beans and nuts can provide plenty of complementary proteins.

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#4 of 17 Old 01-12-2011, 08:20 PM
 
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I've been vegan for three years, and soy free for one! It is doable, and it's really not that hard. We 'splurge' on fortified almond milk, but that's really the only substitute product that we use... Occasionally we might buy Daiya cheese or coconut milk ice cream, but not often. We are also on a budget! For your information, veganrella and daiya 'cheese' are both vegan and soy free!

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#5 of 17 Old 01-12-2011, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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a friend pointed out to me that a lot of the pre- made processed soy foods are the ones that cost big bucks. dd drinks almond milk (she will be going gfcf soon), so that's no biggie for me to pick up. i don't drink a lot of straight milk anyway. now i need to put together a grocery list!


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#6 of 17 Old 01-14-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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Yes, it's true! It's the premade stuff that costs the big bucks.

 

I really like this website for recipes http://vegandad.blogspot.com/ . If you ever find yourself craving the 'fake meat' stuff, he has great recipes for it that are soy free! (Seitan). They do call for soy sauce, but I just leave that out and add a little bit more water. I've also made my own vegan 'ground beef' style meat with just eggplant, mushrooms, and onions.... Also, if you're looking for a vegan soy free boullion cube, McCormicks has "beef" flavoured ones - check the ingredients to make sure it's the right one, but I use them all the time.

 

I've really enjoyed being soy free and vegan, and we do a LOT of baking/cooking! And we've made a lot of things that I never dreamed possible...

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#7 of 17 Old 01-15-2011, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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that's a great site! i ordered a bunch of groceries today ( we love amazon fresh!), and we're going to get over to the health food store where they have lots of bulk beans, lentils, nuts, ect.. i love legumes and i doubt i'll be missing the texture of meat much. i think its the whole dishes (like things i ate in my childhood) that are things i'll miss until i figure out alternate ways to make them (which i'm sure i will). i can't wait to experiment with baking!


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#8 of 17 Old 01-17-2011, 05:26 PM
 
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We are 97% soy free -- every once in awhile we'll get a block of tofu as a treat, or order something soy-based while out. (We are also gluten-free which automatically knocks out most soy options!)

 

Beans are super cheap, and you can substitute pureed beans for tofu in certain recipes where tofu is the binder. We use a lot of nuts too & make our own nut milks (which is also very cheap!) Lately we've been using a lot of coconut milk too -- if you buy full-fat coconut milk (or cream if you can find it without added corn syrup etc.) then you can dilute it with water to whatever consistency you like, and it's almost as good as the store-bought cartons of coconut milk!

 

Most of our diet is vegetables, and we use a lot of frozen veggies. I have found that if you add one or two fresh ingredients (i.e. fresh herbs, onions, etc.) to your frozen veggies, they lose a lot of that dull, frozen taste.

 

For grains we rely heavily on rice, rice/corn pastas, polenta, and corn tortillas (all of which are pretty inexpensive). We have quinoa sometimes as well, but it's pricier...

 

We make most of our own condiments (which we don't tend to use all that often anyway, but I'll make things like ketchup, BBQ sauce, tahini dip, salad dressings, etc.) and save a lot of money there as well.

 

One of my favorite things is trying to make classic/favorite dishes without the meat, cheese, eggs.... I think it is so much fun!!


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#9 of 17 Old 01-17-2011, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the tips! i like the coconut milk idea. we do eat a tad bit of soy here and there, but not much. i have been cooking more with dried beans the last couple of days, which has been much easier than i thought, and much cheaper than the canned stuff. i made some great soup the other day! i can see that if i plan to cook from scratch i can definitely do this on the cheap, even with buying organic. just working on dropping the last bits of animal products from my diet- i don't do well stopping anything cold turkey! honey is going to be the hardest thing for me to give up, which is funny because there are plenty of plant based alternatives out there. oh, and ditching pre packaged snacks has been harder than i thought, but this is something i'd have to get rid of anyway as we won't be able to afford them if i'm not working. just need to go on a baking rampage.


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#10 of 17 Old 01-19-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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We make our own oat milk as a milk substitute for cheap cheap. 

 

We just use a food processor to grind the oat into oat flour and add water, sugar/simple syrup/maple syrup/agave, and a bit of vanilla or cocoa powder (for chocolate milk). You could do without the sweetener and flavors, or experiment with your own!

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#11 of 17 Old 01-19-2011, 09:27 PM
 
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 Hey Inky. Going vegan is easier than you think. When my daughters and I went vegan, I felt like the whole culinary world opened up to us. So many new, fresh possibilities...and inexpensive. We don't eat alot of soy (maybe 2-3 x/month) and focus our meals around fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains and breads, legumes and nuts and seeds. The key is to focus on whole foods and not the prepackaged stuff. Buy in bulk, join a food coop to get reduced prices on different foods and shop at farmer's markets. You will save loads of money. For inspiration, peruse through some vegan cookbooks at your local bookstore or library. My favorite vegan cookbooks right now are: Get it Ripe (Jae Steele), Ripe From Around Here (Jae Steele), Clean Food (Terry Walters) and The 30 Minute Vegan (Mark Reinfeld/Jennifer Murray). Clean Food is one of my favorites because the ingredient lists are very short, the recipe is simple to make, the focus is on whole foods and the food is delicious!!! I hope that inspires you to take the plunge. Enjoy your journey!!!

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#12 of 17 Old 01-20-2011, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the new replies! so far, so good. i even navigated our staff meeting dinner at work with no problems. i'm eating a LOT more whole grains. i was surprised that it took my tummy a while to adjust to the changes, but now it seems adjusted and fine. woohoo.


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#13 of 17 Old 01-25-2011, 01:09 PM
 
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Subbing.  We are soy-free nearly vegans.

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#14 of 17 Old 01-25-2011, 04:04 PM
 
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I went Vegan about five months ago, my children and my SO are not Vegan (yet) so I do a lot of budget friendly eating.

 

I recently joined our local Organic Coop and I get lots of Vegan foods at wholesale prices, including fresh fruits and veggies.

 

Just wanted to say hi and let you know that it is possible to be vegan and budget friendly. smile.gif

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#15 of 17 Old 10-23-2012, 07:04 PM
 
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Hi - FYI - Agave nectar is primary food for fruit bats and we should not be eating it as it is reducing the food supply. A good substitute for sweetening is coconut sugar, which by the way, has a low glycemic index.

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#16 of 17 Old 11-18-2012, 03:12 PM
 
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I think vegan is the cheapest diet! Dried grains and legumes are the cheapest food in the whole store. Produce is less expensive than the dairy case. Rice (or any grain) plus beans (or any legume) is going to give you the bare-bones essential nutrition you need. Add lots of fruits & veggies, the occasional juice or almond or coconut milk, a good tasty bread here & there, and you've got a clean, easy, healthy, animal-free diet.

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#17 of 17 Old 11-22-2012, 09:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

 

Beans are super cheap, and you can substitute pureed beans for tofu in certain recipes where tofu is the binder. We use a lot of nuts too & make our own nut milks (which is also very cheap!) Lately we've been using a lot of coconut milk too -- if you buy full-fat coconut milk (or cream if you can find it without added corn syrup etc.) then you can dilute it with water to whatever consistency you like, and it's almost as good as the store-bought cartons of coconut milk!

 

I love this idea. We are soy free too and have been milk-free because couldn't find a good dairy alternative. Everything has either added sugar or carrageenan or too much vegetable oil which we avoid too. We try to have EVOO, coconut, palm oil or ghee only.  I tried making oat milk but it was turning out too bitter but just noticed a different recipe on this thread and will be trying it.

 

p.s. when I have caffeine craving i make hot cocoa with just water and add a sweetner. turns out great.


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