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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Four days ago we made the jump to near veganism. I say near because we've had some dairy in the house to use up (ok, some bacon too, but dh ate that). I'm not sure that we'll be completely vegan, but we won't eat cheese, probably not other dairy unless I can drive out to the raw milk farm to make yogurt once in a while. I'm unsure about butter. Eggs we might do when we can get them from the vegetable co-op lady in the fall.

Anyways, if this is going to work I need to have lots of food on hand to eat. And I need to plan dinners very carefully to avoid the lets-just-order-pizza times. Here's the tricky part: dh doesn't eat fresh veggies. He's seriously never had a salad. It's taken me a long time to get him this far. Now he will anything cooked. So I need meals that are appealing to a more mainstream taste (as in, he loves McDonald's). He's already not thrilled about losing meat (that we ate daily), but he's agreed, so I need to make a good go of it while I have a chance.

So far I've made Vegetarian chilli that he loved, Tofu cashew brocolli stir fry that he ate lots of but probably didn't love, and bean tacos that actually put some diced avocado on.

Not to mention that I have a very picky three year old that never ate meat anyways, but also won't eat veggies. He will eat any fruit, or food that doesn't look weird to him. Which is like five things. (That's why I may need to keep yogurt). The only protein he will eat is peanut butter or processed veggie chicken nuggets.

I also want to do this without using fake foods. I.E. egg replacers, fake meat, etc. At least not very often.

Can I make it work?
 

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Hmmm...wish I had more time, but it's almost time to make dinner!


I'm in a boat a lot like yours: we're pretty new to veganism; we've been working toward it for about two years and youngest DS and I have been completely vegan for about 6 months. DH is about 90%; the older kids live part time with their other parents, so they'll never be totally vegan, but they are when they're here. Our biggest problem has been the "Oh crap, what are we gonna have for dinner?" moments that hit us so often.

Sorry to say, but learning some self-discipline has been the only solution to that. Well, that, and lots of really good cookbooks! I think I own every single vegetarian/vegan cookbook on the market that has the words "quick," "fast," less than 20 minutes," etc. in the title. I've learned to enjoy making dinner, but it better not take me too long!

So as I tried new recipes, I would make copies of all the ones that everyone especially liked and that I found easy to prepare and put them in a 3-ring binder. Now that binder has about 40 recipes in it and those are our standard recipes. I cook double or triple of every thing that freezes well and freeze it in two-serving batches. That gives us dinner on the "Oh, crap!" nights, lunch for DH at work, and an easy meal anytime we need it. I also have 4-5 recipes that are so quick and easy that I rarely mind making them. I keep Boca burgers in the freezer, too, which, when put on a whole grain roll and served next to a big bowl of veggies that I had next to the burgers in the freezer, makes a great meal. Fruit salad for desert, and all in less than 10 minutes in the kitchen.

Oh, and I count on canned beans. One whole section of my pantry is devoted to beans, and I make sure I always have kidney, pinto, cannellini, black, and butter beans. Worst comes to worst, some brown rice goes into the cooker, the beans go into the microwave, and we've got a plain, satisfying dinner that didn't heat up the kitchen (it's 98 here right now, so that's a consideration!).

Hmmm...and here I am, still typing and not cooking! We're having pasta with zucchini, beans, and tomatoes for dinner tonight. Yum! Good luck, and congrats on your decision to go veggie!
 

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I second the decision to go almost vegan!!!!

I am similar to uptownzoo although I've been vegan for 6 years.

We have a core of recipes that we like and then we also like to read through our cookbooks and try out new ones or go to a restaurant and then try to make something similar. We probably do that once a week or so and make our core favorites the other days.

Some things we make very often:

-Mexican food - tacos with filling (could be seitan sauteed with spices and onions/garlic, potatoes, corn, red peppers, onions, fake beef) and refried beans, cilantro, avocado or guacamole, soy cheese, raw onion, a little lettuce. Burritos similar. Quesadillas with vegan cheese, beans, corn. Enchiladas with mashed potato/tofu/spinach filling. Taco bowl with rice, whole beans, and topping to eat with tortilla chips.

-Italian. Pasta with homemade pesto. Pasta with marinara and some fake meat. Pasta with vegan butter, peas, and garlic. Mac n Cheese. Veggie Lasagna.

-Thai or Vietnamese - tons of options here. Coconut milk curries with veggies and seitan. Rice noodles with toppings.

-Baked potatoes with a cooked veggie and a fake meat item or sauteed seitan. Yams with black beans and spinach with garlic. Vegan sheperd's pie- seitan chopped and cooked with carrots, onions, peas or green beans, into a thick mess with flour, veggie bullion and worsteshire sauce, topped with mashed potatoes and baked until hot. Lentil Pilaf (1/2 c rice, 1/2 c lentils with 1 1/4 c broth and 1/2 c carrots and 1/2 c onions and paprika and cumin. Baked with lid at 350 for 25 min.) served with sauteed seitan and onions on top, and either a green veggie cooked separately, or tossed into the pilaf halfway through.

-beet salad with basil. Sandwiches with marinated tofu. BLTs with tempeh bacon. Roasted veggies with dipping sauce.

What I plan to do when we have kids is to make their version of what we're eating a bit simpler. Rather than making them a taco - let them serve themselves from the bowls of toppings and fillings. Make the quesadilla just with cheese or cheese and beans. Have veggies on side. Have plain pasta with choice of topping or to eat fake meat separately or dip into sauce. Serve curry just as rice with some of the items from the curry pulled out at the end rather than pouring it into a big bowl.

I hope that helps!
 

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Okay, I am almost asleep sitting up, so I'll make this VERY short. There is one thing that I would suggest if dh was an avid meat eater - that is White Wave's chicken style wheat meat. I know you wanted to stay away from fake meats, but if I am correct, I don't think it's super processed, AND it has fooled my meat eating friends. Defrost a box, marinate it in 1C orange juice, 1C soy sauce, and a lemon lime soda - then cook it in a little olive oil - oh, so yummy. My friend's dh who once told me that he would rather die prematurely than be veg - cautioned me not to eat it at a potluck once because it was chicken. I had to inform him that it wasn't and I knew because I made it! LOL. Okay, maybe I'll have other info for you tomorrow, but I have to go to bed now. Zzzzzzzz..............
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This info is really awesome, thanks! I had so many questions to post earlier, but I'm forgetting them right now. Hopefully they'll come back after some sleep!
 

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Oh yes, when I talk about Seitan - I use White Wave chicken style that comes in a plastic box in some marinating broth.
 

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Bean burgers! *Yay, the search function is back...do a search, there's been topics on these!*

My carnivore hubby LOVES my bean burgers.

Thai peanut noodles are our quick dinner standby (boil spaghetti, toss with a sauce of peanut butter, water and soy sauce with a couple of shakes of chili peppers).
 

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I'm so glad I found this thread!

I've been vegetarian for over 9 years. I was vegan for a while when I was 18 or 19, but I barely ate at the time and had a lot of unhealthy vegan foods (mmm, tofutti cuties!)


Now that I'm trying for vegan AND healthy/natural/unprocessed with a family, it seems difficult. I'm trying to get lots of raw foods by making big salads every night and keeping nuts and dried fruit around. Every night when it's time for dinner, I feel like I'm searching for what to make. It's like "well, we have eggplant and tomato sauce, so I guess we're having tomato-eggplant for dinner" Not to mention, my husband still eats meat and cheese and chips and nutty bars (I think he might be cutting down at least...) I'm trying to find some good vegan meals I could make that dh would like, and I'm going for unprocessed, easy, and lots of variety. I feel like I never know what to eat now.

Does anyone else notice any detox-like symptoms when switching to a healthier mostly vegan diet??? I've had some stomach cramping (probably from the increase in fiber), but I've also just mentally felt a bit blah. I'm hoping this is just temporary.
 

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PikkuMyy: do you make your own refried beans or do you have some that you like?
 

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I think getting a few vegan cookbooks from the library might help.

And maybe going to a farmer's market or buying a few in season fruits & veggies at the supermarket and just trying a couple new things each week might help your husband learn to like some fresh foods. For instance, some fresh local berries, corn on the cob, mix in some chopped zucchini or kale into pasta sauce, some homemade soup, etc.

It's great your husband is willing to make this transition with you!

- Krista
 

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This article might help: http://www.vegfamily.com/vegan-cooki...s-skeptics.htm

It gives tips for normal kind of vegan meals that you may already be eating - or can change to vegan really easily without your family thinking they have to start eating a bunch of new weird meals just because you're going vegan.
 
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