My Vegan Experiment - SoGirl Blog at - 215981


My vegan experiment 
Jan. 8, 2011 4:22 pm 
Updated: Jan. 10, 2011 7:16 am
I've spent a lot of time over the past couple of months researching and gathering information on a vegan diet.  My vegan experiment is in full swing now.  Although I'm not a full-time vegan, I am following a mostly vegan diet lately.  When I'm not doing the vegan thing, it's mostly vegetarian. 

Honestly, I'm quite surprised at the relative ease of this.  It's been baby steps to be sure...things like subbing coconut milk creamer for half-n-half in my coffee (LOVE this stuff!!) and switching the dairy began the process.  Out went the chicken stock in the soups to be replaced by vegetable stock.  But even with my beloved smoked paprika, I still missed the smokiness that a ham hock added.  My new best friend?  Liquid smoke.  Adds just the right touch of smokiness, has no sodium, and is natural AND vegan.  Perfect! 

Some foods are easy...others not so much.  I love edamame but am still working on the tofu bit.  That's more a textural thing than a taste thing, but I'm trying various methods, such as pressing, freezing, baking, etc.  I'll get there!  I saw a dish on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives the other night...smoked coconut club sandwich that has a slab of tofu on it.  Smoked coconut shavings took the place of bacon.  Now THIS is a sandwich.  I can't wait to get my smoking gun from Williams-Sonoma to try it!  There is no way I'm not going to like that.  It looks and sounds too delicious to be otherwise.  I do like tempeh and am experimenting with that and have plans to try seitan next.  There are very few veggies that I don't like, so that part is really easy.  Keep the celery, fennel, and black olives out of it, and I'm good.  And I love all grains and beans...all of them.  

My cooking bible for all this?  Veganomicon.  FANTASTIC cookbook.  There's so many recipes in there I want to try that I can't make them fast enough!  There's no way you miss meat and dairy with some of these dishes.  They are delicious.  I made the mole sauce this weekend and have a big batch of it stored in the fridge for Roasted Potato and Kale Enchiladas and a Mole Tamale Pie with beans and greens that will be on the menu this week.  And I now have Vegetarian Times Everything Vegan on the way.  I can't wait to get that.  VT is one of my favorite magazines, and I love so many of their recipes. 

I can't say yet how this diet is going to affect my weight.  I don't use pounds as a measure, I gauge by the fit of my clothes.  And believe me, I have plenty that are a bit snug, so this will be a good measure.  I can fit into a pair of jeans that were uncomfortably tight 2 weeks ago that aren't anymore. 

This is also supplemented by interval training on the treadmill.  My doc has given both the seal of approval, and I'm looking forward to a happy and healthy 2011 with vegan eating and exercise leading the way. 

Happy eating--vegan or not--to you all!  For you vegans out there, I'd love any tips for a newbie!
Jan. 8, 2011 4:54 pm
Good for you! I love eating vegan but my life with Grumpy and cooking for just two people makes it hard. Grumpy will eat vegan meals, but not every day of the week. I grew up with a vegetarian mom and carnivore dad so I had the best of both worlds growing up. I still prefer meatless and when I do eat "meat" I prefer seafood. I too LOVE Veganomicon! I made the quiona rice pilaf and could eat that stuff morning, noon and night! I blogged about it on my blog too. I haven't made anything from that cookbook that I don't love.
Jan. 9, 2011 11:11 am
It really is a great cookbook, isn't it? I, too, cook for two and have a DH that isn't quite on board with going completely vegan. but he's willing to try all the dishes I make (and likes most of them) and he has no problem with a mostly vegetarian diet. We try to keep our intake of veggies and whole grains high no matter what. I am off now to check out your blog! : )
Jan. 10, 2011 6:37 am
Thanks for the tip on the vegan cookbook. I'll check that out. When you wrote coconut milk creamer are you simply referring to regular coconut milk? I thought about trying that myself since I use almond milk and that just does not work in coffee for my taste. I mostly drink white tea but a couple times a week I'd like to have a cup of coffee (for an energy boost). I'll be looking forward to more of your posts.
Jan. 10, 2011 7:16 am
Hi, Lace. Do try the cookbook if you get a chance. I have a very extensive collectin of cookbooks (500+), and this is one of the best in terms of great recipes. The coconut milk creamer is actually creamer. It's made by SO Delicious which has a fabulous line of coconut milk products, and this one is called coconut milk creamer and can be found in the dairy section. It' not stocked at my local grocer but is available at the natural health foods store. I've tried the soy milk creamer and wasn't really bowled over, but I love the SO Delicious coconut one. I love almond milk, too, and I frequently use that in my oatmeal. One of my published recipes is for a vegan cherry almond oatmeal. Thanks for your comments!
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About Me
I'm a born and bred Southerner now living in the Midwest (temporarily!). I learned to cook by watching and helping my grandmother and great-grandmother, both of whom were wonderful Southern cooks who cooked by "feel" rather than by measuring. And that's how I cook now, too. Recipes are more of a suggestion than instruction for me. I love to garden and use my fresh veggies in my creations, especially salsa and hot sauce, which are my specialties.
My favorite things to cook
Baked goods (especially yeast breads), soups, pizza, roasted and grilled veggies...
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas candy making with my mom. She lives across the country now, so we haven't been able to do that since I moved..better on the waistlines!
My cooking triumphs
Planning an outdoor party for 20 people where the main course and the main side dish were to be grilled. It was POURING when the time came. I moved everything inside and prepared the food on stovetop and oven, and it turned out beautifully anyway.
My cooking tragedies
Making biscuits at my mom's house one time and accidentally using plain flour instead of self-rising. Needless to say, I had to make another batch of biscuits when I realized what I had done! Otherwise, I've been pretty lucky!
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