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28 September 2008 @ 07:13 pm
Help me, vegans!  
Because of my baby's suspected dairy allergy, I have joined the ranks of the more-or-less vegan. (I can actually still eat eggs, but they aren't a huge part of my diet anyway.) And, see, I've been a vegetarian since I was ten. I know how to be a vegetarian! It doesn't require thought or effort! Whereas this veganism thing is very new and very, very hard.

Normally I'd just hit Google and research the shit out of this. But, well, I have a four-month-old baby. I don't have time to make out with Google the way I used to. So I am hoping to use the friends list shortcut - that there are vegans on my friends list who might have advice for me. Or, I guess, people on my friends list who aren't vegan but just love to Google.

Basically, here's what I need to know:
  1. What are the basics of a vegan pantry? What are the special things that vegans keep around all the time, that make cooking or meals easier?

  2. What are really good vegan products?

  3. What are some good vegan recipes? Right now I'm relying much too heavily on fake meat, and that is not how I like to cook or eat. At least, not this much. I might as well be a carnivore! So - recipes? I especially need ones for balanced meals that are super-fast or that I can make in a crockpot. Suggestions of cookbooks featuring these things would also be very welcome.
Help? Please? Anyone? I will take links or comments or just supportive pats. I am experiencing involuntary dietary change and it's very scary!
I Wanna Dress You Up In My Snarkadjectivegirl on September 29th, 2008 02:28 am (UTC)
*swallows bit of pepperoni*

I'm not the person to ask about veganism, but good luck!
sevenfists on September 29th, 2008 02:28 am (UTC)
My favorite vegan cookbook is Vegan With A Vengeance -- and if you poke around the website, there are some good recipes that aren't in the book. I've also found All Recipes to be surprisingly helpful resource. Good luck!
misspamela: Tomatoes - ecenocimisspamela on September 29th, 2008 02:29 am (UTC)
vegsource.com is a great vegan resource. Start there!

(I am noting the irony of you going vegan as the result of breastfeeding and me going back to being a carnivore because of breastfeeding. Bodies are weird!)

Slow cooker recipes.

Another favorite, couscous burritos.
the grey-eyed: mamakouredios on September 29th, 2008 02:30 am (UTC)
It's not exactly what you asked for, but this link from kellymom might be useful: http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/mom/vegetarian.html
Mistress of Insanityzeenell on September 29th, 2008 02:30 am (UTC)
All I know is that you can apparently substitute bananas for eggs (one to one) for pancakes?
Nicholastm_nicholas on September 29th, 2008 03:17 am (UTC)
And applesauce and vegan egg replacers and ground flax in water.
(Deleted comment)
j00j on September 29th, 2008 02:34 am (UTC)
I have referred a vegan friend (who is an avid and talented cook) to you-- hopefully she'll have a minute to drop by and share some info. Like you, I know how to be vegetarian and incidentally cook some vegan stuff, but I don't know all the ins and outs of veganness.

In the meantime, a few things I'm aware of:
the magical loaf studio assists you in making a vegan dinner loaf with ingredients of your choice. It is fun and makes tasty loaves.

I haven't used this site much, but it looks good: http://www.theppk.com/recipes/

ditto this one http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/

You could also check out the vegan cooking lj community: http://community.livejournal.com/vegancooking

Domenika Marzionemiss_porcupine on September 29th, 2008 02:39 am (UTC)
I'll second the Fat Free Vegan blog. I'm mostly vegetarian (aka the Lazy and Cheap Carnivore), but Susan's got recipes that aren't all Chemistry Set Food.

Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian have plenty that qualify as vegan and still include protein. They're both humongous books, but worth the weight.
(no subject) - eleveninches on September 29th, 2008 02:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - daegaer on September 29th, 2008 07:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
Hheuradys on September 29th, 2008 02:36 am (UTC)
I'm not a vegan, but I've cut a lot of meat out of my diet while working on weight loss. This blog's been quite helpful: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/ and there is a RSS feed for it on LJ: http://syndicated.livejournal.com/fatfreeveganblg/profile It also has pretty pictures. *g*

Veevsee on September 29th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC)
So, this isn't so practical, but I'm sure there are times you crave some dessert. I am not a vegan myself, or even a vegetarian at the moment, though I have been at different times. And yet, this is a treat that I come back to over and over. You can adjust the amount of chocolate and sweetner to your own taste, and it's got a big punch of protein.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

I got addicted to this because they make it at a grocery store deli where I live. They use brown rice syrup rather than maple syrup as their sweetner.

Sorry to hear of the allergy struggles with the kiddo. Hope that comes out OK for everyone. I've heard of young babies getting past a dairy allergy. *crosses fingers for all concerned*
zillah975 on September 29th, 2008 02:38 am (UTC)
I have absolutely no idea, and I would fear sending you to links with questionable reliability, or with recommendations for dietary stuff that wouldn't be good for you or the baby. But could your doctor(s) refer you to a nutritionist who could help? I mean, if this is to deal with your baby's allergy, surely that would fall under necessary medical assistance. *hopes*
zellie: actors | david : blogleucocrystal on September 29th, 2008 02:40 am (UTC)
Worth noting now, for future reference in the life of the earthling: the dairy allergy has a good chance of passing! I was really sensitive to dairy as a baby, apparently (I pretty much avoided anything dairy altogether until about kindergarten), and then suddenly... I was fine! I now probably consume more milk than three people do in one day, on average. Weird, yes, but you never know!
Do not taunt Happy Fun Ballrokeon on September 29th, 2008 02:40 am (UTC)
I highly recommend the Veganomicon- fantastic recipes and one of the intro chapters is all about stocking the vegan pantry. (I would quote some of it here, but I don't have my copy with me right now.) vegancooking has lots of good recipes and info, including a cookbook rec post here.
grit kittygritkitty on September 29th, 2008 02:42 am (UTC)
No help - actually, your post is helping me with my recently meat-free teen, but I'm cheering for you. Good luck! Your earthling's got a great mothership!
like using semaphore at the drive thruprettyshiny on September 29th, 2008 02:46 am (UTC)
I'm not parent, a veggie or a vegan, but this website is a reliable source for nutrition and parenthood issues. I use the main company's website (sparkpeople.com) for general fitness and lifestyle help, and they really do hire people who know what they're doing. They have a couple of "mommyteams" (support group/mutual cheerleaders) for parents with baby allergies, it looks like, too. There's also a whole section for vegetarian recipes, complete with nutritional information.

From this article:

Try tofu, soymilk, soy cheese, and soy yogurt in recipes that call for dairy products. Crumbled tofu can take the place of ricotta cheese in lasagna. To make buttermilk, mix 1 cup soy milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Use soymilk when making cream sauces and mashed potatoes. Enjoy a thick, creamy fruit smoothie for breakfast or a snack. You can also blend the fruit with soft tofu, soymilk or juice.

When cooking for a vegan, read labels carefully. Not all soy-based products are devoid of milk derivatives (like casein, whey, etc). Some companies save you time by printing the word "Vegan" at the very beginning or end of the ingredients list. The same goes for vegetarians. Don't assume the can of vegetable soup is vegetarian-many dishes like this have beef, chicken, or fish-based broths.

I hope some of this helps?

Edited at 2008-09-29 02:47 am (UTC)
Rozasharnrozasharn on September 29th, 2008 03:04 am (UTC)
"...read labels carefully. Not all soy-based products are devoid of milk derivatives (like casein, whey, etc). Some companies save you time by printing the word "Vegan" at the very beginning or end of the ingredients list."

You may already know this, but many products are marked with their kosher status. Anything marked 'parve' or 'pareve' is kosher-neutral: no meat, no dairy. Saves time over reading the ingredients list.
Lucy: squeefscereta on September 29th, 2008 02:46 am (UTC)
I can but offer supportive pats!
celli on September 29th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
I give you hugs and sympathy.

*does so*