Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Ordinary Shoes

Going Plant-Based/Vegan?

Recommended Posts

One of my colleagues had some pretty impressive improvements to her health by going mostly vegan. I read Forks over Knives before our last fasting period (I'm an Orthodox Christian and we follow a vegan diet 4 times a year) and I've been feeling drawn towards following a vegan diet the rest of the year. 

 

Have any of you tried this? If so, what tips do you have? 

 

I've bought several vegan cookbooks and the recipes seem so complicated with lots of ingredients. What I'm looking for is the vegan equivalent to baking chicken breasts, KWIM? Easy-peasy. I know how to cook rice, quinoa and beans but I don't know how to make them stand on their own. I'm used to making rice you don't think about because it is served with chicken over it. 

 

I'm sure there are tips to make rice more flavorful but not too spicy. The same with beans and quinoa. 

 

Also, did your spouse follow along? If not, what did you do? My DH refuses to eat beans and is allergic to nuts so veganism is almost impossible for him. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what you mean about beans not standing on their own or why you can't serve beans over your rice. 

 

What I mean is that I'm used to making plain rice and serving chicken over it. So the rice doesn't have to have any flavor. I think if I'm going to eat rice by itself it needs to have more flavor than plain rice which is pretty bland. 

 

And I've tried serving beans over rice but the beans are dry and don't have much flavor either. 

 

This is because I don't know how to cook beans and rice with seasoning because I'm used to the seasoning coming from the meat. Does that make sense? The vegan recipes I've found for beans and rice would add flavoring but most of the recipes I've found have lots and lots of seasoning and more complicated steps. There has got to be an easy way, with one or two seasonings, to make rice and beans more flavorful. Just like an easy recipe with a chicken breast that you bake with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and maybe something like Rosemary. 

 

Sorry - I'm sure this is a stupid question to someone who knows more about cooking. I'm an entirely self educated cook and I know little about how to add flavor to foods. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check out minimalist baker. She has vegan recipes with a minimal amount of ingredients. Budget bytes is also good for cheap and easy vegan meals (just check out the vegan tab). It has been difficult to get used to not having a big meat component to our meals but I just let a massive salad with dinner fill that role now. Sometimes tofu or seitan helps to make a meal feel less like college-kid food.

 

I find vegan eating easier b/c it's a lot of smoothies, salads, soups...mostly things I can make ahead. Trader Joe's also has frozen vegan meals for those nights when you don't feel like cooking as well as beefless ground beef, fake chicken strips/deli meat, extra firm tofu that doesn't require pressing, vegan mozzarella for homemade pizza etc. Not stuff we eat constantly over here but good for cravings and quick meals for crazy weeks.

 

 Good luck and for a bit of help with the nutrition-side of vegan eating, Eat to Live was a good read. :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, you don't have to make the starch particularly exciting - you can make the vegetables exciting that constitute the bulk of the meal and go on the rice. Roasting brings out flavors very nicely, stir fry is good, use herbs liberally. You don't need fancy spices: salt, pepper, fresh herbs, onion and garlic go a long way.

Second, to make rice and grains more tasty, use some olive oil, cook in vegetable broth, add some texture with nuts and seeds.

Third: maybe rethink the makeup of the meal. Instead of the starch as a side, think about one pot dishes like bakes, stews, etc where the starch is mixed in with the veggies and soaks up their flavors because everything is cooked together. Or salads that have the grains mixed in - yumm.

Edited by regentrude
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know nothing about eating vegan, but I did make some really awesome pinto beans the other day! I put them in the crock pot with plenty of water and cooked them on low for about six hours. Then I drained out some of th water and added salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Then I put about 1/4 of the beans/water in the blender until it was a smooth purée, then added it back to the crock pot. This turned the water in the beans into a yummy flavorful sauce! It was awesome over rice!

 

I've also added fresh garlic and onions to a sauce pan and cooked them before dumping in a couple cans of black beans. When the beans were heated through I made them a bit with a potato masher. Seasoned with salt and pepper. Again, it was great with rice!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just use salt in beans, then put them with rice.  Maybe I have an unsophisticated palate?  works for me.  

 

Generally, as regentrude said, the exciting part is not the rice or the beans (or the bread or the pasta or etc.) but the vegetables.  Again, I just roast or sautee with olive oil and salt.  I own dill to put in lentils but that is about it.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beans are only dry if you cook them alone and bung them on a plate. Have a look at Middle Eastern chickpea stews and Indian, vegetarian cookbooks. Lots of tasty things to be found. :) Don't be intimidated by the long ingredients lists. It is no harder to add half a tsp of 7 spices then it is half a tsp of two. When you really read these recipes, that's usually what is appearing so complicated.

 

For an entirely unsophisticated lazy girl recipe, use your usual pasta sauce, but toss in a tin of lentils instead of mince meat.

 

 

What do you usually serve with your chicken? Because I'm assuming there is some sauce or seasoning, because a plain chicken breast on plain rice isn't particularly thrilling. Often you can use the same sauce or seasonings with beans. You just substitute white beans for the white chicken meat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way to make beans taste good is with a sofrito.    Here's an easy way, although why she uses a regular pepper when italian peppers are readily available, I have no idea....

 

Beans

Edited by Snickerdoodle
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am on my way back to a more Vegan diet.  I will not be so strict that I won't touch cream for my coffee or an egg as a binder, but I am going back to eating Vegan because it is where I feel the best.   I  have energy, no brain fog, and I have lost 5 pounds in the last 2 weeks, even though I haven't been perfect.

 

I am mostly just commenting so that I can follow this thread.

 

Costco sells a wonderful black bean soup that is so thick, I just pour it over rice and have a meal like that.

 

But I also like rice alone with some salt or soy sauce.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My next project:

 

Make a huge pot of rice and dehydrate it and have my own instant rice. I am going to try white and brown.

 

This will be good for travel, work, etc....and will keep a very long time.

Edited by DawnM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For an easy meal, how about some yellow rice (or white) with black beans? For an easy start, use canned. Sauté onion (and peppers if you like them) in olive oil, until soft. Add minced garlic but be careful not to burn it, (it burns FAST), then add in the cans of beans, with the liquid. Simmer for a bit so the flavors meld. then serve over rice. Yum. 

 

To make beans from dry that aren't dry, cook in the crock pot? I soak overnight, then cook in fresh water to cover all day with onions and garlic. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For an easy meal, how about some yellow rice (or white) with black beans? For an easy start, use canned. Sauté onion (and peppers if you like them) in olive oil, until soft. Add minced garlic but be careful not to burn it, (it burns FAST), then add in the cans of beans, with the liquid. Simmer for a bit so the flavors meld. then serve over rice. Yum. 

 

To make beans from dry that aren't dry, cook in the crock pot? I soak overnight, then cook in fresh water to cover all day with onions and garlic.

INSTANT POT! No soaking necessary!

 

My favorite is lentils though.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For spicing with all the bean dishes, I just have a row of spices -- turmeric, cayenne, ginger, garlic powder, ground mustard, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, probably more I'm forgetting but I'm not at home -- and go down the row and throw some of everything in. I don't measure, honestly I find that too much work, so my measurements are big pinch, little pinch, or two big pinches. It's almost no extra work and makes it taste a lot better. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been vegetarian for about twenty years was vegan for about five of those years.  While I am not vegan now, we do still eat largely vegan at home.  My advice is to find a couple of vegan cookbooks that focus on simple dishes.  One I still turn to regularly for every day cooking is "Vegan Planet."  It is find of like the vegan equivalent to Betty Crocker....lots of basics and nothing really fancy. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a book called something like Vegan Comfort Food that I love. Nice and simple, for the most part (I do skip vegan Mac and cheese, not my style ). It has my favorite recipe for alphabet soup.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know nothing about vegan, but I find generally Americans are too timid with spices. If you want to make it easy, visit a local middle-eastern market and get some of the pre mixed spice mixes. Some might say use with meat, but you don't have to. 

 

I buy this from a local market, it is literally 7 spices mixed together, so easy peasy, you don't have to run out and buy a bunch of little bottles of spices: https://smile.amazon.com/Ziyad-Premium-Spice-Blend-Ounce/dp/B005SFGUOW/ref=sr_1_2_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1474908608&sr=8-2&keywords=7+spices

 

Look at rice pilafs. Mixing lentils, plus some veges , plus rice and cooking it all together. There are briyani mixes that you could sub cubed potatoes for the meat chunks.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, thought I would ask this here.

 

When you are transitioning to more fiber, what helps with the issues that come along with that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, thought I would ask this here.

 

When you are transitioning to more fiber, what helps with the issues that come along with that?

 

Soak beans with some apple cider vinegar sloshed in.

 

Drink more water.

 

Chew your food more. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Soak beans with some apple cider vinegar sloshed in.

 

Drink more water.

 

Chew your food more.

I didn't even have beans today! And I still have had issues.

 

Lots of fruit and veggies and some yams and brown rice.

 

And I am drinking more water, although I can't have a lot early in the day since I am in the classroom and can't leave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't even have beans today! And I still have had issues.

 

Lots of fruit and veggies and some yams and brown rice.

 

And I am drinking more water, although I can't have a lot early in the day since I am in the classroom and can't leave.

 

lol

 

Switch to white rice?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lol

 

Switch to white rice?

It is probably more the fruit and veggies. I am not used to this much, but maybe my body will adjust?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is probably more the fruit and veggies. I am not used to this much, but maybe my body will adjust?

If you're eating predominantly vegan, you *really* don't need the fibre from the brown rice too. So, since you won't want to drop the veggies, you'd better drop the rice bran. Your body won't adjust because you haven't the leisure to drink enough water. When you raise your fibre intake, you really need to raise your water intake too.

 

White rice was invented for a reason!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will dh eat lentils?

 

Here is one of my favorite recipes with a link to another favorite recipe.  Do not be freaked out by the berbere spice.  I have seen it in bulk at the local health food store.  Hunt around at her website for more recipes.  Search on "ridiculously easy" for your equivalents of baked chicken. 

 

I make this with yellow pepper and cauliflower.

 

One thing I do is make a big pot of soup on the weekend and eat on it all week long.  Leftovers are easy-peasy.  The majority of my soups use beans.  The one lentil soup I make uses 3 kinds of lentils which might be too complicated for a newbie.

 

I grew up in Chicago.  Dh grew up in TX.  He introduced me to beans.  Dh prefers more meat than I do, but he is a very good sport and will eat most things as long as there is no tofu or mushrooms (or the mushrooms are big enough to pick out and give to me).

 

The one thing I noticed when I changed to a plant based whole food diet (besides losing 30#) was my fingernails.  All my life, my fingernails broke easily.  Now, they are long and strong, and I find it kind of annoying that I have to file them down every 2 weeks.

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I follow a plant-based diet, and that is how I cook for my family as well.  I've really had very few complaints about anything I've cooked, and this has been over a period of several years. 

 

When I first changed to this way of eating, I began reading vegan cooking blogs, and printed off a few recipes that seemed doable and tasty.  With good results from that, I ventured further and began looking through some vegan cookbooks at the bookstore.  My library doesn't have many vegan cookbooks, so I ordered a couple I thought might be helpful.

 

Something I have discovered after buying a few cookbooks, and still following with various blogs, is that I enjoy coming up with and cooking my own creations.  I think it takes a bit of time to feel comfortable with this style of eating and cooking.  The best advice I can give is to simply gather some interesting ingredients and play with some food!  Shop at various international markets for exotic ingredients and have fun discovering new flavors that you and your family enjoy.  Maybe tonight is Asian flavors, and tomorrow is an Italian theme.  Next week could be set aside for a Middle Eastern meal. 

 

One more thing I enjoy doing is taking something I have enjoyed eating at a restaurant and recreating it at home.  I use all kinds of proteins:  beans, tofu, tempeh, dried gluten cubes from the Asian market, homemade seitan, tofu skins, etc.  Chickpeas have been a favorite for me lately.  I love to make a bbq chickpea salad. Taco-flavored chickpeas are tasty too.  I really think you can do anything with chickpeas flavor-wise.  Just use your imagination.

 

If you are cooking with tofu, make sure to buy the extra firm grade, then drain and press it well.  I like to make tofu kabobs with veggies and cook them in an iron grill skillet.  I also like to cook tofu steamed Asian style with ginger, green onions, soy sauce and some olive oil.  It is prepared the same way that fish is steamed, only I use tofu instead.  It is delicious!  I serve it with rice, and some kind of green vegetable. 

 

One of our favorite meals is honey-baked lentils (I use maple syrup instead of honey), a platter of roasted veggies, tossed salad with lots of fruits, and steamed rice.  There are never any leftovers from this meal.  It is so good! 

 

 

 

Have fun playing with your food!  Try new ingredients and interesting recipes.  Buy lots of new and exciting spices. 

Edited by Poke Salad Annie
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Learning a different way of cooking helped here. Exploring and really learning how to use spices is another big one. Americanized ethnic foods lead people to think they are getting the real thing but often it is toned down.

 

 

Oh and give your system a while to adjust, it takes time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am re-reading your OP.   

 

Here is what I made last night:

 

Brown Rice

Stir Fried cauliflower "rice" with Chinese/Asian spice.  

 

I mixed the two together and put a bit of soy sauce on it.  

 

Here is one of my all time favorite meals:

 

Lentils or Dal

Cooked with Curry powder, salt, vegetable broth (I use the paste kind and water) and tomato sauce

Serve over rice

Add in cooked cauliflower, carrots, peas, or whatever you wish.

 

Another:

 

Cook black beans (or whatever beans you prefer)

Add a jar of salsa

Pour over rice or add to a tortilla

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe tonight is Asian flavors, and tomorrow is an Italian theme.  Next week could be set aside for a Middle Eastern meal. 

I also do this.  Mexican, Chinese, Ethiopian, Indian, Middle Eastern, ...

 

One of my favorite Mexican dishes:  Tasty Lentil Tacos

I use red lentils and vegetable broth.

Edited by Sue in St Pete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few more thoughts-----

 

*  Eating by the rainbow---include a food from each color---this helps to get all those needed fruits and veggie servings in for the day

 

*  Stock the pantry with a variety of grains and beans---try some new types such as farro, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, bulgar---also try some new bean varieties (Rancho Gordo has oodles)

 

*  Fill your spice cabinet with new and different spices than you've used previously---having these available makes following new recipes much easier

 

*  Pick out a recipe or meal you've enjoyed in the past, and work on making it vegan-friendly---you can do this with any cookbook

 

*  Buy a few new kitchen gadgets if you don't already have them, such as a bamboo steamer (cheap from the Asian market), microplane, wok (again, cheap at the Asian market), Lodge iron grill skillet (this is a workhorse in my home)

 

In truth, I really have come to favor some of my own creations, but I will say that I have a 2" binder full of recipes I've printed from various blogs.  Pinterest is another option, but be aware that you may find yourself going further and further down into the rabbit hole.....

 

Some recipes we've loved over the last few years:

 

*  Vegan Richa's Buffalo Millet grilled sandwich  (I make baked sweet potato fries as a side dish)

 

*  Oh She Glows Lentil Loaf  (A staple around here, and the leftovers make great sandwiches, too!)

 

*  Heidi Swanson's Golden Potstickers  (Who knew that yellow split peas could be so tasty?  And we also adore her Red Lentil potstickers.)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Husband used to find beans and pulses hard to digest, but the more we ate (over time) the easier his body found it.  We eat beans/pulses about three times a week and he doesn't have any discomfort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you keep yourself from over consuming grains?

 

My history of Chron's Disease make most grains and some beans very difficult to process, but when I attempt a 100% plant based diet I find myself consuming more grains then I can digest comfortably.  Currently, I use potatoes and lentils as my base for most veggies.

 

Sorry to highjack.

Do grains can you tolerate?

 

Quinoa?

Rice?

Barley?

Spelt?

Beans?

Oats?

 

 

There are so many varieties out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Happy Herbivore everything

 

2. GBombs pressure cooker FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/InstaPotUsersETL/

 

3. Fat Free Vegan blog

 

3. What Vegan Kids Eat blog and FB group

 

5. Hard to get (look on half.com or ebay) out of print cookbook called The Mormon Diet Cookbook by Ethel C. Updike, Dorothy E. Smith, and Earl F. Updike ISBN: 1-55517-090-0. It has a few non vegan ingredients, but it is very, very easy to make substitutions. Simple, easy recipes.

 

6. Use of an electric pressure cooker has made everything vegan easier for me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Learn how to make cashew cream.  Oh. My. Word.  It's good straight up and makes everything vegan better!  :)

 

I like the OhSheGlows.com site and Isa Does It cookbook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Use frozen bananas, vanilla, and any other mix ins you want with a tiny bit of water in a food processor to make banana "nice" cream.

 

Definitely go to the library and check out the Eat to Live Cookbook by Dr Fuhrman and Vegetarian Times magazine issues, as well as any vegan cookbooks they have.

 

Get on YouTube and search for "vegan" and "plant based" recipes.  NutritionFacts.org's channel doesn't have many recipes, but will clarify what the actual science about vegan diets is.  There are tons of vegan recipes on YouTube.  You can watch 5 different ways to make the same thing in ten minutes, and then figure out how to do it yourself.

 

Learn to roast veggies or caramelize onions first.  It increases the depth of flavor.  Learn to add a little wine and various vinegars to recipes...  The acid adds a pleasing balance and depth of flavor too.  Graham Kerr has a plant-based cookbook out about this sort of thing that you might like.

 

I disagree that you need to use white rice.  Some science indicates that paleo poop actually shows that our ancestors ate more than 100 grams of fiber in a day!  Eating brown rice (cooked with a tablespoon of red quinoa, some instant vegetable broth powder, some parsley, and possibly a spoonful of turmeric and/or olive oil) can also be more exciting than white rice (assuming it's cooked properly), and it feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut, acting as a prebiotic.  I find that when I eat brown rice I feel awesome, I sleep better and dream better (a sign of feeding those bacteria), and my blood sugar is more stable than with white rice.

 

The only concern is that if you are also gluten free and eat tons of rice, brown rice contains a bit more arsenic than white rice, so you might want to limit the quantity, or at the very least limit other foods known to be high in arsenic, such as apple juice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...