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Author Topic: Food for vegans  (Read 4787 times)

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Food for vegans
« on: July 01, 2011, 01:39:05 PM »
About the only thing I know for sure I could serve a vegan person is a PBJ sandwich, but obviously that wouldn't be ideal.  I know there are cookbooks and so forth and I'll probably look into those but is there any websites that give you ideas on actual store brand items that are vegan appropriate? I mean, there's "Guten-Free" food out there. Other than vegetables, what is generally vegan product-wise?


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Re: Food for vegans
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2011, 03:29:00 PM »
For protein, you're looking at either wheat or soy based main-dish foods, like seitan and tempeh, or legumes (beans and lentils.)  Some vegans eat "tofurky," morningstar patties, and other imitation meat products.  Look for organic products in the store - many of those are ALSO labeled as vegan.

I'd check with your vegan(s) regarding their preferences.  Just because they're vegan, doesn't mean they like all vegetables any more than you or I do, and I've known several vegans/vegetarians who disliked eggplants and/or mushrooms intensely - and a lot of recipes replace the meat normally found in a dish with one of those two veggies!

If you run a search on allrecipes for "vegan" it returns a lot of recipes for the basics - crepes, cupcakes, "jello," salad dressing...

(Side note:  I'm an omnivore, but I've had to cook for vegans and vegetarians and other people with special food needs a lot.)


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Re: Food for vegans
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2011, 03:44:02 PM »
In addition to the proteins suggested by greencat - many rely on nuts and beans as their protein source.

It seems like usually only people who are newly vegan rely on meat substitutes - either in the form of an actual "fake chicken" product or using mushrooms to mimic burgers - in other words, you don't necessarily keep making the exact same recipes as you did before and putting something in place of the meat - you find new recipes.

But to more directly answer your question - breads, pastas, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts.


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Re: Food for vegans
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2011, 05:52:04 PM »
For the most part you're going to be looking at whole foods...foods that are in their simplest most natural form. So beans and grains and fruits and veggies and little to no processed foods.

Are you asking more about things that are hard to get in unprocessed forms or vegans object to them because animals or animal products are used in the process? Things like sugar, honey, booze, can get a little tricky. It's best to ask the person how strict they are or what things you'll want to avoid if cooking for them.
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Re: Food for vegans
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2011, 05:45:59 AM »
Check the dairy-free and vegetarian sections of the supermarket, but check the labels very carefully. Some vegetarian food will contain milk (in some of its various forms - not just milk but whey, lactose etc) or egg (as this makes a very good binding agent). Equally not all dairy-free food will be appropriate either, again it is a matter of reading labels. Quite often you will see little logos stating suitable for vegans, which are always good to look out for.

Kosher Delis are also good places to find meat and dairy free products, but again be careful as what is permitted under Kosher definitions of dairy free or meat free will not correspond with the vegan definition. (for example, something may contain fish gelatine, which is Kosher, but not Vegan)

I am also aware that many US vegans will not eat certain types of processed white sugar, although it is OK in Britain, where I am.

Dairy free margarine is very good for cooking, vegan friendly jello crystals which is set with carageenan (seaweed derivative) instead of gelatine (made from animal hooves!) always go down well with children as do Swedish Glace and Freedom non-dairy frozen dessert instead of ice-cream. Seriously, I like my icecream and I was very impressed with that stuff. ETA- sorbet is often suitable as well, but check for egg products. Linda McCartney foods are often suitable as they don't tend to have egg or milk products in, unlike Quorn which often does. Their sausage rolls were particularly nice last time I had them.

Vegan friendly food can be anything from vegetable chilli, to mushroom risotto, eggplant casserole, vegetable curry or a simple pasta in tomato sauce, to rhubarb crumble served with vegan ice cream (see above)

In a pinch, just cook some pasta, and make a simple tomato sauce to go with it. Just leave off the parmesan!

If you are catering a party for either adults or children, and have a vegan guest, let me know and I'll dig out my menu.

This is a link to a UK website with some helpful info, although it may not have all the products available in the US, it can provide a good startup guide about what to look for
« Last Edit: July 03, 2011, 05:48:44 AM by mechtilde »
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Re: Food for vegans
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2011, 07:08:06 AM »
Depending on your comfort level, indian food is really easy to make vegan. Tempeh (a soy protein product with a more conducive texture to curry and stew) makes a good meat substitute. Mix that with coconut milk, mushroom, onion and potato, over brown rice to help get all the nutrients a vegan needs.

It's honestly an excellent, half arsed meal that really doesn't take much effort, and about an hour from start to finish to cook.

PM me if you want me to forward you some recipes. :)


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Re: Food for vegans
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2011, 11:58:25 AM »
I don't remember how I came across this site, as I'm not even vegetarian, let alone vegan, but it has good info.
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Re: Food for vegans
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2011, 04:10:04 PM »
I like the "Oh She Glows" blog for vegan recipes.  They are categorized (breakfast, lunch, etc.) and some are pretty basic and easy.