Vegan Cooking & Cookbooks discussion

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Veganism and Vegan Eating Info > Have questions about veganism or vegan eating?

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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Hi, Everybody.

Members here range from long term vegans who are expert cooks to people who may be curious about cooking (or eating) their first vegan meal.

If you have any questions or comments about veganism, vegan eating, or vegan cooking, please post here. Many of us are happy to help anyone who posts.

We can always add additional threads on specific topics


message 2: by Kathryn (last edited Mar 08, 2011 08:25AM) (new)

Kathryn | 138 comments Just wanted to say how glad I am to see this thread and also that the group name is "Vegan Cooking and Cookbooks" and not something like "Cooking for Vegans" or the like as it's inviting to those who wouldn't call themselves vegan or are new to it and might be intimidated. I know some people who are curious about veganism and/or maybe want to do a little more toward eliminating animal products from a few of their meals during the week and I know every little bit helps so I am glad this is a group that encourages those who are dabbling in vegan cooking or curious about veganism. Yay!


message 3: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Kathryn, Lee and I definitely want a group where everybody is welcome! "Cooking for Vegans" would not work at all well for this group, no! I'm glad this thread gets that across.


message 4: by Lee, Unrepentant Eggplant Addict (new)

Lee (leekat) | 1027 comments Mod
We definitely want to be welcoming to all. I am still learning about vegan cooking and my palate is still changing. We are all at different places and this kind of group is a great way to support each other.


message 5: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks I don't know if this is a silly question or not. Is yeast considered to be vegan, or is it considered to be non-vegan? I'm asking because I really enjoy yeast breads, and the occasional wine and beer. I am not sure that I would be able to give them up completely if they were not considered to be vegan, but as I often add a bit of red wine to my vegan casseroles for extra flavour, I would at least like to know wether that is considered vegan or not (if I am making a vegan dish, I would like it to be completely vegan).


message 6: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Gundula, There are no silly questions.

Yes, yeast is vegan. Breads made with yeast are vegan, as long as there is no animal milk, eggs, honey, or other animal products in them.

But, technically, not all wines are vegan. Some are processed with fish. There are vegan wines, but I know some vegans will drink any wine. I don't drink or use wine or beer, but maybe other vegan members here can share what they do re "non-vegan" wine.

For instance, I will eat sugar, because it is a plant product, and I know the sugar I eat isn't bone char processed, at least 99% of it, but some sugar is/used to be bone char processed. I aim for "vegan" sugar and think I get it 100% of the time, but I don't triple check it.


message 7: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks Lisa wrote: "Gundula, There are no silly questions.

Yes, yeast is vegan. Breads made with yeast are vegan, as long as there is no animal milk, eggs, honey, or other animal products in them.

But, technically,..."


Thanks Lisa. I'll have to check the wines I use (the idea that some of them are processed with fish is really kind of disgusting, yuck).


message 8: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey (_lindsey_) | 42 comments Fish bladders and I've heard some are processed with blood, yuck! I'm sorry I very rarely drink alcohol, so I don't have any suggestions for you.

I don't know if this list is exclusive to US brands, but it might help - http://barnivore.com/wine


message 9: by Ginny (new)

Ginny Messina | 33 comments I tend to buy only vegan wine for home (usually Yellow Tail brand, which has the additional advantage of being cheap :)But I don't worry about it too much when I'm out, especially since I don't eat out very often. But I agree that barnivore is a good resource for those who want to know more.


message 10: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks Ginny wrote: "I tend to buy only vegan wine for home (usually Yellow Tail brand, which has the additional advantage of being cheap :)But I don't worry about it too much when I'm out, especially since I don't eat..."

Thanks Ginny. I will try the Yellow Tail brand, I think I have seen it in the stores. And since I usually use wine for cooking (not always, but more often), the fact that it is not too expensive is an added bonus. I will also check the website Lindsey suggested.


message 11: by Farrah (new)

Farrah | 212 comments Has anyone read this post? Thoughts? Perceptions?

http://voraciouseats.com/2010/11/19/a...


message 12: by Lisa (last edited Sep 16, 2011 08:21AM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Farrah wrote: "Has anyone read this post? Thoughts? Perceptions?

http://voraciouseats.com/2010/11/19/a..."


Here's Ginny's response (and her review of LK's book is also great!):

http://www.theveganrd.com/2010/11/do-...


message 13: by Farrah (new)

Farrah | 212 comments Great response! Thanks.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

What could be in wine that is not vegan?


message 15: by Lisa (last edited Sep 17, 2011 10:11AM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Mona wrote: "What could be in wine that is not vegan?"

Mona and All,

I know many are processed with fish, fish bladders maybe?

Here's something I just found:

Wines And Beers

Wine is clarified, or cleared, after fermentation. Some of the ingredients used include:

- edible gelatins (made from bones)
- isinglass (made from the swim bladders of fish)
- casein and potassium caseinate (milk proteins)
- animal albumin (egg albumin and dried blood powder)

Edited to add:

But there are many all vegan wines, and many vegans will drink any wine, considering it vegan, since there are no non-vegan ingredients that make up the wine itself, just its processing.


message 16: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks Lisa wrote: "Mona wrote: "What could be in wine that is not vegan?"

Mona and All,

I know many are processed with fish, fish bladders maybe?

Here's something I just found:

Wines And Beers

Wine is clarified,..."


You know, this should really be stated on the bottles themselves. Not just for vegans and vegetarians, but also for those individuals who have certain food allergies (many are allergic to eggs, casein and other ingredients you mentioned), so wines should have to list "all" ingredients, even those "just" used for processing.


message 17: by Lisa (last edited Sep 17, 2011 10:23AM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Gundula, I wholeheartedly agree. Hopefully people with the kinds of allergies that can cause anaphylactic shock educate themselves about all the hidden ingredients in so many foods. They're all over the place; it's just amazing to me. And the ingredients do make it into the wines.

I don't drink, but if I did, as a vegan I'd opt for an all vegan wine, not because I don't consider the other wines "vegan enough" but because those animal ingredients gross me out and I'd rather not consume even tiny amounts of them if I can avoid it.

Gundula, for people with allergies it's a real problem, yes. I'm hoping they're all aware but some probably aren't.


message 18: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks Lisa wrote: "Gundula, I wholeheartedly agree. Hopefully people with the kinds of allergies that can cause anaphylactic shock educate themselves about all the hidden ingredients in so many foods. They're all ove..."

I certainly was not aware of egg and milk ingredients being present in wines. I have to admit that the idea of dried blood powder is really kind of disgusting. You know I am not an absolute vegan, but the idea of drinking dried blood powder, yuck. I only generally drink red wine on occasion, so maybe I should check if the ones I do buy have any of these ingredients listed, kind of creepy (and I am sure that alternatives can and could be found, as you have said, there are vegan wines). I think now I understand why certain wines are considered to be kosher and certain wines are not, obviously gelatin in wines and wines that contain milk and blood ingredients would also not be considered kosher (it is amazing and disgusting the amount of things, of food products that contain gelatin).


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks! I do agree that wines,etc. should have to list ALL ingredients. I did know that "Eeirliquor" is made with eggs and Baileys Cream may have cream, but wine--that is awful. It seems like wine is just fermented fruit.

Some yougurt brands list Kosher gelatine as a n ingredient. I asked the dairy manager what it meant and he called a rabbi in NYC and found that it is still gelatine from an animal, not plant gelatine. The poor old cow was just blessed by the rabbi before she was used to make gelatine. It's all about the buck.


message 20: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Gundula, If dried blood doesn't appeal to you, many red food colorings are made from insects. Yuck! Unappealing to most of those who eat as omnivores, I would think. And the body parts put in cow/pig hot dogs are disgusting. It's amazing the ingredients humans use for food, especially given that there's a way to make everything from plants.

Yes, kosher gelatin is animal derived. The animal has to be killed in a certain way (throat cut and rabbi blessed) for dead animals to be kosher food.

I'm so grateful I'm a vegan. I wish I was a life long vegan, or even longer time vegan, but I'm glad I made the change no later than I did.


message 21: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks Lisa wrote: "Gundula, If dried blood doesn't appeal to you, many red food colorings are made from insects. Yuck! Unappealing to most of those who eat as omnivores, I would think. And the body parts put in cow/p..."

I don't like most food colourings, I really do not think that food needs any extra colour (and it's not exactly safe either). I know all about hot dogs, yuck.


message 22: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Gundula, When I was no longer a flesh eater but lacto-ovo vegetarian, I stopped using food colorings because I agree, whatever the natural color of foods are is fine with me, but I used to use them in baking all the time. My father's favorite color was blue and every year when I was a kid I used to make him a dark blue cake with light blue frosting. Ha!


message 23: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks Lisa wrote: "Gundula, When I was no longer a flesh eater but lacto-ovo vegetarian, I stopped using food colorings because I agree, whatever the natural color of foods are is fine with me, but I used to use them..."

I know, I used to use green food colour to frost Christmas tree cookies, until I read somewhere how bad these colours were health wise. And one of my friends at school used food colouring to colour her hair at Halloween, and she had green hair for almost six months and her hair texture changed (so I started to wonder).


message 24: by Lee, Unrepentant Eggplant Addict (new)

Lee (leekat) | 1027 comments Mod
Lisa, do you know if there are vegan food colourings? Maggie loves to put food colouring in frosting.


message 25: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Lee wrote: "Lisa, do you know if there are vegan food colourings? Maggie loves to put food colouring in frosting."

There are some. You can ask in your local natural health food store or one of the online vegan stores.

Many believe (aside from being not vegan) that because food colorings are full of chemicals, they're very health harmful. I ate a ton as a kid and I don't think I suffered any ill effects???

Maggie (because of the ingredients) and you (because of the work) might balk, but here are some ideas:

from:

http://www.vegetarian-secrets.com/how...

How to Make Homemade Natural Vegan Food Colors

As most vegans may be aware, food colorings are not necessarily vegan - in fact in most cases they are not. So it’s a wise vegan who will either source out 100% animal-free versions (from good quality vegan or health stores) or make their own food colorings from natural fruits and vegetables easily at home. And today Jane, the allergy food awareness expert from Hullabaloo Foods in Tasmania, Australia has passed on her knowledge for the perfect mix to make your own food colors.

Here are some of Jane’s recipes for the perfect food colors:

Red / Purple. Gently simmer raspberries, blueberries or mulberries in water for 30 minutes. Once cooled you will need to sieve it twice. First time you can just use the metal and squish the fruit to get the most liquid out. Second time around lay two sheets of cooking muslin (or a tea towel) over the sieve. Pour the liquid in but don’t’ squeeze – just let it drip at it’s own pace. Cover with a third sheet as this will take 12-24 hours. Once all of the liquid is through return to a clean saucepan and simmer to reduce to a thick liquid. Store in fridge or freezer. Your color will vary depending on the type and ripeness of the berry.

Pink – Beetroot Juice much easier but watch out for the taste. Drain a tin of beetroot. Simmer liquid slowly to reduce volume and increase colour strength (note from Rebecca, I have personally and successfully used freshly squeezed beetroot juice for pink coloring - you only need a tiny few drops and you don’t get a beetroot taste like one would usually suspect).

Yellow – Turmeric with a little hot water, use sparingly as the taste of the turmeric will persist. For a more expensive solution you could use real saffron.

Brown – Cocoa powder, carob powder and Parisian essence make a soft brown but will all add the relevant flavour. You could also caramelise some sugar and then add to the icing mix.

So if you are wanting to make organic natural food color alternatives just try any of these super easy ideas for that perfect frosting to top off your next batch of vegan cupcakes.

P.S. If you are wishing to make green colors, simply put one of the following… ‘celery, brocolli or spinach’ (any green vegetable will work wonders actually) through a juicer and you have three wonderfully vibrant green color variations to choose from too.

Here's one site that seems to sell some vegan food colors:

http://www.seelecttea.com/index.php/f...

and

here's info from wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_col...

Actually, making your own colors could be a fun art project, but obviously time consuming. Years ago I stopped using artificial colors, but I'm not a kid, and I know they're fun.


message 26: by Lee, Unrepentant Eggplant Addict (new)

Lee (leekat) | 1027 comments Mod
Thanks Lisa, I wonder how strong the veggie ones taste if you were to use them in frosting. I guess I'll just have to experiment a little bit. The fruit ones definitely sound more appealing.


message 27: by Mirela (new)

Mirela (anenomeluv) This thread has got me curious! I haven't been vegan for long (7 months) so I have tried my best to avoid all animal-derived ingredients, and I am appalled at how much of the stuff is in products nowadays! A few times I ate something and only after did I realize there was milk or something in it! ARGHH!! Anyways, is there a website out there that lists all those hidden ingredients that we can look out for? I hate those scientific names! LOL Thanks!


message 28: by Lisa (last edited Sep 17, 2011 06:44PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Mirela,

It looks as though there are many lists:

http://www.google.com/search?q=vegan+...

I have several old books/booklets including this one: Animal Ingredients A to Z: Third Edition; I have an earlier edition: Animal Ingredients A-Z


message 29: by Mirela (new)

Mirela (anenomeluv) Lisa wrote: "Mirela,

It looks as though there are many lists:

http://www.google.com/search?q=vegan+...

I have several old books/booklets i..."


Thanks! I will definitely print a list out and now I will have one on my fridge and one in my wallet!


message 30: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Mirela, The book is great and probably more comprehensive than any of the lists, though you might try the PETA or VRG.org websites. It's startling to me how many animal ingredients sneak into things we'd never guess.

My rubber soled shoes and car tires most likely have animal products in them. If I had a bike, those tires would too. Neither of the transportation modes: then the truck tires bringing my vegan food to me. Etc. etc. etc.

We can just do our best. Nobody is 100% vegan, but I do strive to minimize any use of animal products. Everybody has to decide for themselves where to draw the line; it's going to be different for everybody.


message 31: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Lee wrote: "Thanks Lisa, I wonder how strong the veggie ones taste if you were to use them in frosting. I guess I'll just have to experiment a little bit. The fruit ones definitely sound more appealing."

Lee, I've had candies (such as the Whizzer's chocolate beans) with turmeric and beets and such for food coloring, and they've imparted no flavor. I think saffron would and too much turmeric might, but doubt beets would, especially since so little would be needed to get a lot of color. But, you'd have to experiment, I guess, and also look up and see what others' experiences have been.


message 32: by Lee, Unrepentant Eggplant Addict (new)

Lee (leekat) | 1027 comments Mod
I think a tiny bit of turmeric would go a long way. It does have a strong flavour but the tiny amount necessary to make the colour could be masked by other flavourings. Next time we make coloured frosting I will give one of these a try and let you all know. Thanks for the ideas!


message 33: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Dijulio | 160 comments Lisa wrote: "Gundula, When I was no longer a flesh eater but lacto-ovo vegetarian, I stopped using food colorings because I agree, whatever the natural color of foods are is fine with me, but I used to use them..."

Lisa, that is so cute. I used to dye the milk blue so that when my father poured it on his cereal...surprise! He was a very good sport about it!


message 34: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Dijulio | 160 comments Lisa wrote: "Lee wrote: "Thanks Lisa, I wonder how strong the veggie ones taste if you were to use them in frosting. I guess I'll just have to experiment a little bit. The fruit ones definitely sound more app..."

I used pureed beets in some chocolate whoopie pies hoping that I could make a "red velvet." But I got a really warm, barely reddish, chocolate instead. They were delicious, but next time I'm going to try some dehydrated beet powder. I think the Waldorf Astoria in NYC makes their red velvet with it.


message 35: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Just for everybody's information:

The Natural Candy Store is selling food colorings that are vegan, and are made from plants, and not animals or petrochemicals:

http://www.naturalcandystore.com/cate...


message 36: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Dijulio | 160 comments Lisa wrote: "Just for everybody's information:

The Natural Candy Store is selling food colorings that are vegan, and are made from plants, and not animals or petrochemicals:

http://www.naturalcandystore.com/c..."


Thanks for sharing!


message 37: by Lee, Unrepentant Eggplant Addict (new)

Lee (leekat) | 1027 comments Mod
Lisa, you rock! Thanks for the link.


message 38: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Lee wrote: "Lisa, you rock! Thanks for the link."

M. and you can still be artists, kindly and safely.


message 39: by Lee, Unrepentant Eggplant Addict (new)

Lee (leekat) | 1027 comments Mod
I'm not much of a cupcake or cake artist, I just like to eat. :-) But we do like to play with frosting colours.


message 40: by Rachel (last edited Oct 27, 2011 12:33PM) (new)

Rachel (petalpower) | 393 comments Hey you guys / gals, I just noticed the post from Farrah, with a link to the post by Tasha, previously the Voracious Vegan, who apparently went from vegan to full-fledged meat eater.

http://voraciouseats.com/2010/11/19/a...

I didn't get to read the whole post in detail, but I read at least 50% of it, in parts and pieces. I might go back and read more at another time. Also I looked at the post (Ginny's response) posted by Lisa:

http://www.theveganrd.com/2010/11/do-...

Whew! That is all a lot of info.

One thing that struck a chord with me is how terribly unhealthy this Tasha lady was on her vegan diet. She describes that she was eating ...

"I kept eating healthfully, as I always have. An entire head of greens every morning in my fruit smoothie, beans almost every day, tons of citrus fruits in my lunch snack plates, tofu, soaked nut pates, whole grains, sprouted grains, and roasted veggies, and of course my daily vitamins, all of the delicious, beautiful food that I loved. "

First of all, if she were depressed and so fatigued and exhausted, and I don't how she had the energy to make all of that awesome healthy food. I know that when I get depressed, all I want to eat is tortilla chips and salsa. I can't even bring myself to "do" anything more than that for food. The idea of soaking pates and sprouting grains would be way beyond me. Unless she's got a personal chef making all of this for her. However, I'm sure depression affects people in different ways.

But the main thing I wanted to say is that I am surprised that Tasha is saying she was so unhealthy, with the vegan diet she described. If she was taking "all her vitamins," surely that included B12. OK, maybe it wasn't the sublingual kind so she wasn't absorbing it. But if she got the B12 injections and started taking sublingual supplements, wouldn't that have helped?

I guess I'm very surprised by Tasha's experience because I DO feel very healthy and vibrant on my vegan diet. And although I'm very up front about the fact that I do make exceptions to my vegan diet very occasionally ... these are so infrequent that I don't think they play any role in maintaining my healthy vigor.

Also, when I make exceptions, it's not because I feel like I NEEDED to have some sort of non-vegan ingredient for health reasons, or even to satisfy a craving ... it's just because there weren't any reasonable vegan options available. I always WANT to have vegan food. That is why I consider myself vegan ... even it's in reality flexi-vegan or whatever. :)

In the case of donuts, my common example, I have indeed purchased maybe 3 regular non-vegan donuts for myself to consume, over the course of the six and a half years that I've been my version of vegan. I don't really feel like it was "cheating" because if there had been a vegan donut or even a Cliff bar or something vegan at the store for me to munch on, I would have bought that instead. But ... since there was nothing else to eat, I just said, "Oh what the heck, I'll pay 65 cents and get this unfortunately non-vegan donut, this one time." I'm able to say "what the heck," with integrity, I feel ... because I know how hard I work to make my diet as vegan as possible, 365 days per year. In the grand scheme of things, I don't feel that it makes much difference, at least not for a person like me who is so diligent about keeping a vegan diet, normally.

So ... being that as it is ... I was especially annoyed with this particular part of Tasha's essay:

I delicately broached the topic of my ill-health with several vegan friends. I even made comments on other blogs and on twitter highlighting my struggles. The response was nothing short of shocking. In the span of just a few days I received an outpouring of emails from fellow ‘vegan’ bloggers, who told me in confidence that they weren’t really vegan ‘behind the scenes’. They ate eggs, or the occasional fish, or piece of meat, all to keep themselves healthy, but were too scared to admit to it on their blogs. I even received emails from two very prominent and well respected members of the vegan AR community. One a published and much loved vegan cook book author, the other a noted animal rights blogger, their emails detailed their health struggles and eventual unpublicized return to eating meat.

Well! I don't want to be lumped into the category of someone who freely eats eggs and meat "behind the scenes." I guess that's why I think it's really important to be up-front about it. Yes, I do normally follow a vegan diet, but I'm simply able to be a bit more flexible if there's no reasonable vegan food available to eat.

Or, if I am visiting family, I just eat the most vegan-looking side dishes which they have prepared, in addition to the totally vegan dishes that I have prepared and brought to the event. It's my way of fitting in and "belonging" with the family, and believe me ... my plate of all veggie sides, still looks totally vegan to them. None of them think I'm a hypocrite, instead they think "Wow, she comes to these gatherings and makes all this vegan food for us, but she's still willing to eat some of our food, too! That's pretty cool!"

If I stayed totally strict at my family gatherings, it would look extremely rude, because then I would be able to eat NONE of the food they had prepared, as I would only be eating the food I had prepared.

We only have these family reunions every couple of years, so ... I figure, it doesn't happen that often, I can "flex a little" on those special occasions and make everyone happy.

BUT! To me, that is NOTHING LIKE "Oh, I secretly go ahead and eat some eggs and meat, even though I'm vegan." No, I don't do that. I'm just willing to make exceptions when it makes sense to do so (especially when it's for social reasons, such as blending in and not making a big fuss with my family, or if there was no reasonable vegan thing available to eat).

I suppose, if I found out that I truly wasn't healthy on a vegan diet, then I would make an exception for that, too ... I would eat the minimum amount of animal product that I needed, to stay healthy. That would be the most responsible thing for the animals, the planet, and for my body, too, I think. From the nutrition classes I took in high school, I learned that we should minimize saturated fat from animals in our diets, and I still really believe in that. So ... if I ever found out someday that I actually needed meat or eggs, I would make an exception for that ... but only the minimum amount that was needed.

I'm not quite sure how someone who wants to help animals would go way off on the deep end and start eating animals at every meal? Surely that much meat is not good for one's health?

So ... right now I don't understand the perspective of the previous "Voracious Vegan," but perhaps I will find time to read her essay in its entirety, and a bit more carefully in the future, as well as the response from Ginny, which looks very thoughtful and well-reasoned.

Farrah and Lisa, thanks for posting both of those links. :)

Also, this is a very good thread for general discussions about veganism ... I had forgotten about this one; otherwise, we could have put our "labels" discussion in here. :)


message 41: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Rachel wrote: "If I stayed totally strict at my family gatherings, it would look extremely rude, because then I would be able to eat NONE of the food they had prepared, as I would only be eating the food I had prepared. "

I think it would be really polite (and not rude) for your relatives to make sure that a couple of the side dishes at the family reunions are 100% vegan: plain veggies, grain cooked in water, etc. ;-) Knowing that there is a vegan in attendance, it would be nice if they went just a tiny bit out of their way to make sure you'd have something you truly wanted to eat. You're more tolerant of them than I would be. I guess I should count my lucky stars with my omnivorous friends making sure there is always something vegan for me. I don't have family but was at an extended family memorial service recently and I could eat the cut up fruit and raw veggies, and I could probably have had the white French bread type bread too. Of course, it was a vegetarian spread, but everything else did have cheese or other dairy.


message 42: by Farrah (new)

Farrah | 212 comments I have looked of the "Voracious Vegan"'s blog since she became a meat-eater and it is kind of gross. I think one post she had a whole love affair with bacon, and if she is supposed to be eating meat to get healthy, I can't imagine how bacon fits in there. Even when I ate meat, I rarely ate bacon, even though it is delicious. But as Colleen P-G says...it's really the salt and fat that is good. And I can get some smokey, salty, tempeh sauteed in a little vegan Earth Balance if I want to and it would still be healthier than bacon.

I have to say, my family has been awesome with our veganism. When I have a dinner at my house, they try everything and give honest opinions. When I go to their house, some accomodate and some flat out say, I don't know what to make for you either bring something or tell me what to make. And I appreciate that. I gladly bring our tupperware of vegan nosh as long as people don't mind me using their microwave to heat up so stuff.

We just did this last weekend. My cousin and fam is not vegan. They ordered pizza and salad for dinner but even the dressing wasn't vegan and it was slathered on there. We had come prepared with our tupperware of pasta and since we spent the night I brought some gingerbread flax muffins.

Although I have gotten some fluff because I usually make a big ol' seafood lasagna for Christmas Eve and this year I don't think I am going to make it. ( I have toyed with the idea of making it for everyone and just not eating it but there are too many ethical lines crossed with that and quite frankly I don't think I could touch seafood or meat anyway)

So I am thinking of making "tofu scallops" by slicing tofu lengthwise and using a mini circle cookie cutter to cut out scallops. And making a "seafood alfredo" sauce with nutrional yeast and sea veggies.


message 43: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Farrah wrote: "So I am thinking of making "tofu scallops" by slicing tofu lengthwise and using a mini circle cookie cutter to cut out scallops. And making a "seafood alfredo" sauce with nutrional yeast and sea veggies."

How creative!


message 44: by Rachel (last edited Oct 28, 2011 09:28AM) (new)

Rachel (petalpower) | 393 comments Lisa wrote: "I think it would be really polite (and not rude) for your relatives to make sure that a couple of the side dishes at the family reunions are 100% vegan: plain veggies, grain cooked in water, etc. ;-) Knowing that there is a vegan in attendance, it would be nice if they went just a tiny bit out of their way to make sure you'd have something you truly wanted to eat.."

Lisa, I think you are misunderstanding ... my family members don't think it would be rude for them to provide vegan things for me to eat. What they think is rude is for me to show up at the family gathering with all my own food, and to refuse to eat anything they had made. I actually did that for a family camping trip back in 2007. We had actually not had a reunion since 2005. And, as it turned out, instead of 30 people in attendance, we only had 5 adults and 2 kids. It was still a great time, but ... my brother and his wife were very disappointed ... my brother told my mom, "I don't understand, why can't she eat any of our food? I understand if she's vegan, but why can't she just be a part of the family and eat some of our food, too .. we only see her once every couple years, what difference would it make?"

AND ... on that very same camping trip, we had a campfire, and I ate my own vegan dinner, and got totally stuffed. Then my sister made something called a "cherry dump cake" in a cast iron Dutch oven. I watched her make it, it's basically cake mix, canned cherry pie filling, several sticks of butter, some eggs I think, and maybe some evaporated milk ? I can't remember what all she put in there, but it looked pretty disgusting as I watched all those ingredients going in. When she had it all ready, she offered me some, and I told her the truth, which was that I was really stuffed and could not eat another bite. Unfortunately there were only 7 of us (5 adults, 2 kids) sitting around the campfire, so it was real obvious to everyone that I was not eating the cherry dump cake.

The strange thing was ... even at that time, when I was much more "strict" about my vegan diet than I am now ... I was never "totally strict" and I actually would have tried some of my sister's cherry dump cake, if it meant that much to her, no matter how disgusting it looked to me. But honestly ... I was truly stuffed (with my own vegan food)! I would have felt sick if I had eaten any of that dump cake, I am sure of it.

If she had come around the next morning, at breakfast time, and offered me some, when I had a bit of an appetite, I'm sure I would have tried some. It wasn't just because I was vegan that I didn't want any (although that was certainly part of the reason). But I just told her I was full and didn't want any. Well, my sister was in tears and her voice broke up and she said something passive-aggressive like, "Well, it's OK if you don't want to try any of my cherry dump cake, it's more for us, and we all think it's DELICIOUS!"

I don't know. It was just really awkward! But ironically, whether I was vegan or not, I wouldn't have eaten it because I was stuffed!

I guess, if she had made a point of making a VEGAN cherry dump cake, specially just for me, I would have brought myself to at least just try 1 bite, and then I would have made point of telling her it was delicious but I just didn't save any room for it, and can we save some and have it for breakfast? I wish I HAD thought of saying something like that, just to make my sister feel better, even thought it was a non-vegan cherry dump cake ... but in addition to my being stuffed, I really didn't want any, so I guess that's why it didn't occur to me to say anything like that.

AUGH! It definitely is complicated dealing with veganism and other people.


message 45: by Rachel (last edited Oct 28, 2011 09:51AM) (new)

Rachel (petalpower) | 393 comments Emszy wrote: "But I agree there has to be a compromise. The other day a neighbour gave us some dark chocolate truffles as a thank you. They didn't realise we are vegan and I wasn't going to shove the gesture back in their face. We ate them. We had no one else to give them to and it would have been a waste. "

I agree about compromising when people mean well, and especially when they don't know you're vegan.

On the other hand ... what to do in these kinds of situations ... for example, I have friends who know I'm vegan, and yet they'll send me non-vegan popcorn at Christmas, or a diary bound in LEATHER. Prominently marked as LEATHER on all the packaging! It's very strange. Well, I think the reason they send it is because they are sending the same thing to everyone in our circle of friends, so they are just sending me the same thing that they send to everyone else.

Also I think maybe they feel like, "Oh, it's too hard to be vegan, I don't know how to find vegan stuff to send to Rachel." But ... I feel like vegans are so easy to please! If you're going to go through the trouble to send me a gift, why not go shopping online at Cosmos' Vegan Shoppe or Moo Shoes, where you know you'll be ordering vegan stuff for your vegan friend?

Augh! People can be so exasperating.

Another thing that happened ... a few years ago, I was shopping on the PETA web site, and I saw they had a cruelty-free gift package of soap, lotion, lip balm, etc. I thought it was really cute, so I ordered one for myself as well as my four girlfriends. I had them shipped to my house, and I sent the gift packs along with books and other things that I had recently purchased for each person, and I mailed the boxes to each of my girlfriends. This was a lot of work for me, because I'm one of those people that has a VERY DIFFICULT TIME getting things out in the mail, even if it's just a letter. Getting four packages assembled and mailed is practically impossible, but I did it!

Whew! I was so happy that I got these gifts out.

One thing I hadn't paid attention to, at all, was the way that the gift packs of lotions, soap, etc, had VEGAN clearly marked on the outside.

Well! One of my friends took GREAT OFFENSE to this. She said she never wanted me to send her anything marked VEGAN ever again because she doesn't agree with the lifestyle because she thinks it's unhealthy and hypocritical and all of this. And she said she didn't like the gift because she thought I was basically sending her something I would like, rather than something SHE would like. (Hello? Lotions and soap? Who doesn't like that?) Also, she took offense because she said she felt I was being "up on my high horse" if I refuse to buy anything unless it's vegan, even it's for friends who don't want vegan things.

EESH! So that was a real mind bender. Her grandparents were from a farming family like my own mother and aunts and uncles ... so maybe she got this "anti-vegan" stance from her family. I'm not sure. My other friends are not like that ... the other friends are not anti-vegan, but they're sort of "not sensitive to vegan" either, because as I say, they send me buttered popcorn and leather diaries for Christmas / birthday gifts.

Oh well!


message 46: by Rachel (last edited Dec 22, 2011 05:13PM) (new)

Rachel (petalpower) | 393 comments Also, before this exchange with my "anti-vegan" friend, I had thought of vegan food and vegan products as a sort of "common denominator" that could be pleasing and acceptable to everyone, as long as they weren't allergic to any of the ingredients, etc. Surprisingly, there are people who have it in their minds that they don't like vegan things (even it's just soap and lotion) ... so it doesn't work to say, "Well, let's just have vegan food or all vegan whatever, and everyone will be happy." Unfortunately, no .... there are people who will be unhappy precisely because it's vegan. AUGH!

I don't understand, it seems so strange to me ... why would you object to things just because they are labeled vegan / cruelty-free? ... GOOD GRIEF!!!


message 47: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Rachel wrote: "Lisa, I think you are misunderstanding ... my family members don't think it would be rude for them to provide vegan things for me to eat. What they think is rude is for me to show up at the family gathering with all my own food, and to refuse to eat anything they had made."

Rachel, I think you misunderstood me. You COULD eat their food if they'd make something you could eat. Not to make something you can eat is what I consider rude.


Rachel wrote: "I don't understand, it seems so strange to me ... why would you object to things just because they are labeled vegan / cruelty-free? But I guess some people are offended it by it."

In my experience the only people who are this defensive and anti-vegan are those people who aren't feeling comfortable with how they're living. My omnivorous friends who feel comfortable eating and using animal products are fine with eating vegan with me, accepting vegan gifts, etc. and don't expect me to buy non-vegan things for them.


message 48: by Farrah (new)

Farrah | 212 comments Did you guys see the Happy Herbivore blog today? It's a good one about the negativity we get for our veganism.


message 49: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Farrah wrote: "Did you guys see the Happy Herbivore blog today? It's a good one about the negativity we get for our veganism."

No, I hadn't. Thanks. Just went off to read it. It's the second post down now at: http://happyherbivore.com/blog/

I wanna give all those people Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism. ;-)


message 50: by Rachel (last edited Oct 28, 2011 12:25PM) (new)

Rachel (petalpower) | 393 comments Farrah, I found it, it is an excellent piece!

http://happyherbivore.com/blog/

Unfortunately I can't figure out how to link directly to that blog article. So as HH posts more things on top, you won't necessarily easily find the post anymore, if you click on the link above.

I think the newer post "For the Love of Food" is also right on target!

In the blog post, "How to Withstand Negativity," which I thought was beautiful (and is dated "today" which I guess means October 28, 2011), she also linked to something she wrote in August 2011.

http://happyherbivore.com/2011/08/dea...

Farrah, thanks for sharing, this is great info.


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