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How I do vegetarianism?

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    TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON Registered User regular
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    Jesus, why are people being so ridiculously hard on the meat substitutes? I love the stuff. It's the whole reason I went vegetrarian; I prefer it over meat. Seitan is my favorite but I get the Boca stuff all the time.
    Eating meat substitutes as a way of being vegetarian is like eating Spam and other sorts of mystery meat as a way of being a carnivore. It's fine every once in a while, but you're not exactly eating the cream of the crop. You're eating chemicals and weird shit that you'd never recognize in its base form of actual ingredients. Not to mention it's more expensive and you're probably in the minority when you say you prefer it over meat. For most people, replacing meat with meat substitutes is going to be less tasty, just as expensive, not much healthier, and generally just a sub-par process. And because they think meat substitutes are the way to do vegetarianism, they say "fuck vegetarianism, this sucks" when in reality it's the meat substitutes that suck. There are fantastic reasons to go vegetarian, and I hate it when people bring up excuses like "veggie burgers taste like grilled cardboard" as reasons for not being a vegetarian. That's like saying "I've never had Spam that I've enjoyed" as an excuse for being a vegan. Spam isn't as good as meat gets! To most people, Spam is the worst that meat gets! And meat substitutes are not the best that vegetarianism gets. To most people, it's the worst that it gets.

    So, if you like them, then that's fine, but realize that you're in the minority, just like you'd be in the minority if you preferred Spam to a good steak or a nice hamburger or even a good meatloaf. If meat substitutes were really the best vegetarian food, you'd expect vegetarian cuisines all over the world to be eating them. But nobody really eats meat substitutes unless they grew up eating meat and can't figure out how to plan a meal without it. Meat substitutes (unless you're one of the few people who really enjoy them) are just that - replacements for meat. But being a vegetarian is not about eating meals that have a "meat" slot and then finding a replacement for that slot. Being a vegetarian is about not eating meat.

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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Never get the veggie burger at burger king, fyi.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Unless you are getting something really, really plain, like block tofu or quorn grounds or the bare minimum anything else, meat substitutes like Boca and MSF are full of crap. You may as well be eating hot dogs every day. Also, some of them contain egg byproducts and are not actually vegan, if vegan is what you're looking for.

    I think one of the big mistakes people make going vegetarian (or even vegan) is "no meat = healthier by definition". It's not. From my other posts in this thread (and forum) it is probably pretty obvious that I'm not a vegetarian, but I really don't want meat all the time and I do tend to go through the 'vegan stuff' aisle at the store to see what I can find. I look at meat substitutes the same way I would look at meat: sometimes what you really want is a hot dog and that's fine, but it's going to be healthier on a regular basis and probably taste better to get the basic stuff you can manipulate and season to your taste rather than eat things every day where each ingredient on the list is just a different word for salt.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    I'd probably believe there's less meat/byproducts in hot dogs than in veggie alternatives, tbh.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    I'd probably believe there's less meat/byproducts in hot dogs than in veggie alternatives, tbh.

    Hah! :)

    But generally yes, whether you're eating a hotdog or a notdog, you should probably ask yourself at least once "why am I ingesting this thing which neither looks nor tastes nor feels like anything that occurs in nature, and by what alchemy did its manufacturer make it look, taste and feel like this?"

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    Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    Jesus, why are people being so ridiculously hard on the meat substitutes? I love the stuff. It's the whole reason I went vegetrarian; I prefer it over meat. Seitan is my favorite but I get the Boca stuff all the time.
    Eating meat substitutes as a way of being vegetarian is like eating Spam and other sorts of mystery meat as a way of being a carnivore. It's fine every once in a while, but you're not exactly eating the cream of the crop. You're eating chemicals and weird shit that you'd never recognize in its base form of actual ingredients. Not to mention it's more expensive and you're probably in the minority when you say you prefer it over meat. For most people, replacing meat with meat substitutes is going to be less tasty, just as expensive, not much healthier, and generally just a sub-par process. And because they think meat substitutes are the way to do vegetarianism, they say "fuck vegetarianism, this sucks" when in reality it's the meat substitutes that suck. There are fantastic reasons to go vegetarian, and I hate it when people bring up excuses like "veggie burgers taste like grilled cardboard" as reasons for not being a vegetarian. That's like saying "I've never had Spam that I've enjoyed" as an excuse for being a vegan. Spam isn't as good as meat gets! To most people, Spam is the worst that meat gets! And meat substitutes are not the best that vegetarianism gets. To most people, it's the worst that it gets.

    So, if you like them, then that's fine, but realize that you're in the minority, just like you'd be in the minority if you preferred Spam to a good steak or a nice hamburger or even a good meatloaf. If meat substitutes were really the best vegetarian food, you'd expect vegetarian cuisines all over the world to be eating them. But nobody really eats meat substitutes unless they grew up eating meat and can't figure out how to plan a meal without it. Meat substitutes (unless you're one of the few people who really enjoy them) are just that - replacements for meat. But being a vegetarian is not about eating meals that have a "meat" slot and then finding a replacement for that slot. Being a vegetarian is about not eating meat.

    Whatever, you're being ridiculously hostile for the subject matter in question.

    I went vegetarian because if I had to kill something to eat it I wouldn't be able to do it. Mock duck just came along for the ride. But apparantly, according to the gigantic chip on your shoulder, I'm doing it wrong.

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    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    Unless you are getting something really, really plain, like block tofu or quorn grounds or the bare minimum anything else, meat substitutes like Boca and MSF are full of crap. You may as well be eating hot dogs every day. Also, some of them contain egg byproducts and are not actually vegan, if vegan is what you're looking for.

    I think one of the big mistakes people make going vegetarian (or even vegan) is "no meat = healthier by definition". It's not. From my other posts in this thread (and forum) it is probably pretty obvious that I'm not a vegetarian, but I really don't want meat all the time and I do tend to go through the 'vegan stuff' aisle at the store to see what I can find. I look at meat substitutes the same way I would look at meat: sometimes what you really want is a hot dog and that's fine, but it's going to be healthier on a regular basis and probably taste better to get the basic stuff you can manipulate and season to your taste rather than eat things every day where each ingredient on the list is just a different word for salt.

    Case in point: Twinkies have no meat.

    I want to thank a ton of the posters who take a pragmatic approach to vegetarianism by providing good meal planning instructions and great recipes. I have no interest in going vegetarian, but I'm trying to plan more of my means around going meatless for all the reasons already stated, summed as: Even if I'm cool with eating meat, I don't need so much.

    I'd imagine the work you guys do showing how to successfully devise a good meal plan without meat is probably more helpful at reducing overall meat consumption than just negotiating the pros and cons of various facets of veggie/veganism.

    What is this I don't even.
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    EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    Jesus, why are people being so ridiculously hard on the meat substitutes? I love the stuff. It's the whole reason I went vegetrarian; I prefer it over meat. Seitan is my favorite but I get the Boca stuff all the time.
    Eating meat substitutes as a way of being vegetarian is like eating Spam and other sorts of mystery meat as a way of being a carnivore. It's fine every once in a while, but you're not exactly eating the cream of the crop. You're eating chemicals and weird shit that you'd never recognize in its base form of actual ingredients. Not to mention it's more expensive and you're probably in the minority when you say you prefer it over meat. For most people, replacing meat with meat substitutes is going to be less tasty, just as expensive, not much healthier, and generally just a sub-par process. And because they think meat substitutes are the way to do vegetarianism, they say "fuck vegetarianism, this sucks" when in reality it's the meat substitutes that suck. There are fantastic reasons to go vegetarian, and I hate it when people bring up excuses like "veggie burgers taste like grilled cardboard" as reasons for not being a vegetarian. That's like saying "I've never had Spam that I've enjoyed" as an excuse for being a vegan. Spam isn't as good as meat gets! To most people, Spam is the worst that meat gets! And meat substitutes are not the best that vegetarianism gets. To most people, it's the worst that it gets.

    So, if you like them, then that's fine, but realize that you're in the minority, just like you'd be in the minority if you preferred Spam to a good steak or a nice hamburger or even a good meatloaf. If meat substitutes were really the best vegetarian food, you'd expect vegetarian cuisines all over the world to be eating them. But nobody really eats meat substitutes unless they grew up eating meat and can't figure out how to plan a meal without it. Meat substitutes (unless you're one of the few people who really enjoy them) are just that - replacements for meat. But being a vegetarian is not about eating meals that have a "meat" slot and then finding a replacement for that slot. Being a vegetarian is about not eating meat.

    I'm glad that we have you to speak universally for the entire vegetarian community about what's what. It's good to know there is such universal consensus that no other perspectives are relevant.

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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    Jesus, why are people being so ridiculously hard on the meat substitutes? I love the stuff. It's the whole reason I went vegetrarian; I prefer it over meat. Seitan is my favorite but I get the Boca stuff all the time.
    Eating meat substitutes as a way of being vegetarian is like eating Spam and other sorts of mystery meat as a way of being a carnivore. It's fine every once in a while, but you're not exactly eating the cream of the crop. You're eating chemicals and weird shit that you'd never recognize in its base form of actual ingredients. Not to mention it's more expensive and you're probably in the minority when you say you prefer it over meat. For most people, replacing meat with meat substitutes is going to be less tasty, just as expensive, not much healthier, and generally just a sub-par process. And because they think meat substitutes are the way to do vegetarianism, they say "fuck vegetarianism, this sucks" when in reality it's the meat substitutes that suck. There are fantastic reasons to go vegetarian, and I hate it when people bring up excuses like "veggie burgers taste like grilled cardboard" as reasons for not being a vegetarian. That's like saying "I've never had Spam that I've enjoyed" as an excuse for being a vegan. Spam isn't as good as meat gets! To most people, Spam is the worst that meat gets! And meat substitutes are not the best that vegetarianism gets. To most people, it's the worst that it gets.

    So, if you like them, then that's fine, but realize that you're in the minority, just like you'd be in the minority if you preferred Spam to a good steak or a nice hamburger or even a good meatloaf. If meat substitutes were really the best vegetarian food, you'd expect vegetarian cuisines all over the world to be eating them. But nobody really eats meat substitutes unless they grew up eating meat and can't figure out how to plan a meal without it. Meat substitutes (unless you're one of the few people who really enjoy them) are just that - replacements for meat. But being a vegetarian is not about eating meals that have a "meat" slot and then finding a replacement for that slot. Being a vegetarian is about not eating meat.

    Whatever, you're being ridiculously hostile for the subject matter in question.

    I went vegetarian because if I had to kill something to eat it I wouldn't be able to do it. Mock duck just came along for the ride. But apparantly, according to the gigantic chip on your shoulder, I'm doing it wrong.

    Yeah we're not going to fight about this here. I don't think anybody is attacking your reasons for being vegetarian, but you mentioned Boca. Boca stuff is terribly unhealthy and not something you want to plan a vegetarian or vegan diet around if you can help it. I do happen to think their stuff tastes pretty bad and prefer MSF for taste, but both are pretty much the hot dogs of vegetarian food. I don't find anything wrong with using basic meat substitutes as I mentioned, but I do think it's probably not great to eat the heavily processed stuff every day any more than it's awesome to plan your diet around Big Macs.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Unless somebody IS attacking peoples' reasons for being vegetarian. Then they can find a different thread.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    Jesus, why are people being so ridiculously hard on the meat substitutes? I love the stuff. It's the whole reason I went vegetrarian; I prefer it over meat. Seitan is my favorite but I get the Boca stuff all the time.
    Eating meat substitutes as a way of being vegetarian is like eating Spam and other sorts of mystery meat as a way of being a carnivore. It's fine every once in a while, but you're not exactly eating the cream of the crop. You're eating chemicals and weird shit that you'd never recognize in its base form of actual ingredients. Not to mention it's more expensive and you're probably in the minority when you say you prefer it over meat. For most people, replacing meat with meat substitutes is going to be less tasty, just as expensive, not much healthier, and generally just a sub-par process. And because they think meat substitutes are the way to do vegetarianism, they say "fuck vegetarianism, this sucks" when in reality it's the meat substitutes that suck. There are fantastic reasons to go vegetarian, and I hate it when people bring up excuses like "veggie burgers taste like grilled cardboard" as reasons for not being a vegetarian. That's like saying "I've never had Spam that I've enjoyed" as an excuse for being a vegan. Spam isn't as good as meat gets! To most people, Spam is the worst that meat gets! And meat substitutes are not the best that vegetarianism gets. To most people, it's the worst that it gets.

    So, if you like them, then that's fine, but realize that you're in the minority, just like you'd be in the minority if you preferred Spam to a good steak or a nice hamburger or even a good meatloaf. If meat substitutes were really the best vegetarian food, you'd expect vegetarian cuisines all over the world to be eating them. But nobody really eats meat substitutes unless they grew up eating meat and can't figure out how to plan a meal without it. Meat substitutes (unless you're one of the few people who really enjoy them) are just that - replacements for meat. But being a vegetarian is not about eating meals that have a "meat" slot and then finding a replacement for that slot. Being a vegetarian is about not eating meat.

    Allow me to summarise this: why eat bad food when you can eat good food instead?

    PS as a result of this thread I'm going to make a 3-layer egg & vegetable biriyani on Saturday. Aubergine, courgette and red pepper, variously spiced and grilled, lots of very dark fried onions, 4 eggs, fresh mint & coriander, toasted cashew nuts, saffron scented basmati rice.

    Man I might even make some onion bhajis too. Or maybe spinach & potato pakoras.

    hhhnnnggg!

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    EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    See that makes sense to me, and even as an omnivore I personally feel that eating quality, well sourced foods with good prep is preferable to junk. That said, some people like junk, be it meat or plant based, and want to eat it as part or all of their diets. And that's absolutely fine.

    I don't possibly see how eating veggie burgers is invalidating as a vegetarian as its just one more menu item you can have at your disposal. How often you use that item is a matter of taste, and if your taste likes it how is that wrong. How is something that people are choosing to do possibly be "about" anything beyond that person's own personal goals. Maybe that's what it is about to TychoCelchuuu but to lay a blanket of purpose over an entire community is bogus in a lot of ways.

    But this is getting into D&D subject matter.

    Going back to actual food items for Vegetarians: a lot of people really like cookies and pastries. As most chefs know, these can be very very difficult to make without eggs and butter products while retaining flavor or consistency. I've found a lot of success using agave nectar in place of eggs as a binding agent, while also adding a nice sweetness to pastries that really rivals that of a good honey (as a lot of vegans don't like honey for damaging reasons). As an added bonus, you can usually cut back a lot on your processed sugars as the nectar provides plenty of sweetness. It's especially good if you are baking with amaranth flour to avoid gluten issues, as it does a good job of taking the acrid bite away that amaranth can have without a lot of mix-ins.

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    AtomicGaryBuseyAtomicGaryBusey I put on my robe and wizard hat. Beautiful Lynnhood, Wash.Registered User regular
    Man, I was going to write some serious feedback to this whole thread, but then I read:
    V1m wrote: »
    PS as a result of this thread I'm going to make a 3-layer egg & vegetable biriyani on Saturday. Aubergine, courgette and red pepper, variously spiced and grilled, lots of very dark fried onions, 4 eggs, fresh mint & coriander, toasted cashew nuts, saffron scented basmati rice.

    Man I might even make some onion bhajis too. Or maybe spinach & potato pakoras.

    hhhnnnggg!

    and got wayyyyy sidetracked. That sounds amazing. Party at @V1m 's house? :D

    fss_overall.png
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    AtomicGaryBuseyAtomicGaryBusey I put on my robe and wizard hat. Beautiful Lynnhood, Wash.Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    See that makes sense to me, and even as an omnivore I personally feel that eating quality, well sourced foods with good prep is preferable to junk. That said, some people like junk, be it meat or plant based, and want to eat it as part or all of their diets. And that's absolutely fine.

    Haha, junk food vegans make me shake my head sometimes... What's the point in applying the "vegan" label if all you eat is deep-fried french fries, potato chips, and soda? Why not just be honest and say "I LOVE JUNK FOOD, MAN!"? :P

    fss_overall.png
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Enc wrote: »
    See that makes sense to me, and even as an omnivore I personally feel that eating quality, well sourced foods with good prep is preferable to junk. That said, some people like junk, be it meat or plant based, and want to eat it as part or all of their diets. And that's absolutely fine.

    Haha, junk food vegans make me shake my head sometimes... What's the point in applying the "vegan" label if all you eat is deep-fried french fries, potato chips, and soda? Why not just be honest and say "I LOVE JUNK FOOD, MAN!"? :P

    Nobody cares because it's not the topic of this thread, which is actually on constructing a reasonably healthy ovo-vegetarian diet that won't make the OP sick.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Well, I mean I'll be honest: my omnivorous diet wasn't exactly healthy anyway. :P

    (Example: I woke up today and asked myself, "What do you think a reasonable breakfast would be this morning?" and I answered, "I think chocolate chip cookies and some Dr. Pepper would be a reasonable breakfast," and I did not even blink at my response. I just cracked the ice tray, popped open the cookie jar and went to work)

    I just want to avoid the obvious pitfalls, which you guys have helped me out with. I'll probably end-up stocking my fridge with like [BRAND NAME X] processed vegetarian crap at some point, because laziness and such, but fresh produce & rice is where it's at for now.

    And holy crap this stuff is cheap.

    The Ender on
    With Love and Courage
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    SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    So here's what I'm doing for dinner tonight, @The Ender:

    Ingredients:
    1 cup pearl couscous
    1 red pepper
    1 yellow pepper
    1/4 cup chopped green onions
    chopped fresh basil
    1 cup cherry tomatoes
    1 cup pearl onions
    1 cup green peas
    3 cloves garlic
    olive oil
    Parmesean cheese
    balsamic vinegar
    salt & pepper to taste


    1. Crush, peel and mince the garlic. In a large skillet, add garlic to about a few tablespoons of olive oil and warm over low heat.

    2. Chop red and yellow peppers. Add peppers, green onions and basil to skillet and saute over medium heat for about ten minutes. Meanwhile:

    3. In a small pot, lightly toast pearl couscous with a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat for about ten minutes. Add 1.5 cups of water and allow to come to a low boil over medium heat. Continue adjusting heat to keep at a low boil/simmer until water is either absorbed or cooked off. Stir occasionally.

    4. Add tomatoes to skillet and saute for another five-ten minutes over medium/high heat so that tomatoes begin to soften and their peels start to come off. Add peas and pearl onions and continue to saute until onions start to become translucent.

    5. Once vegetables are cooked and the water has cooked off the couscous, add all of it to a casserole dish. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the top, salt and pepper to taste, and add some grated Parm cheese, about 1/4 cup (you may skip this if this is one of those cheeses that exacerbate your lactose issues, obviously). Mix thoroughly together and stick it in the oven at 375F for about 23 minutes.

    The semolina flour in couscous along with the green peas are both a legume and a simple starch, so you should be covered on protein, and I love the way that pearl onions and cherry tomatoes develop complementary contrasting flavors when they're cooked at high heat. It's also such a colorful dish with the different colored peppers and the green onions and the peas and tomatoes that it just makes you feel healthy looking at it as it sits on your plate. Also? Incredibly easy. The garlic is just about the most complicated element of knife work in the entire dish, and since you can do the couscous and vegetables mostly at the same time, it only takes about 30-40 minutes from start to finish using entirely fresh ingredients, and most of the time is spent in the oven while you play a computer game or something.

    I suggest a cabernet sauvignon along with it.

    SammyF on
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    The Ender wrote: »
    Well, I mean I'll be honest: my omnivorous diet wasn't exactly healthy anyway. :P

    I just want to avoid the obvious pitfalls, which you guys have helped me out with. I'll probably end-up stocking my fridge with like [BRAND NAME X] processed vegetarian crap at some point, because laziness and such, but fresh produce & rice is where it's at for now.

    And holy crap this stuff is cheap.

    Just watch out for eggs. Some of those products do have eggs or egg byproducts - usually used to help hold things like patties together, though some do that with wheat gluten instead. Just like with everything else, you have to read the ingredients list and know what the stuff on there means. Also yeah.. rice is pretty cheap and so are dried beans.. in my experience, at least in this area, actual veggies not so much.

    There are also different kinds of rice! When I eat rice I go for Jasmine every time because it's my favorite, but there are a ton of varieties.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    V1mV1m Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Well, I mean I'll be honest: my omnivorous diet wasn't exactly healthy anyway. :P

    (Example: I woke up today and asked myself, "What do you think a reasonable breakfast would be this morning?" and I answered, "I think chocolate chip cookies and some Dr. Pepper would be a reasonable breakfast," and I did not even blink at my response. I just cracked the ice tray, popped open the cookie jar and went to work)

    I just want to avoid the obvious pitfalls, which you guys have helped me out with. I'll probably end-up stocking my fridge with like [BRAND NAME X] processed vegetarian crap at some point, because laziness and such, but fresh produce & rice is where it's at for now.

    And holy crap this stuff is cheap.

    Listen, I'm going to gve one one single piece of advice. You've had some advice and you're going to get more, but this one is the most important.

    Go to the nearest aisan supermarket, however far away that is. And I mean a proper one, not a store that has 2 shelves of "world foods".

    Once you get to the supermarket, spend at least $100 on spices and other stuff you can't easily get near you. Kecap manis soy, thai sweet chilli sauce, thai curry paste, two armloads of various spices and dried herbs, 2-pint bottles of sesame oil, whatever, a whole bunch of stuff. Stay away from the shelf with shrink-wrapped hog uterus and whatnot, just spend at least a hundred bucks on vegetable products. If you don't already have one, get a cheap mortar and pestle at this store. Ditto a wok.

    When you get home, find a cool dark place to keep your loot, because heat and light degrades the flavours and aromas of spices. Don't open any sealed packets until you need to use the contents. When you do, try and have a sealable container to put the remainder in.


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    SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Well, I mean I'll be honest: my omnivorous diet wasn't exactly healthy anyway. :P

    (Example: I woke up today and asked myself, "What do you think a reasonable breakfast would be this morning?" and I answered, "I think chocolate chip cookies and some Dr. Pepper would be a reasonable breakfast," and I did not even blink at my response. I just cracked the ice tray, popped open the cookie jar and went to work)

    I just want to avoid the obvious pitfalls, which you guys have helped me out with. I'll probably end-up stocking my fridge with like [BRAND NAME X] processed vegetarian crap at some point, because laziness and such, but fresh produce & rice is where it's at for now.

    And holy crap this stuff is cheap.

    Listen, I'm going to gve one one single piece of advice. You've had some advice and you're going to get more, but this one is the most important.

    Go to the nearest aisan supermarket, however far away that is. And I mean a proper one, not a store that has 2 shelves of "world foods".

    Once you get to the supermarket, spend at least $100 on spices and other stuff you can't easily get near you. Kecap manis soy, thai sweet chilli sauce, thai curry paste, two armloads of various spices and dried herbs, 2-pint bottles of sesame oil, whatever, a whole bunch of stuff. Stay away from the shelf with shrink-wrapped hog uterus and whatnot, just spend at least a hundred bucks on vegetable products. If you don't already have one, get a cheap mortar and pestle at this store. Ditto a wok.

    When you get home, find a cool dark place to keep your loot, because heat and light degrades the flavours and aromas of spices. Don't open any sealed packets until you need to use the contents. When you do, try and have a sealable container to put the remainder in.


    V1M's advice is always good for anyone when it comes to food, not just vegetarians. Buying McCormick's spices at a grocery mart is for chumps -- Indian or Asian grocers all have a spice aisle that would make an East India Company trade representative blush with envy, and once you start using them, you can break your addiction to junk food pretty easily.

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    AtomicGaryBuseyAtomicGaryBusey I put on my robe and wizard hat. Beautiful Lynnhood, Wash.Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    Listen, I'm going to gve one one single piece of advice. You've had some advice and you're going to get more, but this one is the most important.

    Go to the nearest aisan supermarket, however far away that is. And I mean a proper one, not a store that has 2 shelves of "world foods".

    Once you get to the supermarket, spend at least $100 on spices and other stuff you can't easily get near you. Kecap manis soy, thai sweet chilli sauce, thai curry paste, two armloads of various spices and dried herbs, 2-pint bottles of sesame oil, whatever, a whole bunch of stuff. Stay away from the shelf with shrink-wrapped hog uterus and whatnot, just spend at least a hundred bucks on vegetable products. If you don't already have one, get a cheap mortar and pestle at this store. Ditto a wok.

    When you get home, find a cool dark place to keep your loot, because heat and light degrades the flavours and aromas of spices. Don't open any sealed packets until you need to use the contents. When you do, try and have a sealable container to put the remainder in.

    Oh man, so much this. I'm lucky enough to live in Seattle which means I have easy access to World Spice Merchants in the market. Fresh whole bulk spices from all over the world. You walk in there and it's like being hit in the face with history and culture and you just want to eat all of the things. Even if you don't have a dedicated spice merchant near you finding a spice supplier is a great idea. FRESHLY ground spices are amazing compared to the stuff in the McCormick jar. (My wife calls all pre-ground pepper "sawdust" now, haha.)

    I have an entire kitchen cupboard dedicated to herbs and spices. I second the mortar and pestle suggestion. Mortar/pestle is great for hand grinding or crushing many herbs and spices and it lets you really choose your grind. For things like pepper, coriander, and other spices that are harder to grind into a power manually, I bought one of these coffee grinders. It's a cheap way to get really fine grinds when powdering something as opposed to just cracking it. I've also used it to make my own garam masala and other spice blends. Just make sure you don't use your spice grinder for your coffee. That could be a BAD mistake!

    This is a GREAT book all about herbs and spices written by the owner of World Spice Merchants in Seattle: The Spice Lover's Guide to Herbs and Spices. I highly recommend picking it up if you're interested in cooking anything from scratch with fresh herbs and spices. Tons of other great books and websites exist.

    I can tell you that falling in *love* with herbs and spices has made my transition to a vegetarian/vegan diet very pleasurable.

    fss_overall.png
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    Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    Eggs are basically the best binder pound for pound for 95% of dishes and a ton of commercial products.

    My grandfather was an egg/fish vegetarian though so cooking like that for family functions (and in the later years I'd just make him stuff for kicks whenever I was testing something out) is easy as hell. Heck you can even skip the fish. Just being ok with eggs expands your options for products by a ton.

    I'm not advocating per se but it is easier to menu plan around!

    Also someone was complaining about the feasibility of homemade tortillas for functions. I cater weddings as a side job and have done anywhere from 20-200 people and you can totally do 99% of the prep work for fresh tortillas ahead of time and unlike their packaged friends a tortilla made that day can be kept warm and pliable for hours with a steam tray! If you still don't think this can work but do live near a sizable Mexican population then there is almost certainly a tortilla plant nearby.

    The biggest problem with tortillas vis a vis eating vegetarian is that the best tasting flour ones are made with a bit of lard!

    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
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    TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Well, I mean I'll be honest: my omnivorous diet wasn't exactly healthy anyway. :P

    (Example: I woke up today and asked myself, "What do you think a reasonable breakfast would be this morning?" and I answered, "I think chocolate chip cookies and some Dr. Pepper would be a reasonable breakfast," and I did not even blink at my response. I just cracked the ice tray, popped open the cookie jar and went to work)

    I just want to avoid the obvious pitfalls, which you guys have helped me out with. I'll probably end-up stocking my fridge with like [BRAND NAME X] processed vegetarian crap at some point, because laziness and such, but fresh produce & rice is where it's at for now.

    And holy crap this stuff is cheap.

    Listen, I'm going to gve one one single piece of advice. You've had some advice and you're going to get more, but this one is the most important.

    Go to the nearest aisan supermarket, however far away that is. And I mean a proper one, not a store that has 2 shelves of "world foods".

    Once you get to the supermarket, spend at least $100 on spices and other stuff you can't easily get near you. Kecap manis soy, thai sweet chilli sauce, thai curry paste, two armloads of various spices and dried herbs, 2-pint bottles of sesame oil, whatever, a whole bunch of stuff. Stay away from the shelf with shrink-wrapped hog uterus and whatnot, just spend at least a hundred bucks on vegetable products. If you don't already have one, get a cheap mortar and pestle at this store. Ditto a wok.

    When you get home, find a cool dark place to keep your loot, because heat and light degrades the flavours and aromas of spices. Don't open any sealed packets until you need to use the contents. When you do, try and have a sealable container to put the remainder in.

    $100 on spices is way too much to spend if you can find a good ethnic place/a place that sells in bulk. Because I'm extremely weird, I have a spreadsheet of all the food I've bought for years, and here is one year's worth of dry spice purchases (minus a few that I might've missed while compiling the list):
    Hing			100 g	$2.99
    Turmeric		1 lb	$4.59
    Curry Leaves, Dry	35 g	$2.99
    Cardamom Pods		A ton	$5.99
    Bay Leaves		some	$0.25
    Thyme Leaf		.01 lbs	$0.16
    Chile Powder		.15 lbs	$1.66
    Thyme Leaf		.08 lbs	$1.27
    Cloves			.01 lbs	$0.27
    Cardamom Pods		.04 lbs	$2.87
    Cloves			.03 lbs	$0.81
    Cumin Seeds		7 oz	$2.99
    Yellow Mustard Seed	7 oz	$0.99
    Fenugreek		.05 lbs	$0.31
    Bay Leaves		some	$0.10
    Paprika			1 lb	$3.99
    Cinnamon		100 g	$1.49
    Paprika			.06 lbs	$0.76
    Cumin Seeds		.03 lbs	$0.38
    Cumin Seeds		.03 lbs	$0.38
    Yellow Mustard Seed	.09 lbs	$0.99
    Cayenne			.1 lbs	$1.10
    Curry Leaves		1 bunch	$0.99
    Amchoor Powder		100 g	$1.49
    Curry Leaves		1 bunch	$0.99
    Thyme Leaf		.01 lbs	$0.16
    

    Total: $40.96

    Weirdly I guess I haven't bought any oregano, marjoram, allspice, nutmeg, or rosemary in a year. I guess that shows the kind of stuff I cook. In any case, that's a year's worth of spices for $40, and I haven't even used up most of what I've bought - I have a ton of cumin, amchoor, mustard, paprika, and cardamom left as we speak. Aside from that though, you're right about ethnic markets. Shop there and you can feed yourself massive amounts of food per week for less than $15. I eat way more than I could if I were a carnivore, for much less money, and it's healthier to boot.


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    SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Well, I mean I'll be honest: my omnivorous diet wasn't exactly healthy anyway. :P

    (Example: I woke up today and asked myself, "What do you think a reasonable breakfast would be this morning?" and I answered, "I think chocolate chip cookies and some Dr. Pepper would be a reasonable breakfast," and I did not even blink at my response. I just cracked the ice tray, popped open the cookie jar and went to work)

    I just want to avoid the obvious pitfalls, which you guys have helped me out with. I'll probably end-up stocking my fridge with like [BRAND NAME X] processed vegetarian crap at some point, because laziness and such, but fresh produce & rice is where it's at for now.

    And holy crap this stuff is cheap.

    Listen, I'm going to gve one one single piece of advice. You've had some advice and you're going to get more, but this one is the most important.

    Go to the nearest aisan supermarket, however far away that is. And I mean a proper one, not a store that has 2 shelves of "world foods".

    Once you get to the supermarket, spend at least $100 on spices and other stuff you can't easily get near you. Kecap manis soy, thai sweet chilli sauce, thai curry paste, two armloads of various spices and dried herbs, 2-pint bottles of sesame oil, whatever, a whole bunch of stuff. Stay away from the shelf with shrink-wrapped hog uterus and whatnot, just spend at least a hundred bucks on vegetable products. If you don't already have one, get a cheap mortar and pestle at this store. Ditto a wok.

    When you get home, find a cool dark place to keep your loot, because heat and light degrades the flavours and aromas of spices. Don't open any sealed packets until you need to use the contents. When you do, try and have a sealable container to put the remainder in.

    $100 on spices is way too much to spend if you can find a good ethnic place/a place that sells in bulk. Because I'm extremely weird, I have a spreadsheet of all the food I've bought for years, and here is one year's worth of dry spice purchases (minus a few that I might've missed while compiling the list):
    Hing			100 g	$2.99
    Turmeric		1 lb	$4.59
    Curry Leaves, Dry	35 g	$2.99
    Cardamom Pods		A ton	$5.99
    Bay Leaves		some	$0.25
    Thyme Leaf		.01 lbs	$0.16
    Chile Powder		.15 lbs	$1.66
    Thyme Leaf		.08 lbs	$1.27
    Cloves			.01 lbs	$0.27
    Cardamom Pods		.04 lbs	$2.87
    Cloves			.03 lbs	$0.81
    Cumin Seeds		7 oz	$2.99
    Yellow Mustard Seed	7 oz	$0.99
    Fenugreek		.05 lbs	$0.31
    Bay Leaves		some	$0.10
    Paprika			1 lb	$3.99
    Cinnamon		100 g	$1.49
    Paprika			.06 lbs	$0.76
    Cumin Seeds		.03 lbs	$0.38
    Cumin Seeds		.03 lbs	$0.38
    Yellow Mustard Seed	.09 lbs	$0.99
    Cayenne			.1 lbs	$1.10
    Curry Leaves		1 bunch	$0.99
    Amchoor Powder		100 g	$1.49
    Curry Leaves		1 bunch	$0.99
    Thyme Leaf		.01 lbs	$0.16
    

    Total: $40.96

    Weirdly I guess I haven't bought any oregano, marjoram, allspice, nutmeg, or rosemary in a year. I guess that shows the kind of stuff I cook. In any case, that's a year's worth of spices for $40, and I haven't even used up most of what I've bought - I have a ton of cumin, amchoor, mustard, paprika, and cardamom left as we speak. Aside from that though, you're right about ethnic markets. Shop there and you can feed yourself massive amounts of food per week for less than $15. I eat way more than I could if I were a carnivore, for much less money, and it's healthier to boot.


    Just to make sure it's clear, the part of this post that made me hit "agree" was "because I'm extremely weird."

    Just kidding, that's awesome. I actually have a folder on my phone that's a picture of all the price tags for fresh produce in all the grocery stores around me so I know where to buy fresh tomatoes and where to buy fresh dill.

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    V1mV1m Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Well, I mean I'll be honest: my omnivorous diet wasn't exactly healthy anyway. :P

    (Example: I woke up today and asked myself, "What do you think a reasonable breakfast would be this morning?" and I answered, "I think chocolate chip cookies and some Dr. Pepper would be a reasonable breakfast," and I did not even blink at my response. I just cracked the ice tray, popped open the cookie jar and went to work)

    I just want to avoid the obvious pitfalls, which you guys have helped me out with. I'll probably end-up stocking my fridge with like [BRAND NAME X] processed vegetarian crap at some point, because laziness and such, but fresh produce & rice is where it's at for now.

    And holy crap this stuff is cheap.

    Listen, I'm going to gve one one single piece of advice. You've had some advice and you're going to get more, but this one is the most important.

    Go to the nearest aisan supermarket, however far away that is. And I mean a proper one, not a store that has 2 shelves of "world foods".

    Once you get to the supermarket, spend at least $100 on spices and other stuff you can't easily get near you. Kecap manis soy, thai sweet chilli sauce, thai curry paste, two armloads of various spices and dried herbs, 2-pint bottles of sesame oil, whatever, a whole bunch of stuff. Stay away from the shelf with shrink-wrapped hog uterus and whatnot, just spend at least a hundred bucks on vegetable products. If you don't already have one, get a cheap mortar and pestle at this store. Ditto a wok.

    When you get home, find a cool dark place to keep your loot, because heat and light degrades the flavours and aromas of spices. Don't open any sealed packets until you need to use the contents. When you do, try and have a sealable container to put the remainder in.

    $100 on spices is way too much to spend if you can find a good ethnic place/a place that sells in bulk. Because I'm extremely weird, I have a spreadsheet of all the food I've bought for years, and here is one year's worth of dry spice purchases (minus a few that I might've missed while compiling the list):
    Hing			100 g	$2.99
    Turmeric		1 lb	$4.59
    Curry Leaves, Dry	35 g	$2.99
    Cardamom Pods		A ton	$5.99
    Bay Leaves		some	$0.25
    Thyme Leaf		.01 lbs	$0.16
    Chile Powder		.15 lbs	$1.66
    Thyme Leaf		.08 lbs	$1.27
    Cloves			.01 lbs	$0.27
    Cardamom Pods		.04 lbs	$2.87
    Cloves			.03 lbs	$0.81
    Cumin Seeds		7 oz	$2.99
    Yellow Mustard Seed	7 oz	$0.99
    Fenugreek		.05 lbs	$0.31
    Bay Leaves		some	$0.10
    Paprika			1 lb	$3.99
    Cinnamon		100 g	$1.49
    Paprika			.06 lbs	$0.76
    Cumin Seeds		.03 lbs	$0.38
    Cumin Seeds		.03 lbs	$0.38
    Yellow Mustard Seed	.09 lbs	$0.99
    Cayenne			.1 lbs	$1.10
    Curry Leaves		1 bunch	$0.99
    Amchoor Powder		100 g	$1.49
    Curry Leaves		1 bunch	$0.99
    Thyme Leaf		.01 lbs	$0.16
    

    Total: $40.96

    Weirdly I guess I haven't bought any oregano, marjoram, allspice, nutmeg, or rosemary in a year. I guess that shows the kind of stuff I cook. In any case, that's a year's worth of spices for $40, and I haven't even used up most of what I've bought - I have a ton of cumin, amchoor, mustard, paprika, and cardamom left as we speak. Aside from that though, you're right about ethnic markets. Shop there and you can feed yourself massive amounts of food per week for less than $15. I eat way more than I could if I were a carnivore, for much less money, and it's healthier to boot.


    Kecap manis soy, sweet chili sauce, a big bottle of cooking grade sesame oil, a big bag of jasmin rice, a mortar & pestle, saffron, garam masala, you didn't get any root ginger, you totally forgot the coriander seeds... Budget for $100 for someone starting out fresh and if there's change, so much the better

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    MillMill Registered User regular
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    Jesus, why are people being so ridiculously hard on the meat substitutes? I love the stuff. It's the whole reason I went vegetrarian; I prefer it over meat. Seitan is my favorite but I get the Boca stuff all the time.

    I suspect many of us have had bad experiences with some of the meat substitutes. I had a notdog once because my college yoga class had a trip to the retreat that is run by the guy who taught the instructor. Let's just say I'll never have a notdog ever again.

    Anyways, I'll have to look through some of the recipes. I have no intention of going vegetarian but I wouldn't mind cutting back on my meat consumption for various reasons (mainly economic but some health reasons factor in as well). It's great that people are providing so many handy sources for those of us that want to branch our diets out a little.

    Anyways on the herb front, depending on your circumstances, it might be worth looking into growing some. I've found that unless one has a curse that causes all plants they grew to die or lacks adequate facilities grow certain plants (some plants don't do well with normal household environments; especially, if they need certain light wavelengths that many of the energy efficient windows block out), that it's fairly easy to raise certain herbs. Family has four large rosemary bushes, that at most get a little water during droughts these days. Sage, dill, oregano, basil and most hot peppers are other herbs that we have had reasonable success raising. Parsley and cilantro are hit and miss, but I think more of that has to do with people forgetting to water them. Thyme seems to do well for about two years, then it just dies despite being a perennial. I've found that if you can find a good sized bay tree (1-2ft), that they'll do fairly well if you remember to water them and walking outside during warmer weather helps.

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    V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Man, I was going to write some serious feedback to this whole thread, but then I read:
    V1m wrote: »
    PS as a result of this thread I'm going to make a 3-layer egg & vegetable biriyani on Saturday. Aubergine, courgette and red pepper, variously spiced and grilled, lots of very dark fried onions, 4 eggs, fresh mint & coriander, toasted cashew nuts, saffron scented basmati rice.

    Man I might even make some onion bhajis too. Or maybe spinach & potato pakoras.

    hhhnnnggg!

    and got wayyyyy sidetracked. That sounds amazing. Party at @V1m 's house? :D

    The biriyani was super delicious :)

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    The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Well, I was buying groceries today, and just thought I'd do an update here:

    It's been 6 months, and the most surprising part of doing this for me is that I don't miss the meat. At all. In fact I've starting to dislike the smell of it cooking, which is something I'd never have fathomed before.

    At no point during the transition have I felt sick. In fact (for reasons probably unrelated to the dietary change, but whatever) I've never felt more healthy.


    Thanks a lot for the advice, H/A. I've got a lot of bulk nuts and a freezer full of faux-meat products that you told me not to buy but I've found myself enjoying anyway (I am so sorry! But not really...). :P

    With Love and Courage
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    LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    So happy to hear that you're thriving!

    As a vegan, I try to eat whole, vegetable based dishes most of the time, but certain processed foods just taste good every once and a while. It takes some time to find a specific brand you like (i.e. Field Roast makes the best vegan hot dogs, but that's just my opinion-I wouldn't deprive anyone of their veggie dogs), and it's good to know you haven't completely ruled things out. Diversity is definitely nice.

    If you need recipes at this point in your successful transition let us help! I particularly like the curry tofu scramble I learned to make from a cook at one of the delicious vegan diners in Seattle.

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    PacificstarPacificstar Registered User regular
    Cybit wrote: »
    black bean patties for the win.

    FYI: never eaten meat in my life; lifetime vegetarian. I weightlift 3x a week. Beans, almonds, are all good sources of protein. also, if you're weightlifting a lot, protein shakes, but only if you are hardcore at the gym. Also, Indian food works well (I am indian, and thus have grown up on Indian food) for vegetarianism.

    Was going to say this too, if you want to be Veg without feeling hungry and/or unfulfilled, learn to make/eat Indian food.

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    V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Cybit wrote: »
    black bean patties for the win.

    FYI: never eaten meat in my life; lifetime vegetarian. I weightlift 3x a week. Beans, almonds, are all good sources of protein. also, if you're weightlifting a lot, protein shakes, but only if you are hardcore at the gym. Also, Indian food works well (I am indian, and thus have grown up on Indian food) for vegetarianism.

    Was going to say this too, if you want to be Veg without feeling hungry and/or unfulfilled, learn to make/eat Indian food.

    Look up "VahChef" on youtube. You probably won't find very many (but still some!) pure vegan recipes, because Indian food has a lot of milk/yoghurt/cheese in it, but if you can do lacto, you can do about 75% of Indian food and oh god om nom nom nom

    But man, don't go Jain. I could imagine living on a vegetarian diet. I could - just barely - conceive of vegan. But giving up garlic, onions, ginger and potatoes?

    Just shoot me OK?

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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Er ... I work with a number of Jains (have for over 10 years). No one eats this way unless it is religiously/traditionally informed.

    And I would give up onions, garlic, and shallot (potatoes are a nightshade, and thus ayurvedically informed, most Jain sects DGAF) everyday of the week and thrice on Sunday to get dairy back.

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