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Vegetarian/Vegan?
17 October 2010
6.20pm
skye
AZ
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As I've mentioned before, I've considered switching to a less meat-centric diet, but it's such a huge change in life style that I usually give up just passing a steak house. (When does that stop smelling good? Bacon?)

So, when you gave up meat, was it all at once or did you phase it out slowly? Do you use meat substitutes or do you prefer your meals to be honestly vegetable? What are your favorite cookbooks/blogs?

Thanks. a-hard-days-night-ringo-9

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
17 October 2010
6.37pm
Joe
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I never really phased it in. My parents were vegetarians since the late 1960s or early 70s (I was born in 1976). Although they didn't bring my up as a vegetarian, they didn't exactly encourage it either. We didn't have much meat in the house, so I only occasionally ate it, mainly at friends' houses. I was about 12 when I decided to stop eating meat, and haven't touched it for about 22 years.

We use Quorn now and then, the mince and chicken-style pieces, and we eat pasta, chilli, curry and anything else we fancy. I can't say I miss eating meat because I never really had it in the first place. Ellie does most of the cooking in our house though - I'm pretty hopeless at it, whereas she both enjoys it and has a real flair for it. Recipe books include Cranks, a Linda McCartney one (Summer Foods? not sure), the Silver Spoon (Italian food bible, though has non-veggie stuff too) and others, though I don't know what's available in the US.

Have you considered starting with a meat-free Monday, as endorsed by Sir Paul? Start there, then go to two days or more if you feel you want to.

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17 October 2010
7.14pm
skye
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I suppose I could try Mondays. I just need to find recipes that don't seem like side dishes.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
17 October 2010
7.19pm
skye
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Which edition of Cranks do you have? It doesn't seem to be well known in the US, so I have to buy used or paperback.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
17 October 2010
8.49pm
MrBig
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My main diet consists of leaves, broccoli, carrots, and wax beans (for protein). I've been losing a hell of a lot of weight so far, so I recommend it.

"The best band? The Beatles. The most overrated band? The Beatles."
17 October 2010
10.41pm
skye
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Didn't know that about wax beans.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
17 October 2010
11.16pm
mithveaen
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skye said:

As I've mentioned before, I've considered switching to a less meat-centric diet, but it's such a huge change in life style that I usually give up just passing a steak house. (When does that stop smelling good? Bacon?)

 


I know what you mean skye. There's a grilled hamburgers cart in my way to school and they just smell delicious!!
 

But something that makes me feel sick is everytime I walk in front of a fast-food restaurant, even if I don't eat anything, I feel the smell of the fat for hours and I have to drink a lot of water to get rid of the taste in my mouth.

That's the reason I don't eat much meat, I can almost throw up if I smell the fat for hours. Most of the Mexican food I eat is homemade and it has to be prepared with vegetal oil.

 

BTW Skye, have you tried lentils?? They're just fantastic and it's not just a side dish.

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
17 October 2010
11.44pm
skye
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I tried them once (how American am I?), but they were kind of bland. Either I prepared it wrong or it just wasn't that great of recipe. Do you have a recipe in mind? I still have a couple of bags of lentils - green and mixed.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
18 October 2010
12.40am
mithveaen
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Well, try it, this is for 4 people, try it and if you have questions, just let me know.(Maybe you should try it with the mixed lentils)

 

a cup of lentils

3 or 4 tomatoes

1 small onion

3 cloves of garlic.

If you want, some vegetable broth cubes. (I use a Knorr Tomato cube)

 

2 carrots

2 green plantains (optional). If you find them, use the yellow ones, (the ones at the left)

 

- Put the lentils in water for 10 mins and remove the water with a strainer.

- Chop some slices of onion, one clove of garlic and the carrots.

- Cut the green plantains in slices.

 

- Blend half onion, the tomatoes and 2 cloves of garlic with 1/2 cup of water. You can add the cube of vegetable broth if you want to.

- Fry the chopped onion and the garlic until it gets a little dark.

- Once the onion is fried, add the lentils and mix them with the onion and garlic.

- Once the lentlis look a bit dark, add the mix of tomato and onion and mix them. Add the carrots and the green plantain, and let it boil until the lentils feel soft.

apple01

 

Actually my Dad asked me to prepare this tomorrow, so I might take pics and post  the recipe in my website.

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
18 October 2010
12.57am
ocean child.seashell eyes
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I went cold turkey around age 8 1/2.  I never liked meat (when I was younger I used to chew it until I could put it in my napkin to throw away,) so maybe that made things easier.  So I've been a strict vegetarian since then and aspire to go vegan w/ only one bump in the road--I can't eat tofu anymore, so most of my proteins come from dairy products and the rest come from beans/pulses. 

I have actually been to the local dairy from whence I buy to ensure they are as compassionate, caring and in the spirit of vegan compliance so to speak (none of that awful veal business, etc.  Their cows and calves are treated like family.) 

Some foods still *smell* good, but they repulse me...so I guess that makes it easier, lol (my dog does something similar--she'll smell what I'm eating, lick her lips and then walk away as if to say, "Well, it smells good *for you,* but I wouldn't touch the stuff."  It's funny, when I went veg it seems it was around a holiday b/c there was a fancy ham in the fridge, and whenever I'd be standing there looking for something to eat my pup back then would stand beside me.  So I'd say to her, "Point to what you want and you can have what would've been my portion."  She really loved the ham...esp. the candy coating on it!)

Shifting my family's beliefs--just to let me go veg so young--was a sticking point.  My mom tried the tactic, "You can be a vegetarian, but you'll have to cook for yourself," so I did and now I'm pretty alright at it.  I'd have to say it was harder for them than for me.  My best friend's family was all vegetarian and they lived maybe 6 blocks away, so a learned a lot from them.  My family doctor tried to bully me out of it...unsuccessfully; and despite kinowing I was veg, my Gram always offered me the best she had of whatever meat was around.  Then again it was with her that I had my last meat meal: an open-face turkey sandwich, so Gram and I always connected food and doting and love?  We eventually switched to tea, coffee and cookies as our "thing" of love. 

Advice...Surround yourself with positive people who support your choice if you can.  There have been *such* tremendous leaps in what's available for vegetarians since I started nearly 3 decades ago.  A lot of the tofu immitation foods are salty, but if you can handle the salt they can be absolutely craveable (I used to love Morningstar's collection, esp. their "saussage patties" and their faux ribs--on a bun w/ either wasabi or horseradish mayo was just so good as were their "corndogs.")  Amy's vegetarian food seems pretty dull-tasting and is stiff to eat.  I tried Linda McCartney's meals and, to me, they wern't too good.  Best advice: Learn to cook from good international cookbooks and make that a mainstay over the salty tofu products.  Smoked tofu has a much more pleasant texture than the rubbery, regular stuff...then again, you could always try tempeh, too.  My favorite cookbook is "World Vegetarian" by Madhur Jaffrey (sp?,) still, not everything in there is great.  Attend cultural fairs/festivals--that'll let you sample all kinds of flavors of vegetarian food done well (within the last month I've been to one festival--the Mid-Autumn Moon Festiva--so beautiful eating mooncakes by the koi pond!(Chinese), remorsefully I missed the Greek festival but now know of another great restaurant, there's a Middle Eastern festival coming up, maybe next week, then Dia de los Muertos at the end of the month.)  Even sampling other faiths can turn you on to otherwise unknown of foods (I did a stint for Anthropology with the Krishna's several years ago--my mouth's still watering, lol.)  The American diet is so much more meat-heavy than nearly anyplace else in the world.  Great snack foods: hummus w/ pita, dolmades and baba ganoush (although I'm allergic to eggplants now, but wow what can be done with them, esp. Szechuan!.)  Oh!  And Middle Eastern pastries make French sweets look almost predictable--imagine stepping into a world of scented honeys, rose water, orange blossom simple syrup!  Honestly, I think if there's such a thing as manna it'll come from a Persian or Lebanese bakery, lol!

(For a fun "let's try vegetarian" day out, if you're in the Tempe/Phoenix area check out Essence Bakery--seriously delicioius baklava and dolmades.  Besides, many of their menu items can be made vegan. http://essencebakery.com/  Also, down by ASU there's a little place just south of the pretty blue and white mosque--North of University-- that does some of the best lentil soup.  East and South vallly-ish there's The Flaming Kebob--a little salty (sometimes there's quite a wait, too) but good food at good prices if you're ever in a pinch.  In the north valley there's Persian Gardens (also a tiny bit salty, but exotic and well done.  Their rose-petal chai is charming.) http://www.persiangardencafe.com/

Sorry to overwhelm you with so much information, Skye.  Take the best of care and if you ever need a bit of encouragement or advise, feel free to drop me a line.

apple01

18 October 2010
2.15am
skye
AZ
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mithveaen said:

 Actually my Dad asked me to prepare this tomorrow, so I might take pics and post  the recipe in my website.


Please do! (So yellow plantains are green?)

Ocean Child - thank you for all of that! I missed a Moon Festival?! I would have loved that. I've wanted to try to find a good Middle Eastern restaurant, so I'll have to try the Persian Gardens. Food is such a social thing - I think that will be the hardest part.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
18 October 2010
2.29am
mithveaen
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skye said:


Please do! (So yellow plantains are green?)
 

Well yes, sorry that was my mistake. a-hard-days-night-paul-1

 

When they ripe, the plantains and bananas turn from green to yellow. I know this because we used to have a banana tree in my backyard. So you need to get yellow plantains, like these. In Mexico we call them platano macho.

 

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
18 October 2010
3.01am
skye
AZ
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Ok, I just wanted to be clear. I think I'll try it out this week. a-hard-days-night-george-9

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18 October 2010
8.32am
Joe
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This is the edition of Cranks that we have: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....85797140X/

Like any cookery book, though, we only use a handful of recipes from it. I suppose the key is to find five/ten or so that you think work, then gradually expand your repertoire.

Good luck with it! If you find it hard, and really want to carry on, don't give up if you don't find meals you don't get on with at first. I'm sure there are loads of veggie sites out there with better advice and recipe suggestions than I can offer.

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Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

18 October 2010
2.20pm
skye
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I ordered a hard copy. Hopefully I'll get more than a couple of recipes from it. brian-epstein

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18 October 2010
7.10pm
mithveaen
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My Dad decided that he wanted Hamburguers today. So next Wednesday I might prepare the lentils.

 

(Sorry Paul a-hard-days-night-paul-1)

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
19 October 2010
2.02am
skye
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And we went with tacos. I was meat free for most of the day! (I need my own place.)

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
19 October 2010
8.08am
An unidentified flying cupcake
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Skye - do you like eggplants? We use them quite often and I have a fairly easy recipe

Do I have to keep on talking till I can't go on!
19 October 2010
3.10pm
Zig
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My wife and I have not gone completely veggie but have been eating a lot more of them lately. We have no desire to go totally meat free, but we are eating a lot less of it and are definitely enjoying the health benefits that go along with it.

Thanks to all who have offered up the veggie recipes so far – keep them coming! One of our favorites is very simple.

We sauté onions, mushrooms, zucchini, orange peppers and garlic in olive oil. When those are cooked to your desired texture (sometimes we like them caramelized, sometimes a bit more firm) add some fresh diced tomatoes, spinach and herbs (oregano, basil and thyme). We then serve that over a bed of multigrain pasta – not the whole wheat pasta that has the texture of sand! This brand works great for us and our local markets usually carry their own generic brands that are just as good.

For those who want to try it, enjoy!

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

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20 October 2010
2.10am
skye
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An unidentified flying cupcake said:

Skye - do you like eggplants? We use them quite often and I have a fairly easy recipe


Yes I do. I welcome all suggestions.

Zig, you're making me hungry!

It looks like we'll have a BB cookbook by the end of the month. brian-epstein

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