What Do Vegans Eat? | Seventh Generation
Skip to Content
  • Pin It

What Do Vegans Eat?

Categories:
38 comments
Author: kmiddings

An apple for your thoughts..."Mom, I'm hungry!"

In my experience, these are probably the three most uttered words in the English language. As a mother of children who seem to eat non-stop, I can tell you that a considerable amount of money, time, and planning goes into the food choices for our family of four. Particularly because we are vegan.

Was that a gasp I just heard? When being vegan comes up in conversation, I am used to curious omnivores asking, "So what do you eat?" The implication, of course, is that there's pretty much nothing left once you remove animals from the equation. (Vegans eat no animal products, including dairy.)

But being vegan hasn't had a limiting effect on our diet. It's actually expanded our culinary universe to include Thai, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Ethiopian, and Mexican foods, to name a few. Most of the world's cuisines are vegetable based, so making practically any type of meal vegan is pretty simple.

And vegan recipes can be full of flavor. The closer you eat to the earth, the better things taste. Taste buds that aren't muted by processed foods and artificial flavors can best appreciate fresh wholesome foods. I've found that I cannot provide enough fresh spinach, garlic, carrots, celery, kale, and hearty vegetables for my kids. It makes me want to be a farmer (a return to my childhood roots). I really believe that is one of the best gifts I can give my children -- the ability to taste food and truly understand its impact on their environment as well as themselves.

In addition to being healthy, there are elements of a vegan diet which inherently include compassion and awareness. I have seen this in my own children, in their awe at watching a Monarch butterfly pass by or the respect shown a majestic bird. They get our connection to the earth without being told, and tread lightly without having to think about it; that's a gift. Lucky for us, we live in Vermont, where the choices for farm-grown local and organic produce are always close by.

My husband and I fear (sometimes to our chagrin), that we have created two gourmands. They've never experienced slimy spinach from a can or anything even remotely related to fried chicken. (Anyone remember Shake-n-Bake? -- one of the standbys in my house growing up.) At times, this makes visiting relatives and traveling a challenge. We've gotten used to bringing our own favorites with us when we leave home, to avoid the "What can you eat?" discussion.

But hard as we try to avoid food confrontations, some people want to be offended by our choice to be vegan. At a recent party, I was confronted by a woman and questioned aggressively. "Do you have any of them that eat real food?" she asked, with a nod toward my children, who were happily munching on skewers of tofu and veggies. Wow. Somehow I found my happy place, took a deep breath and said, "I would never think of questioning you about your food choices, why do you care so much about mine?" With that, she stormed off. She might have been looking for a fight, but she left empty-handed. Upon reflection, I decided that she must have been more uncomfortable with her relationship to food than with mine.

Here's a vegan recipe we like a lot in our house:

Hearty Winter Roast
8 oz. cubed Tofu or Seitan
3 Bulbs whole fresh garlic, peeled
2 cups Fingerling (or small) new potatoes
1 cup Chopped Carrots (2 to 3 large carrots)
1 cup Green Beans, Chopped Kale, or Brussel sprouts
1/4 cup Tamari (or soy sauce)

Cover large roasting pan lightly with olive oil and sea salt, spread veggies evenly, place tofu or seitan in the middle.
Drizzle with more olive oil, tamari, and dried herbs such as dill, rosemary, and thyme. Toss lightly, cover with tin foil, and turn every 15 minutes for even roasting.
Roast for one hour. Serve with crusty bread.

38
Comments

MichelleMcG picture
MichelleMcG
07/14/12
I have been vegan for a while now, and sure, we crave things we no longer eat--try cooking for 4 other people in your house that are meat eaters and not have cravings? I survive! I had my blood work done a month ago and at 46 years of age, I have normal blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides, thyroid, vitamin D3 and standard CBC!!! In my family there are loads of health issues so I am in control of keeping myself from being like them--YAY! It takes time in the kitchen and being creative to be a success at veganism, however, there are healthy premade foods for vegans on the go--I have tried many items and I am impressed! Good luck to those who try! :D
wolfspirit_love picture
wolfspirit_love
06/07/12
I have tried to become vegetarian once, but even with all my effort to get my complete proteins, I guess I didn't succeed, because I ended up craving chicken so badly I ate it for 2 weeks straight. I rarely eat meat these days, but I go through spurts of wanting some. In place of giving up meat all together, I chose organic or naturally farm raised, because of the way animals are raised. If I did not have the option, I would certainly be a vegetarian. I have tried seitan, but I didn't like the texture and taste very much and these days I think I might be intolerant to gluten, so seitan is not an option, if that's the case, because it is gluten. I have tried so many meatless alternatives to beef, because I do not eat beef at all, not even in the slightest...In the end I opt for just going without a substitute. People think me weird when I order an A&W teen burger with no beef patty, but it turns into a rather tasty BLT with cheese.
hethy picture
hethy
11/21/11
I am a true omnivore, although I find myself going through phases where sometimes I crave beef, sometimes I crave fruit, sometimes I just want veggies. I do NOT eat five fruits and veggies a day (I'm shameful), so I figure if I look at the big picture I get what I need when I need it. I DO wish to eat healthier, but truth is, I'm not that creative in the kitchen, nor am I that great of a cook. So, I suppose I would like to eat more veggies, if I could find a tasty way to prepare them. I also have a picky six year old and a husband who had Lap-band surgery, so I have alot of obstacles here....HELP!
nicole picture
nicole
11/21/11
My son is grossly allergic to soy and we do not even let it enter our house. I make everything from scratch and avoid processed foods like the plague. My question is this, how do you eat vegan and avoid that huge (and not so healthy, according to some) food source? Does the protein we would eat in that case just come from legumes and nuts?
jenk90 picture
jenk90
03/25/10
"<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1932100385?ie=UTF8&tag=seventgenera-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1932100385" target="_blank">The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health</a>" - If you haven't read it, do it, it's mind-blowing. Great scientific info about nutrition for everyone!!! Recipe sounds fantastic btw.
mebkgil picture
mebkgil
03/19/10
I'm a pagan omnivore and I say you go girl :-) (not sure where religion comes into this, but since we're announcing.... ;-) And just so you know, those of us that are omnivores, but prefer to get locally grown/processed meats (preferably organic) and organic fruits and veges while avoiding fast foods and processed junk get questioned too. It seems like anything that goes against what is commonly accepted as "normal" raises the hackles of those that don't question big business. Different equates to bad somehow. Heck, my own mom thinks I'm a bit daffy for using natural laundry soaps (and I won't even go into the defenses I had to put up when I switched the kids to organic milk years ago). It takes nothing away from her if I do, but when I first made the switch, for some reason there were many-a-heated discussions. She's since given up on me and my silly chemical-and-additive-free notions. For those of you that substitute with soy though, please look into organic, hexane free soy products (not saying that you're not, but some here may not know about hexane). I do cook with soy at times (much to the horror of my children), and made the switch after finding out how they process soy. Scary stuff. And as to whether or not your kids decide one day to become raging carnivores is neither here nor there. We're all allowed to raise our children in the best ways as we see them, instilling in them our beliefs and practices. Doesn't mean that once they're on their own that they'll follow what they learned in childhood to a "t", but they'll at least have a better start and understanding of their food choices than those raised on McDonalds and Chef BoyArdee. So, long story short, I guess if I ran into you at a party I wouldn't be accusing you of not feeding your children "real" food (what on earth could be more "real" than veggies??!!), but probably trying to pump you for recipes LOL. We like all kinds of foods around here and I prefer to keep the kids' minds open as opposed to just this or just that. Different is GOOD.
kimberlyjt picture
kimberlyjt
03/16/10
I've been fighting with my husband on giving up meat for a few years. I've always wanted to be veg since I was about 12. We first agreed to only organic meat three times a week for dinner. I finally had enough, so I said no more meat e v e r. And the entire family is in an uproar. I am posting veg info, meatless meals and hidden veggie desserts on my family website. To give them an idea of this change, and what we are eating, logical reasons to not eating meat. I really don't know how things are going to go when we are all together for a meal. They are acting like its the end of the world, or I did something so horrible they kicked me out of the family. I think that if they would not serve an alcoholic a drink, they should be ok not to have a meaty dinner once in a while.
Sansone picture
Sansone
03/14/10
Wow, reading through these postings is really sad. A well planned vegan diet, isn't just 'sufficient'- its the optimal in health and for the enviroment. I thought this was a great article, with a delicious sounding recipe! (I look forward to trying). Raising vegan children isn't always easy, I know first hand... I truly admire your families commitment. Thank you!
MarksGirl picture
MarksGirl
03/14/10
I am not vegan, nor am I a vegetarian. However I was really enjoying this post, especially the yummy sounding recipe. I have an 8-month-old son, and a husband, and am passionate about being sure that they have the best nutrition possible. I am also a Christian, and enjoy a wonderful relationship with my Heavenly Father. I am ashamed and embarrassed of the manners we Christians display at times. It is sad that the contention, on what started as a fun post, was introduced by one claims belief in God. This is not the Gospel that was taught by our Saviour! More love, Oh Christ, to Thee!
HeidiWych picture
HeidiWych
03/12/10
I am a long-time vegetarian who recently became vegan and I live in Iowa. This probably won't come as a shock, but it's not always easy being vegan in Iowa, and it's sometimes hard to find vegan staples/alternatives at the grocery stores here. We don't have a health food co-op where i live, which adds to the challenge. Sometimes I drive 2 hours to another town that has one just to stock up. But the hardest thing of all is the stereotypes and negative attitudes about a vegan diet that are rampant here. People have a lot of incorrect ideas about veganism, and i'm not sure where they got them in the first place. When I explain my diet to people and tell them that I do not eat meat or dairy products, I often get comments such as, "That must be horrible!" In fact, armed with good vegan recipes (think Veganomicon, <a href="http://www.theppk.com" target="_blank">www.theppk.com</a>, etc.) I feel that I am making some of the most delicious and wholesome food I have ever made in my life, and feel better than ever. I bake vegan cookies and bring them to work, but don't mention they are vegan. The same people who tell me they can't imagine living without dairy products devour my cookies and tell me how delicious they are. I get scolded by people that I am not getting the nutrition I need, particularly enough protein. However, I lift weights 3 times a week, and am able to increase my weights on squats, bench presses, etc. every week, which means i am putting on muscle. I challenge any of them to a push-pressing contest any day! I also play rugby at age 32 and run half-marathons. I try not to be preachy about my diet or even to talk about it a lot or to be judgmental about others' diets, but I am always happy to share information, recipes, etc. when i am asked about my lifestyle. I hope that by maintaining a healthy, non-judgmental lifestyle, i will serve as a role model to others and maybe even inspire some people around me to occasionally incorporate vegan foods into their diet. I also hope to dispel stereotypes by being a living example and increase (accurate) knowledge of a vegan diet and vegan nutrition. if i can influence one person around me, I feel I have succeeded. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and hopefully inspiring others! Heidi in Iowa
evans.melissam picture
evans.melissam
03/12/10
Thank you for sharing. One because I'm not a vegan and I like to learn other people's perspectives. Two because I always want to ask people that vegan so I can learn, but fear offending them. And three because if you can get kids to eat their vegetables then we all have something to learn from you!
tambra picture
tambra
03/12/10
I loved reading your post! I was smiling to myself and cheering for you when I read your clever retort back to that woman and her ridiculous comment. I get stuff like that all the time too...most recently I was confronted in the lunchroom by 3 meat-eating co-workers about my choices and it became a pretty heated debate. As much as I didn't appreciate the snide remarks, in the end I gently reminded them that I've been vegetarian/vegan for over 15 years and that, at 30, I look and feel great (all them are on diets!) with a body I love, lean muscle and I'm two pounds less than I was in high school. We both know that at the end of the day, there are lots of omnivores with insecurities...I don't blame them for the comments--after all, I was once like them. All we can do is hope to be an example! :) If you ever want to check out my blog, it's <a href="http://www.veggieedge.com" target="_blank">www.veggieedge.com</a>. Have a great day and thanks for the blog post! I'm inspired!
earthspirit picture
earthspirit
03/12/10
It looks like this thread is turning into a phylosophical debate but I don't feel this is the place for it. Let me only say that you might want to add another cuisine to your delicious choices and that is Cretan or Greek food. My husband and I lived in Crete for 7 years in the 90's and that is where we practically stopped eating meat. The Greeks (that include the Cretans) have such delicious vegetable dishes and offer such a variety of them on their menus that meat became superfluous for us. Up to today, I've based my recipes on the Cretans' Mediterranean diet as well as on the Indian's diet. We very seldom eat meat and that is because I dislike the thought of killing an animal simply to satisfy a need that is easily replaced by indeed tofu and the likes.
ecofriendlygal picture
ecofriendlygal
03/11/10
I say live and let live, if someone wants to be vegan/vegetarian, that's fine. If someone wants to eat meat, that's fine too. I think it's great to have information out there about veganism and vegetarianism, but then let people decide how to live their life. I don't think anyone should be put down for how they decide to live their life. I am neither vegetarian or vegan, I try to limit meat however and have more vegetables and fruits. I tried for a very short time to become a vegan, I lasted maybe a couple months, I don't think it's for everyone. I am fine though with anyone who wants to be vegan/vegetarian.
Michelle_M picture
Michelle_M
03/11/10
We have to remember each body is biochemically unique. What works for one may not suit another. That said, there are certain organs, such as the thyroid which function on universal biochemical principals - and to muck with the endocrine system is a risky situation (Dr Henry Bieler, 1965). Soy is goitrogenic and messes with the endocrine system; it has high phytic acid levels not reduced by soaking or cooking; is one of THE most heavily sprayed commodity crops; a very common GMO-crop - with cross-pollination is there really any 'organic' heritage seeds left in North America? It is part of the monocropping disaster to ruin all cultivated lands worldwide; a high user of synthetic fertilizers made at the expense of our Earth's resources, clean waterways, and human health. Suddenly deviating from the plan of big herbivore animals fertilizing the pasture and smaller animals digging and spreading the fertilizer on the land that requires it makes a lot of sense. It's a complete eco-system, add rain and grow! More science-based information on soya can be found in: "<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0967089751?ie=UTF8&tag=seventgenera-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0967089751" target="_blank">The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food</a>" by Dr Kaayla Daniel. Asians don't eat unfermented soy in the quantities North Americans do... and they consume a lot more sea-based foods with iodine to balance the thyroid. North Americans have been sold a heavily subsidized commodity crop courtesy the marketing spin doctors. Hardly justice for an imbalanced world on any level. Also refer to the Weston A. Price Foundation's Soy Alert web page at <a href="http://www.westonaprice.org" target="_blank">www.westonaprice.org</a> and <a href="http://www.ppnf.org" target="_blank">www.ppnf.org</a> for the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation's cautions on consuming unfermented soya. For economic, ecological and agricultural effects of vegetarianism and veganism consider reading "The Vegetarian Myth" by Lierre Keith - a multi-year vegan and vegetarian eater. We don't have any long term data on the physiological effects of veganism. Some bodies do very well on a vegan diet for the short-term. Most nutritionists I know who see the souls living in bodies that don't do so well after a decade or so speak of more than just nutritional consulting, they call it rehabilitation.
luvarescue picture
luvarescue
03/11/10
Sorry to be so chatty. But, I believe we must take a systemic and holistic approach to solving problems. We recognize that the mistreatment of animals can be an indicator of mistreatment of human beings. A factor recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. But outside of that, we need to be concerned for many problems going on in the world, and do our part to make a difference. This doesn't mean, as a vegan, I just care about the dogs and the birds. It means, what kind of systemic approach can I take to change my environment, my backyard, our shared world? I am proud to be an animal rights activist. I am proud that I am a mentor to a girl who is the product of the foster care system, a child who was forced to grow up way too fast. I have done this for almost five years now. I am proud to work for a human service institute. I am proud to recycle, reduce my carbon footprint, volunteer, and clear the snowy walkways of the senior citizens in my neighborhood. Kind of like work/home. You can't just say, I think I will clean my windows today ... and hope for an entirely clean house. You can't just say, I think I will respond to emails today- and forget phone calls and other appointments and commitments. Caring about one, doesn't mean you have to forsake another. And enough. Peace out.
luvarescue picture
luvarescue
03/11/10
While this is not a discussion for Bible talk, many individuals may claim, but God gave me animals to eat. This may be a biblical interpretation, but some individuals who are Christian, interpret the Bible to mean something else, as it relates to the killing of an animal for human food consumption. The Christian Vegetarian Association asserts the following: 1. To support and encourage Christian vegetarians around the world. 2. To share with non-vegetarian Christians how a vegetarian diet can be a powerful and faith-strengthening witness to Christ's love, compassion, and peace." 3. To show the world that plant-based diets represent good, responsible Christian stewardship for all God's Creation. Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? (I Cor. 3:16) We encourage vegetarianism because the diet is ecologically sound, helps alleviate world hunger, and benefits human health. The CVA respectfully addresses humans' relationship with animals from a comprehensive biblical perspective. We attempt therefore to actively participate in the "reconciliation of Creation" that promises to result in the "Peaceable Kingdom" foreshadowed by Scripture. (See Gen. 1:29-30; Isa. 11:6-8; 65:17-25; 2 Cor. 5:17-21; Col. 1:16-23; and Dr. Rev. Andrew Linzey's "Declaration of the Peaceable Kingdom.") More information <a href="http://all-creatures.org/cva/vegbenefits.htm" target="_blank">here</a>
luvarescue picture
luvarescue
03/11/10
To those who say you MUST have animal products to be healthy, I would be interested in that notion and welcome the discussion. Therefore, please provide a link to an academic institute, white paper, position paper, etc. that indicates such information. Sources could potentially include universities, such as Harvard University, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, etc. WELL PLANNED, vegan/vegetarian diets provide individuals with multiple benefits, particularly since vegetables and fruits are calorie deficient, nutrient dense products. This would include, a diet that has 5-9 servings of fruits/veggies a day; 5-9 servings of whole grains; 3 servings of protein. Studies, including those supported by the American Dietetic Association, indicate that these well planned diets have an exceptional chance at preventing disease, including cancer, dementia (including Alzheimer's), diabetes, and heart disease. Don't believe me, here is the <a href="http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/705344" target="_blank">link</a>. To reiterate the focus of planning, the Mayo Clinic has provided additional information on how you can get in your nutritional requirements through a well-planned diet <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vegetarian-diet/HQ01596" target="_blank">here</a>. Reading up on books like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060009365?ie=UTF8&tag=seventgenera-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0060009365" target="_blank">Cooking the RealAge Way</a>, which is authored by Dr. Michael Roizen of the Cleveland Clinic, we find multiple recipes, many vegetarian, that have long, enumerated lists of health benefits. Furthermore, while vegans/vegetarians can be deficient in Vitamin B12, a vitamin important for neurological function and other misc. metabolic activities, supplements can fix this problem. Vegan/vegetarian diets are also not dependent on soy either. Just thought I would share these FACTS. It's not that I 'think' vegetarian/vegan diets have benefits, and provide one with all nutrish requirements. It's that, there are stats out there to prove it.
Redevilkean picture
Redevilkean
03/11/10
I thought this was a lovely article, and I really only disagree with an implication made about "inherently include compassion and awareness." I do eat meat, but my choice has not affected my connection with nature, or awe at the natural world. I am in love with all of it, even the seemingly sad parts of death. Without death none of us would be here. It is a cycle. The animal or plant who feeds me today will be continuing the cycle whereas eventually I will be feeding something else when I die. That is if I can actually be buried in dirt instead of a metal box. :D
redjennie78@hotmail.com picture
redjennie78@hotmail.com
03/11/10
It is very difficult to have "too much soy". My son was raised on soy formula whenever I was unable to breastfeed him, and was practically addicted to soy milk from the ages of 2-3. It had NO "feminizing" affect, that is so ridiculous. My doctor, who is NOT a vegetarian, said that children are naturally prone to vegetarianism, and that meat eating is a learned trait. So, please appreciate that people have a right to celebrate their healthy lifestyle choices (and are not trying to encroach them on you), and refrain from spreading lies about soy without evidence to back it up.
firexbrat picture
firexbrat
03/11/10
Being Christian and being anti-abortion are all individual choices. If you expect your choice of religion to be respected, do not disrespect other's choices. Do not push your personal beliefs in gods and fetuses onto others who've made their own individual choices. The author isn't preaching to be vegan, she was responding to an inquiry into her personal practice and offering an answer. Also, if we as a culture would learn to treat all living things with the respect they deserve, perhaps we'd become enlightened enough to treat EACH OTHER and these "unborn Children" with the same love and respect. Becoming vegan can be a healthy choice and many cultures are successful without large amounts of animal products in their diets. Some of you say you can't get the vitamins and minerals your body needs with out animal products. You do know that the RDA standards were funded and researched by the USDA right? Conflict of interest. Don't believe everything you're told, we live in a culture of commodity and your appetite is just another way for someone to make money. Think for yourselves. Don't trust 7th Gen, USDA or God to tell you the whole truth.
jcyjuice picture
jcyjuice
03/11/10
about the whole abortion debate.
deb5380 picture
deb5380
03/11/10
Yeah, when did this start to be a debate about abortion? So, people who care about how animals are treated are wasting thier time because they should care about more important things?! Those of us with a brain can care about humans and animals, and no I am not a vegetarian.
jcyjuice picture
jcyjuice
03/11/10
Not everyone who's vegan does so for animal rights. A lot of people go vegan/vegetarian for the health aspect!! Its much more healthy to be vegan or vegetarian. I have several vegan friends who do it just to be healthy. I dont agree with the inhumane ways that animals are treated, however I AM pro-choice. Go figure!
jcyjuice picture
jcyjuice
03/11/10
@shortysmom: There are many ways to get calcium other than drinking milk or eating dairy products. Its a common misconception that dairy is the best source of calcium! In order for your body to absorb and retain the calcium in the first place, magnesium must also be present. And there are many other foods that are actually better sources of calcium than dairy because of their magnesium content. Sources of well-absorbed calcium include: calcium-fortified soy milks and juice, calcium-set tofu, soybeans and soynuts, bok choy, broccoli, collards, Chinese cabbage, kale, mustard greens, and okra, grains, beans (other than soybeans), etc. Fruits and veggies (other than those listed) can also contribute to calcium intake
Trisht123 picture
Trisht123
03/11/10
thanks for this posting! as a Vegan environmentalist, the choice is obvious. the more local/sustainable/green we become, the brighter the outlook for my future grandchildren, great-grandchilren....
jcyjuice picture
jcyjuice
03/11/10
@Jesskelter624: I think you need to do some research before you say that you cant get all the nutrients your body needs from being vegan! You say "I don't really see how being a vegan is healthy" so you obviously have not done any research to back up your opinions. And you don't seem to know about other sources of protein, either (nuts, beans, legumes, whole grains, etc). There ARE other ways to get protein other than eating meat or soy. And in fact, eating meat is WAY more unhealthy than eating vegan!! I'm not vegan, however, I DO severely restrict my intake of meat (I only do chicken and fish occasionally) because I know how unhealthy it is. My main source of protein is NOT soy, and I'm sure many vegans don't just base their protein intake on soy, either.... I eat a lot of legumes and I get my protein from other sources. Doesn't anyone wonder why America is so fat?! Maybe if we all started eating more like the rest of the world (many cuisines are mainly vegetarian) then our country wouldn't be so unhealthy.
7ggirl picture
7ggirl
03/11/10
When I was told I was allergic to milk, I was told not to worry about my calcium needs. I want to make sure just in case and found out through research that you don't have to get calcium through dairy. You could try sesame seeds, buckwheat groats, and even amaranth grain. Amaranth is suppose to have twice the calcium of cows milk. For more info on great nutrition research try looking at the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000P0RCS8?ie=UTF8&tag=seventgenera-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000P0RCS8" target="_blank">The Thrive Diet</a> by Brendan Brazier, and/or his <a href="http://www.brendanbrazier.com/" target="_blank">website</a>. It has helped me understand a lot.
shortysmom picture
shortysmom
03/11/10
I'm confused. I eat/drink a lot of organic dairy (mostly fat-free milk & yogurt) each day in order to get the calcium my 62-year old bones need. How does a vegan get the much-needed calcium without taking a calcium supplement or osteoporosis drug (which I refuse to do)?
Treckard picture
Treckard
03/11/10
Through the years I've gone back and forth between vegetarian and eating only white meat back to eating whatever as long as its not boxed or loaded with preservatives and HFCS. We eat mainly fruits, veggies, grains, eggs and cheese in our house with occasional chicken or turkey. I've often wanted to go back to vegetarian but I can not eat soy. I have a very horrible allergic reaction to it and that means that so many of the meat and cheese alternatives are off the table for me. I am married, I do volunteer work on the weekends, my husband and I both work full time and we're both full time students. It takes a lot of planning and effort just to eat at home every night instead of going out. I have been unsuccessful up to this point at creating a diet that gives us all the protein and calcium we need without including eggs and cheese. Any suggestions???
robjdisc picture
robjdisc
03/11/10
Good post. I enjoyed reading about your experiences, and the recipe sounds awesome (my recipe suggestion: you can add/substitute any root vegetables into this recipe, and you don't necessarily need to include the tofu). Please recognize that you haven't offered your children the choice of being vegan. Humans are omnivores. For a reason. I agree with making children aware of their impact; I don't agree with not providing them any options. What will they do when they're left on their own? Will they still avoid meat because it's not "right," or will they rebel, and become pure carnivores because they missed that "growing up"? --- Yes - as one commenter pointed out - "the consumption of dairy can be as inhumane as the consumption of meat". But not all vegetables are equal; isn't it just as "inhumane" to treat vegetables with pesticides? While eating less (no) meat is a start, even better is to be conscious of what you're putting in your body; make it the healthiest thing possible; and figure out what works for you. If all of the true costs were factored into "cheap/convenient" food, my guess is they wouldn't be so cheap or convenient anymore. Get to know the sources of your food. If you can't (because it's off of the grocery shelf), then maybe you need to revisit your food choices.
kmiddings picture
kmiddings
03/04/10
It works well in the oven as a roast but also could be made stove top if you steam the veggies and garlic first (20-25 minutes) and then brown in a skillet with the tofu (or seitan) olive oil, herbs, tamari and sea salt - Enjoy!
livinggreengirl picture
livinggreengirl
03/04/10
recently became vegetarian and i'm trying to reduce consumption of dairy as well though i don't think i could ever go completely vegan. this recipe looks sooo delicious, but new to cooking so this is probably a stupid question, but do you roast over the stove, would a frying pan work or does it go in the oven? Thanks
garyloewenthal picture
garyloewenthal
03/02/10
Your kids eat REAL food: fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, etc.! I was vegetarian, mostly for environmental reasons. Then several years ago I found out that on virtually every dairy farm, babies are repeatedly stolen from their mothers and killed. I also learned that the hatcheries that produce laying hens - including the ones that lay eggs for free-range farms - kill the newborn male chicks by methods such as grinding them up alive or suffocating them. I could not be part of such cruel practices. I found out about tofu scramble, and non-egg baking methods, and the multitude of nondairy milks. My diet has actually broadened and become more enjoyable since my vegan conversion. Also, my craving for cheese has all but disappeared - maybe because cheese has an opiate like substance called casiomorphins that has an addictive quality. The recipe looks great - I'm going to try it!
jenniferstarble picture
jenniferstarble
03/01/10
I am a vegan of about one year. I have been vegetarian for 15 years and am raising now, 2 vegan children. They are healthy and active and have no deficiencies. For those of you who are vegetarian because of compassion, I urge you to consider a vegan diet. After much research, I have learned that the consumption of dairy can be as inhumane as the consumption of meat. The conditions the animals are kept in for dairy and egg production is horrific, only to end with the slaughter of the animal when they are no longer able to produce. If you are vegetarian for health purposes, I have also found that my body feels better then ever after removing dairy from my diet. Vegetarian diets often have high levels of cheese as a protein source, which can be very hard on the body. Most vegans and vegetarians already know there are plenty other plant-based sources of protein and calcium (check out <a href="http://www.vegweb.com" target="_blank">vegweb.com</a> or the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1605296449?ie=UTF8&tag=seventgenera-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1605296449" target="_blank">The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet</a> by Alicia Silverstone for delicious ideas). For those of you who feel removing dairy/eggs from your diet is overwhelming, please consider lessening the amount you consume and buying from a local farm where you know the animals are treated with compassion.
rlhuntz picture
rlhuntz
02/28/10
I've been vegetarian for somewhere around 14 years now. I became a vegan 8 years ago, just before my oldest son's first birthday. After being vegan for just one month, I realized that I'd felt better than I ever had in my life and quickly changed my son's diet as well. I am now raising two healthy vegans, ages 9 and 3. At first, I had a major problem because my son's doctor said you have to feed children meat or they die. Unfortunately, I think alot of people feel this way, and probably why we face such controversy. I switched to a doctor who grew up in India and understands that children CAN survive on vegetarian/vegan diets. I also read everything I could get my hands on and am convinced that, contrary to popular belief, this is the best diet for anyone, particularly children. My kids seem to be just as healthy, if not healthier, than their peers. I don't think anyone can argue the fact that fruits and veggies are an important part of anyone's diet, and my kids certainly get their share! Regardless of what anyone says, or the funny looks you receive, just remember that you are doing a wonderful thing for yourself and your children. Good luck, and remember that you're not alone!
mjb picture
mjb
02/27/10
While I'm not vegan, I am a strict vegetarian but this hasn't always been the case. I grew up in the 80's when preserved conveinence foods were all the rage... lots of canned and microwavable foods and cheap meat. My family didn't have a relationship to our food... we just ate whatever could quickly fill our bellies. We didn't care where it was from or what it was made of. This all changed when I read "<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diet_for_a_Small_Planet" target="_blank">Diet for a Small Planet</a>" and realized what this food was made of and it's impact on the earth. I quickly became a vegetarian and started eating "cleaner food" (vegetarian, local when possible, and organic). It is expensive and time consuming but it's sooooo worth it. It's been 17 years and now I'm a mom of a sweet baby boy. My husband (vegi too) and I plan to raise him vegetarian so I really appreciate your post. I know we'll face some controversy but it will be well worth it.
jadelta picture
jadelta
02/27/10
While I have not made the transition to vegan or vegetarianism, I play around with it and have made menu choices that are purposeful in whether or not I choose to eat meat.It's a slow transition, but making a goal of days at a time helps wean me off of the meat "cravings." I recently found a recipe for a warm yam and carrot soup off of a vegan health chef's blog. It is filling and delicious. I also think people are misinformed about the nutrients and flavors non-meat foods can have. As for the woman who asked about your kids eating "real food", veggies and earth-born herbs and nutrients are real food, it's the preservatives and additives in other foods that are not! One of my personal recipes for a veggie comfort meal: Sautee a veggie-brand Chipotle patty with a Mexican corn mix(corn, black beans, onions, peppers)and spinach in olive oil, and add fresh garden salsa. I usually crumble up the patty as it cooks (all in the same pan for added flavors). It comes out mushy, but it's a warm, spicy comfort meal. The consistency of the meal is the comfort factor to me. So much flavor! And knowing the nutrients of the tomatoes in the salsa, spinach, black beans and patty make me feel good too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts in the blog. I enjoyed reading it.