Vegan Bytes #16: Vegan Grocery Shopping
Welcome to the Vegan-Nutritionista.com newsletter that focuses on helping you learn more about veganism and how to apply it to your daily life. The Vegan Bytes Newsletter is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date with the world of food, and answering your vegan nutrition questions.
In this issue...
*Thoughts: Where Do You Shop In The Grocery Store?
*Coming Soon: Menu Plans with Recipes and Grocery Lists
*Your questions: How Do Vegans Get Enough Iron?
*Recipe of the Month: Vegan Crab Cakes
*Your Chance to Win: The Winning Easy Vegan Recipe
*Ebook: "A Fresh New Vegan You" Ebook
I'm excited to report that I am making the pilgrimage to vegan mecca (Portland) in a few weeks. I've heard nothing but good things about Portland, with its gorgeous mountains, lush orchard-filled valleys, nearby beaches, hiking and biking trails, and excellent transportation system. I printed out about 15 pages of restaurants, 10 or so to a page. That is happy stuff for me. I'll share some of my favorites when I come back.
Oregon is supposed to have the most delicious fresh fruit and I can't wait to visit the farm stands and orchards, and even to pick fresh lavender. Yay!
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On the drive to visit family last weekend, my boyfriend and I talked about our favorite childhood boxed cookies. He loved Oreos, Nutter Butters, Chips Ahoy, and vienna Fingers. I remember eating Nilla Wafers and Ginger Snaps.
Eat Around the Edges of Grocery Stores
Once I swallowed the concept of childhood being 20 years ago, I realized something. We were reminiscing about "old-fashioned" cookies. Since that time, boxed foods have exploded on the marketplace.
I can still remember when the first commercials for Teddy Grahams came out, and I distinctly remember watching the Keebler Elves put chocolate chips into cookies on TV. Kids today have an enormous selection of boxed cookies to choose from, as well as whole aisles of cereals, fruit drinks and sodas, chips, frozen dinners, and ready-to-eat boxed meals.
I thought about how when I shop, I typically fill my cart on the outer edges and then meander through some of the other aisles. Most people probably do the opposite. They cut right for the convenience food section.
The middle section of grocery stores has rapidly expanded because that's what has been in demand. Not surprisingly, the middle section of most American's waistbands has also rapidly expanded. I don't blame this entirely on us because most people don't realize there's a correlation.
I have a friend who wanted to lose weight and after listening to me for months, decided to go on a vegan diet. She wasn't concerned with the plight of farm animals or the destruction of the environment from animal products, she just wanted to lose weight. She would often ask me for help figuring out what to eat and I would happily oblige. I follow the "the more, the merrier"
school of thought on veganism-- it doesn't matter to me why people decide to eat less meat, or what they call themselves, as long as they do eat less meat, so this friend's decision was fine with me.
One of our most common conversations was about mixing up the foods and eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans. She loved to eat one specific meal, over and over again, and at each meal of the day. She also filled much of her diet with faux meats and cheeses, substitutes for her old diet.
Not surprisingly, while she lost weight, she didn't lose a lot very quickly. At least 8 months into her new diet, and after at least 10 discussions about mixing up her dietary intake, she confided in me that she never shopped for vegetables because she didn't want them to go to waste. It took her a good amount of time to realize that she "was a vegan who didn't eat fruit or vegetables," in her own words.
No matter what your reason for following a veg diet, don't be a vegan who doesn't eat fruits and vegetables. Don't go after junk foods, or spend too much time with the imposter meats and cheeses. Do your body some good and load up on the outer sections of the grocery store. Fill your cart with a rainbow of colors of fruits and vegetables, and find whole grains and whole beans to fill the remaining sections. I promise that if you eat that way for a few weeks, you will feel amazing.
You can get my massive grocery list for 99¢ for anyone who needs some vegan shopping help. You can print a few copies on double-sided paper and then keep it on your fridge to mark anything you need for that week. I hope it helps!
The next big project I'm working on for you is a book of vegan menu plans, complete with recipes, pictures, and grocery lists.
Coming Soon: Vegan Menu Plans
This has been a hugely popular request from new and veteran vegans alike. People become curious about veganism, but then the question, "But what would I cook?" comes to mind. For some, looking up recipes in a huge cookbook is daunting and unrealistic on a busy work week night.
This menu plan will help solve that problem by providing you with complete dinner plans for a month, along with recipes and a list of everything you will need at the store for the week. My sincere hope is that this helps to simplify your life but also teach you how to put together your own meals in the future.
Afterall, I believe it's better to teach rather than just to ask people to follow. But, if it's a way that can help, I am all for it. If you have any suggestions for recipes, or other topics you think people could use help with, don't hesitate to pass them along to me.
Until it's ready, there are a few pages on Vegan Nutritionista that show menus right now. The first menu is designed for people who like to cook and the second is more for people who don't have time to cook and do most of their meals at restaurants.
Vegan Bytes Insider Password
The following pages are created just for Vegan Bytes Insiders... they are special hidden pages that only you can see, and it's my way of thanking you for reading each month.
The following pages are password-protected and will require a password from you. This password will change occasionally and you will always find the most current password in the most current Vegan Bytes Newsletter.
CURRENT PASSWORD = cashew
p.s. case sensitive
Vegan Chemical-Free Gas Remedies
The one negative drawback to eating a vegan diet is that you often eat more fiber than the typical person. Doesn't sound negative, right? Well, it can be for your digestive system. Never fear though... I have researched and found several amazing, natural, chemical-free gas remedies.
Take A Fruit Bouquet Workshop
Fruit Bouquets are a creative way to show someone you care, without having to cut flowers or buy chocolates. Take this workshop to learn how to make your own fruit baskets, including pineapple daisies, chocolate-covered strawberries, and grape tulips.
Learn All About Nut Cheeses
Vegan cheeses are abundant in grocery stores across the world, but most of them are still lacking something. Tree nut cheeses are the fabulous and new (somewhat) addition to the vegan world, and their flavor is unparalleled.
How Do Vegans Get Enough Iron?
I am just going vegan and my main source of iron at the moment is vegemite and baked beans. Is there any better way for me to get iron?
That's a great question! Many vegans worry about getting enough of the correct nutrients in their diet, including iron. We do need to be careful not to ingest too much iron as it can actually be dangerous, but it's important to get just enough.
Great sources of vegan iron are whole grains, beans, tofu, and green leafy vegetables. You should also eat plenty of vegetables and fruits high in vitamin C, like leafy greens, peppers, citrus fruits, potatoes, melons, and tomatoes, which help the iron to be absorbed in the body.
For anyone who isn't familiar with vegemite, it's also a rich source of...
Read the rest of the answer to Gareth's question here.
Submit your vegan questions here. When you ask and help answer other people's questions, others learn as well.
Recipe of the Month
Zucchini Crab Cakes
I ADORE this recipe from The Vegan Table, by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. On our beach vacation last summer, I decided to try my first vegan crab cakes made with tofu and they turned out soooo salty that they were inedible. That was a huge disappointment, and I think I've subconsciously avoided trying another recipe until now because I didn't want to hate them as much. I used to love crab cakes.
So, this recipe was a very welcome relief. They are light and fluffy, and the grated zucchini actually looks like strips of crab. There are so few ingredients in this recipe, which is just how I like it. And, for anyone avoiding soy, this recipe is perfect.
Vegan crab cakes are great for a summer meal with corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes with basil, and a whole grain. Hope you love it!
*2.5 cups of grated zucchini
*1 cup bread crumbs
*1/4 cup onion, chopped
*2 Tbsp. non-hydrogenated non-dairy butter, melted
*1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
*1/2 tsp. salt
*fresh pepper, to taste
*1/4 cup flour
After grating zucchini, press between a clean kitchen towel to get out as much moisture as possible. You want it very dry so the cakes stick together.
Add the zucchini to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients, except the flour and stir to combine.
Roll into cakes and flatten slightly. Dredge each cake in flour and then cook in a large fry-pan with heated oil, until light golden brown on each side.
Be careful with the finished cakes as they are delicate. Serves 8.
Congratulations to Pamela Reilly from Good Works Wellness Research, LLC, who was the lucky winner of three great cookbooks. Her winning recipe is Raw Vegan Marinara Sauce. I chose the top five recipes based on number of comments, picture quality, and strength of recipe, and then an automated number generated picked her as the winner.
The July Recipe Contest Winner
Try her recipe! It's simple and perfect for August when the last thing we want to do is turn on the stovetop.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the recipe contest. Be on the lookout for more contests in the future, and feel free to share any of your great recipes. I hope to make a community in which we can all share our favorite recipes and learn from others.
Check out her recipe here.
A Fresh New Vegan You
A Fresh New Vegan You got great feedback from the early readers. Even experienced vegans said it was a helpful resource that they would refer to often. You can learn more about it here.
I wrote A Fresh New Vegan You because I kept hearing the same types of questions about veganism. People wanted to know what it could do for their health, for their weight loss goals, and for their children. I often had questions about getting proper nutrition on a vegan diet, especially on protein and calcium, and balancing meals. Some people wondered about vegan pregnancy and being an athlete on a vegan diet.
There are just so many books about each one of those topics that I wanted to simplify it and put everything in one easy place. Nobody has time to spend researching everything, and we all need streamlined information where we can easily find answers in one place.
I would love to know what you think of A Fresh New Vegan You and if you have any ideas for other helpful books. You can submit comments or feedback to me directly by using my contact form.
Questions about Downloading:
The two biggest questions I've gotten about the eBook so far are about 1). buying a hard copy edition and about 2). paying without using PayPal.
1). Right now there are no plans to release a hard cover copy of A Fresh New Vegan You. That doesn't mean we'll never have one, but for the time being we like having it available online. You can always download it and print it out, which would make it similar to a hard copy. If you really, really want a hard cover, make sure to let me know so I can weigh that option.
2). As for payment options, you can order directly from the source rather than using PayPal. On the payment page, click on the left side where is says "enter your credit card information now." If you have a PayPal account and have logged into it recently, your computer may not allow this option.
In that case, all you have to do is to log out of internet explorer, clear your cookies, and then log back in. Now you should have no trouble ordering your copy. If you have any problems, please let me know.
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