Foods A New Vegan Misses

by Belle

I'm having a good time being vegan so far, but there are a lot of things I miss. Are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches vegan?


I also miss the taste of fish... is there a way to make a tofu salad that tastes like tuna salad? This is going to sound strange but I just want to get more creative with my tofu.

Another thing, I've heard so many things about processed foods, isn't it a lot more expensive to buy organic? Also, what are the drawbacks of drinking soy milk, almond milk or any other kind of shelf milk? Also, what brand of vegan condiments like vegan cheese do you recommend and where can I get them from? I hate the veggie cheese at Safeway... it's not vegan at all because it has casein in it....help!


Answer:

PB&J should be vegan, but it depends on your ingredients-- just check to make sure there isn't anything hidden in your bread and jelly. For peanut butter I always just go with freshly ground peanuts, which usually are cheaper than the cans anyway, and it's always vegan. There are also tons of non-peanut nut butters available in markets nowadays, if you want to mix it up.

There are a bunch of really good chickpea "tuna" sandwiches out there. It's pretty easy to make actually. You just smash the chickpeas, add a little kelp powderand then add anything you normally put into tuna sandwiches. Look around on the internet for a good recipe. I like the one in Vegan Planet because it doesn't really need mayonnaise (vegan or not, mayo gives me creepy-crawlies on my neck.)

As far as processed foods, I think you are mixing that up with organic. Organic just means that they were grown without pesticides, fertilizers, chemicals, or genetic modification. Organic is often more expensive, and if you can't afford to get everything organic, I just suggest getting the "Dirty Dozen" fruits and vegetables from the organic section.

Processed foods are the ones that are in the cans, frozen foods aisle, and any fake meats, etc. Lots of other ingredients are added and through that, they lose a lot of their nutrients. If you stick to whole foods, like whole vegetables, fruits, and grains, as well as whole beans and nuts, you will be doing great. Those foods are actually cheaper than getting the fake stuff.

I have a page on vegan cheese that describes my favorite brands. I'm not really a fan of any of the brands out there right now, so I stick to nut cheeses. They are more expensive to buy, but there are great recipes for making nut cheeses.

I also have a page on nondairy milks that gives a good explanation of the different ones. There aren't too many drawbacks to vegan milk. I like to drink a good variety of them to make sure I'm getting enough nutrients.

I hope this answers your questions. Feel free to send more my way, and definitely check out the "Search this site" tab on the left side of my site, you can find a lot more information on most of the stuff you asked about.

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Uh-Oh, Looks like a thread on Processed Food!
by: Nia

I was once grossly misinformed. However, I have learned to use my coomon sense. If processed food is cheaper than whole food then why are people more prone to "stretch" the ground beef, spam and other cheap, low grade meat with potatoes, peas, etc.? Furthermore, all processed/ prepared foods are more expensive than their unprepared equivelant. That white bread is more expensive than the measures of white flour and water to make it and that whole grain sprouted bread is more expensive than the ingredients that it is made of by comparison. However, I think the point the author of the answer here is trying to make is that when people try to to incorporate healthier foods into their diets, being less educated on it than they are on the typical junk they are used to buying, they are exposed to the easiest and most readily available form of these as they are pulled in by processed/prepared foods marketers - This is the packaged stuff that is more expensive than the same items that come un-packaged. Packaging being a great part of the reason it cost's so much. I definately save money when I buy bulk or whole as compared to packaged/prepared ounce for ounce. I can buy the same amount of fruits, grains and vegetables (organic or not) and get more for my dollar than Meat and Dairy products (again, organic or not)- And quite frankly: MEAT IS MORE EXPENSIVE (PACKAGED/PROCESSED OR NOT)POUND FOR POUND THAN FRUITS,GRAINS AND VEGETABLES (PACKAGED/PROCESSED OR NOT)-not to mention the health costs involved with a meat based diet. Tell me who fills up faster on eight ounces of burger than on eight ounces of broccoli! Please prove it to yourself-the next time you go shopping - compare your bill to someone who has the same amount of groceries (maybe a week's worth) as you or another vegetarian/vegan with the same budget. I have compared my past processed food filled grocery trips to my current whole food shopping and my bill is considerabley lower now. Keep educating yourself and stay ahead of the hype!

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The Processed Foods Worry...
by: Anonymous

You said it's cheaper to buy whole foods than processed and that's not true. I've been through dozens of stores, even some out of state, and almost all of the whole or natural foods are way more expensive than the processed. You can buy more of the processed foods for less than the amount of whole or natural. That's why more people buy them than fresh produce and because you can store them longer.

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Thanks for the 'tuna' sandwich tip
by: Vicki

We're transitioning to more vegetarian menus, and I've run into the 'oh, that just needs a splash of chicken broth...uh, wait...' moment more than once. I do find that our tastebuds adapt, but it does take a while. I'll have to try the kelp and chickpeas.

I just found your site from a Twitter post by foodmedic, and I'll have to look around more - I like the site! Nice to see more Tennessee vegan/vegetarians .

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