Foods A New Vegan Misses
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!
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.