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Old 07.11.2011, 12:07
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Vegan advice

My daughter has been a vegetarian for quite some time and she's about to beome vegan. This will affect the eating habits of the whole family since I cannot cook a completely vegan meal for her alone, fry steaks for the boys and cook something for myself.

My question is, what exactly does/can a vegan eat and what is an absolute no-go? When I think about it it seems all that's left is salads, vegetables and such, not even chocolate or cakes or cookies (there is milk in them).

Maybe those of you who eat vegan or know more about it might be able to give me some ideas?

Thanks in advance
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Old 07.11.2011, 12:21
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Re: Vegan advice

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My question is, what exactly does/can a vegan eat and what is an absolute no-go?
The only person who can answer this is your daughter. Strict vegans don't even eat honey. Basically, no animal products whatsoever.

There's a ton of online resources for vegan recipes, including all kinds of alternative cakes and cookies. (Real dark chocolate doesn't have any dairy in it, by the way.) It's not easy to do, especially in Switzerland, but there's plenty of non-boring recipes out there.

Last night we made a vegetable paella from the Hiltl cookbook, and the night before a lentil ragu sauce for pasta. Both were vegan if I recall correctly.
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Old 07.11.2011, 12:22
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Re: Vegan advice

She should definitely have nuts, seeds, beans and peas, tofu. And don't worry, there are plenty of vegan dishes that are very tasty - see here:
http://www.epicurious.com/tools/brow...browse&att=656

excellent for cold winter days, lentil dhal -
http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/14107/lentil+dhal
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Old 07.11.2011, 12:26
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Re: Vegan advice

I just wanted to say that I think it is so great that you are thinking of ways you can support your daughter's decision!

I have a couple vegan friends, and I think it just takes a little while to find your new repertoire of ingredients. They were able to find vegan chocolate, and once you learn some good substitutes, you can bake too. You can often use applesauce/ grated zucchini/pumpkin puree in lieu of butter or eggs.

The most surprising no-go ingredient for them was honey...though I suspect each vegan needs to draw their own lines.

One thing that can be tricky, is finding good protein sources - other than tofu I don't know what vegans do, but it's worth asking, this is a lot of wisdom in this community.
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Old 07.11.2011, 12:29
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Re: Vegan advice

Lentils are another source of protein aren't they?
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Old 07.11.2011, 12:29
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Re: Vegan advice

Excuse me, but if your daughter wants something different to the family meals, is there a reason why she cannot make it herself?

You could maybe do the shopping for her, but making double meals would mean to me she is abusing your love for her.

Dietary wise she would need a supplement to replace something found only in animal products. (I have forgotten what it is!)
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Old 07.11.2011, 12:30
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Re: Vegan advice

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IOne thing that can be tricky, is finding good protein sources - other than tofu I don't know what vegans do, but it's worth asking, this is a lot of wisdom in this community.
Beans, quinoa, lentils, peanut butter, chickpeas, etc.
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Old 07.11.2011, 12:34
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Re: Vegan advice

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My daughter has been a vegetarian for quite some time and she's about to beome vegan. This will affect the eating habits of the whole family since I cannot cook a completely vegan meal for her alone, fry steaks for the boys and cook something for myself.

My question is, what exactly does/can a vegan eat and what is an absolute no-go? When I think about it it seems all that's left is salads, vegetables and such, not even chocolate or cakes or cookies (there is milk in them).

Maybe those of you who eat vegan or know more about it might be able to give me some ideas?

Thanks in advance
Just out of interest, what would you do if your boys said they were going to become carnivores and just eat meat?
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Old 07.11.2011, 12:43
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Re: Vegan advice

you can make vegan pancakes with banana instead of egg and coconut (or rice or almond) milk. Delicious!
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Old 07.11.2011, 12:45
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Re: Vegan advice

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She should definitely have nuts, seeds, beans and peas, tofu. And don't worry, there are plenty of vegan dishes that are very tasty - see here:
http://www.epicurious.com/tools/brow...browse&att=656

excellent for cold winter days, lentil dhal -
http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/14107/lentil+dhal
I forgot to mention she does not eat beans or bell pepper and she's allergic to nuts and soy products.

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Just out of interest, what would you do if your boys said they were going to become carnivores and just eat meat?
I suppose I would try to talk them into having some vegetables here or there.
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Old 07.11.2011, 12:45
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Re: Vegan advice

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Excuse me, but if your daughter wants something different to the family meals, is there a reason why she cannot make it herself?

You could maybe do the shopping for her, but making double meals would mean to me she is abusing your love for her.

Dietary wise she would need a supplement to replace something found only in animal products. (I have forgotten what it is!)
My sister went through a vegetarian phase when she was a teenager (so not so dramatic as a vegan phase). My mum said she would only cook meals for her where the meat was easy just to take away and she replaced it with mushrooms, etc. If we were having a meal such as spaghetti bolognese or shepherd's pie, she had to cook something for herself - obviously you can't pick out all the meat from those dishes.

In a busy household with four or five mouths to feed, it's difficult for the person responsible for cooking to start doing special menus.

Her phase only lasted about 8 months and she caved in on Christmas day with all the smells of the turkey and bacon...
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Old 07.11.2011, 12:45
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Re: Vegan advice

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Just out of interest, what would you do if your boys said they were going to become carnivores and just eat meat?
I'd advise them to eat the fat as well, otherwise they'd become malnourished. Anyway, they'd soon be hankering after carbs, as anyone who's tried Atkins will tell you.

In my house, if anyone doesn't want to eat what's on offer, they're entirely free to cook something for themselves. If they need some special ingredient, then they're also free to buy it themselves. I may even give them some money to do so.

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I forgot to mention she does not eat beans or bell pepper and she's allergic to nuts and soy products.
If that's the case, then she seriously needs to get professional advice and ensure that it is possible for her to follow an even more restricted diet and remain healthy - vegan and allergic to soy and nuts sounds like a recipe for going hungry.
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Old 07.11.2011, 12:47
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Re: Vegan advice

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Excuse me, but if your daughter wants something different to the family meals, is there a reason why she cannot make it herself?

You could maybe do the shopping for her, but making double meals would mean to me she is abusing your love for her.
For one thing she is only sixteen and she goes to school all day. She does make her own meals occasionally but she can't do it every day.
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Old 07.11.2011, 12:49
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Re: Vegan advice

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For one thing she is only sixteen and she goes to school all day. She does make her own meals occasionally but she can't do it every day.
It's not a great excuse, though. I work all day and still have to cook for the family every evening.

Maybe if she has to cook for herself it might re-focus her mind - it's easy to become a vegan if someone else is worrying about it and doing all the work for you.

You sound like you are being too nice as a mum.



EDIT: Sorry, I realise you only asked for advice on Vegan food and we are all sticking our oar in about the rights and wrongs of it. I just wanted to let you know that it led to endless "teenage huffs and fights" for my sister when she wanted to go veggie.

Last edited by Sandgrounder; 07.11.2011 at 12:51. Reason: Afterthought because felt bad about being too opinionated...
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Old 07.11.2011, 12:51
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Re: Vegan advice

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It's not a great excuse, though. I work all day and still have to cook for the family every evening.

Maybe if she has to cook for herself it might re-focus her mind - it's easy to become a vegan if someone else is worrying about it and doing all the work for you.

You sound like you are being too nice as a mum.
I work full time too but I'm home earlier and me and MG's SIL do the cooking.
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Old 07.11.2011, 12:55
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Re: Vegan advice

Obviously I know nothing about your circumstances, but having a nasty suspicious nature... perhaps it's worth checking whether she's hiding some eating disorder under the guise of what she considers moral eating.

At sixteen, I'd say she's older enough to understand that you can't always do what you want. If you (i.e. she) haven't got time to cook and buy vegan for yourself, and can't eat nuts or soy, then perhaps you need to re-consider your lifestyle choices. I'd be delighted to not have to work - but if I wish to eat, it's kind of a necessity. She should apply the same logic to her ethics.
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Old 07.11.2011, 12:57
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Re: Vegan advice

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I forgot to mention she does not eat beans or bell pepper and she's allergic to nuts and soy products.
That is going to make it a LOT harder to be a vegan... She doesn't eat beans because she doesn't like the texture/taste? Is she allergic to almonds (often people with nut allergies aren't allergic to almonds)? Is she allergic to coconut? If she really wants to go vegan, she might have to embrace the bean Most meat substitute products are made of soy, except for seitan - which I haven't seen too much around here. Quorn is also a possibility, but I'm not super familiar with it.

I switch my diet to vegan every now and then (after a long vacation, lots of heavy meals, etc.) Beans make up the staple protein, followed by nut butters and nuts, followed by whole grains (wheat berries, spelt berries), followed by leafy greens (kale, whatever else I can find in der Schweiz).

My main recipe go-to places are 101 Cookbooks (http://www.101cookbooks.com/) - not all vegan, but a lot of good resources and a big vegetarian cookbook I have.

A sampling of dinners from my last vegan time:

Red beans & rice (kidney beans)
Thai Red Curry with Tofu
Curried jamaican veggie patties: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives...es-recipe.html
Tabouli with roasted garbanzo beans in pitas
Stir fried noodles with tofu and veggies
Lentils sauteed with carrots, onions - served with salad
Carrot soup (veggie stock and coconut milk included)
Wheat berry salad from the Barefoot Contessa

Also, I ate a lot of fruit and the occassionnal snack of fortified cereal (for some B vitamins that you usually get from animal products).
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Old 07.11.2011, 13:11
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Re: Vegan advice

I would be delighted if someone in my family decided they wanted to go Vegan!

Then I`d just leave out cooking for them, and make sure there`s lots of fresh raw stuff like veges and fruits and nuts around. The rest is up to them, and their life-style choice.

Your daughter does realise extreme choice like that also includes not wearing any leather articles? And soaps become another story too? .. and most creams and lotions?
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Old 07.11.2011, 13:12
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Re: Vegan advice

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Excuse me, but if your daughter wants something different to the family meals, is there a reason why she cannot make it herself?

You could maybe do the shopping for her, but making double meals would mean to me she is abusing your love for her.

Dietary wise she would need a supplement to replace something found only in animal products. (I have forgotten what it is!)

If this is her choice, then she needs to learn how to sustain it. You cannot do all of this work for her, no matter how much you support her decision.

She needs to learn how to find the ingredients for a Vegan diet, and to discriminate between the choices in the supermarket and how hard it is (especially in a country like Switzerland) and how expensive it is (especially in a country like Switzerland) to be a Vegan. The choices aren't as readily available here as they are in other countries like the US, and where they are available, they aren't as convenient, and the prices tend to be higher. And almost all Vegan options are more expensive when compared to conventional options. (and this doesn't just apply to food!)

Then she needs to learn how to prepare these meals and how much more time consuming it is for the rest of the family when separate meals are prepared. Learning how to cook these meals herself under supervision and your guidance will also help her to take those skills with her into adult hood so she's not living off of Pringles and canned green beans when she leaves home.

These will be valuable lessons for her to learn NOW while she has a supportive parent like you to help her through these challenges. This choice is going to shape how she budgets her time and her money in adulthood, and how she forms relationships with others for the rest of her life if she decides to stick with it.

Alternatively, she may decide that the trade offs aren't worth it once confronted with the realities, particularly when she starts learning just how much animal products and animal-derived products are used in so many things we use in every day life.

good luck to you and your family!
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Old 07.11.2011, 13:18
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Re: Vegan advice

A good friend of mine has become lactose intolerant, ie an unhappy vegan. She can eat cheese as the process changes the lactose, but any "vegetarian" meals in restaurants often contain chicken stock, and then she is ill afterwards.

If your daughter cannot, or will not, eat any animal or soy products she definitely needs to see a dietary specialist, as at 16 she has not yet finished growing.
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