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Veg*n This is probably going to be the dumbest question ever. I apologize in advance.

Buggie_00

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
370
My husband and I have talked for a long time about becoming vegetarians. On and off for a few years I think, but we just haven't. The other night I mentioned I was going to the store to get some chicken for dinner and he said "oh....I've decided to become Vegan, I can't have chicken." While I was annoyed at the moment since he didn't give me any warning I totally support his choice and given more thought I am now more seriously thinking of going Vegetarian myself.

Here are my ridiculous questions...

First, what EXACTLY is a vegetarian? I've heard so many different opinions on what qualifies as a vegetarian that I'm never sure if it's right. Is it that you choose not to eat any meat but will eat fish, chicken, eggs, milk and cheeses. Or is it that you will not eat any meat, fish or chicken but will eat milk , eggs and cheeses. Or something entirely different? It's a bit confusing since several people I know claim to be vegetarians but each one has different guidelines for their diets. *by diet I mean what they choose to eat, not a weight loss program

I know Vegans choose not to eat ANY animal or anything with animal products, so I'm trying as hard as I can to find things that my husband CAN eat and that we can share with our children too. I have a son who is severely allergic to soy and walnuts. While the walnuts won't be a big deal I know a lot of non-meat things like veggie burgets and such use soy as a base and therefore are not allowed to be eaten by our son. We do already buy almond milk, we LOVE almond milk and drink almost as much if not more than cow milk.

Does anyone have any good go to snacks or meals for Vegan or Vegetarians we can try out?

Any suggestions you have or info you'd care to share would be greatly appreciated. I am going to go read all the sticky threads and any threads on recipes and the ones on going Vegetarian or Vegan "how-to"s.

thanks
 
I think one way to look at vegetarian is that a vegetarian won't eat any animal, but will eat/use the products from an animal. So a vegetarian won't eat chicken or fish, but would eat milk, eggs, honey (produced by animals) and wear leather.

A vegan won't consume (eat or use) any animal products, whether the animal itself or products such as leather or milk or animal fat-based lotions etc. I've seen some vigorous arguments about honey but other than that, it's been fairly straightforward.

I don't understand people who claim to be vegetarian but say they consume chicken or fish. Or bugs for that matter. Vegetables aren't animals. But I've run into that too.

There are some really good almond-based milk-type items beyond almond milk. My husband's favorite frozen ice "cream" is actually almond-based (and on the level of a super-premium ice cream, in my opinion). Lots of stuff with rice, too. Not using soy altogether is tougher -- it's my go-to on a lot of things. I recently saw a recipe for shrimp cocktail that used a vegetable, I think cauliflower, instead of the shrimp. I'll see if I can find it and some other ideas if you're interested.
 
Also if you really want to get into the vegetarian issue, note that some cheeses are made with rennet and not necessarily vegetarian.
 
We don't use milk and so I use almond milk for all my baking, cream sauces, cream soups or desserts such as rice pudding. I also blend cashews with water and use cashew milk for any savoury cream sauces or soups. We are not vegan or vegetarian but do try to add several meatless meals to our menus during the week. It would be really hard to bake without eggs though, although I have recipes that use flax egg-substitute for baking. "Mix 2 Tbsp. of ground flax with 1/4 - 1/3 cup water. (Easiest method is to add water and ground flax to an 8 oz. jelly jar, then shake to mix). Ideally, allow to set a bit before using (naturally thickens becomes "eggy". It doesn't say in the cookbook but I think this should replace one egg which is usually about 1/4 cup. Hope this helps and good luck.
 
Thanks Delaine. I have quite a few recipes that replace eggs and sugar with applesauce since I'm diabetic and have to be cautious about my carb/sugar intake. I use those recipes for cakes and cookies and brownies and stuff like that since my diabetes has been in control for a few years solid and I can pretty much eat what I want as long as when it comes to junk food I use alternatives or watch serving sizes closely. Maybe I can scour the cookbooks I have for some more recipes that use applesauce instead of egg/milk/sugar. I do a lot of bread making with my bread maker and it uses powdered milk for those recipes but you could easily find a substitute for that I'm sure and there are no eggs in it already. Thanks for the suggestion and recomendation to let the flax/water sit for a while before adding it in a recipe.
 
You hear a lot of variations of "being a vegetarian" out there nowadays. However, those who call themselves vegetarian but still eat meat or chicken or something else along those lines are not actually vegetarians. To me, that is really no different than someone who dislikes eating a certain animal and so states they are a vegetarian despite eating other animals. It just doesn't make sense. A vegetarian does not eat chicken, fish, beef, or any of the other obvious forms of animals but may eat milk, honey, or cheese which are produced from an animal. Make sense? As you already know, a vegan avoids all animal products. Both vegetarians and vegan avoid wearing leather, suede, or furs. While becoming a vegetarian or vegan sounds difficult, its actually not as hard as it sounds. Believe me, I love to eat! Some of my favorite things to eat are vegan oatmeal butterscotch cookies, vegan french toast, vegan curries, vegan taco dip, vegan quesidillas, vegan lemon bars, and I could go on! If you have a Whole Foods near you or other health food store, they are excellent sources for you and your family to check out. They offer great samples, baked goods, alternatives, and even recipes so you can find great meals and snacks for the whole family. I know you asked for ideas for your son but I think the best thing to do is check out some vegan websites online for recipe ideas. I try one or two new recipes each week and have really racked up quite a recipe book. I love VegWeb.com - Vegan Recipes and Cooking Tips personally but there are lots of other sites too based on what you all like. That being said, I think you might really come around even more to your husband becoming vegan. When I switched from vegetarian to vegan, I not only felt like I was doing the right thing, but I actually literally feel better. I have never had such clear skin, such high energy, I sleep so much better, and I have never been so passionate about food. My husband eats meat but after tasting some awesome recipes and realizing what animals go through to become food or clothing, he has started to eat more and more vegan foods. It is really a lifestyle change. I hope you find some great recipes and best of luck to you!
 
You hear a lot of variations of "being a vegetarian" out there nowadays. However, those who call themselves vegetarian but still eat meat or chicken or something else along those lines are not actually vegetarians. To me, that is really no different than someone who dislikes eating a certain animal and so states they are a vegetarian despite eating other animals. It just doesn't make sense. A vegetarian does not eat chicken, fish, beef, or any of the other obvious forms of animals but may eat milk, honey, or cheese which are produced from an animal. Make sense? As you already know, a vegan avoids all animal products. Both vegetarians and vegan avoid wearing leather, suede, or furs. While becoming a vegetarian or vegan sounds difficult, its actually not as hard as it sounds. Believe me, I love to eat! Some of my favorite things to eat are vegan oatmeal butterscotch cookies, vegan french toast, vegan curries, vegan taco dip, vegan quesidillas, vegan lemon bars, and I could go on! If you have a Whole Foods near you or other health food store, they are excellent sources for you and your family to check out. They offer great samples, baked goods, alternatives, and even recipes so you can find great meals and snacks for the whole family. I know you asked for ideas for your son but I think the best thing to do is check out some vegan websites online for recipe ideas. I try one or two new recipes each week and have really racked up quite a recipe book. I love VegWeb.com - Vegan Recipes and Cooking Tips personally but there are lots of other sites too based on what you all like. That being said, I think you might really come around even more to your husband becoming vegan. When I switched from vegetarian to vegan, I not only felt like I was doing the right thing, but I actually literally feel better. I have never had such clear skin, such high energy, I sleep so much better, and I have never been so passionate about food. My husband eats meat but after tasting some awesome recipes and realizing what animals go through to become food or clothing, he has started to eat more and more vegan foods. It is really a lifestyle change. I hope you find some great recipes and best of luck to you!

Just an FYI. My virus software issued a warning about your VegWeb page.
 
To clear up some of the confusion- It's true that some people call themselves vegetarian but still eat different types of meat:
lacto-ovo-vegetarian-eats vegetables and some animal products (dairy, eggs); this is most common when people say "vegetarian"
Pescetarian- eats vegetables and fish
vegan-no animal products at all
fruitarian-few processed/cooked foods; eats from plants without killing the plant (nuts, fruits, seeds)
pollo-vegetarian-eats poultry and vegetables, no red meat.
See, it's way easier to tell somebody you're a vegetarian than to try to explain what you will and won't eat. I will only eat meat that is local, free-range, antibiotic/hormone free, and not killed at a giant meat processing plant. It's so much easier when I'm out to just tell someone I'm a vegetarian than to explain why I won't eat their meat and risk hurting their feelings.
 
I say this with all respect, but I don't think anyone who eats meat (even if locally sourced and humanely raised) should describe themselves as a vegetarian. First, if you eat meat, you aren't a vegetarian. Second, if you say you are, and then someone sees you eating meat, you look worse than if you tried to explain your position about the humane treatment of animals -- it would appear deceitful. Third, you'd miss an education opportunity -- to say that you eat meat, but only if the animals are raised and killed in a certain way, and this is why (then explain). People who aren't willing to commit to being a vegetarian may start thinking, hmmm, I still want to be able to eat chicken and beef, but maybe there is a better way. And if you explain it to them kindly and rationally, they should not be any more offended than if you explained that you eat kosher or halal. And if they are offended, even though you explained it kindly, then the issue is with them, not you or your choices.

I can imagine my mother, for example, understanding if someone said they can't eat the beef she served them because it didn't meet certain parameters. But if they said they were vegetarian, and she ran into them eating meat at a local farm shop, she'd be deeply offended and think there was something else going on.
 
As far as finding foods that your family can enjoy and cooking without using soy products, I'd look up websites that are based on a "whole foods" diet rather than strictly vegan sites. These tend to have recipes based on using as little processed food as possible (soy products are heavily processed), and thus won't use soy products as often as some vegan/vegetarian sites rely on them. I like healthycrush.com and (broken link removed) .
 
The best way I can describe a vegetarian is that they are people who do not eat anything for which an animal had to die. For example, someone who eats fish but no other meat is still eating meat; they're not truly a vegetarian, but a pescetarian.

That "no animal had to die for" thing includes cheeses with rennet, and things with gelatin. Unfortunately those two things are in so many foods, even products you would never have suspected them to be in (why is there gelatin in Frosted Mini Wheats?!)! And tons of other food products also have weird dead animal products, such as things with carmine/Crimson Lake/Natural Red #4 food dye -- the dye is made from beetles. Gross!
 
I love the Moosewood cookbooks. ((broken link removed)). I also get a vegetable share from a local farm, and they do a great job of giving recipes ideas that use in-season fruits and vegetables. Their cookbook, Farmer John's the real dirt on vegetables, is nice ((broken link removed)).

I say, let your husband define for you the type of diet he wants to have. No, not with a label, but with his own words and description of how he wants to live. I, personally, would describe myself as "I don't eat meat" because I was not strict on trace animal products. For example, I would still make s'mores over the campfire even though the marshmallows had traces of gelatin. Yes, I would have no problem eating the mini-wheats mentioned in another post. But, no, I would not eat a chunk of chicken or fish.

I approached my diet as pro-vegetable (and pro-local, pro-sustainable) rather than trying to live by an outside definition. Besides, I rarely meet a veggie I don't like - - perhaps that's why the guineas and I are so compatible!!
 
A wise man once told me, "it is better to sound stupid than to be stupid!" :)
 
I run into this all the time, " I'm vegetarian" and then said person eats chicken nuggets from MacDonalds. A vegetarian excludes all meat, including fish. They will consume eggs, honey and milk though. A vegan ommits anything from an animal all together. Not being able to have soy is a bit of a tough one, but there are other options. Look around and see. I'm sure there are things made with coconut etc. I've seen many vegan desserts that use beans as there main ingridient, and they're really good. Gluten free most of the time too :) Good luck!
 
I say I'm a vegetarian, but I'm technically not, I'm pesetarian (however you spell that >.< It's prononced like: pes-ge-tarian) because I eat fish. I'll go around saying that I'm vegetarian because most people probably don't know what a pesetarian is. I guess I'm a liar. :p
Vegetarians can/will not eat meat. No fish, chicken, anything. Eating eggs differs from person to person.
Vegans, however, won't use/eat/consume any animal products, including leather, milk, eggs, ect. It's much harder to be vegan. :3
 
I was a vegetarian for seven years...During that time, I ate no meat. Which meant beef, chicken, pork, fish, or anything that came from animal flesh. I would drink milk, eat cheese, eat honey, ice cream, all that normal stuff. I was strict, so if I got anything like say, Ramen, I wouldn't use the flavor packet because it's flavored with chicken fat. If soup had any amount of chicken, beef or pork broth in it, I wouldn't eat it.
As far as snacks go, I lived off of Quorn and Morning star chicken nuggets, Garden burgers, Boca burgers, and lots of ramen with vegetable stock instead of the chicken stock. You can find some good soy cheese and make nachos! I lived off of nachos and mac and cheese... And if you eat bean burritos, just make sure to get can of re fried beans that say "Vegetarian"; that goes for any sort of canned bean because they get flavored with bacon and beef
You should ask how strict he is. I'm not sure where you're located, but the stuff I lived off of is called Morning Star. Another brand is Quorn, which has the best Tofurkey ever. But some of their stuff does contain soy.

Quorn Website Morning star is sold over here at Walmart, so it's easy to find. (broken link removed) However, if you're converting the entire family, I say you need to go to a natural grocery store. In the US, where I am, they are called Sunflowers and Whole Food market. They have a larger selection of soy-free and vegetarian stuff. My sister is allergic to Gluten and she's a vegetarian and she can find stuff there to eat!

So you should sit down with your hubby and ask him if he wants to be a lacto-ovo vegetarian, or a strict no animal products vegan. Lacto-ovo means 'milk and egg' which covers most dairy products.

Feel free to private message me for anything!
 
If you buy a can of organic full fat coconut milk and put it in the fridge over night you take the coconut solids off the top and whip it with powdered sugar and vanilla extract and you will get the most amazing frosting for vegan cupcakes YUM a must try. Hope your family is successful with this venture especially with some of the allergies your son faces.
I myself don't claim to be a full blown vegetarian because i do eat fish and eggs. However i do not eat chicken meat or red meats and the red meat when i did eat it always upset my stomach any way. I really like salad, tofu, veggie ground round, and i try to eat things that don't have a lot of gluten because that makes me sick too. Its finding what works best for each family member in some cases. Tofu fruit smoothies are great as well. My husband still loves hamburgers and all that stuff so he has that and i eat something different and everyone is happy. My son actually hates meat and always states "I'm a veggie kinda guy"lol Good Luck

Visit your local library i found tons of material in the cookbook section on vegan and vegetarian that were a huge help because there are many things to use that you don't even think of till your reading it and have that "a-ha moment"
 
As a MAJOR coconut fan (coconut milk, oil, etc), I loved reading your post and I love your user name! Coconut for what ails you! Coconut for life! :love:
 
As a MAJOR coconut fan (coconut milk, oil, etc), I loved reading your post and I love your user name! Coconut for what ails you! Coconut for life! :love:

I imagine this was directed to me. I have always loved coconut and my fondest memories growing up was cracking into a fresh coconut and sharing it with my mom. Coconut is so versatile. I even rub the oil into my hands for dry chapped skin. It truly is awesome. As for the user name that partially stems from my love of coconut as well as being a little bit nutty myself lol. In Sanskrit, coconuts are called "Kalpa Vriksha", meaning "The tree that gives all that is necessary for living" maybe i will get that as a tattoo to add to my collection lol ENJOY
 
I imagine this was directed to me.
Definitely you! :)

I highly highly highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone:
(broken link removed)
 
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