I'm happydancing at all the great advice.
* Trieste blows floatyhearts at Lil.
I luuuuurve oyster mushrooms. <3 And how did you know that I've been hunting around for a stuffed pepper recipe?! *snatches and runs away*
I don't know how tomato sauce is not vegan. Going through all the ingredients in my head, I don't think there is one derived from an animal.
You honestly never know. For instance, you would think that a "Mushroom and Vegetable Medley" flavored packet of easy-quinoa would be vegan, too. You would be wrong (I found this out by being wrong, myself.) - you can check out the ingredients here
. It made me sad.
May I ask, how restrictive are you in your vegan diet?
At the moment, not very, because it's not like we can afford to throw out everything in our fridge/cupboards and start over. So we're transitioning, but the eventual goal will be exclusion of animal fats + animal proteins, and the inclusion of more varieties of veggies, beans, and other things that Mr. Trieste says is "what the food eats".
Neither of us are particularly big on things like honey and gelatin, so they're not particularly part of the equation, but I'll probably try to skip over them if I need to in order to draw a sort of distinctive and firm line between "NO" and "YES" in terms of what to eat/prepare/etc.
+1 to substitution and variation
You don't need to add meat for the flavour. Most of the times, with a little practice, you can create something evenly (or even more) tasty by just taking away the meat component and being creative.
One of the easiest recipes I can gather from the top of my head would be Spaghetti alla bolognese (which at least in my home country is one of the most common table dishes in anything up to middle class households). Your substitution would be the simple combination of dry soy (which you can get at any goody two-shoes healthy living market) and soy sauce. You can start from there, start experimenting.
Creativity is your biggest ally.
I know that I can't actually get dry soy at the local market we use because I've looked. Sometimes you can get frozen edamame, wasabi-flavored soy nuts, and tofu... (There's also soy milk, too, although I've never been a fan. My milk substitute of choice is almond milk.
) There is supposedly a Whole Foods market in the area, I just have to find it. I'll look there, too.
Nutritional yeast is Brewer's Yeast. I'm not sure when its named got changed but my ma and grandma know it as Brewer's Yeast. I also pick up Vegetarian Times every month, plus a few others like the one that comes from the UK called Vegetarian Living. Veg News is another US magazine though, which I also enjoy.
As for recipes, since I'm a vegan cook, it would be easier for me to know what you might like to eat instead of offering random ones that I enjoy. :) I have about 8 vegan cookbooks, etc, so I can supply tons of recipes.
For when I can't find some things locally I tend to order from: http://www.veganessentials.com/
It could be that nutritional yeast is known by a different name in your area, because the nutritional yeast I'm talking about is not
brewer's yeast. It isn't alive and doesn't have the properties of baker's yeast and whatnot. Unless their old-school brewer's yeast wasn't actually used for brewing...? I actually came across veganessentials while I was hunting down whatintheheck nutritional yeast was - you can find their listing of what I'm talking about here
, or at least an example of it.
Is why I said 'pasta sauce'. Especially since I know Trie is coming from a previously non-vegan diet, and is also cooking for a self-admitted carnivore.
Mah carnivore has a habit of staring at me when I put together food with this expression on his face like, "Where's the rest of it?" - since he doesn't have the same motivation
that I do, I think it's a little harder on him.
Not that it isn't hard. I made fajitas today that were delicious, but at the same time it was like, "Where is the sour cream? Where is the cheese? It's not fajitas without cheese!"
I've found that the recipes from The Lotus and the Artichoke are really accessible, or easy to make substitutes for items that may not occur in the average kitchen.