Getting Started

One of the hardest things about transitioning to a vegan (or even vegetarian) diet is, how to get started?? Reading labels can be overwhelming, especially when so many chemical-type ingredients are a part of today’s foods. I mean, what the hell is pyridoxine hydrochloride?? (Vitamin B6, apparently. Who knew?). No vegan can survive on broccoli alone, so it helps to have some resources to point you in the right direction.

When I got started on my vegan journey I found the following books to be extremely helpful, not only in re-evaluating what I ate, but also understanding some of the why’s and how’s that went along with eliminating animal products from my diet – making sure I was getting the right vitamins and minerals, how to eat a “balanced” diet, etc. These resources also taught me such amazing things as, beans don’t always come from a can! And, tofu is not a mandatory part of every vegan meal! Beyond that, they contain yummy (and easy) recipes and recommendations. Bon Appétit!

Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. Above all else, this served as my bible as I figured out how to navigate my new vegan culinary lifestyle. Recipes are simple, writing is humorous, and the authors make sure the food can be prepared in a small urban kitchen – so no coordinating with your two ovens and spacing hundreds of ingredients out across your 20 feet of countertops. They also make a lot of mix-and-match recommendations which came in extremely handy as I figured out how to prepare complete meals.

Vegan Planet. Recipes are easy to follow and this book has very good information on the basics, such as making vegetable stock. One hint: if you’re making a pasta recipe, double the non-pasta part and cut the amount of pasta in half. Trust me.

Vegan with a Vengeance. One of the original vegan cookbooks, a 10th anniversary edition was recently released. Ingredients are simple (no random things only available in three health food stores on the planet) as are the recipes, and it includes one of the most comprehensive list of what is / isn’t vegan, from foods to household cleaning products.

Joy of Cooking. No, this isn’t a vegan cookbook, but there are tons of recipes that are either vegan, or can be with a few simple substitutions. Plus, if you’re an idiot in the kitchen like I am (was? No, am.), this is an encyclopedia of information that includes even the most basic definitions. I really think this is a must-have on anyone’s cookbook shelf.

I’ll be adding a number of links to the site to highlight some of the blogs and websites I visit for food inspiration, so stay tuned!

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