Vegan-Vegan friendly MNetters- the new thread-sign in here!

(744 Posts)
anyabanya Tue 15-Jun-10 10:02:06

Hi Vegan and vegan-friendly MNetters!

Just wanted to know if anyone was out there and wanted to form a support thread- to talk about food/ veganism, 'stuff' in general.

I am late 30s, have been an on and off vegan for about 6 years, and after a hiatus of about 9 months or so am back 'on'. I adore cooking with a passion, and love reading food blogs and vegan food blogs.

I would very much like to exchange thoughts/tips/frustrations with anyone else out there!

Doodlez Mon 21-Jun-10 15:14:47

Meat eater here (Dad was a butcher!) BUT, one of my favourite friends is Vegan and I've used this website to order her hampers and stuff before now.

It's called Withy Kitchen and I can highly recommend.

Doodlez Mon 21-Jun-10 20:21:13

I see I've killed this thread stone dead. Slaughtered it, so to speak.

Did you see what I just did there? grin

CakeandRoses Mon 21-Jun-10 22:39:42

Doodlez - a friend of another vegan is a friend to me - and if you're buying hampers and stuff then you definitely are a friend smile

Interesting site, thank you, I've never come across it before.

fascicle Tue 22-Jun-10 10:29:02

The food on the website looks lovely, Doodlez. Have you sampled anything from your friend's hampers, and if so what did you think?

Re cheese, we use Cheezly cheddar style (not the super melting one). I think it's great in cheese sauces, lasagnes, frittatas etc. I don't think you can tell it's not dairy in cooked stuff, especially when you add seasonings to it. I also use it on pizzas, adding a few drops of olive oil on top to help it 'melt'. The super melting Cheezly seems a bit over oily and flaccid, so don't tend to buy it.

Chocolate - the kids had some of those caramel choices for Easter and loved them. They reminded me of Rolos, but with a more liquidy centre. For a chocolatey fix I sometimes make a refrigerator cake using hob nob type biscuits. Very rich and sickly! Or truffles, using crushed ginger biscuits and (sometimes) whisky or rum.

Shoes - pre-school I bought canvas shoes for the children. Since then I've bought non leather shoes from shoe or department shops. A couple of times I used companies which tailor-made vegan shoes (although the companies weren't exclusively vegan). The shoes were lovely but not cheap, and quickly outgrown.

Kids' parties - I always offer to provide food for my kids (one of whom also has a nut allergy). It just seems easier, as well as less for the host to worry about, and I know that they won't go without cakes etc!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 22-Jun-10 17:17:54

fasicle those truffles sound nice Do you have a recipe?

Doodlez Tue 22-Jun-10 22:00:25

No, I haven't sampled anything but my friend loved everything I chose and so did her children (she has 4).

Apparently, I ordered a jambalaya in one package I had delivered to her and she said it was her favourite so far.

Doodlez Tue 22-Jun-10 22:02:26

I think I'll just add - my friend's partner died last year and I just knew she had stopped eating (was a total shock).

I explained to the people at Withy Kitchen and they bent over backwards to get my order to her FAST and really made extra special efforts for her because of what had happened.

Really, I was extremely impressed.

Morko Tue 22-Jun-10 22:23:26

Message withdrawn

CakeandRoses Wed 23-Jun-10 00:07:59

Hi Morko - Great news that you've seen a reduction in pain!

My sister's DP isn't veggie and they tend to cook v similar meals but a vegan and a meat version, e.g:

- Spag bol/chilli - I think they do the sauce and split it up to add the appropriate 'meat' to their portions

- Pie n mash - he'll have a meat pie and she'll have a Linda Mc one or make one. I think the mash would be made with vegan spread for both of them

- Roast - everything will be cooked in a vegan-friendly manner then he'll have meat with his and she'll have a Redwoods cheatin roast or nutroast or something

There are a few veggie dishes/vegan alternatives he will eat so sometimes they do eat the same, maybe your DH and DCs could eat the same meal as you at times?

I'm lucky in that whilst DH isn't veggie he's happy to eat mostly veg*n at home (he just has milk and cheese) especially as i do most of the cooking wink

Good luck!

fascicle Wed 23-Jun-10 17:27:13

ItsAllGoingToBeFine the recipe for truffles (adapted from a Sainsbury's magazine recipe years ago)is as follows, and makes around 24 truffles:

9oz/250g plain chocolate
3.5 oz/95g marge
3.5 oz/95g gingernut biscuits
1 tablespoon malt whisky or rum (amount can be doubled if desired, or substituted with a teaspoon of vanilla essence)
cocoa powder, icing sugar or desiccated coconut for dusting

Bash ginger biscuits into crumbs with rolling pin (or use a food processor).

Place broken up chocolate and marge in a pan over lowest heat possible and stir until melted. Stir in alcohol/vanilla essence. Combine with biscuit crumbs and place in fridge to cool and set for one to two hours.

The mixture becomes fairly hard but softens on contact, so I use a spoon to scoop up small amounts, and then shape into a ball using a hand covered in a food bag, before rolling in cocoa powder, icing sugar or desiccated coconut.

I have experimented with adding ingredients to the chocolate mix - crystallised ginger works well and is not too overpowering as the biscuits are quite subtle. I keep meaning to try making the truffles with a toffee centre, but haven't got round to that experiment yet!

fascicle Wed 23-Jun-10 17:34:13

Doodlez - sorry to hear about your friend's husband. What a lovely thing you did for her. It sounds like the food was very much appreciated and enjoyed.

bunique Sun 27-Jun-10 14:53:10

AbFabT "Afaiaa, there isn't a vegan formula here in the UK, so I am hoping I can BF. Am very determined on that point. Hey, are you aware of these: Silveretter Nipple Shields - if you get cracked nipples, all the cream I've seen to combat cracked or sore nipples contains sheep grease (aka lanolin - therefore not vegan), so these silver nipple things are great for us as they do the job (and are a one-off payment, as opposed to having to replenish stocks of Lansinoh). I've already got mine. "

There were two infant soy-milks in Tesco today, suitable from birth - one was SMA and can't remember what the other was. In the same aisle as all the other baby milks Having said that, there is a lot of conflicting reports out there about the effect of soya on male fertility so it might be worth doing some research. I think as our baby gets older we might switch to oat/rice/coconut milk to avoid overloading them with soya.

As for lanolin-free nipple cream, have a look online for Earth Mama Angel Baby products - they have a nipple balm that is totally vegan and lanolin free and by all accounts lasts a million years. They also do vegan baby bum cream too amongst other things.

My OH is vegan and I am veggie, since about 18 months ago. I was just vegan initially but cheese got me in the end. As for our bubs due in December, they will eat what we eat at home once they're weaning (we are vegan at home - I eat veggie when away from home) and if they get older and make the choice to try meat then that is entirely up to them, although my OH will take it upon himself to make sure they know where it comes from!

For those who mentioned eating out - in our experience, just ringing ahead makes the world of difference. Our wedding will be completely vegan (bar milk for tea/coffee at the end as some people just cannot cope without it it seems!) and we ate at the venue recently. I phoned to book us in just a few hours beforehand and when we got there they had prepared a menu just for OH with TWO vegan options for starter and for main, and then they made up a dessert for him (melon, other fruits and sorbets) within minutes of asking. Similarly at another local restaurant we phoned ahead and the chef put together a totally unique menu for us both while the rest of the family ate from the normal menu. They even told us which breads were vegan-friendly in the bread basket! Most chefs worth their salt will relish the challenge of preparing something a bit different to the meat and two veg. It is worth just double checking that the person taking the booking understand it's no meat, dairy, eggs or honey, etc as sometimes they can be a bit unsure. Also, if you're somewhere that looks like it might be particularly difficult, it's worth just saying "I'm allergic" as they panic at the thought of killing you with cross-contamination ;)

AbFabT Sun 27-Jun-10 22:19:27

Thanks, bunique. I am aware there are soya formulas, but my understanding was that they still weren't vegan. I haven't checked recently though, so maybe that's changed!

I've also done a fair bit of research into this soya/male fertility thing, and am not worried at all. I've also got a vegan biologist friend (male) who has done lots of research, and he reassured me too. DH is vegan and got me pregnant on our first go! But am all ears if they have sufficient evidence to say it's not safe after all! Agree anyway about not over-doing the soya, and we do occasionally use Oatly or Rice Dream.

Bought my silver nipple shields, so hoping I don't need those creams, but thanks for the info.
Went to the Baby Expo in Brighton today and managed to find two baby bottom balms that don't contain lanolin or beeswax (or SLS and all that nonsense!), so very happy about that!
Also tried VBites (Heather Mills's place), which was pretty nice! Had serious thoughts about moving to Brighton - seems like it would be so easy for vegan children to have places like this to go to.

We had a fully vegan wedding last May! Right down to the soya milk for the teas and coffees, and because we'd hired out the bar, we insisted on only vegan alcohol too.
Enjoy planning yours! When's the big day?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 28-Jun-10 18:39:51

fasicle thank you for the recipe - I am salivating just thinking about making it

bunique Mon 28-Jun-10 20:43:41

Not until July next year AbFabT - long way to go and very little interest in planning at the moment - we found out I was pregnant less than 5 weeks after getting engaged! So that's kind of taken over. We both have a number of somewhat awkward relatives who I would want to brain on the day if they whine about food so we are making some compromises in the hope it'll shut them up!

Re: the soya/fertility thing, I've read that there's little evidence of an issue too, but be prepared for an unsympathetic GP/HV to badger you about it - have seen tales people being given a hard time elsewhere when their newborns are reacting badly to regular milks! I checked the back of the tins but not in masses of detail so can't say for definite they were vegan although nothing jumped out at me - my OH is much better at reading labels than me! I'll see what else I can find out about them

Is that Baby Expo a once a year thing? I really need to get on top of baby purchases and start budgeting! I'm treating a non-vegan friend to a box of Earth Mama stuff in the hope she'll tell me if it's any good and I can then treat myself ;)

bunique Mon 28-Jun-10 21:00:54

Looks like the only one that is currently vegan is being discontinued. Hmph!!

AbFabT Mon 28-Jun-10 21:40:00

Planning a wedding is lovely! Planning for baby more so though!

I went to the GP before we were trying just to check I had had any necessary injections etc, and I mentioned my diet, and she said briliant, that's great: she's vegetarian herself and believes it's the best diet out there. Hurrah! Think she's retired though now, as I haven't seen her since! Anyway. And the m/w when doing my booking in appointment didn't bat an eyelid when she noted my diet on my notes. My bloods all come back great, iron levels great, no worries!
But yes, people do seem to like to throw in the soya/fertility thing when talking about dairy alternatives - I think they just like to belittle soya.

I'm not planning on Formula Feeding anyway, so should be ok.

I think the Baby Expo in Brighton is an annual thing, but they have Baby Shows a few times throughout the year - Baby Show - next one is October in London, we'll have just had our baby, and I am very keen to get to it. Bargains galore! Good timing for you for your December baby!

bunique Tue 29-Jun-10 19:50:27

My GP was very positive as well and booking in midwife didn't say a word - GP was especially pleased as it meant I automatically avoided any of the foods we're not meant to eat!

Thanks for info on the baby show - my best friend is due in October and lives in London so could be a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and see the new bubba. Flying to New York the week before that so should hopefully be recovered in time!

AbFabT Thu 01-Jul-10 21:13:35

Article about the anti-soya brigade: Here

CakeandRoses Mon 09-Aug-10 12:01:32

Just wanted to reassure the women expecting their first (vegan) babies about breast feeding.

Having successfully bf DS til 14months with no nipple pain or issues, I'm now on week 2 of breast feeding my newborn DD, again no issues.

I'm convinced that feeling like there was no real alternative to bf made it far easier as I was determined it would work out.

Really hope you find it goes as smoothly for you.

AbFabT Mon 09-Aug-10 20:53:51

Thanks, CakesandRoses! And congratulations on your new arrival! Eight weeks til my due date!

CakeandRoses Tue 10-Aug-10 09:54:57

Thank you AbFab smile

Hope the rest of your pregnancy and birth go nice and smoothly.

AbFabT Wed 11-Aug-10 00:02:52

Thank YOU, C&R!

Mumi Wed 11-Aug-10 00:21:24

Kinda bookmarking this thread as I'm more vegan friendly than vegan.
I'm a vegetarian single mum, do eat as vegan as I can and would love to be fully vegan but am worried about how to do this practically while letting currently omnivore DS make his own decision. The links look great, I will check them out

CakeandRoses Wed 11-Aug-10 14:48:29

Oh and saw your discussion about soya formula and soya milk above, thought you'd be interested to know my experiences on this.

When I was weaning DS there was still a vegan formula available (Heinz) which I'd intended to give him from 14 months until 2yo - he hated it!

He was a mare to wean off the breast full-stop and in desperation we tried all sorts of combinations - eventually hitting on a half and half mix of vanilla soya milk and unsweetened soya milk. He now drinks sweetened soya milk and loves it. He'd probably be happy with it diluted with some unsweetened but I prefer him to get the extra calories (an important thing to focus on for vegan children) from the sweetened version and we're just super-careful about making sure he always brushes his teeth afterwards.

We try to reduce our dependence on soya for protein by giving him lots of lentils, peas, beans, quinoa etc but he does also eat soya 'cheese' and yoghurts.

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