Hi! My name’s Ginger.

Introduce yourself to the vegan bootcamp community here and tell us a little about yourself and your journey!
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Ginger
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Hello!
My name’s Ginger. I’m 22, and started my journey of veganism in December 2020. I was a vegetarian for a while and what made me make the switch now is finding out that dairy cows had to be impregnated to produce milk . I was going to wait to switch to veganism until I moved out of my parents house( who are non-vegans) but I decided to make the switch now . The only difficult part is cooking . I’d like to know more easy recipes I could make since I’m not the best at cooking . I also don’t know anyone who is vegan, so it’s nice to have a forum of other vegans.
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tofu
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Go Ginger!!

Good for you for not waiting and taking action right away!
Maybe you could try replicating your favorite meals but with vegan substitutes?

But let me list some ideas:
breakfast: tofu scramble + toast + beans, avocado toast, endless smoothie options, oats or cereal... Lunch or dinner usually require a bit more time than breakfast. Make sure you include sources of protein, carbs, and fiber in every lunch. Your protein can be tofu, seitan, beans, lentils, or other legumes. Eat potatoes, rice, pasta, buckwheat, or sweet potatoes for the carbs. And include at least one type of vegetable per lunch and dinner. Anything green should be good: broccoli, spinach, kale, salad... Frozen vegetables are great because they save time and money and are as healthful as fresh ones.

When it comes to making food tasty, spices are your friends. Many dried herbs add flavor and depth to anything. Liquid spices, such as soy sauce, tamari, chili sauce, lemon juice, etc. are also great and you can store them for a long time. Don't shy away from oils and dressings. They are good in moderation. Of course, you won't need a liter of mayo-based dressing for your broccoli, but a little dressing goes a long way to make veggies taste better.
It's a bit difficult to recommend specific recipes without knowing your preferences, but here's my today's easy 35 min lunch. Pan-fried tofu slices. I added some store-bought teriyaki to the pan, but soy sauce and a bit of sugar and garlic would do. Rice. Just plain, boiled rice haha. Oven-baked Brussel sprouts. I cut them into halves, rubbed with oil and salt, baked in the oven. When they were done, I poured a simple dressing over them: olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, pepper, powdered garlic, agave syrup. So, I had a delicious meal without fancy ingredients or cooking methods: just some tofu, rice, and veg. I usually play with variations of that.

Hope we'll be seeing you around here! :cool-face:
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Marta
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Hi Ginger!

Well done for the switch! I know how you feel, there aren't many vegans where I live... My hubby and I are vegan for over 4 years and we moved few times in the meantime, which doesn't help! I also find Facebook groups helpful- you might be able to find your local area group.

I can see some tasty sounding ideas in the post above, just make sure you eat a variety of whole foods and also nuts and seeds are very important in your diet for those healthy fats (especially walnuts and flax or chia seeds). As pointed out already, make sure to include greens, they are high in calcium. And would be actually great if you have some turmeric in your spices pantry as it has amazing anti-inflammatory properties when combined with black pepper. You can download a free App called Daily dozen to make sure you tick off essentials everyday :)

There is loads of recipes in the internet, but basically you could make anything you know vegan :) I really like any type of curries with rice and lentils as this is super quick and easy to make (for example you could get a curry spice mix or even buy ready sauce from time to time?). You could make a bigger batch and have for 2 or 3 days if that's easier. Another simple dish would be spaghetti bolognese or chilli ala con carne, but replacing meat with either lentils, store-bought alternative or TVP (textured vegetable protein- it's made from soya and you buy it dried- only need to pour boiling water over it to dehydrate it and it's ready) or you can just use tofu. Since you were vegetarian it might be that you will miss the taste of cheese- try out some alternative cheeses, everyone likes different brands I think, but honestly I like Asda or Tesco own brand alternative the best (of course this is not too healthy and it is always better to stick to whole foods, but once in a while some comfort food for your soul ;)). So, for healthier option make sure you buy nutritional yeast and you could use it on top of the dishes, in the dishes or try to make your own healthier version of cheese or cheese sauce (it works!). It's cheap and is fortified with vitamin B12. About the vitamins, it might be good idea to supplement with vit B12, Omega-3 and, if you are not going out regularly, plus for example in UK is not particularly sunny at the moment, vit D. Plus, if you live further from the coast, you might need some iodine and spirulina powder or kelp is great source (can be drink in smoothies for example). Sorry, I don't mean to overwhelm you! I am certainly guilty of not supplementing regularly, but I try to have very healthy, varied and balanced diet and last blood tests I had were perfect.

If you ever have any questions or anything, just let me know. There are plenty of people that are struggling when making the switch and sometimes they have some underlying predispositions that make the switch a bit uncomfortable, so it's important to make it right and healthily, to make sure you can be a long term healthy happy vegan :) And of course if you not feeling well at some point, it's good to approach some medical advice.

Good Luck!
Marta
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Kelly1
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Hi! Nice and quick? Happy Herbivore is an awesome resource. :)
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Shukhia
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Welcome, Ginger!

When cooking, vegans have a major advantage vs omnivores, which is, most veggies take about the same amount of time to cook. With that said, there isn't anything easier than a one-pot dish. Just cut up some onion and garlic, a green leafy vegetable, canned beans or chickpeas, some mushrooms or other veggie of your choice and pasta/rice/quinoa. Add everything to one pot, add spices of your choice and the adequate amount of water. Let it boil and simmer for about 15-20 minutes and you have a complete meal.

Good luck with your transition ^^
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Stéphanie
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Hey Ginger !

Cole Hastings / seasoned_tofu has a great IG page with really simple meals, mosty for students, so they are quite cheap too:
https://www.instagram.com/seasoned_tofu/


Ferdinand Beck / vegainstrenght too : https://www.instagram.com/vegainstrength/


Veganpunks receips are usually easy and very yummy ! : https://www.instagram.com/vegan_punks/

Don't hesitate to ask if you need help or advise on vegetalizing some of your parents favorite foods, it might surprise them how tasty it can be !
I cook, and I do that for many friends already.

Take care sweetheart and keep in touch !

Stef
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Mae
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Welcome, Ginger! Both to Vegan Bootcamp and the vegan community in general 😊 So impressive you opted to make the switch while living with omni parents. That isn't the easiest choice!

One of my fav vegan recipe blogs is https://www.thissavoryvegan.com/

Like others have said, you can make of your favorite foods vegan:

Pastas - try lentil bolognese or soy-based crumbles, carrot chopped very finely can also be nice. Try hummus pasta instead of alfredo. Or use coconut milk to make a creamy sauce (great for curries too). There are lots of recipes for easy homemade vegan cheese sauce using potato & carrot, which can be amazing in mac n cheese or over nachos, etc. Pesto pasta (without parmesan) is already vegan.

Mexican food - try crispy potato tacos or potato burritos with black beans, corn, lime juice, cilantro, rice, some vegan cheese (but also very good without any cheese). Vegan soy-based crumbles or tofu (covered in taco seasoning) can also be delicious.

Other ideas: kale bowls, salads, rice bowls - with a combination of roasted veggies, crunchy toppings (nuts, seeds), fresh herbs and garnishes (scallion, parsley, cilantro, dill)..

I always keep vegan mayo, mustard, lemon juice, tahini (a little expensive..) around in my pantry for endless sauce options. you got this!!
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Loreal
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I'm with you Ginger! I am not the best or at least not the most comfortable. I'll be excited to see the skill and comfort you develop over time here on the forum!
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