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Old 08-22-2019, 06:37 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by candy_coated_bitch View Post
For those of you who transitioned out of eating dairy, how did you go about it? I'm not sure I can be 100% vegan or not but I really want to cut back on my dairy intake. Mostly cheese trips me up. It's one of my all time favorite foods and it seems like all my favorite foods have cheese in it. Also, there really is no substitute for dairy in a cup of tea. Really, I've tried.

Also, I need to do veganism on the cheap, which is very difficult. People always tell you it's cheaper to cook for yourself and I scoff at that when I can buy a box of mac and cheese for 88˘ or a thing of ramen for a dollar or two. That's several meals right there for like $5 when you count milk and butter for the mac and cheese.

Buying a bunch of fresh veggies and cooking is not cheaper than how I have to eat now, so any suggestions on how to make veganism more budget friendly, let me know. I don't cook a lot know besides things out of a box so I also do not have a well stocked pantry. So a recipe is like an investment what with having to buy spices and all.

Help please! I don't feel like I can overhaul my entire diet at once but am looking more for suggestions of where to start small.

Hi, CCB! My partcular solution to The Cheese Problem is in four parts.

The first is fake cheeses. Now, some people don't rate any of the fake cheeses at all, but cheese being such a varied product, it's somewhat dependent on what you expect and like of a cheese. The fake cheeses also vary widely in flavour and feel. Unfortunately one thing they all have in common tends to be that they are still more expensive than the real thing, so..

- the second part is to use less cheese but (whether real or fake) but slice it thinner, grate it, anything that breaks it into smaller/tiny pieces. You should find that, taste-wise, you can get the same cheese hit from a smaller amount of cheese by using sprinkles or slivers instead of thick slices of the stuff. It's a bit like how chocolate with air bubbles in give you a more intense chocolate flavour hit than the same weight of chocolate with no bubbles - more cheese exposed to air = more cheese flavour per unit weight.

- the third part is to buy the non-dairy cheese as a treat when I can afford it, but otherwise use the dairy stuff. But because I'm being sparing with it either way, I'm using a lot less cheese than I used to before I made a determined effort to go as vegetarian as I can.

- the fourth part is that there is now cheap ready-made stuff you can buy that incorporates cheese or some form of cheese substitute (at least, here in the UK - I shop at Iceland). For instance, I sometimes buy spicy nacho beanburgers that are vegan aside from the cheese content, and they're very tasty even though, so far as I can see, there isn't that much cheese in them. I also sometimes buy vegan pizzas that use humus where cheese would normally be used. To my extreme surprise, this works pretty well, not giving me the cheese hit, but giving me teh yummy pizza hit and oh, there was something a bit like cheese in there somewhere.

Typing this has brought to mind one of my favourite cheap, simple dishes - cheesy rice. I haven't made that in ages! I cover the rice with just enough water that once the water has almost boiled away the rice is nicely soft and sticky (I like my rice sticky so it can be eaten with chopsticks more easily). But a little while before it's finished cooking, I add a tiny smidge of butter (or margerine) and a very small amount of cheese and stir it in. This is enough, for me, to give me that "Yum! I've eaten cheese!" feeling whilst not actually having used much cheese at all.

Hmmn.. just thought of another thing - add tomato, when appropriate. Tomato is a natural source of MSG (monosodium glutamate), so tends to enhance the yum factor of savoury foods. I've been known to smear a little of something tomatoey (ketchup, tomato soup (even from the powdered stuff!) on top of a slice of toast with a nearly transparent layer of cheese on it - the bread gives the bulk, the cheese and tomato give the flavour even though there isnt much of either. If you like garlic flavour, tiny tiny amounts of garlic puree can also add quite a flavour hit for very little cost.

Of course, what works for individuals will vary depending on individual sense of taste, whats available in the area, and budget. I spend markedly less than average on food, but then I might be lucky in whats available locally. I cant sensibly use fresh ingredients because I have a fridge with only a tiny freezer cubbyhole, and even the smallest packs of mixed vegetables (which ALWAYS seem to contain at least one thing I hate and have to pick out!) are too large and will go off before I could use them all. So it;s cans and ready -prepared stuff for me plus staples like rice and pasta, and a few bits and bobs (lik cheese!) to add flavour.

Hope that's of some help!
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:18 PM   #182
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I have a crock pot but it's a little mini one.

You can just divide the original recipe to the size you have.


Good idea!
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If you decide to go with vegan, or try it, I think it might be wise to find 3-4 dishes that you like and are able to make and rotate them for a few while you get used to the changes. You don't have to pressure yourself to figure it all out right now if you don't mind some repetition in your meals?

This is a really good idea, as is stocking up on frozen veggies like nyc said. The mart of Wal has bags for as low as .84/each and there are some discount stores that have a freezer section. I shop Stop & Shop's reduced produce area and often pick up lots of goodies. Last week, I got a package of 4 large peppers for less than $2. As long as you use them within a couple days of purchase, they should be fine.

As for spices, go to the Dollar Tree, CCB. They have good sized spices that are fine for a buck each or you can shop Amazon. They have 'starter packs' of spices for $12-16 for each pack and you get 8-10 different spices in each pack.

There are two community garden organizations near you, one of which is organic. We're winding down for summer but they still may have some packages that might work for your budget.

Like anything else in this world, it's one step at a time.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:52 PM   #183
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Just wanted to add that this same dish comes out very nice using riced cauliflower which can be bought or made. Riced cauliflower is cauliflower diced to the size of individual pieces of rice. And supermarkets also sell riced cauliflower with and without cheese. With good deals on frozen.

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Typing this has brought to mind one of my favourite cheap, simple dishes - cheesy rice. I haven't made that in ages! I cover the rice with just enough water that once the water has almost boiled away the rice is nicely soft and sticky (I like my rice sticky so it can be eaten with chopsticks more easily). But a little while before it's finished cooking, I add a tiny smidge of butter (or margerine) and a very small amount of cheese and stir it in. This is enough, for me, to give me that "Yum! I've eaten cheese!" feeling whilst not actually having used much cheese at all.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:53 PM   #184
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*tip toes in*

I just wanted to share that I had Tofu ice cream the other day....

it was SOOO GOOD !
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:21 AM   #185
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Thank you Esme! Thank you Gemme! Thank you you nycfem! I'm making note of everyone's great ideas!
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:49 PM   #186
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Earlier today I went food shopping and bought some "nutritional yeast flakes" similar to those mentioned by kittygrrl, and a new (to me) type of fake milk, made from pea protein, brand name "The Might Society original pea mylk" Info on pea milk can be found on th Holland & Barrett website.

I've only tried some of the yeast flakes sprinkled on buttered crackers so far - the result was enjoyably tasty, and I'm looking forward to experimenting further with it.

The pea milk was the big surprise. Bearing in mind that I have always consumed a LOT of milk - more than anyone else I know - ideally I'm wanting something I can drink glassfuls of now and then, that also tastes good in tea and doesn't cause me tummy upsets. Other milk substitutes have all failed dismally in tea, one or two I could happily drink by the glassful, although soy, I discovered, can give me a mild tunny upset, which puzzles me as soy meat products I'm fine with.

The pea milk smelt a little like vanilla , but not quite as pleasant. To my great surprise, it was acceptable in tea! Didnt taste quite as good as cows milk, but certainly didnt ruin the taste. I did find the smell offputting - I'm not a fan of flavoured teas like Earl Grey, see, and that unfamiliar smell where I'm not used to it - it's a negative for me, even though the smell in and of itself isn't unpleasant. But heck, if there was no cows milk in the house and I wanted a cuppa? Yes, I WOULD use this in my tea, concentrate on the taste of the tea and just do my best to ignore the smell.

I also drank a couple of glasses of the milk. I later had a mild tunny rebellion, but I am not 100% sure it was the milk that caused it - I also had a soy-based desert, and that may have had a hand in things, or the combination of that with the unfamilar type of milk.

Main drawback - the price. But if you only use milk in tea or coffee and dont guzzle the stuff like I tend to, this might not be a huge problem.
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:03 AM   #187
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additional to my last post - I finished off the remaining half carton of pea milk the following day and was absolutely fine. Also discovered that apparently there are several brands of pea milk available and most of them offer a vanilla-flavoured type - so it is possible to get an unflavoured pea milk. Looks like I'm sorted for non-dairy milk, now, then!
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