Saturday, June 14, 2008

Virgin Vegan Cooking Voyages?

I have been wracking my brain trying to remember what the first vegan meal was I ever cooked was after deciding to eschew all animal products. I honestly can't remember. I'm sure it must have been something out of Vegan With a Vengeance since that is the first vegan cookbook I bought. It probably also had tofu. I thought it would be fun to hear about other people's virgin vegan cooking voyages. What did you make? Was it awesome? Horrible? Did you wonder what you were getting into?

26 comments:

AB chickie said...

Fun! My first was a recipe I found on Vegweb.com for a Quinoa dish with crunchy PB & corn. It looked kinda funky, but tasted delicious. Even my omni BF went back for seconds.

Celine said...

I have no idea. probably something out of VWAV too...

clem said...

I started totally clueless. I bought a tub of tofu, the only specifically vegan thing I could think of, and went home to make supper. I had never (knowingly) eaten the stuff before and I had no idea what to do with it. My first official vegan meal was boiled potatoes (I had been used to mashing them and adding butter), steamed broccoli (I had normally had it with cheese sauce), and a slab of raw unseasoned tofu. I took a bite and my first impression was "at least it's not horrible". I carefully scrutinized the ingredient list on a bottle of ketchup, decided that it looked acceptable, and slathered ketchup and pepper on everything. I then resolved to teach myself about cooking and vegan food and bought some cookbooks the next day.

Janet said...

I was newly married and had recently become vegetarian, and was considering becoming vegan, when I went to our local co-op and bought a box of 'health food mac and cheese" -- think Kraft, but with whole wheat pasta and soy cheese -- but still the little packet, add soy milk and margarine, etc. This was probably 1992 or 1993. I fixed it with great anticipation, my (meat-loving) hubby and I sat down to eat it... and it was without a doubt one of the most disgusting things I've ever put in my mouth. We both spit it out, laughed, and probably had sandwiches for dinner that night. I blame that box for delaying my commitment to veganism for several years -- I thought, if this is what vegan food tastes like, I could never do it! I laugh about it now!

Jodie said...

I eased into going vegan by way of vegetarianism, so it's really hard to figure what the first intentional vegan meal was. There were two recipes on vegweb.com that really made the transition easier- one for black bean and quinoa salad, and one for instant chocolate pudding.

josh said...

we transitioned over a period of about a year, but the first actual "meal" that i prepared was from the veganomicon. mexican millet, something i can't remember, and the chickpea cutlets. i was totally blown away and relieved that it was so delicious. i can only think of one or two things that i had made with chicken that beat how awesome it all tasted. another thing that might count was a raw spring roll & peanut sauce recipe from vegan planet that my first vegan friend passed along. i feel sort of foolish for taking so long, because it was mostly due to a large chunk of expensive pecorino romano that i wanted to use up.

Christine said...

I remember mine quite clearly because my transition is much more recent. I roasted myself a spaghetti squash and paired it with Versatile Tofu Balls off of the PPK website.

Jen said...

My boyfriend and I went vegan overnight. Literally. One day we were omnivores and the next day we were vegan, so we....didn't eat that day. Or the next day. On the third day after despairing over canned vegetables we went out to some Pita Pit place and had vegan fare, and it was disgusting. The first thing we cooked? I think we had PBJs...After that it was subbing soymilk for regular milk, lots of cereal, and some weird vegetable dishes, like green beans with crushed red pepper. He hated that. I'm much better now. Now he moans over my cooking.

LizzyQ ~ Vegan Mother said...

I was just vegetarian when I met my now husband.. who was vegan. For one of our first dates we made Navajo Tacos, which is a fried flat bread with beans and fresh veggies.

I am sure I made lots of other vegan food before that, but that was my first intentional vegan meal.

Speedwell said...

I cook so much that I had no problem experimenting with veggie-only meals. But the first "special ingredient" vegan cooking I tried was a batch of gluten from a box. Somehow I got confused and added twice as much water, wound up with a gloopy, sticky mess that ate half my kitchen counter and got in my hair and would not wash out of the bowl and the utensils.

But last weekend I made the Veggieroni/Seitan o'Greatness. It was marvelous. How far we have come. :D

Kristen said...

I had an interest in vegan food before fully becoming vegan so it's hard to remember. My first week of veganism I tried making some vegetable fried rice. That did not work. I burned the rice to a crisp. I tried a mac and cheese recipe off the PPK...thought it was kind of icky, but that's to be expected the first time I think. I made some fajitas and that was a success. I also tried making some pesto...with dried basil. It was pretty disgusting.

Holly said...

I can't remember my very first vegan recipe, but pretty near the beginning, I got some veggie ground round and an Old El Paso taco kit and made vegan tacos. My bf at the time had been sleeping and didn't see me preparing it, so when he woke up and ate it, he thought he was eating a meat taco!!! We were both very surprised at how good it tasted. I had been lurking on a vegan forum for quite some time, so I had already looked up some recipes on the forum that got good reviews. I'm glad my bf and I weren't disappointed with the tacos! (Sadly, I soon discovered that he wouldn't TOUCH anything soy that I cooked after that. Even the tacos that he loved so much the first time. He couldn't bring himself to eat them knowing there was soy in them)

Shelby said...

I can't really remember what I first cooked...I actually don't think I really made anything but stir-frys but I did bake! The one thing that I keep remembering is Banana Bread. It was easy and delicious!

lisa said...

I ate a lot of vegan stuff before turning, but the first thing I made where I actually thought about its vegan-ness was a recipe for date balls (almond, tahini, dried dates, maple syrup all blended up - you know the kind). I saw it in a vegan magazine and thought YUM! Eighteen months later I went vegan. The first thing I bought was nooch, I had it on some toast with Vegemite and loved it.

Anonymous said...

my husband and I went vegan about a year ago thinking we were at the age (50) to think more seriously about our health and gradually over a period of a couple months left animal products behind and mostly ate just fruit and vegetables until I tried tofu mom's crock pot mac and cheese and from there went crazy buying cookbooks and experimenting with recipes from vegan blogs ect. - a year later we're luvin' it!!!
Poor Mom

Eesh said...

I think my first dish was from vegweb.com and it was a general tao tofu. It was amazing of course. Then I got Isa's book too as my first cookbook and it was love at first sight.

wingraclaire said...

My first recipes, years ago, were from the Farm Vegetarian Cookbook, and its companion cookbooks, like Cooking With Tofu. Those people are very sneaky... they just created entire cookbooks without including any dairy or egg products, but without scaring people off with a "vegan" title.... after all, who in the seventies had heard of veganism? Well, I certainly hadn't. But some of those recipes are now my old standbys; even though I love my shelf of newer cookbooks, it is very comforting to make some of the old favorites.

Michelle said...

Overnight I switched from a heavy-on-the-cheese-and-eggs vegetarian to a vegan. I was terrified that I would accidentally slip an animal product into my cooking somewhere, so I ended up making mostly stir-fried veggies for a while. I didn't know what to do with tofu, other than deep fry it and dip it in hoisin. I had to abandon most of my old recipes and pretty much re-learn to cook. It took me a little time to build up a collection of delicious vegan recipes, but I did it, and now my omni family and friends happily eat anything that comes out of my kitchen.

Sara said...

I thought about slowly going vegan. I bought Veganomicon, made the banana date scones, and decided over breakfast to go all the way...from omni to vegan (or at least close). They were REALLY good scones ;)

tofuparty said...

My first vegan meal, is already 20 years ago. So, I don't rememeber to well. Probably, it was my first experience with tofu. It came soaked in water in a pot. So, I sliced it and fried it in a pan. Just like that. Of course it didn't taste at all.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a vegan but nor am I your typical "omni", my families favorite that I cook is a broccoli, potato and red pepper stir fry that meets everyones approval 3 kids and meat loving husband...and I enjoy every meal that 'Vegandad' woos us with as I am lucky to be his sister-in-law and enjoy his creations first hand!
Tina

Kim said...

Mine was a spinach-tofu-marinara with Tofurkey sausage casserole that I ate with herbed rice. It wasn't bad!

Crafty Vegan said...

I had been a vegetarian for a few years, and thought anyone that was vegan was completely crazy. There was no way I could give up my favourite eggs benedict with Brie and mushrooms from Cora's (a breakfast restaurant from Canada).
But, one day something just clicked in me, I can't really remember what it was, but I started Googling Veganism and what it meant. Before going "all the way" I read Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melin and bought VWAV. I was very hesitant since many of the dishes had ingredients I'd never heard of (seitan....tempeh...chickpea flour? I don't think Loblaws sells those!) Anyway, my first meal was VWAV scrambled tofu and it was, and continues to be AWESOME!

Valerie said...

My first adventure in cooking a vegan meal involved tofu sliced thinkly, and marinated in soya sauce with some liquid smoke added, then dipped in cornstarch and sauteed (trying to mimic bacon), until very crisp. Baby bok choy was boiled for only 2 minutes. This all was served over brown basmati rice, with a vietnamese spicy dipping sauce. Yum. I still make a variation of this and I even drink the cooking water for the bok choy, after it has cooled a little and I've squeezed a little lime into it.

Vegyogini said...

I believe it was an udon dish from Dr. Neal Barnard's Foods that Cause You to Lose Weight (my first vegan cookbook) and it was in 1998. I had to buy a ton of spices I didn't have and had probably never heard of at that point (turmeric and cumin among them) and it was also my first experience with udon. It was a really fun experience and a great introduction to vegan cooking!

saveyrgeneration said...

I think mine was a makeshift tofu scramble with items found in my mother's fridge (a very non-vegan fridge, at that). it had spinach, tomatoes, and rosemary. I had it as a sammich.