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You don't have to be vegan to enjoy vegan food.
October 14, 2010 1:59 PM   Subscribe

Vegan Dad: "When you have kids, supper has to be on the table every night. And when you are a vegan, the drive-thru, the deli counter, and TV dinners/frozen convenience foods are not an option. So, you do the best you can. This blog is a record of what my family eats. It's not always a totally complete meal, not always photogenic, and sometimes it's leftovers. But, it is a realistic look at a vegan family in a northern Ontario city that is not always vegan-friendly."

He covers just about everything: Asian, Thai, Cajun, Ethiopian, Italian, Mexican, Malaysian, Indian, South Western, BBQ and even dessert.
posted by MaryDellamorte (51 comments total) 67 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've made many of his recipes and they're delicious. His tempeh burger recipe is a great use for that stuff.
posted by glip at 2:02 PM on October 14, 2010


Between blogs like this and Veganomicon vegan cooking just keeps getting better and better.
posted by ChrisHartley at 2:09 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


It does remain to be seen whether feeding one's children (unfermented) soy 10 times per week might have some kind of repercussions...

Otherwise all that stuff looks delicious.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 2:10 PM on October 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


As a meat lover with a sister who's a rabid vegetarian, I just hope that he's aware that some people don't make good vegetarians, and some do.
posted by Melismata at 2:10 PM on October 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wait until his kids become rebellious teenagers. Then dad will be wondering why they aren't smoking and drinking and having sex like other kids, but instead are hiding a two day old McRib under their mattress.

I looked at the food and I think it's very photogenic. Then I read the descriptions and I am pretty sure every meal looks better than it tastes.

I can sympathize with living in an area of the country that isn't vegan friendly. Where I live they will add bacon to pretty near everything. Ice water is about the only thing that's generally considered safe.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:10 PM on October 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Looking at the photos on the blog - I am very jealous of those kids. And I'm an omnivore.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:12 PM on October 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


One look at the blog and you know these kids are eating better than most.
posted by mek at 2:16 PM on October 14, 2010 [6 favorites]


[Some comments removed. If you've got a strongly-held genuine opinion on the subject, try to decide first of all if this is really a good context to dig into it and then if so take the time to substantiate your argument so it's not just an obnoxious drive-by one-liner.

If you've got a fake strongly-held opinion on the subject, please don't bomb the thread with it because that's even more obnoxious.]

posted by cortex at 2:17 PM on October 14, 2010 [11 favorites]


I found his coconut curry chickpea recipe a few weeks ago when looking for something to do with leftover coconut milk, and it was easy and great.

(I'm not gonna touch the subject of raising vegan children.)
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:18 PM on October 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Im as carni/omni as the next guy, but so long as the kids are getting the required nutrition (and I would hope maybe even moreso) then this is to be admired.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:18 PM on October 14, 2010


By the description, I expected lots of bowls of rice n beans... and beans n rice. This is definitely not that! Subscribed in reader, thanks!
posted by lunachic at 2:19 PM on October 14, 2010


This post at least needs to have the "recipes" tag...
posted by hippybear at 2:21 PM on October 14, 2010


I enjoyed browsing the blog, and some the recipes look great, but there's nothing "Cajun" about any of the recipes with that tag.
posted by CheeseLouise at 2:27 PM on October 14, 2010


I'm not vegan, but I usually prefer fake meat to real meat, and these recipes look awesome. The veggie lunch meat looks as close to White Mountain's Wheat Roast (available in Austin, but not in CA, alas) as I've seen. Man, I miss that stuff.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:39 PM on October 14, 2010


Geez, is that how you make gluten flour useful - you steam it? Who knew.
posted by GuyZero at 2:41 PM on October 14, 2010


I enjoyed browsing the blog, and some the recipes look great, but there's nothing "Cajun" about any of the recipes with that tag.

They all seem to feature a) spices that would be used in Cajun recipes, b) the Cajun trinity, or c) bourbon and cayenne. Any one of those things would make them Cajun in any state that doesn't border Louisiana.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:41 PM on October 14, 2010


I think the word "vegan" often gets in the way of what's really just regular old good food. I mean, french fries are "vegan" (assuming you're not frying them in duck fat or some such).The word itself conjures up the image of a plate of raw bean sprouts with a carrot on the side. But when I eat vegan at home, most of the time it's just the same stuff I normally make, except without throwing in any meat. Eating this way actually makes me realize how many recipes are like that -- perfectly delicious looking, and then it's like, "Oh, and throw in a pound of pork." Almost like more of a reflex than something that really makes sense for the dish.

OTOH, watching "Top Chef" and other cooking shows reminds me of how many cooks (myself included) construct their dishes around a "protein" -- pick a meat, then figure out how to cook it, with the non-meat stuff as an afterthought. When I first started trying to cook vegetarian dishes, that's what tripped me up: okay, I've got all these veggies...so I've got the side dishes, but what's my entree? For me, at least, as a not very adventurous eater, it's really boosted my ability to appreciate flavors, just to break out of my "meat + veg + starch" mindset and really focus on the stuff that's normally relegated to the side of my plate.
posted by Pants McCracky at 2:44 PM on October 14, 2010 [24 favorites]


I was gonna say "vegandad, hey, that sounds like me," and then I looked at some of his photos, and then I said, "no, that's nothing like me."

That food looks like something I'd order in a restaurant. I'm on the rice and beans train.

It does remain to be seen whether feeding one's children (unfermented) soy 10 times per week might have some kind of repercussions...

This is a valid concern, I think, and it's a concern for me. My daughter is not vegan (hell, she's not even 2), and eats eggs and drinks milk. Her soy consumption is limited.

Mostly I just try to stick with grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. There's plenty of protein in those foods so that soy/gluten/tvp really becomes a side rather than the main. She does prefer fake meat to real meat.

More and more I'm convinced that eating as much raw food as you can stomach is good for you.

I expected lots of bowls of rice n beans... and beans n rice.

Hey, now that's me! Perhaps maligned, but beans and rice is an essential dish for a vegan on a budget. Spice it up, yo.

I'm not gonna touch the subject of raising vegan children.

(Unfermented) soy concerns aside, I don't think it's very controversial or even unusual these days. As a vegan married to a non-vegan vegetarian (who loves cheese and ice cream), we've served our daughter fish, chicken, liver, and ground beef, but her main diet is ovolactovegetarian. And as such, she predictably doesn't really like meat.

Obviously, as she grows older she's inevitably (or maybe not) going to eat McDonald's and other junk meat-food with her friends. I can only hope that I've given her my perspective and opinion on the subject, as well as enough unbiased information that she can make an informed (and healthy) decision when she is an adult about what food she wants to eat.

Like I said, I'm a basic kale and potatoes sort of guy, but I'm gonna give the broccoli risotto a shot. Thanks. Great recipes!
posted by mrgrimm at 2:47 PM on October 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


I've often thought that Ethiopian food must be perfect for vegans. We're not vegan, but we cook Ethiopian dishes a lot; they're about the only vegan food that we cook.

I was expecting the Italian stuff to be pretty sad, but it actually looks delicious.
posted by gurple at 2:47 PM on October 14, 2010


I'm always interested in Ethiopian food - I've had some massively failed experiments with teff - so I was disappointed that he linked to a cookbook for his injera. But that's a cuisine that really doesn't seem to suffer much (any?) from lack of animal products, and it's real stuff, not soy-gluten-fakey stuff. How many kids eat Ethiopian? It should be an easy sell, what with eating with your hands.

That being said, that vegan lunchmeat is about as appealing as real lunchmeat. Points for cohesion, I suppose.
posted by cobaltnine at 2:47 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, this looks outstanding. I love finding new takes on meatless and dairy free dishes as an adjunct to my omnivorous diet. Good find!
posted by padraigin at 2:50 PM on October 14, 2010


How many kids eat Ethiopian?

My nephews are pretty picky eaters, and they love the stuff. Of course, one of them is Ethiopian. But the other two aren't, and they love it, too!
posted by gurple at 2:51 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait until his kids become rebellious teenagers. Then dad will be wondering why they aren't smoking and drinking and having sex like other kids, but instead are hiding a two day old McRib under their mattress.

Yeah... as the stepmomma to a couple of teenagers in a vegan household, this is a problem why exactly?

I think if the kids rebel by eating meat I'm doing pretty damn well.

Seriously, just because you have a vegan household (we do almost, except for the grandparents' chicken eggs), doesn't mean it's like a "sin" or something for the kids to eat meat and whatever the hell else they want away from the house. We've raised them not to eat junk. They pretty much don't eat junk, even when given the opportunity.
posted by RedEmma at 2:54 PM on October 14, 2010 [12 favorites]


It's so weird that the next FPP is about butchering a pig.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:05 PM on October 14, 2010


It's so weird that the next FPP is about butchering a pig.

I think that, in important ways, vegans have more in common with people who might butcher their own pig for consumption than either group does with most "normal" American eaters.
posted by gurple at 3:08 PM on October 14, 2010 [28 favorites]


How many kids eat Ethiopian?

All the kids in Ethiopia? (But Ethiopian food isn't, strictly speaking, vegan. Butter is used in a lot of the dishes.)

There are a lot of places in the world where people are near-vegan, with meat/dairy being a condiment or making only an occasional appearance as a main dish. It's not that weird.
posted by rtha at 3:17 PM on October 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wait until his kids become rebellious teenagers. Then dad will be wondering why they aren't smoking and drinking and having sex like other kids, but instead are hiding a two day old McRib under their mattress.

Fortunately, after two days, it'll still be good!
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:17 PM on October 14, 2010 [6 favorites]


(But Ethiopian food isn't, strictly speaking, vegan. Butter is used in a lot of the dishes.)

Not to mention beef, chicken and fish (kitfo, which is basically steak tartare, is a favorite, and their national dish is a hearty and delicious chicken stew called doro wot). But due to the myriad fasting days of the version of Orthodox Christianity (think of a stricter version of the old-school Catholic "no meat on Fridays except for fish" rule), they've got lots of delicious vegetarian dishes.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:49 PM on October 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I wonder if he ever feels helpless, helpless, helpless to find anything Vegan?
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:53 PM on October 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ethiopian food isn't, strictly speaking, vegan. Butter is used in a lot of the dishes

It sure isn't! When I was in Ethiopia, meat was served everywhere, including my favourite: Kitfo (minced raw goat, mixed up with some melted butter & rosemary, mostly). Doro wat, tibs, enkulal tibs...plenty of meat & egg there.

But what they do in Ethiopia is have a couple of "fasting days" a week, where you can't get meat or fish (or eggs?) for love or money. That's when the awesome vegetarian or vegan food comes out.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:56 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


oh, or what infinitywaltz said.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:59 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why is unfermented soy a concern? Someone enlighten me.
posted by scratch at 4:03 PM on October 14, 2010


they've got lots of delicious vegetarian dishes

Oh boy do they. It's one of the (few) things I miss about living in DC - so many Ethiopian restaurants! And they're an easy choice for a group that includes both meat-eaters and non-meat-eaters.
posted by rtha at 4:04 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Tell me more about these duck fat french fries.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:07 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why is unfermented soy a concern? Someone enlighten me.

soy-based phytoestrogens which is claimed to have negative effects on boys' development because it's like giving them low-level female hormone treatments. Apparently fermented soy breaks these compounds down.
posted by GuyZero at 4:10 PM on October 14, 2010


Sorry, not that that's 100% proven, that's just the concern.
posted by GuyZero at 4:11 PM on October 14, 2010


Whenever I've heard people talk about the soy thing, it's seemed to me like 'men today aren't macho enough, grar' bullshit. But then I'm no soy scientist.

Hot Doug's in Chicago has duck fat fries on Friday and Saturday. Along with awesome varieties of encased meats with myriad toppings. Though Wiener and Still Champion in Evanston was my favorite grease palace around Chicago when I lived there. I was super sad we didn't have time to stop by when we visited last week.
posted by kmz at 4:41 PM on October 14, 2010


This potato salad looks sooooooooo good!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:41 PM on October 14, 2010


I was lucky enough to be friends with an ethnicly Ethiopian Eritrean lady who use to treat me to Ethiopian cuisine. Damn it was good! :),so was her coffee.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 5:23 PM on October 14, 2010


Veganism is tough to do, but I think moving to a diet that is less meat-based is a positive thing for kids. Many kids eat animal proteins in every single meal, and we need to look at that closely.
posted by cell divide at 5:32 PM on October 14, 2010


But won't that make them feel left out when they don't hit puberty at 9 years of age like the rest of their classmates?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:56 PM on October 14, 2010 [6 favorites]


Most kids won't have started puberty at age 9.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:08 PM on October 14, 2010


This is my favorite recipe, mostly because the photo is staged with a Lego shark: Son #1's Peach Smoothie.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:51 PM on October 14, 2010


I am also fascinated by the fact that he can check out cake pans from the library. We have a tool lending library here, but I don't believe it has cake pans.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:59 PM on October 14, 2010


As someone with third generation vegan friends, I can testify to the fact that it's not bad for you and despite rebellion the kids tend to stay vegan. (Or vegan with cheese)
posted by seanyboy at 1:06 AM on October 15, 2010


But won't that make them feel left out when they don't hit puberty at 9 years of age like the rest of their classmates?
posted by UbuRoivas

Most kids won't have started puberty at age 9.
posted by MaryDellamorte


Mary, I think Ubu was making a joke.

Hell, I think more of us cook "vegan" meals than we think we do, without even trying -- especially if you belong to a CSA that's been flooding you with stuff you don't want to go bad. I tend to use olive oil more than butter -- lower in transfats -- and I do a lot of pasta-with-greens-and-beans or pasta-with-some-other-vegetable or risotto-with-some-vegetable-matter or polento-with-some-vegetable. All of them wonderful, all of them vegan. ...Hell, even minestrone soup is vegan if you leave off the parmaesan.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:10 AM on October 15, 2010


We cook stuff from VeganDad all the time, often Vegetarian'ing it in the process. My wife and boys are meat eaters, I'm not. He's got great fast recipes that taste good (although they're a sometimes a bit mild because of the whole cooking for kids thing) and are healthy.

These Crispy Chickpea Cakes are to die for on a bed of lettuce/spinach with gorgonzola. We've had visiting carnivores demand that we make more...
posted by togdon at 8:24 AM on October 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Tell me more about these duck fat french fries.

Sure thing
posted by mikepop at 10:15 AM on October 15, 2010


Little late to the party, but another concern about soy is that it exacerbates minor thyroid deficiencies, potentially making them into a problem. Again, it's not something that everyone needs to worry about, but it *is* a reason to not have unfermented soy at every meal.
posted by stoneweaver at 11:16 AM on October 15, 2010


Whenever I've heard people talk about the soy thing, it's seemed to me like 'men today aren't macho enough, grar'

Most of the concern I've seen about unfermented soy has been due to its ubiquity. Apparently, it's in a lot of processed foods.

it's like giving them low-level female hormone treatments

this would be the issue that troubles me. there seems to be a lot of confusion about the effects, though. i'm sure various parties have various interests...

All told, based on the evidence to date, I see no reason to worry about eating soy foods, whether fermented or not. I still recommend consuming one to two servings of soy per day, an amount equivalent to one cup of soy milk, or one half cup of tofu, soy protein (tempeh) or soy nuts.

- Dr. Weil, 2004

I basically feel the same way, but our pediatrician specifically told us to give our daughter cow's milk (or almond milk) instead of soy milk and to avoid soy overload. To be honest, I don't remember all the specific reasons, but I trust her almost completely.

Here is a debunking of (some of) the health allegations against soy:

And here's a summary of recent research (Feb. 2010)
posted by mrgrimm at 12:22 PM on October 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whenever I've heard people talk about the soy thing, it's seemed to me like 'men today aren't macho enough, grar'
---
Most of the concern I've seen about unfermented soy has been due to its ubiquity. Apparently, it's in a lot of processed foods.


Wow, I had a different guess entirely.

I thought people were complaining that it gave you gas.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:07 PM on October 15, 2010


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