Erica (wannablessedbe) wrote in starting_vegan,

Newbie and a request!

Hi, my name is Erica and I just joined and thought I'd introduce myself. I am a current vegetarian leaning into veganism and plan to be fully vegan as soon as I can. I moved to Portland, OR a few years ago and this place is littered with vegan foods and restaurants. Even the grocery stores are full of vegan options. I had never even heard of tofu or tempeh or soy milk growing up in a small east coast town. I grew up at a slight disadvantage because my mother was the sole cook and shopper and I never had the experience of having to shop/choose for myself. After reading about the health environmental benefits, and benefits to the animals I decided to give this a shot. I dropped red meat from my diet last December and proceeded to drop a few more meats a month since then. I decided to drop dairy this month. Pretty much all I have to do is adjust the diet nutrition-wise and sort out if anything I currently think is vegan actually is not.

My main problem is I now feel like I don't eat very healthy. Breakfast is cereal, lunch PB&J, and dinner is usually a Boca Burger or pasta with veggies (usually corn or carrots) and a fruit for dessert. I'm mainly eating starches, little protein, and certainly missing a ton of nutrients. I've tried cooking and I seem to fail at cooking veggies and meat substitutes. I have wasted so much money on tofu that's been burned, undercooked, or I never ate because the way I cooked it just made it taste bad. Ditto on picking out fruit/veggies that are over or under ripe or just plain bad.

Can anyone recommend a book on going vegan nutrition-wise? And one on how to select and cook vegan foods? Websites would be fine too! I've been to bookstores and find myself facing shelves of cookbooks that already assume I know what I should be eating and how to cook it and are just offering ideas. I'm not looking for a huge recipe book, more of a guide book.

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