My Favorite Recipes: *Many* Vegetarian and Vegan

The Recipes:

Come back often as I add more!!!!









If You Really Care to Know…

This cookbook began as a collection of slips of paper that I clipped from magazines, downloaded from the internet, or collected from other cookbooks, food containers, or people I have known over the years (Thanks, Mom!) and stuffed into a folder. If the recipe is here, it means I've cooked and liked it. There are untold others that never made the cut. And since we're at it, I would also like to share some of my philosophies on food, since I have spent more time researching it as I have writing the recipes. One of the most user-friendly sources I have found was actually a cookbook called How it all Vegan by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer, and several of these recipes came from it. Another book I read clinched my desire to become as meat-free as I could stand (yes, it IS hard for me!): Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina. Another awesome resource for me has been Vegetarian Times Magazine, where I've taken many more recipes. I hope you find wisdom in my words and bliss in your belly!

Why Vegan/Vegetarian?

Many of these recipes can be made either vegan (wholly without animal ingredients) or vegetarian (containing some animal by-product ingredients, such as egg or cheese), by simply substituting the animal and animal by-product ingredients with something else. I have included those substitutions in the Miscellaneous Recipes section. The concept behind eating vegan/vegetarian foods is two-fold: health-related and ethics-related. According to vast amounts of research done in the foods industry, it has been proven that animal products are fairly unhealthy for use to eat due to the high saturated fats and cholesterol found naturally within them. Therefore, limiting the intake of these foods in favor of a diet higher in vegetables will allow us to live healthier lives.

Additionally for those of us who are ethics driven, the current state of the animal processing industry is far from perfect. The impact this industry has upon the environment, the people who work in it, and the animals themselves is for the most part a negative one. A brief list of areas negatively impacted by this industry include: soil erosion from over-farming and deforestation of the land (e.g. bye-bye rain forests) to grow the grain needed to feed cattle in winter or during drought, water pollution resulting from pesticides and over-fertilization of the land, contamination of meat from improperly fed animals (e.g. mad cow disease), excessive use of hormones and antibiotics resulting from overcrowded and unclean living conditions (studies are underway to determine the residual effects upon humans of hormones in our food, and it has been proven that overuse of antibiotics results in resistant strains of disease, e.g. bird flu anyone?), psychological trauma of both human and animal caused by inhumane factory handling, etc. It is an eye-opening experience to discover the far-reaching effects this industry has upon the earth and our own health. Therefore, the less we depend upon animals as a food source, the smaller our footprint will be upon the only home we have and the healthier we will be in the long run.

Why Organic?

This is an extension of the above argument. For those of us who would like to be better stewards of the environment and of the people and animals we depend upon for our food, most of the ingredients in these recipes can be found in organic versions, none of which will radically change the flavor of the food. The concept behind organic foods is simple: grow foods (both plant and animal) in a way that nature intended, resulting in tastier food and a healthier environment. In this way, we avoid unnatural hormones, irradiation, genetic engineering and problems resulting from improper production of food (e.g. mad cow disease). By eating organic, we promote bio-diversity and a healthier environment, since crops are grown in such a way as to be less dependent upon pesticides and fertilizers, and chemical fertilizers are not used, so the water is not in danger of pollution, not to mention our own bodies; cleaner meat, since animals are fed and housed properly and allowed to exercise naturally to improve health and immunity to disease; fair wages for workers, etc. There are two types of organic foods: those certified by Oregon standards and those certified by California standards. Both are fairly rigid standards and are good choices. NOTE: “Natural” and “Organic” DO NOT mean the same thing! Also a product may be labeled organic, but may only contain some organic ingredients, especially now that the USDA has "expanded" the meaning of the terms "natural" and organic." That is why some of the large factory-style food producers of today can now use those terms on their labels. BE WARY, and do not be fooled.