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Friday, March 1, 2013

Today's the day!!!

(today's post is a revamp of my post on Vegan restaurant finder on Tuesday)

Today's the day...  that starts a new chapter of my life... for at least 3 months!!!
We'll see after that...
I'll take it one day at a time....  like I did when I decided to become vegetarian almost 6 years ago!!!

Small steps sometimes take you a long way!!!

As you go vegan, you may wonder what to stock your pantry with... I know this was an issue for me... kind of like I no longer knew how to grocery shop!!! The other thing was that once I started changing my diet, I was looking to a tons of recipes... they all seemed VERY good!!! And I wanted to try them all... and I ended up buying many ingredients for one recipe and never use them again for another one as I did not like the specific ingredient... Doing that can be quite expensive and creates lots of clutter in you food cabinet! Being savvy and clutter free... and hating to waste food... and hating even more to spend hours cooking something complicated, I had to adjust! I had a few years to do that now... and therefore I now know very well what I like or not... I do not cook anything too fancy or complicated but rather food my family loves and enjoy!

I have listed my main ingredients.... the ones that I always have with me. 

This list is essentially the same as yesterday... when I was vegetarian...  the only thing that REALLY changes for me is that I will no longer have eggs or cheese... 

White basmati rice
Brown basmati rice
Quinoa (keep in a glass jar in the fridge for longer shelf life)
Brown lentils
White navy beans
Black beans
Red beans
Chick peas
13 bean mix for soup - that is a splurge I allow myself once in a while
Pasta (mostly short ones - to mic with vegetables and tofu in sautes)
Rice sheet
Nori sheet
Pita bread
Sliced bread - multi grains
Tofu (keep frozen to add shelf life)
Spices: Garam masala, curry, paprika, cumin, sea salt, black pepper
Olive oil, canola oil and vegan butter
Bragg's sauce, soy sauce
Nutritional yeast
Maple syrup
Brown rice syrup
Peanut sauce
Salsa (preferably homemade but I always keep an emergency jar )

Can of diced tomatoes and tomatoes paste
Grounded chia
Sesame seeds (keep in freezer)
Raw almond (keep in freezer)
Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
Dried raisins and cranberries
Almond milk and Hemp milk
Tons of fresh fruits and vegetables
Frozen fruits and vegetables for when my fresh stock is running low

Now in order to save $$$....

1) I try and buy most of those items in bulk... much cheaper as the price does not include extra packaging that also damages the environment!!!
2) I buy and stock whenever an item is on sale and I am running low...
3) I stock everything in glass container to retain freshness and add shelf life - no humidity goes in!
4) If I have left over rice, beans, barley, chickpeas... I mix them up and make a soup!!! You just need to add in water, vegetables and spices

In order to save time...

1) I do what they call "batch " cooking - we're a family of 3, so basically I cook for six to eight and freeze the left over
2) I always have cooked rice, cooked beans and cooked barley in my freezer in different containers - allow to prep a meal quickly if my "mens" are starving!!! (you start a rotation cooking those and before you know you don't even realize you doing it!
3) I plan my meal ahead of time - this does save lots of time figuring out WHAT to make... with planning and organization cooking vegans really is THAT simple!

Now I try and get most of my food organic... it is better... all thus not essential as it may be more expensive! Better to eat not organic fruits and vegetables and wash them than not eat them at all!!!!
I also try and stay as local as possible... except for fruits and vegetables in winter... sometimes I have to buy from further away living in a north country!

I stocked my pantry last week with many ingredients from that list that were missing as I had not restocked since I moved February 1st.  For about 60$ of bulk items, I will be able to cook legumes, rices, barley for just about 6 months....  that comes up to 10$ per month of organic rice, legumes and barley....  but 10$ of that amount that was raw organic almonds... that may last me for 3 months in the freezer.

What will be left for me to buy weekly are fruits and vegetables, bread, tofu and almond milk...  for all 3 of us, this usually comes up to about 60$ per week...  as we do eat LOTS of fruits and veggies and they are quite expensive in winter... 
My son and husband eating cheese and eggs still, maybe 15$ per week will go on that..

So if you do a quick calculation:  60$ x 4 weeks = 240$ plus 10$ of "fry" product... and 60$ per month of eggs and cheese... maximum...
Now doesn't that show that being vegan is not THAT expensive? 310$ per month for a family of 3...  plus extras every now and then... I will keep an eye on my food budget as the months go buy...  however, my son and husband are not vegan.... they still eat cheese and eggs... so I have to budget for eggs every now and then and some cheese occasionally!

I can wait to tell you more about that adventure!!!

what would you like to know about being vegan or vegetarian?

love and peace,


  1. Hello!
    I was vegetarian and now i'm vegan. I never froze tofu, but i would like to know how it tastes after.
    Thank you!

  2. Hey!
    tastes the same.... but more spongy... so actually, if you marinate it, it will absorb more of the marinating juice and be tastier...
    and the color changes... it is more yellow...

    How long have you been vegan? and how do you cope with eating out with non-vegan friends? I need help on that subject...