Better eating vegan

Published on October 2nd, 2012 | by Tanya Sitton

10

Eating Vegan: Best Resources for New Veggie Cooks





eating veganColorful vegan staples!

Yesterday, World Vegetarian Day kicked off Vegetarian Awareness month. There’s never been a better time to explore vegan and vegetarian cooking! Use these resources to jump-start your journey down the veggie path, towards a healthier, greener, and more compassionate kitchen.

Vegsploration Extravaganza

Get Started Right Here at Eat Drink Better (of course)!

Colleen Patrick Goudreau’s podcast, Vegetarian Food for Thought – one of the very best resources for new vegans, or newly veg-curious folk — free on iTunes, or through her website. Glance over past episodes, and listen to whatever catches your eye: you’re sure to find excellent ideas and information, exceptionally well-presented! Goudreau covers it all, and does it beautifully: health issues, ethics issues, environmental issues, and delicious vegan cooking. Great podcast for newly vegan or veg-curious folk — and for experienced herbivores, too.

She also just released The 30-Day Vegan Challenge, which is an amazing tool for new veg-heads!

Other recommended podcasts (all free on iTunes)

Web resources for nutrition/ health information related to veg eating – pay special attention to B12 and Omega 3 fats:

Excellent recipe sites:

Vegan ‘starter-cookbooks’

Veg-friendly restaurant exploration: Happy Cow.

‘Must-see’ books and movies for the newly vegan (or veg-curious):

The Ultimate Vegan Guide offers an excellent introduction to vegan eating, providing a very informative and comprehensive overview in an accessible and easy-to-read style. Author Eric Markus has generously made the first edition available free, here.

Also seek out:

Many of the above are reviewed here, if you need help deciding where to start!

Farm to Fridge shows some of the ‘standard practices’ in the animal ag industry, that people pay for every time they buy the nice neat ‘cutlets’ (or whatever) under cellophane in the supermarket. It’s pretty stomach-turning — I couldn’t get all the way through it, but if you’ve got omni family members giving you a hard time: show ‘em this, and they’ll leave you alone! Or, if you’re just starting to think about going veg and need that last push, this film should pretty well do it. Fair warning: though it’s not an undercover video, it depicts graphic awfulness. But if you can’t watch it… why would you support it?!

Ready, Set, GO (Vegan)!

As the connection between food, health, and environment becomes ever more clear, plant-based cooking grows ever more seductive. Our society struggles with chronic diseases like diabetes, stroke, atherosclerosis, and cancer, while research repeatedly shows a plant-rich diet to be effective in prevention and treatment of these debilitating conditions. The connection between animal agriculture and environmental degradation can no longer be denied, leading more and more eco-minded foodies towards an increasingly plant-based kitchen.

Armed with some knowledge (and recipes!), new veggie cooks can look forward to a joyful and delicious transition towards a healthy, eco-friendly, and compassionate kitchen. Enjoy the journey!

And if you find a great new-vegan resource that I haven’t mentioned, please share below!

Image credit: Creative Commons photo by adactio.

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About the Author

is an ecovore, veganist, messy chef, green girl, food revolutionary, and general free-thinkin' rabble-rouser. M.S. in a health profession, with strong interests in biology, nutrition, and healthy living - find her on .



  • Don

    Excellent list. I know you have the books, but remember we’re talking beginning vegan and it’s hard on us cooks that have been cooks for a long time to understand what that was like, so I would beg to differ that Vegan Sandwiches and Veganomicon are newbie friendly…maybe for the cook that has been cooking vegan for a year or six months, but not a newbie. In my opinion.

    I would also suggest maybe a separate link that like the iron and calcium one addresses B12

    I would like to offer up the cookbook. The GF Cookbook, which I am finding to be almost too basic for me and unimaginative, but the target audience probably isn’t an experienced vegan cook but is definitely newbie friendly.

    Also, it might not matter since Eating Animals is a good book, but not without recent controversy.http://planetoftheanimals.blogspot.com/2012/06/jonathan-safran-foer-why-hast-thou.html

    This is a good beginner’s book with recipes that are easy.http://www.amazon.com/This-Crazy-Vegan-Life-Prescription/dp/1557885389

    What about resources for athletes…lots of guys want to consider being vegan but has questions about protein. You can link Brandon Frazier (sp?) and Robert Cheek?

    Actually on second thought, while I wouldn’t name it one of the best resources for new vegans, Veganomicon is such a brilliant book and not all the recipes are complicated, I would leave it.

    • http://www.faunahope.org Tanya Sitton

      Awesome, Don, thanks for the input!

      With the two cookbooks you mention, I definitely see your point; there’s a level of complexity in some of the recipes beyond ‘beginner vegan’ level, but also a consistency of product… I think that’s why they made the cut, in my mind anyway: I think it’s really valuable for newly veg cooks to consistently get good results, and I really like both these books for that reason. That said, I know you’ve made more from Vegan Sandwiches than me, so I definitely respect your assessment.

      I haven’t yet explored the Gluten Free Cookbook or This Crazy Vegan Life — thanks for the recommendations!

      On sports nutrition, how about this:
      Eating Vegan: Sports Nutrition

      As well as searching the nutrition sites listed above for ‘b12′, specific info on b12 needs can be found at veganhealth.org (either here or here) and vrg.org. Do you know of other especially good links, on that topic?

      Great ideas — thank you! :-)

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  • Emma

    this is very important, its very important to get high quality supplements. Products like VeDHA-3, Vegan Omega 3 DHA is lifes DHA, very high quality product. they source their oil from DSM Nutrition’s, one of the largest in this field . As Well as studies are going on that high in take of Vegetarian Omega 3 helps in building immunity and reduces risk of heart attack. One should get on such supplements from early in age to get most benefits out of these supplements.. my doctor recommended me VeDHA-3, Vegan Omega 3 DHA. its better than fish oil, requires less dosage.. Try it!

    • http://www.faunahope.org Tanya Sitton

      Whole foods plant-based diet with plenty of healthy fats from flax/ walnuts/ avocado, + daily multi, b12, and DHA… good recipe for nutrition. :)

  • John L. Farthing

    As a recent convert to veganism, I have felt a need for information that will help with preparing meals that are nutritious, delicious, and ethically sensitive. All my friends, of course, look at me as if I were from another planet. I’m grateful for the kind of information that not only helps guide my own dietary choices but also helps me to articulate a compassionate perspective on food to those who have never questioned the omnivore, fast-food assumptions that are woven into contemporary American culture. Both Ms. Sitton’s review and the comments by these bloggers are immensely helpful to a newcomer like me. The biblioography (websites listed in the article) are especially helpful—and I need all the help I can get… Many thanks!

  • http://www.greenbusinessowner.com/about/ Scott Cooney

    Great set of recommendations, Tanya. I wish I’d had this post when I went veg 20 years ago…woulda saved me a lot of trial and error. :)

    • http://www.faunahope.org Tanya Sitton

      Thanks, Scott! Me too. :-P

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