We do not normally do New Year's resolutions. If we want to try something new we usually have better results if we just jump right in. Waiting until some future date generally just gives us time to talk ourselves out of it. However, we are making a family resolution for 2012 - we are giving up soda (and other high-caloric drinks) and eating less dairy, eggs, and fish (the kids are technically pescetarians.) B and I would ultimately like to be vegan, but it's not something we are too concerned about for the kids. The plan is just to try out more vegan recipes, and find out how many we can incorporate into our daily lives with minimal complaining.
Right now I'm checking out blogs, websites, and cookbooks for ideas. With five people it's not always easy to find something that everyone will eat though. Just as an example here is some of what I have to think about: B isn't a big fan of pasta dishes, Funny Girl won't touch salads, Robotson hates beans of any kind. None of the kids will eat tofu, rice, seeds, or nuts. I don't enjoy cooking or baking so I try to find recipes that don't take too much time and are not complicated. It's a little bit daunting to think about how much more time I am going to be spending making food when it sometimes seems like a huge pain just to bake a pizza. Honestly, I think the biggest obstacle in this plan is me. That's why I'm doing so much prep work. Here are a few things I've come up with to help.
I'm checking out vegan cookbooks from the library so that I can try recipes before I spend any money. I have several vegetarian cookbooks that I rarely use because I didn't research them properly.
I've already figured out that I want to stay away from books/blogs that have a lot of recipes with meat or cheese substitutes. They are o.k. here and there, but I want to find ways to cook with the actual food we'll be eating and not processed soy products.
I'm also staying away from recipes with ingredients that are going to be hard to find. I'm pretty well-versed with what our local grocery stores carry. I don't want to add hours of driving and shopping to my list of things to do.
While looking for vegan recipes I've noticed a lot of sweet dessert-y type things. They always sound yummy, but I began to wonder if there was a point to eating vegan if everything was full of sugar. However, the truth is that my kids like sweet stuff and having a few vegan cookies on hand for a snack or blueberry scones for breakfast is not a bad way to go in the beginning. Besides, I have successfully cut the sugar in several recipes or substituted molasses and agave nectar here and there with no one being the wiser.
Here are a few resources that I already use or want to check out:
iPhone apps - Vegan Yum Yum and Whole Foods These are free and have some good stuff in them.
Books - I own and love Vegan Comfort Food. The author, Alicia Simpson, has a couple of other books that I want to get, one for holidays and a new one that is low calorie. I just checked out Vegan Lunch Box and BabyCakes from the library. Unfortunately neither gets very good reviews on Amazon so I may not stick with them. I am trying to get my hands on Vegan Brunch, Viva Vegan, Quick-Fix Vegan, The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, and The 30 Minute Vegan. Those all have pretty good reviews. Anyone out there have any opinions they'd like to share?
Blogs - Oh She Glows, Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes, Vegan Guinea Pig, Love Veggies and Yoga (not all of her recipes are vegan, but the ones that are sound so yummy!)
These should get us started. I don't know that we will completely go vegan, but to goal is just to take another step in the direction of eating healthier