OK, so my husband and i are preparing to go vegan as well as our 2 1/2 year old daughter who is actually way ahead of us in that area. she seems to have a natural affinity for veggies and fruits (we are working on beans) and an aversion to meat.she however still enjoys dairy products such as her yogurt and puddings. what i am trying to do for myself and my husband is find recipes for each meal to replace our meat consumption without losing any variety or flavor. we like a lot of asiatic foods (indian, thai, chinese, vietnamese, etc) when we make the switch i want to be assured that i can still make lots of different things without getting bored of eating the same few products over and over (rice, noodle, veggies, oats, etc) does anyone have an opinion on vegan alternative cheeses/butters? i am not into the faux meat products but would like to include vegan style dairy products to give the range in variety i am looking for. any starter advice would be appreciated :)

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Comment by Natalie on January 16, 2013 at 6:00am

We use Earth Balance buttery spread which is vegan and Daiya cheese is really great. Daiya comes in cheese shreds and melts awesome! They also have blocks of the Daiya cheese in mozarella , pepper jack and cheddar.I make a mean mac and cheese with it that my kids love. I got the recipe from a cook book : Peas and Thank You. Give it a try :)

Comment by Lee Moss on January 17, 2013 at 1:50am

Lavona,

I applaud you and your husband for your choices.  Today, according to the experts, we are now raising a generation who is expected to be not only less healthy than their parents, but will not live as many years.  I recently heard this from Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of "The China Study".  Encouraging your daughter to enjoy a primarily plant based diet will not only ensure she lives a long happy life, but one free from diabetes, and a much reduced risk of cancer and heart disease.

There is so much on line you can do to find recipes.  There are many on this site.  I keep it simple with salads, stir fries and wonderful burritos with rice, beans, guacamole, and kale.  My breakfast every morning is a shake with berries ( I use frozen), bananas, protein powder, kale.

Depending where you live you will find many things you can use like saitan (sp?), and vegan sausages. I try an limit these because I like to minimize process foods as much as possible.  I believe if you check out the markets in your area you will find many options.  There are specialty markets and even places on line to procure.  

Your daughter can still enjoy many things that are not animal based, but be careful as the balance gets thrown off with foods that are vegan but have loads of salt and sugar.  I have become a serious label reader.  I have been doing this for over a year and I love experimenting with recipes including soups, salad dressings, and anything else I can get creative with.  Truth is, I have become much more creative being vegan than when I used to eat meat.

Comment by Lauren Woods on January 20, 2013 at 12:59pm

I don't eat any replacement dairy, but I wanted to just pop in and wish you luck :)! Seems like others have already given you great resources! I commend your family on your wonderful choice to go vegan! You will be in my thoughts, good luck on your journey.

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