Saturday, November 22, 2008


Welcome to my blog.

So why have another vegan/vegetarian blog out there. I mean only about 20-30 new ones are started everyday, or so I read somewhere (can’t remember at the moment, will quote if find). In my case, this blog is a reaction to the book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Living”. My complaint about the book is that the author totally ignores soy allergies/intolerances. In a quote from page 33 the author states “Some people find their way to a plant-based died because of allergies or intolerances to foods. Milk, dairy, eggs, shellfish, and even certain fruits, vegetables, and nuts are common allergens and negatively impact millions of people each year in the United States alone.” Did you notice that one common allergen was skipped, soy. Soy is one of the eight most common allergens and therefore is now required to by listed by the FDA on food labels. She talks about lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity/allergies in the book, but never touches on people who have problems with soy.

Now if you have ever looked at anything labeled vegetarian/vegan and it has a meat replacer or egg replacer in it, 9 times out of 10 that will be tofu or a soybean derivative. It is in mayo, margarine (Earth Balance and the new vegan Smart Balance), cooked goods (most commonly cheesecake), and “mock meats” are either totally soy based or a soy and gluten mix. For those of us that cannot have either any type of soy or just the soy protein, those foods are not available. And since the common token vegan dish anywhere is a veggie burger, this makes it almost totally impossible to eat out since these veggie burgers are usually soy based.

Does this mean that you can’t be vegan/vegetarian and have an allergy to soy or a soy intolerance? Easy answer, no. It is possible, but requires a bit more work. One will have to make one’s cheese, seitan (see-tan), mayo, coffee creamer (or use nut milk/able to find MimicCream) and can forget about eating out. Even if you have a dedicated vegan restaurant locally, they may not have any dishes made with seitan or bean based and most everything will contain soy in some shape or form. They may have a few dishes you can eat, but only a few and those may require some changes to make them eatable. If you are in a vegan unfriendly area of the United States, your options are even less (Chipotle‘s being an exception).

As for me, I am a mostly vegan (about 90+%) and lacto/ovo vegetarian when eating out in Florida (though lactose intolerance is setting in, so not sure how much longer that will last). Thankfully, I am only soy protein intolerant, so soy sauce and lechitan are allowed. For those of you who are allergic and cannot have any soy, I truly feel for you, since it is in literally everything these days. My goal is to show you that you can be vegan/vegetarian and not eat tofu or tempeh. It does require a bit more work, but someone living with food allergies/intolerance is most likely used to that anyway.

There are other things one can use besides soy. Rice and nut milks are common these days, a few companies are now making meat replacers with other products (Sunshine Burgers), thanks to PPK forums I have also come across a new item, Burmese Tofu made with either chickpea flour, split pea flour or even rice flour. I also hope to redo some recipes in common recipe books (VCON, VwaV to name two most popular) and make them with either seitan (see-tan), or another egg replacer. I do use soy sauce, so if you are soy allergic, please feel free to replace it with you favorite soy sauce replacement. If you don’t have one, Bryanna Clark Grogan has one on her website for free.

Don’t know how much I will be posting, since so new to this blogging thing, but will try to be regular. I do have an RSS listing, so you don’t have to check me everyday.

Thanks for coming along on the journey.


  1. Good on you for starting a blog. I came up as soy intolerant at my last allergy testing so I have stopped buying tofu and tempeh. I will be keeping an eye on your blog for interesting soy free ideas ;)

  2. Mandee, glad to know that I can help.