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Vegan Food & Cooking FAQ

Please use this thread to post frequently asked questions and answers. If you have a question and are looking for an answer that isn't listed here, you can use the Search function on the left to try to locate the answer. If you can't find the answer, you are more than welcome to start a new topic with your question.

Q: What does SAD mean?

A: Standard American Diet

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Q: What Does DW and DH stand for?

A: Dear Wife and Dear Husband

Q:What is a troll?

A: Someone who intentionally posts messages about sensitive topics constructed to cause controversy

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Q: What is a SDA?

A: Seventh Day Adventist

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Q: What the hell do I do with tempeh?

Tempeh is fermented soybean that is molded into a think brick-shaped form.  It is often used as a meat substitute, and is best when marinated before cooked.

Tempeh can be frozen for up to 3 months.  Once defrosted, use within 10 days.

Recipes can be found in the tempeh section:  http://vegweb.com/index.php?board=330.0 (or the Tempeh sandwich section: http://vegweb.com/index.php?board=416.0)
But can sometimes also be used in place of tofu in some recipes, and is also found in many other recipe categories here on VegWeb.

Sources:
http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=16014.0
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempeh
http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=15197.0
http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=12221.0

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Q: What do I do with tofu?

Tofu comes in various grades: firm/extra firm, soft, and "silken"--with some variations depending on brand. Some tofus are pressed and smoked (tofu gan), some are sold pre-flavoured with herbs etc.
Firm tofu is best for frying, or using in sandwiches etc. as a meat replacement or similar, while softer or silken tofus are good for desserts, puddings, "ricotta" type "cheese" fillings, etc.

Plain, unflavoured tofu works best if marinaded in the sauce or seasonings (in the case of fried or baked tofu, or for sandwiches) or in the case of the soft kind, stirring in the flavourings. Allow the resulting mixture, marinade etc. to stand for at least 30 min to allow the tofu to take on the flavours. You can leave it in the fridge in a covered container overnight.

There are many ways to press tofu, which allows the excess water to escape and gives a firmer, chewier texture, which is good for some dishes. Firm or extra firm tofu works best for pressing. Basically, place the block or slices of tofu on a tray or dish, cover with a plate or another tray, and wieght the top layer (heavy cans, etc work here.) Allow the tofu to stand, weighted, for 30 min to 1 hr (or more). Discard the water that is pressed out.

Some like to freeze tofu and then thaw it to extract the excess water. Again, this works best for firm tofu. Tofu will turn a sort of yellowish colour with freezing but this doesn't affect the taste or quality of the product.

This is by no means an exhaustive dissertation on the uses of tofu but I hope it helps.

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Q: What do I use to substitute eggs in recipes?

A: Egg substitutes vary depending on the type of dish that you are preparing. For scrambled egg dishes, such as breakfast scrambled eggs, quiches, and frittatas, tofu and various seasonings can be used. For baking, several types of egg substitutes can be used, such as:

Flax seeds - 1 T ground seeds + 3 T water = 1 egg
Silken tofu - 1/4 Cup blended tofu = 1 egg
Commercial egg replacer (Such as Ener-G or Bob's Red Mill) - 1 1/2 T + 2 T water = 1 egg (Or follow directions on package)
Bananas - 1/2 banana blended = 1 egg
Soy yogurt - 1/4 Cup yogurt = 1 egg
Applesauce - 1/4 cup = 1 egg

If you do not have any of these ingredients on hand, you can make a commercial-style egg substitute out of common household ingredients:

1 tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp baking soda + 2 T flower + 3 T water = 1 egg

Sources:
http://www.theppk.com/veganbaking.html
http://www.recipezaar.com/203168

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What does HFS stand for?
Health food store.

What does VCTOTW stand for?
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World (VCTOTW) is a vegan cookbook about, you guessed it, cupcakes, written by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

(edit by bp)

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How do I insert a picture into my post?

To put one in your post, type out your message. Under the text entry box, you'll see a bold line to the left that says "additional options." Click it and you will see an option to Attach files. Hit "browse" and a new window will open that lets you find the file on your computer. When you find the file you want, hit "open" and the directions to that file will appear in the "attach" line. Then hit "post". You will see your picture under your post like you do on this one. You can place up to two pictures on your post this way. To add a second on, hit "more attachments", which is found next to the "browse" button on the vegweb page. Vegweb only allows pics up to a certain size to be posted, so if you get an error that the file is too big you will need to make it smaller.

Another method is to use HTML codes to add pictures to your messages. (This is similar to how you would add a picture to a webpage or a myspace comment for those who know how to do that).

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Q: How do I insert a picture into my post? (HTML method)

A: I upload at a place like www.tinypic.com and then copy and paste the code that says, IMG in it.
There is also a button above (the little framed picture... 4 buttons in from the left) if you already have the photo uploaded at another location.

Q:  How do I insert my own picture into my post?

A:   If you find a picture on a website that you would like to insert from a site, right click on the image and select "Properties."  If the image is a jpeg you can insert it in your post.  Copy the URL address.  When composing your post, select “Insert Image”.  Between the and , paste the picture’s URL address.  http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1281/565442083_40f2e671a0_m.jpg 

This is what you get:

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Q: What does WF and TJ stand for?

A:  Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, both grocery stores. 

www.wholefoods.com 

www.traderjoes.com

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Q: What does GMO stand for?

A: Genetically Modified Organism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_organism

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Q: Is that additive vegan or not?

A: http://www.vegan-info.com/additives.html

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Q: How do I quote someone's comment(s) from a thread?

A:  Go to the specific post you want to quote and click on the "Quote" feature in the top right corner of the box.  The person's entire post will be quoted in a new reply window for you.  If you want to narrow the person's comments down to a more specific sentence, delete everything except the specific comment while making sure to leave the brackets with "quote" inserted () at the beginning and end of the person's comments.  Be sure to type your own comments/reply AFTER the last "quote" brackets so your comments are not included inside the purple box of the original person's quote in the finished result.        

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Q: What is Nutritional Yeast?  Where do I find it?

A:  Nutritional yeast is a dietary supplement often used in recipes here on vegweb.  Depending on the brand purchased, it can contain many B vitamins, including the infamous vitamin B-12. It has a strong cheese-y taste. http://www.deliciousadventures.com/images/f_recip04.jpg

Nutritional yeast is NOT the same as brewer's yeast or baker's yeast.  As the picture shows, it is flakey and yellow.  *edit by baypubby*  Sometimes it can come in a yellow, powdered form. Both forms of nutritional yeast are interchangeble in recipes, however, BUT they are NOT
interchangable with brewer's or baker's yeast.  Nutritional yeast has no leavnening properties.

You can find nutritional yeast at many health food stores, including Wild Oats and Whole Foods.  It is often sold in bulk bins, but could be found in the condiments aisle, or even under refidgeration.  A popular brand is Red Star Nutritional Yeast.  Trader Joes stores do not seem to carry nutritional yeast.
http://www.bestnaturalfoods.com/images/Nutritional_yeast.jpg

Sources: pictures taken from google images, information scraped from various vegweb posts

From baypuppy:
I just want to add a note that some nutritional yeast comes powdered, not flaked. It is still the "yellowy" color and can be used just like the flakes.

From VestaTuran:
I read some where that you should use half the amount if using the powdered form because its more concentrated, its really up to your individual taste. Do what you like

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Here is a great page explaining different flours you can use if you are allergic or trying to cut out wheat or gluten.

http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Using-Alternative-Flours/Detail.aspx

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How do I cook my own beans and other legumes?

Cooking your own is cheaper, cuts down on packaging (especially if you can buy in bulk) and eliminates the salt and chemicals inherent in buying processed, precooked foods.Most legumes need to be pre-soaked before cooking.
There are two basic ways to do this.

Overnight method: Place the amount of beans you intend to cook in a large container and cover with a generous amount of cold water. Like say 1 cup of beans in a 1-quart container. Leave overnight, drain the next day and cook as directed below. (Throwing away the soaking water can help eliminate the "gas factor" in beans).

Quick-soak method: Place the amount of beans to be cooked in a large container. Cover with a generous amount of boiling water. Cover the container and allow to stand for 1 hour. Proceed to cook your beans.

Cooking beans: If you have a pressure pan, cook for approximately 20 min (or follow the instruction book, if you have one. Beans can also be boiled on the stove for about an hour or until tender, time will depend on the legume in question (lentils are about 25 min), or cooked in a crockpot (follow instructions of your particular pot). Like ovens, different pressure cookers have their own idiosyncracies but you will soon get the hang of your particular cooker.

Many seasonings can be added to the cooking water, for soups etc., or they can be lightly salted and cooked plain, for making hummus, frijoles, etc.

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What!?!  Sugar isn't vegan? 

http://www.vegsource.com/jo/qa/qasugar.htm

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How do I know what alcohol is vegan-friendly?

Check out this site... http://tastebetter.com/features/booze

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Where can I get cool emoticons?

http://bestsmileys.com/pageindex.htm

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What's the best apparel/handbag/bath/book/cosmetic/food product and how can I learn what others think of it?

You can check the VegWeb Product Review Section!: http://vegweb.com/index.php?action=products and if you don't see any reviews for the products you have questions about, ask around, then encourage people to post their review!

How do I hyperlink text to a website?

The best vegan recipe site ever
The above without the spaces at the beginning and end of the brackets will look like this:
The best vegan recipe site ever!

Another how-to hyperlink text

1.  Select the "Insert Hyperlink" icon.  It's the one with the globe above the emoticons.  That'll get you I added extra spaces between the brackets and the letters so they'd show up. 

2.  Then add the website address.  For example, the VegFriends Subscription Plans.  Copy the address bar and paste it in after the first url.  Make sure to add "=" after "url.". 

3.  After the end bracket, put the text you want for the link, like VegFriends Subscription Plans.
VegFriends Subscription Plans

That'll get you:  VegFriends Subscription Plans

If you hit Preview, you can see if it worked or not before you post it.

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