LOOKING for: Newbie needs advice on soy-free diet

frank2357September 25, 2007

Hi, all. New to the forum and looking for info on soybean-free vegetarian diets. I haven't done a lot of research, but it seems that a lot of vegetarian recipes stress the use of soy products. My wife and I are thinking of changing to a vegetarian diet, but both of us have reasons for wanting to avoid soybeans.

Any advice? Cookbooks? Is a soy-free vegetarian diet possible or am I chasing the proverbial wild goose?

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It's entirely possible. For anything that calls for soybeans you can easily substitute other beans (white beans are probably the blandest and would change the flavor of the recipe the least but there's no reason not to use whatever bean you like). You can substitute things like rice milk, water, fruit juices for soy milk, as long as the flavor difference will work with the recipe. You'll be skipping tofu and tempeh and I don't know of good subs for them, but just leave them out or be creative. There's always seitan but personally it just tastes like soggy bread to me.

I have many vegetarian cookbooks that have tons of recipes without soy (unfortunately, all are in storage 2500 miles away right now). Take some time at a bookstore or used bookstore and peruse all the veggie cookbooks there -- you should find plenty that fit your bill.

There are tons of veg*n websites, too. I'm sure you can find good recipes there and also support for your changes.

If you're worried about protein, see the website below, or google something like "protein myth" or "protein needs." It seems to be one of the least understood nutritional components, partly thanks to the pseudo-science of things like the Adkins diet. Here's an additional link: http://exercise.about.com/cs/nutrition/a/protein_2.htm

I cook lots of things without soy -- in fact, we only eat it every few weeks at most and then only as tofu or tempeh -- there are so many great veggies, grains, beans, fruits, and a whole world of delicious eating without meat, and if you want, without soy! Have fun!

Here is a link that might be useful: veggie protein

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 8:55AM
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You said vegetarian, not vegan, so I assume you're willing to eat dairy and eggs. I try to avoid soy as much as possible, due to thyroid issues. I get a lot of my protein through dairy, beans, peanut butter, etc. You really don't need as much protein as you might think.

The one thing that you might miss out on is the "meat substitutes" since that's where soy is used so heavily. I try to limit my intake of them, but sometimes they're nice to have for convenience sake, or just for the taste. I highly recommend Whole Foods if you have one near you -- they have several non-soy options, such as:

Quorn (chicken-like patties, nuggets, stir-fry bits, etc)
Field Roast Sausages (made of wheat -- surprisingly good)
Sunshine Burgers (different flavors -- a nice mix of beans, rice, etc. No soy. I like the Garden Herb, hubbie likes the Barbecue).

We try not to rely too much on the above for our food, but we probably eat something out of the mix once a week, just for the convenience. I'm a lazy cook ;)

The best thing I've done is start building my own individualized recipe book. I photocopy and print out recipes that I like from various sources (that's a lot easier than having tons of books that are bookmarked!) all organized in one binder. I easily have about 30 or 40 recipes in there that I rely on, that lean heavily on beans, spinach, or dairy as protein sources.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 5:28PM
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I am a soy free vegetarian/vegan and cant have soy or soy lecithin due to my severe allergy.
There are soy free products on the market:
coconut bliss bars & icecream is vegan and soy free.
Quorn makes soy free 'chick' patties and 'ground meat' which is quite good.
Sunshine burgers are vegan and soy free.
Earth Balance makes soy free margarine.

For protein, I eat beans, chick peas, hummus, homemade falafel, quinoa, nuts and the occasional Quorn product.

It can be done and you will feel AMAZING!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 4:10PM
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My naturalpathic dr. has told me to stay away from soy lecithin however I have read that most people allergic to soy cany eat this and must stay away from all the rest.
which is correct.

I also would like to get a list of foods that I can eat that are free from soy. It seems soy is in everything, even makeup whicch I have had to throw away and replace, which was very costly.
Please help me if you can. Judy

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 9:37PM
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Calivegans is a great blog for soy free vegans. It's full of resources and reviews for soy free vegan products. I love it!

Here is a link that might be useful: calivegans.com

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 4:01PM
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