I highly recommend the Vegetarian Resource Group's web site to Mary, and
anyone else who is interested in vegan (or ovo-lacto vegetarian) eating:
They discuss the nutritional considerations, and some practical ones like
eating in restaurants and substituting for eggs and milk in recipes. They
also have a publication for vegetarian teenagers which addresses some of
the specific issues that vegetarian teens have, and a lot of other
information, including recipes. The more you learn about being a vegan,
the healthier you'll be, and you'll be better prepared to defend your
position when people question where you get your protein and calcium and
I heartily agree with the poster (sorry, I don't remember who it was) who
advised Mary to take the responsibility for her diet. Many family meals
may be adaptable to a vegan diet with the substitution of a dish or two,
and Mary may be able to cook alongside her mother--most parents would be
thrilled if their teen took a hand in meal preparation, I know I would be.
Perhaps if she shares the responsibility for meal planning, shopping and
meal preparation with her mom, mom will "come around" and be more
A vegan diet can be safe--and very healthy--no matter what the critics say,
but it does require some education, planning, and effort when the majority
culture is not supportive of it. Go for it, Mary. Let us know how it goes.
Now, to keep this post on topic, here's a recipe from the VRG site
(http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj97may/975conv.htm) on being "Conveniently
Vegan" (there are other fat-free or easily adaptable recipes at this site):
ONIONS WITH BARBECUE SAUCE
Serve this dish over your favorite veggie burger or as a side dish.
2 medium onions, sliced into rings
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup vegan barbecue sauce
Saute onions in broth in a large pan over medium-high heat for 8 minutes.
Add barbecue sauce and heat 2 minutes longer.
Total calories per serving: 65
Fat: 1 gram
Debbie in Iowa City