HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Ex-Vegan looking for new kicks!

Hi guys!

After about five years of veganism and many years of vegetarianism, I've become bored. What news things do I need to try? First of all, I had no idea that bacon was so good, as well as pancetta. I've also fallen deeply in love with tinned fish. And steak. And Philly Cheese-steaks!

As for dairy, I've been eating a lot of greek yogurt and fresh ricotta. Soo yummy!

What should be next on my list? I'm feeling adventurous -


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Roasted bone marrow! (Grass-fed, of course.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Loach

      I just found a recipe that I'm dying to try. I love savory things with toast, so I think I'll really like it. Thanks!

    2. Well I've considered the things I would miss the most if I ever went vegan, so maybe you'll enjoy them now that you're not:

      Honey, ice cream, goat cheese, whipped cream, butter (probably best enjoyed in shortbread, or to fry a grilled cheese sandwich in...), mascarpone, milk chocolate, things cooked in duck fat.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bluemoon4515

        I've never had duck fat before! Or duck, actually. And butter. OMG. I had no idea how good it tastes. Thanks so much!

        1. re: a.bot

          Duck fat fries, merquez duck and boar sausages. Wild boar if you can find it. Fish and chips.

      2. First, welcome back. Second, I suspect you haven't gotten many replies simply because people don't know where to start. It's not only meat, but meat and dairy. Are you more likely to eat out, or cook it yourself? That's a lot of ground to cover.

        I don't see chicken on your list. Zuni roast chicken is popular here (I haven't made it yet, but people rave over the bread salad). The Morrocan Million Dollar chicken has earned followers (the recipe looks like a disaster, but is actually delicious).

        Have you had barbequed ribs yet (ever?). If you like philly cheese steak, you are going to love sausage and peppers. Screw marinara, make a bolognese!

        I've fallen off the vegetarian wagon, twice, but I've promised myself i am going to eat fish eyes this summer. I don't know if you're ready for fish eyes, but Chow's tell me to pick the head clean of meat in my forage. You could start by grilling salmon. Or getting sushi, but don't limit yourself to rolls, but some nice pieces of fish that just shine in their own little spotlight (please eat some eel, if you haven't already).

        Frankly, you having been a vegi/vega who is up for a challenge makes me want to tell you to eat liver and onions . . . but I won't.

        But you should be making your own rice pudding, and whipped cream, and ice cream. And creme fraiche.

        1 Reply
        1. re: onceadaylily

          I know! What a terribly general question to ask! :) I've been cooking a lot of chicken lately - surprised at how easy it is. I'll check those recipes out for sure.

          I just promised someone that I would eat eyeballs if I ever had the chance. As for sushi, I've been eating tons of sashimi and even eel (which I'm soo grateful I tried - it's heaven).

          I used to love liver/onions as a kid and I've been thinking about some liverwurst from a good deli in SLC - so I'm slowly getting there!

          Thanks so much! :) This is so fun!

        2. hmmm how about lamb skewers with a yogurt mint sauce or a gyro with tzaki sauce.

          Fish Tacos are a favorite of mine

          If you haven't yet, had filet mignon I would suggest that but I have a feeling you have.

          Summer is a grea time to enjoy good BBQ - Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Chicken Wings, Ribs, Brisket, etc.

          Also chimichurri skirt steak is amazing. Brats with sauerkraut in a pretzle bread bun, Choirizo, italian sausage.

          and what about the amazing sandwiches you have been missing out on.
          the cuban
          the reuben
          Italian meat sub
          Banh Mi (with meat not tofu)
          The club sandwich - consist of various meats plus bacon. I like ham turkey and bacon
          Roast Beef and Swiss
          grilled cheese
          chicken/ tuna salad sandwiches

          Pizza - what about a white pizza maybe with fresh ricotta buffalo mozzerella and slices of tomato, topped off with a little olive oil

          english style fish and chips

          wow the list can go on forever. The world is your oyster. You have so many new opportunities. Enjoy!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sandwich_Sister

            Thanks so much! Can you believe I've never had a proper Banh Mi sandwich or a reuban? I love sandwiches, so I've got a lot to try. I'm esp. excited for that Banh Mi.

            I've been making a lot of pizzas lately - and I can't eat enough of it. I don't know if I've seen real buffalo mozzarella in SLC?

          2. Make deviled eggs. They're one of my simple pleasures. There's a video on Chow right now about how to do it.

            If you dig fresh ricotta, by all means make lasagna -- your choice, meat or no meat. If you don't use meat, use Bechamel, as well as the ricotta and mozzarella -- and lots of good zucchini, eggpland, onions and mushrooms.

            In the summer I make a meatloaf with half good chopped sirloin and half Italian sausage meat; saute a little chopped red pepper and onion up, mix the meat up with an egg and a little grated Pecorino (Romano) cheese, roll it out, and spread it with the vegetable mixture. Roll it up, place in baking dish and cook. Cool/chill it and slice it thin, serving it with mustard mayonnaise (or, in your case, cheese and good bread!).

            2 Replies
            1. re: shaogo

              I almost mentioned meatloaf, and I'm glad I didn't ,*bows to you*. I thought that I as a Midwesterner, had fully explored and exhausted the meatloaf. The first time I made a meatloaf for the boyfriend, I earned a look of glazed admiration. "It's better than my mom's," he said (high praise here). "It . . . doesn't even need SALT!"

              Meatloaf, jelly-rolled, served cold. Fantastic.

              1. re: shaogo

                Meatloaf sounds soo good. I'll try that.

                For Father's Day I'm making deviled eggs - I found a recipe w/ bacon and cheddar. Deviled Eggs used to be one of my favorite things ever.

              2. oh gosh, if i could have dairy... a really rich MAC'N'CHEESE!!

                sushi -- a decadent omakase

                5 spice crusted duck breast

                juicy bison burger?

                asparagus with poached egg and miso butter

                eggplant or chicken parmesan - okay these aren't adventurous; or manicotti

                cheesecake :)

                3 Replies
                1. re: Emme

                  Oh wow! I haven't even heard of omakase! And poached eggs are so good to me right now <3 on every/anything.


                  1. re: a.bot

                    Omakase just means chef's choice at a sushi bar. Good call, and I also second the call for any and all cheeses (from a cheese shop, I mean, not supermarket stuff).

                    And good barbecued ribs. And good fried chicken. And good gelato...

                    1. re: tatamagouche

                      Gotcha. I still haven't had ribs or fried chicken yet - but gelato, omg. I need to start getting new flavors - I can't get past the marscapone

                2. Uni. The food like no other on Earth.

                  1. Fresh boiled lobster, with just excellent melted butter, lightly grilled shrimp in shell, with fresh lime.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Quine

                      that sounds so great! i'm planning on doing that this summer, but it's going to take a considerable amount of guts on my part to boil a lobster.

                      1. re: a.bot

                        It's not that bad really. They look like bugs and don't have soft eyes to stare at you with, so not much guilt! Yummy and delicious too! But I'm from farming stock so I'm a bit less squeamish than most. A vegan friend once challenged that I wouldn't eat meat if I had to kill it. I told him was wrong. After naming a few animals he then said if I'd kill a bunny, and I said no. "Aha!" he said, "I got you!". "No, it's just that I don't like rabbit!"

                        Kind of amazed that you changed yr diet so drastically.

                        Pork products, including hams, bacon, etc.
                        Cheeses, all kinds of cheeses
                        Cakes, lots of cakes!
                        Coconut cream pie
                        Cream sauces on fish and chicken!

                    2. Beer Can Chicken on the grill
                      London Broil
                      French Dip Sandwiches
                      Beef and/or Chicken Fajitas
                      Pork Tenderloin
                      A full blown Turkey Dinner
                      Cajun Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
                      Beef and Cheese Burrito
                      Corned Beef and Cabage
                      Hamburgers and Hotdogs
                      Bone-in Rib-eye steak
                      Prime Rib
                      Ham & Eggs
                      Eggs Benedict
                      Meatloaf with country gravey
                      Fish & Chips
                      Hot Pastrami Sandwich
                      BLT Sandwich
                      Pizza with pepperoni, sausage and salami
                      Coconut Shrimp
                      Clam Chowder
                      Beef Stew

                      1. Welcome back from the dark side! :D

                        Take pleasure in the simple stuff. A perfectly roasted chicken, a nice rare grilled ribeye, an awesome burger, juicy pulled pork ... and sausage, don't forget sausage!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MandalayVA

                          oh roasted chicken! this is the one thing i've really been working on. learning how to carve chicken has been a bit of a challenge - but i'm getting there. :)

                        2. Not quite the same, but when I returned from my tour in 'Nam, I was young once and I just wanted the Holy Trinity of American junk food, Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and Pizza.

                          Try middle eastern lamb dishes and gyros.

                          1. Just cheese has so much to offer. Go to Whole Foods (or, if you're lucky, your local cheese shop that lets you taste before you buy) and go wild with the samples. Cheese makes EVERYTHING better!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: mordacity

                              It sounds like the OP is in SLC. Definitely, definitely check the Liberty Heights Market cheese counter. They've also started carrying Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams so check that out as well.

                            2. prosciutto. Get the imported parma ham (or if not readily available, a good serrano is sufficiently similar to get an idea of the flavor). Get it sliced as thin as possible and go to town with crunchy thin breadsticks or big hunks of doughy sourdough or crackers. It's also great with melon or some shaved parmesan or creamy mozzarella. If you're feeling particularly decadent, stuff some soft goat cheese into a fig and wrap it with prosciutto.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Mestralle

                                I can eat a quarter pound of really good imported Italian prosciutto all by itself, it's that good. a.bot, you said you'd just rediscovered bacon - have you made yourself a BLT? Good bread, toasted, a generous swipe of mayo, lettuce and really good fresh tomatoes, 3 or 4 slices of bacon - nothing better when you need something fairly quick.

                                1. re: pasuga

                                  that was my SECOND bacon-eating experience. i can't wait for tomato season - sooo yummy.

                                2. re: Mestralle

                                  i always feel decadent! proscuitto is so good with fruit - i can't wait to get my hands on some.

                                  1. re: a.bot

                                    Prosc is fabulous with fresh ripe pears. If you can get any, don't miss the combination. WAY better than melon, the common match.

                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                    I'm with you on steak tartare or true kibbe, but it's hard to find in restaurants nowadays unless you're in a major city with a big budget, and it's a little dodgy to make on your own unless you really trust your source.

                                    1. re: Mestralle

                                      i don't remember seeing it anywhere. what does it taste like? i would imagine it would be something i'd really like - seems like it would have a good texture.

                                      1. re: a.bot

                                        Tartare & kibbe are rich and smooth.
                                        To the extreme....find a Korean place that serves live baby octopus. Bite down hard and fast, before it bites you! If you don't kill it and swallow, it crawls back up your throat. This was the fun & games at my son's bachelor party in Seoul. This is why So Ju was invented.

                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                          Careful Passa, you may turn him back into a vegan with those descriptions!

                                          1. re: nvcook

                                            Heh, heh, heh.
                                            A $.99 foqt long hot dog at the Golden Nugget in the old strip, Las Vegas. Better?

                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                              The Costco 1/4 lb Kosher all-beef hot dog and drink for $1.50 is great deal.

                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                To be honest, Las Wages is as foreign to me as Maine. Only difference is, I think I'd really enjoy Maine. (just kidding, I've been to Vegas but only under duress when I was working).

                                                1. re: nvcook

                                                  My brother lives in Henderson. We go once a year, but never even bother w/ the strip. We are hikers.
                                                  Eat a green chile cheeseburger
                                                  Chiles rellanos
                                                  Steamed & fried clams.
                                                  Beef jerky.

                                              2. re: nvcook

                                                I'm eating beef jerky right now! I always thought it would be hard to chew?

                                                1. re: a.bot

                                                  Beef jerky IS hard to chew. As to this thread, I'm from Missouri...

                                                1. re: a.bot

                                                  Yup, there is a lot of youtube footage of eating & screaming eating live octos. (Sorry, Veggo).

                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                    is this a challenge?! ;) I'm going to have to work my way up to that. I've only had (dead) octopus once and that didn't go over really well, but I am intrigued .....

                                                    1. re: a.bot

                                                      Another challenge. Cuy of guinea pig, a major source of animal protein in Bolivia and Peru. When you wring their neck, they say,cuy, cuy.! Available on Roosevelt Blvd. in Queens, NYC.
                                                      Rocky Mountain oysters for a good SLC girl.

                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                        Cuy is also a staple in the mountainous region of Ecuador. I was served it at a wedding and only knew what it was because the lady sitting next to me had the head of one.

                                                        I worked in pet stores for years after I got out of the Peace Corps and people would look at the guinea pigs and ask what they were like. Frequently I had to bite my tongue and keep from saying: "They're OK, but a bit greasy when cooked".

                                        2. Pickled Herring in sour cream
                                          Foie Gras..........numba one Savory with toast!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                          Epoisses - French Cheese
                                          BBQ Brisket slathered in KC style sauce
                                          Grilled Scallops
                                          Crab.......loads of it
                                          Crispy Duck
                                          Pickled eggs
                                          White Truffles and scrambled eggs ummmmmmmm
                                          Chile con Carne
                                          Country Style Pork Ribs
                                          Beef Satay with peanut sauce
                                          Chicken in Salsa Verde
                                          Taleggio Italian Cheese
                                          Pecorino Italian Cheese with truffle honey drizzled on top
                                          Med. Octopus sliced ultra thin drizzled with EVOO and Tepanade
                                          Gravlax with gravlax sauce
                                          Mud Bugs..........Crawfish
                                          Giant Shrimp grilled with Moho de Ajo
                                          Scandanavian eel Pate..............might have to fly to Sweden for that.
                                          Surstromming only enjoyed by a few, google it or look on wikkapedia
                                          Reblochon - French cheese
                                          Tobiko - Flying fish eggs
                                          Orange Roughy
                                          Chilean Sea Bass
                                          Broasted yes Broasted Chicken
                                          Tortas de Lechon.....Young piglet roasted in a wood oven for 12 hours made into a sandwich slathered with pickled onions from the Yucatan cost there a buck twenty... will beat any hot dog at any price.
                                          Aged Manchego Cheese - Spain
                                          Black Foot Jamon Serrano - Hams air dried from pigs that are fed Chesnuts.
                                          Oh I almost forgot......Kobe Beef .........only the real thing though, from Japan, does melt in your mouth. I do not suggest Wygu that comes from the States it just does not taste the same. Very spendy but you need to try it once in your life.
                                          Frog legs

                                          I could go on for days but these are a few of my favorites

                                          1. Did I forget Rack of Lamb.........Leg of Lamb.........Lamb Chops
                                            Pork Roast
                                            OK I am going to stop now

                                            1. Oh and Chorizo only spicy though.......

                                              9 Replies
                                              1. re: wineman3

                                                I'm going to carry this list around with me until I get them all checked off. Thanks! :) But what is broasting?

                                                1. re: a.bot

                                                  Just wanted to second the chorizo. Get it spicy and eat it HOT. It is so, so good.

                                                  1. re: Jadore

                                                    I'm looking forward to that! The veggie chorizo I used to eat is wonderful, I can't imagine what the real stuff tastes like.

                                                2. re: wineman3

                                                  Wineman, you're making me hungry! Definitely try foie gras, and some of the chicken liver pates can also be quite satisfying (there's a place nearby that makes a great one with chicken liver, apples and brandy).

                                                  Lamb is fantastic with quite a unique flavor that's complemented nicely (and simply) with mint or rosemary (they're the go-to flavors for lamb for a reason),

                                                  I also recommend some aged cheddar, 10 or more years if you can find it. It's surprisingly smooth and creamy (or it surprised me, anyway), with those great little crunchy bits of crystallized protein bits (or whatever they are).

                                                  1. re: Mestralle

                                                    you should try the cheeses from Beehive Creamery in Ogden, especially the Barely Buzzed, where the rind has been rubbed with coffee. So delicious!

                                                    1. re: mollyomormon

                                                      i have! and quite honestly, it was their Squeaky Bee Curds that nudged me back into eating cheese. I love that place. <3

                                                      1. re: a.bot

                                                        ohh, I must try those next time I'm in town for a visit!!

                                                      2. re: mollyomormon

                                                        I got some Barely Buzzed from wine.woot.com and the only way I can describe it is that it's the only cheese I've had that bites back! I liked their Seahive and we went through that quickly.

                                                        Fresh squeaky cheese is always a treat. When we go to the Tillamook Creamery, I stock up on them, and gobble them up fast so that they stay fresh.

                                                  2. anything with brie - make sure it gets to room temp so it's soft and a bit runny

                                                    eggs over easy with crispy bacon on the side and good quality artisan bread toast to dip in the runny yolks

                                                    slow cooked brisket

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: pescatarian

                                                      One of my favorite snacks is melty brie with pepper jelly on a sourdough baguette. In fact, I think I may have to go to the bakery now.

                                                      1. re: pescatarian

                                                        homemade toasted coconut marshmallows

                                                        1. re: pescatarian

                                                          When I was little, we used to dip the marshmallows in sweetened condensed milk before we rolled them in the coconut and toasted them. Their use in a s'more made me crazed with joy.

                                                      2. BTW, if it hasn't been mentioned yet -- chicharones. Go to a good Mexican market and get some fresh ones.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. foie gras. raw oysters. ceviche. peruvian beef heart (anticuchos).

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                            Aren't anticuchos chicken hearts? Or are they both?
                                                            BBQ's cow's udder at a Bolivian churasco.

                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                              i've heard they can be, but i've only had them as beef heart. i'm from a bolivian family (in L.A., not in Bolivia), and grew up eating them in peruvian restaurants, and only had beef hearts. which are excellent.

                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                Do you eat saltenas, the real Bolivian drug? Are ther any Bolivian restaurants in LA? I go to one in Queens, NYC called Mi Bolivia.
                                                                Sopa de mani?

                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                  i'm in San Francisco now, and there are a couple of places here that sell saltenas, and yes, i eat them, and love them! There is more Peruvian here than Bolivian, tho. When i used to live in L.A. and O.C., there were many more places for saltenas and/or any Bolivian food than there are here. I've make my own version of sopa de mani, posted here in Home Cooking, i believe. Chairo, papa a la huancayna, milanesa, lomo montado - all are fave foods!

                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                    What no chicharones? Damn, I was just in OC for a week last Feb. and it never even occured to me to look for Bolivain Restos. Boy am I dumb!

                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                      Yeah, i never had it growing up, so i don't get it very often, but funnily enough, i DID just get Peruvian take-out the other day and did have chicken chicharrones! Next time you are heading to OC just send a note and I'll steer you in the right direction.

                                                          2. Try some Korean Grill - Bulgogi (beef or pork - spicy or mild) or Kaibi (marinated short ribs)
                                                            Korean spicy chicken wings
                                                            Pork neckbone/backbone soup
                                                            Oxtail Soup

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: hannaone

                                                              Koninsomneedah! Dumplings too, but no dog, please.

                                                            2. Cheese saganaki is what made me fall of the vegan wagon (still vegetarian though).

                                                              Cream cheese too. You need to slather up some cream cheese on some New York style bagels and go to town. Mmmmm.

                                                              1. My favorite very non-vegan items

                                                                - Cheese souffle
                                                                - Lamb shank stew with couscous
                                                                - Foie gras!
                                                                - A fine Brie cheese with toasted baguette and champagne grapes. OMG, nothing else is so simple and so delicious.
                                                                - Lightly fried squid with FRESH herbs and homemade, spicy sweet cocktail sauce.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Jadore

                                                                  those all sound amazing! thanks for that inspiration!

                                                                  1. a huge bowl of pho with all the meats!! one reason of the many why i could never go vegan...

                                                                    1. Speaking of foie gras—ankimo (monkfish liver). Heavenly stuff.

                                                                      1. New herring, raw fish w/ raw onion.

                                                                        1. Cook and Slice a 6 rib prime roast, cooked to 130 degrees, into 1.5 inch sections. Eat. That's meat.