The Easy Way to Veganize Your Favorite Recipes and Meals
When you’re new to plant-based eating—or when you’re still finding your vegan rhythm—it can be tedious figuring out what to eat every day. While it is exciting to explore new foods and try out new recipes, it is also just as fun–and sometimes more rewarding–to simply figure out how to make your favorite meals vegan.
Veganizing your favorite foods is far easier than you think. For example, if green chile stew is one of your favorite foods, a treat that you eat all the time, you might be thinking, “Great, now how do I find a vegan recipe for green chile stew?” The good news is there is no need to search the internet or visit a bookstore for a new recipe. Simply use the same recipe you have always used, with a few straightforward swaps!
Most grocery stores and online markets carry a good variety of vegan replacement products, so check your local stores for some of these products the next time you go shopping. Use this guide to get you started and you’ll be cooking up some plant-based delicacies in no time!
Meats & Broths Replacements
There are a wide variety of faux meats and vegan broths that can be used to substitute for meat-based ingredients in foods like soups, stews, tacos, burritos, burgers, pastas, and much more. Vegan food companies have so many offerings including ground beef, hamburger patties, chicken strips, fish filets, and shrimp. If faux meats aren’t your thing, or if you’re looking for more whole-foods options, try experimenting with foods like tofu, tempeh, jackfruit, mushrooms, and lentils to create meaty-like textures in your favorite foods. You’ll be amazed at how delicious tofu can be in Fajitas, or how well jackfruit can replace shredded pork in Tamales.
Just a decade ago, the availability of vegan dairy alternative products was practically non-existent. Luckily, chefs and food manufacturers have made great strides in recent years, and today there are many delicious plant-based milks, cheeses, butters, yogurts, and even ice creams that can be substituted in just about any recipe or dish. You can even whip up your own plant-based Nacho Cheese Sauce from ingredients you probably already have at home. Who knew plant-based Green Chile Chik’n Enchiladas could be so delicious and simple to make? Do a little research to see which product works best for the particular recipe you are making, and you are sure to be pleasantly surprised with the results!
When replacing eggs in a recipe it is important to get the chemistry right so that your foods come out with the right consistency and texture. Eggs are used for very specific purposes in recipes like binding and leavening and they have a very specific flavor and texture. Luckily there are plenty of chefs crafty enough to have created recipes for scrambled eggs, quiche, and even fried eggs. There are many different options for egg replacers (such as flax seeds, silken tofu, and pumpkin puree), and there is even an Egg Replacer product you can buy that was created for this very purpose. For more great plant-based egg recipes check out our Egg-Free Cooking webinar. And for more information on baking without eggs check out this great article.
Thanks to the many plant-based products that can be exchanged for their animal-based counterparts, and the many wonderful chefs who have experimented with different plant-based ingredients, veganizing your favorite foods is as easy as (vegan) pie!