How to Veganize Your Favorite Recipes?



It’s tempting when you first go vegan to just remove the animal products from your diet and eat what’s left. But that leads to lackluster meals and hungry vegans!

We’re here to show you how you can replace the animal products in your favorite recipes, and make meals your whole family will love.

Let’s start with the ‘meat’ of the matter: the part that makes up ⅓-½ of the plate for many people. There are several alternatives these days, such as tofu, seitan, or TVP, and which you use will often be a matter of personal taste. Know that the replacements you buy are both essentially cooked already, so your recipes will need far less cooking time than you’re used to. Simply replace the meat with an equal volume of tofu, seitan, or rehydrated TVP, add them at the time your recipe states, and keep an eye on them as they cook so you’ll get a feel for how much less time your recipe needs. It’s usually the time for the next slowest-to-cook ingredient, for example, potatoes. If your recipe contains a liquid, you may also need less of it, as not as much will evaporate over the shortened cooking time.

Don’t neglect beans and mushrooms! They make a hearty, filling replacement in many recipes, with a healthy dose of fiber that meat just won’t give you. Trying to adjust cooking times and liquid volumes for dry beans is complicated, so it’s easiest to use already-cooked beans and adjust your recipe as you would if you were adding seitan.

Vegan Hotdogs

For recipes with milk, cream, cheese, or butter, it couldn’t be simpler! Just grab your favorite plant-based alternative, and use as much as your recipe calls for. The only word of caution is with cheese – non-dairy cheese can burn more easily than dairy cheese, so sprinkle on top of pizza and other dishes when they are almost cooked and give them just a few minutes more in the oven to melt.

Honey is another easy ingredient to replace; agave syrup, maple syrup, and plant-based ‘honey’ can all be used in the same amounts. You can find out more about vegan honey here.

Things get a bit more complicated when we want to replace eggs. Eggs are used for different reasons in different recipes, so you really need to figure out which property of eggs you want to replace. Check out our Egg Substitutes article for a more in-depth answer to this one!

Let us know which favorite family recipe you’d like to adapt, and we’ll help you come up with alternative ingredients and help you adapt your cooking method.

For more recipes and tips from experienced mentors and certified dietitians, join Challenge 22 for free!

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