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How to Veganize Anything

By Chef Linda

What if we didn’t have to give up the foods we love in order to be vegan? Creating plant-based versions of our favorite foods is easier than ever and we’ve put together some of our top tips on how to use everyday ingredients to make your favorite dishes vegan. Simple swaps and creative uses of familiar foods can transform the way you eat. These are some examples of foods you can use to create tastes and textures you love with compassion.

Easy Substitutions for Taste and Texture:

  • Baked and marinated carrots make delicious lox for bagels and omelets
  • Fluffy baked potatoes can stand in for ricotta in cannoli
  • Waldorf salad with chickpeas instead of chicken is delicious and healthy
  • Swap out the anchovies in Caesar dressing for briny capers
  • Sliced shiitake mushrooms can replace chewy clams in chowder
  • Sauté canned lentils with taco seasonings for meat-free Mexican
  • Create a cheese-free quesadilla with corn, zucchini, and refried beans to hold everything together
  • Canned jackfruit and BBQ sauce make the best “pulled pork”
  • Sliced portobello mushrooms are a meaty alternative for steak in fajitas
  • Replace the cheese in pesto with miso for a rich, pungent taste
  • Shiitake mushrooms baked with olive oil and salt can serve as a crunchy, salty substitute for bacon
  • Avocados are a heart-healthy replacement for eggs in chocolate mousse
  • Puréed artichokes, cannellini beans, and cashews create a rich and creamy Alfredo sauce

What About Baking?

In baking where eggs are used to:

– Bind ingredients: Mix 3 tablespoons of water with 1 tablespoon of ground flax or chia seeds. After a few minutes, the mixture thickens into a gel. Try pureéd bananas or beans which can also provide binding and structure to baked goods. Try white beans for light-colored cakes and cookies and black beans for brownies and chocolate cakes.

– Add richness: Use 3 tablespoons of coconut cream or milk, plain non-dairy yogurt, blended silken tofu, or nut butter.

– Leaven: Mix together 1 teaspoon of baking powder with 3 tablespoons of water, unsweetened non-dairy milk, or even applesauce or puréed pumpkin. Consider the recipe you’re making and decide what would work best.

For simple swaps, consider store-bought options. Today you can find a plant-based alternative for almost anything–from milk to mayonnaise, yogurt to cheese, and ribs to ground meat. If you haven’t already made the switch to non-dairy milk and plant-based butter, now’s the time. There is no better time to turn to plants to help create a more sustainable and healthier future for all of us.




Add Love + Stir, Tips, Tricks and Techniques, Vegan Lifestyle