Some Tips for Finding Vegan Alternatives to Your Favorite Foods:

       If you are experimenting with veganism, you might be having difficulty finding things to eat, and you may be missing some of your favorite dishes. Worry not! With a few ingredients, you can make almost anything vegan. Here are some tips for replacing animal products:

1)      Replacing meat: Meat is surprisingly easy to replace. In place of regular burgers, use veggie burgers (either home-made or from the grocery store). Instead of ground meat, try vegan sausage. (I recommend Gimme-Lean® Sausage). There are also vegan bacon, vegan cold-cuts, and a variety of other options. Look in the health food aisle or in a health food store.

2)     Replacing dairy: Replace milk with soymilk, rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or another vegetable milk. Experiment until you find a brand and type you like.  Replace butter with vegan butter (I like Earth Balance® Buttery Spread). If you are replacing butter in something like fried foods, you can use a vegetable oil such as canola oil. There is also vegan yogurt and vegan half-and-half. The only tricky dairy product is cheese. Some people like vegan cheese, though personally I haven’t found a brand I like. Try different brands and see if anything appeals to you.

3)     Replacing eggs: Eggs are best replaced with firm or extra firm tofu. Vegan cookbooks have plenty of methods to make egg dishes vegan. Instead of scrambled eggs, you can have a tofu scramble. I made vegan Eggs Benedict once, and it was very good. Other egg dishes, such as omelets, are trickier.

4)     Baking: Vegan baking is very simple. You can use your favorite recipes, only with a few modifications.  The trick to delicious baked goods is sugar and fat. As there is vegan sugar and fat, vegan baking can be delicious. Replace butter with vegan butter or oil, replace each egg with ¼ of applesauce, mashed banana, silken tofu, or vegan yogurt, and replace milk with vegetable milk. When baking, I often use coconut milk because it results in a creamier texture. If you need half and half or higher fat milk, I usually put a can of coconut in the refrigerator, let the fat separate, and scoop the fat out and use it to create an even creamier texture.

5)     Protein: People often fret that vegans don’t eat enough protein. Foods like tofu, tempeh, quinoa, beans, pasta, and whole grains provide protein, so eat them often.