As I transition into a plant based lifestyle, here are some things I’ve had to ponder:
Traditional Food Replacements:
Meat, Fish, Dairy: Tofu Hot Dogs
I shamelessly admit that I’ve always loved a good hot dog! Although the texture is softer, these tofu hot dogs taste remarkably similar to the real thing. When piled high with mustard, ketchup or jalapeños, they satisfy. Some brands even have no carbs at all (good for diabetics). As for regular tofu, I’m still working on that one! It’s the texture!
Eggs: 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed in 3 Tbsp water = 1 egg
There are many replacements for eggs that I haven’t tried yet but flaxmeal has been my most successful replacement for baking. After letting the mixture sit for a minute, it thickens right up to the consistency of an egg. Trust me, it works.
As for crumbling tofu to mimic scrambled eggs, as I said above, ew!
Milk: Almond Milk (my personal favorite)
There are many varieties and flavors of non-dairy milks that are made from soy (for my husband who is allergic to nuts), rice, etc. I’ve never really liked cow’s milk anyway so this was no biggie for me.
Cheese: This one is rough!
Just like milk, there are many substitutes for cheese, however, I have not found them to be very tasty. Like the soy hot dogs, the sliced cheese versions are ok on a sandwich if you’re adding condiments. Nutritional yeast is the vegan go-to for adding a cheese-like flavor to dishes, usually along with soaked cashews to make a cheese sauce. I haven’t been too crazy about this.
Sugar, Honey: Apple sauce, Dates or Raisons, Frozen Fruits
I am currently experimenting with different sweet recipes that use these alternative “diabetic friendly” ingredients without the use of sugar or artificial sugars. Artificial sugars are not a healthy alternative and honey is still sugar to a diabetic. According to some, it’s possible to stop craving sweets and carbs that also turn into sugar. Really??
Butter, Fats & Oils: Vegetable stock, Wine, Water, Vinegar
I make vegetable stock all the time for making soups and don’t miss chicken broth at all. Chicken is another story! No one said it was going to be easy!
Blended tofu with a squeeze of lemon juice can be used in place of sour cream or mayo.
Prune paste can be used in place of fats and oils when baking sweets.
*Process 1 cup prunes + 1/2 cup water
Sub 1/3 of the amount of paste for the amount of oil.
Evidently prune paste holds moisture better than banana, pumpkin and
other fruits in recipes. Applesauce adds moisture.
Other than applesauce I haven’t experimented with any other alternatives yet.