Post # 1
So I recently posted about DH and I becoming vegan. Well the thing is, cutting out meat and dairy hasn’t been difficult at all. It’s trying the “substitutes” that taste NOTHING like the real thing. I don’t expect that something that is not chicken to taste EXACTLY like it. We tried tofu and hated it as well as Daiya vegan cheese. We got some chickpea mix to try but we haven’t yet. At this point fruits, vegatables, oatmeal, peanut butter (DH), sun butter (me), soy milk, cereal has been our diet. Giving up things isn’t the problem like most people would think. It’s finding other things to eat. Is it just us getting past the taste of things being different after so long or we really don’t like it? Bees please convene.
Post # 2
I’m a vegetarian. I recently tried Gardein brand and really like the following:
These get pretty juicy: https://gardein.com/products/beefless-burger/
I like to eat these with everything. I love the flavor: https://gardein.com/products/seven-grain-crispy-tenders-2/
Idk how similar tasting they are to meat since I’ve been a vegetarian for 13 years. I also tried to make cashew cheese sauce and it sucked. I shouldn’t try to recreate the real thing.
Post # 3
I had the same issues with various diets. Subsitutes do NOT work for me. No faux chicken in the world is going to taste like (or as good as) real chicken. So I stopped using them. Mushrooms, generally just other yummy things would do it for me.
That said – you can continue trying subsitutes, there are many out there, and maybe something will work for you? Theres also a lot of ways to cook tofu (I like to press it to get rid of moisture, dry it off, coat in flour and you can sear it a bit easier), and maybe cooking some of the substitutes will help give them a different/better texture.
Post # 4
stop looking for substitutes. they’re crazy processed and worse for you than meat imo. look up recipes for chickpeas, lentils, and other beans and make them. e.g. lentil-stuffed peppers.
there are *many* ways to cook tofu, I’d try a few more before swearing it off.
Have you considered vegetarianism so you can still eat eggs?
get some vegan cookbooks (e.g. veganomicon) and follow a few vegan blogs. oh, and maybe join a vegan message board.
Post # 5
Why do you feel the need to use substitutes? If giving the real thing up has been easy then why the need to replace? I live in a vegan household (my husband is vegan and I am vegetarian) and we rarely use substitutes because well most of them are gross and highly processed.
Just make meals without the substitutes. Curries, stir frys, casseroles, stews, tagines, salads, soups, pasta, savory pies etc etc. Get a good vegan cookbook and start cooking.
Post # 6
- Wedding: March 2017 - Nepal
Last night I made taco’s with the Beyond Meat fiesty crumbles and they were so good! My husband, the man who I would have bet my life savings that he would never give up meat, would not stop talking about how good they were. I just mixed it with refried beans and seasoning, avocado, salsa and vegan parmesan I made a few nights prior. Even with frying the tortillas, dinner was ready in 20 minutes. I’ve used their regular crumbles in pasta sauce as well.
Post # 7
- Wedding: March 2017 - Nepal
Totally agree with cooking from scratch makes it a lot more enjoyable. I’ve had success with Minimalist Baker who’s recipes typically have 10 or less ingredients.
Post # 8
Tofu has no taste. It gets its flavor from what you cook it with- sauces, spices, herbs etc
You can do a stir fry with tofu, that will taste absolutely no different than one made with chicken or pork.
Post # 9
I’m recently on big jackfruit kick.
Post # 10
Do you have a Trader Joe’s near where you live? The Soy Chorizo from there is delicious (and really inexpensive). I personally think Daiya is the worst brand of vegan cheese. The pricier alternatives are better, in my opinion, but they’re obviously pricey. I’d try Kite Hill, Chao and Miyokos, if you’re looking for a cheese alternative. I also second the Beyond Meat crumbles and anything by Gardein. Nowadays I eat all of these sparingly and love them for a special treat. But when first transitioning to a vegan diet, they can be incredibly helpful. Good luck!
Post # 11
Daiya is known for being notoriously bad even among most vegans.
Post # 12
Try just eating whole, vegetarian foods first. Switch from eating meats to eating beans & lentils. Then once you have adopted that more then try different faux-meat products at a leisurely pace, you’ll eventually hit on some that you like. You did say you wanted to eliminate processed foods, yet you’ve jumped right into them. I offer my advice again, go vegetarian first, learn to make legumes a bigger part of your diet, don’t worry so much about some eggs or yogurt just yet. Then start doing strictly vegan two days a week, then three, then four….
Tofu is easy to like, you just need the right recipes.
Post # 13
The thing about substitutes is exactly what you’ve found – they don’t actually substitute for anything. Literally no one who’s eaten meat in the last year is going to try faux chicken and think it’s the real thing. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t be good as their own deal, once you stop comparing them to what you’re trying to replace.
As for tofu, I’d try getting a firmer type and kind of marinating it first? You get a better texture and flavor and to be frank, very few people like tofu on its own. But its natural flavorlessness is kind of its selling point because it means you can flavor it with whatever sauce you like and it’ll be perfect like that. I’d suggest trying some vegan curries and adding tofu or one of my favorite things to do is to cook extra firm tofu that I’ve cubed up on a pan in soyaki sauce (if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s, I’m sure you can make your own soyaki sauce by mixing soy and teriyaki sauces together) and then adding the now-flavored cubes to (vegan) buttered noodles – yum!
Post # 14
– Buy “New Vegan Cooking” by Roberto Martin
– Follow Connoisseurs Veg on Facebook
– Join a local Vegan Facebook Group in your city. Just search “Vegan” and your nearest big city and the various groups should pop up. It’s a great place to ask questions, but be careful! Vegans can draw extremists and negativity, just ignore the crazies.
– AVOID SOY BASED VEGAN CHEESE. For dairy alternatives, try cashew-based cheeses, cream, ice cream, etc to start.
– A few tried and true brands to get you started: Gardein, Amy’s, Beyond Meat and Simple Truth. It’s not the taste that’s bothering you, it’s the texture. It DOES get better (and suddenly awesome to the point where the texture of meat is like rotting buttery jelly, EW) over time. But it takes time. Textured pea proteins are my faves over soy.
– Three satisfying meals that helped me transition: homemade chili, vegan bourguignon (recipe in the book above), and fully loaded taco salads (guacamole, black beans, shredded lettuce and cabbage, Spanish rice, black and pinto beans, three types of salsa, mild jalapeños, banana peppers, red onions, salt, pepper..)
Post # 14
Forgot Field Roast!!! Great brand. Well loved and a staple at my tailgates. The Smoked Apple Sage Sausages are the bomb!