(Closed) Vegan substitutes not working!

posted 3 years ago in Food
Post # 15
Member
508 posts
Busy bee

Have you tried pan frying to tofu with some cornstarch? I found the idea through Budget Bytes and it gives the tofu a nice crunch on the outside while still being a little soft on the inside. She has one particular recipe with this method that’s like heaven in a bowl. 
Sweet Chili Tofu Bowls

Post # 16
Member
1240 posts
Bumble bee

fake cheese doesn’t taste like cheese because..well..its not cheese. a lot of vegan ‘cheese’ sauces taste delicious, but they don’t taste like cheese so if you go into it with the expectation that its going to…you’re going to be disappointed. 

i don’t have a lot of advice on using processed faux-meat products, because they aren’t even available where I live. I eat tofu (which tastes terrible when it hasn’t been flavored, that may be what you dislike), beans, lentils, quinoa…

Post # 21
Member
2789 posts
Sugar bee

I’ve been vegan for 9 years and rarely eat meat substitutes – I usually only have them if I’m out at a restaurant that specializes in them, but even then it’s hit and miss for me. You also definitely have to stop thinking of it as tasting like the real thing, and just accept it as a new food group that has its own taste. I do like Daiya melted in recipes like lasagna because it balances out flavors well in the same way cheese can, but I wouldn’t eat it on its own. On the other hand, some of the nut based cheese substitutes are much less processed and taste great IMO, like this cashew parmesan: https://minimalistbaker.com/how-to-make-vegan-parmesan-cheese/

As PPs have said, I’d look for cuisines that already have a lot of veg foods – like stir fries, curries, lentil or vegetable soups and stews, pasta primavera, veg ramen or udon soups with miso broth, etc. 

Tofu is a difficult texture for a lot of people, but it’s grown on me over the years. I prefer it fried and in stir fry sauce, like in this recipe: https://www.budgetbytes.com/2016/02/pan-fried-sesame-tofu-with-broccoli/ But that’s admittedly not super healthy, it’s more of a guilty pleasure meal.

ETA: You definitely don’t need to eat soy products to get enough protein. You should be able to get plenty from beans, whole grains (quinoa has a lot of protein for example), nuts & seeds, etc. It’s really hard to be protein deficient if you’re eating enough calories. I have soy products maybe once a week, like tofu in a stirfry, but it’s not a big part of my diet. 

Post # 22
Member
2876 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

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DoubleD :  I am not vegan (nor vegetarian) because I get anaphylactic reactions to tree nuts (yeah, it’s fun and something that just happened last year).  But before that I tried to eat more vegetarian/vegan foods.

I was just talking about this with one of my coworkers that is vegan.  She said what worked best for her is starting slow.  If you eat meat 5 days a week, start by cutting down to 3 or 2.  If you really want to eat the meat substitutes, mix them with the real thing at first.  Or say if you’re making chili, use half the meat you would normally use and add quinoa to make up the rest.

She too made the mistake of expecting the substitutes to taste close to the real thing.  But the slow transition made her more accustomed to both the taste and texture.  For her it took her around 4 months from her to go first vegetarian and then vegan.  Actually it took her longer to go from vegetarian to vegan.  She also hated tofu at first but found ways to tolerate it, mainly by frying it like other Bees have suggested.  She thinks the key is accepting things for what they are.  Garden Burgers (which I like and can eat) or black bean burgers don’t taste anything like a real hamburger but they’re good in their own way.

Some of her favorite non meat products are Beyond Meat and Quorn.  I don’t know how processed either are so I’m not sure if they’re exactly “healthy” alternatives.

Edit – she also hates Daiya “cheese”.  She told me of another brand but I’ve forgotten it so I’ll ask her again.

Post # 23
Member
1339 posts
Bumble bee

Unless you are weight training or body building, you really don’t need all that much protien. You’ll get plenty from adding things to your diet like beans, lentils, whole grains, and nuts. Even potatoes have protien! No need to eat substitutes if you don’t like them. 

Post # 27
Member
2876 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

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DoubleD :  Quinoa can be very bland, just like tofu.  It picks up what you add to it.  I found that cooking it in vegetable broth instead of plain water helps a lot but I won’t eat it on it’s own (like a side dish).  Adding it to things like chili or salad helps.

Trial and error with cooking – vegan or not – is just part of the territory.  I have had some epic fails with new recipies.  Whenever I made a recipe for the first time I follow the directions to the letter.  The second and third times I make it, it always turns out much better because I learn what I need to tweak.  I find most recipies are underseasoned (at least for my taste) so I always add double what they recommend.

And I didn’t read your previous thread so I’m not sure if you’re jumping from being a carnivore to being vegan, but if you are, that is a huge transition and it will take time.  My vegan coworker told me much of the food is an acquired taste and not to have your expectations too high at first.

Post # 29
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: June 2018

FH and I have been vegan for almost a year, and we’ve made so many different cool foods. If you haven’t checked out the Minimalist Baker (minimalistbaker.com) and the different vegan YouTubers’ recipes (hotforfood, High Carb Hannah, Caitlin Shoemaker, Edgy Veg, and so many more), you’re totally missing out. It’s all pretty easy and incredibly delicious. We eat a lot of roasted veggies, but we love making different soups, chilis (pumpkin chili from Thug Kitchen is one of our favorites), and curries. Just.. ya know.. if you want to see what we’ve been making, I post everything on instagram– peasbwithyou (yeah.. I went there, lol). 

If you’re looking for cheese, try Follow Your Heart (it melts the best), or Chao, if you’re looking for slices. However, if you’re willing to spend a little, Miyokos Kitchen cheese is apparently the best. I have her cookbook which has a similar recipe, but I haven’t tried it yet. Her caesar dressing is amazing, though!

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