(Closed) Vegan substitutes not working!

posted 3 years ago in Food
Post # 31
Member
60 posts
Worker bee

Top-Sources-of-Plant-Based-Protein

 

You don’t have to get you protein from soy or faux-meat products if you don’t enjoy them. There are plenty of plant-based foods that will provide plenty of protein. Lysine is the most difficult amino acid to get on a plant-based diet, but it is easily do-able. Plant foods that contain lysine include lentils, black beans, pumpkin seeds, edamame, quinoa, soy milk and other soy products, almonds, and seitan. I also enjoy nuts and seeds for the healthy fats, such as omega 3’s, that they provide. Flaxseeds, hemp seeds and chia seeds are great for this. You can also get over 100% of your daily selenium needs from one brazil nut.

However, if you find some faux-meats, or no-dairy cheeses that you enjoy, then that’s great. I do not live in the US, so I don’t have access to the same non-dairy cheeses, but I have heard good things about Chao cheese, and Follow Your Heart (their vegan mayo is THE best i’ve tried). Nut-based cheeses tend to be the best in my opinion, but they are also usually more expensive.

If you buy the firm/extra-firm tofu blocks that are in liquid, then you MUST press your tofu. If you don’t, the tofu is too saturated to absorb any flavours from the sauce/marinade/spice rub you use. Watery tofu is truly gross. I like to make a tofu scramble using firm tofu. First, you press it to remove the water, then crumble it into smaller pieces that kind of resemble scrambled eggs. Then fry some veggies such as onions and peppers in a pan and let them start to brown before adding in the tofu and lots of seasonings. I usually serve it on toast with some kind of sauce to top. Marinated and baked tofu is also really good. I hated tofu for most of my life, and even after I went vegan until I found out how to cook it properly.

Silken tofu should be drained but not pressed, as will turn into mush if you try. My favourite silken tofu recipe is to blend 1 block of silken tofu (around 300g) with 200g of frozen mixed berries, 75g of frozen banana, and a splash of soy milk. This makes 2 servings of a frozen yogurt type thing. I have found it great for including more protein in my breakfast.

You can find loads of recipes online. Youtube is great so you can see how to do everything.

Post # 32
Member
9799 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

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DoubleD :  You probably need to avoid substitutes and cook things that aren’t focused on those.  I’ve tried the daiya cheese and it isn’t great.  The only thing I used it for was to mix in breakfast burritos to help them hold their shape (I just gave up dairy for ~6mo, I am not a vegan but I love veggie burgers and other vegan recipes).  Otherwise, I picked recipes that weren’t cheese based or had cheese.  I do like tofu but not as a subsitute to chicken, just on it’s own.  It doesn’t have much taste so it’s really just about the texture and putting it in a good sauce. But I prefer to pan fry mine so it has some nice texture on the outside. I have a tofu press that is handy to get all the water out.  You don’t need to eat tofu though, if you don’t like the texture there are plenty of other things to eat.  I just never made things like vegan lasgana with fake cheeses since you are almost bound to be disappointed.  I’d rather just make a curry or something better.  Although many of the homemade “cheese” sauces can actually be good- they are more work than I was willing to do on a week night when I could just throw together something else easier and just as good.

I usually avoided fake cheese but the field roast chao slices are pretty good. gouda was the best IMO.

I love veggie burgers but I rarely buy the store made ones (maybe just to keep a box on hand in case I’m out of time and need something quick and I do the bean ones not the fake hamburger/soy ones).  I usually make my own and freeze them.  There are fantastic recipes out there.  They are not meant to taste similar to meat.  They are just good on their own as what they are.  I would start with some of those recipes and make your own veggie burgers.  Make a double batch and freeze the extra. 

Post # 33
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: June 2018

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DoubleD :  lol thanks!! we had a really hard time at first, so it was a lot of fajitas and cheeseless veggie-heavy pizza, but we’re coming around to it all. 

ALSO, forgot to mention: hotforfood’s nacho cheese is amazing, but if you haven’t tried the Minimalist Baker cashew queso, you need to ASAP;it’s hands down the best I’ve had. 

Post # 34
Member
588 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

The only meat substitute I like is tempeh. It has a good texture and does it’s own thing, the others freak me out. I dig into umami ingredients and flavors because they bring that rich, earthy taste of meat. A little goes a long way with most of these and it’s really fun to experiment. If I wan’t “meat”, I make grain/bean burger, mushroom burger, veggie “steak”, or tempeh crumbles and season with a combination of these: 

– mushrooms
– miso
– umeboshi and/or ume paste
– nuts and nut butters
– nutritional yeast
– soy sauce
– paprika
– sesame oil
– rarely, drop of liquid smoke

Post # 35
Member
1306 posts
Bumble bee

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DoubleD :  I wasn’t encouraging you to eat dairy and eggs. I was encouraging you to learn to eat real, whole food and don’t worry about a sprinkle of Parmesan, a sauce that contains eggs, a dollop of yogurt/sour cream topping in the very beginning.

Why don’t you start with a good vegetarian cookbook?  You need to start thinking of food and cuisine differently all together.  Cook from scratch.  Get into mediteranian and eastern cuisines.  I highly recommend the cookbooks Plenty and Plenty More.  Go slow. 

Start by focusing on cooking from scratch, adding beans/lentils and cutting meat out 2 or 3 days a week and do not fuss over a bit of cheese or fish sauce or whatever add-ins that help you make new vegetarian foods familiar and palatable for a while.  It will help you transition to vegetarian eating. And you need to know to be vegetarian without heavily relying on processed foods.  Only then would you work on ways to add texture or umami with vegan substitutes like nutritional yeast, etc. 

You aren’t going to go straight from a diet of processed food and meat to vegan successfully before being vegetarian first.  Don’t treat this change like a fad diet and you won’t get fad diet results.  

Post # 37
Member
1306 posts
Bumble bee

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DoubleD :  That’s good, you are clearly motivated.  Sometimes our enthusiasm can get in the way of process.  Think Flexitarian->Vegetarian->Vegan.  

Min edition to a lot of other great resources already given by others, Smitten Kitchen has a lot of vegetarian recipes.  Her recipes are generally well tested and reliable.  

Post # 38
Member
9799 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

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DoubleD :  I forgot to update one thing I really ended up enjoying I never would have thought I would have was vegan pizza.  A lot of regular places have crusts that are vegan so all you need to do is pick no cheese and add lots of veggie toppings.  To prevent it from being too dry I make a sauce like the papa johns garlic sauce- so vegan butter with a heavy dose of garlic powder.  Then I drizzle that all over the pizza.  Really delicious and I didn’t even miss the cheese.  Just keep at it and you can figure out things like this that make eating easier. And places like chipotle or thai food is easy to get vegan things.  You need to learn to read ingredient lists but it makes things easier to have some foods you know you can get when eating out or take out.  You can use the allergen tools but they’re not always completely accurate.  Like the pizza place by us has an allergen tool that says that all pizzas “contain milk” but that is because they are counting the cheese on it as part of the whole.  When you actually access their ingredient list you can see the crust does not contain milk.  So just skip the cheese and meats and you’re good to go.  Everyone has to eat out from time to time so it’s helpful to have go-tos that are available everywhere.

Someone else already mentioned minimalist baker- great blog.  

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