Mac & “Cheese”

Posted on: October 22nd, 2013 by
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This recipe is for the (vegan) kid in all of us!

If you choose a fat-free vegetable-based milk, this recipe will literally have zero fat in it and still be creamy and delicious. The Wells family rating/score is a 4 out of 5. Mom and Dad both loved it, one child loved it, one child liked it, and one hated it. (But the one who hated it hates EVERYthing. I’m telling you- EVERYthing.) This recipe maintains the typical color and texture of mac & cheese, and tastes remarkably close to the real thing compared to any other cheese-less mac & cheese I’ve made to date. It’s a winner in our family, and only takes about twenty minutes to make once your pot of pasta water starts to boil.

Printable recipe here

Ingredients:

1 – 16 oz box of pasta (elbows or shells or whatever you like)
1 cup water
1 cup non-sweetened veggie milk (I use coconut, though I imagine rice, almond, or soy would be great alternatives too)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
3 T. potato starch (corn starch works fine as well)
2 t. light or mellow white miso
1/2 T. lemon juice
1 t. salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
3/4 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. smoked paprika

Directions:
Start a large pot of water on high heat until boiling. Boil pasta in the large pot according to package directions for an al dente texture. As pasta is cooking, add all remaining ingredients into a blender and mix on medium speed until combined. When al dente, drain pasta and add back into the large cooking pot. Pour the sauce mixture over the pasta and cook over medium-high heat until thickened. Serve hot.
Leftovers do not reheat sticky and crumbly like dairy mac & cheese. Leftovers are just as good as the day you made it, though add a little water to any leftovers that need to be loosened up.

All of the sauce ingredients in a blender waiting to be mixed into perfection.

All of the sauce ingredients in a blender waiting to be mixed into perfection.

Look at that amazing mac & "cheese!"  Creamy, orangey, and yummy.

Look at that amazing mac & “cheese!” Creamy, perfectly colored, and yummy.


Low Fat Salad Dressing

Posted on: October 15th, 2013 by
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This is a very easy, super low-fat salad dressing recipe.

I had been wanting to create something for a long time to take the place of the creamy ranch dressing that we all miss. But push came to shove this morning when I announced that we were having salad with dinner and my eldest said, “I don’t want salad. I hate that new dressing.” We had let the kids have ranch until we ran out of our stockpiled bottles of it, but recently we did in fact run out. My husband and I have been eating salad with a homemade mixture of dijon mustard, vinegar and honey for quite some time to avoid the fat in store-bought dressings. The kids didn’t like our dressing so I let them have Italian dressing for the last few salad meals. They all HATE it. They want creamy ranch. But creamy ranch is full of dairy-derived ingredients, and I am purging our house of all the last remnants of dairy. So this morning, when it was brought to my attention that I was about to start a revolt if I served Italian dressing one more time, I decided to create a creamy homemade dressing. I didn’t try to make it taste exactly like ranch; I just wanted it to be creamy and yummy and have very little fat so that my husband and I can use it too. Here’s the result:

Creamy Non-Dairy Salad Dressing (click on the title of the recipe for a printable version)

I blended together the following ingredients and voila!

1- 12.3 oz box of silken tofu (I use the shelf-stable Mori-Nu brand (non-GMO))
1- 0.7 oz packet of Italian salad dressing mix (dry seasoning)
3/4 c. water
1 T. apple cider vinegar
2 t. dried chives
1/2 T. honey
1/8 t. garlic powder (optional; if you like a garlicy dressing)

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This recipe couldn’t be any easier to make. That makes “busy mom” very happy!

I used an old mayonnaise jar and it fit one batch perfectly.

I used an old mayonnaise jar and it fit one batch perfectly.

I wanted to make sure it tasted as good on lettuce as it did from my fingertip.  It did. : )

I wanted to make sure it tasted as good on lettuce as it did from my fingertip. It did.
: )

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Typical ranch dressing has a whopping 15 grams of fat per 2 T. serving size. This dressing dwarfs even the grocery store varieties of low-fat dressing by at least two-thirds with a paltry 0.5 grams of fat per 2 T. serving size. I hope you like this recipe, but if you don’t, it is extremely easy to change around to suit your tastes. Keep the amount of liquid and tofu the same for a proper consistency, but feel free to change everything else around to find the flavor that you like best. Try some vegan parmesan powder and garlic for an alfredo-like dressing. Whatever you can think of. Have fun!


One Year Anniversary

Posted on: October 9th, 2013 by
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Tuesday, October 1st, marked exactly one year since my family and I began our plant-based eating adventure.
Coming from a VERY strong meat-and-starch background, I wasn’t sure we’d make it through the first month! But here we are, all kinds of happy and fulfilled and healthy- not yearning to return to our meat and dairy-eating days as I originally predicted.

10 Things I noticed as the months went by:
1) My taste for meat and dairy changed enough that, by a few months in, if I had a bite of a hamburger or a cheesy pizza I would actually think it tasted inferior to the veggie-based counterpart I had gotten used to. Similarly, as I cut out salts and sugars and fats, I began to acclimate to the true tastes of food and prefer them without the added “flavor enhancers.” Now I cringe when previously “normal” amounts of fats, salt, and sugar are added to my foods.
2) Within two months of starting the diet I had lost 15 pounds. That got my attention! Especially knowing that this was a life-long diet pursuit, as opposed to a short-term diet, and therefore the weight loss would be sustainable. Since then the number has leveled out at slightly over twenty pounds of total weight loss for me and an even higher number for my husband. (Neither of us exercised this last year so that we could see how the change in eating would affect our weight and blood lab numbers all on its own. When we add exercising in we will probably see more weight loss and an even greater improvement in blood sugar numbers, etc.)
3) My creativity in recipe making grew by the week. (And it’s still growing!) That was the biggest hurdle: What to eat? It only took a short time of sitting at my computer looking up thousands of vegan blogs with sweat beading on my brow before I began to find the sites that provided the best whole-foods, plant-based recipes. A lot of sites have healthy, no-fat added vegan recipes, but they aren’t all good. We had a lot of terrible meals (usually about one a week) but as we learned what we didn’t like, that phenomenon passed away. And as I found new ideas for delicious veggie-filled recipes, I added them into the menu rotation. Now I have a huge cookbook of printed-off recipes that I can turn to anytime I need inspiration, plus several amazing cookbooks I have collected along the way.
4) I can now veganize a recipe in my sleep. This used to take a lot of experimentations and failures. But as I have learned what works and what doesn’t, the process has yielded less and less failures. It calls for milk? No problem! Butter? Please! Give me a challenge! Eggs? Okay, eggs sometimes still challenge me when they are included in a recipe. But it’s pretty rare that I fail to substitute properly now that I’m seasoned at it.
5) It only took two months for my husband’s cholesterol to drop substantially. (He prefers I don’t share his numbers online, but he had several friends and family members, and his doctor, dumbfounded.) Mine dropped less, about 30 points. Either way, we saw results so quickly that we were encouraged to keep at it. This was our “cheering section” early on, when we still might have a craving for a steak. (I highly recommend getting your blood tested before beginning the diet so you can make similar comparisons.)
6) Our kids are now eating about 95% more veggie-based meals that they ever would have one year ago. : ) Kids are resilient and flexible, and when we decided to thrust this way of eating into our family dining room, they did little more than complain at meals they didn’t like the taste of. And now, after many repetitions of those meals over the last year, they have grown to like many (not all) of them. My daughter still says cheese is her favorite food, partly to be ornery, and partly because she legitimately loves the taste of cheese. But she doesn’t complain about its absence anymore. She loved sharing her “eggless salad sandwich” at school the other day and having her friend like the taste of it.
7) It only took about a month or two for me to notice that my energy level was WAY higher. I was sleeping better. And, ladies; my menstrual cycle shortened considerably and I have had less intense cramping (by and large) and no migraine headaches in the last year. Our ongoing battle with heartburn vanished and our bottle of antacids has sat unused for the last year.
8) Our grocery bill changed! Halleluia! In this economy, living paycheck to paycheck, we got some relief at the grocery store. I noticed right away that as I stopped buying prepackaged foods, meats and dairy items, my bill at the checkout line was smaller than it would’ve been with my previous menu-planning habits. As the year went on, however, I began buying “higher quality” foods- farmer’s market-type produce, organic foods, items with no corn syrup, etc. This mindset is for the health of my family. And although it brought our grocery spending back to a place where it was in our meat-eating days, I am happy to allow this as it means that the foods going into my kids’ mouths are not full of chemicals and unnecessary processing.
9) We have learned how to cope socially. Yep, for me, this was the biggie. I had no idea how to have people over or attend Christmas parties. I didn’t know how to even bring up the fact that we ate differently when the time came. I knew, more and more every month, that this was RIGHT for our family, and that did help me handle things better internally; not wrestling with it every time we went somewhere that meat was offered. But externally, I still had to speak of it gently and not make people around us feel judged for eating differently. Finding the words to convey all of this took practice. In the end, I have just decided that it’s easiest to tell people that we choose to eat this way because we believe it is healthy, and that it is a personal conviction and one we do not try to push onto other people. Our first Thanksgiving we invited the family over and made all vegan dishes. I made vegetable broth gravy that tasted just like the real thing but had no meat broth or fat. We made everything with no added fat and had the same (well, not the SAME, ha ha) traditional side dishes we had every year prior. There was green bean casserole, rolls, sweet potato casserole, bread stuffing, gravy, a failed pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, pesto pasta, pecan pie, and apple turnovers. This was our showcase to the family to prove that fat-free, veggie-based eating could (in so many ways) replace our old eating habits seamlessly. The foods tasted great and everyone loosened up about what it is that we were eating. That was a social experiment that brought us all together and took the fear out of the word “vegan.” I highly advise the continuation of sharing meals with your friends and family, and not letting a significant dietary change drive a wedge between you and them socially.
10) People around us are starting to reconsider their eating choices. This is the most rewarding thing of all: Our focus on eating healthy has caused so many of our friends and family to take a long hard look at how what they eat affects their bodies. Not that they all turned and followed the path we chose, nor did we expect them to, but our focus on health enabled many people to stop and step back from the daily monotony of eating and question if they believed what they were eating was helpful or harmful.

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I would love to hear what you are learning as you journey on this eating adventure. I keep hearing lots of great things from my friends and family who have joined the veggie side! Feel free to comment below and share with us.


Blueberry Frozen Dessert

Posted on: October 1st, 2013 by
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We had the BEST sorbet-style ice cream last night!

After making a smoothie with bananas and blueberries with rice milk and a touch of blueberry jam for sweetness, I had some leftover and threw in into the freezer in a sealed tupperware container.

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Smoothie before freezing.

Pulled it out last night, let it thaw for about an hour in the fridge and then stirred it up into a frozen treat that everyone thought was super delicious.

Frozen smoothie dessert!

Frozen smoothie dessert!


My New Favorite Cookbook!

Posted on: September 26th, 2013 by
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Today I am excited to share a couple of recipes from my new favorite cookbook! Both of these recipes are new family favorites in the Wells household. I hope you enjoy then as much as we do!

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Around anyone with even a slight interest, I have been known to go on and on about The China Study and how the content of this book changed my eating lifestyle forever. I carry it in my minivan as a handy reference. I own multiple copies so I always have one to loan out. I have memorized the juiciest tidbits by reciting them time and time again for wide-eyed listeners who just found out that my husband’s cholesterol dropped one hundred points in just two months on this “diet.” It’s sort of my thing. : )

Because of my fascination with The China Study, my mom picked me up a copy of the companion cookbook, which I didn’t even realize existed. It has lots of excellent recipes in it and they all adhere to the whole-foods, plant-based way of eating recommended by the parent book. Whole-food, plant-based eating means avoiding all animal proteins (whether in the form of meats or dairy) but it also means avoiding added fats, overabundant sodium use, and overabundant sweetener use. It is essentially a vegan diet, but stripped down of added fats, salt and sugar. If you think this sounds bland and dry, I know how you feel; that was my first thought when I prepared to eat this way. But I have been surprised to find out that nothing could be further from the truth. Yummy recipes are especially easy to find in a compilation like the one I want to share with you today. The book is: The China Study Cookbook, by Leanne Campbell, PhD.

ChinaStudyCookbook_FrontCover

I have been wanting to share some recipes from this cookbook with you but have hesitated because I want to be respectful of various copyright laws and etiquette. But guess what?! This week I got permission to share my two favorite recipes with you! (Yay!) So here they are, complete with photographic evidence that when I made them, they easily turned out as good as they were supposed to.
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First up:
Breakfast! Do you know how many failed attempts at making milk and egg-free french toast are in my cooking wake? LOTS. And every attempt was with “professional” recipes at the helm. My poor kids loved french toast back in the day but have had to suffer with sticky, nasty-tasting versions since switching over to the plant-eating side. (insert sad face) I just quit trying. But then I made a dozen awesome recipes from this cookbook and realized, “Hey! This lady might know what she’s doing in the kitchen!” So I tried her recipe for Favorite French Toast and loved it. And here it is:

Favorite French Toast (click on the title for a .pdf to print out)

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Makes 8 slices

1 cup vanilla soy (or almond) milk
1 tablespoon Sucanat
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal (do not mix with water)
1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 slices whole grain bread
Fresh fruit and syrup, for topping
Mix milk, Sucanat, egg replacer powder, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl to form batter.
Quickly dip one side of the bread into batter and repeat with the second side.
Fry in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat until golden brown.
Serve with fresh fruit, fruit preserves, or syrup.
Tips:
We like to use different types of breads for this recipe (raisin bread is good here).

Favorite French Toast (China_C_B)

Photograph provided from The China Study Cookbook.

Instead of fresh fruit, you can use 2 cups of frozen fruit, heated over the stove with 1 cup water and thickened with cornstarch and dry sweetener, as a topping for this recipe.

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BlogMaster Sarah’s notes: Sucanat is dried sugarcane juice and is found at any natural foods store. Vitamin Cottage sells it for a very reasonable price back in the aisle with their bulk grains and beans.
I didn’t have pumpkin pie spice so I used cinnamon and it was still wonderful. I used an entire tablespoon of cinnamon because our family loves our French toast super cinnamon-y.
Cook as long as you need to in order to dry out the bread just a bit. It should be sticky and sweet, but not gooey. If it starts to burn but it’s still gooey inside, you need to turn your heat down a little.
Family votes: Husband- Loved. Kids- 3 out of 3 Loved. Ten year-old guest- Loved. Me- Loved. (So, yeah, it might be worth trying!)

A couple of slices I made at home with this recipe... ...before I devoured them!

A couple of slices I made at home with this recipe…
…before I devoured them!

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Second recipe:
Dinner! Have you missed meatballs? I had until I found out that you can make delicious mock meatballs with, get this– pecans. I had tried recipes using millet or other grains to make mock meatballs but none of them held together very well. Definitely not overnight in the fridge steeped in spaghetti sauce. But these beauties hold up to anything that their meaty cousins do. Bonus: They’re delicious! Double bonus: They’re not filled with cholesterol and grease!

Pecan Ball Subs (click the title for a printable version)

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 40–45 minutes

Makes 6 sandwiches

1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup raw oats
1 recipe Marinara Sauce or your favorite spaghetti sauce
6 whole wheat submarine sandwich buns

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In food processor, blend tofu, pecans, onion, carrot, garlic, parsley, thyme, nutritional yeast, salt, basil, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Place mixture in a large mixing bowl.
3. Mix in bread crumbs and oats.
4. Roll into balls about 2 inches in diameter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake for 40–45 minutes.
6. Place pecan balls in sandwich buns and top with marinara sauce.
Tip: These make great mock “meatballs” for spaghetti and tomato sauce.

A bowl of pasta sauce-covered yumminess!  (This picture is mine.)

A bowl of pasta sauce-covered yumminess! (This picture is mine.)

Pecan ball sub sandwich! (also my picture) We had it with another recipe from the book, Best Broccoli Salad.

Pecan ball sub sandwich!
(also my picture)
We ate it alongside another recipe from the book; Best Broccoli Salad.

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BlogMaster Sarah’s notes: These *totally* rock spaghetti, as suggested by the author. Although we love the recipe as-is, because “meatball” was our kids’ favorite sub sandwich to get at the local sub shop back in our animal-eating days.
This recipe may take 45 minutes of baking time, but other than onion and carrot chopping, the remainder of your effort goes into hitting a button on your food processor: WIN.
Nutritional yeast is most likely found in the supplement section of your local natural food store. It isn’t at all expensive.

Family votes: Husband- Loved. Kids- 3 out of 3 Loved. Me- Loved. A winner!
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A big “Thank You!” to the folks at thechinastudy.com for allowing me to share these recipes.
I hope that you, friendly reader, are able to try both of them and appreciate those moments when a healthy, plant-based meal can transport you back in time to your grandmother’s kitchen, full of fat and butter and lots and lots of love. : )


What Vegans Eat for Dinner

Posted on: September 25th, 2013 by
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The “un-veganized” individual might be wary to step into these waters. They are most likely thinking that our diet consists of a bag of salad (AKA “rabbit food”) highlighted with nasty soybean curd globules. I am aware of this inner-brain assumption, because I had it myself just one year ago when someone told me they were a, (gasp!), “VEGAN.” So today I have created a nice quick post to dispel the perpetuating myth that a plant-based diet is boring or bland or yucky. In fact, I have never been more culinarily fulfilled. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a pictures-only post today. : )

What people think we eat.

What people think we eat.

What we really eat:

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Breakfast crepes with blueberries and pecan-banana-caramel pancakes.

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Mushroom-ale “pie” with garlic potatoes.

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Pudding and berries.

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Macaroni and “not-cheese.” (a favorite!)

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Pastry puff-covered root vegetable stew.

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Baked falafel with “tzatziki sauce” and tabbouleh salad.

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Black bean burger.

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Raspberry thumbprint macaroons.

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Beef bordelaise with bread for dipping and brussels sprouts.

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One-pot lasagna bake with broccoli.

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Chili dogs!

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“Chicken” wrap.

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Tomato and garlic-sauced pasta.

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“Chicken” sandwich.

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Chocolate pudding fruit pies with chocolate-lined crusts.

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Picadillo stuffed butternut squash with asparagus and rice pilaf.

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Lo-mein stir fry.

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Strawberry shortcake on a biscuit.

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Sloppy joe with roasted veggies.

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Falafel patty burger.

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“Chicken” wings.

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Purple potato curry.

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Zucchini crabless cakes.

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Coconut pistachio cookies.

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Peanut sauce noodle salad.

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Italian “meatball” sub sandwich.

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“Egg” salad sandwich.

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Chocolate-frosted cookies.

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Stir fry.

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Blueberry smoothie with soy whipped topping.

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Indian food: Bombay potatoes with spinach and naan over basmati rice.

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Vegetable stew with whole wheat dumplings.

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Yes, I eat tofu. It took me a little while to appreciate the texture, but now I really like it. The whole family loves it when I make it “blackened” as pictured with dirty rice and salad.  So yes, we eat tofu.  But only those of us who like it.  It’s not a “must” for the plant-based eater!

I hope that helps. And I hope you are drooling over some of the pictures and wanting recipes. That’s what I’m here for!


School Lunch Ideas

Posted on: September 10th, 2013 by
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School has been back in session for a few weeks now, and the same ol’ PB&J just isn’t cutting it anymore. It’s losing that charm that it had on the first day back when your little tyke pulled it out of their brown paper bag, inhaled the smell of soft bread, and took that first gooey bite. Now bits and pieces of chewed-on sandwich are making their way back home in the lunch bag, complete with sticky jelly smears and peanut butter smudges that you dutifully clean off so you don’t have to buy a new cartoon character lunch sack before the first quarter of the school year has even ended. So now that your child refuses to eat the easiest and simplest (and most obviously vegan) lunch item on the planet, what do you do?
Here are some ideas I have pulled together to help me through the same scenario you are facing:

1) Throw a stripe of refried beans and a touch of red enchilada sauce on the edge of a tortilla and warm it in the microwave for 20 seconds; long enough to make the tortilla pliable but not heat up the beans too much. Fold it up, tucking the sides in, and fit it into a sandwich bag. My eldest lives for these burritos! Add some sliced black olives and your kids will think you’re a goddess.

2) You can always spread your nut butter of choice between two apple slices, or spread it on celery sticks (stick a row of raisins on top for that magical childhood treat “ants on a log”), or use it to make a sandwich with mashed or sliced banana (a real winner at my house!).

3) Do your kids miss egg salad sandwiches? I have a recipe for a veganized version here! See the bottom of this post for a brief photo guide to making them.

4) We make these no-bake peanut butter balls (feel free to substitute with cashew or almond butter) that are an awesome source of protein and healthful energy for a kiddo at school. I have included the recipe on the site so you can whip some up. Bonus: these are SUPER easy to make, so make a family event of it and have the kids help. After all, aren’t they old enough to help make their own lunches? 🙂

5) About once every week I skip a sandwich and throw some salad with dressing into a medium-sized container with a plastic fork. My kids are starting to love salad since we have it more and more often. I’m not sure how this would have gone over in the beginning, but now it’s a great way to break up the monotony and keep them healthy.

6) Try the lunch meat substitutes that are available if your kids like cold cuts. Only one of my three kids likes the faux-lunchmeat, but he requests it every day (with mustard and jelly- weird). There are several varieties out there and we only found two brands that we like, and only two flavors within those brands. But keep trying if this is what your kids are yearning for. Though keep in mind that though these slices are vegan, they are still highly processed and not a good thing to use as a dietary staple. We use only two slices per full sandwich.

7) If the faux lunchmeat thing works out, try rolling it in a tortilla or large lettuce leaf with some mustard for a change of pace.

8) Leftovers work really well when it’s the right meal. We had (cheeseless) pizza last night and I sent some cold leftover slices of it to school in lunches today. The kids were super excited about that even though they can’t rewarm it.

9) When the weather cools down, a thermos full of hot soup will replace a sandwich with no complaints from the peanut gallery. Add a baggie with some little crackers.

10) Don’t underestimate the power of presentation. I can give my kids PB&J on a leftover hamburger or hot dog bun and suddenly it’s magical! Or roll it up in a tortilla. I’m telling you– MAGIC!

11) A healthy pancake in a baggie is a great pick-me-up snack if they are accustomed to eating a snack at recess. Or use two pancakes as a sandwich and smear jelly in between.

12) Once you break the thermos out, try filling it with a few various chopped veggies, some veggie broth, and a handful of broken brown rice noodles. Add a dash of soy sauce, black bean garlic paste, or srirachi sauce.
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Things you can put into those little reusable plastic containers or a plastic baggie for accompaniments:

Pistachios and cranberries (or other homemade trail mix)
Canned fruit or applesauce (way cheaper than buying it in individual cups)
Puffed grains (in the cereal section at your natural foods store)
Vanilla (coconut milk or soy) yogurt including a dollop of jam for them to stir in
Small crackers
Leftover veggies from last night’s dinner
Rice or beans (or both mixed together with some cumin and salt)
Flavored (or plain & salted) noodles (my mom just gave the kids some fruit flavored noodles and they were highly amused!)
Date bars (essentially mashed dates made into a little log and rolled in coconut- my kids love them)
Favorite finger-friendly cereal
Cucumber slices in vinegar with salt and pepper
Baby carrots, chopped cauliflower, cherry tomatoes or sugar snap peas
Orange slices (or sections), melon bites, strawberries, grapes or kiwi fruit
Healthy homemade cookies that are low in fat and sugar
Air-popped popcorn with minimal salt
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Photo-guide to Eggless Salad Sandwiches:

First cut up a yukon gold potato and microwave it, covered, for about six minutes or until tender enough to mash.
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Then mash it with a fork until it acts like a paste.
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Cut up some tofu into small cubes and set aside.
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Notice my base lacks complete smoothness; this is okay and won’t hurt the final flavor at all.

Mix vegan mayonnaise, yellow mustard, salt, pepper, and vegan Worcestershire sauce (if desired) into mashed potato.

Stir in the tofu pieces.
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Dollop some yumminess onto a couple slices of bread and enjoy!
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Vegan Vacation

Posted on: August 14th, 2013 by
2

My husband and I just had an anniversary trip (without the kiddos!) that lasted almost a week and took us to Moab, Utah. This trip was amazing! But outside of the amazing scenery and geological awesomeness, the part that tickled me the most was the availability of vegan foods there. Moab is a health-nut town for sure. There is no shortage of vegetarian, vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free menu items. So it wasn’t hard to find a good healthy meal. I’m going to share some of what we ate in hopes that you remember seeing a similar item in a restaurant near you. I will also include a list at the end of some common nation-wide eateries that aren’t stressful to eat vegan at. By “not stressful,” I mean that you don’t have to substitute everything on the menu item. For example, you decide to order the nachos and beans… but the beans are cooked in lard so you ask to change them out for some rice, and you ask to omit the cheese from the nachos, and instead of seasoned ground meat on the nachos could you please have rice again, etc, etc.
So here we go, five days of eating on vacation:

Day #1

Breakfast at home before leaving; high-fiber cereal with coconut milk for me, oat milk for my husband.

Lunch in a little mountain town at Wich Which, though we could have easily eaten vegan at Chipotle.

TWO vegan choices right in a row?  Is this heaven??

TWO vegan choices right in a row? Is this heaven??

This is a vegetarian Whih Wich.  The black bean patty.  It contains egg!  ACK!  But I got it anyway because I felt like cheating that day.  My husband Josh was much more restrained and got the Mediterranean.  There's three vegan bases you can start with at Wich Which; Mediterranean (cucumber, tomato, onion, black olive & olive oil), Hummus, or Tomato and Avocado.  If you have not been to this place, GO.  So good!

This is a vegetarian Which Wich. The black bean patty. It contains egg! ACK! But I got it anyway because I felt like cheating that day. My husband Josh was much more restrained and got the Mediterranean. There’s three vegan bases you can start with at Which Wich; Mediterranean (cucumber, tomato, onion, black olive & olive oil), Hummus, or Tomato and Avocado. If you have not been to this place, GO. So good!

Dinner in Moab at the Broken Oar Restaurant.

Josh got this concoction that was really yummy.  I forget what it was called but it may have been the "stuffed portobello" entree.  The only downside was that the chef used a lot of oil to sauté it- too much.  But the potatoes were amazing and overall the plate was very good.

Josh got this concoction that was really yummy. I forget what it was called but it may have been the “stuffed portobello” entree. The only downside was that the chef used a lot of oil to sauté it; too much. But the potatoes were amazing and overall the plate was very good.

Did I mention beer is vegan?  Good news for my Brewmaster Hubby!

Did I mention beer is vegan? Good news for my Brewmaster Hubby!

My entree was the portobello sandwich with roasted red pepper and sweet potato fries.  Delish!  The mushroom was overdone but I almost didn't mind since it had been marinated in a yummy balsamic mixture and flame grilled.

My entree was the portobello sandwich with roasted red pepper and sweet potato fries. Delish! The mushroom was overdone but I almost didn’t mind since it had been marinated in a yummy balsamic mixture and flame grilled.

Day #2

Breakfast in the cabin: more high-bran, high-fiber cereal with veggie milks. A good start to an adventurous day!

Lunch was picked up to go from Sweet Cravings Bakery. They made a sack lunch out of it so we could eat while 4 wheeling later on.

The veggie wrap, vegan coleslaw (I asked!), and a cranberry oatmeal cookie, possibly not vegan- but delicious.

The veggie wrap, vegan coleslaw (I asked!), and a cranberry oatmeal cookie, possibly not vegan- but delicious.

Spinach tortilla with spinach, marinated portobellos, carrots, and avocado.  Hearty and so good I have been making my own at home for lunch since I've been back.

Spinach tortilla with spinach, marinated portobellos, carrots, and avocado. Hearty and so good I have been making my own at home for lunch since I’ve been back.

Snack in town at the Peace Tree Juice Bar. We got some fruit smoothies that were to die for! Well, Josh’s was. Mine was a bit bitter. So I drank his. : )

Dinner at Sabaku Sushi.

Did you know you can eat at a sushi place and still stay on track with your veggie-based diet?  AWESOME.  This is Inari, or tofu sushi.  There is a pocket in the tofu with rice stuffed inside.  It's a touch sweet, fried, and to die for.  I wanted to make a meal of it.  No kidding.

Did you know you can eat at a sushi place and still stay on track with your veggie-based diet? AWESOME. This is Inari, or tofu sushi. There is a pocket in the tofu with rice stuffed inside. It’s a touch sweet, fried, and to die for. I wanted to make a meal of it. No kidding.

This is Yaki Udon (Japanese stir fry noodles) with veggies and tofu.  They cooked their tofu so perfectly that it was a dream to eat.  Even if you think you don't like tofu, just assume you've had bad tofu or badly cooked tofu.  It can be a delight to eat it when done right.

This is Yaki Udon (Japanese stir fry noodles) with veggies and tofu. They cooked their tofu so perfectly that it was a dream to eat. Even if you think you don’t like tofu, just assume you’ve had bad tofu or badly cooked tofu. It can be a delight to eat it when done right.

This is the veggie roll; fried tofu, avocado, asparagus, spinach, tomato and ginger dressing.  It was so good.  This is the first time we have eaten sushi since going vegan about ten months ago, and now I'm relieved to know it's still possible.  Sushi is one of the foods I enjoyed the most, and now I know that I still can!

This is the veggie roll; fried tofu, avocado, asparagus, spinach, tomato and ginger dressing. It was so good. This is the first time we have eaten sushi since going vegan about ten months ago, and now I’m relieved to know it’s still possible. Sushi is one of the foods I enjoyed the most, and now I know that I still can!

This is my plate with a helping of the noodles and the veggie roll.

This is my plate with a helping of the noodles and the veggie roll.

Day #3

Breakfast: At a farmer’s market the evening before, we found a vendor that was selling some freshly-made bread loaves that just happened to be vegan. We got the last one, along with a jar of peach butter. And that, my friends, was our breakfast AND part of our lunch on Day #3.

Lunch: Besides the bread and peach butter, we picked up some black bean chips at a local natural foods store and grabbed some fresh produce. Lunch was a mish-mash, but cheap and we could have it on the road while we enjoyed more 4 wheeling.

Dinner at Miguel’s Baja Grill.

This is the MOAB.  (Mother Of All Burritos)  It comes vegan if you ask them to omit the cheese.  Josh got the roasted jalapeño pepper since I can't handle the heat!

This is the MOAB. (Mother Of All Burritos) It comes vegan if you ask them to omit the cheese. Josh ate the roasted jalapeño pepper since I can’t handle the heat!

Josh's meal; poblano chile enchiladas smothered in green sauce.  He had to specify no cheese and no sour cream, which they were happy to honor.  We also got the guacamole to enjoy with our courtesy chips.

Josh’s meal; poblano chile enchiladas smothered in green sauce. He had to specify no cheese and no sour cream, which they were happy to honor. We also got the guacamole to enjoy with our courtesy chips.

My MOAB was stuffed with portobello, grill rice, and beans.  I also found onions and peppers in there and I really liked the red sauce that came on top.

My MOAB was stuffed with portobello, grill rice, and beans. I also found onions and peppers in there and I really liked the red sauce that came on top.

Day #4

Leaving Moab, we made a quick stop.

Did I mention beer is vegan?

Did I mention beer is vegan?

Traveling through the western slope of Colorado where there are immense acres of orchards and wineries, we had to stop and pick up some local produce.

Peaches were in season and filling the valley with a sweet, fermenty smell.

Peaches were in season and filling the valley with a sweet, fermenty smell.

Wine is vegan too!  Yay!

Wine is vegan too! Yay!

Dinner in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

We ate at the Glenwood Canyon Brewery and thought their Warm Beer Pretzels were TO. DIE. FOR.  That sauce is some kind of mustard concoction that may or may not have been vegan, but it sounded like it and we were afraid to ask.    : )

We ate at the Glenwood Canyon Brewery and thought their Warm Beer Pretzels were TO. DIE. FOR. That sauce is some kind of mustard concoction that may or may not have been vegan, but it sounded like it and we were afraid to ask.
: )

In-house brewed root beer.  Vegan.  Booyah.

In-house brewed root beer. Vegan. Booyah.

In-house brewed beer.  Vegan!

In-house brewed beer. Vegan!

Josh got the tofu paella which was pretty good.  He was hoping for more spice.  They smoked the tofu and it really gave the feel of a smoked meat dish because of that lingering mesquite flavor.

Josh got the tofu paella which was pretty good. He was hoping for more spice. They smoked the tofu and it really gave the feel of a smoked meat dish because of that lingering mesquite flavor.

I got the veggie burger, which is made in-house.  With a side of sweet potato tater tots I was a happy camper.

I got the veggie burger, which is made in-house. With a side of sweet potato tater tots I was a happy camper.

Day #5

For breakfast we tried to do the hotel’s continental breakfast but just couldn’t. It was either a gooey, frosting drenched pastry or a bagel with no vegan toppings available. There was also a small tray of biscuits and a little crock-pot of sausage gravy. Uh, NO. Josh barely found the coffee. I know free continental breakfasts are never that great, but this one was minuscule at best and for sure not vegan, or even remotely healthy. So in the truck we had cereal in red Solo cups.

Lunch came after a long hike to see Hanging Lake off of I-70 in the mountain valley near Glenwood Springs. When we drove back into town we chose The Grind as our lunch destination.

They had just moved locations and didn't even have their original signs mounted yet.  We were skeptical.

They had just moved locations and didn’t even have their original signs mounted yet. We were skeptical.

But holy cow was that food good!  They grind everything in house, even the meat burgers.  Josh ordered the black bean patty with chipotle sauce and some beer battered mushrooms.  He said it was really good.

But holy cow was that food good! They grind everything in house, even the meat burgers. Josh ordered the black bean patty with chipotle sauce and some beer battered mushrooms. He said it was really good.

I got the falafel patty with cucumber, tomato and lettuce.  It also came with tzatziki (yogurt) sauce, which I forgot to have them omit.  But it wasn't slathered on too thick.  The fries were some of the best I've ever had- a little soft and bendy but not too much.  Perfect with lots of salt!

I got the falafel patty with cucumber, tomato and lettuce. It also came with tzatziki (yogurt) sauce, which I forgot to have them omit. But it wasn’t slathered on too thick. The fries were some of the best I’ve ever had- a little soft and bendy but not too much. Perfect with lots of salt!

Dinner was at home with our kids again. We ordered Take’N Bake pizza with lots of veggies and no cheese. We were all happy. I was the happiest because we had managed a stress-free trip with (virtually) no meat or dairy. Life is good.

Now a list of places we have found to be easy to eat vegan at:

Chipotle.
This place is even tinkering with a vegan kidney bean recipe. Until then, order the black beans to stay on track. Get a burrito with fajita peppers if you want, the rice, black beans, and a helping of guacamole. Filling, and Chipotle is always good food.

Which Wich.
Mentioned in the above post, Which Wich is a sandwich shop that has 3 totally vegan sandwich bases and two more vegetarian. You can build from there, adding such things as caramelized onions, crispy string onions, horseradish, olive salad (marinated chopped olives), buffalo sauce, spinach, extra garlic (my favorite!) and a slew of other things. Plus you can get your Wich toasted!

Panera.
They have a Mediterranean sandwich that you can leave the chicken and cheese off of. Every employee I’ve ever gotten has allowed me to throw on cucumbers and other veggies as a substitute. You end up with a yummy veggie sandwich. They also have a seasonal special right now which is chilled soba noodle salad with shrimp. Without the shrimp it’s vegan, but still $10 which was hard to stomach. I’m not sure about their pastries and haven’t looked into it since I am trying to keep the fam off of processed white flours. But they will substitute soy milk in hot cocoa and coffees.

Red Robin.
Red Robin serves Boca Burgers if you ask, and they have sweet potato and regular fries to go with. Not bad if you want to eat out with a bunch of burger lovers. Just make sure to ask for the “Boca Burger,” which is vegan. The GardenBurger listed on the menu contains egg white and is not vegan.

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill.
These exist in Colorado, Oklahoma, Maryland, California, New Jersey, one in San Antonio, Texas, and more to come in Florida and Arizona. They have very reliable food, always good in my experience, and a walk-up-and-order food experience like Chipotle. So it’s kind-of-fast food. They have great falafel balls, hummus, and pitas that you can fill with either of those choices or marinated portobellos. They have several sauces and additions that are vegan; just ask. You can build a very full pita and go home happy!

Hu Hot Mongolian Grill (or Ghengis Grill, or a myriad of other mongolian-style grill houses).
These places are awesome because you build your own dish from a bar filled with raw ingredients. Skip the meat and go right to the veggie section. Pile in some noodles, a ton of veggies, and throw some sauce on at the end. (Hint: if you love spinach grab a second bowl to hold the spinach leaves since they are so big and crispy when raw. Once cooked down, they will easily fit on the plate they give you with your other bowl of ingredients.)

Noodles & Company.
Noodles offers an Indonesian peanut sauté and Japanese pan noodles, both of which are vegan from the start. With a minor adjustment, the following 5 meals can be vegan too: Chinese chop salad (no wontons), pasta fresca (no cheese), penne rosa (no cream, no cheese), whole grain tuscan linguine (no cream, no cheese), and veggie Mediterranean sandwich (no feta cheese).

Pei Wei Asian Diner.
Pei Wei is a quick stop compared to some sit-down places. Not fast food, but counter-ordered and then table-delivered. Choose a vegetarian base (noodle or rice bowl) and ask for it with veggies and tofu. Most of the time they cook their tofu very well. (I had it overcooked one time) Their tofu looks like slices of a large mushroom cap so you won’t feel weird eating it in front of people who make you feel uneasy about your vegan ways.

Chinese food.
Order broccoli with garlic sauce, or veggie lo mein. Many have tofu substitutions for meat. Sometimes the egg rolls are vegan, but you’ll have to ask. Sorry, no fried rice!

Thai food.
Spring rolls, no shrimp or meat. Spicy tofu param. Vegetable lo mein. Pad se-lew (order with no egg). Thai basil vegetable. All delicious. Thai food is one of our favorites.

Indian food.
I never had Indian food before veganism sent me searching for “safe” cultural foods. Indian food is not always vegan. But a lot of it is, and it’s to die for. The depth of spices used brings your nose to life! You can order spicy or not spicy, so don’t worry. Try Bombay Alu, Chana Masala, or Vegetable Curry. Order a side of Naan (Indian bread) to scoop your food with. The vegan variety at Little Nepal, our favorite place to eat Indian food in Colorado Springs, is Roti. There are many other varieties of naan but they are usually cooked with butter.

Ethiopian food.
Have you ever tried injera bread? Made from a fermented batter containing little more than teff flour, this is the bread that you will scoop your food up with. Vegan, rich, dark, and a little tangy. You will either love it or hate it. We are spoiled with the best Ethiopian restaurant ever right here in our city, so we love it. Cooked up by an Ethiopian native, the injera there is to die for. There are many vegan options on the menu. All have a mush-like consistency (which is what the bread is for; scooping) and many contain chick-peas (garbanzo beans), tomato, bell pepper, or other familiar ingredients. The unfamiliar part is the aromatic spices used. Spices which I have gone out and purchased just so I can recreate this dining experience at home.

Souper Salad.
Duh.

Papa Murphy’s (or other take ‘n bake pizza).
Just order red sauce (not the garlic as it is usually cream-based) and ask for no cheese! Load up on whatever veggies you like or get a veggie supreme pizza or whatever they have. We do this comfortably with all pizza places and, no, a pizza employee has never laughed at me when I say no cheese. They just assume we’re lactose intolerant. And we let them.

Fast Food.
I’m sure there’s a way but it’s probably not healthy. 🙂 If you are on the road and starving for food and in a tiny little po-dunk town, just stop at a Subway. They are EVERYWHERE! I promise you will run into one soon, just keep driving! Load your wheat bread up with a base of spinach, lettuce and tomato, and go nuts from there. Finish with mustard, salt and pepper. Voila! Vegan fast food!

An overview on how to eat vegan when traveling:
We (vegans) have the pleasure of eating fresh produce and grains and beans and getting such high nutritional quality from what we eat. If you go down the processed-food road, and you can- Oreos, Twizzlers, Fritos and many Doritos flavors are all vegan- you will be sabotaging what could be the healthiest eating lifestyle possible. So don’t just try to avoid meat and dairy, that’s not what this diet is about. Instead of thinking about what to avoid, think about what to include; hearty grains, fresh veggies, beans and fresh fruit. You will find that you have so much more energy! You will feel better and probably lose weight (if you’re able to go very easy on the processed carbs) and if you keep it up, you may even beat the cancer, diabetes, and heart disease odds that are against you just because you live in America. So skip the fluffy, corn-syrup laced white bread sandwich at the local fast food place. Bring along nuts and dried fruit for snacks. Even throw in some vegan chocolate chips to make gorp! But don’t pack too much refined food. It will just tire you out and keep you from fully enjoying your vacation.  End rant.  : )


Watermelon Popsicles

Posted on: July 10th, 2013 by
2

My friend Jenn made these the other night. I’m not sure what ratios her ingredients were in, but when she told me the basic idea, I loved it! Watermelon popsicles! How very summertime. : )

Grab some chunks of super-sweet watermelon and throw them in a blender.   (If they have seeds you may want to pull those out beforehand)

Grab some chunks of super-sweet watermelon and throw them in a blender. (If they have seeds you may want to pull those out beforehand)

Once you have pureed watermelon, look at the amount you have.  If you have 1 cup of puree, add 1/3 cup of vanilla coconut yogurt.  My ratio was roughly 1:3 (yogurt:watermelon puree)

Once you have pureed watermelon, look at the amount you have. If you have 1 cup of puree, add 1/3 cup of vanilla coconut yogurt. My ratio was roughly 1:3 (yogurt:watermelon puree)

Blend the two ingredients together.  Then pour into whatever receptacles you have for popsicle-making.

Blend the two ingredients together. Then pour into whatever receptacles you have for popsicle-making.

You can use lots of things that are probably already laying around your kitchen.  This is a little plastic cup with a kitchen spoon in it that I propped straight up while freezing.

You can use lots of things that are probably already laying around your kitchen. This is a little plastic cup with a kitchen spoon in it that I propped straight up while freezing.

To release the frozen goodness, run the outside of the container under hot water until the popsicle can be twisted out.

To release the frozen goodness, run the outside of the container under hot water until the popsicle can be twisted out.

Voila!  Watermelon popsicles that my friend's little girl couldn't get enough of!  I tried it myself and thought it was a great healthy snack for the kids.  If you want it sweeter, a dollop of fruit preserves in the blender would do the trick.

Voila! Watermelon popsicles that my friend’s little girl couldn’t get enough of! I tried it myself and thought it was a great healthy snack for the kids. If you want it sweeter, a dollop of fruit preserves in the blender would do the trick.

An example of a store-bought popsicle maker if you want to make this process a little bit more freezer-friendly.

An example of a store-bought popsicle maker if you want to make this process a little bit more freezer-friendly.

I don’t know what the forecast is in your neck of the woods, but where I live it’s supposed to be 97 degrees in two days. That means pull out the kiddie pool, bathing suits, and these new healthy popsicles!


How to “Veganize” a Favorite Recipe

Posted on: July 10th, 2013 by
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When I kicked animal products to the curb there were some disappointing losses. No more Gr’pa’s meatloaf. (sigh) No more shrimp and grits. (quiet whimpering) No more slow-smoked brisket. (loud sobbing)

But a lot of recipes that I originally thought would be laid to rest didn’t have to be. Here are some tips on what to substitute in your favorite recipes:

Milk = Veggie-based milk of your choosing 1:1 ratio

Butter = Either vegetable shortening (baking only) or Earth Balance vegan margarine spread (baking or cooking) 1:1 ratio

Meat = Would portobello mushrooms work? A faux-meat substitute? Or maybe it can be left out altogether.

Meat broth = Use veggie broth. Seriously. No one can tell the difference. 1:1 ratio

Eggs = This is a toughie. There are many substations you can use…
A “flaxseed egg” is ground flaxseed left to soak in water- 1:3 ratio (1 T. ground flaxseed with 3 T. water)
Applesauce will often take the place of an egg in baking- 1/4 c. applesauce per egg called for.
Dry powdered egg replacers (I used one and hated it- it never worked at all) I’ve heard good things about Ener-G egg replacer.
As a leavening agent in baking, you can omit the egg and add a Tablespoon (or so) of lemon juice to react with the baking soda already in the recipe.
In custards, the eggs are omitted and either flour or cornstarch can be used as a thickener, depending on the recipe.
Start using vegan recipes and you will see some things that cooks do to overcome the egg issue. There are many options.

Actual scrambled eggs = Have you heard of the ackee fruit? Jamaicans are familiar with it and it’s flesh is exactly like scrambled eggs!

The following are not necessarily an issue of veganism but of overall health:

Sugar (dry) = Coconut sugar, turbinado sugar, date sugar, etc. 1:1 ratio
Keep in mind that date sugar won’t melt down and is best used to sweeten recipes; not as a caramel or glaze, etc.
Each sugar has it’s own properties of taste and texture and some experimentation may be necessary to find out what you like.

Sugar (liquid/syrup) = Pure maple syrup, brown rice syrup, molasses, honey, etc.

Oil = Just omit it! In cooking, I have never found a time when it had to be added. Every recipe I have left it out of was still delicious. The most oil I use nowadays is a cooking spray to give a quick touch of olive oil to garlic bread before I season it. In baking, the oil is sometimes necessary as a moisturizer for the final product. I use vegetable shortening or Earth Balance in my cakes quite often. But you can totally get away with substituting applesauce for half of the oil called for and you probably won’t even notice. You can substitute more than half of the oil this way but the final product may need to be eaten right away as prolonged storage will dry it out very quickly.

Bleached white flour = whole wheat pastry flour is my go-to substitution. It is fine and not as dark and overpowering as plain whole wheat flour.

Other flour substitutes = Oat, rice, garbanzo, coconut, etc. Keep in mind that if the flour doesn’t come from a grain similar to wheat,
it may not have any gluten in it. Oat has a small amount of gluten but the rest are gluten-free. If you have allergies,
this is great. If not, try to substitute a gluten-free flour as only half of the flour called for and use whole wheat pastry flour
for the rest. Gluten is needed to provide elasticity, and without it a pizza crust would act like a graham cracker pie crust.
(Seriously. I did this once. I know.)

Recipes I have veganized:

Stroganoff
My Grandma Myers made the best stroganoff. I saved this recipe that I had made since the early days of my marriage by substituting veggie broth for the beef broth, and omitting the beef slices in favor of portobello slices. Now it’s a mushroom stroganoff and very delicious. For those of you who like to add a bit of zip at the end with some Miracle Whip or sour cream, there are many fantastic vegan substitutes. The Tofutti sour cream is our favorite, but in this recipe I like a nice vegan mayo that has that tang to it.

Mushroom stroganoff.  This time I added chunks of seitan at the end and it was pretty good, but we decided we preferred it without.  I served this with cabbage and steamed buckwheat groats.

Mushroom stroganoff. This time I added chunks of seitan at the end and it was pretty good, but we decided we preferred it without. I served this with cabbage and steamed buckwheat groats.

Green chili pork
Substitute veggie broth for the chicken/pork broth you might usually use. And obviously I had to leave the pork out! Bummer. But, hey, after making it with all of the same roasted Anaheim peppers I have always used and throwing in the tomatillos at the end with a can of tomato chunks and all of that glorious cumin– I was a believer! Delicious! Who needs pork, anyway?

Cream of broccoli soup
Exchange veggie broth for the chicken broth called for. No sautéing with butter; just dry sauté the onions (throw them in a very hot pan and wait at least two minutes before stirring. Should caramelize without the butter easily). Finish with Tofutti vegan sour cream mixed with half water to thin, the total amount of thinned Tofutti still being only half of the amount of total cream called for in the recipe.

Recipes that call for ground beef can often have the ground beef totally omitted with no substitutions. Spaghetti sauce and chili are two good examples. Substitute beans or quinoa for taco filling. If you really want a good sloppy joe and can’t imagine having it with quinoa or bulgur, pick up some ground beef substitute and use that. Some of the brands are very good and hard to tell apart from the real thing, especially when used in a sauce.

Let’s do a side-by-side substitution seminar. I will show you the pancake recipe that I turned vegan. Please note that I did not have to add anything to make up for leaving out the melted butter. (I just have to spritz the pan with cooking spray) Instead of an egg I added lemon juice to react with the baking soda. And every other substitution was more for health reasons than vegan ones. But the ensuing pancakes are light, fluffy, and beckon you back for seconds!

Original pancake recipe:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 cups buttermilk
3 T. melted butter
1 large egg

Vegan pancake recipe:
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour, 1/2 cup oat flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 T. coconut (or date) sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 cups oat milk (or favorite veggie milk)
2-3 T. lemon juice
1/2 T. ground cinnamon

There are many recipes I have tinkered with to create vegan versions. It’s really not very difficult, but it did require repeat tries in many cases. Changing recipes around requires some confidence, and I hope that the above substitution suggestions help with that confidence level. Remember, you will have meals that are not good enough to cook again. That’s a part of anybody’s cooking experience, vegan or not. Just keep on pluggin’ away and trying new things. After a while you will have lots of go-to recipes that are wholesome and healthy.
: )