When you are cooking a meal for a vegan friend or even looking to become vegan yourself, it can feel intimidating to look for vegan recipes. But in many cases, you can actually adapt most recipes to be vegan, so you can cook your favorites with a few minor adjustments. Learning some basic substitutions will put you on the right track to creating vegan feasts that will keep you and your friends happy and well fed.
Now is a time when there are more meat replacements available than there have ever been before. Not only do you have access to meat replacements from all around the world, you also have access to new meat replacements that weren't available even just a few years ago. Some common options are tofu and seitan, which can be used to mimic the flavor and texture of different meats depending on how you season and prepare them. Meatier vegetables and mushrooms can also be used to replace meat in many recipes without leaving you feeling like you are missing out.
When replacing dairy in a recipe, things can get a little bit complicated, but there are actually many dairy-free options that can have a very similar impact on a dish. First, you can replace dairy milk with soy milk, which has many of the same essential nutrients. If soy milk isn’t your favorite, you can also experiment with coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk, and even pea milk. Each of these milks have their own flavor profiles and textures so as you experiment you can figure out which milk alternatives work best in each application. Soy milk does tend to be the best fit for baking, while coconut or almond milk may be a better option for mashed potatoes.
Eggs do a lot of work in a recipe, but there are certainly options that can help you to get the same impact in a recipe. Aquafaba, the liquid from canned garbanzo beans, whips up just like egg whites, which means it works great in meringues, mousses, mayonnaise, and even vegan cheeses. Flax seed is a great egg replacement when baking, but there are also some ready-made vegan egg powders you can try.
Cooking vegan meals can be challenging and intimidating for beginners, but once you have mastered the basics you can make any meal delicious and vegan. That means you can continue to cook your favorite recipes in a different way. There’s no need to miss out on things you love because of a dietary change, you can still find delicious food options that you can enjoy.
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