5 ways to veganise your fave recipes
Many feel that plant-based cooking is a complete departure from their regular meals. Here's some quick swaps that mean you can keep old faves.
Moving to a plant based diet can feel like a big adjustment. Without butter, eggs and meat, almost all your typical recipes and cooking methods can seem redundant. It can feel like you're learning to cook all over again, as you dive into the dark and confusing realm of pulses and grains. However, these 5 adjustments allow you to quickly and easily veganise old favourites, so whether you're making the switch, or simply reducing your meat and dairy, you can do so while eating pretty similarly to how you always have.
Tofu to replace scrambled or whisked eggs
A vegan fry-up can be a bit of a sad affair. Once you've lost the bacon, sausage, eggs and butter, there's little left beyond baked beans and mushrooms. However, add a couple of veggie sausages and scramble some silken tofu following a recipe like this one, and you can bring back something of the gluttonous joy of the English breakfast.
Tofu is also great and standing in for eggs when stir frying. Just mix it in a couple of minutes before you serve to get that bitty, protein packed texture that I for one love in my stir fries.
Oil for butter when baking
This seems a little obvious, but I suppose what I'm saying is that I prefer using oil to using margarine. Oil is so delicious on its own that it can add so much to the flavour of baked goods. In lighter recipes it might not be ideal, but for cookies, brownies and other low-rise goods, it's just perfect!
Soya protein for mince
Quorn mince is good, but if you want full flavour control then you can't do better than the dried soya granules found in Holland and Barrett and other health shops. This stuff looks pretty strange when dried, but soak it in red wine, stock, soy sauce or all of the above to get beautifully rich, chewy, and basically very meaty goodness! This is perfect for a chilli or a bolognese, and the longer you soak it, the better!
Soya chunks for diced beef
This is the bigger brother to the granules. When dried, these resemble cinder blocks, but when soaked and fried they are exquisitely tasty. Amazing in a stir fry, but even better in a 'beef' stew or bourguignon. When you get this right, it's one of those 'is this really vegan' moments that are pretty much how I quantify a successful vegan meal.
Seitan for Chicken
All hail this miraculous – if unusually named – vegan chicken substitute. This stuff is made from vital wheat gluten, which is basically flour which has been processed until only the gluten remains. As a result, it's a very strong binder and creates a sinewy, stranded texture once mixed and boiled. This can be bought from the shops ready-made, but it's really not too much hassle to give it a go yourself. Once boiled, and basically cooked, you can dice it into 'nuggets', batter them and deep fry them! This is the ingredient that brought the 'Temple of Seitan' fast food restaurant in Hackney to fame. This East London 'chicken' shop serves seitan in a variety of cuts and flavourings, and it's popular among locals for a reason: it tastes remarkably like chicken!