Get Some SATISFACTION! Yum Vegan Product Swaps
I am really excited at how many yummy non-animal alternatives exist out there once you do a little research. I figure those new to the veggie scene can gain a little from my experience, without enduring such an extensive trial and error period! Here are some of the coolest finds I've tried and given a "Woop Woop!" two thumbs-up to. :)
This one scared me for a long time, how can you make mayo out of not-mayo and have it still taste like mayo??? But this stuff totally rocks! It's thick and creamy and so tastes like mayo it's shocking to me. I'm a sucker for sandwiches so this is really like, a godsend. All hail Veganaise! The one I like is the original, it says "best taste' on the label. The only real difference from regular mayo is the color, Veganaise is more white than traditional mayo, but I am telling you, it's so tasty, I acually prefer it to it's fatty-eggy counterpart! It also comes in an easy to recycle glass jar! It is rich and smooth and yum. Give it a try.
I looove breakfast and what is breakfast without scrambled eggs? (the only way I've ever liked them really...) But, alas, I have given up eggs, so what's a breakfastbunny to do? Well, for those that don't know, you can make the MOST delicious mock scrambled eggs using extra firm tofu, drained, crumbled, seasoned and sauted. The trick is turmeric, which gives it a perfect golden eggy color and imparts minimal flavor. My fave way to do it is to saute some onion, garlic, bell pepper if I have it, really whatever I would normally enjoy in an omelet or scrambled eggs. I like to add garlic salt, pepper, herbs; you can add whatever you like. Then, grab a skillet and cook over medium-high heat to draw out moisture and crisp it a bit. Top with vegan mozzarella shreds if you fancy it. Delicious! To get a complete recipe (many exist online) just type in Tofu Scramble and do a search, you will easily find a ton of yummy and super simple variations. FAB!!!
This is a vegan chocolate candy bar which is EXACTLY like a traditional Almond Joy. It comes in a cool turquoise wrapper with hot pink hibiscus flowers on it. It's moist coconut and whole almonds drenched in rice-chocolate. First, you need to like coconut, then you need to not be scared by the idea of rice-chocolately coating! This bar is so yum, I don't notice any difference from it's junky-monkey counterpart, except that the vegan version's chocolate is so plentiful and melty it tastes even more luxurious and naughty! This bar is dairy-free, vegan, no trans fats, no hydrogenated oils, cholesterol-free, nothing artificial! When you feel the need for a decadent cruelty-free treat, this bar hits all the marks. P.S. If you don't already know, Mahalo means thank you in Hawaiian. Thank You, indeed!
VEGAN MOZZARELLA & MOCK PARM-
Okay, I love love looove cheese, and I had no idea how to survive without it, but luckily there are a few decent swaps out there that make me breathe a cheesy sigh of relief! The first vegan cheese I tried was a soy cheddar and honestly it was so disgusting, it made me depressed. Help! How am I going to live without cheese!!?? was my thought. I then tried almond cheese and found it to be equally terrible. But, I kept searching... and finally found two great alternatives so far. The first is Vegan Mozzarella made from either soy or rice and you can get it in both block and shredded form. It has a GREAT consistency, melts well and really has that mozz flavor. I don't know that I'd sit around eating it all by itself, but if you need a slice to melt on a veggie burger, or you need to top your lasagne, pizza, tofu-eggs or burrito, it's aces! Delish melted, the best. The shreds are my fave because they are in a bag and last a long time and it's super convenient to just whip some out and sprinkle on a variety of dishes, and a little goes a long way. It's even good in a vegan mushroom risotto! The second 'cheese' I found sounds insane but is surprisingly delicious and I could eat it on just about anything. I have been sprinkling nutritional yeast flakes on my popcorn for years and my college roomie Jennie loved it on pasta with butter and soy sauce. Now, I have found many vegan recipes that use this easy mock-parmesan and I LOVE it. All you need to do is, in a blender, coffee-free coffee grinder or food processor, pulse equal parts raw walnuts and nutritional yeast flakes (add salt to taste) until it is in tiny granulated form, much like shakey parm in the green can. The taste and texture of this stuff is great and I could just eat it by itself! It's perfect over spaghetti with 'neat balls' and most things you'd normally want to sprinkle parmesan cheese on. Love it. Kiss it. Hug it.
EARTH BALANCE VEGAN BUTTERY STICKS-
This one is a real gem of a life-saver! I love to bake and was freaking out about how to bake without eggs and butter. Well, luckily it's easy as pie and just as tasty! Earth balance makes these sticks that are specifically designed for baking! I have made fruit crumbles and a pastry tarts, both using this 'butter' and I could not tell the difference at all!!! I love butter like Paula Deen loves butter, so this was pretty exciting. I CAN live without the real deal. Now, what I will say is that I use the sticks ONLY for baking because the taste is so-so and a bit waxy? But, the Earth Balance spread that comes in the tub is a lighter, buttery delicious thing and this is what I use on toast, bagels, muffins, etc. Between these two animal-free products, all my buttery-needs are met perfectly!
TOFUTTI & CUTIES-
Tofutti is a wonderful vegan brand that makes mock cream cheese in a tub that is great alone or in recipes like cheesecake! It lacks a hint of tang that real cream cheese has but depending on the preparation, a little lemon fixes this. They make an herbed one that has great flavor and I prefer it to the plain. Wonderful on bagels and used in any recipe that calls for savory or herbed cream cheese. Tofutti, geniuses that they are, also make a super dreamy swap for the infamous ice cream sandwich called; Tofutti Cuties! They are cute too because they are half the size of a traditional ice cream sandwich. I love that they are dairy-free, low-fat, the sandwich part is tasty and chocolatey and they come in a variety of groovy flavors. Vanilla, Chocolate, Cherry and my favorite, Mint Chip! Kids love these, they are a relatively healthy dessert and they will never know the difference, moms!
I hope you enjoyed these yummy vegan product swaps. Be sure to vote, and watch for Part 2 coming soon!
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.