Food

Vegan Meat and Dairy Alternatives that Still Taste Great

July 31, 2017

Sticking to a strict vegan diet can be a challenge to some, especially if you’re just starting out. Many vegan practitioners tend to look for substitute meat and dairy products that can fill in the dietary gap that they left behind. However, not all faux meat and dairy products do a good job of standing in as a viable alternative.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be an expert cook to find the right kind of vegan dishes to satisfy you. There are many creative options out there that can do the job. Here are just a few vegan options that you might want to consider:

Vegan Pasta

Normally, pasta has loads eggs, cheese, and meat that make it difficult to convert into a proper vegan meal. This is especially true for pasta dishes like carbonara. However, it’s possible to find some creative substitutes that can still give you the same taste profile as legitimate pasta.

King oyster mushrooms are meaty enough to substitute pork while not strong enough to make the entire dish taste like mushrooms. Similarly, there are many tofu-based sauces that can be used along with miso and nutritional yeast to give it a richer quality. Finally, to get the signature taste of Pecorino Romano, you can use sauerkraut brine.

Vegan Parmesan Substitute

Finally, for those looking for the unique taste profile of parmesan cheese, there’s actually a way to reconstruct it in a safe, vegan fashion. This requires several herbs that can give you the same rich, tangy kick that parmesan is known for. The mixture includes miso, rosemary, olives, and lemon zest that need to be dehydrated to concentrate their flavor. The result is a savory and aromatic condiment that goes perfectly with any pasta dish or anything that requires you to use parmesan cheese.

Vegan Burgers

If you’re want a veggie burger that doesn’t have a bland taste to it, you should try making your own patties with a little bit of everything in it. Throwing in mushrooms and eggplant along with garlic, leeks, and celery should give your patties an extra kick in terms of flavor. Likewise, if you want to give your patties a good amount of texture, you should consider adding chickpeas, panko, and barley into the mix. And to top things off, don’t forget to add bread crumbs just before cooking the patties to avoid giving it a mushy texture.

Vegan “Bacon”

Mushrooms do a good job as a meat substitute and the king mushroom oyster is perfect when you want to recreate the consistency of bacon. What’s great with vegan bacon is that it can easily be used for any dish that requires bacon bits or bacon slices.

What’s important here is to have a smoker (even a homemade one) that you can use to give your bacon the smoky, signature flavor that you’re looking for. After dehydrating the thinly sliced mushrooms and smoking them until they achieve the desired crispy texture, you can have yourself some smoked mushroom “bacon” that looks and tastes just like the real thing.

Vegan Mayonnaise

One of the many things many vegan miss is mayonnaise. Fortunately, creating a substitute version isn’t that hard at all. The main trick here is the use of aquafaba. This liquid has proteins and starches that can stand in for egg in most cases. Once it’s mixed with chickpeas to help emulsify it, the resulting solution has the same consistency as mayonnaise. Just imagine how much better your sandwiches will taste with some vegan mayonnaise to give it some additional flavor and texture.

Finding the right kinds of vegan dishes isn’t that difficult as long as you’re willing to expand your mind and try to be a little creative. Hopefully, these recipes can help open up your options to accommodate your vegan needs.

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