How to Veganize Any Recipe: Savory Edition
Dying to revamp a favorite family recipe, but don't know where to start? These expert tips will help you convert any recipe vegan.
The cooking geniuses behind The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions and Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites, Joni Marie Newman and Celine Steen, know a thing or two about taking traditionally meat and egg-heavy dishes and transforming them into veg-friendly wonders such as a Denver Quiche and Western Bacon Cheeseburgers. Naturally, Newman and Steen were our go-to expert chefs when we wanted to figure out how to take a classic non-vegan recipe and revamp it. Here are their top substitution tips for savory dishes.
There are a ton of vegan cheeses out including shreds, wedges, artisan blocks, and slices, but to achieve a cheesy flavor, nutritional yeast is the way to go. For a little more dimension, Newman and Steen add a little maca powder to the “nooch.” Maca powder is pricey so reserve this method for a special-occasion dish. Coconut milk or cream is great at mimicking a buttery, cheesy flavor when combined with nooch. Cashews are stellar for replicating cheese sauces. Crumbled tofu, flavored with spices and vinegar, are great ways to replace feta, ricotta, and cottage cheese, or make your own Parmesan by pulverizing walnuts and nooch together. To go gourmet with DIY cheeses, Newman and Steen highly recommend Artisan Vegan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner.
Try This: VegNews Vegan Macaroni & Cheese
Tofu is a great replacement for egg-heavy dishes that call for at least six eggs such as quiches or fritattas. Newman suggests adding garbanzo bean flour to blended tofu to make a sturdy omelette. A pinch or two of black salt creates a sulfuric, egg-like taste.
Try This: Vegan Eggs Benedict
Fish Fake Out
Seaweed is a great addition to achieve a fishy flavor—marinating mushroom stems or tofu pieces in a nori broth is an easy way to infuse a briny taste and mimic seafood.
Try This: (Save the) Tuna Salad Sandwiches
There are plenty of faux meats in the market—even a vegan haggis—so you can easily substitute any meat with vegan chicken cutlets, shrimp, or “beef” burgers. If you’d rather steer clear of fake meat, Steen and Newman suggest mushrooms, chickpeas, or tofu flavored the way that you would prepare any other meat substitute. Marinating and pressing tofu overnight soaks up maximum flavor.
Try This: Vegan Ground Beef
When transforming savory dishes, Steen and Newman recommend keeping the following ingredients on hand: reduced-sodium soy sauce, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, tomato paste, silken tofu, veggie broth powder or bouillon, unsweetened plain vegan yogurt, milk alternatives (unsweetened almond milk is a favorite of theirs), applesauce, liquid smoke, beans and legumes, black salt, textured vegetable protein, and vital wheat gluten flour.
Try This: Vegan Pantry Makeover
While vegetable broth can substitute for a meat-based broth, you can season your veggie base to replicate a beef broth by adding soy sauce, vegan Worcestershire sauce, or steak sauce. Toss in a bay leaf, fresh thyme, onion powder, and a little nutritional yeast for a chicken-like flavor.
Try This: Vegan Vietnamese Noodle Soup
While these master veganizers are still hard at work—Newman is diligently trying to perfect a strip-style vegan bacon, while Steen cracked the code to baking a brioche—they turn to several blogs for inspiration. Meettheshannons.com, veganappetite.com, vegancrunk.blogspot.com, and everydaydish.tv are some of their go-to resources. Now that you’ve learned some secret tricks to substituting meat and dairy in savory dishes, it’s time to get in the kitchen. Peruse the VegNews Vegan Food Galore Pinterest board for even more drool-worthy recipes. Happy cooking!
Want the recipe for the gorgeous dish pictured above? Enjoy the Two Cheese Lasagna!
Photo: Hannah Kaminsky
Everything You Need to Know About Juicing
From health benefits to how you make it, weve got the basics of this white-hot health trend to get you started on your juice journey.
Read More »
The #1 Way to Make Sure You Eat Your Greens First
Find yourself in need of some healthy habits? Its a lot easier to train your brain than you might think!
Read More »
How to Veganize Any Recipe: Sweet Edition
Dying to revamp a favorite dessert, but don't know where to start? These expert tips will help you convert any recipe vegan.
Read More »
Surprising Vegan Finds at Mainstream Grocery Stores with The Laziest Vegans
No Whole Foods? No Trader Joes? No problem! Thanks to The Laziest Vegans, finding vegan eats at your typical American supermarket is easier than you think.
Read More »
10 More Hot Veg-Friendly Spots in Nashville
Music City, USA has way more vegan fare than what we could cram into two magazine pages. Here are 10 more stellar options for sustenance.
Read More »
- VegNewsletter Giveaway: Trio of Vegan Books
- 3 Mouth-Watering Vegan Mexican Food Recipes
- 5 Next-Generation Vegan Cheese Brands
- Sarno Brothers Secret to Getting Wicked Healthy
- The Three-Day Detox Plan Anyone Can Do
- 11 Reasons Why Oakland is the New Brooklyn
- 11 Spicy Vegan Dishes for Hot Sauce Lovers
- 11 Unbelievably Awesome Uses for Cauliflower
- 3 Gluten-Free Seasonal Springtime Dishes
- 13 New and Unique Ways to Eat PB&J
- VegNewsletter Giveaway: Vegan Alfredo Sauce
- The Best Vegan Brunch Youll Ever Eat
- Joseph Connellys 48 Hours in Los Angeles
- 10 Healthful Foods You Should Be Eating Right Now
- Top 10 Healthy Vegan Products at Expo West
- All Aboard the 100-Percent Vegan Holistic Holiday at Sea Cruise
- VegNews Dessert Contest with Chloe Coscarelli: Winner & Finalists
- Celebrate St. Pattys at One of These 7 Vegan-Friendly Bars
- 3 Kid-Friendly Recipes the Whole Family Will Love
- The Healthy Dessert Ingredient Youve Never Tried