The Vegan Survival Guide – Chapter 2 : Substitution

On your way to becoming a vegan master, you will undoubtedly run into several obstacles when it comes to making your favorite dishes. The good news is you don’t have to say goodbye to baking, making cream sauces, or any other edible or drinkable that requires dairy. This post will assist in your survival in your perilous vegan journey of DOOM!

… only not really. The doom part. Whatever.

Milk

Milk is easily substituted in consumption and in cooking. Our go-to is almond milk. It is mostly allergen friendly, has some protein, twice the calcium of moo milk, and tastes effing delicious. For cooking, non-sweetened plain almond milk is suggested. It won’t add any mysterious extra flavors, and can seamlessly be integrated into your dish for similar results. Other alternatives include coconut milk and soy milk. Coconut milk is distinctively thick and coconutty. I recommend it for smoothies and as a density agent for things like sauces. Soy milk comes last; it’s pretty well known and established in most stores. It has a buttload of protein (thank you, soybean), and can be a solid substitute for cooking. Speaking of soybeans, to make a cream sauce you can start with a block of silken tofu as a base. Alternately, use cashews that have been soaking overnight. Boomsaucylaucy!

PROTIP : Almond milk is portable and storable. It can be purchased in little boxes that store well in most conditions. Christie, for instance, has a box of chocolate almond milk at her work desk. She can keep it there until she needs it. No refrigeration necessary. Booya!

Eggs

Substituting eggs is a deceptively simple task. At first glace as a vegan, you’ll say ‘But Brent, you magnificent beast, there’s no substitute for the sexiness of chicken embryo!’ Nay, I say to you. Forsooth! Hark! Gadzooks! Flax seeds! No, really, that last one was what you were supposed to read. Flax seeds when ground down with your mighty fists can be a nice substitute for eggs.

How to make an egg :
1 Tablespoon Ground Flax Seeds
3 Tablespoons Water
Heat in microwave for ~20 seconds, stir. Repeat until mixture is thick, consistency agrees with you.

If making your own does not appeal to you, you can use applesauce when baking fluffy things. Note that it may affect the flavor of your creation. Finally, commercially available egg substitutes are available. EnerG makes a boxed egg substitute. But since you will have to mix it with water, you may as well just stick with the flax seeds.

When baking isn’t your game, but breakfasting is, tofu scramble is a go-to for us. It’s simple to make, and with the right texture of tofu, it will resemble eggs with virtually no magic. Virtually.

PROTIP : More like ‘good for you for choosing an egg alternative’; By not consuming eggs, you are avoiding salmonella, cholesterol, and cruelty in one fell swoop. Feed your kids cookie dough batter with no consequence! Throw them at cars! Make a Rocky shake! Whatevs!

ADRIAAARRRRRRRGABLLGH!

Cheese

This one was really hard to give up when it came to going vegan. The good news is there are plenty of alternatives. Commercially available cheeses are freaking everywhere, and they are gaining strength in the market. What’s more is that they are tasty, healthier, and some even melt like moo cheese. I could wax about vegan cheese alternatives, but Christie and I already have!

PROTIP : Daiya for melty goodness. Also check out our three cheese posts to date! 1.1 2.0 3.0

Sexy Conclusion
After reading this, I’m sure you’re thinking ‘Wow, Brent, you are a smelly hairy weirdo!’ And you’d be 100% correct! But what you may not have known before this post is that substitution is integral to your success as a venturing veganator and AND it doesn’t have to be rocket science. By getting this far in the post, I can assume that you care enough to seek alternatives to your cooking needs, and that’s freaking awesome. Take the next step and try some of these alternatives out!

Peace out, my vegans.

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14 thoughts on “The Vegan Survival Guide – Chapter 2 : Substitution

  1. Somer says:

    Radical. I could have used these tips a few months ago 😉 Good now!

    • theironclad says:

      Glad you got the information you needed before reading this. I know I wish I had them, like, 20 years ago. 😀

      • Somer says:

        No kidding! I went plant based in January for health reasons.

        http://goodcleanfood.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/sick-of-being-sick/

        Sometimes I’m so mad about the information that the dairy and meat industry perpetuates. I can’t believe I lived in ignorance for so long. Oh well. What’s a girl to do? Move forward 😉

      • theironclad says:

        That’s the can-do attitude we need on this blog. As for the information/propaganda put forward by the meat and dairy folks, I couldn’t agree more. A movie we posted on our FB feed, A Delicate Balance, describes a lot of the misinformation. As you mentioned in your post, the films Forks Over Knives and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead are great reinforcements for going to a vegan diet. Congrats on going to a vegetable based diet, and getting your health back. Cheers!

      • Somer says:

        Thanks dude. I will check out A Delicate Balance!

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