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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 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!


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!



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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The Vegan Survival Guide – Chapter 1 : Salvage

While this blog has loads of excellent ideas for meals, snacks, and other nomulous goodies, it doesn’t tell you how to survive when what you make doesn’t exactly look/taste/smell as good as expected. This post is to help you when the situation strikes.

A mantra I live by is ‘Enough hot sauce and anything can taste good’ has helped me recover what would otherwise be a disastrous snack or meal. Here are some of my favorites.


Tapatío is there if you want to make something burny spicy. I’ll be the first to admit that doesn’t sound very nice, but I like burny… most times. It can overcome flavors that are otherwise unpleasant. Whether it’s the sauce laying waste to your taste buds or enhancing the flavor is up for debate. Bottom line : It works.




This hot sauce is milder than Tapatio, and that’s alright. It adds more flavor as opposed to burning, and that’s pretty badass. It certainly adds spice, don’t get me wrong. But it’s mild enough that it shouldn’t tear your mouth apart when mixing it in with / topping something. Bonus : It also comes in a chipotle variety.
( *m*)



Pronounced ‘cock sauce’,* this chili sauce is divine. It really goes on most anything really really well. It works best with rice dishes, in my opinion, but I’ll reiterate that any food will fall before Sriracha.



Moore’s Buffalo Wing Sauce

This sauce has become my new mistress of sorts. To me, the balance of spice and flavor is excellent. It adds a little salty flavor (from the vinegar), and a good amount of spice that won’t leave you on the toilet the next morning wondering if you dropped the soap on the show Oz. A special note : Buffalo wing sauces often use butter as an ingredient. Moore’s does not, and uses margarine instead. This is very important to look out for if you want to keep your vegan powers.


While not really hot sauce, per se, salsa can be the missing ingredient when salvaging a meal. You’ll be getting additional veggies and salt (depending on how you or the manufacturer prepares it), as well as something to enhance/drown the flavor of your food. Keep some on hand just in case.

As you venture forth into the vegan unknown, there are some tools you will want to keep handy so as to save what you will undoubtedly spend what seems like endless time preparing. Granted, this is true for all culinary learning experiences, not just for vegans. However, as a vegan you may find yourself cooking for yourself more than you ever did before. The take home message here is to not throw it out if it’s gnarly; try using some spicy condiments instead. What are some of your tricks to save meals that don’t quite come out right?

*Not really, but it appeals to my inner 12 year-old

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