We’ve been taught that baking requires an egg.
So we purchase them without question.
They’ve sold us convenient, inexpensive food, and convinced us it’s part of a “well-balanced diet.”
We buy the “cheap” food, but subsidize it’s production with our health and our tax dollars.
We’ve accepted that milk, and cheese, and butter are essential elements for daily cooking.
Because commercials show us what’s normal. And we’ve forgotten our history, along with many of the world’s cultures.
Yet all the necessary ingredients for cooking and baking exist in the plant world.
In a healthier version than the one we’ve been sold.
But what’s to gain from a population of healthy, plant-eating people?
This week I want to share a few of my favorite tips, ingredients, and recipes for Vegan beginners. My goal is to show you that “Vegan” cooking and baking is simply just cooking and baking. Understanding Vegan ingredients is all about redefining your idea of what “normal” food is, and relearning it for yourself.
-Any plant milk can be substituted directly for dairy milk. Buy unflavored and unsweetened for best results and neutral taste.
-To make one “Egg” mix 1 TBSP Ground Flax Seed with 3 TBSP warm water. For best results, let sit for five minutes before adding to other ingredients.
-To make one Cup of “Buttermilk” mix 1 TSP of Apple Cider Vinegar to 1 Cup of plant milk. Let “curdle” for ten minutes before adding to other ingredients.
-Coconut Cream can be substituted for heavy dairy cream in almost any recipe.
-Coconut Oil can be substituted for dairy butter in almost any recipe.
-For cake frostings, or if you prefer a more dairy-butter-like texture, Vegan butter sticks or Vegan margarine can be substituted directly for dairy butter in any recipe.
-Sauté using olive oil instead of dairy butter.
My Favorite Brands:
Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk
Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
Bob’s Red Mill Ground Flax Seed Meal
Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
Kirkland Organic Coconut Oil
Native Forest Coconut Cream
Kirkland Organic Olive Oil
Out of all the listed ingredients, the only one that I am unable to find at a large grocery store chain like Safeway or Costco is the coconut cream, which I purchase at a local COOP.
In addition to these ingredients, I often times use Vegan cheeses in my cooking.
My Favorite Brands:
Field Roast Chao Slices Creamy Original & Tomato Cayenne
Follow Your Heart Parmesan
Follow Your Heart American Slices (Grilled Cheese Winner!)
Miyoko’s Cream Cheese
Plant-based cheeses are slowly becoming more accessible, but currently the only brand I am able to find at Safeway is Field Roast. The other brands I purchase from local health-food stores. Truthfully, some are so dairy-cheese-like (including Field Roast Chao Original) that now that I no longer eat dairy, I’m unable to stomach the gooey texture. So, they’re a fantastic transition product, or a great alternative to feed to your non-Vegan family members!
Now that the basics are out of the way, here are a few of my favorite dishes that made the cut into my recipe box at home. I apologize in advance for my emphasis on breakfast and dessert, but my area of expertise leans strongly to that side. However, since becoming Vegan, I have learned to be a much better and more creative cook.
To be in our Wilson Recipe Box means that I love that particular recipe, and so does my omnivorous husband. It means I’ve made it time and again, and I’ve cooked many others in the same category to compare it to. Yet it always comes out ahead. And lastly, it means that these recipes are not overly time-consuming or difficult. I didn’t include snacks and lunches in this post because those will be included in a meal prep, on-the-go style blog. Although I do often make these recipes on food-prep days so that we can enjoy them throughout the week!
I encourage you to look at recipes you make and try to Veganize them using these techniques and ingredients. Because most of the time, you can! I also urge you to read the ingredients of foods you typically purchase. You may be surprised to learn that the bread you’re eating, the pasta you’re buying, and many other typical grocery store items you assumed weren’t Vegan, actually are. Or that a simple switch to a different brand will make your choice a Vegan one altogether.
Make sure to explore these amazing food-blogger’s pages for even more inspiration. And remember, just because it’s Vegan does not mean it’s inherently healthy. But it will always mean it’s a better choice for your overall health, the environment, and our fuzzy friends.
Pancakes (Refined-Sugar Free) http://wallflowerkitchen.com/fluffiest-vegan-pancakes/
1-Hour Cinnamon Rolls http://www.sprinkledwithjules.com/home/2015/10/17/1-hour-vegan-cinnamon-rolls
Blueberry Muffins http://www.crazyvegankitchen.com/loaded-vegan-blueberry-muffins/
Apple Pie Bread (Refined-Sugar Free) https://www.rabbitandwolves.com/vegan-apple-pie-bread/
Banana Bread (Refined-Sugar Free) https://cookieandkate.com/2015/healthy-banana-bread-recipe
Broccoli Cheese Casserole https://www.connoisseurusveg.com/vegan-broccoli-cheese-casserole/
Lasagna- Sometimes I double or triple this recipe and it works great. I do not make the tofu ricotta, but simply substitute Field Roast Chao Slices in Creamy Original. Then sprinkle Follow Your Heart Parmesan on top. https://www.veganricha.com/2015/06/vegan-veggie-lasagna-for-2.html
Mexican Chopped Salad with Avocado Dressing https://happykitchen.rocks/vegan-mexican-chopped-salad/
3-Ingredient Biscuits https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/3-ingredient-coconut-oil-biscuits-recipe/
No-Knead Crusty Artisan Bread (I promise it’s so easy!) http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/2013/04/no-knead-crusty-artisan-bread.html
Chocolate Chip Cookies https://foodal.com/recipes/cookies/vegan-chocolate-chip/
Soft-Baked Sugar Cookies http://www.themostlyvegan.com/soft-baked-vegan-sugar-cookies/
Rice Crispy Treats http://www.eatdrinkshrink.com/sweets/vegan-rice-crispy-treats
Brownies (I had to add baking time to these, so it will vary oven to oven.) https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/vegan-brownies/