EASY VEGAN RECIPES FOR LAZY PEOPLE (10 minute dinners)
How to Make Any Dish Vegan
Turning a favorite recipe into a vegan replica? New to vegan-ism and not sure how to prepare your old stand-bys? A vegan friend is on the guest list? No problem! Turning your recipes vegan is easy if you just remember a few simple rules––even your grandmother's Beef Stroganoff can be veganized!
Know what to avoid.This is imperative to vegan meal preparation. Whether it's your newly adopted lifestyle or whether you are preparing a meal for a loved one, the definition of vegan living is: No animal products. This means not eating or serving:
- Anything that walks, swims or flies. Yes, that means chickens and fish, too.
- Anything that is derived from animals, such as oils/fats or gelatin (from bones).
- Anything created by animals, as in honey.
Know what needs to be substituted.Obviously, the meat called for in any given recipe can be eliminated entirely, but you can also substitute a variety of acceptable and tasty things that will either mimic the original or add new textures and flavors––it's up to you. So have fun and use your imagination. Some of the most vital substitutions you need to be aware of to ensure the dish comes out correctly are listed below:
- Eggs. Used to bind a dish, meaning 'hold it together'. Think of cutting a square of lasagne and how it holds its shape; that bound-together shape comes from the eggs. If eggs were eliminated entirely, it might simply be a loose scoop of pasta and sauce.
- Cheese. Used in dishes such as pizza, enchiladas and mac 'n cheese, cheese is the star in many meals.
- Milk or cream. The basis behind many creamy sauces and soups, as well as a wide variety of many dessert and confections.
- Oils and fats. Keeping foods from sticking to the pan or baking dish is one reason to use a fat in your cooking, but did you know that flavor and moisture from oil is also an important aspect of making a good dish taste fantastic?
Substitute with suitable foods.Below you will find a basic substitution list for the most important ingredients listed in the previous step, to ensure that your recipe turns out just as well, if not better than the original. Also included here are some alternatives to meats, should you choose not to eliminate it from the recipe.
- Eggs: Flax seed. Bananas. Tofu. Yogurt. Applesauce. Ener-G egg replacer (or other brands). You will have to use common sense when making your choice; obviously you wouldn't use bananas in your pasta dish, but rather in a sweet or fruity recipe.
- Cheese: Nutritional yeast (see below). Homemade nut cheeses or store bought replacements work in any recipe. Pop into your local health food store and check out the range of vegan cheese––there are many on offer now. You can also make your own vegan cheese. Of course, you can totally eliminate cheese from any recipe, even from pizza and macaroni and cheese, too. Instead, use a creamy, vegan sauce.
- Milk/cream: There is virtually an oasis of dairy milk substitutes out on the shelves and in the dairy section of any store you venture into these days. There's really no reason to ever buy and use dairy milk again. The days of soy milk being your only choice for dairy milk substitutes are long gone. Coconut milk, almond milk, rice and other grain milk products can be easily used in place of any milk called for in a recipe.
- Oils and fats: Also easily substituted with vegetable oils, margarine and coconut oil.
- Meats: The frozen and vegetarian sections of the produce department contain a wide variety of brands that mimic the taste, texture of mouth feel of meat. Nuggets, patties, crumbles, sausages and roasts, to name a few. Dried TVP (textured vegetable protein) and tofu are also great replacements. Beans, nuts, grains and some vegetables can also fill in for meat in many dishes.
Veganize it! Basically you will need to view your recipes ingredients list and note the items you will need to swap-out, using the guide above. Some measurements you can exchange equally, such as a 1/4 cup honey for 1/4 cup agave or maple syrup. Milk measurements can also be easily swapped, ounce for ounce. Egg substitutes will need to be adjusted depending on the type you are using.
- Remember, liquid egg products in the cartons are not vegan. They are derived from real eggs and other natural (and unnatural) ingredients.
Cook and bake.Once you've adjusted your ingredients, go ahead and cook or bake them according to the method you've always used before, or that is instructed in the recipe you are following. Keep in mind that the final product may not be an exact duplicate of what you are used to making or eating! That's okay, though, because you have made your dish healthier and more importantly, acceptable to a wider range of guests to whom you may be serving.
- Many vegetarians and vegans do not wish to cause any trouble to their host or hostess, so they don't bother telling them of their food lifestyle and wind up eating a dinner roll and lettuce at many events and parties. Offering a vegan dish or two when planning a party is a wonderful way to not only provide something delicious to your vegan guests, but also a healthier alternative to everyone else.
Video: Damn Good Vegan Meals in UNDER 15 MINUTES | 3 Easy Vegan Recipes 🎉
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