Friday, July 27, 2012

Beginning Vegan Cheat Sheet

I've been vegan for two years now and I love trying out all the different vegan cooking tricks and mock animal products. I decided I couldn't keep all these tasty cooking secrets to myself, so here are some of my favorites.

I love Chloe Coscarelli. Her cupcakes are amazing (especially when you use coconut milk). She's won multiple Cupcake Wars and they are truthfully the best cupcakes I've ever had.

My gluten free adaptation from her chocolate strawberry shortcake cupcake recipe:

On the healthier side, there's:

Aaand you can find many mouth-watering vegan recipes on Pinterest:

Follow Your Heart Vegan Mozzarella is great baked on pizza and lasagna and is strangely similar to cheese. My omnivorous family loved it.
Here's what it looks like when baked:

(I got distracted and the crust burnt which is why I cropped it - the cheese is all that's important anyway, right?)

Earth Balance is a great vegan butter.

Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds make the best mac 'n' cheese. Just Daiya, a bit of unsweetened non-dairy milk, maybe a bit of Earth Balance, and a little salt is all you need.

Daiya Jack Cheese makes a good quesadilla, especially good with chopped chives added.

Almond milk is my favorite non-dairy milk in general. Try it, you'll love it.

A thumb's worth of peanut butter and a thumb's worth of banana makes a great egg replacer for chocolate chip cookies.

For cakes, baking soda and vinegar do the trick. Coconut milk gives the cakes an amazing texture too. (See: Chloe Coscarelli)

Black bean brownies are awesome. You can probably google a recipe for these. Or just rinse some black beans and blend them with equal parts water, then add the mixture to your brownie mix in place of the eggs and water, 'til it's a typical brownie batter consistency. I like to add a little bit of Earth Balance and semi-sweet Ghirardhelli chocolate chips or Trader Joe's chocolate chips to the mix too to make it extra rich.

Vegenaise tastes better than mayonnaise in my opinion. You can also make your own mayonnaise out of tofu (you can find recipes on google).

If you ever miss meat, feel free to explore the faux meats and see which ones you like. Gardein is a pretty safe choice, most of their stuff is delicious. Some more of my personal favorites are Tofurky Hickory Smoked Deli Slices, Boca Chik'n Patties, Morningstar Hickory BBQ Riblets, and Trader Joe's makes some really good frozen faux meats if you have one of those around (they have a lot of other delicious vegan options too - just look for the 'V').

If you've been scared of tofu or had a bad experience with it - try it this way. Start out with super firm tofu, cut into cubes, marinate with your favorite sauce, or coat with your favorite seasonings, then bake in the oven. I like to coat mine with a mixture of soy sauce (I use Bragg's Liquid Aminos), rice vinegar, garlic powder, and pepper.
Crispy, dense, perfect tofu you can add to salad, stir fry, rice, etc. or just enjoy on its own. You can also try it scrambled in place of scrambled eggs.

There are tons of foods you wouldn't expect to be vegan, but are, too (like Oreos, Clif bars, Nissin oriental and chili flavor Top Ramen, and a lot of semi-sweet chocolate chips are vegan):
Accidentally Vegan


  1. Love this post! Wish I could buy Daiya cheese near me. What gluten free pizza crust recipe are you using? It looks yummy! I recently tried a gluten free pizza crust recipe, and first attempt was a massive failure, but subsequent attempts have all been successful due to a wonderful thing called parchment paper! HA!

    1. Thanks! And I used Bob's Red Mill brand. I haven't tried any other kind, but I'm happy enough with this one. I like to add garlic powder and parsley and a little bit of salt (since I'm a salt addict) to the dough, and it's really tasty. I use Egg Replacer in place of the eggs it calls for on the bag, and I'm not sure if that has something to do with why it can be a little gummy, but I just roll it out as thin as I can and it's good.