Abracadabra: It’s Vegan, Witches.
Maybe it’s just on my mind because ’tis the season, but lately I’ve been thinking more and more about how vegan kitchen witches and wizards are real-life alchemists, combining ingredients and techniques in clever, creative and skillful ways to help create a more compassionate and sustainable world, one with less unnecessary suffering and harm. I have collected 24 recipes that will replace the cheese, eggs and meat in your life, or at least give you a good start in that direction, plus some extra fun little tidbits.
First, though, we must address the Big Why so many people wonder when they learn that vegans might like animal-free versions of these foods. Namely, if we gave up eating them, why bother recreating them? The answer is really quite simple: We didn’t necessarily quit eating these things because we didn’t like how they tasted but because we didn’t want to support cruelty. My grandmother was shocked when I went vegetarian at 15 because, as she lamented, I was the grandchild who loved her brisket the most. Again, though, it wasn’t the taste I didn’t like, it was the cruelty. If we are able to replace the animals from our diets with plant-based alternatives, why would we not? We get to have our cake and eat it, too. (Or our steak, if the case may be.)
Don’t expect animal-free versions to taste exactly like what you are replacing but this doesn’t mean it’s worse or a noble sacrifice. It just means that change takes some time to adapt to, not just changing habits, but evolving taste buds. This doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with the new version. You are just not used to it. If something most definitely is not for you, consider trying different options. As someone who thought I could never adapt to a life without dairy cheese when I went vegan 25 years ago, I couldn’t be more wrong. Having accidentally had some in a wrap a few years ago, I was struck immediately hit with how unpleasant it tasted and smelled, this food I once fetishized. “All that fuss about this?” was all I could think.
Yes, it’s possible to take animals off your plate, especially if you have an open mind to the possibilities.
Shall we get into some recipes now? I think we should because…