Abracadabra: It’s Vegan, Witches.
Our spoons are magic wands, no biggie.
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…
Vegans Are Not Afraid To Be Cheesy As Heck
Sliceable Cheddar (Loving It Vegan)
Easy Nacho Cheese (Nora Cooks)
Mediterranean Herbed Feta (The Gentle Chef)
Swiss Cheese (The Hidden Veggies)
Oat Cheese Sauce (Mrs. Plant in Texas)
Allison’s Famous Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese Sauce (Allison Rivers Samson)
Best Vegan Cheese Sauce (potatoes, carrots, etc.!) (Eat Plant-Based)
Cashew Parmesan (Julie Piatt and Rich Roll via Food52)
The Hidden Veggies has a great vegan cheesemaking tutorial worth checking out.
We Know How To (Vegan) Egg Everyone On
Our Best Favorite Scramble (Vegan Street)
Chickpea Flour Scrambled Eggs (Loving it Vegan)
Vegan Fried Egg (It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken)
Poached Eggs (Magic Jelly)
Deviled Eggs (Baked In)
Tofu Frittata with Spinach and Peppers (Oh My Veggies)
The Best Vegan Omelette (Eat Figs, Not Pigs)
Egg Salad (Love and Lemons)
Bakers, don’t miss checking out this helpful article done by The Kitchn to find the best plant-based replacements for eggs in baking.
We Will Always Get To The Meat of the Matter
Delicious Vegan Steaks (video) (The Happy Pear via BOSH! TV)
Jackfruit Tacos (Vegan Street)
Flaky Un-Fish Filets (The Gentle Chef)
Meaty Vegan Chili Con TVP (Elephantastic Vegan)
Best Vegan Chicken (The Edgy Veg)
Turkey-Style Roast with Crispy Skin (86 Eats)
Holiday Ham (Sarah’s Vegan Kitchen)
Slow Cooker Italian Beef (Ugly Vegan Kitchen)
Looking for recommendations on replacing meat from non-vegan foodies? Check it out.
Hungry for more? Check out meat, dairy and egg replacement cookbooks by the super talented Chef Skye-Michael Conroy, .a.k.a., The Gentle Chef: The Gentle Sea Cookbook, The Vegan Eggz Cookbook, Seitan and Beyond and The Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook, for starters. (Many more at the website!) I also highly recommend Robin Robertson’s voluminous canon: all are great for newbies and longtime cooks. Jo Stepaniak’s Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook was pretty much my bible in the 1990s and it very much stands the test of time and Miyoko Schinner’s Artisan Vegan Cheese cookbook pretty much singlehandedly raised the bar for what people came to expect when they heard the words “vegan cheese.” No small accomplishment!
Last but not least, if you’re thinking of moving in the direction of more plant-based, be sure to check out our free Guide for New Vegans.
Marla Rose is co-founding partner of VeganStreet.com and VeganStreetMedia.com. Please follow on Medium to get updates when each new article is posted and find us on Instagram. Looking for vegan Halloween recipes? Got you covered!