When it comes to vegan food, are a lot of misconceptions. One of the main ones being that everything tastes like grass and is super boring. Alright, we’re exaggerating a little but the truth is, a world without meat, eggs, and cheese equals a world without flavor for a lot of people. If you’re considering making the switch to a vegan lifestyle, the idea of having to potentially give up on some (or all!) of your favorite dishes can be overwhelming. We get it we’ve all been there at some point.
Thankfully, that couldn’t be further from reality. In this day and age, there are vegan versions to nearly everything including cookies, ice cream, cheese, omelets, ribs, BBQ wings, bacon — you name it. There’s nothing that a lot of creativity and some sugar and spice can’t achieve when it comes to recapturing the taste and feel of even the meatiest of dishes.
Don’t believe us? Here are five vegan hacks that will blow your mind and inspire you to get in the kitchen along with some recipes from the Food Monster App.
We already knew that chickpeas were awesome, but this vegan hack takes our love for this cheap staple to a whole other level. Aquafaba refers to the leftover liquid in canned beans which, we’ve all been guilty of throwing away. once simmered down on the stove and chilled overnight, this precious liquid turns into a perfect egg white replacement. How amazing is that?
You can use aquafaba in savory or sweet recipes, but it offers especially amazing results in baking. Thought you would never have meringue again or experience the delicious sweet crunch of macarons? Think again! Whipped with sugar, aquafaba becomes light and fluffy and the perfect addition to any of your favorite desserts.
We personally can’t get over this classic Vegan Meringue, pictured above, and this Coconut Key Lime Pie. If you love cookies, aquafaba will also change your life. Check out these Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies, these Lemon Meringue Cookies, and these Mint Milano Copycat Cookies. These cookies deliver all the crunchiness and decadence one needs from a cookie. Why not make a batch for the holidays?
Speaking of crunch, macarons lovers will be delighted to know that we have so many recipes featuring this French delicacy! Try out these beautiful Raspberry Rose Macarons, these Raspberry Mocha Macarons, or these Mango Macarons. These Raspberry and Elderflower French Macarons and these Strawberry Macarons are also beyond gorgeous. Perfect for a holiday-themed party if you ask us!
Check out these 13 Amazing Recipes Made With Chickpea Brine that will speak to your sweet tooth for more inspiration.
While there might not really be a thousand ways to make vegan cheese, there are more ways than one and all of them are so creative that we can’t help but be blown away! Did you know that carrots and potatoes with a little nutritional yeast (or a lot if you’re us!) and some oil make a realistic vegan cheese that could bluff any dairy lover? That seems like a stretch but believe us, it’s not! Or rather it sort of is, because that’s exactly what this Stretchy Potato Cheese, pictured above, is made of.
Using common veggies to make cheese is nothing new in the plant-based world. Case in point, this Potato and Carrot Cheese, this Sliceable Zucchini Cheese, and this Loaded Queso Dip. These cheeses totally destroy the trope that veggies are boring, if you ask us!
Another major player in the plant-based world, tofu, can also be used to make delicious cheeses, especially ricotta and feta substitutes. Check out this Tofu Gouda, this Cashew Tofu Cream Cheese, and this Tofu Feta Cheese. This Tangy Cashew Tofu Ricotta and this Creamy Cashew Tofu Alfredo are great options for those missing the taste of a real lasagna or Italian inspired dish.
If you miss the stronger taste of aged cheese, nut and seed based vegan cheeses will literally change your life. From brie to blue cheese, passing by ‘goat’ cheeses, you can find all the flavors you thought you would miss as a vegan and in a realistic looking form too. Some of our favorites include this Cashew Brie, this Blue Cheese, and this Cashew Dill Mozzarella. You also have to try this Grateable Almond Cheese, this Naturally Fermented Cashew Herb Chevre, and this Swiss Cheese.
Want even more cheese ideas? Check out these 25 Vegan Cheeses That Will Make You Quit Dairy Forever, these 20 Amazing Vegan Cheeses You Can Make at Home, and these 20 Vegan Cheeses That Will Knock Your Socks Off. You’re welcome!
Once again, fruits and vegetables prove they aren’t just the healthy snack you thought they were. Some of them can create such amazing meat alternatives that you would believe they’re kind of magic. Certainly nowhere near boring — that’s for sure. Without further ado, here are some of our favorite fruits and veggies that take getting your ‘5 a day’ to a whole new level. A meaty delicious one!
Jackfruit, a tropical fruit whose unripe pods closely resemble pulled pork when you cook them with the love it they deserves. We’re talking delicious BBQ like in these Jackfruit Sliders With Chipotle Cherry BBQ Sauce pictured above, or a spice-rubbed jackfruit with a kick like in this drool-worthy Jackfruit Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich. Since the discovery that this tropical fruit makes a meat-substitute so close to the original has been making waves in the plant-based world, it’s become more and more available in health food shops and grocery stores all over the nation. Why not on the bandwagon, and check out any of these 15 Meaty Vegan Recipes Featuring Jackfruit and these 10 Jammin’ Jackfruit Recipes You Have to Try?.
While jackfruit may dominate as a plant-based meat as of late, vegetables such as mushrooms, beet, eggplant, cauliflower, and even potatoes have been around too, redefining the meat-substitute world with gusto. Mushrooms with their beefy texture and umami taste make incredible dishes such as these Portobello Mushroom Steaks, these Swedish Mushroom Meatballs, and this Trumpet Mushroom ‘Calamari’. Beets on their part lend their earthiness and subtly sweet taste to create surprisingly meaty recipes like this Beet ‘Pepperoni’ Pizza and these Crispy Curried Broccoli and Beet Croquettes. As per cauliflower, ever heard of cauliwings? It’s absolutely a thing by now — if not it should be! Just take a look at these finger licking good Sweet and Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, these Asian-Inspired Cauliflower Wings, these Cauliflower Buffalo Wings With Ranch Dipping Sauce, and these Thai Barbecue Cauliflower Wings.
Want to know more about veggies that can fool meat-lovers? Check out these 10 Vegetables That Can Substitute for Meat.
If you love brunch as much as we do, the thought of going egg-free might seem a bit scary. Thankfully, the plant-based world comes through once again with incredible hacks that prove you don’t need eggs to get that ‘eggy’ taste.
Ever heard of black salt? Black salt or kala namak salt is not related to witchcraft as one might assume (although its culinary effects are borderline magic!) It is rather an Indian volcanic rock salt heated to high temperatures and mixed with Indian spices such as the seeds of the harad fruit to give it a sulfuric taste and smell reminiscent of — you guessed it — eggs. Using black salt in plant-based versions of your favorite egg dishes gives them that umami savory taste that we all crave when brunch rolls around.
First, you have to try this scrumptious Grilled Asparagus and Smoked Tofu Benedict, pictured above, this Chickpea Flour Omelet With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Mushroom, and Spinach Filling, and these Deviled Veggs. If brunch is not your speed and you’re more into breakfast sandwiches, give this Spicy Tofu Scramble and Avocado Breakfast Burrito, these Tandoori Tofu Scramble Tacos, and this Breakfast Sandwich With Tofu Egg and Tempeh Sausage a try. You won’t be disappointed.
You can also check out these 15 Delicious Egg Recipes That are Are Better Without Eggs and these 50 Egg-cellent Vegan Recipes Made Without Eggs.
If there is one food item that sparks controversy in the minds of meat-eaters everywhere when the topic of plant-based eating comes about, that’s bacon. Thus, this crunchy and greasy breakfast staple is unavoidable when it comes to vegan food hacks. Let’s be honest, as much as we hate bacon for what it really is (cute, defenseless pigs), we need some crispy savory bacon in our lives. Thankfully for us, we can have it in more ways than one, and none involves babe!
From tempeh and seitan to coconut and rice paper, to creative uses of vegetables such as eggplant, mushrooms, and even beets, alternatives to bacon abound. The secret to their tastiness? A good marinade and clever cooking techniques that give veggie bacon the crispiness and texture hard-core bacon lovers hold so dear. Liquid smoke and a very hot oven is (almost) about all it takes to make beautiful bacon like the Baked Smoky Carrot Bacon, pictured above.
Want to get the bacon-lovers in your life to start paying attention to the bountiful vegan alternatives? Serve them any of these 15 Crispy, Chewy, Smoky Plant-Based Bacon Recipes and these 12 Veggie Bacon-Filled Recipes.
If you’re looking for more vegan hacks and delicious recipes, as well as cooking tips, then we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
Lead image source: Baked Smoky Carrot Bacon
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