Saturday, July 17, 2010

Vegan Substitutes for Meat, Eggs and Dairy

A vegan lifestyle, which involves eating a diet of plant foods, is better for the you and for the environment. I understand how hard the initial transition to vegan-ism can be as I went through it myself. It is often a lot easier when you can find alternatives for your favorite foods. We are including a list of substitutes for meat, eggs and dairy from

  • Bacon can be replaced by soy-based bacon strips (e.g. Fakin Bacon brand or Stonewall's Cajun Bacon)
  • Beef Jerky can be replaced by a soy-based jerky (e.g. Stonewall's Jerquee)
  • Butter is easily replaced by dairy-free margarine. Any brand made with non-hydrogenated oils is recommended (e.g.. Earth Balance or Spectrum brands).
  • Cakes and Brownies can be made with dairy-free, egg-free mixes (e.g. Pamela's brand)
  • Cheese can be replaced by soy- or rice-based cheese. Unfortunately, many brands still contain casein (a milk protein). A couple of brands which don't are Soymage and VeganRella.
  • Chocolate Bars are available without dairy, usually in the form of dark chocolate (e.g. Tropical Source brand).
  • Cookies can be made without eggs or dairy products. Several brands typically are available in natural food stores (e.g. Sunflour Cookies or Boston Cookies)
  • Cream Cheese is easily replaced by delicious soy-based alternatives (e.g. Tofutti or Soya Kaas brands).
  • Deli Meats can be replaced by soy- or gluten-based sandwich slices. Yves and Tofurky brands are very good and widely available. Shelf-stable brands exist too, such as Dixie Diner.
  • Eggs can be replaced in frying, egg salad, and baking. Mashed tofu combined with a little turmeric or with a mix (e.g. Tofu Helper or Fantastic Foods brands) is a nice alternative to scrambled eggs. Tasty tofu mixes are also available for easy eggless "egg" salad. Eggs can be replaced in baking too. For each egg, substitute a heaping teaspoon of soy flour and a tablespoon of water, or slightly less than a 1/4 cup of applesauce or mashed banana. Prepackaged substitutes for eggs in baking are also available (e.g. EnerG Egg Replacer or Orgran No Egg).
  • Gelatin is a protein obtained by boiling animal bones, tendons, ligaments, hooves, and/or skin. It is a common ingredient in jellied candies, frosted toaster pastries and cereals, Jell-O, etc. Alternatives include carrageenan, agar-agar, fruit pectin, and locust bean gum.
  • Ground Beef can be replaced by healthy soy-based varieties (e.g. Yves or Lightlife brands).
  • Hamburgers are easily replaced by soy-, grain-, or vegetable-based burgers. Some taste very much like traditional burgers (e.g. Gardenburger Flame-Grilled), while others have an original taste of their own (e.g. Dr. Praeger's). Shelf-stable mixes are available too, such as Harvest Direct.
  • Hot Dogs can be replaced by tofu dogs. Several brands are now widely available.
  • Ice Cream is easily replaced by soy- or rice-based frozen desserts. Some brands are so good that you truly can't tell the difference (try Tofutti Supreme or, for an excellent low-fat variety, Soy Delicious). Also, sorbet is almost always dairy free.
  • Ice Cream Sandwiches and Cookie Sandwiches can be replaced by delicious soy-based alternatives (e.g. Tofutti Cuties and TooToos).
  • Jell-O is easily replaced by a similar, gelatin-free dessert (e.g. Superfruits brand).
  • Macaroni and Cheese can be replaced by a nondairy alternative (e.g. Macaroni and chReese by Roads End Organics)
  • Mayonnaise is easily replaced by eggless or tofu-based alternatives (e.g. Hain or Nayonaise brands)
  • Milk is easily replaced by soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, or oat milk. These are excellent replacements in baking too. There are dozens of brands available and they all taste different, so find the one that's right for you.
  • Parmesan Cheese can be replaced by a soy-based parmesan alternative (e.g. Soymage brand).
  • Pizza Pepperoni is easily replaced by the much healthier soy-based varieties. The flavor and texture is the same, but without the grease! Try Yves or Lightlife brands.
  • Sausage can be replaced by soy/tofu sausage (e.g. Lightlife brand).
  • Sour Cream is easily replaced by a soy-based alternative (e.g. Tofutti Sour Supreme).
  • Whey is a serum obtained from cow's milk. Soybean whey is a good alternative.
  • Whipped Cream/Topping is easily replaced by a delicious soy-based whipped topping (e.g. Hip Whip by Now and Zen).
  • Yogurt can be replaced by soy yogurt. Several brands are now available.

OVERALL RATING (for using vegan substitutes):


  1. Me too!! Have you tried making cheese with cashews and nutritional yeast? It tastes delicious.