You had a sudden epiphany and realized that your true calling in life is to save the animals and be one with the Earth. You’re sort of a born again vegan-Jesus, walking the countryside to spread the good word of peace, love and kindness to animals. Or maybe you’re in college, everyone else is doing it, and it would match your new leather sandals and woolly socks. Whatever your reason, you’ve decided to go vegetarian and here are some substitutions that you can make to vanquish animal products from your diet.
Butter. For many new vegetarians, this one might be a hard one to do without. But do not fear, for there are perfectly suitable replacements for butter in the market nowadays. Kelapo virgin coconut oil is a great substitution for butter. You can fry with it, spread it on toast, use it to bake cookies and pastries and incorporate it into any recipe that would call for butter. It even imparts a really nice coco-nutty aroma to whatever you’re cooking.
Mayonnaise. If you plan on eating sandwiches or wraps, you’re really going to miss mayonnaise since it’s made with eggs. But the good people at Follow Your Heart have come up with and excellent substitute which is dairy and egg free and also tastes great! You can use it on your sandwiches, wraps and salads as a base for many dressings such as veggie-ranch and veggie-caesar. This product is called vegenaise and is made by several different companies.
Bacon. Sorry, there is no good substitute. But when you’re ready to come back to the dark side, I have some really good recipes for you.
Burgers, Meats and Sausage. There are many tofu and soy-based meat substitutes out there and a many of them are actually quite good. Morningstar Farms makes a great portobello mushroom veggie burger that will stand up for itself after being pushed into a high school locker by a gang of Angus beef burgers. They also have a great ground “meat” substitute that make excellent tacos and chili.
These substitutions should get you started on your path to veggie enlightment. May the wind carry you forward and the sun shine brightly on your face. And remember, vegetables can’t be trusted. Eat them before they eat you!
*Published on Creative Loafing, Jun 28, 2011