Veganize it!

Veganizing your meals can be a great way to keep eating the classics you love, while making them plant-based and healthier.  Instead of meat, add chickpeas, beans, lentils or tofu to your stir-fry.  Instead of milk in your coffee, non-dairy substitutes are easy fixes.  Pancakes are super easy to veganize!  Scrambled tofu is a family favorite in our house and has replaced scrambled eggs.  We use tofu as a chicken substitute, making General-Tao chicken, orange chicken, nuggets and others.  Remember that the spices provide the taste, not the meat.  Chili is super easy to veganize, as are multiple soups.  We love our chickpea curry, we eat pizza and we've grown to love non-dairy cheeses, although it wasn't love at first sight!

A Canadian company called The Very Good Butchers makes vegan ribs, burgers, pepperonis, sausages and hot dogs, all with minimally refined ingredients.

To start veganizing your meals, simply take a look at the ingredient list, and highlight the animal products like meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, butter, honey and gelatin.  Then we can replace these ingredients with plant-based alternatives.  Write down the animal product\meat substitutes listed below, and start experimenting!

Many vegetables can be used for meat substitution.  Tofu, tempeh, seitan and TVP (textured vegetable protein) are all great substitutes.  For mushroom lovers out there, there are great burger recipes.  Jack-fruit can easily mimic pulled pork.  Eggplants are popular burger subs.  We often use lentils as our main ingredient in meatless meat loafs.  Beans and legumes are among the healthiest foods on the planet, and can be thrown in a blender or food processor with nuts and spices and be made into burgers, meat-balls or nuggets.  We use cauliflower to make chicken wings. 

There are now vegan or plant-based versions of many foods.  Vegan cheese, vegan butters, vegan meat-substitutes and vegan sauces are all great, but always keep in mind that many vegan substitutes, although healthier than the foods they're replacing, can still be highly processed.  Very often, we love to make these from scratch. Vegan sauces and cheeses with cashews, black beans or chickpea burgers and many other classic meals can be both healthy and plant-based.  

Moral of the story, meals can be veganized, animal products substitutes can be found and the food can still be healthy and great.  Following tried and tested recipes is easier than ever, or you can experiment with new ingredients!

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