Vegetarian Cooking For Dummies
Vegetarian cooking means using just vegetable and fruits and their products and avoiding meat and animal products. A list of ingredients you can use to substitute for animal-based products in recipes is a must-have along with a list of animal-based ingredients to be aware of as you shop for food.
Substitutions to Use in Vegetarian Recipes
Just because you’re cooking vegetarian and leaving meat and meat products out of your menus doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your old recipes. You can use the following lists to adapt nonvegetarian recipes to vegetarian versions.
You may have to experiment a couple of times to find the right substitute for a particular recipe, so have patience!
Look through your recipe files or flag the pages of favorite recipes in your nonvegetarian cookbooks to get started. Mark the changes you’d like to try with a pencil. Erase and make adjustments as needed until you get the recipe to come out just the way you like it. You’ll be surprised to see how easy it can be to create great-tasting vegetarian foods out of traditional nonvegetarian recipes.
|In baked goods:||In burgers, loaves, and casseroles:|
|1/2 small ripe banana, mashed||2 or 3 tablespoons quick-cooking rolled oats or cooked oatmeal|
|1/4 cup applesauce, canned pumpkin or squash, or pureed prunes||2 or 3 tablespoons mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, or instant potato flakes|
|1/4 cup tofu blended with the liquid ingredients in the recipe||2 or 3 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs, cracker meal, or matzo meal|
|1 1/2 teaspoons commercial egg replacer, such as Ener-G brand, mixed with 2 tablespoons water||2 or 3 tablespoons flour — whole-wheat, unbleached white, or oat|
|1 heaping tablespoon soy flour or bean flour mixed with 1 tablespoon water||2 or 3 tablespoons arrowroot starch, potato starch, cornstarch, or Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 2 tablespoons water|
|2 tablespoons cornstarch beaten with 2 tablespoons water||2 or 3 tablespoons tomato paste|
|1 tablespoon finely ground flaxseeds whipped with 1/4 cup water||1/4 cup tofu blended with 1 tablespoon flour|
|Textured vegetable protein (TVP) to replace ground meat|
|Bulgur wheat to replace ground meat|
|Tofu, tempeh, or seitan|
|Meatless hotdogs, veggie burger patties, meatless sausages, or bacon alternatives|
|Beans — rehydrated, canned, or dried flakes|
|Instead of cow’s milk:|
|Soy, rice, oat, or potato milk or a soy/rice milk blend|
|Pureed potato with vegetable broth or pureed soft tofu in cream soups|
|Instead of dairy cheese:|
|Soy- or nut-based cheese alternatives|
|Tofu mashed with a few teaspoons of lemon juice to replace ricotta cheese or cottage cheese in recipes for lasagne and stuffed shells|
You can use soy yogurt (plain or flavored) instead of dairy yogurt and sour cream, and soy margarine or vegetable oil instead of butter.
Hidden Animal Ingredients for Vegetarians
If you’re new to eating and cooking vegetarian, it may take a while to become familiar with all the animal products present in many foods. Look on labels and avoid products in the following list — they’re all animal products.
|Animal shortening||Natural flavorings|