Plant-based everything is taking over the culinary world, but for those who are new to the game, it can be difficult to get accustomed to it. Sometimes we just want to be able to recreate our favorite recipes without losing the flavor and zing of the dish by making it vegan. Fear no more—with some easy swaps and ingredient hacks, you can enjoy your favorite foods vegan style!


Cynthia Liu

Different meats have different textures and flavors to them, which need to be taken into account when picking substitutes. For chicken, try using extra-firm tofu. It has a dense texture similar to chicken that feels satisfying to chew. Just as you would with chicken, marinate the tofu to optimize flavor and then grill, bake or sauté it.

For red meat, you can use other ingredients to recreate the umami flavors that red meat dishes have. Umami-rich vegan ingredients include: ripe tomatoes, tomato paste, ketchup, miso paste, soy sauce, yeast, Shiitake mushrooms, seaweed and rice vinegar or mirin.

If you're looking for a ground beef substitute, try sautéing mushrooms with nuts, seeds, beans and different spice blends - smoked paprika, ground cumin, curries, harissa, piri piri, etc.

For bacon, try throwing in some coconut flakes with black pepper, garlic powder, paprika and soy sauce in a skillet on medium heat until dark brown. This plant-based twist on bacon will have you wondering why you ever had bacon in the first place.


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While there are plenty of vegan cheese substitutes in supermarkets, you have to try this easy home recipe for cheese. All you need is your choice of nut—almonds, cashews or macadamias all work—plus nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder. Pulse the ingredients in a blender or food processor until they’re quite small, and use them to top everything from pasta to soups. The creaminess from the nuts brings that cheesy flavor we all love in our food.


Cynthia Liu

Instead of using eggs, try using a flaxseed replacement. Simply mix one tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal with three tablespoons of water. Let it sit for about fifteen minutes before using. This can be done with chia seeds as well. For baking, try using silken tofu or mashed bananas instead of eggs. With these choices, substitute one egg with 1/4 cup of silken tofu or mashed bananas.

For scrambled eggs, substitute with regular tofu. Before you begin cooking, you'll need to press the tofu to remove the water first. Then, crumble the tofu into a frying pan and fry it over medium heat to cook off the excess moisture. Once the tofu is cooked, you can create a veggie scramble with ingredients like chopped bell peppers, zucchini and mushrooms.


This is the easiest substitution to make, as you can just replace butter with olive oil in most cases. Tahini can also be added for deeper flavoring. If you want to use butter as a spread, then consider playing around with the many nut butters out there: peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter, etc.

There you go. You have the tools and tips to vegan-ize nearly everything at your disposal. Now it's your job to explore the world of food with these vegan options! Nothing can stop you from enjoying your favorite foods vegan anymore. Wake up and smell the plant-based possibilities!