Skip to main content

My Favorite Vegan Must Haves

I get this question from non vegans quite frequently, "What do you eat?" So, after many requests, I thought posting some of my favorite vegan "must haves" would be helpful.

I don't think that you can expect to have vegan products that taste exactly like non vegan, but that's not really the point. Bottom line, do they taste good? All of these products certainly do.


Often I hear from people that they can't find these products locally. Firstly, start by asking for them at your local store and they will often order them and start stocking them. Secondly, find a place that might be a bit of a further drive and stock up. 


You can find most of these products at Whole Foods and most Von's and Kroger locations in the US. Sadly, Daiya is not yet available in the UK, but they are actively looking for a partner, so fingers crossed.

For many people, cheese is the most difficult food to transition, and honestly I loved my cheese too, so it was initially a big concern for me. The key is to have realistic expectations and just experiment. Here are my vegan cheese must haves.


Daiya - Hands down, this is the best cheese substitute out there and they make many other great products. My absolute must have is the Cheddar. They also make Mozzarella and Pepper Jack. This melts like real cheese and makes killer nachos and quesadillas. I have found that it tastes much better when it is melted.



Go Veggie - While I am not a big fan of their cheese slices or their shredded cheese, but they do make a very good Parmesan cheese substitute. This one is amazing. You do not need a lot, to get a bold parmesan taste. With these two cheese substitutes in my refrigerator, I can make Italian, Mexican and most any sort of cheese based dish. It's worth noting that Go Veggie have a new package, so it might look quite different.





Meat Substitutes - I am a big fan of Boca, Beyond Meat and Gardein products. Note, Boca makes a lot of products and while they are all vegetarian, they are not all vegan. Garden and Beyond Meat are all 100% vegan.







Lastly, I love the Beyond Meat Crumbles which can be used wherever you would use ground beef and they also make fantastic soft tacos, chili and spaghetti sauce.



Butter Substitutes - Earth Balance. I have tried them all, but for me this is the very best and it can be use for all recipes, toast or really anytime you need butter. They also make it in sticks for easier baking and they have many other wonderful products. Check out their website.

Mayonnaise/Dressing - There are two top brands. They are Vegenaise and Just Mayo. Both are very good for making salads, on sandwiches and often people who say they don't like normal mayo, actually like these brands. I do find that Just Mayo seems to stay emulsified better than Vegenaise, but it is a bit more pricey.




Quick Meals - I always have some soup in my desk and at home for quick meals. I have never found anything better than Dr McDougall's soups. They are low in calories and really good. They are a great quick meal and good for you. I like all the flavors but the Vegan Pad Thai and Hot and Sour Soup are special favorites. You can get them online and at most retailers.






So, if you look in my refrigerator/freezer and pantry, you will always find these products along with:

Broccoli

Bananas
Berries
Apples
Red Peppers
Onions
Green Onions
Garlic
Ginger Root
Spices and fresh Herbs
Vegetable Oil- Remember to keep it in the fridge.
Olive Oil
Soy Milk
All sorts of nuts, perfect snack food.
Frozen Corn and Peas- Great for making chili, risotto, soft tacos and corn lime chili soft tacos.
Fresh Salad Greens
Corn Tortillas
Whole Grain Bread
Peanut Butter
Pasta
Potatoes
Mung Beans and Lentils
Canned Black and Pinto Beans
Canned Tomatoes

With these products you can eat very well and get healthy too. 
 Enjoy and eat well.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Norfolk Style Seafood

This is such a good recipe and so simple to make. The story behind this recipe is interesting. When I was a young boy, we used to go to a seafood restaurant in Washington DC called O'Donnell's. They had wonderful food, and most importantly, they had Buck.


Buck was a gentle giant at 6' 2" and was always talking to me about his recipe. He had invented this style of cooking seafood and had even developed special pans which could be used over open flame and then it could be delivered to the tables still sizzling. He was rightfully very proud of this. 


After being there quite a few times, Buck shared his recipe with me and told me to keep it a secret. Since this was over 40 years ago, I guess I can reveal it now. 


Ingredients

1/2 lb Shrimp, Jumbo Lump Crab or Langoustines, raw and shelled
2 Tbsp Butter
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
Dash of Old Bay Seasoning
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Few dashes of Tabasco
Splash of White Wine
Salt and Black Pepper


Heat your pan until fairly hot, then add butter an…

Oven Roasted Salmon

This has to be one of the easiest and best tasting recipes I have. I developed it so I could always pull together a healthy dinner in a few minutes and then have beautiful cold salmon leftovers for the next day.

All you need is a nice piece of fresh salmon and a few basic spices. The real key is to get the oven very hot, so it sears the outside of the salmon and locks in the juices.



Ingredients 

2 lb filet of Fresh Salmon, skin on is best, but not essential.
Celery Salt
Dill Weed
Roasted Garlic Powder
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Butter
Parchment Paper

Preheat your oven to 550F. Take your parchment paper and put it onto a 1/2 sheet baking pan and lay your salmon onto the paper.



Melt your butter and brush it onto the salmon filet. Sprinkle on your spices to taste and bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon. Remove and allow it to rest for 3 minutes before serving. It goes well with the seafood rice pilaf I featured in an earlier post.



Note: All of these spices can be…

Marlow and Son’s Butterbeans, Garlic Confit and Preserved Tomatoes

I first saw this recipe in Bon Appetit and was fascinated. It used interesting ingredients combined in a unique way and I had to try it. The recipe was given in response to an email from BA writer to Marlow chef Patch Troffer, but the recipe had no measurements and timing. After making it, I adjusted a few things and added quantities and timing and was very happy with the results. I ordered my dried beans from Rancho Gordo in Napa and they were excellent.

To make it spectacular, you really do need to make the garlic confit and preserved tomatoes. They aren’t hard to make, but set aside a bit of time. Make a full recipe and then use the rest for other dishes.
Garlic Confit
3 heads of Garlic, peeled and left whole.  3/4-1 cup Olive Oil  4 springs fresh Thyme  2 Bay Leaves 2 dried Chili Peppers

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and cook on barest simmer for 1-2 hours. (This broad cooking time is due to the fact that some garlic has more moisture than others). You’ll want the cloves to be s…