Foodie Tips

5 Vegan Versions of Your Favorite Dishes

There’s been lots of talk about plant-based diets recently, with a focus on improving health plus saving the planet. As a result, more people than ever before are looking for vegan alternatives.

The delicious vegan recipes and ingredients now available mean that even if you usually eat meat, you can still enjoy plant-based dishes without feeling as if you’re missing out. We’ve collected some of the best vegan versions of popular dishes that we think everyone will enjoy. 

Mac ’n Cheeze

Macaroni cheese is a family favorite that can be enjoyed either as a main course or a side dish. Easy to make and versatile, it’s quick to put on the table but the traditional recipe isn’t vegan-friendly. 

This version includes butternut squash plus vegan replacements for the key ingredients such as milk and cheese. You’ll need to roast your butternut squash before making this dish so either cook in advance or leave yourself enough time. 

To make the “cheeze” sauce you’ll need non-dairy milk, lemon, garlic, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, cashews and mustard. Blitz in a food processor and add chopped-up butternut squash once it’s cooked. If the sauce feels too thick at any time, just splash in a bit more non-dairy milk. 

Cook your pasta and add the cheeze sauce. You can stir through any additional veggie ingredients at this point such as peas or broccoli. Serve with a sprinkling of paprika for a warming twist. 

Vegan Katsu Curry

Although Japanese food includes lots of seafood, there’s also a heavy emphasis on vegetables and meat-free dishes so it’s not difficult to find delicious vegan food. 

The regular use of soy products, rice, noodles, seaweed and mushrooms means that Japan has one of the best naturally plant-based menus in the world. 

Even dishes which have been traditionally created with meat can easily be adapted for a plant-based diet, such as vegan katsu curry

Katsu curry is different from other types of curry because it contains breaded cutlets made from meat such as chicken or pork. However, these can very easily be switched out for tofu with no discernible difference in quality. 

The rest of the ingredients for katsu curry are already plant-based so the recipe can be enjoyed without any changes required. Onions, garlic, ginger, curry powder, vegetable stock, coconut milk, soy sauce, sugar, flour and breadcrumbs are all that’s needed for a deeply flavorsome vegan dish. 

Vegan Carbonara

As a creamy and cheesy dish, carbonara isn’t something that’s typically eaten by vegans because it’s not easy to recreate authentic flavours – until now. Once you know what you can substitute in for the dairy, it’s an easy recipe to follow. 

With some simple substitutions you can follow your regular carbonara recipe. You’ll need to make the following switches:

*Milk – change to soy milk or any other plant-based milk which isn’t sweet

*Cheese – nutritional yeast will provide an authentic cheesy flavour

*Chickpea flour – add a small amount to replicate the texture of eggs without altering the taste

*Eggs – kala namak, a type of black rock salt that has a distinctive eggy taste 

*Paprika – a dash will provide some color to the sauce without adding noticeable flavour

*Fat content – a dash of olive oil will provide the same decadent experience

*Gunciale or pancetta – soy sauce, salt, pepper and Tempeh are all that’s needed to add this meaty depth of flavour.

By making the above changes, you’ll change your favourite carbonara recipe into one that’s vegan-friendly without sacrificing any of the rich, creamy texture and flavor. That’s a win-win!

Vegan Chilli

At the end of the day, a pot of hearty chilli really satisfies the soul. But if you’re aiming to eat vegan, how can you achieve the same result?

The good news is that chilli is one of the really easy dishes to convert to vegan because it doesn’t have too many tricky dairy ingredients. In fact, vegan chilli can taste so similar to its meat-based equivalent that if you don’t say it’s vegan, people might not even notice!

This chilli is an extremely filling dish courtesy of the big chunky vegetables which include carrot, bell peppers, onion and celery. Flavor is added with spices such as cumin, paprika, garlic, cayenne pepper, oregano and chilli powder. Finally, the pinto beans and kidney beans offer that unmistakable texture while delivering a powerful protein punch. 

Cook up at the end of the day and serve with vegan sour cream for a refreshing contrast. 

Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

It’s not just the big dishes that need a vegan alternative, it’s all the side dishes too. Mozzarella sticks make a delicious snack or accompaniment to dinner, and thankfully there are plant-based versions which are simple to make. 

You’ll need a block of your favorite vegan cheese which you should cut into strips. Mix together almond milk, flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in one bowl, and in another, mix breadcrumbs and whatever Italian seasoning you like. 

Dip the strips of vegan cheese into the first bowl (the batter) and then the breadcrumbs and then deep fry for approximately four minutes. 

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