When you first switch to a vegan diet, one of the challenges you might have is missing some of your old favorite foods, or just not knowing how to put meals together. One of the best ways to plan for your meals is to look at food swaps. You can take traditional foods on a standard diet, and find alternatives for swapping them out with plant-based or vegan ingredients. Here are a few vegan food swaps to try out first.
Make Veggie Burgers
This is probably one of the easiest vegan food swaps to make. If you previously enjoyed hamburgers made of meat like beef or turkey, it is time to look for an alternative. You don’t have to eat just salads all day, so don’t feel like that is your only option. You can still make a burger, but choose a veggie alternative. While there are frozen veggie burgers, you might like to make your own and have that fresh, whole taste. One good option is to combine black beans with sweet potatoes. They can mold together and provide more texture to your burger by mixing them with cooked quinoa. Add in whatever meat spices you like, from garlic to chili powder.
Use a Butter Alternative
If you are used to using butter and margarine, don’t worry! There are plenty of alternative options for you. You can find soy, oil, and nut butter spreads that are the perfect alternative to butter in many different recipes. If you just want to flavor steamed veggies, don’t be afraid to just drizzle some olive oil on top. For cooked or baked recipes that use butter or margarine, switch to a sunflower diary-free spread or simple dairy-free butter. Most health food stores will have options available for you.
Swap Steak for Portobello Mushrooms
Portobello mushrooms really are the perfect alternative to steak. They aren’t going to taste just like the steak you are used to, but when cooked right and including all the toppings, you can make an amazing plate of steak fajitas and many other steak dishes with your mushrooms. Slice up Portobello mushrooms and sauté them with your favorite steak seasonings, then combine with grilled or sautéed onions and peppers to make fajitas. Put it inside flour tortillas (vegan friendly of course) with some salsa and guacamole, and you’re good to go.
Go to your local health food store to check out the frozen and packaged items, and you will find just about every alternative you could hope for. There are vegan versions of milk, butter, mayonnaise, burgers, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and a lot more.