Updated: Aug 15
In this blog, we aim show you some products for the replacement of meat and egg in your daily cuisine. Let’s explore this together.
The good news is that it’s easy to find plant-based ingredient—even the exotic or rare ones in the market, thanks to the efforts of pioneers who’ve advocated for plant-based diet over the past few decades. While in France in 2017, I could barely find vegan products in the supermarket. In 2019, when I first came to Prague, there were only a few vegan brands of ice cream available. Today, however, I can hardly count all the vegan ice creams on offer. Moreover, more people (such as Bill Gates) have invested in vegan product research and production, because of potential business opportunities. Thus the range of vegan food options is widening each year.
I am grateful for the wave of dietary civilization sweeping across the entire world.
This article focuses on 3 components:
A) How to choose vegan products to replace meat and eggs
B) How to enhance the taste and flavor of vegan dishes
C) How to replace eggs in baking
A) PRODUCT RECOMMENDATION
Our previous article stated that the main elements in meat and eggs are saturated fats and proteins. Logically, we can find various replacements.
Raw (or relatively original) and whole-food products
For common usage, tofu and many kinds of both dry and fresh mushrooms can be used as replacements for meat, due of their protein quantity and flavor. Roasting tofu and mushroom adds a pleasant ‘burnt’ flavor to a variety of dishes.
For more advanced cooking, use protein-rich products such as soya, soy-protein, tempeh and smoked tofu. If you are allergic to soy, you can replace protein with products made from wheat, pea, peanuts and chickpeas. Another recommendation is using products similar in taste to meat or fish. Konjac, for example—a kind of magical vegan “meat,” is both natural and healthy. There are many fantastic ingredients from different regions waiting for us to explore, such as peach gum.
2. Processed food products
Coconut oil or palm oil can be used to replace saturated fats. Common sunflower seed oil is a relatively healthy variant, with all the unsaturated fats we need. Although there are a variety of meat replacement products on the market, we should be careful to select products without garlic, onion, and alcohol while following a pure vegan diet.
B) SPICES AND SEASONING
According to my personal experience, many dishes taste delicious because of special spices and seasonings. For instance, Chinese BBQ used to be my favorite dish in the evening. After following the pure diet, however, I’m now satisfied with vegetables dipped in soy sauce, dry chili powder, cumin and sesame.
There are numerous spices around the world, and cooking methods differ from one region to another. If you are interested in your local or exotic dishes, I recommend searching online for the recipe, replacing the meat with vegan products and simply following the list of spices. The result will probably be quite good. For vegan dishes, we tend to use less spices, as they’re no longer necessary for removing unpleasant aromas associated with meat.
3 seasonings are worth a mention:
Umami: fungus powder, vegetable stock and vegan seafood products.
Nutritional yeast: creates a rich and cheesy taste, often used in Western dishes.
Indian black salt: though not commonly used, it provides an egg-like flavor.
C) BAKING REPLACEMENT
Eggs are an essential ingredient in non-vegan baking. But we can also bake delicious desserts and bread without them, if we grasp the key to vegan baking.
What’s the function of eggs, in the baking process?
For function 1), the simplest way is using an egg replacement product. For baking cakes, use fresh or packaged puree to add moisture. Oil can also help.
For function 2), there are both whipped and unwhipped vegan cream products. If you prefer natural foods, try whipping coconut milk, aquafaba or flaxseed powder with water.
For function 3), try nutritional yeast or Indian black salt.
More information about pure diet and recipes can be found on our blog.
Thank you for reading