Bianca and Sascha, bloggers and foodie couple behind Elephantastic Vegan and The Veginner’s Cookbook believe that any reason to adopt a vegan lifestyle is a great reason, and your decision to stop eating animal products will be one of the best of your life.
But what about bacon?
Vegans still love breakfast sandwiches. And popcorn chicken. And mac and cheese. And all the other comforting, delicious foods we grew up with. Don’t worry, having these cravings is completely normal and part of every vegan’s life. Cravings Made Vegan offers plant-based resources and guides for every meat eater, cheese lover, and milk drinker followed by a unique collection of fifty detailed recipes to create surprisingly delicious alternatives for all those non-vegan dishes you still hold dear.
Recipes include melted cheese sandwiches, hearty sausages, baked almond feta, and a steaming hot chocolate fudge pudding that will make you forget about your pre-vegan life. Bianca and Sascha offer easy vegan swapping alternatives for all your favorite meat and dairy products and answers to every vegan’s most-asked questions: how to make food taste and look like it has eggs in it, how to make tofu not boring, and how to satisfy that bacon craving.
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About the Author
Sascha Naderer is the stew-cooking, breadstick-eating, avocado-craving side of this book. To him, cooking is about creativity, spontaneity, and tons of garlic, and he sees decadent vegan food as the perfect way to enjoy great food without having to compromise his ethics. He and Bianca currently reside in Linz, Austria.
Read an Excerpt
SUBSTITUTE EVERYTHING: THE MAGICAL INGREDIENTS FOR VEGANS
What was your first experience with tofu? If you're like us, the first slice you ever cooked was a bland, tasteless mess. What a turnoff. Yet, some people seem to make all tofu, soy protein, or even broccoli taste so good that you'll never want to eat meat again.
As former on-and-off vegetarians, we feel you. Your scrambled tofu gets tastier, but it's not eggs; your cheesy sauce is missing something; and whatever you try, nothing seems to come close to the smokiness of bacon. While some vegans don't mind at all, many people miss specific flavors so much that they eventually go back to their old non-vegan eating habits.
There's a good chance that you didn't go vegan because you hated chicken fingers, kebabs, or grilled cheese. The ethics of veganism is one of the most common reasons for people to adopt a vegan lifestyle. But we're also human, so non-vegan cravings are also common and entirely reasonable. That's why we're always eager to learn about new ways to veganize foods we love.
So, how can you go from an on-and-off vegetarian (who could never stop eating cheese because it's just so yummy) to a happy vegan that always has an alternative up their sleeves? We're here to help you fight the urge to order a cheese pizza or get yourself a treat of buttered popcorn. We've tried a million things to get our vegan food to the next level, and now we'd love to share a few magical ingredients to make your vegan diet awesome.
THE MEAT ALTERNATIVES AND HOW TO BACON
If you're looking to substitute meat, there are many great choices, the obvious and most well-known being tofu. However, you should give other options such as tempeh or seitan a try. For maximum protein, check out textured vegetable protein, which comes in different shapes and sizes and can be used to substitute (almost) every product. For a chicken or pork taste, you can't go wrong with everything related to paprika, garlic, and salt. If you want to go for a beefier taste, try deglazing your meat alternatives with a mix of red wine, soy sauce, and liquid smoke.
What's liquid smoke, you ask? Some hate it, but for many vegans, it is one of the best ways to recreate an intense smoky flavor. It's usually sold in small bottles, but the liquid is so potent that you'll only need a small amount for each dish. Tofu, tempeh, or soy protein all benefit from the smoky flavor that comes from marinating or seasoning with liquid smoke. You've heard about tempeh bacon for your pizza, but yours taste like nothing? Liquid smoke. Your soy granule tastes boring? Liquid smoke. Missing that extra oomph in your chili? Oh, my, liquid smoke!
Finding the perfect fish and seafood alternatives can be tricky. We recommend mixing tofu with a seaweed, such as nori, and round it off with something like lemon, dill, and capers to fight sudden seafood cravings.
HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR EGGS?
Eggs are not as crucial in baking as you might think, so this one's easy: replace with baking powder, mashed bananas, or apple purÉe. Chia or flax eggs (mix 1 tablespoon of ground chia/flax seeds with 3 tablespoons water and let sit for 20 minutes to replace 1 egg) are also great substitutes for eggs in both sweet and savory baked goods. If you're looking for an alternative to cooking with eggs, tofu is your friend. Just make sure to try out different kinds of tofu for different textures. We suggest using soft to regular tofu for scrambling and silken tofu for eggy spreads. If you're not into tofu, you can use avocados for spreads or even the pulp of a fresh, young Thai coconut.
A key ingredient for everything eggy is kala namak or Himalayan black salt. Kala namak is most commonly used in Indian cuisine, but we call it the egg maker. While it's violet to black in its rock form, it turns into a pinkish color when ground. What is this sorcery? Kala namak has a high sulfur content, resulting in an eggy taste and smell on whatever it's sprinkled on. (Just make sure you go easy on other salts because kala namak is salt itself.) So, if you're missing that little something extra in your tofu scramble or avocado spreads, try kala namak.
MAKE EVERYTHING CHEESY WITH NUTRITIONAL YEAST
There are whole books and blogs dedicated to creating all kinds of vegan cheese, so if you need inspiration for a difficult endeavor like this, make sure to check out vegan cheese makers online such as Miyoko Schinner. To get you started, silken tofu can help you achieve a cheesy texture. You can also blend some almonds, cashews, or walnuts to create an excellent base for vegan cheese.
Nutritional yeast is another great ingredient with a cheesy taste. Nutritional yeast is simply deactivated yeast that you can buy as a powder or in flake form. It's super popular among vegans because it has an interesting cheesy flavor. It's a perfect source of vitamin B, and if you're lucky, you can find a brand that fortifies its nutritional yeast with vitamin B. Use nutritional yeast for everything that should be cheesy. Create cheese sauces for pizza and lasagna, bake up some cheesy crackers, and sprinkle the stuff over pasta, risottos, or even popcorn. Once you try this, you will never have enough at home.
DON'T YOU DAIRY
Good news; it's super easy to switch out milk, yogurt, butter, or cream in most recipes. If you've never had anything but milk and dairy yogurt, try the plethora of plant-based drinks and yogurts made from soy, hemp, almond, cashew, hazelnut, coconut, rice, oat, or even pistachios and macadamia. You can use these drinks for your morning coffee and breakfast, for baking, and everything you would use milk or yogurt for. Try to experiment with the dishes you like most for your purpose; it's fun!
If you're looking for an alternative to butter, there's a variety Of vegan butters available in stores made out of canola, avocado, or other plants. Coconut oil is another great alternative. Beware of margarine, which frequently contains animal products.
For heavy cream, try unsweetened coconut milk. For whipped cream, check out whipped coconut cream. If you're not into coconut, many stores offer a good variety of alternative products based on oats, rice, or soy.
HOW TO DEEP-FRY WITHOUT A DEEP-FRYER
There are many reasons not to have a deep-fryer; ours is the fear that a deep-fryer is the only thing keeping us from doubling our weight within the year. Whatever your reason is, if you feel like frying something once in a while, there's absolutely no need to buy yet another kitchen appliance. Here are some things to know before frying in a pot.
Type of oil: use oil with a high smoke point (e.g., canola oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, or soybean oil).
Pot size: The smaller the pot, the less oil you will need. We always use the smallest pot possible for our soon-to- be-fried goods.
Oil amount: Fill the pot with just enough oil so that the food you want to fry can swim in the oil. Don't fill the pot more than 1/3 to ½ full with oil. If the oil rises too much when frying, a spill-over might happen, and that means trouble.
Oil temperature: The ideal temperature for the oil would be 375°F/190°C. Use a deep-fry thermometer if you have one. If not, stick the end of a wooden spoon into the oil; if it sizzles around the stick, it's hot enough. The oil should never smoke; if it does, reduce the heat.
Preparing the food: Make sure the foods you want to fry are patted dry before putting in the oil-filled pot. Water and oil are worst enemies.
Lowering the food into the oil: Make sure you carefully lower the food into the oil with a slotted deep-fry spoon or tongs to prevent hot oil splashes!
Frying times: Smaller foods will take less time to fry. If you notice that foods brown too quickly, but they are not done on the inside, lower the oil temperature. Never walk away from the pot when you fry. Just don't.
Removing excess oil: Transfer the fried goods onto a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess oil.
Save the oil: No need to toss out the oil after frying! Let it cool off completely, then strain the oil to remove solid bits and transfer it into a container to use several times over.
STOP MAKING CRAPPY VEGAN BURGERS
We'll never forget our first vegan burger. It was 2012 and we were vacationing in the US when we stumbled across a vegan restaurant in San Francisco. We were on-and-off vegetarians with no desire to say goodbye to cheese at the time, and veganism wasn't exactly big where we lived in Austria, so we were curious to try something new. We had this fantastic vegan cheeseburger, and it was right then and there that we decided going vegan might not be such a hard thing to pull off after all.
Little did we know that we were years away from being able to recreate anything remotely close to that vegan cheeseburger. For a long time, we had problems making decent burger patties that didn't fall apart completely. Our base was always too moist or crumbly, but never right, so after some trial and (lots of) error, we discovered the one ingredient that can save any burger recipe that never seems to be just right: rolled oats. Whether it's sweet potatoes, kidney beans, lentils, or even mushrooms, combine your base with rolled oats, and you've got one of the best possible binders. For texture, add nuts or sunflower seeds, and please season your burger. Actually, please, for your own sake, season your food in general. It sounds simple, but even veggie restaurants don't always get this right.
The proof is not just in the patty; the bread is essential, as well. If your poppy seeds or sesame seeds don't want to stick to the burger buns, brush the top with water or plant-based milk and then apply the seeds. The flour in the pieces of bread and the water will act as glue. If you want to add seeds after baking, we love to use water and a bit of maple syrup to make the top sticky enough.
Now that you've got your patty base and bread, fry your burger, get yourself some lettuce, and top everything off with an incredible vegan mayo or BBQ sauce. Add tomatoes? Sure. Onions? Go crazy. If you're into pickles, do pickles.
Done. Perfect burger.CHAPTER 2
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN LIFE? FAM ... BREAKFAST
Have you noticed that so many vegan breakfast recipes you find online or in books are healthy or trying to act like it? There's nothing wrong with that. However, especially for the savory vegan, the constant stream of chia puddings and green smoothies in coffee shops and bars can be a dull and unappealing experience. There is a place for recipes like that. This book isn't it. In our breakfast section, we share our veganized takes on breakfast classics including everything from making eggs with silken tofu to cream cheese with almonds. And breakfast pizza.
Tofu Scramble on Rye
Chickpea Omelet Filled with Mushrooms and Tomatoes
Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Chicken & Waffles
Chocolate Waffles with Peanut Butter
Dill & Caper Almond Cream Cheese
Creamy Egg Spread
TOFU SCRAMBLE ON RYE
Makes: 3 toasts | Time: 20 min
Using just a few special ingredients, you can take your tofu game to a whole new level. If you prefer savory meals and you've been feeling the breakfast blues since going vegan, this treat is going to make you fall in love with your first meal of the day all over again. Put this scramble on rye bread, add some vegan butter, and sprinkle on some fresh chives for maximum savory and eggy deliciousness.
10 oz. (280 g) firm tofu
1 teaspoon canola oil
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon curry powder
¾ teaspoon kala namak (Himalayan black salt)
4 tablespoons oat milk*
3 slices rye bread vegan butter to spread on toast
1 teaspoon chives, chopped
1. Scramble the tofu with your hands or a fork.
2. Heat the canola oil in a large pan and add in scrambled tofu.
3. Add the turmeric powder, curry powder, and kala namak. Mix well until the tofu takes on an even yellow color.
4. Add the oat milk and keep the pan on medium to high heat while stirring for about 7 minutes (or less if you prefer a mushier scramble). Add more kala namak to taste.
5. Spread vegan butter on the rye bread and add on your scrambled tofu. Sprinkle with fresh chives and enjoy. Faith in vegan breakfasts restored.
* Adding oat milk gives the tofu a soft eggy texture. You can omit the oat milk for a drier tofu scramble.
CHICKPEA OMELET FILLED WITH MUSHROOMS AND TOMATOES
Makes: 2 servings | Time: 30 min
This low-fat, gluten-free breakfast is for everyone who likes omelets but doesn't know how to veganize them. We use a juicy veggie filling in this recipe, but add whatever filling you crave for; the characteristic taste of chickpea flour mixed with kala namak will do the rest.
INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING
7 button mushrooms, sliced
1 scallion, sliced
5 cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ teaspoon salt
INGREDIENTS FOR OMELET
1 cup (125 g) chickpea flour
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
1 teaspoon kala namak (Himalayan black salt)
? teaspoon turmeric powder
¾ cup (180 ml) unsweetened plant-based milk, e.g., rice milk
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILLING
1. Heat a large nonstick pan to medium. Add the sliced mushrooms, scallions, and tomatoes. Sprinkle with the salt. Let everything cook until the mushrooms lose most of their water. Set aside.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR OMELET
1. In a bowl whisk together the chickpea flour, tapioca starch, kala namak, and turmeric powder. Add the plant-based milk and whisk until smooth. Add the chopped cilantro and whisk again.
2. Using a pan the same size as your plate, add oil or cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Pour half of the omelet batter into the pan for two small omelets or all the batter to make one big omelet. Tilt the pan until the batter spreads evenly across the bottom.
3. Cook the omelet for 3 to 4 minutes until the batter on the sides is set and the omelet is brown underneath, then flip and let it cook on the other side for 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Transfer the omelet onto the plate, add the filling, and fold it over. Enjoy!
CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES
Makes: 5 pancakes | Time: 30 min
No egg replacements needed. These super-quick chocolate chip pancakes are the fluffiest ever. Plus, the chocolate chips give this breakfast treat a naughty bonus. Stack 'em, drizzle 'em, stuff 'em in your face. You deserve it.
1 very ripe banana + a few extra slices for garnish
¾ cup (180 ml) unsweetened plant-based milk, e.g., rice milk&
1 teaspoon maple syrup + extra for drizzling on top
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup (45 g) chocolate chips + a few more to add on top
1. In a bowl, mash the peeled banana and add the plant-based milk, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Give it a quick whisk.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add in the wet ingredients. Whisk until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips. Let the batter sit for a few minutes.
3. Add oil to a flat or griddle pan and heat on medium to low. Add a small ladle of pancake batter. If the batter spreads too much in the pan, whisk a bit more flour into the mixture. If it doesn't spread enough, add a bit more plant-based milk. Let it cook until the middle becomes bubbly and the corners set, then flip with a spatula. Let it cook on the other side until done. Repeat for all pancakes.
4. Stack the pancakes, top with a few chocolate chips, and drizzle with maple syrup. Yay breakfast!
CHICKEN & WAFFLES
Makes: 2 servings (2 waffles and 3 chicken pieces each) | Time: 90 min
Did you ever crave sugary and salty at the same time? If you can't seem to decide between a sweet and savory breakfast, you'll be very happy with this chicken & waffles dish. In our recipe, we're using homemade waffles topped with fried seitan chicken nuggets, all drizzled with maple syrup. It's the perfect start to a lazy weekend.
INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN
½ cup (60 g) vital wheat gluten
¼ cup (30 g) chickpea flour + 1 cup (120 g), divided
½ tablespoon chicken seasoning* + ½ teaspoon, divided
? cup (75 ml) sparkling water
1 cup (250 ml) water
¼ teaspoon sriracha
½ cup (75 g) breadcrumbs
¼ cup (40 g) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (15 g) panko flakes oil for frying
INGREDIENTS FOR WAFFLES
1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar
¾ cup (180 ml) plant-based milk, e.g., rice milk maple syrup, for topping
INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHICKEN
1. Combine vital wheat gluten, ¼ cup chickpea flour, and chicken seasoning in a mixing bowl. Add the sparkling water. Stir to combine and use a kitchen machine to knead the homemade seitan for 5 minutes or knead it by hand for 10 minutes.
2. Add a steaming basket to a large pot and fill with a couple of inches of water. Bring the water to a boil.
3. Divide the seitan into 6 equal pieces and press them into a nugget shape 1-inch (3 cm) thick. Add the seitan nuggets into the steaming basket and let them steam for about 20 minutes, flipping them after 10 minutes.
4. Combine the remaining chickpea flour, water, and sriracha and whisk until smooth.
5. In a separate bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, all-purpose flour, and panko flakes.
6. Once the nuggets are soft, let them cool off a bit, then dip them first in the egg replacement, then coat them in the breading. Repeat until all nuggets are coated.
7. Heat the oil for frying in a pot (just enough so that the nuggets can swim; make sure there's enough room in the pot to prevent it from spilling over) to 350°F/175°C, and carefully add the breaded seitan nuggets (work in batches). Fry for 4 minutes until golden and crispy and transfer the nuggets onto a paper towel to remove excess oil.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Cravings Made Vegan"
Copyright © 2019 Bianca Haun and Sascha Naderer.
Excerpted by permission of Skyhorse Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Substitute Everything: The Magical Ingredients for Vegans,
The Meat Alternatives and How to Bacon,
How Do You like Your Eggs?,
Make Everything Cheesy with Nutritional Yeast,
Don't You Dairy,
How to Deep-Fry without a Deep-Fryer,
Stop Making Crappy Vegan Burgers,
The Most Important Thing in Life? Fam ... Breakfast,
A Letter of Rejection to Lunch Salads,
Snacks Are Love; Snacks Are Life,
Veganism Is Totally Sweet,