Alternatives to Substitutes - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-11-2007, 08:07 PM
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While I do eat meat substitutes on occasion, dairy subs tend to freak me out (besides soy milk). They don't usually taste good, they're expensive, and they're overprocessed. The only faux cheeses, sauces and such that I eat are usually homemade.

Instead of substitutes, I prefer alternatives - foods that fill the role of dairy foods without being dairy.

Why use cheese and sour creme on Mexican food when there is guacamole to be had? Guac is so creamy, and it takes the edge off the spice. I put it on enchiladas, tacos, nachos, heck, I even do guacamole fries instead of cheese fries sometimes.

I was a huge ice cream fiend, but now I prefer sorbet. If you're craving something creamy, try peach or mango sorbet; they aren't as tart as lemon or berry.

Vegenaise kind of freaks me out. I use mustard on sandwiches. There's a zillion varieties, spicy, melloy, creamy, grainy. Find one you like, and you'll never miss mayo.

I used to LOVE grilled cheese sandwiches. Although I loved the gooey cheese, I found that when I was craving a grilled cheese, I was really craving a greasy, fried sandwich, not necessarily the cheese. So I do grilled peanut butter now. It tastes awesome. Don't grill too long, though, or the pb dries out.

I also found that after not eating cheese for awhile, roasted red pepper hummus tasted cheesy to me. But I think that's just in my head, my partner thinks I'm weird.

Anyone have any other ideas?
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#2 Old 04-13-2007, 02:38 PM
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I like my subs, but I also like the idea of using "alternatives" as you call them. I'll have to try out the grilled peanut butter sandwhiches. As much as I like grilled cheese, that could really save me a lot of money on soy cheese.
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#3 Old 04-13-2007, 02:49 PM
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I very much like the idea of using a cheap and clever alternative instead of an expensive and possibly not so healthy mock animal food. Unfortunately I don't have any concrete ideas at the moment.

I no longer post here after VB was sold in 2012. (See my profile page for details.)
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#4 Old 04-13-2007, 05:10 PM
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Those are some really good ideas! I'm not a big fan of meat or dairy subs either, plus they are really expensive. Here are some things I do that I've picked up from various people and places (and experiments)-

instead of cheese on pizza- hummus (roasted red pepper is especially good) or pesto topped with sliced tomatoes and pizza veggies

on potato skins guacamole (as you mentioned) is fantastic, I also like a combination of mashed black beans and onions topped with salsa

and I don't know if tofu counts as a sub or not, but thinly sliced baked tofu pieces (marinated in something light, or not marinated at all) + fruit salsa on crackers is awesome snacking

and there is no way I would miss butter on bread, what with my arsenal of hummus, homemade white bean spread (pureed with a bit of cilantro and garlic), jam/jelly, nut butters, baba-ghanoush.... :P
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#5 Old 04-14-2007, 09:16 AM
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I love this thread, lots of good ideas, i am trying grilled peanut butter today!! i use some meat subs mostly for hubbies benefit, but i like the idea of other alternatives. i am trying to get completely off cheese and am about 99 percent of the way there, thats the only dairy we use here, and its mostly for grilled cheese for the kids and mac and cheese too, but i think they will love grilled peanut butter, heck i can do most anything with peanut butter and they will eat it!
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#6 Old 04-14-2007, 03:40 PM
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I like to use chickpeas as a protein source and meat (and tofu, since I'm allergic to soy) alternative for curries and stews. Chickpea and mushroom stroganoff is one of my favorite dishes.

You could also try to make your own seitan at home, there are some pretty good recipes on the net. I can post the links to the ones that I've tried and liked if you're interested.
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#7 Old 04-14-2007, 08:43 PM
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Sometimes instead of eating a Morningstar Veggie Dog, I'll eat a pickle.
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#8 Old 04-15-2007, 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Jennifer N View Post

heck, I even do guacamole fries instead of cheese fries sometimes.

What are cheese fries?

Sorry, I've never been to a trailer park.
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#9 Old 04-18-2007, 08:37 PM
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I don't like the idea of subs either. I use rice milk for certain things, but that's it. I put black olives on things that would normally require bacon, or if someone's cooking bacon, because of the salt value. I'm not sure if that counts, but it helped me overcome bacon cravings for a good long time. Now I just crave olives, but I guess that's better. I use butternut squash as a cheese sub in certain things like ravioli because of the texture.

Pesto pizza? That sounds amazing!
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#10 Old 04-18-2007, 10:22 PM
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Grilled avocado sandwiches are supposed to be very good.

I learned to perfect vegan pizzas after a while... a pesto base on a homemade crust, with sundried tomatoes, capers, olives, spinach, red onions, and canned eggplant.
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#11 Old 04-18-2007, 10:38 PM
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Don't forget to try grilled peanut butter and jelly. The jelly helps keep the peanut butter from drying out too much, and they melt together and get all warm and mooshy.
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#12 Old 04-19-2007, 12:42 PM
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i don't eat meat substitutes or alternatives, either. i just eat what i consider food - grains, nuts, legumes, seeds, vegetables, and fruit.
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#13 Old 04-19-2007, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by FutonRevolution View Post

I use butternut squash as a cheese sub in certain things like ravioli because of the texture.

I've never cooked butternut squash. How do you do this?
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#14 Old 04-19-2007, 01:15 PM
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Yeah, I'm mostly in agreement. Although I used to love cheese, I very seldom eat soy cheese. I also very rarely eat fake meats. Veganaise is an exception though. I love that stuff!

I don't think of the lightly-processed foods I eat like tofu, tempe, and soymilk as substitutes for anything though. Those are just foods in their own right since they're not any more processed than dairy cheese is.

Guacamole may have a high fat content, but I'm not using it to substitute for cheese or anything else. I just like avocados. Nuts and legumes are high in protein, but they're not meat substitutions.

I guess the whole concept of "substitutions" irks me a little because it gives the impression that my vegan diet is somehow lacking and I need to replace indispensible animal foods with something else. I just don't feel that way.
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