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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So the last few days I've been dreaming about eating meat. hah! Sausages and stuff that I haven't eaten for months! And I realise it's my body adjusting to the change and I might be lacking a bit in iron, which I'm trying to work on, but what I really miss is the umami flavour. that savoury flavour commonly found in meat. I've been eating mushrooms like a maniac. (mushrooms fried in soy sauce with garlic seems to have entered almost every dinner I cook lately). What else can I make to get that umami flavour? any spices I can add to tofu?
It's driving me a bit mad because it feels like I'm craving meat, everything in my head is all "mmm meat you know you want some" when I know it's just the flavour I lack and if I did try to eat meat, man would I regret that...
help?
 

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I'll start off a bit offtopic - in regards to the iron and perhaps other possible deficiencies, perhaps it's a good idea to get some blood work done, if you haven't already. I waited a little too long to do so and found out that I was really low in iron and B12 (and vitamin D, but I think a lot of people are at least a little low).

Anyhoo, I had to just google "umami" haha. Whenever I get a wayward "meat" craving of some kind (it's usually tuna :p), I make something that has similar tastes/seasonings, so I think it's a good idea that you're on the lookout to finding things that will solve your umami fix.
What about a sweet & sour tofu dish? You can even batter the tofu and fry or bake it before you start making the main dish.

I made chickpea cutlets last night for the family (non-veg) and they loved them. They looked scarily like monster-chicken nuggets, so my only relief was that it was completely vegan haha... but you can make something like that and then marinate them in typical "meat dish" type seasonings.

Sorry my response isn't totally specific..I can give you more specific recipes if you maybe mention what things you're craving the most, unless it's just the general flavour. But I mean, you can take seitan, tofu, mushrooms, veggie patties, falafels etc and season them with garlic powder, tamari, onion powder, add some kelp or other sea weed or a bit of lime to create a seafoody type of taste.

K i'm going all over the place ... just woke up so i'll stop for now.
 

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First, you should have your iron checked, too much is as much a problem as too little. I love my cast iron, and it adds a surprising amount of iron to foods. I used to have low levels when I ate meat- I haven't since.

I know what you mean about umami craving! I think once I discovered that in plant foods I stopped craving meats, eventually even cheeses!
I do love Miso! Be sure to read the labels as many have dashi-fish stock.
Extra firm tofu, cubed (I don't even press it for this) and shaken in a bag with 2/3 corn starch and 1/3 flour. Season the coating with garlic, pepper a bit of salt. shake to coat and sautee in vegan margarine or light oil. General Tso's Tofu! Add stir fry veggies and sauce. Look up sauces for it- I wing it with juice drained from canned pineapple (I like pineapple in this) some soy sauce,touch of vinegar, red pepper and add about a tablespoon of cornstarch to the cold liquid before adding to tofu and veggies.
I like Braggs Amino Acids instead of soy sauce. Almost anything with braggs and nutritional yeast gives amazing flavor. Tofu, veggies-eggplant!
You may like seitan.
Gardein seven grain nuggets are yummy esp. if you lightly fry them. Add hot sauce and you've got the taste of "hot wings"! Ranch dressing, or soy yogurt and grated cucumber if vegan, go well.
Baked potatoes, of course anything fried.

Miso, Braggs, soy sauce, tamari, or teriyaki, nutritional yeast, garlic
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Stop craving cheese? is that even possible? :p

Umami is the fifth flavour besides sweet, sour, salt and bitter. Also known as savoury, it's the flavour you get from red meat basically. From wiki "Umami has a mild but lasting after-taste difficult to describe. It induces salivation and a furriness sensation on the tongue, stimulating the throat, the roof and the back of the mouth" This is the only thing I "miss" from eating meat. because red meat is an instant fix to umami. (It may also be that since red meat is an instant fix to iron that my brain has had a pavlos dog experiment with itself and is craving umami flavour because it wants iron, hmmm, I'm eating spinach with dinner and sprinkling it with sea weed)

Thanks for tips. I had completely forgotten about teriyaki sauce. I will buy this.
I am also buying an iron cast when I can afford it.
When it comes to iron levels I have never had them meassured before when omni and unless I am feeling faint and achey is there a problem?
I do use nutritional yeast in everything with added b12, I love the taste of it.
I'm gonna try and keep it vegan on the umami thing because my boyfriend is vegan and I think he miss the umami flavour aswell, since he was a bigger meat eater than I was anyway.
 

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Hmm ok I've never eaten red meat/beef before so I'm not exactly sure, but teriyaki does seem like a good idea for that.

And no, you don't have to be feeling faint and achey for your iron to be low. My mood was really low and I believe the low iron played into that, but in any case, it's always good to see what your levels are
Can't hurt.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croxus View Post

I am also buying an iron cast when I can afford it.
cast iron pans are cheap as chips! Have a look in thrift stores and you should be able to find one super cheap. Probably a good idea to re-season a second hand one of unknown origin though. My cast iron pan is my favourite bit of cookware
 

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Do you have Veganomicon or Vegan with a Vengeance? There's a recipe for miso gravy in Vegan with a Vengeance that I make and like to add dijon mustard to, and I serve it with the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon and some mashed potatoes and broccoli. If that isn't a savory meal that'll knock out your meat cravings, then I don't know what is!
 

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Originally Posted by jennyface View Post

Do you have Veganomicon or Vegan with a Vengeance? There's a recipe for miso gravy in Vegan with a Vengeance that I make and like to add dijon mustard to, and I serve it with the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon and some mashed potatoes and broccoli. If that isn't a savory meal that'll knock out your meat cravings, then I don't know what is!
Oooh I just made the chickpea cutlets for the first time last week... so good!
Have you tried making extra and freezing them? Seems like they'd hold up pretty well.
 

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Maybe a simple suggestion...and I see youre from the UK...how about fake meat?
If youre Vegan try Linda McCartney mince, mince pies, sausages with Bisto veggie or onion gravy...or for something snacky try Sainsburys own brand 'pot noodles' in either chicken n mushroom or Beef..both VERY savory and vegan. Sainsburys packet noodles in various 'meaty' flavours are Vegan too...potnoodles are 50p and the noodles are about 30p

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm a big noodle consumer, haha! But fake meat just doesn't do it for me! I don't know why it's just not my thing when it comes to those cravings, to me it just turns salty instead of savoury.

Also I do not have either of those cookbooks, but will seriously look into it when I get my paycheck, thanks!
 

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Originally Posted by Clare View Post

Oooh I just made the chickpea cutlets for the first time last week... so good!
Have you tried making extra and freezing them? Seems like they'd hold up pretty well.
I always try making extra (I quadruple the recipe) buuuttt they never last more than two days in my house no matter how many there are!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croxus View Post

I'm a big noodle consumer, haha! But fake meat just doesn't do it for me! I don't know why it's just not my thing when it comes to those cravings, to me it just turns salty instead of savoury.

Also I do not have either of those cookbooks, but will seriously look into it when I get my paycheck, thanks!
Have you tried the Sainsburys pot noodles...the Chicken Mushroom one is seriously savoury...not salty...its brothy and mushroomy...very tasty!
 

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Originally Posted by jennyface View Post

I always try making extra (I quadruple the recipe) buuuttt they never last more than two days in my house no matter how many there are!
Oh man, me too!
I made them last night for me and two others and I tripled the recipe and I'll probably just keep them in the fridge to have again for dinner tonight. Dang, I'll have to make even more next time.
 

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Top Ramen oriental flavor is the only (available) vegan ramen! It may not be healthy, but dam, that stuff satisfies!
 

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Originally Posted by silva View Post

Top Ramen oriental flavor is the only (available) vegan ramen! It may not be healthy, but dam, that stuff satisfies!
Love that stuff. I add a handful of fresh veggies like a bit of bok choy, pea pods, etc... to it. I also add chili garlic sauce, rice wine vinegar, soy, and sesame oil to gussy it up.
 

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I just ate a big indian meal. Dahl, potato/spinach curry, roti, hot salsa, puppadums, coconut cream and some hard boiled cumin fried eggs.. if there is no savoury in that I dunno where it is at. My mouth is still singing!
 

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I don't know if anyone's mentioned this, but Gardein makes those beefless tips. I've never had them but I've tried their other products and really enjoyed them, like the 7 grain Nuggets.
 

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the meat grain company makes sauages and something called a "celebration roast" which my family calls a "field-a-beast". The sausages are very well flavored.
 
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