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Vegetarian Food Substitutions

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Hi All!

I found this great article at Vegetarian Times website.



Vegetarian Food Substitutions

The next time you want to substitute an ingredient in a recipe, don't panic.

The originator of the recipe will never know! When you substitute,

you improvise, you create, and you are the artist in charge.


See the Vegetarian Food Pyramid


Use the chart below as a starting point for brainstorming alternatives.

The process might look a bit intimidating but is easy once you dive in and

start asking questions such as: What do I really want this dish to taste like?

What textures do I like? Why did the recipe writer put all of these things

in here, anyway? Here are some general guidelines about making

substitutions in recipes.


Try to keep ingredients within the same ethnic category. Ethnic flavor

combinations have been developed over centuries and blend together

naturally. If you are making a Mexican dish and don't want to use meat,

use traditional Mexican proteins and starches such as posole

(hominy), pinto beans and black beans, not Asian mung beans or

Indian lentils.


Dissect the basic flavors of the dish. If you don't have a certain

flavoring, ask yourself if it is basically sweet, salty, sour, bitter or spicy?

Think of something in your cupboard from the same category.


Substituting starches and proteins makes less of a difference in overall

taste than spices and flavorings.


Try the pantry approach to cooking. If you find yourself continually

missing key ingredients, analyze your pantry and consider restocking it.


Assemble herbs, spices and flavorings which are complementary in

groupings in your pantry. That way, when you are experimenting with a

dish, Italian, for example, your Italian seasonings such as basil, parsley,

arlic and oregano will be grouped together, and you can substitute



Keep staples such as flours, oil, beans and grains on hand so you don't

have to run out to the store at the last minute.




GELATIN : Agar-agar (sea vegetable powder or flakes),

arrowroot (starchy powder from tropical tuber), ground nuts and seeds,

gums (guar gum is from an East Indian seed, xanthan gum is from corn),

kudzu (starchy powder from tropical tuber)


MEAT: Beans, cheese, seitan (wheat meat), tempeh (cultured soy food),

textured vegetable protein (TVP), tofu


MEAT, CHICKEN OR SEAFOOD STOCK: Apple, cranberry, orange or

pomegranate juice, beer, Dr. Bronner's mineral tonic, garlic broth, miso

(fermented soybean paste) diluted with water, sherry, vegetable bouillon cubes,

vegetable stock, water in which beans, pasta or vegetables have been cooked, wine


SEASONED OR SMOKED MEATS: For sausage, substitute crumbled tofu seasoned

with fennel, parsley and garlic. For smoked meats, substitute canned chipotle chilies,

oven-roasted vegetables, toasted nuts, smoked tofu or smoked cheeses




BUTERMILK: Clabbered soymilk (to clabber,

mix 2 tsps. lemon juice or white vinegar per cup of soymilk)

CHEESE: Soy- and nut-based cheeses


EGGS Crumbled or pureed tofu

MAYONNAISE: Tofu mayonnaise

MILK: Nut milk, rice milk, soymilk




CREAMED SOUPS AND SAUCES: Arrowroot (starchy powder from tropical tuber),

kudzu. Use roasted, pureed vegetables as a base, then finish the soup or sauce with

nonfat strained yogurt

OIL IN BAKED GOODS: Applesauce, pureed bananas, pureed stewed prunes

OIL FOR SAUTEING: Apple juice, sherry, vegetable stock, wine

SALAD DRESSING: Citrus juice or cider vinegar thickened with pureed

roasted red peppers, carrots, onions or garlic

SOUR CREAM: Strained nonfat yogurt

WHITE SAUCE: Pureed white beans




BREAD :Baking soda breads (quick breads), flatbreads, muffins, sprouted breads

SALAD DRESSING: (wine-or vinegar-based) Puree citrus juice and avocado

Puree citrus juice and oil

Mix peeled, cubed fruit such as mango, oranges and papaya into green salads

VINEGAR: Cranberry or pomegranate juice, lemon or lime juice,

mango powder (amchoor), tamarind paste or pulp, vitamin C powder (ascorbic acid)

WHITE SUGAR: Bananas, barley malt, brown rice syrup, date sugar,

dried fruits, fruit juices, maple syrup




BUTTER: Clarified butter (milk solids have been removed), olive oil, sesame oil


COW'S MILK: Almond, goat, rice and soymilk

COW'S MILK CHEESE: Cheeses made from soy, nuts, goat or sheep milk

EGGS: Egg Replacer; liquid lecithin with 2 tsp. guar gum; baking soda plus

pureed fruit or vegetables; and flax seeds pureed with water

PEANUTS: Almonds

WHEAT FLOUR: (for baking) Barley, buckwheat, corn, kamut, oats, rice, rye, spelt

WHEAT PASTA: Corn, kamut and spelt pasta, rice noodles





Cactus pads (nopales): Green beans, okra

Chayote squash: Yellow or green pattypan squash or zucchini

Masa flour: Mix corn flour with lime juice

Poblano or Anaheim chilies: Minced jalapeno chili and green bell pepper

Posole (dried hominy): Canned white hominy



Bok choy (Chinese white cabbage): Beet greens, kale and Swiss chard

Chinese cooking wine: Dry sherry

Chinese five-spice powder: Anise seed or star anise, fennel seed, cinnamon,

black peppercorns and whole cloves. (If you have a mortar and pestle or electric

spice grinder, use whole spices, otherwise use ground dry spices.)

Galangal (Thai ginger): Fresh ginger

Lemon grass: Lemon zest

Lotus root: Jicama or water chestnuts

Mirin: (Japanese rice wine) Sweet white wine

Nam pla (Thai fish sauce): Soy sauce and lime juice

Rice wine vinegar: Cider vinegar, white wine vinegar

Sesame oil: 1 Tbs. sesame seeds fried in 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Thai basil: Italian basil

Water chestnuts: Jicama



Atta (chapati flour) 1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour plus

1/2 cup sifted whole wheat flour

Chana dal: Split yellow peas

Curry powder : Mix together to taste ground ginger, cumin, coriander,

fenugreek, turmeric and fennel

Garam masala (mixed spices): 1 tsp. cardamom seeds, 1 Tbs. cumin seed,

1 Tbs. coriander seed, 2 tsp. black peppercorns, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. cloves,

1 tsp. nutmeg. (If you have a mortar and pestle or electric spice grinder, use

whole spices, or mix together ground dry spices.)

Jaggery (coarse palm sugar): Date sugar or sucanat

Toor dal, urad dal, mung dal: Red lentils



Broccoli rabe (rapini): Broccoli plus arugula or dandelion greens

Cannellini beans: Great Northern beans, navy beans, red kidney beans

Fava beans, dried: Butter beans

Fava beans, fresh: Fresh or frozen lima beans

Fennel: Celery plus some fennel or anise seeds

Parmesan cheese: Any hard, aged grating cheese such as Asiago or

Romano or aged Monterey jack

Pine nuts: Walnuts or a mixture of walnuts and almonds




RED WINE: Pomegranate juice; 1/2 cup water plus 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

WHITE WINE: Apple, carrot or bell pepper juice, vegetable stock

WINE OR BEER: Non-alcoholic wine or beer



(Momma25) Momma to five


In remission from Acute Leukemia

Diabetic, low GI and no FRANKENFOODS!


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