Food Alternatives

Recently I’ve gone off drinking milk due to being uncomfortable consuming animal products.

The alternative to cows milk are soya, rice milk and oat milk which is basically just oats and water, these all look like milk but taste nothing like, soya could be the most disgusting of them all. Cereal is a vice and there are no popular alternatives to the alternatives when it comes to milk so maybe I’m going to start using juice.

Really nice alternatives are veggie hot dogs, the ones I like are supermarket brand but they’re full of protein and the good fats. Also I’ve been eating a lot of Quorn but it’s really bland, Quorn is mycroprotein, dirt in other words. I read on Wiki that it was grown in the factory or it’s from some funghi which then is developed in a factory…it’s…strange but they do meals like cottage pie so it’s handy if you’re a veggie who doesn’t want to cook or prepare anything.

So what alternatives to food stuffs are your favourites and which bear no resemblance to what they’re supposed to be substituting?

Aside from the heavily processed fakemeats (gimme lean sausage is pretty excellent) I haven’t found many substitutes that are really satisfying. Vegan cream cheese is actually pretty good, but most of the vegan cheeses I’ve tried are horrid. One thing though is that if you are prepared to cook for yourself, you don’t need to do a whole lot of 1-1 substitution to eat well. I’m an omnivore and a serious baker and I’ve been really impressed with the work that cookbook writers have already done to produce some seriously excellent vegan baked goods, for instance.

But if you’re not prepared to cook then I dunno, it seems limited to things that would mostly need to be recommended on a brand by brand basis. I am guessing that you are not in the states (where it’s usually called soy milk not soya milk) so I would have a hard time doing much generalising. For instance I just switched to soy yogurt, but some of the brands are totally disgusting and some are really yummy. Kind of a trial and error issue.

I don’t see how it’s dirt - I mean, everything is, but why Quorn, specifically? It’s a fungus cultured in sugar water. That’s further removed from dirt than is, say, a nice crunchy carrot.

Anyway, alternatives… I sometimes just have dumplings in a stew instead of meat - if you make ‘sinkers’ (using ordinary flour, no raising agents), they turn out really satisfyingly substantial and meat can be omitted or cut down.

Big open cap mushrooms are supposed to be a good replacement for steak for sandwiches - I think that’s rot - they’re very nice, but they’re not like steak, they’re like mushrooms.

Having said that though, mushrooms can give a dish aroma and body that a cook would otherwise seek from using meat.

First, there are many different brands of soy milk, and to me, they taste very different from one another. True, none of them taste remotely like milk, but if you’re serious about giving up dairy, try a few different brands (I don’t know what brands are available in the UK or I’d make a recommendation).

Second, mycoprotein means it comes from fungus. Fungus isn’t dirt, any more than lettuce is dirt. What a strange idea!

Third, if Gimme Lean sausage is available, I’ll one-and-a-half the recommendation. My problem with Gimme Lean is that sausage is mainly good because it’s a spicy, greasy, proteiny treat. Gimme Lean is virtually nonfat and very mildly spiced. I solve this problem by dumping an entire tube of the stuff into a mixing bowl, adding a bunch of olive oil, and putting in whatever spices tickle my fancy (including, of course, lots of red and black pepper). THen I smoosh it around with my hands. It’s totally disgusting and nearly impossible to wash off, but when you’re done, you can form it into patties and freeze them, and you have a pretty tasty sausage substitute.

Fourth, I’m not really a huge fan of the meat substitutes. I have no moral or aesthetic objections to the idea of eating a meat substitute, but none of them really appeal that much to me.


Lentil Cassorole…
“Substitute” for meat loaf

in a pan, over low heat

1/4 cup olive oil (best quality you can get)
7-8 cloves minced garlic
1 medium red onion (finely chopped)
spices (to taste) Sage, tumeric, fresh ground white pepper, sea or Kosher salt, cumin, coriander, basil, thyme, oregano (you should experiment here - this WILL be your flavour base)

Add one heaping teaspoon brewer’s yeast to a glass of hearty red “plonk” wine, stir in and add

let reduce, stirring occaisionally

In another bowl

One can (each) pinto beans, chick peas, red beans, all drained and lightly chopped in a food processor.

1 cup firm tofu (cut into small chunks (about the size of peas)
handfull of pine nuts
table spoon of cornstarch, stirred into 1/4 cup of warm water
slivered almonds, crushed peanuts or other nut meats (as desired)
can of niblet corn, well drained

1/2 cup Homous (Available at Greek/Mid eastern markets)

fresh spinach, or other leafy green, torn up into small peices (about 3/4 cup)

Mix well
add ingrediants from olive oil/red wine reduction and remix

Place into suitably sized meatloaf pan (note, crust on this recipe is delicious, try it in a low wide cake style pan)

cook at 375 (f) for about 1 hour

Hot - Cut into thick slicfes, serve with mashed potatoes and salad

Cold… cut into 1/4 inch slices - use like sandwich “meat”

Left overs _ cut about 1/2 inch thick, and fry in olive oil, serve as “hamburgers”

For those who allow dairy, yogurt can be added/ used instead of water with the cornstartch


I like using crumbled up tempeh as a substitute for ground beef in recipes. It doesn’t really taste like ground beef, but it tastes good and is pretty filling.

For veggie chili, I use cracked wheat, soaked in veggie stock. Add that to the chili base you prefer. Same texture as ground beef.

Mornigstar has ok products in a pinch. Boca not so much.

From Lenten medieval cooking, almond milk was a good substitute for dairy milk. I’ve made my own and used it, it makes for tasty sauces etc. I believe there are some places you can buy it in cartons.

In the States, there are some pretty good veggie burgers. My favorite is the kind made from black beans.

I’ll second that. I like vanilla flavored Silk brand.

I know mycroprotein isn’t dirt I was just being humourful, is that a word? Probably not, towards it’s appearance and taste.
Oh the reason I’m so disgusted by soya is more food aversion after eating a gross soya dessert. And apparently theres amaranth milk aswell, but I really haven’t seen it anywhere even in the specialist shops.
FML you recipe looks yummy and filling. :smiley: and homous is completely addictive.