Tag Archives: soy free

Faking It – Vegan Style

There’s a lot of fake meat and dairy products out there that make switching to a vegan diet easy. Too bad most of them are heavily processed, jammed full of soy, and not that healthy. I normally avoid them. I try to eat a whole foods diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, but there are a few vegan products that routinely find their way into my shopping cart.

Fake Cheese
Daiya Cheese is an amazing product made right here in Vancouver, and one of the few vegan, soy-free cheese alternatives. It actually melts, so we often use it in burritos, quesadillas, and on pizza. When I need to simulate sour cream and ricotta for lasagna, I like to make my own home-made cashew cheese. But when I need a melty mozzarella, nothing beats Daiya. They also have new wedges that taste great on crackers.

Almond Milk
Almond milk has long been my favourite cereal companion (more so than soy, hemp, or rice milk). Blue Diamond’s unsweetened vanilla was my favourite (it has a great creamy texture), but it’s not fortified. I’ve been worried about my vitamin B12 levels since I went vegan. Lately, I’ve been trying several fortified almond milk brands that all contain 50% of your B12 consumption per cup – like Earth’s Own Almond Fresh (another local company) and Almond Dream.

Fake Meat
It’s difficult finding soy-free, vegan fake meat products. Almost every veggie burger out there has soy in it. Luckily there is Amy’s California Burger, which is delicious. And recently I discovered Field Roast sausages (made in Seattle). The sausage links are super flavourful, and great roasted on there own or added to other dishes.

Ice Cream
I absolutely love So Delicious Coconut Ice Cream. It’s my favourite, guilty food pleasure. The texture is so rich and creamy. I think it tastes better than most dairy-based ice cream. And as an added bonus, I can eat a bowl full of coconut ice cream and I don’t feel horribly bloated and gassy afterwards.

Vegan Mexican Lasagna (Lazy Enchiladas) Recipe

Mexican Lasagna
Here’s my recipe for Mexican lasagna (or lazy enchiladas) that I cooked for a community potluck I went to last night. It’s completely vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free (and still quite tasty). I made up the recipe as I went along, so the measurements are not exact but I’ve tried to guess how much I used – feel free to add more/less of each ingredient or to add/remove ingredients entirely. It’s a forgiving recipe.

Filling Ingredients

  • onion, 1 diced
  • zucchinis, 3 small diced
  • red pepper, 1 diced
  • green pepper, 1 diced
  • garlic, 2 cloves minced
  • corn, 1 cup frozen or canned
  • pineapple, 1 cup cut into chunks
  • cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup sliced in half
  • black olives, 1/2 cup sliced
  • black beans, 1 can
  • greens (kale, spinach, chard, or even beet greens), roughly chopped
  • cilantro, 2 tbsp chopped
  • chili powder, 2 tsp
  • paprika, 2 tsp
  • cumin, 2 tsp
  • cayenne, 1/2 tsp
  • salt and pepper
  • oil

Vegan Cashew Cheeze Ingredients

  • cashews, 1 1/4 cup, soaked for a few hours in water and then drained
  • nutritional yeast, 1/3 cup
  • lemon juice, 2 tbsp
  • olive oil, 1 tbsp
  • apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp

Other Ingredients

  • sauce, 2 cups of enchilada sauce or salsa
  • corn tortillas, 12 small ones
  • Daiya vegan cheese, preferably pepperjack
  • avocado, sliced thinly

Steps

  1. Fry onions in oil. When browned, mix in spices. Add zucchini and cook for a few minutes. Add peppers and garlic. Fry until all your veggies are mostly cooked. Add pineapple, corn, tomatoes, black olives, and black beans. Add more spices if necessary. When cooked, remove from heat and fold in cilantro and greens (they don’t need to be fried).
  2. In a food processor, mix all the cashew cheeze ingredients together until they have a mostly smooth consistency.
  3. Cover the bottom of a large casserole dish with a thin coating of sauce. Add a layer of tortilla shells. Cover with 1/2 of the filling. Sprinkle with half of the cashew cheeze (it’s ok if it’s in little blobs). Cover with a some sauce. Add another layer of tortilla shells and repeat with the remaining filling and cashew cheeze. Cover with tortillas and a layer of sauce on top. *I didn’t put sauce on the top of mine, and the top layer of tortillas got a bit too crunchy.
  4. Sprinkle Daiya cheese on top and bake at 375 C for 30 minutes – covered for the first 20 minutes and then uncovered for the last 10 so the cheese melts.
  5. Remove from oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with sliced avocado on top.

Mexican Lasagna Filling

Vegan, Soy-Free Cooking

Lasagna
I was cooking up a storm today. I made a vegan, soy-free, gluten-free lasagna and apple strudel. I made the lasagna with gluten-free noodles, loads of veggies (eggplant, mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, carrots, and tomatoes), fake vegan ricotta I made with cashews and nutritional yeast, and Daiya cheese on top. I’m testing the lasagna out on non-vegan friends tomorrow night.

Apple Strudel
Cooking InjuriesFor dessert, I made a sugar-free, vegan apple and quince strudel that turned out really nice. The only downside to all the cooking is I had a few mishaps with knives and sliced up my fingers pretty good. Occupational hazard I guess.

And in other exciting food news, I found I found vegan sausages at Whole Foods that are soy-free! They use wheat gluten, aka seitan. Most seitan products also have soy, so I was excited to find these. The sausages are made by Field Roast Grain Meat Co. based in Seattle. We fried some up for dinner, and they’re really good.

Vegetarian Vietnamese Recipes – Phở and Spring Rolls

When Emily and I were in Hoi An, we took a vegan Vietnamese cooking class at Karma Waters. Our instructor was excellent and even adapted the recipes to remove soy for me.

Here are the recipes our instructor taught us for phở (Vietnam’s famous noodle soup) and fresh spring rolls (salad rolls). They might look intimidating at first glance, but they’re not that complicated. The result is well worth it.

Pho Good
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