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Cooking for Vegans

Updated on December 9, 2012
Cooking and baking without eggs
Cooking and baking without eggs
Cooking and baking without sugar
Cooking and baking without sugar

Back at the inn

I still have my week-end with the Vegans running around in my head. They stayed at my bed and breakfast for four days, along with several diabetics who were here for the Civil Air Patrol Conference. They were not all in the same room, of course. In fact they didn't know each other until they started eating breakfast together.

Anyhow, my problem was how to find a way to accommodate the varying dietary needs in an efficient manner. One obvious solution was to feed them at different times...which, as it turned out, worked for the first couple of days. The diabetics wanted an early (7:00 am) continental breakfast 'cause they had early morning meetings at the conference. The Vegans wanted to eat at 9:00 am ‘cause they were here for a little R&R.

Cooking for the diabetics was easy...just avoid real sugary things, they said. I could do that. Not the Vegans though, that's another story. These guests were not Vegetarians, which aren't too hard to cook for, they were Vegans and there is a big difference. Besides not eating meat or fish or fowl, they do not eat eggs, milk products (butter, cheese, and yogurt) or honey. But they do eat a lot of tofu. And vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and grains.

So, I hopped on the internet to review the Vegan diet and a few of their recipes. Then I decided to just make up my own. First thing to do was to run to the store and get a couple of essential Vegan items: a brick of firm Tofu, Almond milk (Rice milk would also have worked), soy, yogurt, and vegan butter spread made from I don't know what. It's on the package down in the kitchen. I don't think I even read the list of ingredients, but I trusted that it would be okay as it was a brand that my Vegan guests used themselves.

Tofu scramble with mushrooms
Tofu scramble with mushrooms
Cubed curried Tofu with spinach and tomatoes
Cubed curried Tofu with spinach and tomatoes

When I got home, I drained the brick of Tofu by pressing it in between two very heavy cutting boards for 20 minutes. Then, I cut the brick in half. I would use half the first day and half the third day. Vegan pancakes would be served on the second day and Vegan French Toast on the fourth day.

For their first breakfast, I sautéed sliced mushrooms in olive oil with fresh garlic the way Julia Childs suggests: "...very hot oil...flame high...spread mushrooms out flat in pan and sauté both side until brown. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper while cooking." Done! Next, I added chopped onion, green pepper, and ribbons of fresh Basel from my herb garden and continued to sauté...loving every minute of it I might add. You have to love cooking to own a B&B. Or have a partner or employee who does.

The final step was to add the Tofu. I crumbled it into the pan and continued cooking. if you add Turmeric to the pan (a yellow spice) the Tofu looks just like scrambled eggs. I didn't have any and wasn't about to go out and buy some. It's expensive and I probably would have another Vegan guest for a year, so I used Curry instead.

For their first breakfast, I scrambled the Tofu, but for the one on the third day I cubed it and added Spinach, Tomatoes, and Curry. I served it with rounds of sweet potato baked in brown sugar, Vegan butter, and cinnamon. For fruit, I sliced fresh peaches into footed dessert dishes and tossed in some dried cranberries. Then poured a warm clear simple syrup over the top to mingle the flavors. It was delicious and they loved it


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    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 7 months ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Hi Louise,

      I'm not a vegan either but, if prepared properly, I enjoy tofu for breakfast once in a while. Thanks for posting.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 7 months ago from Norfolk, England

      To be honest, I've never tried Tofu before, but it sounds lovely, and so much you can do with it too.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 10 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      I enjoyed reading this for its sweet humour, quick recipes and yummy food photos. I am a vegan currently attempting to keep our vegan-suspicious preteen graddaughters adequately nourished while they visit for 3 weeks. I have a resident chicken- and cheese-lover who is graciously doing that omnivore cooking detail in my stead. I hear you!

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 21 months ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks Rochelle and Julia for your comments. It's nice to be back here cavorting with old friends.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 21 months ago from Southern California, USA

      Now that I am vegan this hub has renewed relevancy. I think a few years ago it was probably more challenging to cook for vegans, but today it is easier than ever. I still prefer plant based whole foods, but now there is a whole category of junk food vegans. You can buy pretend egg substitutes and vegan hamburger patties for them.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 21 months ago from California Gold Country

      That Vegan recipe sounds really delicious-- you really went the extra mile on that one, but I'm sure most everyone would enjoy it.

      Good luck in your new book project. I'll look for it.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 4 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks Midget, We also cook for diabetics, and those who are on a non-gluten, low-fat, or sugar free diet. Over the years the number of persons on these diets has increased dramatically.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      This is really innovative and the food looks delicious!

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 5 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thank for the supportive comment.

    • btulloh098 profile image

      Bridgett Tulloh 5 years ago from NC

      Enjoyed reading your hub. I've lived the vegan way (with a few slip ups!) for a few years now. Just started writing about it. Nice to know you take the time to accommodate your guests!

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 5 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Hi Dolores, long time no see. Thanks for commenting. You are absolutely right. In fact, when I cook for Vegans, I always eat the same for my own breakfast. I love curried Tofu.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Alek - you don't have to be a vegan to enjoy this - the food looks delicious and so attractive! Sometimes we get stuck in our food choices and it may be a good idea to serve vegan meals occasionally. You are the B&B hostess with the mostess!

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I have a few times, but I will have to check it out more often.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 5 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks, Julia. I will. I do a lot of food posts on my InnNotes site. Have you been there?

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA

      My new passion: watching YouTube cooking channels, and blogging more about my cooking. I hope you write more about what you are serving at the inn.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 5 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Sounds like it would be a good project with kids. Teach them about different kinds of diets too. I never ate much tofu until I started cooking for Vegans. But it's really good if you add curry and vegetables and saute it.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Yeah making it from scratch is time consuming, but can be fun if you have time for it. It is also a good science experiment of sort for kids, which teaches about cooking and the fermentation of soy beans. I would probably just buy it if I really want it.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 5 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks, SweetiPie. You mean make it from scratch? I'm sure it's time consuming. And time is money in my business. I don't serve it very often, so paying for it works for me. But thanks for the thought.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I think it is marvelous how you planned a meal for the vegans. I enjoyed reading about it. There is a way to make tofu way cheaper, my mom used to do it, but I is time consuming.


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