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Yummy Vegan Substitutes for Your Favorite Foods

Updated on March 5, 2013

Ready? Set! Go!

So for whatever excellent reason, you have decided to replace your meat, high-cholesterol, fatty favorite foods with some Earth-caring, animal loving, healthier vegan plant stuff ~ but, you just don't know where to start.


Don't Worry!

Here I am!

Your Guide for Yummy Vegan Deliciousness

While it may seem silly to me now, there was a time I can remember when I thought vegan stuff must taste bad. I was so wrong! I found out vegan stuff is yummier and more delicious than dead animals to eat. Vegan food also comes without the stigma of having an animal have to die for me to enjoy a meal, it's kinder to the environment, and since most of what I eat is plants, I'm a lot healthier now than I was in my good ol' meat eating days.

Deliciousness. | Source

Breakfast Substitutes

You can start your day with old fashioned oatmeal with fruit, a sweetener, and cinnamon. A lot of people like fruit for breakfast. There are egg replacers that you can use to make scrambled eggs. And do not limit yourself to breakfast foods for breakfast -- have anything you feel like that's healthy. One of my favorite breakfasts is vegan french toast. It has NO cholesterol and a sweet taste.

What is Vegan?

Vegan is an animal-free diet. No meat, no dairy, no eggs. I also eat low oil and mostly whole plant foods, centering my diet around starches, as taught by Dr. McDougall, a board certified internist and lifestyle doctor who has brought thousands of people to better health with his teachings.


Giving up dairy? Good for you. Dairy causes gas in a lot of people and cow's milk causes cancer cells to grow in rats (read The China Study). There are plenty of choices to replace dairy:

  • soymilk
  • ricemilk
  • oatmilk
  • hempmilk
  • almond milk
  • cashew milk

Burgers, Links, and Cheese

Everyone knows there are veggie patties out there. There's also vegan sausages, hot dogs, and cheese. Is it all healthy? No, not all of it. The isolated soy protein is not healthy and the cheese is usually just as greasy as regular dairy cheese. So consider these types of vegan substitutes a once-in-a-while treat or look for the healthier versions at least.

The good news is that you can still have mac n cheese except now it'll be mac and chreese, a cheese-like sauce made with nutritional yeast.

While it's not great to subsist only on these kind of substitutes (or their real counterparts for that matter) ~ once in a while is not a problem, especially if you're eating plenty of healthy whole plant foods most of the time.

The video below will help you understand how to read labels. Go on. It's pretty funny.

"Health Food" vs. Healthy Food by Jeff Novick


Make Your Own

Did you know a simple potato masher can help you in your quest to find vegan substitutes for your old foods?

The recipe is simple. Simply use a potato masher to mash the ingredients listed below. Then form into burger shapes with your hands and then cook on medium high heat on a non-stick skillet for a few minutes on each side until cooked.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 can of kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 cup of oatmeal (uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup of brown rice (cooked)
  • 3 tablespoons diced tomatoes
  • seasoning
  • another can of beans of your choice

For the seasoning it's fun to go with themes. Mexican would be pinto beans with Mexican seasoning or taco seasoning. You can make regular with all-purpose seasoning and maybe some garlic seasoning also. Indian would be curry spice with a can of chickpeas, and use a mashed white sweet potato instead of the brown rice.

It may seem odd to mash all these ingredients together but at the end you end up with a very healthy veggie burger that you can dress up with condiments and produce as you would a meat patty.

These are really yummy and a lot healthier than eating meat with all the fat and cholesterol. And because these veggie burgers are made of plants, they include fiber which is also really healthy for you.

Mid-Afternoon Snacks

The plant kingdom is yours. Try these:

  • fruit
  • popcorn
  • carrots and celery with hummus
  • berries
  • baked potato or tortilla chips you've cooked in your own oven without oil
  • cereal with soy milk, almond milk, or rice milk.

Dinner Choices

From lentil loaf to tofurkey, pasta with marinara, meat-less burritos, Mexican, Asian, Indian, Thai ~ there are lots of choices and more than anyone can think of. There are great resources out there online for free, so simply do some online searches for a vegan version of what you feel like having. Just yesterday I was introduced to vegan cheese sauce, which means it has no dairy and was made from carrots and nutritional yeast. It was delicious! And, a lot healthier than real cheese sauce. You can also visit the recipe section of Dr. McDougall's website which has a ton of great, healthy recipes.


  • Cakes, Brownies, and Cookies
    Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too. Use healthy substitutes in baking like apple sauce, blended banana, or soy milk to replace oil, eggs, and dairy. During World War II, because of rationing, a whole nation kept on baking using vegan substitutes without any problem.

  • Ice-Cream
    Make your own by blending a frozen banana with a little vanilla extract or Wondercocoa for chocolate. Absolutely delicious and completely healthy! You can also find dairy free ice-cream in health stores, but beware the fat content. A fruit sorbet is your best bet if you're trying to be healthy with store bought ice-cream.

  • Even More
    There are tons of vegan baking books for desserts. Once again, you can simply use Dr. McDougall's free forum to ask how to make a healthy vegan dessert you would love.

Thank You

As you can tell, this article leans toward the healthy vegan change, not the pepsi and potato chip vegan change. I want to thank you for getting yourself healthier, for saving animals and helping our planet. I hope this hub helps you find substitutions for your old favorites by giving you some ideas of foods you can enjoy that won't clog your arteries or cause you a heart attack, and that will put a smile on your face when you think of animals and the environment.


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    • carozy profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks Kathryn for stopping by. There are a lot of choices for vegans that go way beyond the typical salads-and-tofu meals that most people think.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image


      5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I'm not a vegan, but I like a lot of the food choices, and I like to try new things. I love the alternative milk, veggies burgers, and fruits and veggies! I like all of the information you have included in this article, and your recipe for veggie burgers. I have made my own patties before, but this recipe is different. I'm going to try it sometime! Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • carozy profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you Spongy0llama! I'm glad you like it. If you go to Dr. McDougall's website you can find similar bean burger recipes and there's even a DVD you can buy called "Fast Food" -- but it's all vegan. Glad this helped you. In health. :)

    • Spongy0llama profile image

      Jake Brannen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      You are fabulous! I had to write down your veggie burger recipe. I'm thinking of going vegetarian again (it will be hard to give up eggs, but maybe vegan too, eventually). I've always been rather turned off by highly processed vegetarian/vegan substitutes, so I really like your ideas here. Thanks!!

    • carozy profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks torrilynn! Hope you found them helpful and thanks for the vote up. :)

    • torrilynn profile image


      5 years ago

      Hi carozy,

      thanks for sharing these vegan ideas

      with myself and others. they were really interesting

      and I will be sure to try these very soon. thanks again.

      Voted up

    • carozy profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you Ruchi Urvashi. Glad you enjoyed my hub. :)

    • Ruchi Urvashi profile image

      Ruchi Urvashi 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      Vegan food is tasty and healthy. Thanks for sharing healthy ideas. I am too vegetarian and I enjoy eating vegan meals.

    • carozy profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for the vote up and I'm glad you found my hub helpful. There are a lot of choices out there for vegans that most people forget, thinking usually of just tofu and salad. I hope you're able to find a healthy diet for yourself and stay away from allergens. At least you can enjoy potatoes, corn and rice ~ starches that are all healthy for you. I too worry about GMOs and try to eat organic when possible.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      5 years ago from Beautiful South

      I’m not even vegetarian, much less vegan, but your hub is very helpful to me. I have so many food allergies: dairy, chlorophyll, glutens, soy. I can’t be vegetarian because simple vegetables and fruits like an apple will set off an attack of something uncomfortable or even asthma, Once I almost got pneumonia from fluid in my lungs from eating greens. Potatoes, corn, and rice are my staple vegetables. Mr. B. teases that maybe I should just go eat wooly worms and die.

      I’ve been experimenting with dairy and soy-free “milks” and cheeses for 10 years, and now that I know I’m wheat sensitive, I’m experimenting with gluten-free grain and nut flours. Some are delicious, and some aren’t fit for hog food. My concern is our genetically modified vegetables like corn, tomatoes, and grain. I do love reading hubs like yours and getting new ideas. Voted you up!

    • carozy profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Great! I'm glad you found it helpful. At Dr. McDougall's website there is a DVD you can buy that has a lot of different bean burger recipes. Even with the preparation, it's a fast recipe so they're called "Fast Food" recipes DVDs. Good luck on your journey! :)

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 

      5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      I'm currently contemplating going vegan but it's hard because I'm also gluten-intolerant. Right now I've cut out meat and only eat chicken and fish on the odd occasion. I'm still working my way to learning how to make tofu because it's so expensive in the shops. I loved this article! So many fresh ideas here. I will definitely be trying to make my burger from potatoes soon...yay!

    • carozy profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks for the compliment peachpurple! Glad you enjoyed it.

    • peachpurple profile image


      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i guess i am going to change my diet to vegan. Healthy and cost less. I haven't try out vegan burger before. It would fun to try one. Voted up


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