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This story was written by member notinthemood and comes from the Kitchen Goddess group in the YumSugar Community.

I have somewhat recently become totally lactose intolerant — as in, no butter, no cheese, no yogurt, and nothing dairy. I'm totally opposed to relying on drugs to allow me to eat something my body clearly doesn't want to digest, so I've been experimenting with vegan cooking. It's been great thus far, but as the holidays approach, I've realized that I can't eat most of what everyone else in my family can because it relies so heavily on butter, cheese, and cream for flavoring. I'm old enough to bring a dish to pass, so I was wondering if anyone knew of any good vegan substitutes or recipes? I say good because I've tried some very bad vegan food substitutes, and don't want to venture down that road again. I've found a good vegan butter substitute in Earth Balance margarine, and I've heard you can use coconut milk for creams (but I haven't confirmed this). If you have a suggestion for a cookbook, even, I'm all ears. So ladies, any suggestions?

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danakscully64 danakscully64 6 years
Veganomicon is by far my favorite cookbook. I love to bake vegan desserts, especially cupcakes and cookies. My 2 favorite cupcake recipes are: Elvis Cupcakes: http://www.recipezaar.com/Vegan-Elvis-Cupcakes-305355 Chocolate Cupcakes: http://www.recipezaar.com/Vegan-Dark-Chocolate-Cupcakes-With-Frosting-285660 The Elvis recipe uses mashed banana in place of eggs and the chocolate cupcakes use applesauce. I worked at In-n-out burger for years, my coworkers were all hardcore meat eaters, and they LOVED these cupcakes. I was begged regularly to bring them. As for cookies, I would use a vegan margarine in place of butter in a regular recipe and Ener-G egg replacer instead of eggs. In Oatmeal raisin cookies, ground flax mixed with water in a blender works in place of egg (it creates a thick consistency). The Joy of Vegan Baking and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World are awesome as well.
ashleyw ashleyw 6 years
The best thing I found when I cut out diary was almond milk. I'm not a huge fan of soy milk, but the almond milk taste is even better than regular cows milk. I think the best flavor is unsweetened, but there is also chocolate and vanilla
kmckay kmckay 6 years
I think everyone has had really good suggestions on here. I've been vegan for 15 years and find the vegetarian times magazine (there are tons of recipes on their website), any cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and vegweb.com to have amazing recipes. if you are looking for a fabulous everyone friendly dish to pass (which can sub as a vegan's main dish) try this: roasted maple glazed root veggies 1. toss veggies in olive oil & roast approx 40min (delicata, butternut squash, parsnips, onions, brussel sprouts) or until starting to brown 2. melt earth balance, maple syrup and brown sugar together 3. baste veggies with this mixture and then roast another 5-10 minutes to carmalize SO SO good and i've never found anyone who hasn't loved it
mermei mermei 6 years
I'm allergic to dairy (and a whole host of other things), but since I live in Asia, I barely notice or miss the fact that I'm not eating cheese. I made these cookies this week (subbing chopped, dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate for the nuts and raisins: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=6672.0 Lots of good recipes on that site. My biggest beef (hah!) with vegan cookbooks is that they almost never have good pictures; I guess if we cook vegan we are also virtuous about the environment and waste and therefore don't need them, but I miss pretty, glossy cookbooks. I second the recommendation of Tofutti's Better than Cream Cheese (I used them to make cream cheese wontons this summer and they were a hit with the non-veg crowd) and Better than Sour Cream, which I could eat with a spoon. The best fake vegan cheese I've had so far is Teese from Chicago soy dairy, which melts well on pizza.
jesikah85 jesikah85 6 years
I love all of the Earth Balance butters and they work great in recipes. Coconut milk too makes an amazing cream sauce if you let it reduce a bit. It has a sweetness to it so be careful, but it is so delicious. I always make homemade guac for my vegan dishes to share.
beram1220 beram1220 6 years
I have been reading this blog www.ohsheglows.com and the author has her own vegan bakery - she uses a "flax egg" instead of a real egg and it seems to work wonderfully. You just whisk 1 tbsp ground flax with 3 tbsp water and let it sit for a couple minutes then add to your baking recipe. This measurement is for 1 egg so just double/triple it if the recipe calls for 2 or 3 (etc). Good luck!
pinky8486 pinky8486 6 years
www.veganyumyum.com It's an AMAZING online blog for vegan recipes... the creator even has a section with a Thanksgiving menu (one that I plan to use!) ...also, her macaroni and cheeze recipe is delicious! I have made vegan pies using Earthbalance and/or vegetable shortening and they have both worked great.
Smacks83 Smacks83 6 years
I agree with Abby, try not to look for subs because a lot of times the flavors are off (only in the sense of what you are trying to go for, ie. soy cheese does not and will never taste like dairy cheese). I would go for more dishes that really show off the best seasonal fruits/veggies/nuts in a great tasting way. Like roasting vegetables in a balsamic glaze.
greyskie greyskie 6 years
I found out I was allergic to many foods a few years ago...included in my lengthy list of allergies is milk and eggs. So this means I've become something like a meat-vegan. I LOVED dairy when I used to eat it, and it have been difficult for me to find good substitutes. I have to warn you that vegan cheeses are awful. I have tried some that were so bad they made me want to cry lol. I felt so helpless until I found Daiya vegan cheese. This stuff is incredible It melts and its gooey and it is really delicious. I am eating a GREAT baked mac and cheese as I am typing this made with Daiya cheese (with crumbled bacon lol) and I seriously couldn't be happier with it. Many specialty stores carry Daiya now and the chain Z-pizza has started to offer it in their stores. Please check it out and good luck to you!!! www.daiyafoods.com
AbbyHintz AbbyHintz 6 years
One more thought- Your best bet for bringing a great dish is not to look for substitutes for butter and cheese, but finding really good recipes with vegetables, beans, and nuts -- think salsa, pestos, nut butters like peanut putter and tahini. I know there is a recipe in New Basics Cookbook for pumpkin peanut butter soup. Of course, hummus is always a good choice -- using oils from olives and sesame seeds (tahini). For cookbooks, consult with ethnic cookbooks that don't try to be vegan but naturally don't use much milk or cheese -- Indian, Thai, Middle Eastern.
AbbyHintz AbbyHintz 6 years
None of the vegan cheese is as good as the real thing, though, after a while without real cheese, you may find that there are reasonable substitutes. Some of the soy cheeses contain casein (a milk protein so it's actually not vegan; you could also be allergic to casein). These cheeses have better texture. These cheeses melt and can even be used to make pretty good nachos. I second Dana 18 on Nutritional Yeast. It's tasty; really good on popcorn. It is sold in bulk at some stores. I have grown to love tofu; I like to crumble it for making a ricotta-cheese like substitute -- try to press out as much of the water as possible before using it (the water tastes bad and also the texture will be better). I also freeze the tofu first and then thaw it. It improves the texture and makes it more cheese-like and less gel-like. Beware of pre-marinaded tofu -- I've never found it to taste very good. Silken tofu is a reasonable sub for cream in soups and sauces. You will taste the difference, but the texture will be close. I presume you have already experimented with aged, hard cheeses, which have very little lactose. Most of it's removed during the cheese-making process (with the whey). Good luck.
Dana18 Dana18 6 years
The tofutti cream cheese is a great substitute for cream. Nutritional yeast is great to flavor dishes that need cheese substitute.
Katiecroft Katiecroft 6 years
I work at an natural foods store and we have tons of good vegan items. I'd look around your area and see if you have a co-op or something similar. As for books I have had many people recommend The Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan cookbook. by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. VegNews and Vegetarian Times also publish good vegan recipes each month. Also, I think the Moosewood cookbooks are pretty good as well. Good Luck!
Food Food 6 years
This is just a general substitute (rather than a Thanksgiving one), but I have some of the same problems with lactose intolerance myself, and Amy's Macaroni and Soy Cheeze has proven to be an amazing macaroni and cheese stand-in when necessary.
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