I treat a recipe as a guide and I am not averse to substituting, adjusting or even omitting ingredients to accommodate what I have on hand or to suit my taste. Some call it ‘creative cooking’, I call it ‘cooking by feel’. Here are 5 ‘comfort food’ recipes I tweaked with fabulous results.
I found this recipe on YouTube at Sweet Potato Soul. Whenever I make it I adjust the herbs and spices slightly to suit whatever I have on hand and replace the hot sauce with whatever kind of tomato sauce I have in the fridge (puree, chutney, whatever is thick and tasty) because I don’t like it too hot. If you’re going to make these I definitely recommend ‘double coating’ them.
Most recipes for potato pancakes call for eggs to bind the mixture together. Obviously this is not an option for vegans so I went hunting online and found this gem from I Love Vegan. I sometimes use soy milk instead of almond milk and I usually add a little extra at the end of the mixing to get the consistency right.
When I made this soup from Oh She Glows I was a bit heavy handed on the lentils so it became a stew. I actually used 1 cup of dried red lentils AND 1 cup of dried black beluga lentils. The black beluga lentils turned out to be a real game changer and made the stew thick, creamy and full of flavour. I added extra vegetable stock as needed to ensure the lentils cook through. Loaded with protein it goes nicely with rice, potatoes or tortillas. Sometimes I even serve it on toast!
This version from TheVegLife uses creamed corn instead of eggs to do the binding. My tweak was to include LOTS of dried dill which gives them a nice summery flavour. We usually eat them for dinner but I think they would be perfect for brunch served with avocado, salad and relish.
Chocolate chip oat cookies
These cookies from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken are AMAZING!! I used a block of chocolate roughly cut into chunks because I didn’t have any chocolate chips. Crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on they inside, they never last long.
All of these recipes feel like ‘normal’ food – not weird, hippy or unusual in any way and I feel very comfortable serving them to non-vegans.
I hope that by modelling this lifestyle in a gentle way I can encourage non-vegans to see that any kind of shift doesn’t have to be extreme. The options are there and are absolutely achievable.