No Stressing About Vegan Dressing

No Animals Harmed, Vegan Cooking

Salads are great and all, but what really makes the salad is the dressing. The great thing about dressing is it can be used in a variety of ways such as a dip, topping (on pizza/sandwich) or a marinade. When you think vegan dressing, you definitely think you will be missing out on old favorites, such as..

RANCH! Yes, that’s right there are a few vegan ranches out there, and they are amazing. Ranch has always been my personal favorite for a nice creamy addition.

1. Follow Your Heart: High Omega Vegan Ranch (http://followyourheart.com/products/high-omega-vegan-ranch-2/) This brand of dressing is found in the fridge at supermarkets. Variations of the traditional ranch can also be found.

2. Organicville Foods: Non Dairy Ranch Organic Dressing (http://organicvillefoods.com/products/dressings/non-dairy-ranch-organic-dressing/) This brand is found on the shelves at supermarkets.

Bleu Cheese! Who would have thought that there’s a vegan version of this dressing. The only one I’ve come across is by Follow Your Heart: High Omega Vegan Bleu Cheese (http://followyourheart.com/products/high-omega-vegan-bleu-cheese-6/)

Caesar! Again, another type that probably did not come to mind when thinking of a vegan dressing. Follow Your Heart: Organic Vegan Caesar (http://followyourheart.com/products/organic-vegan-caesar-2/)

Thousand Island!

1. Follow Your Heart: Vegan Thousand Island (http://followyourheart.com/products/vegan-thousand-island-2/#product-top)

2. Organicville: Non Dairy Thousand Island Organic Dressing (http://organicvillefoods.com/products/dressings/organicville-non-dairy-thousand-island-dressing/)

Honey Mustard!

1. Follow Your Heart: Vegan Honey Mustard (http://followyourheart.com/products/vegan-honey-mustard-2/)

2. Organicville: Dijon Organic Vinaigrette РAll though this is not exactly a honey mustard dressing, it does  fit best within this category with a oily base rather than creamy. (http://organicvillefoods.com/products/vinaigrettes/dijon-organic-vinaigrette/)

Another dressing brand to be acknowledged that has many vegan options is Annie’s Natural –>(http://www.annies.com/products/dressings?q=75)

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Holy Cheeseuz.

No Animals Harmed, Vegan Cooking

I could not begin to count how many people have said to me “I could never give up cheese.” Well.. good news, you do not have to “give up” anything but the cruelty. I live on vegan cheese. No, it’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but its far better than the cows milk version is for you.

When I was just a vegetarian a few years back, anytime I went out to eat, the only thing on the menu that was veg-friendly was smothered in cow’s milk cheese. For example, you go to a restaurant and think, I will just get the Eggplant Parmesan, it’s “healthy”..but what you really end up eating is a meal with high dairy content, high fat, and high cholesterol.

The best decision I ever made was switching to full out vegan. You instantly feel so much cleaner and healthier without all the unnecessary animal products in your system. Going out to eat now may not be the easiest thing in the world, but my convenience isn’t worth another beings life. And to be honest, there is just as much cruelty involved in the dairy industry, as in the meat industry.

Most people don’t even think about it, they think “cow’s need to be milked, it’s for their own good”. This may be true, but in order for the cows to be capable of producing milk in the first place is where the cruelty lies. They are pumped with hormones, artificially inseminated and must give birth. That calf is taken away from its mother and either slaughtered, given to a meat market for veal or bred to go through the same vicious cycle as its mother. Because don’t you think maybe the cow’s baby might need this milk a little more than humans do? This is the cost that each glass of cows milk and each slice of cows cheese have, and to be blunt, I do not think it’s worth this high price.

Now with that being said, alternative versions to cow’s milk cheese can be made from many sources. Such as: Soy Protein, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch, Coconut Oil, Potato Starch, Fermented Tofu and Arrowroot Flours.

I will go through my top 2 alternatives for each category of cheeses that are used in the typical kitchen.

Slices

1. Field Roast Chao Slices: Creamy Original with Chao Tofu – It melts for grilled cheese, tastes great in a sandwich and even taste great right from the package. My life would truly be lacking without this product. (http://fieldroast.com/chaostory/)

2. Daiya: Swiss Style Slices – Makes for great panini’s (http://us.daiyafoods.com/products/dairy-free-cheese-slices/swiss-style-slices)

Shreds

1. Daiya: Mozzarella Style Shreds: Taste great on pizza, pasta, wraps, etc. Melts and stretches. Has its own distinctive taste away from cows milk cheese, but this taste is a GOOD thing. (http://us.daiyafoods.com/products/dairy-free-cheese-shreds/mozzarella-style-shreds)

2. Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Shreds: Cheddar – NACHOS.. need I say more. (http://followyourheart.com/products/cheddar-shreds-10/)

Spreads

1. Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese: Original Plain – I am a bagel addict and this cream cheese is the only one I turn to. Taste just like the real thing, but with no cholesterol and less fat. Can be used in place of any recipe that calls for cream cheese. For example, I made a vegan cheesecake with this product as the main ingredient to a group of non-vegans at work, and it has been requested multiple times since. (http://www.tofutti.com/dairy-free-cheeses/cream-cheese/better-than-cream-cheese/)

2. Follow Your Heart, GoVeggie! and Daiya also make cream cheese substitutes, however a second option is not required in this category.

Toppings

1. GoVeggie! Dairy Free Parmesan Grated Topping – Tastes great as a parm substitute on pasta. I tend to use nutritional yeast more when others would seek out the parm, but that product will need an entire post of its own. Nutritional yeast really is THAT good. (http://www.goveggiefoods.com/products/grated-topping/dairy-free/parmesan)

2. Tofutti Better than Sour Cream: Original Plain – Great to make dips with (http://www.tofutti.com/dairy-free-cheeses/sour-cream/better-than-sour-cream/)

Vegan Friendly Top Milks and Creamers

No Animals Harmed, Vegan Cooking

Now that the fridge dairy alternative brands are out there, let me break down my personal favorites for Milk and Creamers!

Milk Alternatives come from many different sources, here are the top few: Almond, Cashew, Soy, Coconut and Rice. I tend to stay away from the soy in this category. Soy is found in so many vegan alternatives, I try not to over due it. I prefer unsweetened in all brands with more than half the calories cut. My selection of vanilla or original also depends on the use (ex: vegan mac and cheese is not so good with a vanilla undertone). My personal favorites are as follows.

1. Blue Diamond Almond Breeze in Unsweetened Vanilla or Unsweetened Original (https://www.almondbreeze.com/?navid=329&pid=508)

2. Silk Almond Milk Unsweetened Vanilla or Unsweetened Original (https://silk.com/products/unsweetened-vanilla-almondmilk)

3. Silk Cashew Milk Unsweetened is a close third, much creamier than the almond (https://silk.com/products/unsweetened-cashewmilk)

Creamer Alternatives like milks come from a variety of sources: Almond, Soy, and Coconut. Personally, I stay away from the coconut (which only SO Delicious makes), it is a little to light for my liking. I tend to stick with the soy for my creamer.

1. Silk Hazelnut Soy Creamer – my “go to” paired with a hazelnut K cup (https://silk.com/products/hazelnut-soy-creamer)

2. Silk Vanilla Almond Creamer – on the days when I’m not feeling hazelnut, which is almost never (https://silk.com/products/vanilla-almond-creamer)

3. Califia Pecan Caramel Almond Milk Coffee Creamer for the more decadent days (http://www.califiafarms.com/products/coffee-creamer/)

In my next post, I will get into the cheeses, the best vegan alternative there is!

Hello world!

No Animals Harmed, Vegan Cooking

A lot of people question how to become vegan. This will be a place for some guidance on your journey to seek a more compassionate and healthy lifestyle.

Being vegan is a transition that will make you feel better about yourself. Not only will you be saving animals lives, but you will no longer be contributing to violence.

This new blog is not only about becoming vegan, it is about how simple changes in the kitchen can help you lose weight and feel great about it.

I am not much of a cook, but I do enjoy eating. Any meal you can think of making, can be made using vegan alternatives. No, it will not taste the exact same, but it will be a new experience for your taste buds. You can try out new products and learn how much you can love these new tastes and flavors. You may end up liking these alternatives more than the animal version.

That being said, the first step to this transition is simply substituting out animal products in the kitchen for vegan friendly alternatives. Even if you do not want to be a complete vegan, substitutes can still be a healthy way to enjoy the food you love but with less guilt,  less calories and absolutely no cholesterol.