Monday, April 12, 2010

vegan substitutes

A fair few people have been asking me about veganism lately, so I thought I would offer up some of my favourite substitution products that may help people transition a lot easier (I try and not eat much soy or mock meat but its great as junk food occasionally!). Most of these products are available at any major supermarket in Australia with a big health foods section, however if you are having trouble finding them Jewish supermarkets are always excellent for vegan products, or of course if you are in Melbourne get yourself along the the vegan supermarket in Brunswick, Radical Grocery.


I drink rice milk, its sweet and light and great in baking, I really dont like the taste of soy milk (that and it gives me tonnes of gas!). I try and buy organic rice milk or I also like So Natural products.

Where to find it: In the "longlife" milk section of your supermarket.

Cream Cheese

The Australian Kingland brand is the best. I dont like Toffutti products, they are full of hydrogenated fats and nasty ingredients and they don't taste great. This cream cheese is delicious, spread straight onto a bagel or in a cheesecake. It may take your palate a bit of time to adjust to the difference, so if you're spreading straight onto a bagel you might want to flavour your cream cheese first, with onion or garlic or blueberries. Cream cheese is also great to give that creaminess to things you miss, like pasta sauces.

Where to find it: This is usually in the fresh vegetarian section of the supermarket fridge (where all the vegie sausages are - this is how Coles and Safeway usually arrange them) however in some places they put them alongside with the other cream cheeses.


Ahh the mystical, most missed item. I would advise going cold turkey on cheese for a while. Dairy has tryptofan in it, which puts the body into a drugged like state (sleepy, high feeling of well being) so when people say they are addicted to it or COULD NEVER GIVE IT UP, there is a chemical reason for it. After a while you just get over your cravings. Having said that, there are 2 products that are really good (the rest are disgusting so please don't even bother) there is Cheezly or Sheese. They both melt well and taste great (though I haven't tasted ALL the flavours).

Where to find it: Its kind of a specialty item so you will need to go to a healthfoods place for this or Jewish supermarket, they dont stock it in the supermarket yet. (Melburnians these are both at Radical Grocery).


I haven't tried the Kingland kind, their tubs are just too big for single serving me. I used to love the Soy Life yoghurts but just found out they have animal derived vitamin D in them. Any suggestions would be mightly loved!


This you have to make homemade but it is so easy and so delicious! My recipe is here.

Pouring cream/whipped cream

Soyatoo! Thats all you need to know.

Where to find it: Again healthfood stores.

Homemade: get a can of coconut cream and pop in the fridge overnight (or until dead cold) and scrap the thick, set cream from the top of the can into a bowl and whip it with a whisk with a bit of sugar. I want to also experiment with putting coconut cream with a bit of arrowroot in a whipped cream canister, I think this will work but I haven't had access to a canister to try.


I usually use olive oil, however sometimes its nicer for baking if you use marg. Up until recently I've been using Nuttelex but apparently they use palm oil now in their spread. Can anyone recommend another non dairy spread?

Where to find it: In the marg section of your supermarket.

Cooking milk/evaporated milk

There is a Nestle evaporated milk product though I wouldn't really recommend buying Nestle products. I usually use coconut cream. Yum yum.

Mock Meats

The Sanitarium range of most things are great (though a fair bit of their products have egg whites in them so read the back of the packets). Their fresh mince is excellent, I prefer Zoglos for burgers, especially their faux chicken schnitzels. "Facon" and salami by Cheatin are amazing.

Where to find it: Sanitarium is at every supermarket (Australia and New Zeland). In Victoria I've only seen Cheatin in Radical Grocery, Zoglos you can find at a few Safeways and Piedemontes. Good luck with your searches!

There is of course for Melburnians, Vincents Vegetarian Supermarket thats all the crazy mock meat products anyone could ever wish for.

Quick Meals - (and widely available in America) is Amys - organic meal range (most of them are vegan). I've seen the soups here in Safeway but they're like $7 a can (I work on a factory and cant get even vegetarian food most days so they're good to have as an emergency). I go to America a lot and its good to have a couple in the fridge. I would love to see more of their range out here.

What are your faves?.


  1. I like the Fry's schnitzels if I'm feeling like that, mock-meat-wise. Otherwise I use a lot of mock meats from the Chinese grocer, like mock cha siu and chicken-y things.

  2. I mostly only eat mock meats out at restaurants, because they're usually packed full of nasty things I can't pronounce that sound like they'll give me cancer or something (I'm sure the restaurants use them too, but at least there I can't read the label and can live in denial for the sake of delisciousness).

    When I DO eat it:

    I like Bean Supreme'
    s sausages more than Sanitarium's (the latter remind me more of hot dog wieners than snags, anyway). They have a really good texture and are nicely flavoured.

    I'd rather make my own sausages using the recipes from Vegan Brunch, though.

    I also recently discovered Bounty Burgers at the Radical Grocery Store. They're a bit pricey, but WOW, very tasty -- easily the best pre-made "meat-style" (as opposed to veggie/lentil) burgers I've tried. A killer nutritional profile, too. Perfect for BBQs.

    But again: I'd rather make my own burgers. Veganomicon chickpea cutlets FTW.

    Vincent Vegetarian make some pretty amazing stuff, but, well -- see previous thoughts on ingredients. If I'm going to eat fake friend chicken, I'd rather do it at a Vego Vietnamese restaurant.

    Making your own seitan is also pretty easy, too. All you really need is vegetarian "chicken" stock, herbs and spices and wheat gluten.

    If I need veggie mince, I prefer to make it from the dehydrated TVP stuff than the pre-made packaged/canned stuff, so I can flavour it myself. Rehydrate it with boiling water and a stock cube, then cook it with garlic, onion and some tomato and red capsicum paste.

  3. yeah I usually make all mine myself too, I rarely eat fake meat though sometimes I just get an insane craving for the schnitzels.

  4. I love Fry's too. Their schnitzels aren't great IMO, but I love the burgers and the new chicken strips. YUM!

    Cheatin' is also available at the WholeFoods store on Smith St.

  5. thanks! just transitioning from vegie to vegan... this is really helpful!

  6. Hey, have you tried that new place behind Vic Market? Spotted it when I took the 55 the other day, but haven't been in yet...

    Global Green Vegetarian Food Mart
    Shop 1/33 Peel Street, West Melbourne
    Phone number: 03-93269686

    Reviews at:

    Interesting list of stuff they're meant to be stocking soon: (also mentions a vegan? pizza place in Glenroy, and vegan hotdogs at Fed Square!)

  7. Nah I havent been there... I dont really eat mock meat... its so bad for you!

    walkers next to lord of the fries sells vegan hot dogs.. they are sooo yummy... and there are sooo many pizza places I want to try.. mainly plush pizza but I tend to not leave brunswick anymore haha. (also being gluten free now it limits things down substantially)


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