Tag Archives: dairy substitutes

The Swap Squad

Watch out meat, because this squad has it all. I’m talking about the Swap Squad; delicious and healthy alternatives for meat and dairy. Today I will focus on where you can get a good source of protein and other necessary vitamins and minerals leaving out the meat. The biggest concern for most people when trying or practicing a vegan diet is to get the proper amount of the needed protein and iron. To maintain a healthy level of these in your body and diet, when changing from meat to plant based source, you must substitute the same amount you would eat of meat, fish or dairy products to those plant based. Here is a list of many options that provide all the protein you need without missing the meat one bit.

Eggs & Dairy Substitutes:


  • Rice
  • Almond
  • Soy
  • Potato (normally in powder form)
  • Hazelnut

These alternatives contain almost as much protein as dairy milk, less fat, no cholesterol and can be used anywhere you would use regular milk: baking, sauces, cold/hot cereals, etc.

Alternatives from cashew, rice and soy can fool anyone. Here is a recipe from Epicurian Vegan of a hard cashew cheese. Click HERE for an easy recipe to make creamy cashew cheese.

Ice Cream
You can find ready-made vegan ice cream made with rice or soy milk and even made with tofu. Here is a cool recipe for a delicious vegan gluten-free chocolate ice cream from Elena’s Pantry.

As a baker I though that it was going to be really difficult to replace eggs in recipes. But it turns out that there are many ways to swap eggs in different recipes.

  • Commercial Egg Replacer(powder): best for baking.
  • Tofu: best for quiche, fritata, egg salad (texture similar to hard boiled egg).
  • Bananas and Applesauce: perfect for baking, also used as an alternative for fat (substitute the same amount when replacing oil).
  • Silken tofu: appropriate for baked goods when blended with liquid ingredients(1/4 cup make 1 egg).

You can substitute butter when cooking with any vegetable oil; like sunflower seed, grape seed, canola, etc. And the most common swap for butter is her oil-based cousin: margarine.

Meat Substitues:

Grilled, pan-fried, stewed, anyway you want it tastes delicious. This meaty substitute contains 7g of protein per ½ cup. The way you season it is key. It comes in hard, medium or soft/silk depending on the use you give it. For grilled or pan-fried hard is better. For sauces or baked goods soft/silk. For everything else there’s mastercard. (This is not a paid advertisement. Sorry, had to do it XD).

Look again because these are not meatballs. Falafel is made out of chickpeas and other deliciousness. HERE is a recipe if you want to try it out. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Foods Rich in Protein:

Quinoa stuffed peppers. Yum.
  • Peas
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Tofu (7g per ½ cup)
  • Non-dairy milk
  • All kinds of beans: chickpeas, lentils(9g per ½ cup), black, white, red kidney(7.5g per ½ cup) and more.
  • Quinoa (4g per ½ cup)
  • Dark leafy greens: spinach, kale(4g per cup), collards, broccoli(2g per cup).
  • Seitan (also called gluten)
  • All nuts: hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, peanuts, macadamia, walnuts, and much more.
  • Edamame
  • Seeds: hemp, sesame, sunflower, flax, pumpkin, chia

Here is a summary for iron rich foods:

I hope that sharing this information will give you a new perspective of a vegan diet. Remember that if you want to try this special diet consult your nutritionist or doctor. I’m no expert, just a nutrition fanatic. 🙂
Remember to share, like and comment. Have a great day!

References from: 1, 2, 3, 4