The Best Tofu Marinade Ever

I received this recipe at a cooking class I took a few years ago and it is delicious. I know I always say that, but it’s the truth. Even the non-vegan instructor said it was amazing. It includes lots of ingredients but I am pretty sure they each play a specific role so don’t go substituting things until you try it as written at least one time.

This makes enough for 2 blocks of tofu

1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup tamari
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil (I sometimes use just 1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon each – chili powder, onion powder
1/4 teaspoon each – oregano, garlic powder

Wannabe Falafels with Vegan Tzatziki


Finally, here’s my chickpea patty that I am lovingly calling my wannabe falafel. It cooks up crispy on the outside and is moist on the inside. Unlike the star he admires, this falafel is super quick to throw together.

Wannabe Falafels with Vegan Tzatziki

Yield: 8 patties; 2 per serving (4 servings)

2 slices bread, torn into pieces
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans, soaked overnight in enough water to cover them once they double in size
2 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Oil, enough to pan fry the falafels

  1. Place bread in small bowl and pour milk over it. Use your fingers to make sure that all of the bread is soaked with milk. Set aside.
  2. Mix cornstarch with cold water and set aside.
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and pour them in the food processor.
  4. Pour in the cornstarch mixture, vegan mayonnaise, salt, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
  5. Pulse until the chickpeas are finely chopped but not mushy.
  6. Squeeze the bread and drop it in the food processor.
  7. Pulse the chickpeas a few more times to make sure the bread is evenly incorporated.
  8. Scoop out ¼ cup of the mixture and flatten to form each patty.
  9. Heat a pan on medium heat and add enough canola oil to coat the bottom.
  10. Cook patties for 5 minutes on each side until brown.

Tzatziki Sauce

Source: Vegan Dad

1, 12 ounce package firm silken tofu
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon dried dill
¼ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup seeded and finely chopped cucumber (about 1 cucumber)

  1. Blend tofu, lemon juice, canola oil, dill, garlic, salt and black pepper in a blender
  2. Transfer it to a bowl.
  3. Place diced cucumber in a towel and squeeze out excess moisture.
  4. Stir the cucumber into the bowl.

Tempeh BBQ Sandwich


Everything tastes great with BBQ sauce! Haven’t tried tempeh yet? This is a great way to make it for the first time. It has a great chewy texture that will be great if you miss meat.

Vegan Tempeh BBQ Sandwich

2, 8oz packages of tempeh
1 bottle of vegan barbecue sauce

  1. Preheat your oven to 350.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and place a steamer basket in the pot.
  3. Slice each tempeh patty into 4 pieces.
  4. Place tempeh in the steamer basket, cover and steam for 20 minutes.
  5. In a casserole dish, add enough barbecue sauce to cover the bottom of the dish.
  6. Add the steamed tempeh to the dish in one layer.
  7. Pour enough barbecue sauce over the tempeh to almost cover it.
  8. Cover tempeh with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Sweet Chili Lime Tofu


Lauren Ulm’s website, Vegan Yum Yum, was one of the first vegan websites that I found when I started my vegan journey. I totally forgot about this tofu recipe and how much I love it until a few weeks ago. I’ve adapted it just a bit to make sure there’s enough sauce and to make sure the sauce thickens. It will not thicken without the cornstarch slurry.

A few more tips…Don’t be tempted to take short cuts, like not pressing the tofu, not slicing it thin enough and not dry frying it. These are essential to getting a chewy texture for the tofu. Play around with the sauce if you like, but follow the technique for the tofu.

Now, there is an exception. If you are someone who likes the soft, somewhat mushy texture of tofu, feel free to skip the dry frying, but do everything else.

Sweet Chili Lime Tofu

Author: Adapted from Lauren Ulm, Vegan Yum Yum

Recipe type: Main Dish

Makes: 4 Servings

2, 14 ounce blocks extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into thin small triangles or squares

Sweet Chili Lime Sauce

¼ cup organic granulated sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Zest of 2 limes
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt


1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water

  1. Whisk all of the ingredients together for the sauce until the sugar and salt is dissolved. Set aside
  2. Make the slurry by mixing the cornstarch and water and set aside.
  3. Dry fry the tofu in batches, in a non-stick pan without any oil over medium heat. It should take about 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Remove the tofu as it’s ready and set aside.
  5. When you’ve dry fried all of the tofu, add it back to the pan, turn the heat up to medium-high and heat it through for about 1 minute.
  6. Stir the sauce one more time and pour it into the pan.
  7. Toss the tofu in the sauce for about 1 minute or until it has thoroughly coated the tofu.
  8. Stir the slurry again and pour it into the pan.
  9. Stir the tofu until the sauce thickens. It will probably take less than a minute.

Vegan Sausage Stuffed Peppers


6 bell peppers, tops cut away and seeds removed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper (any color), finely chopped
1 batch prepared TVP sausage
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup marinara sauce

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot of boiling water, parboil the peppers until just tender, 3 minutes.
  3. Remove them and set them aside to dry.
  4. Saute the onions and peppers in vegetable oil until they are soft.
  5. In a bowl, combine the onions and peppers, TVP sausage, rice and marinara sauce.
  6. Pour enough water into a baking dish to just cover the bottom, about 1/8-inch deep.
  7. Stuff the bell peppers with the rice-TVP mixture and place in the baking dish.
  8. Cover and bake until the peppers are very tender and the filling is heated through, 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

TVP Sausage

Yield: 2 1/2 cups

1 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup textured vegetable protein

  1. In a saucepan, add the water, the soy sauce and the spices.
  2. Bring it to a boil, stir it well and remove the pot from the heat.
  3. Add the TVP, mix well, and let it stand for 10 minutes.
  4. Fluff it with a fork.

Vegan Stuffed Shells


Ricotta Recipe (adapted) from All Recipes

Yield: 4 servings, 3 shells each

15 jumbo shells

Italian Sausage Sauce

1, 24 oz jar marinara sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari
½ tablespoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon ground sage
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon ground thyme
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup textured vegetable protein
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


1, 14 ounce package extra-firm tofu (drained and not pressed)
¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook Pasta

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
  2. Once water is boiling, cook pasta for 15 minutes.
  3. Drain and rinse the pasta.
  4. Transfer the pasta to a plate, separating the shells to make sure they don’t stick.

Prepare Baking Dish

  1. Pour ¾ cup marinara sauce in the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish. Set aside the remaining sauce.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.

Prepare Italian Sausage Sauce

  1. Pour water and soy sauce in a saucepan.
  2. Mix in fennel, sage, onion powder, basil, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and salt.
  3. Bring it to a boil and remove from the heat.
  4. Stir in the TVP making sure it all gets evenly coated, and let sit uncovered for 10 minutes.
  5. Pour in the remaining marinara sauce and the balsamic vinegar.
  6. Stir and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Prepare Ricotta

  1. Break the tofu into large chunks and drop in the bowl of a blender or food processor.
  2. Pour in the remaining ingredients for the ricotta and blend until smooth.

Assemble Shells

  1. Scoop a spoonful of ricotta into each shell and place it in the prepared 8×8 baking dish.
  2. Pour meat sauce over shells.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes covered.
  4. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes until it’s bubbling.

"Meaty" Vegan Burgers

Let me tell you.  I’ve made my share of veggie burgers and black bean burgers, but I’ve never been satisfied with the texture, consistency…mouth-feel. Basically, I want more to my burger and I don’t want to worry about it falling apart in the pan or on my plate when I eat it. I’ve worked with  TVP quite a bit and have yet to master seitan (but I haven’t given up). These 2 ingredients are the key to this burger.

Part of the challenge with veggie burgers is keeping it together. I know that vital wheat gluten does this well and I know that TVP has an excellent meat-like texture. So off I went on a Google search. This is the recipe I selected to try first and although the texture isn’t perfect, it’s much better than my past veggie and black bean burgers and the flavor is amazing. I ate about 3 of the burgers while the were cooling off!

I want to tackle adapting this recipe to make a breakfast sausage patty. If I’m successful, you’ll hear about it.

Onto the recipe…

"Meaty" Vegan Burgers

Yield: 20 sliders or 8 full-sized burgers

2/3 cup dry TVP
2 cups hot vegetable broth
1/4 cup vegan ketchup
1/4 cup vegan worcestershire sauce (I made my own using Martha’s recipe a few weeks ago so I had it on hand)
1/2 tsp. molasses
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. smoked or regular paprika
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. liquid smoke (this is not in the original recipe)
1/2 tsp. salt
ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
6 Tbsp. unbleached whole wheat flour
1-1/2 cups vital wheat gluten

  1. In a large bowl, pour hot vegetable broth over dry TVP and let it soften for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the remainder of the ingredients, except the vital wheat gluten, and stir to combine.
  3. Stir in the vital wheat gluten. You should have a wet dough, similar to wet seitan dough.
  4. Let the dough rest (for about 10 minutes) while you heat the oven to 350*F and line a 9×13 inch baking dish with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. Form the dough into patties, place on the parchment-lined pan, and cover with foil.
  6. Bake covered for 30 minutes for full-sized burgers, or 20 minutes for slider-sized patties.
  7. At this point, either turn the patties, baste with barbecue sauce or olive oil and bake for 15 more minutes uncovered (or 10 for smaller patties), or grill on low heat for 5 to 7 minutes per side.

Marinated Portobello Mushroom Steaks


These meaty portobello steaks are so versatile – serve them for a special dinner or even grill them in the summer. The marinade is what really makes them sing!

Marinated Portobello Steaks

Source: The 30-Day Vegan Challenge (affiliate link for the book) by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

3 servings

6 large portobello mushrooms
½ cup each – balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, water
½ teaspoon each – dried rosemary, dried thyme, dried oregano or marjoram
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
Small amount of olive oil for sauteing

  1. Remove the stems and gills from the mushrooms and lightly wipe the tops with a damp paper towel.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, water, herbs and pepper.
  3. Add the mushrooms to the marinade, making sure they are coated.
  4. Marinate the mushrooms for 30 minutes.
  5. When ready to cook, add olive oil to a large pan and turn the heat to medium.
  6. Remove the mushrooms from the marinade but don’t discard it.
  7. Add as many mushrooms that can fit in the pan, tops down.
  8. Cook them for 3-5 minutes on each side until they are lightly browned.
  9. Pour some marinade into the pan, cover and cook for 10-14 minutes, flipping the mushrooms halfway through.
  10. Repeat for the remaining mushrooms.

Vegan Chili


This is my favorite chili recipe! I made it long before I adopted a vegan diet. It was so easy to adapt. You can even kick up the heat by using hotter salsa and more Tabasco sauce. This vegan dish is perfect for Super Bowl Sunday. Your guests won’t even miss the meat. They might even think the TVP is meat.

Vegan Chili

Adapted from the Ukrop’s Kitchen Famous Chili recipe in Celebrating with Ukrop’s Great Food: A Treasury of Recipes and Memories

Serves 6 to 8 generously

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup onion, small diced
1 cup green pepper, small diced
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup prepared salsa, hot or mild
1 cup water
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup catsup
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups TVP, rehydrated

  1. In a large stock pot, sauté onions and green peppers in 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium high heat for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Turn down the heat and add the garlic. Saute it for 1 more minute.
  3. Add the remaining everything except the TVP and bring it to a soft boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  5. Add the rehydrated TVP and simmer for 15 more minutes.

How to Rehydrate TVP

Use a 1:1 ratio of water to TVP.

If you’re recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of TVP (like this one does), pour 1 1/2 cups of boiling water over it, stir it to make sure all of the TVP is wet and let it rehydrate for 10 minutes.

What Does Vegan Mean

Talk about a word that carries a lot of stigma?

Vegan is definitely that word.

Vegan Food: Any food that does not contain animal products

Vegan does not mean that the food is healthy, unprocessed, sugar-free, gluten-free, clean, natural, organic, or low calorie. 

It just means that it doesn't contain animal products. 

Yep, that's it!

Now, you might be wondering, "So, what are animal products?" 

Because...who talks about food like that?!

The obvious ones are meat, like chicken, duck, turkey, beef, pork, lamb, and deer.

Fish, including shellfish, are also animals. 

The animal products that may not immediately jump to your mind are those that are made with not the flesh of these animals, but the secretions or other parts of these animals. This sounds gross...because well, it kind of is.

These include... 

  • Cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, whipped cream, yogurt, ice cream, and butter (which are made with milk) which comes from cows
  • Mayonnaise (which is made with eggs) which comes from chickens
  • Chicken and beef broth (which are made from meat and bones)
  • Gelatin, which is made by boiling animal skin, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, and or bones of cows, pigs, or fish in water
  • Honey which bees make as food for themselves

Once you know what vegan means, the second step is to know your options.

You may be thinking about what you just read and wonder, "Well, what's left?" 

A lot! 

Innovation in the food space has really made strides and those of us who chose not to eat animal products are extremely thankful.

In addition to the wide variety of vegetables, fruit, beans, grains, seeds, and nuts, we have plant-based alternatives to all of the products I listed earlier.

Learn about all of the vegan substitutes for animal products: The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Substitutes

The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Substitutes

Last Updated: 2/7/18

Look at all of the amazing vegan substitutes that are available in grocery stores! There are over 150 of them. With so many options and new ones popping up all of the time, it’s a great time to explore a vegan diet.

Depending on where you live in the world, some may be easier to find than others, but I guarantee that if you look around, you’ll be surprised at how many options you actually have within 30 minutes of your home.


Table of Contents

  1. Bread & Baked Goods
  2. Cheese
  3. Condiments
  4. Desserts
  5. Eggs
  6. Meat
  7. Milk
  8. Ready to Eat Meals
  9. Seafood
  10. Yogurt


Bread & Baked Goods

Rounds & Wedges (Artisan)

  • Daiya Wedges: Jalapeño HavartiCheddarJack
  • Heidi Ho: Creamy Chia Cheeze, Spicy! Chia Cheeze, Smoky Chia Cheeze, Ne Chèvre – Pure, Ne Chèvre – Black Lava
  • Kite Hill: Soft Fresh Original, Soft Fresh Truffle Dill & Chive, Soft Ripened, Ricotta
  • Miyoko’s Kitchen: Classic Double Cream Chive, Double Cream Sundried Tomato Garlic, High Sierra Rustic Alpine, Fresh Loire Valley in a Fig Leaf, Limited Edition Mt. Vesuvius Black Ash, French Style Winter Truffle, aged English Sharp Farmhouse, Aged English Smoked Farmhouse, Country Style Herbes de Provence
  • Treeline Treenut Cheeses: Classic Hard Cheese, Cracked Pepper Hard Cheese, Herb-Garlic French Style Soft Cheese, Scallion French-Style Soft Cheese

Shreds & Slices

Cream Cheese




Salad Dressings

Sour Cream

Spreads & Sauces


Whipped Cream



Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts


* This egg replacer works best when a recipe calls for 2 or less eggs




Beef, Ground


Deli Slices


Hot Dogs

Jackfruit (Pulled Pork)




Sausage, Ground

Sausage Links

Sausage, Breakfast




Ready to Eat Meals