What’s cookin’ With Bri?- Vegan eats can also be tasty treats

Cheesecake without the cream cheese? Grilled chicken without real chicken?

Definitely sounds crazy, right? The fact is, recipes without meat or dairy don’t have to taste like soggy cardboard anymore.

Vegan and vegetarian chefs around the globe have created recipes that stay within
their dietary boundaries, but don’t skimp on taste.

There’s no limit to what you can substitute
in a recipe, if you know what ingredients are available. Recipes from the vww.vegcooking.com Web site also link to definitions of some ‘different’ ingredients like arrowroot, a vegetarian thickening agent for sauces.

Matching textures of meats to those of ‘meat substitutes’ can be tricky, but the flavors can be just as bold, if not more powerful.

A great hangout and specialty grocery store for these ingredients and foods is Whole Foods Markets at 929 South St. and 2001 Pennsylvania Ave. In the middle of the store, a mixed vegetarian and vegan bar of freshly prepared foods is a definite treat.

The vegan chocolate pudding is made with silken tofu – it doesn’t even sound palatable, but in fact is richer and creamier than any dairy pudding I ever tasted. The store promotes natural, healthy eating and carries many specialty health food products not found in traditional grocery stores. Natural Goodness at 2000 Walnut St. in Center City also has a selection of vitamins and specialty health foods you might come across in vegetarian and vegan recipes like those that follow below.

These two recipes take a leap trying to ‘impersonate’ their traditional, non-vegetarian and vegan cousins. Substitute real dairy products for the soy or non-dairy ingredients if you are merely a vegetarian. Don’t be afraid – once you convince yourself to give them a chance.

You will be quite impressed with what you have made.

Brianna Barry can be reached at bbarry@temple.edu.

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