Posted by: conradvisionquest | March 24, 2010

Swap Shop or “I can’t go vegan because I could never give up (insert favorite dairy product here)!”

For me, going vegan has not been about giving up anything, it’s about being creative and finding new and wonderful ways to enjoy food, real food.  I got this idea from Ashley and her blog, Ashley’s Green Life.  Thanks, Ashley!

To show you how easy it is to cut out dairy or transition from vegetarian to vegan, I thought I would show you some of the products I am using (and loving) in lieu of products containing animals and their by-products.

I thought I would start with this one, because this seems to be one of the major reasons people don’t attempt to eat vegan.  “But I could never give up cheeeeeese!”  You can if you want to.  You just have to want to.  I’ve been there.  I have always loved cheese.  But when I discovered the truths of the dairy industry, it wasn’t hard to stop eating it.  And these products also help!

Tofutti American Cheese Slices: I’ve used these on sandwiches, broken them up and put them on hashbrowns, and even made a grilled cheese with them.  They are yum.

Lisanatti Almond Cheddar block: I grate this and use it on nachos.  It’s a healthy vegan cheese, but mild in flavor.  They make other flavors as well, including mozzarella, which I shred and use on pizza.

I’ve read great things about Daiya Vegan Cheese, but I haven’t been able to get my hands on some yet.

Milk: I’ve tried soy milk and rice milk, but right now I am loving almond milk.  I use Almond Breeze.  It tastes great on cereal and I also use it in cooking.

Other Dairy Swaps
Butter: Earth Balance Organic Buttery Spread. I use this for cooking, buttering my toast, and sauteeing veggies in
Sour Cream: Tofutti Sour Supreme. Goes great with nachos, also used in vegan cheesecake. Awesome for making dips with.
Cream Cheese: Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese. Comes in a variety of flavors.
Ice Cream: Tofutti again! I love Tofutti Brand.  They make wonderful ice cream.  My favorite is the Cuties ice cream sandwiches.

This one is a trickier subject. The swap depends on what you are using the eggs for. I hear tofu makes a nice scramble, although I haven’t tried it yet. I’ve purchased a box of Ener-G egg replacer to use in cooking, but I haven’t tried that either. I hear that mashed potatoes might make a good substitute for the eggs in this eggplant meatball recipe. I haven’t tried any of these yet. I’ve just steered clear of any recipes that call for eggs at the moment. I’ll update this section as I try new things.

I could go on and on, but these are the biggies.  There are a ton of products and recipes out there to help you transition to a cruelty free diet.  If you have any favorite transition foods or alternatives to dairy, let us know by commenting below.  Until next time…



  1. Daiya is GREAT melted in grilled ‘cheese’ or ‘quesadillas.’ You can order online at Pangea, they will send with a ‘freezie’ pack and it does fine. Coconut milk ice cream and yogurt is my fave! There is one ice cream called Purely Decadent by Turtle Mountain and another called Coconut Bliss which is also organic and fair trade. Lots of different flavors, no coconut chunks.

    • Yeah, I gotta get me some Daiya and see what all the hubbub is about. Thanks for the other suggestions as well!

  2. What a GREAT post! As I struggle with the Vegan-Veg challenge, it is very, very encouraging!! Maybe I CAN do this!! 🙂

    • thanks for visiting and commenting. glad this post was helpful to you. and yes, you can do anything you put your mind to. sounds corny, but it really is true!

  3. I have a question though… I’ve tried Tofutti Cheese too – very tasty! But how is “vegan bread”? Is it good enough to make a yummy grilled cheese?

    • it may come as a surprise to many people that most bread is vegan (ie Wonderbread is vegan!). just check the ingredients before you buy. i get a whole wheat kind, the brand escapes me, but it doesn’t contain any eggs or milk products. some grocery store breads do, though. great question!

  4. I’ve been trying to get my hands on some Daiya too! According to their website, my Whole Foods is supposed to have it, but it’s not there. I’ve had Sheese and it’s just OK. I’ll have to try Lisanatti Almond Cheddar block. The crazy thing is that I was a HUGE milk and cheese person before going vegan, and now it grosses me out.

    As far as eggs, I’ve found that Ener-G works great, as well as ground flax seeds. Bananas and applesauce also work as egg replacers. When I first decided to go vegan, I purchased The Joy of Vegan Baking and it has everything you need to know about egg replacers and vegan baking. It’s amazing. As far as scrambled eggs, tofu is awesome for that. Isa Chandra Mokowitz’s book, Vegan Brunch, has a tofu scramble recipe that is sooo good!!

    • those are great tips! let me know what you think of the Daiya…

  5. If you are into baked goods… Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s ‘Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World’ is great. She uses baking soda and vinegar in a lot of the recipes and they turn out just as moist and crumbly as the non-vegan ones do.

    I’ve also had great success with The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau for waffles, she uses ground flaxseeds and water to make a viscous like substance that works like an egg.

    For my go-to chocolate cake, I turn to The Peaceful Palate by Jennifer Raymond, she uses baking soda and vinegar also. I absolutely love love love the Magic Chocolate Cake!

    • looove Colleen! thanks for all those tips and sources!

  6. […] Lil’ Omni: So let me get this straight – you don’t eat or use anything that comes from an animal? That’s way too intense for me. I could never live without cheese. […]

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