If you have ever lived overseas or in a small town, you know it can be difficult to find vegan options. Besides staples such as fruits, vegetables, rice, beans and pasta, your options for other treats can be limited. All this means is you will have to be a little more creative with your meals.
Are you missing pancakes and waffles? Chances are your local grocery store has the Aunt Jemima Original Pancake Mix or something similar that also contains no animal products. Simply swap the egg for 1/3 cup of mashed banana or 1/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce. The same goes for the Duncan Hines Walnut Brownie Mix or any other accidentally vegan brownie or cake mix you may find. Things can get a little tricky for recipes or mixes that require a lot of eggs, so you may have to do some experimenting. Another tip for some of the accidentally vegan boxed cake mixes is to omit the oil and water and add only a can of soda. While the cake will rise and come out perfectly fluffy, it will also be very soft. This method is not ideal for making layered cake recipes. Did you also know many of the store-bought frostings are vegan?
Tired of tofu scramble and looking for a vegan egg replacement that is shelf stable? Garbanzo bean flour (chickpea flour) or besan can be used to make a tasty scrambled egg replacement or even soy-free tofu. If you can’t find chickpea flour, you can always purchase dried chickpeas and use a high-speed blender to make your own. I personally like to make tofu with my chickpea flour. After the chickpea tofu has firmed up a bit, I bake it, then add it to a bowl with vegan mayo, celery, onions, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. This combination makes a tasty vegan egg salad!
No vegan mayo in your local store? You can order some online or make it yourself. If you have an immersion blender, all you need is some oil, plant-based milk, vinegar, and a little salt! Some people like to use soy milk because it makes a thicker mayo, but I try not to consume too much soy. Unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk work just fine from my personal experience.
Craving vegan cheese? Make it yourself. This is especially fun because you can experiment with different recipes to suit your taste. You also don’t have to worry about all the added preservatives that come with the pre-packaged cheeses. I personally prefer cashew based cheese, but if you have nut allergies you can still make a delicious vegan cheese with potatoes, carrots and your choice of plant-based milk and seasonings.
Finding quick snacks can also be frustrating. Nuts and seeds, plain chips, Tostitos, Oreos, Wheat Thins, salsa, and some dark chocolate are not the only quick snack options available to you. You’d be surprised to know there are plenty of accidentally vegan snacks hiding in plain sight. Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch, hard Jolly Ranchers, Lay’s BBQ chips, Back to Nature Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Charms Sweet Pops, Kettle Brand Maple Bacon chips, and Sour Patch Kids are just a few. PETA also has an extensive list of accidentally vegan options on their website.
With a little creativity, research and experimentation, you will realize it is actually pretty easy to maintain a vegan or whole foods-plant based lifestyle while overseas or in remote locations. If there are some specialty items that you cannot make or find locally, have a friend ship them or order them online.