Happy Herbivore Blog

December 17, 2011

This Week's Q&A (Talking GF, hair, pressing tofu & more!)

You've got questions, I've got answers!

1. Are there brands you like for vegan Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese?

Daiya seems to be the most popular brand for Mozzarella, and Galaxy Nutritional Foods for parm. Truthfully, I'm not really into substitutes because they tend to be expensive and high in fat --  I also can't get either where I live. I make my own "cheese" at home (why there are so many faux fat-free cheeses in The Happy Herbivore Cookbook!).

2. Do you have a tofu press, what brand do you recommend?

I had a tofu press, Nasoya sent me one for free but, sadly, I never used it and ended up giving it to a friend -- my kitchen is too tiny for items I don't use daily or at least weekly.

see my video post on how to press tofu without fancy gadgets:

3. Is there an alternative to vital wheat gluten? I'm GF.

This gluten-free "gluten" substitute comes highly recommended by my GF friends.

4. How can I replace tofu in recipes?

It depends on the recipe and what to tofu is being used for. For silken or soft tofu, you could try using a vegan yogurt that's non-soy, such as coconut milk yogurt or rice-based yogurt. You could also try this DIY soy-free tofu recipe. I haven't tried it myself, but it looks promising. 

5. I love your meal plans! Where can I buy previous weeks?

Please contact me directly Lindsay[at]happyherbivore[dot]com.

6. How do you cook and bake without oil? 

See my posts: cooking without oil and baking without oil

7. What do you do to have such beautiful hair?

Aww... thanks for the compliment. I believe it's all diet. I don't really put any products in my hair (outside of gentle shampoo and sometimes if it's really tangled, gentle condition or avocado). 

I always find it amusing when people say you need to eat more fat to get strong, shiny and beautiful hair since the exact opposite has proven true for me. My low fat diet has done my body (and hair!) good. I saw positive changes in my hair when I adopted a plant-based diet, but it got even healthier when I went to a low fat, whole foods diet.

8. Is it possible to cook in stainless steel pots without oil?

Absolutely. I have stainless steel and I never - ever - use oil. As long as a keep a thin barrier of water or broth, I'm good to go. Nothing has ever stuck on me, ever.

9. How do you combat naysayers who ask things like where do you get your nutrients on a vegan diet?

I neutralize the topic by pointing out that the important thing to understand is whether you are vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, etc. you must--absolutely must-- eat a balanced diet with a wide variety of nutritious foods. Eating meat and dairy does not mean you will automatically meet all your nutritional needs or you'll meet them more likely than someone who eats plants. There are plenty of omnivores with deficiencies, or who are on supplements or have health issues. Meat and dairy are missing lots of key nutrients, too. For example, where is fiber in meat? where is vitamin C in milk? With any diet, you must eat well and make good choices to be optimally healthy.

10. Do you have any go-to seasonings with cous cous?

I'm sorry to say we don't eat cous cous -- it's a preference thing, and also a health thing--can't find whole wheat cous cous where we live easily... I imagine you can treat it like quinoa or rice... I would smother it in one of my gravies if I did serve it. Hope that helps! 

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