Ask Happy Herbivore: Soy-Free Vegan

Posted by:Lindsay S. Nixon Category: FAQ

Last week I asked Facebook and Twitter what questions you guys wanted answered- embarrassing questions, nutrition questions, personal, what did you want to know from me? Ask Happy Herbivore will be a new feature on Wednesdays. If you'd like to submit a question, just email me at! 

This week's question; Can you share a day or weeks worth of no soy/tofu ideas?

Side note: I always find it interesting that people think you need to eat soy products to be vegan, or that vegans rely on soy. I know a lot of soy-free vegans and except for the occasional dabble in tofu, or using soy sauce here and there, I’m pretty much a soy-free vegan. (in fact my cookbook is over 70% soy-free!)

Even vegan products that were traditionally soytastic are now available in non-soy forms. For example, you’re not limited to soy milk anymore for a non dairy beverage. There’s almond milk, rice milk, oat milk, coconut milk beverage---so many choices. Vegan cheese is also not limited to soy. You can find rice-based cheeses, nut-based cheeses and Daiya, which is tapioca-based. Even some meat substitutes (like Field Roast, for example) are offering soy-free options.

The only hang up is tofu, but I’ve heard there is a nut-based “tofu” out there and I’ve seen some raw recipes for a faux tofu that aren’t soy based (I think I saw it in Everyday Raw, not totally sure). Of course you don’t need or have to eat tofu as a vegan. I didn’t for the first few years I was veg. I like it now, since I find it so universal, but I don’t have to have it.

Point is, to be vegan you don’t need to eat soy and it’s really easy to avoid it if you have to or want to. The bulk of a healthy vegan diet -- fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils are all soy-free!

Here are a few examples of how a soy-free vegan day:

Breakfast: HH’s Green Goddess Smoothie or a few slices of toast with jam or peanut butter. (HH’s other smoothies, like Peanut Butter Cup or Oatmeal Cookie, also work if you use almond milk)

Have a piece of fruit or some raw veggies to nibble on for a morning snack if you’re hungry.

Lunch: Soup, Salad, homemade veggie burger (such as HH’s Quickie Black Bean Burgers), a vegetable wrap or even a nice pasta dish or a pasta salad. All of these things are inherently soy-free, just make sure to check all your ingredients and condiments to make sure they don’t have hidden soy parts (ketchup and mustard are generally soy-free).

Have a piece of fruit or some raw veggies to nibble on as a late afternoon snack. I’m also a fan of hummus and carrots or celery and HH’s Nutty Spread (p. 253) as a late afternoon snack if I plan to workout after work.

For dinner go for a hearty bean dish, (such as HH’s Chickpea & Corn Chili), a lentil dish (such as HH’s Red Lentil Dal) or a great vegetable dish (such as HH’s Mexican Cabbage). Lunch ideas (soup, salad, etc) can also be dinner.

Pop on over the the recipes tab and select “soy free” to get more ideas and look for recipes with the “soy-free” icon in my cookbook! I also have a pre-made soy-free shopping list, a week’s worth of HH soy-free dinners so you can start eating soy-free tonight!

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