I have been a vegetarien for many years and am transitioning to becoming a vegan. I live in London, well the outer borough in the South, and am having trouble finding all the vegan substitutes in the stores. I found some vegan groceries in Waitrose and Tesco but there is not really a wide variety and I cannot find all the superfoods from the kind diet. If anybody can offer any help, I would appreciate it. I'm fairly new at this and still haven't substituted all my food for vegan options but I am getting there :o)
Thanks for responding. I am looking for brown rice syrup, molasses (not molasses sugar - I found that), seitan, tempeh, and I have no clue where to get sea vegetables and some of the superfoods (vegetables). I am also looking for cheese replacements. I found a soya spread at Tesco and one cheddar style cheese substitute but there is no variety at Tesco (basically only those two cheese substitutions). Since I have been using soured cream, natural formage frais, ricotta and mascarpone a lot before becoming vegan and trying to substitute those but I cannot find any suitable replacements. I would appreciate your help.
I find there are not many vegan-friendly stores in South London but maybe I just not looking in the right places. :o)
Miki, you should be able to find molasses and brown rice syrup at any health food store, including Holland and Barrets. If you have a middle eastern grocery store near you they may also sell molasses. I think Waitrose usually stocks stuff like that too, but I'm not sure. Tempeh you can find it at an independent health food store, or at Whole Foods. You can check there for seitan as well, or for gluten powder to make your own.
Regular grocery stores are not going to be good for substitutes. Again, you should be able to find a wider variety at a health food store for cream cheese, chedder or mozzerella. Tofutti does a soured cream as well, but I can't think where I've seen it sold. I've made my own with cashews and lemon juice before: it's different from dairy sour cream, but good. I'm not aware of any commericial substitute for ricotta or mascarpone, but you can make your own ricotta with tofu, lemon juice, and salt.
Sea vegetables...again, try a health food store, or you might have to try an East Asian market if there is one near you. Nori is sold pretty widely in supermarkets.
Thank you so much for your response. Your advise really helps! I will go to Holland and Barrets as soon as I can, I just have to check where the closest one is where I live. I was thinking of Whole Foods before as I used to go there a lot when I lived in the US but unfortunately the closest one to my location is quite a travel away so I have to make time and go there one day (make it a vegan shopping day out ). As you are making some of your own substitutions do you mind giving me the recipes for it? I would really appreciate that! Also, do you know any good vegan restaurants in South London? I think there are some in Central London but I would love to try one near where I live but I have no idea where to go as I am pretty new at the whole vegan lifestyle.
Not to promote another book or anything, but there are two recipes for ricotta in the book the veganomican - one for tofu ricotta and another for cashew. I've put the cashew one below because the tofu one uses nutritional yeast flakes which you might find hard to get (although you could just use a big dollop of vegemite!)
(I'm afraid the recipe is in cups, but I just use any old mug and it works ok)
1/2 cup raw cashew pieces
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 pound of tofu, crumbled - they say firm, but I've used the silken stuff they sell in sainsburys and that works fine
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt..
In food processor, blend everything up until the tofu until it's a paste. Then add tofu and blend until thick and well mixed. Blend in basil and salt.
The tofu one is the same but with 1/4 cup of yeast flakes instead of 1/2 cup cashews.
Hi Herbie, thank you sooo much for the great recipe! I have tried it already and it tastes really good. You were right about the yeast flakes, I have no clue were to get them. I think I would have to order them online... But this recipe is easy to make and I have all the ingredients available without having to hunt them down. Thank you again. And don't feel bad about promoting another book, I am always looking for advise on good vegan books that are not too complicated and help you with the basics. I will have a look at the book and probably buy it.
Cool, I'm glad you like it - it also has a recipe for sour cream although I haven't tried that one! It's a really good book, it has tons of sauces and recipes for fake parmesan and so on. Made a lasagne with the parmesan substitute and cheese sauce last night - sooo good!