Plant-Based Eating Tips from Suzy Sorensen & Matthew Calverley

Thanks for joining us during our ‘Month of Plant-Based Eating’ program! Earth Balance® and Made Just Right® have partnered with over 25 plant-based diet experts to share tips for leaning into a plant-based diet. Today, we have two experts lined up to share their knowledge with you.

Our first tip of the day comes from Suzy Sorensen RD, LD, CDE. After 30+ years of standard American diet, a scuba trip for lobster hunting introduced Suzy to the fantastic lives of underwater creatures. This up close and personal view of the rich lives of animals began her journey to vegetarianism and, eventually, veganism.

As a dietitian moving to plant-based eating for compassionate reasons, she soon discovered that benefits to health and environment are also significant. As she became active in the Twin Cities veg community, Suzy recognized a need for accurate vegetarian & vegan nutrition information.

Move2Veg is an opportunity to support those who want to meet their nutritional needs through plant-based eating. Suzy works with both children and adults as a dietitian and diabetes educator.

Here’s Suzy’s Tip:
When moving to plant-based eating, use what you already know to keep it simple!

If your family loves tacos and sloppy joes, you can keep the same menu, but explore plant-based substitutes for the animal ingredients in the recipes!

A taco can quickly and easily be made with black beans or re-fried beans in place of the meat. Keep your usual taco shell and veggie toppings, use a dab of vegan sour cream and sprinkle of vegan cheese and you’re all set!

Use veggie crumbles, TVP, or crumbled seitan in place of the hamburger in a sloppy joe recipe. Mix into your tangy sauce, assemble on a bun and you’re in business. Creating healthier, compassionate meals that your family loves doesn’t need to be complicated, it’s as easy as a simple change!

Find more from Suzy Sorensen at her website: www.move2veg.com

Our next tip comes to us from Matthew Calverley. Not only is Matthew a member and regular recipe contributor to Made Just Right®, but he also runs his own site, Vegan Heartland.

Here is Matthew’s tip:
A simple place to start on your quest to eating a plant-based diet is to try re-working your family’s recipes by substituting with vegan ingredients. When I first started having my friends and family taste my baked creations – my dad would always ask me “Is this real cake?” or “Is this a real cookie?” That’s what I was up against. Luckily he’s come around after seeing that Vegan food can taste just as good as its non-vegan counterpart. And let’s be honest – my vegan desserts are probably more real than anything he’s been eating.

I know to a lot of people – the thought of “vegan baking” may seem overwhelming. No eggs, milk, or butter? How else are you supposed to make delicious desserts? It really isn’t that difficult – once you get the hang of it. In reality, baked goods don’t need animal ingredients to work. Eggs give moisture and help bind your baked goods, milk also gives moisture and that special creamy taste, and butter gives your desserts that delicious fatty, buttery taste. But guess what? There are endless Vegan options to use to make all of your favorite desserts and the best part is – they’re cruelty free and in most cases much healthier for you. Thanks to Earth Balance we have delicious spreads, shortening, and soy milk to help make our baking endeavors so much easier! Click here for a list of my favorite substitutions. For a delcious recipe that makes the most of these substitutions, check out my Decadent German Chocolate Cake as pictured above.

We’ll also be featuring a recipe for Matthew’s delicious Date Cookies later this afternoon, be sure to check back!

Find and follow Matthew at his website: www.vegan-heartland.com, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Do you have any tips to share for making perfect vegan baked goods? Share them with us in the comments below for chance to win today’s Everyday Giveaway of FREE Earth Balance®!

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10 Responses to “Plant-Based Eating Tips from Suzy Sorensen & Matthew Calverley”

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  1. Terree Cloth says:

    I find it very easy to swap in soy, coconut, or almond milk in most recipes. Buttery spread & coconut spread are wonderful substitutes for butter & shortening respectively. That cake looks amazing!

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  2. Terri Cole says:

    I haven’t done much vegan baking yet, but I’m looking forward to trying some of the recipes on this site!

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  3. jm mam says:

    I am still trying to maset gluten free baking, but thanks for all the good tips

    ufg8trj at yahoo dot com

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  4. I love using coconut milk and tofu in my baking! Also, the better the quality of the products you use the better the taste.

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  5. I haven’t quite mastered vegan baking, yet but I look forward to seeing everyone’s tips.

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  6. One tip for vegan baking is to carefully measure the flour used- e.g. scoop flour with a seperate scoop into the measuring cup or, better yet, use a scale.

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  7. Carly Bulger says:

    and by falx i mean flax haha. these are great tips. I love what Matthew said about his dad asking if his desserts were “real” my grand pop does that ALL the time :)

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  8. Carly Bulger says:

    I use falx and water as an egg substitute!

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  9. Great advice from you both! When people ask me what I eat or don’t you miss this or that I tell them anything that you eat, I can eat or make a vegan version. I miss NOTHING and feel energized about how I live and how it DOESN’T create pain and suffering needlessly. I too have found people to LOVE my vegan baking and are blown away about their ability to enjoy something ‘vegan’ — more so then some of their non vegan similar items :) I think that taking what you already love to eat and switching it up with vegan ingredients is the best advice to those dabbling or actively transitioning to veganism. Best decision I have ever made!! :) And thank you for showcasing someone from the Twin Cities — sometimes our area is often overlooked!

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  10. I am thriving in a gluten-free and dairy-free lifestyle, but I find I am being pulled closer to a vegan way of cooking all the time. I was just looking through my reference materials and was surprised at how many are vegetarian or vegan. I guess I hadn’t realized before now how much I’m drawn to these recipes. Helpful resources to make the transition easier and knowledge-based are a great find. Thanks to both of you for sharing your stories and tips.

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