Mediterranean or French recipes

jennythefriend

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Hi everyone!

A dear friend of mine is trying to incorporate a more vegan diet into their lifestyle and they asked for some recipes. I asked what they usually eat and they said French and Mediterranean food. They also said they often eat chicken and use rendered chicken fat to make sauces. I honestly don’t eat a lot of French or Mediterranean food and I usually don’t make my vegan chicken from scratch, so I am hoping that people here have some suggestions along these areas. Thank you in advance for any help and advice! :)
 

Three Chickpeas

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I don't have specific recipes, but I've discovered with most Mediterranean dishes that substituting mushrooms for chicken is just as tasty and filling as the original recipe. Plenty of vegan substitutes for the milks and cheeses called for. We essentially "wing-it" when we're making something from an omnivore's recipe, and they're still usually pretty good.
 
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Forest Nymph

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Mediterranean food is one of the easiest things to make vegan. Often times falafel is already vegan (though there are some recipes with feta), then there's tahini dressing, tabouli salad, hummus (plenty of flavors besides plain!), eggplant babaganoush, Lebanese pickled turnips, mushroom or veggie kabobs, and Turkish delight. Then, there are tons of recipes out there for vegan-versions of baklava. Plus, there's whole foods like dates and olives traditionally associated with Mediterranean cuisine. If your friend likes yogurt, there are vegan yogurts. Cucumber tzatziki sauce could be made with plain, unsweetened vegan yogurts, or she could make her own with a cashew or silken tofu base. Flat bread, tapenade, dolmas...all of those things are usually already vegan, too. Kalamata olive bread. Bamba is even vegan, they can buy the snack at Target or their local Israeli grocery. Latkes can be made vegan. Mayim's Vegan Table might be a good cookbook to gift them.

As for French food, that's a bit trickier, but there are fancy vegan cashew cheeses you can buy in the store. I think Heidi Ho Ne Chevre and almost anything by Miyoko's are the best eaten cold (like with bread and wine, a la Francais). Baguettes are usually vegan. Nice, rich brown gravies can be made with mushrooms, red wine, and a few other ingredients. I used to make a dish with chunks of seitan and mushroom gravy a lot. If they use chicken broth, steer them towards vegetable stock, or just buy Not Chick'n bouillon cubes. Field Roast and Tofurky make good roasts to pair with roasted veggies. Leek and potato soup is French. Provencal cuisine can be meat-heavy, though. The first time I was in college, French was my minor and I belonged to the French club, so I have been inside several French restaurants. I've also seen French people on-line complain about how hard it is to be vegan there. On the other hand, French people still don't eat as much meat as Americans. Pain au chocolat wouldn't be difficult to make vegan, and for mayonaise heavy dishes, there's Vegenaise. I love Vegenaise I can eat it out of the jar on bread (don't tell the oil free people, but your Frenchie friend might love it too.)