Ask a Chef: Tanya Petrovna

Tanya Petrovna

Tanya Petrovna founded Native Foods in 1994. Since then, the vegan restaurant with a global consciousness has expanded into eight locations in Southern California, with plans to grow a dozen more branches reaching beyond the Golden State. Now that visions of sugarplums are starting to dance in our heads, we asked Petrovna about egg-free holiday baking. Her suggestions:

• Substitute 1/4 cup coconut milk per egg. Because of coconut milk'??s natural fat content, you don'??t need to add oil to make up for the missing egg fat. Watch out for overwhelming a recipe with coconut flavor, though a hint can be very engaging.

• Purée 1 tablespoon raw flaxseed in a blender with 1/4 cup water per egg. This provides a nice gooey texture to help bind ingredients, as an egg does. Reserve for recipes that will suit or mask flaxseed's nutty taste.

• Stir 1 teaspoon sunflower or canola oil, cashew or almond butter, or tahini into soymilk—1/4 cup per egg. Recommended for cookie recipes!

• Blend silken tofu—1/4 cup per egg—in a blender with the recipe'??s liquid ingredients. This works best for baked goods with a denser texture, such as a chocolate or carrot cake. For a creamier texture, mix equal parts silken tofu and vegan cream cheese.

• Add dried fruit, such as apricots or plums, to a saucepan with equal amounts of water, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, then purée.

• Substitute 1/4 cup of purée per egg. Any remainder doubles as a jam or dessert topping.