Alternatives to Lemon and Vinegar in a Vegan Diet?

updated May 2, 2019
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Q: Help! I’m trying a new “elimination diet” to try to cut out migraine trigger foods, as I suffer from chronic (near daily) migraines. There are lots of fresh foods I can eat, but I’m having trouble replacing citrus — especially lemon — soy sauce, and vinegar in particular. Oh, and I’m vegan. I know you will all say that the first thing that should go is my veganism, but it is not connected to migraines, and I have already sacrificed a lot of things I care about in order to try to control the pain.

So please, can anyone think of vegan alternatives to these three foods? How does one marinate tofu without these ingredients? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

Sent by Marlene

Editor: Marlene, that’s a rough situation! Our sympathies really go out to you, and we certainly hope that you find relief from the migraines along with good ways of enjoying the foods you love.

It seems like you have to avoid acid in general (citrus, vinegar) — is this correct? If so, can you still have wine? We wonder about some flavorful yet not too acidic white wine marinades. Also, can you still have lemon zest? You can experiment with flavored salts and sugars, rubbing a bit of lemon oil or zest into the salt to give you that bright, acidic flavor that your dishes need.

Readers, do you have any thoughts or advice for Marlene?