As a vegan, I get this question a lot. It is extremely comical, but I welcome it, because it is a chance to tell others about all the amazing foods available to us. People don’t realize how easy it is to be a vegan now, and I love sharing that information. If you have ever been curious about veganism, or are thinking about going vegan, this post is for you.
- The main thing people wonder about when they ask the question about what we eat is how we get enough protein. I have to admit I am really glad I didn’t go vegan 20 years ago, when there were fewer options, but today there are a ton of fabulous meat replacements.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Gardein – They have an amazing “chicken” breast and many other fabulous products. You can’t go wrong with Gardein.
- Boca – I mainly use their “crumbles” which are like a ground “beef” for tacos, chili, etc.
- Beyond Meat – I love all their products, but mainly buy their “chicken” strips to use in wraps and on salads.
- Tofurky – They are well known for their deli slices, but they also offer a lot of pre-spiced meals that are great for those of us that can’t really cook :-). They also have tempeh, a type of vegan meat that is a wonderful bacon replacement.
- Match Meats – They have an amazing “crab” cake.
- Vegetarian Butcher – They have a full product line of 22 types of “meats” which have been wining food competitions up against real meat – amazing! They are mainly in the EU, but we hope to get them in the states soon.
- If you are a fitness buff, or just like to supplement your diet with protein powders, there are also many replacements for the traditional whey protein. The main options are soy, pea, and rice proteins. My favorite is Vega.
Now what about Dairy and Eggs?
- Milk – Replacing milk is the easiest, and something everyone should do just to get away from all the nasty things you consume in cow’s milk (hormones, antibiotics, etc). Almond milk is amazing, but you can also find soy milk, rice milk, hemp milk, and coconut milk at your local grocer. Most grocery stores carry a variety of brands, but my favorites are Silk and Blue Diamond.
- Cheese – My favorite cheese replacements are Miyoko’s Kitchen and Daiya. I actually can’t let myself buy Miyoko’s, because I will eat it all in one day!
- Butter – This, too, is very easy, as many margarines are vegan. Smart Balance is the brand I use, and Miyoko’s Kitchen just came out with a butter product.
- Mayonnaise – I am not personally a big mayo user, but I do like to make BLTs – which for a vegan means Bacon-flavored tempeh, Lettuce, and Tomato. The best mayonnaise products are Hampton Creek and Vegannaise.
- Eggs – I have not personally tried it because I don’t crave eggs, but Follow Your Heart makes a vegan egg scramble. There are lots of ways to replace eggs in cooking, as well, as this great article explains – http://www.peta.org/living/food/egg-replacements
- The products and companies I have listed are some of my favorites, and only a fraction of the options available. If you have access to a Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or a local health food store, you will have no problem finding things to eat on a vegan diet – I promise!