I get this question from non vegans quite frequently, \”What do you eat?\” So, after many requests, I thought posting some of my favorite vegan \”must haves\” would be helpful.
I don\’t think that you can expect to have vegan products that taste exactly like non vegan, but that\’s not really the point. Bottom line, do they taste good? All of these products certainly do.
Often I hear from people that they can\’t find these products locally. Firstly, start by asking for them at your local store and they will often order them and start stocking them. Secondly, find a place that might be a bit of a further drive and stock up.
You can find most of these products at Whole Foods and most Von\’s and Kroger locations in the US. Sadly, Daiya is not yet available in the UK, but they are actively looking for a partner, so fingers crossed.
For many people, cheese is the most difficult food to transition, and honestly I loved my cheese too, so it was initially a big concern for me. The key is to have realistic expectations and just experiment. Here are my vegan cheese must haves.
Daiya – Hands down, this is the best cheese substitute out there and they make many other great products. My absolute must have is the Cheddar. They also make Mozzarella and Pepper Jack. This melts like real cheese and makes killer nachos and quesadillas. I have found that it tastes much better when it is melted.
Go Veggie – While I am not a big fan of their cheese slices or their shredded cheese, but they do make a very good Parmesan cheese substitute. This one is amazing. You do not need a lot, to get a bold parmesan taste. With these two cheese substitutes in my refrigerator, I can make Italian, Mexican and most any sort of cheese based dish. It\’s worth noting that Go Veggie have a new package, so it might look quite different.
Meat Substitutes – I am a big fan of Boca, Beyond Meat and Gardein products. Note, Boca makes a lot of products and while they are all vegetarian, they are not all vegan. Garden and Beyond Meat are all 100% vegan.
Lastly, I love the Beyond Meat Crumbles which can be used wherever you would use ground beef and they also make fantastic soft tacos, chili and spaghetti sauce.
Butter Substitutes – Earth Balance. I have tried them all, but for me this is the very best and it can be use for all recipes, toast or really anytime you need butter. They also make it in sticks for easier baking and they have many other wonderful products. Check out their website.
Quick Meals – I always have some soup in my desk and at home for quick meals. I have never found anything better than Dr McDougall\’s soups. They are low in calories and really good. They are a great quick meal and good for you. I like all the flavors but the Vegan Pad Thai and Hot and Sour Soup are special favorites. You can get them online and at most retailers.
So, if you look in my refrigerator/freezer and pantry, you will always find these products along with:
Spices and fresh Herbs
Vegetable Oil- Remember to keep it in the fridge.
All sorts of nuts, perfect snack food.
Frozen Corn and Peas- Great for making chili, risotto, soft tacos and corn lime chili soft tacos.
Fresh Salad Greens
Whole Grain Bread
Mung Beans and Lentils
Canned Black and Pinto Beans
With these products you can eat very well and get healthy too. Enjoy and eat well.