Plant-based alternatives to animal products make going vegan easier than ever



Since we gave Naughty Chef Blythe Beck space to talk about her love of bacon and butter, it seemed only fair to give the vegetarians a say as well.

Assume that you’ve decided to become a vegetarian. No? Well, maybe that’s because you figured it would be too hard to do — you’ve become accustomed to accessing the (not-vegan) products you like, and replacing them with vegetable-strong alternatives is just too much work. That’s bull … or at least, the meat-less equivalent of bull.

We asked Eddie Garza, food policy manager with the Humane Society of the U.S., to scour the market and find five great, easy-to-access plant-based products that you can effortlessly substitute for their animal-based counterparts.

Replace your ground beef with Beyond Meat Beast Burger: Vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike are raving about the new Beast Burger. It has more protein and iron than beef, more omegas than salmon, more antioxidants than blueberries, plus tons of calcium and B vitamins. Fun fact: The Beast Burger is so popular now, you can even order one at the world’s largest honky-tonk, Billy Bob’s Texas.

Replace your tilapia with Gardein Fishless Filets: “Gardein really nailed this product in terms of taste and texture,” Garza says. “Plus, they’ve got omega-3s so I can feel OK about skipping the flaxseeds in my morning smoothie. I love them in tacos, sandwiches or as part of a simple fish and chips platter.” Fun fact: Gardein was recently bought by Pinnacle Foods, the company that owns Hungry-Man. In response to the buyout, Pinnacle Foods CEO Bob Gamgort told Reuters: “We believe that plant-based protein is at the tipping point of becoming mainstream.” Pretty cool quote from the company that also owns the very meaty “eat like a man” TV dinners.

Replace your cheese board with Kite Hill: You’ll fall quickly in love with Kite Hill’s almond milk-based artisanal cheeses, Garza promises. You can find them at Whole Foods alongside their dairy counterparts (because they’re that realistic), and occasionally at the hot bar in “Kite Hill Lasagna.”

Replace your breakfast patties with Field Roast Sausage Links: These are a staple in many vegan households. “Toss some of the Mexican Chipotle style in a food processor for tacos, or slice them up for paella,” Garza recommends. “The Italian style works great with hearty pasta dishes, and the Smoked Apple Sage links are incredible in a French country cassoulet.”

Replace your eggy mayonnaise with Hampton Creek Just Mayo: This one’s a real game changer. Just Mayo is a delicious egg-free mayo that tastes like traditional mayonnaise — even better! — and is actually cheaper than most major brands. (You can find it at Walmart for the same price as Hellmann’s.) Fun fact: Dallas-based 7-11 recently switched to Just Mayo for its sandwiches nationwide.

— A.W.J.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 21, 2015.