Easy Vegan Substitutions

Choosing vegan food doesn’t mean skimping on flavor. Rather, it simply means reaching for the cruelty-free versions of our favorite foods! In response to the growing demand for healthier and more humane foods, grocery stores everywhere are stocking up on delicious and nutritious plant-based options -- from dairy-free milk, cheese and ice creams to veggie burgers, soy hot dogs, and chicken-free nuggets, and so much more.

Need some ideas of what to look for next time you go grocery shopping? Here are some of our favorites -- and be sure to check out the “New-To-You-Foods” section below for more grocery shopping tips!

For meat-free and convenient hearty dishes, look for brands like Tofurky, Gardein, Beyond Meat, Field Roast, and Boca which are usually found in your grocer’s natural foods or frozen section. For dairy substitutes, we love Daiya, Teese, and Go Veggie! vegan cheese. And for frozen desserts, reach for Purely Decadent, So Delicious, Tofutti, and Coconut Dream flavors of vegan ice cream!

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New-To-You Foods

You’ve probably heard of tofu before, but have you ever wondered what it is? Or what about seitan, tempeh, or nutritional yeast? One of the most exciting things about vegetarian eating is discovering new foods!

So to help guide you as you explore various recipes calling for foods you may have never heard of, here’s a quick list:

Tofu: Made from soybeans, tofu is high in protein and calcium, and it readily absorbs surrounding flavors and spices. It typically comes in a white block and is available in many textures that can be fried, sautéed, steamed or scrambled.

Tempeh: With a firmer texture than tofu, tempeh is also a soy product. It has a nutty mushroom flavor and can take the place of meat in a recipe.

Nutritional Yeast: Packed with vitamins and minerals, this flaky, inactive yeast product has a cheesy flavor that is great for soups, pasta, macaroni and cheese, and more.

Seitan: Also called “gluten,” seitan (pronounced SAY-tan) is a protein-packed wheat-based meat alternative. It can be found pre-packaged in grocery stores with or without added flavors, and you can also make your own.

Miso: A salty seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley or soybeans, miso is a thick paste that can be used in spreads and sauces or diluted for a delicious soup base.

Soy, Almond, Rice, Flax, Hemp, Coconut Milks: These are alternatives to dairy milk with usable calcium and healthier protein. They are also free of cholesterol.

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Tasty Falafel