Don’t get excited, SweatyGirl is not coming back But, someone on a forum asked me recently what my favorite meat replacements are, because they were struggling with gout (ouch!) and wanted to try and wean off of real meat to help.
I took the time to write out all my favorites, and I realized it might serve me to copy that list somewhere… because people do actually ask me this question quite a lot!
So, here it is! My top of the top favorites!
There are so many meatless options you can try! I’m not delusional, and won’t tell you that so many mock meats taste EXACTLY like the real thing, but in reality, just a couple do. But many others are at least a tasty alternative!
For products that (in my opinion) taste nearly exactly like the real thing, I recommend :
Gardein : Mandarin Crispy Chick’n : w/o the sauce, these are great chicken nuggets
Gardein : Fishless Sticks : really good battered fish
Gardein : Meatless Meatballs : just good, well spiced meatballs
Gardein : Sizzling Szechuan Beefless Strips : without sauce, they are sort of like chicken-fried steak chunks
Beyond Meat : The Beyond Burger : they call this “the vegan burger that bleeds” it is SPOT ON for ground meat. Kinda creepy, actually, how exact it is.
Beyond Meat : Beyond Chicken Strips : a really close replacement for grilled chicken strips, for salad, stir fry, tacos, etc.
Gardein, Beyond Meat, and many more have great frozen ground meat replacements, but you an also make your own super easily by using TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) it just comes in a dry bag, and you rehydrate it with just water, spice it up, and poof! A great taco filling!
Once you’re feeling bold, go onto Amazon and search for the “Loma Linda Worthington” brand. Everything comes in a can, which looks frightening, but thats where my dogs, chops, and other stuff comes from. Really high quality stuff with great taste and texture.
Sophies Kitchen : VeganToona : comes in a can, mix it up just like tuna. Tasty!
Upton’s Naturals : BBQ Jackfruit : uses young jackfruit to mimic pulled pork. Surprisingly delicious.
You won’t find a great bacon replacement, but there are plenty that are… tasty. Just not bacony. And you won’t find a real steak replacement. The steak strips and chunks from gardein are fantastic, but they don’t sell like… a ribeye of it, you know?
In terms of dairy replacements I recommend :
Follow Your Heart : The Vegan Egg : spot on scrambled eggs, and omelettes
Kite Hill : Cream Cheese (Tofutti brand is a more affordable alternative, but Kite Hill is indistinguishable from real cream cheese!)
Rice Dream : Rice Milk : served cold, its a dead ringer for skim milk
Califia Farms : Barista Blend creamer : perfect half & half replacement or coffee
Field Roast : Chao Cheeses : comes in 3 flavors. All delicious.
Tofutti : Sour Cream : its legit
Hampton Creek : Just Mayo : Even my mayo-loving boyfriend can’t tell the difference!
Daiya : Blue Cheese Dressing
And yes, a lot of these items can be expensive. The Gardein brand, I find to be reasonable and easy to find in my area. But I don’t use mock meats with every meal, there are plenty of options that only use whole foods (veggies, beans, lentils, grains, etc) but for someone who loves meat, they are a great thing to enjoy and help transition away from too much meat!