My Favorite Vegan & Vegetarian Alternatives

10 February 2019

Hi everyone!

On my trek to incorporating healthier diet hacks into my daily life to ensure I live to 115 (haha), I decided being at least 70% plant based is going to be a lifestyle change I want to keep forever. I know a 'whole-food-plant-based' diet is something to aspire to, but I am no way near that and likely will never reach that point because I don't want to. I had initially planned to do a 2-week Vegan challenge, but that was just in the hopes of getting more plant-based recipes under my belt. I decided to just make this lifestyle change happen NOW, because waiting for a 'challenge' to implement an action is just a delay I don't need. I was making excuses, and this wasn't me. I have always been someone who doesn't wait to make modifications when they make logical sense, and will be for my benefit.

My first order of business was to eat 2x more vegetables than I already do, and avoid letting veggies go bad. This had a two-prong effect: it made me consume more nutritious meals and decreased my waste production (I'm still trying to live that #sustainablelife).

So, without further ado... my favorite meat and dairy alternatives. I will update this post regularly, and you can bookmark it to revisit intermittently. I'm all about decreasing decision fatigue, so if it's on a master list then it's part of my pantry/weekly groceries. But for now I am on the experimentation leg of this journey.

Things that are important to me are cheese, yogurt and chocolate. Those are some of my favorite snacks! OMG then there's processsedddd snacksss and sweets - NOM NOM NOM! All the granola bars, cookies and candy. I haven't delved deep into the latter, so I decided to tackle a few categories at a time:

I've been plant-based in this category since 2012 when I turned lactose-intolerant. I love Silk Almond Milk Original and Vanilla, but I just discovered Silk's Original Protein Nutmilk and got on that train. Many times plant-based milk is lower in protein than regular milk, so I've been making it up with this lately.
Reddi Wip Coconut Milk - This is whip cream for my beverages - I plop it onto my hot chocolate. Yes - it has a coconut flavor, yes - it is fluffy, yes - it is DELICIOUS!

Silk Almond Milk - dark chocolate coconut (great flavor!)
Non-Dairy Chobani Coconut Milk - blueberry
GTS CocoYo - great flavor, you can feel a slight tang at the end because of the fermentation. It's the consistency of mousse and tastes like coconut. Fantastic
Forager Organic cashew - blueberry (not the biggest fan... but 3/5 if I had to rate it, the taste is okay but the consistency is kinda gross)
So Delicious Coconut Milk - strawberry, strawberry banana. A little gooey but goes down smoothly with a decent taste.
Not a fan of the following because of taste & consistency (I hate when they remind me of boogers): Kite Hill.

Field Roast sausages - Mexican Chipotle flavor
Gardein beefless ground - tastes amazing in stews, tacos, pasta bolognese etc.
The Impossible Burger - I can't believe it. So good.
Marinated firm tofu - game changer. I use all of my spices, including mixes from Flavor God, in the marinating process.

Fresh Thyme's Red Lentil Pasta
*Their pea protein pasta was so nasty (taste and smell). I had to get it out of my apartment ASAP. 😷

Daiya cheddar cheese slices - great grilled cheese sandwiches, flavor is mild-moderate so don't expect intense cheddar flavor
Daiya Cream Cheese spread - mild taste, I enjoy it drizzled with olive oil, salt & pepper, dill and some freshly sliced tomatoes on whole wheat toasted bread.

Zen Almond Milk Chocolate pudding

Bounce Plant Power in Almond Kale - SO GOOD, they sell it in our cafeteria.

Healthy Eating Hacks
Whole Foods Stir Fry Vegetables (Chinese Cuisine) - loaded with different veggies rather than the boring 3 you usually get. It has carrots, snow peas, edamame, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, crimini mushrooms and water chestnuts. Love this! What a time saver for days you work 16-33 hours straight and want something healthy but fast!
Cento San Marzano Tomatoes - Peeled and Whole. Keep these delicious tomatoes in your pantry! This is one of the gold nuggets of a great sauce base. We've always had something similar  & high quality in my family home.

What are some of your favorite veggie alternatives and healthy hacks!?
Come back in a few months to check on updates, and leave some recs below on what I should taste test!


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