These are the vegan products that I use on a regular basis, and that I am absolutely in love with. For veganism, you often come into contact with some pretty 'uh hum' interesting products, but the following are tried and true (as in, I can't live without many of them). Most, if not all of them are 'alternative' type products to regularly used animal variety ones. If you are interested in the Vegan lifestyle, or just want to incorporate some lower in fat, healthier options, try some of these (click on the titles for the website):

EARTH BALANCE SPREADS (butter alternative)
- I use this in recipes that would normally require butter, rather than margarine. It is rich and tasty, just like regular butter but made with heart friendly oils, and soy ingredients.  If you can't live without butter in your life, this is your go-to vegan spread.

Follow Your Heart VEGENAISE
- I can't say enough about this mayonnaise. I love mayonnaise, always have, so I was so happy to find a version of it that was not only animal friendly, but also better for me. I use this in many of my dips and creamy dishes, without noticing a difference. It tastes so good that I literally lick the spoon after I put it into meals (which I never thought or doing, of wanted to do with the regular variety).

Field Roast Grain Inc. FIELD ROAST
- In regards to meat alternatives, for me, this is by FAR the best product out there. It tastes like meatloaf, with a sausage stuffing inside. I was skeptical at first because of the price, but it is well worth the money. It is made out of different types of grains and vegetables, which make it a figure friendly product. Try this if you have ever doubted meat alternatives.

- Delicious. In all honesty, I am not a huge fan of all of the Tofurky products, however, this particular product is a real winner! These are a nod to real bacon in taste, but texture wise these do not mock bacon (I mean, how easy would it be to copy greasy strips?). That being said, these are absolutely delicious, and well worth the money and effort to find them. I pick a package up regularly for sandwiches, and Saturday morning breakfast. My husband loves them (and he's a HUGE bacon fan), so that's saying a lot. These are completely guilt-free, without compromising on taste.

- I kid you not, in regards to 'mocking' meat products, this is one of the best. These trick many a guest who come to my house to enjoy a meal into thinking they are eating REAL chicken. I use these exactly like I would any chicken breast. They look and taste really close to a chicken breast, and can be prepared in all of the same ways. These are ALWAYS in my freezer for a quick and delicious meal. These are low in fat and calories, being vegetable and grain based. Try these, you'll be surprised!

- Another product that I ALWAYS have in my freezer. The entire line of ground rounds (original, Italian and Mexican flavored) are great, depending on what you are making. I seem to use the Mexican one the most, putting it in chillies and nachos. I find this brand really easy to find in regular grocery stores, and easy to integrate into any meal that requires ground beef. *Bonus* it is also quicker to cook with, and much healthier as well. For most of the meals you make, you wouldn't even notice that this wasn't real ground beef.
- I love this as a replacement to cream cheese, in baking and cooking. For bagels, my favorite is the Garlic and Herb flavor, but they also have cool, animal friendly flavors such as Garden Veggie, Herb and Chives, and yes, Smoked Salmon. Because it is soy based, there is a slight 'soy' flavor, but if you are someone who is used to this flavor, than you probably won't notice a difference to regular cream cheese. They also make a great SOUR CREAM product, which is worth checking out as well.

- There are many veggie burgers out there (Boca is another great one) but this is my personal favorite. I wouldn't say it is because it tastes like a meat burger, but more because it has a great unique flavor against some of the other alternatives I have tried. They grill up really easy, and taste great with all of your standard burger toppings, and condiments. I served this to my parents recently and they LOVED them. My mom has been hooked on them since. They also have another great product called "Hickory BBQ Riblets" which tastes delicious, and is fun to try.

Vegan Gourmet (Follow Your Heart) CHEESE ALTERNATIVES
- I will admit, that it has been difficult to find a perfect 'cheese mock'. I am beginning to think that it is an impossible task, and that the real trick is to train my taste-buds out of loving cheese (which isn't good for me anyways). If you want to take a stab at cheese alternatives, this is a good company to start with. I really like their cheese products, but I would be lying if I said they tasted exactly like cheese. My personal favorite is the "Nacho Cheese" flavored, as well as the "Monterey Jack". In my experience, it is difficult to not only find a good alternative cheese product, but also ones that are vegan (seeing as many have milk casein in them; a milk derivative). Vegan Gourmet is safe, in that regards, and is one of the only vegan cheeses that actually melts (many of them don't), making it great for pizzas.


My husband literally goes "Ape" for these. We recently took them on a camping trip to roast over the fire, and he couldn't stop eating them (even though 1 is very filling). He was so happy to be able to eat a vegan meat product that not only tasted like the 'real deal', but also tasted BETTER. No lies, these are the best vegan sausages out there (particularly this flavor). With a beer in hand, he was a very happy camper.
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  1. Can you tell me something about the butter spread? I have been so against margarine for so long that I am "hung up" on this stuff. I just can't seem to get past the fact that it looks just like margarine. I am not vegan but am trying to eat dairy free. I just came across your site through Tasty Kitchen. I was hoping someone who is familiar with this spread might be able to help me understand the difference between it and real margarine.
    (I am new to this, I don't want to offend anyone by my questions but it seems like I tend to do that :( Please know that for what ever reason I come across "mean" in comments and I TOTALLY don't want to. I am just curious about these new-to-me products and wish I could type them out in a more friendly way.)

  2. This is a blurb taken right off the website: "Earth Balance is 100% natural, rich in omega 3's, free of GMO's, trans fats, hygdrogenated oils, and artificial ingredients of any kind". So what does this mean against margarine, quite a lot in fact considering many margarine brands contain some, if not all of these unhealthy components. There is much debate surrounding butter vs margarine, but Earth Balance should not be contained in either of these debates since it is a product on its own. Earth Balance is also different than margarine in that it tastes more like butter (but this is dependent on your personal taste). Also, I think it would be more appropriate to compare Earth Balance to butter (rather than margarine). In doing so, I think you will be surprised on how much healthier it is for you. If you do not enjoy Earth Balance there are several other 'vegan'/ 'dairy-free' butters out there, even some of the more major brands carry them. Hope this helps!


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