For dietary excellence and better affordability, avoiding processed and refined, high fat content foods and sticking with fresh, organic, low fat, preferably locally grown, whole plant-based foods is ideal. Many people find transitioning to vegan eating is easier when using substitutes for their favorite animal products, however, these products are often more expensive than their animal based counter parts, are still refined and processed, and may establish a bad habit of eating a lot of processed foods. Although vegan substitutes may be remarkably healthier from a 0 cholesterol and lack of antibiotics, steroids, hormones, puss, blood, pathogens, bacteria, virus, a lot of different chemicals (dyes, pesticides, herbicides, larvicides, fugicides, fertilizers, cleaners) and violence, and have less saturated fat, and actually has the added benefits of fiber, ligninÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, phytonutrients, antioxidants and water (which most animal products donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t). However, being processed, means they are still not always the healthiest choice. Processed vegan foods are still very capable of having a high fat and sugar content and even a nutritionally deficient and calorically dense reality (Example, Pepsi, pop tarts (not frosted), potato chips, popcorn drenched in a butter substitute oil etc. are all vegan, and they are obviously not healthy). Processed foods definitely fit in the category of "to be used in moderation". To find transitional substitutes, go to the organic section of the conventional grocery store (Giant Eagle, Kroger, MeijerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s) or a more natural/organic foods Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Jungle Jims, The Raisin Rack or other health food stores near you is where you will find these items:
Some easy switches from dairy:
Instead of butter: Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread
Instead of cheese: Follow Your Heart vegan cheese Ã¢â‚¬â€œ several varieties or Teese
Instead of coffee creamer: Silk soy creamer (or mimic cream) is excellent. Plain soy milk doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t compare in coffee.
Instead of cream cheese: tofutti brand better than cream cheese (you can still have your cheese cake!!!)
Instead of heavy cream: Mimic crÃƒÂ¨me by Green Rabbit (almond and cashew crÃƒÂ¨me) also makes ice cream.
Instead of ice cream: Temptation Vegan Ice Cream or Purely Decadent Soy Ice Cream (awesome variety of flavors like chocolate brownie almond, blueberry cheesecake, key lime pie, chocolate peanut butter, cookie dough) There are a litany of options, I may do a separate section just for frozen desert. Chicago Soy Dairy: http://www.chicagosoydairy.com (Teese vegan cheese and Temptation vegan ice cream)
Mimiccream Non Dairy Creamer: http://www.Mimiccreme.com
Instead of mayonnaise: Veganaise (also by Follow Your Heart)
Instead of milk: Soy Milk, Nut Milk (Almond, Hazelnut, Macadamia, Cashew, Hemp) Rice Milk
Instead of pudding: soy pudding (ready made pre-packed or make your own using silken tofu)
Instead of sour cream: tofutti brand better than sour cream (makes amazing onion dip too!)
Instead of whipped cream: Soy Whip by Soyatoo (in spray can or in a carton to use with beaters)
Instead of yogurt: So Delicious Soy Yogurt and other yogurt varieties (there are several)
Other common items:
Instead of bacon Bits: Frontier Ã¢â‚¬Å“BacÃ¢â‚¬â„¢unsÃ¢â‚¬Â
Instead of beef or chicken broth: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Better Than BouillonÃ¢â‚¬Â No Beef or No Chicken Base or you can sub with any vegetable
broth or bouillon. Rapunzel brand is very good veggie broth.
Instead of eggs: Firm tofu for omelets, Ener G Egg Replacer Powder for baking or other egg substitutes
Instead of gelatin: Gefen clear jell desert
Instead of honey: 100% pure maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or agave nectar
Instead of meats (including beef, pork, poultry, sausages and sea foods) see the link:
Luna burgers and sausages (local company): http://www.lunaburger.com/lunaburger/Home.html
http://www.meatalternatives.org/ or you can also find a ton of them at the grocery store in the frozen or refrigerated section:
NateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Meatless Meatballs (I use these for a lot of things Ã¢â‚¬â€œ taco filling; just mash with taco seasoning, also for meatball sandwiches, chili, meat pies, spaghetti sauce) and they also do taquitos- bean, chicken or beef
Tofurky Brand: Turkey deli slices varieties and turkey roast, they also do Italian Sausages and Bratwurst
BBQ Riblets (Garden burger brand), roast there is a vegan celebration roast
Morningstar Farms does a line called Meal Starters that is vegan they have 2- chicken and steak strips- they work well as fajitas, or party platters for Bar-B-Q or hot wings for the chicken and Philly cheese steak sandwiches.
There are many other veggie burger varieties: Garden Burger, Dr. PreggerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s or Sunshine. There are others but they may not be vegan- they like to put eggs or dairy in some of them. Gardien also makes good chicken and beef substitutes. You can still have your hot wings, just buy hot sauce and make your own sauce with earth balance buttery spread. The Morningstar Meal Starter Chicken Strips work well. AmyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Kitchen does several frozen meals- one of my favorites is a breakfast called Tofu Scramble with hash browns and veggies.
Instead of pulled pork: try jackfruit http://vegangelicalsouth.blogspot.com/2008/02/ive-got-your-pulled-pork-right-here.html