Best-Tasting Vegetarian Foods
17 tasty products that fit into a vegetarian diet, plus 4 vegetarian recipes that use them.
Whether you're following a vegetarian diet full-time or part-time, and
whether you're eating more vegetarian foods because of health, budget, or
ethical reasons, you probably want to know which vegetarian products are worth
buying. I’m a practicing "part-time vegetarian," so I have tried all
sorts of non-meat and alternative meat products. Some products I buy again and
again, while for others, one taste was too many.
Vegetarian products generally fit into these categories:
- Meat substitutes, which are made to replace or look like popular meat or
dairy products. Products like soy cheese and vegetarian versions of hot dogs,
breakfast sausages, chicken nuggets, ground beef, and burgers are included in
- Unapologetically vegan foods, which are not meant to look or taste like
meat. This group includes frozen entrees that feature tofu or beans instead of
chicken or beef, for example.
- Foods for lacto-ovo lovers (lacto-ovo vegetarians are those who consume
milk and egg products as well as plant foods). There are many dishes that are
naturally meatless or can be made in a meatless version. Dishes like vegetable
lasagna, cheese pizza, and vegetarian burgers that include cheese would fit
into this grouping.
Thinking back to some of the products I’ve tried over the last couple of
years and including products recommended by friends, here are some of the
best-tasting vegetarian products that can be found in supermarket chains and
specialty markets. Below that, you'll find some vegetarian recipes using these
Best Supermarket Vegetarian Foods
Here are some favorites that are available in most major supermarket
Morningstar Farms Meal Starters. You can use this instead of cooked
ground beef. The first three ingredients listed on the label are textured
vegetable protein, water, and corn oil
How Does It Taste? It has a mild pleasant flavor and seems to work
best when added to a mixed dish like chili, enchiladas, or casseroles.
Nutrition Information: 2/3 cup has 80 calories, 10 g protein, 4 g
carbohydrate, 2.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 240 mg
sodium. Calories from fats: 28%.
Gardenburger Breakfast Sausage (meatless). The first five ingredients
are soy protein concentrate-hydrated, canola oil, ground flaxseed, vegetable
gum, and salt. Each patty contributes .28 grams of plant omega-3s from canola
oil and ground flaxseed.
How Does It Taste? It doesn’t taste like pork sausage, but it's good
for a non-meat sausage. It's even better when you include it in a breakfast
dish with other flavorful ingredients.
Nutrition Information: 1 patty (43 grams) has 45 calories, 5 g
protein, 3 g carbohydrate, 2.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g
fiber, 270 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 50%.
Amy’s Cheese Pizza Pocket Sandwich (contains milk products). The
first five ingredients are organic wheat and whole-wheat flour, part-skim
mozzarella cheese, organic tomato puree, filtered water, and organic
extra-virgin olive oil.