I haven’t bought meat at the grocery store for over a year. And for that time, if there were good vegetarian or vegan options at restaurants I always opted for those. For 2019 I have decided to cut out meat altogether except for the very occasional sushi roll or sandwich (by occasional I mean once a month or less). Baby steps my friends.
Whether you are hoping to slowly phase out animal products like me, or you are just aiming to have a more balanced diet – here are 5 foods that have really helped me stick with it.
- Prairie Bread. All varieties free of eggs and dairy, one variety 100% vegan. Lucky for us, there are vegan and dairy-free breads out there that are just as good as those that aren’t and Prairie Grain Bread is one of them. They are local to Utah, so if you can’t find it in your grocery store, just find a vegan or dairy-free bread that you like! If your family is anything like mine, bread is a staple. So by switching to this bread, we have cut out quite a chunk of milk, butter, and egg consumption. If this bread is available near you, do yourself a favor and try it out! You won’t be disappointed.
2. Popcorners. Vegan, gluten-free, etc, etc, etc, they’re amazing. I discovered these babies on a JetBlue flight probably 3 years ago and have been addicted ever since. The Kettle Corn flavor is what dreams are made of! The reason these made the list is because they have totally replaced my vices of Cheddar & Sour Cream Ruffles and butter-soaked movie popcorn. It makes turning down snacks like those a snap when you have these crunchy, sweet, and salty chips at your disposal.
3. Coconut Milk. Vegan, delicious, comes in a can so it’s easy to have on hand. Coconut milk really came into play once I started trying to cook vegan soups and sauces. Before I knew anything about cooking vegan, I wondered how you could make anything creamy without cream or butter. Enter: coconut milk. As you can see from my picture, I typically just buy what’s on sale and I have yet to have any real preference on brand. I use it the most for making Indian food, soup, and pasta sauces but honestly it’s super versatile and can be used for much more.
4. Sweet Potatoes. Vegan, easy to find, dirt cheap. Sweet potatoes have been indispensable for me to continue not buying meat at the store. Vegan and vegetarian snacks and side dishes are one thing, main dishes can sometimes be a struggle. Sweet potatoes have repeatedly saved the day – by being tacos, enchiladas, twice-baked, and garlic roasted. If you find yourself hesitating to try making dinner without meat, don’t worry – this root has got your back.
5. Boca Burgers. Not vegan, just vegetarian. Or any veggie burger that tickles your fancy – I’ve heard great things about Amy’s Organic veggie burgers which are vegan. Veggie burgers made the list because there simply are just times when I want to eat a burger because it’s been ingrained into my being as an American. Eating a salad and only a salad at BBQs and on Fourth of July just don’t feel right. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a traditional hamburger, veggie burgers are great! There’s a ton out there, and there’s also so many great recipes for homemade ones too. I know Boca Burgers aren’t “top drawer” and aren’t as healthy as homemade – but hey – they keep my occasional burger fever satisfied.
Wherever you are with diet, good luck and I hope this post helps.
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