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One Bite at a Time – Part 6!

By Lindsey Gallagher

Lindsey Gallagher (they/them) is a non-binary nonfiction writer from Shelter Island, New York. They are currently pursuing their MFA at Northern Arizona University. They serve as the Editor-in-Chief of Thin Air Magazine and teach English Composition. Their work can be found in The Oval and The Palhouse Review. Outside of writing, they enjoy running and outdoor adventures of many sorts.

Taste Tests!

Welcome back! This week I’m very excited to take you with me for some taste tests of assorted plant-based products. I put some of my favorite products head-to-head with other brands, and I also tried some new items. It was lots of fun!

Clockwise from the top: Gardein, MorningStar Farms, and Impossible Foods nuggets.

Chicken Nuggets

To start, my partner Rachel and I tested the iconic chicken nugget. For this, we put three versions of plant-based nuggets to the test: MorningStar Farms Veggie Chik’n Nuggets, Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders, and Impossible Foods Chicken Nuggets. We’d both had MorningStar and Gardein before, but we got to put them head to head. And we got to try Impossible’s nuggets for the first time!

We assessed seven different criteria to determine the all-around winner. These included:

  • Flavor of the “meat” – the seasoning of the inner meat and an answer to the basic question: does this taste good, or does it taste like chemicals? 
  • Flavor of the breading – the seasoning in the breading and if it had that rich saltiness we so crave
  • Texture of the “meat” – how moist it felt and its composure (was it stringy, firm, chewy, tender?)
  • Texture of the breading – how crunchy and crispy it was
  • How chicken-like – how well the nugget mimicked a nugget made of real chicken meat, which is a sort of combination of the texture and the flavor of the “meat”
  • Protein content – how much protein was packed into the nugget
  • Value – the cost per ounce of nugget

The flavor of the “meat,” flavor of the breading, texture of the “meat,” texture of the breading, and how chicken-like were all scored on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best and 1 the worst. The protein content and value I also scored from best to worst but with a slightly different point system. The one with the most protein per serving got 10 points, 2nd most got 5 points, and worst got 0 points. Similarly, the one with the lowest cost per ounce got 10 points, 2nd lowest got 5 points, and lowest got 0 points. By adding all of these scores together I came up with the nugget’s overall score, which ranged from 0 to 70 points.

Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders

The first nugget we tried, though technically it was a tender, was the Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tender. True to form, these were longer tenders rather than the more circular nugget. The breading on the Gardein was much lighter in color and thinner than the others. You could also see the diversity of grains, with a few visible whole oats. Trying the tender, Rachel was delighted by the texture, which was firm and tender. She also enjoyed the rich variety of seasonings in the breading. She found it had a good taste, but it only did an okay job mimicking chicken. For me, this tender was relatively bland. The texture of the “meat” was fine—nice and tender—but the flavor was forgettable. In terms of the breading, I found there was very little, and it lacked that desirable salty crunch. On another note, these nuggets took far longer to cook and get crispy than the others. Overall, the Gardein was average. I would certainly eat it again, but it wasn’t great. In terms of the protein content there is 7.8 grams of nugget for every gram of protein. For value, these tenders cost 55 cents per ounce. 

Impossible Foods Chicken Nugget

Next in our test was the Impossible nugget. Rachel absolutely loved this nugget, giving it 8s across the board. She said the “meat” very closely resembled chicken meat in texture and taste. She also enjoyed the breading and the satisfying crunch. I, however, was not partial to the Impossible nugget. The “meat” had a pronounced chemical aftertaste that really ruined the whole nugget for me. The texture was like chicken but that wasn’t enough for me to like it. The breading tasted fine but it was less thick and flavorful than MorningStar Farm’s. I wouldn’t pick this nugget to try again, but Rachel absolutely would. In terms of protein content there are 7.3 grams of nugget for every gram of protein and it costs 54 cents per ounce of nugget.

MorningStar Farms Veggie Chik’n Nugget

Our final nugget was MorningStar Farms. For Rachel this nugget was forgettable, as the Gardein was for me. She thought the textures were working for both the “meat” and breading, but the flavor was lacking. In terms of mirroring chicken, for Rachel, this nugget did the worst job of the three. MorningStar Farms has been my favorite nugget for a while, and it was not outmatched in this test. I still feel that this nugget has the best flavor—a non-chemical tasting “meat” and a well-seasoned breading. The “meat” is dense and tender and bites like a piece of chicken and the breading is perfectly crunchy and crisp. This nugget will still be my tried and true and I genuinely think they are delicious. MorningStar Farm also outperformed the other two for both protein content and value: every 6.6 grams of nugget contained a gram of protein and it costs only 44 cents per ounce which is 10 cents less per ounce than the other two!

MorningStar FarmsGardeinImpossible Foods
Flavor of “meat”Rachel- 4, Lindsey- 8Rachel- 8, Lindsey- 5Rachel- 8, Lindsey- 3
Flavor of breadingRachel- 4, Lindsey- 9Rachel- 8, Lindsey- 5 Rachel- 8, Lindsey- 7
Texture of “meat”Rachel- 7, Lindsey- 8Rachel- 8, Lindsey- 5Rachel- 8, Lindsey- 8
Texture of breadingRachel- 7, Lindsey- 9Rachel- 8, Lindsey- 4Rachel- 8, Lindsey- 7
How chicken-likeRachel- 4, Lindsey- 7Rachel- 6, Lindsey- 4Rachel- 8, Lindsey- 8
Protein content Every 6.6 grams has 1g protein – 10 pointsEvery 7.8 grams has 1g protein – 0 pointsEvery 7.3 grams has 1g protein – 5 points
Value (cost per ounce)44¢ – 10 points55¢ – 0 points54¢ – 5 points
Overall (out of 70)Rachel- 46, Lindsey- 61 Rachel- 38, Lindsey- 23Rachel- 50, Lindsey, 43
Putting all of our ratings together

The clear winner of the nugget challenge depends on the taste tester. Rachel, who eats chicken and has a better familiarity with its flavor and texture than I do at this point, loved the Impossible nuggets. I loved the MorningStar Farms nuggets because their flavor was superior to the Impossible nuggets, which had a chemical aftertaste to me. I also feel MorningStar has the best breading. For me, it was less important that the nugget mimic chicken closely; I just wanted a solid-tasting nugget with a crunchy and well-seasoned breading. Rachel cared much more about how well the nugget mimicked chicken and was impressed by how well Impossible did that. She said if you gave her a chicken nugget and an Impossible nugget she would be hard-pressed to tell the difference. Rachel would happily eat Impossible nuggets as a substitute for chicken nuggets. In terms of the loser on the taste and texture-based fronts, Rachel disliked MorningStar Farm’s the most and I disliked Gardein’s the most. When it comes to criteria that doesn’t depend on flavor or texture, which are subjective, there is a clear winner and loser. MorningStar Farms was the most protein dense and it had the best value by a large margin. Gardein however, had the worst protein content and it also cost the most (by a slim margin over Impossible). 

A new snack!

This wasn’t a test pitting one snack against another, but I did try a new vegan snack product to share with you: Spudsy Sweet Potato Puffs in the Cheezy Cheddar flavor. I purchased these to see how they hold up to Hippeas Chickpea Puffs (vegan white cheddar flavor), which I think are the golden standard for vegan cheese puffs. Hippeas are incredibly light and airy and their flavor is truly cheesy. They are delightful. Unfortunately, the Spudsy puffs did not hold up. These puffs are crunchier and harder, lacking airiness. In terms of the flavor, I didn’t taste sweet potato at all. And the cheese wasn’t good either—it was super chemical-tasting and pretty awful, honestly. It reminded me of the flavor of Kraft mac & cheese. This may be a controversial opinion, but I used to hate Kraft because the cheese tasted so chemically to me. I would not recommend buying this product, and I’m glad I could save you the effort of trying them yourself. Like any other food, not all plant-based food is necessarily good. Mimicking dairy cheese still seems to present a challenge for many plant-based companies. Still, it is very fun to experiment and try new products yourself! If you’re looking for a cheese puff Hippeas Chickpea Puffs reign supreme!

Protein Bars

I was very excited to try some new plant-based protein bars this week, as it’s often hard with my allergy to find ones that I can eat and have a decent flavor. 

First, I tried a peanut butter chocolate protein ProBar. This bar was coated in chocolate and had a rice-krispie-like filling. It was soft to bite, but the krispies made for a pleasant crunch, too. The overpowering flavor of the bar was the chocolate, which I, a chocolate-lover, enjoyed. The peanut-butter krispie inside had less of a pronounced flavor. All in all, this was a very solid bar—it wasn’t chemical-tasting, and it didn’t have that icky protein powder flavor that really turns me away. Certainly not the tastiest thing ever, but I would certainly buy this again if I was looking for a protein-rich snack.

Since nutritional quality seems to be a factor in many people’s choices for protein bars, I wanted to include some of the basic nutrition facts for this bar:

  • Calories: 280 (70g)
  • Protein: 20g (1g protein = 3.5g of bar)
  • Fat: 9g total (4g saturated fat, 0g trans fat)
  • Sodium: 390mg
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Dietary Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 12g (11g of which are added)
  • Iron: 3mg (15% of daily value)

Then I tried a peanut butter chocolate chip No Cow protein bar. This bar was not for me. The No Cow bar was smaller than the Probar and much thinner. It did not have a coating; it was simply a soft bar with chocolate chips mixed in. The overpowering flavor of the bar was the taste of protein powder, which isn’t desirable at all (at least to me). The chocolate chips were hardly noticeable. I think the worst thing about this bar was the soft texture and lack of crunch. It didn’t feel like I was eating a solid, rather something in between a solid and a liquid. That in itself prevented me from taking a second bite. As you can guess, I will not be buying this again. 

As for the nutrition facts for this bar, here they are:

  • Calories: 200 (60g)
  • Protein: 20g (1g protein = 3g of bar)
  • Fat: 5g total (2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat)
  • Sodium: 220mg
  • Carbohydrates: 26g
  • Dietary Fiber: 15g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Iron: 3mg (15% of daily value)

Nutritionally, the No Cow bar has more protein per gram and much less sodium (170mg) than the ProBar. For those who care about the sugar content, the No Cow bar also wins there with 11 grams less than the ProBar. However, in the absence of sugar, No Cow is sweetened with artificial sweeteners Erythritol and Stevia, which have some potentially adverse health effects. Of course, all of us will have individual preferences for our protein bars, but at the most basic level the No Cow bar has more protein per gram. 

On another note, like many plant-based bars these guys are expensive. I paid just shy of $3 for each of these. Certainly, buying in bulk makes it slightly more affordable but these would still put a dent in your grocery budget. There are much cheaper ways to get your protein in!


To end the testing, I tried two different brands of vegan chocolate chip cookies, which are one of my favorite desserts.

To start I had the Made Good chocolate chip cookies, which are mini cookies. The cool thing about Made Good cookies is that they contain a number of vegetables, which add vitamins and minerals. These cookies have extracts from spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, and shiitake mushrooms. You might be thinking that sounds like a sub-par cookie. However, you really don’t taste these veggies at all! These particular cookies are crunchy (and perhaps a bit dry) but I found they have the right combo of cookie to chocolate. They are sweet but not too sweet. They reminded me a lot of mini Chips Ahoy! cookies. I very much enjoyed the size and these could have great versatility as a topping or add-in for other baked treats. I would happily buy these again! Made Good has a lot of other great products, like granola bars, crackers, crispy squares, and more, too. I highly recommend you check them out!

I also tried Back to Nature Homestyle Soft Baked Chocolate Chunk Cookies. These cookies came in a more traditional size. Since these were soft baked, they were obviously soft, which is my preferred texture for cookies. These cookies were also a bit dry, but they had a lot of chocolate to make up for that. Still, I didn’t like the flavor of the cookie itself—it reminded me of the flavor of protein powder, which is not what I want in a cookie. I don’t think I would buy these again. 


I hope you enjoyed coming along on these taste tests with me. Now it’s time for you to get out there, experiment, and try new things. It’s much more fun when you get to do the tasting yourself!

Stay tuned next week to hear about some common questions and challenges new plant-based eaters may have, along with my answers and advice!

A small note: next week’s post will come out early, on Thursday, as I have an adjustment in my schedule. 

Thanks for reading!

Lindsey 🙂

Recipe of the Week: Stuffed Sweet Potato!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned Purple Carrot as a great resource for someone new to plant-based diets. While Purple Carrot is a meal delivery service, all of their recipes are accessible online for free! This recipe for stuffed sweet potato with cucumber chickpea salad and miso tahini is one of my Purple Carrot favorites. I never would’ve thought up a combination like this and the miso tahini makes this a phenomenally umami dish! On top of this, this meal is packed with nutrients! Try it out here!

One Bite at a Time – Part 5!

By Lindsey Gallagher

Lindsey Gallagher (they/them) is a non-binary nonfiction writer from Shelter Island, New York. They are currently pursuing their MFA at Northern Arizona University. They serve as the Editor-in-Chief of Thin Air Magazine and teach English Composition. Their work can be found in The Oval and The Palhouse Review. Outside of writing, they enjoy running and outdoor adventures of many sorts.

Plant-based Staples

Welcome back! This week it’s time to explore some (but certainly not all) plant-based staples to fill your fridge and pantry with for a successful journey as a plant-based eater! Let’s jump right in!


  • Rice – All rice (brown, white, basmati, arborio, etc.) in its basic form is vegan!
  • Farro – An ancient grain of three wheat species that has a nutty flavor and chewy texture. It is a great source of fiber, iron, protein, and magnesium. 
  • Quinoa – Technically, a seed, but classified as a whole-grain, quinoa is unique from many plant-based foods in that it is a complete protein (i.e., it contains all the essential amino acids). Quinoa has the highest protein content of any grain! It is also full of antioxidants and a great source of folate, iron, thiamine, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Even better, because it’s so tiny, quinoa is incredibly versatile (you can easily add it to smoothies, desserts, salads, soups, etc.)!
  • Bulgar wheat – Another ancient whole grain, bulgur is light and nutty, sort of like couscous. A great source of fiber, manganese, magnesium, and iron. 
  • Pasta – Most store-bought pastas are already vegan (Barilla, De Cecco, store brands, etc.). However, if you’re looking for a more nutritionally dense pasta, there are plenty of plant-based options! This includes Banza, a chickpea-based pasta full of protein, or Explore Cuisine’s Edamame pasta, also high in protein. There are also lentil and pea pastas that offer more protein than conventional pasta. Try out some different ones to figure out which variety you most enjoy!
  • Soba noodles – These Japanese noodles, typically made from buckwheat, flour, salt, and water, are vegan! These make a great base in many meals!
  • Rice noodles – These noodles, made from rice and water, are also vegan and great for Asian cuisine. 
Nothing beats a bowl of oats! Source
  • Oats – To me, there is no better breakfast than a bowl of oats. A little bit of oatmeal goes a long way, and there are so many ways to change the flavor with add-ons. If you don’t like oatmeal, you can add oats to so many other things, like baked goods, and they always enhance the flavor! Oats are a great source of fiber and beneficial to heart health as well!
  • Bread – Bread is something you will want to always check the label on because different kinds and brands of bread vary in ingredients. Some breads that are commonly vegan are sourdough, pita, Ezekiel, ciabatta, and baguettes. If you haven’t ever tried it, Ezekiel Bread is delicious because it’s packed with whole grains that give it a rich, hearty flavor (always found in the freezer aisle). 

An aside on honey: Since we’re talking about bread, which often includes honey, we’ll talk about honey. Honey is one of the most contentious foods when it comes to a plant-based diet. It’s generally accepted that honey is not plant-based because it is an animal product. However, some vegans do consume honey. Every person will have to make this choice on their own. From my perspective, it is a very small thing to fuss over. I used to not consume honey on my vegan diet, but as I’ve come to embrace more flexibility, I don’t mind having things that are sweetened with honey here and there. As you make your own choice, just be aware that quite a lot of bread, snacks, and desserts are sweetened with honey, and it can be difficult to accommodate this all the time.

  • Cereal – fortified cereals are great for plant-based eaters because they contain some of the vitamins and minerals that are harder to come by in plant-based products. Cheerios (my favorite), for instance, are fortified with Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Thiamin, and Vitamin B12, to name just some. Use labels at the grocery store to find fortified cereal you’ll like!
All of the vitamins and minerals in a 1 ½-cup serving of Original Cheerios! 


Flour, like grains (and because it comes from grains), is vegan, so you have many options here! You can turn almost any grain into flour, and if you have a blender, you can even do this from home. Some of your options include:

  • Whole wheat flour
  • White flour
  • Oat flour 
  • Almond flour
  • Rye flour
  • Buckwheat flour
  • Semolina flour
  • Gluten-free flour
  • Rice flour
  • Corn flour
  • Chickpea flour (works great for veggie burgers)


So many beans to choose from! Source

Like grains and flour, all beans and legumes, in their natural form, are vegan! Beans and legumes will also be an important source of protein on a plant-based diet! Since these are a major protein source for plant-based eaters, I’ll include the protein content of each one (per a half-cup serving), which I pulled directly from the packages on these items in my pantry. Do note that there are many other nutritional and health benefits besides the protein content, though.

  • Black Beans – 8g
  • Kidney Beans – 7g
  • Great Northern Beans – 6g
  • Cannellini Beans – 7g
  • Lima Beans- 6g
  • Pinto Beans – 6g
  • Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas) – 6g
  • Peas – 3g
  • Lentils – 7g
  • Peanuts – 8g per 1 oz, Peanut butter – 7g per 2 tbsp
  • Edamame – 6.5g 


Minimally processed protein sources:

  • Tofu – This soy-based protein is one of the most versatile plant-based foods. It will absorb any flavor! 3 ounces of firm tofu has 7 grams of protein!
  • Tempeh – This soy-based complete protein is more dense than tofu and holds a nuttier taste. It also has a great protein content, with 18 grams from a 3-ounce serving. 
  • Seitan – This is a plant-based protein made of vital wheat gluten that is great for mimicking the texture of chicken. Only two ounces of seitan has 18 grams of protein! 
A delicious tofu bowl! Source

Protein sources that are more processed:

There are a number of companies that make mock meats with a flavor and texture that closely resemble animal-based meat. Many of these products are delicious and I would certainly recommend checking them out, but it’s also important to keep in mind that these are often ultra-processed and may not be the smartest choice health-wise as your main protein source. Of course, any protein is better than none, so there’s no need to completely avoid these. Just keep moderation in mind!

  • Gardein makes a variety of plant-based meats (and even some soups!), all of which are vegan. They have everything from chicken tenders and chicken nuggets to turkey cutlets to wings to meatballs to sausages to burgers to ground beef to fish filets to complete plant-based meals to chicken noodle soup. Another benefit is that many of these products also have a solid amount of protein. The ultimate plant-based burger, for example, has 20 grams of protein. I haven’t tried all of their products but I certainly love the seven grain crispy tenders, which have 10 grams of protein for 3 pieces. 
  • MorningStar Farms, like Gardein, makes a variety of plant-based alternatives to animal-based meat products. They have burgers, breakfast sausage and sandwiches, chik’n and waffles, hot dogs, corn dogs, pizza bites, and chorizo crumbles, to name a few of their products. I should also let you know that not all of MorningStar’s products are completely vegan, many are only vegetarian, so do check the label to make sure the product aligns with your diet. My personal favorite of their products are the Original Chik Patties and Chik’n Nuggets. 
  • Field Roast is a plant-based company making meats and cheese (Chao Creamery). Some of their “meat” products include sausages, appetizers like BBQ bites, hot dogs, various flavors of deli slices, pepperoni, and even roasts! In terms of cheese, they have shreds, slices, and blocks in a variety of flavors from creamy original to Mexican style blend to tomato cayenne to smoky original. My favorite of their products (though I will admit I haven’t tried the cheeses) are the Italian Garlic & Fennel and Apple & Sage Sausages. These are both so flavorful and, being made from vital wheat gluten, have a lot of protein (1 sausage has 25 grams)! My partner who isn’t vegan often prefers these sausages to animal-based ones!
Some Italian Garlic & Fennel Field Roast sausages! Source
  • Impossible Foods is a company you’ve probably heard of as they tend to be the more widely known, and it’s usually Impossible Food products that fast-food and chain restaurants turn to when adding plant-based items to their menu. Like the other companies, they have a variety of products from burgers to sausage to pork to premade meals. I’ve only ever had the Impossible burger, something that I would not repeat, because it actually tasted far too much like animal-meat and freaked me out. But if you’re a plant-based eater missing your meat, Impossible’s products are incredibly similar in flavor (and especially texture) to animal-meat.
  • Beyond Meat, similar to Impossible Foods, has plant-based products that are extremely similar to animal-meat. Beyond Meat has most of the same products that all the others have like sausages, burgers, and chicken products, but they also have some unique ones like steak and jerky (in three flavors). 
  • Soy milk – This is a nice milk alternative because it has a comparable protein content to dairy milk. In terms of protein content this is the best plant-based milk. 1 cup of soy milk has 7 grams of protein (for reference, 1 cup of whole cow milk has 8 grams of protein). 
  • Oat milk – This is another option as a milk substitute, but it doesn’t have quite as much protein as soy milk (only 3 grams in 1 cup). If you are hoping to get protein from your milk, I’d recommend soy milk. But oat milk is still delicious!
  • There’s also almond and cashew milk. I’ve never had either of these because of my nut allergy, but they are still viable options for those without nut allergies! Almond milk has only 1 gram of protein in a cup. I should also remind you that almonds have one of the highest water footprints, so if you’re plant-based for environmental reasons you might want to avoid almond milk. Cashew milk is also low in protein with less than 1 gram of protein per cup. 


Chia seed pudding! Source
  • Chia seeds – Chia seeds come from Salvia hispanica, a flowering plant native to Mexico. These little seeds are nutritionally packed—they’re not a superfood for nothing! Just 2.5 tablespoons of chia seeds has 5 grams of protein. They are also one of the best plant-based sources for omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are exceptionally versatile, too. You can add them to just about any recipe, like baked goods or oatmeal. When combined with milk, you can create chia pudding. And if you combine one tablespoon of chia seeds with two tablespoons of water and let it sit for a few minutes, the seeds will absorb the water making a great egg substitute or binder for baking.
  • Hemp seeds – Another superfood, hemp seeds have 9.5 grams of protein in 3 tablespoons (they are also a complete protein). Like chia seeds, they contain omega-3 fatty acids along with a number of other minerals and vitamins. 
  • Flax seeds – These seeds pack a nutritional punch, too! Although not as high in protein, flax seeds contain many vitamins and minerals (particularly thiamine, copper, and manganese). They also contain omega-3 fatty acids. Like chia seeds, when combined with water, these make a great egg substitute or binder for baking. Generally, ground flax seeds are better than whole seeds because your body can more easily absorb the nutrients they provide. 
  • Sesame seeds – These little seeds carry a number of health benefits and they have delightful flavor. If you love sesame seeds you should try tahini, which is ground sesame seeds (as peanut butter is to peanuts). Tahini is an essential ingredient in hummus and works great in sauces!
  • Nuts (Almonds and almond butter, cashews, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, etc.) – These are great sources of fat (which you need!) and they also have some protein.
    • As I’ve mentioned, I am unfortunately allergic to nuts (though I can enjoy pine nuts.) However, you will find that nuts, mostly cashews, are used as a base in many vegan cheese products and recipes. According to my family, cashew cheese is delicious, so it’s worth giving a try!


No produce is off limits! Enjoy as many fruits and veggies as you want! And make sure you get in some avocado for some healthy and essential fat!



Country Crock Plant Butter with Olive Oil!

There are many brands of vegan butter and I find that almost all of them melt, spread, and taste like dairy butter. I actually think that plant-based butter tastes better than dairy butter! Personally, I love Earth Balance but I’ve recently enjoyed Country Crock Plant Butter. To learn more, here’s a review of the many vegan butters.


Where do I even begin with cheese? I could make a whole post exclusively about cheese because, well, who doesn’t love cheese! I do feel it important to note that all vegan cheeses are highly processed so don’t make them the base of your diet. Still, absolutely enjoy these because cheese is amazing and makes everything so much better. It’s so important that you actually enjoy your plant-based meals, and if cheese helps you do that, then embrace it! There are so many brands and varieties of vegan cheese, which is exciting but also a little overwhelming. After my experience tasting a number of them, I’ve found that the quality of the cheese varies greatly. In order to find ones that fit your preferences the best thing to do is really experiment and taste test yourself. To start, here’s a list of the many that I know of:

  • Go Veggie
  • Tofutti
  • Babybel
  • Laughing Cow
  • Chao Creamery
  • Kite Hill
  • Miyoko’s
  • Nurishh
  • Earth Grown
  • Violife
  • Boursin
  • Treeline Cheese
  • So Delicious

**If you have a nut allergy make sure you check the label when testing cheese! Some of these are nut-based!

And here’s my favorites: 

  • Follow Your Heart is my absolute favorite brand to go to for vegan cheese. I am a religious buyer of this stuff. Growing up a parmesan lover, their shredded and grated parmesan have been a lifesaver. The flavor, texture, and meltability is impressive and mirrors real parmesan pretty closely. They also have mozzarella and cheddar shreds, slices in six varieties, bleu cheese, and feta cheese. Of all their cheese, I find that the parmesan is best in terms of resembling dairy cheese, but I would also highly recommend their feta crumbles. 
Follow Your Heart, the best cheese in the game!
  • Daiya is my other favorite brand for vegan cheese. They also have many varieties like Follow Your Heart. I would say the flavor of their cheese is slightly below Follow Your Heart, but Daiya really stands out in its meltability (Follow Your Heart does melt just not quite as well/fast). The first time I had Daiya mozzarella shreds on a pizza I thought I had grabbed a non-vegan slice! Daiya also has a number of other vegan products (mac & cheese, pizzas, desserts, etc.) that are worth checking out!

Other dairy products 

Most of the brands I listed for cheese also make other dairy-based products in plant-based form like veganaise (vegan mayo), cream cheese, salad dressings, yogurt, sour cream, and more. I haven’t tasted these products much, so I’ll leave the tasting and reviewing to you!


In terms of snacks, you will find that almost everything has a plant-based version. One of my favorite veganized snacks is Hippeas Chickpea puffs, which resemble Pirate’s Booty and Cheetos Puffs. Hippeas puffs are light and incredibly cheesy! 

There are a number of snacks that are already plant-based, too. These include:

  • Rice cakes, which are great for spreading hummus, peanut butter, or jam on.
  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Nabisco Original Graham Crackers
  • Guacamole (I did have one instance where guacamole had sour cream, but this was rather rare. In general, guacamole is a safe bet!)
  • Hummus
  • A number of chips (most original flavors are vegan), including tortilla chips, potato chips, Fritos, and Stacy’s Pita chips.
  • A number of granola/protein bars. I love Lara Bars for a hearty snack, though these are not protein dense. Here’s a great review of 18 different vegan protein bars.
Lara Bars, a delicious and filling date-based snack!


  • Miso paste – Miso paste is made from soybeans that are fermented with salt and a koji starter. The best way to describe its flavor is very salty but wonderfully umami. The greatest benefit of miso is that the fermentation process makes it rich with probiotics that are excellent for gut health. Miso works well as a soup base, in risotto, in sauces, or in marinades.
  • JUST Egg – This liquid product is an egg substitute made of mung beans that can be scrambled, made in omelets, or used for baking. Like animal eggs, it also has protein. One serving of JUST Egg has the same amount of protein as a chicken egg (6 grams)! This product does a great job of mimicking the texture of eggs. However, even though the flavor is decent, it’s certainly not the same as a chicken egg.
  • Nutritional yeast – This food is sold in flakes (it resembles fish food) and has a wonderful cheesy taste. As I mentioned last week, it is an excellent source of Vitamin B12 for plant-based eaters. This can be sprinkled on almost anything or included in bakes, sauces, and much more!
  • Applesauce – If you don’t have JUST Egg or chia seeds, applesauce makes a great egg alternative for baking. 


As with the snacks, most animal-based desserts can be found in a plant-based version. Excitingly, more and more grocery stores, bakeries, ice cream parlors, and other treat shops are adding plant-based products to their menus! Here are some of the best widely available desserts that I’ve discovered as a vegan (the best of the best I’ve found in local and small businesses):

  • Enjoy Life makes a number of plant-based snacks and desserts like cookies, brownie bites, chocolate, breakfast bars, dessert bites, and chips. Their semi-sweet chocolate chips are wonderful, closely mirroring the flavor of milk chocolate and melting like it too. I also recommend their soft-baked snickerdoodle cookies! 
  • Ice cream is similar to cheese in that there are so many plant-based brands and varieties. Most of the dessert section will cover ice cream because I’m writing this, and ice cream is my favorite dessert. So, sorry if you don’t like ice cream… For plant-based ice cream there are a number of bases, most commonly coconut, nuts (mostly cashews and almonds), and oats. There are also more obscure bases like soy and avocado. My personal favorite are the oat-based ice creams, as I don’t like coconut and obviously can’t have nuts. Here are my favorites:
    • Oatly has chocolate, vanilla, and so many other great flavors of ice cream! I find that Oatly has the richest flavor of the plant-based ice creams I’ve tried and very closely resembles (in flavor and consistency) dairy-based ice cream. Oatly is also a big seller of oat milk, and dairy-free yogurt. 
    • Planet Oat also makes ice cream. I find that their ice cream is less flavorful and sometimes tastes watery. It’s not bad, just not as rich as Oatly. However, Planet Oat’s chocolate chip cookie dough is amazing; it is far superior to Oatly’s chocolate chip cookie dough.
A big bowl of Planet Oat chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, Oreos, strawberries, and melted Enjoy Life chocolate!
  • Tofutti Cuties, tofu-based ice cream sandwiches, are a must try. It sounds strange but these little sandwiches are phenomenal (though hard to find). I was actually introduced to these when I was a kid by my aunt who lives in Brooklyn. After my sister and I first tried them, every time we visited my aunt it became a tradition to go to the market and buy some Tofutti Cuties. Perhaps I love these because they have sentimental value, but I really do think they’re delicious!
  • Other ice cream giants like Ben & Jerry’s have lots of plant-based ice creams (these are nut-based, so I can’t say anything about their quality), and recently Häagen-Dazs has stepped into the vegan game. 
  • Other plant-based ice creams include Nada Moo, So Delicious, jeni’s, and Favorite Day, among others.
  • A small bit of sad news: I have yet to find a plant-based ice cream that comes in a size bigger than a pint! And plant-based ice cream is alarmingly expensive 🙁 
  • Ice cream is not the only dessert that’s plant-based, though! There are plant-based cookies, cakes, pies, brownies, cheesecakes, muffins, fudge, and anything else you could think of! In fact, most desserts are easy to make plant-based because you just have to switch cow milk for plant-based milk, dairy butter for plant-based butter, and egg with an egg replacer! 
  • VegNews has a whole article on cookies that are accidentally vegan. The exciting news: Oreos, Nutter Butters, some Girl Scout cookies, Fig Newtons, Biscoff cookies, and Teddy Grahams are vegan!!!
  • Before you give your money to these large brands, though, be sure to check ice cream parlors, bakeries, and sweet shops local to you. Support the small businesses that are embracing plant-based options!


Whew! That was a lot of listing! I hope you are ready to try some new foods! Enjoy the tasting!

Stay tuned next week to join me in taste testing some plant-based products!

Thanks for reading!

-Lindsey 🙂

Recipe of the Week: Chocolate Pie!

Since I’m talking about dessert, this week I will share one of my favorite vegan desserts! My partner made this for me as a surprise one day. I absolutely loved it, and we’ve made it many times since! This pie is tofu-based but you don’t taste the tofu; you just taste the chocolate! The rich and creamy chocolate filling pairs perfectly with the crust. Head on over to chocolatecoveredkatie.com to treat your tastebuds!

One Bite at a Time – Part 4!

By Lindsey Gallagher

Lindsey Gallagher (they/them) is a non-binary nonfiction writer from Shelter Island, New York. They are currently pursuing their MFA at Northern Arizona University. They serve as the Editor-in-Chief of Thin Air Magazine and teach English Composition. Their work can be found in The Oval and The Palhouse Review. Outside of writing, they enjoy running and outdoor adventures of many sorts.

Becoming Plant-based!

Welcome back! Last week we explored the many benefits of a plant-based diet. Now, it’s time to actually talk about making the switch!

Forms of plant-based diets

When considering a move toward a plant-based diet, recall that there are a number of different forms, including (in order from most to least strict in terms of what foods are consumed):

  • Plant-based: a diet that is mostly made up of vegetables, grains, and other foods that come from plants instead of animal products. 
  • Mediterranean Diet: a diet that focuses on fruit, veggies, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seafood, and olive oil. Animal products such as dairy, eggs, and poultry are included (in moderation). Red and processed meats are also included but rarely. 
  • Flexitarian: a diet that mostly excludes meat and seafood. Flexitarians limit their consumption of meat but may still have it sometimes. For example, flexitarians may do “meatless Mondays” or save eating meat for the weekends. 
  • Pescetarian: a diet that excludes meat but includes seafood and fish. 
  • Vegetarian: a diet that excludes meat and seafood. A vegetarian diet can be broken down in a few different ways:
    • Lacto-ovo-vegetarian: A vegetarian diet that includes dairy and eggs.
    • Lacto-vegetarian: A vegetarian diet that includes dairy but not eggs.
    • Ovo-vegetarian: A vegetarian diet that includes eggs but not dairy.
  • Vegan: a diet that excludes all foods that come from animals (such as meat, dairy, eggs, and, for some, honey).

How do you decide?

There are many plant-based diet options, and it can be overwhelming to decide which one to select. As you are thinking things over, use these questions to help: 

  1. What is your why? Why are you interested in adopting a plant-based diet? Is it for environmental reasons? Health reasons? For animal rights? Something else? What is your ultimate goal? (Not just I’d like to be vegan, but what changes would you like to see in your life, whether that’s physically, mentally, philosophically, etc.)?
  1. What is your starting point? How often and how much meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs do you consume? Take stock of your last week of eating—how many of those meals included animal products? Once you have this number, you will have a sense of how heavily you rely on animal products. From here you can make a sustainable plan for transitioning to a plant-based diet. For example, if 15 of your 21 meals last week included animal products you might try cutting that number by three meals each week if you want to reach your goal more quickly or just cutting one meal per week if you want to take your time. Knowing that most of your meals include animal products tells you that you probably won’t want to stop eating these foods abruptly, but rather phase them out over time.
  1. Do you have any health conditions (including mental health conditions) that could create complications with a particular diet? While there are health benefits to a plant-based diet, that doesn’t mean that it can’t create issues depending on your individual needs. I am not a medical professional, so if you are considering the switch but have pre-existing conditions, you should talk to your healthcare provider or see a dietician first. For example, I have a nut allergy and I had no idea how this would become a pretty major complication for me as a vegan when I first started. Unfortunately for me, many vegan dairy alternatives, like ice cream and especially cheese, use nuts. Many times, I’ve been excited about a vegan option at a restaurant or a new product at the grocery store only to learn that it includes nuts, and then I can’t enjoy it! Luckily, I’ve found things that work for me, but there are still frustrating moments. And, ultimately, my options are much more limited than vegans without nut allergies, so it would’ve been nice to know this before I began my journey. 
The Vertical Diner, a vegan diner with locations in Salt Lake City, Utah and Portland, Oregon! Source
  1. What accessibility do you have to plant-based products? Where can you get the alternatives that you will want? Certain places, usually rural ones, have a much more limited offering of plant-based products (mostly meat and dairy alternatives, as produce, grains, legumes, and nuts tend to be available even in the smallest grocery stores). 

Remember: no single form of a plant-based diet is “best.” The best one is the one that is sustainable for you and works in the context of your life. Hopefully these questions help you to see how to make a plant-based diet work best for you!

My top tips

Now let’s consider my top tips for a successful transition to a plant-based diet. These are based largely on my experience and what I’ve learned over the years in my own plant-based journey! 

Tip 1: Start small

When I went vegetarian, I did it all at once. Granted, I did have less meat because of the road trip I took in the month leading up when I changed my diet. Still, I went from meat to no meat at all. When I started, I knew very little about protein-rich vegetarian options to replace meat-based protein sources. I had only eaten tofu once or twice before and knew nothing about how to prepare it. I didn’t even know what seitan or tempeh, staple plant-based proteins, were. Instead of preparing ahead of time with research, I jumped right in, figuring things out as I went. Luckily, I did have my sister along for the journey with me. After a few weeks, I consulted my aunt, who had been a pescatarian for years. She offered recommendations on some of her favorite meat substitutes. However, living on a small island with one grocery store, our options were rather limited in terms of what was available. Back then, tofu was really the only thing the store reliably carried. 

When I went vegan six months later, I did the same thing I did as a new vegetarian: I jumped right in. At that point, I was primarily doing it for environmental reasons and really didn’t care how it might impact my nutritional needs. I did little research and had little idea of what would replace dairy in my diet, which was then a big part of it. And vegan was a word I had heard and come to understand less than a year before!

I set a date with my sister to start our vegan journey. It was right before Christmas and I remember my mom telling us we should wait until after the holidays, as it would be hard with all the gatherings. But we did not heed her advice; we were determined to start as soon as possible even if that meant we had to make most of our own food to bring to holiday gatherings, which we did. In the days leading up to the vegan start date, I remember eating lots of dairy because I knew I would miss it a lot. Almost all of my favorite things included dairy: pasta with parmesan, cheddar and crackers, bean and rice burritos loaded with sour cream and cheese, and ice cream. Pretty much everything I ate had either parmesan or cheddar on it. When I went vegan, I missed these things a lot and wasn’t equipped with alternatives to my favorite staples to fill the gaps. Excitement about the change carried me for a bit, but after that, it became a challenge having my normal food routines uprooted and without go-to foods to rely on.

You can certainly stop eating animal products abruptly if you want. However, for the sake of making a plant-based diet sustainable for you, I highly recommend doing it in small steps. The size of these steps depends on your starting point and your end goal. For example, if most of your meals contain animal products, and your ultimate goal is to become a vegan, don’t go vegan in the span of a day. Start by working towards vegetarianism, and once you have stopped eating meat, then begin to decrease your consumption of dairy and eggs. You could also try going vegetarian a few days a week or picking one meal of each day (say lunch) to have vegetarian every day. As you go through this transition phase, branch out and try new things and learn what plant-based alternatives you like so you can build an arsenal of foods that you can rely on and enjoy once you do make the ultimate switch. In the long term this will make the diet more sustainable because if you don’t like what you’re eating, you won’t stick to it!

Tip 2: Do your research

Before you begin your plant-based journey, it is essential that you prepare by doing research. If you jump right in without exploring options, you are more likely to have a bad experience as a plant-based eater and return to an animal-product diet, which is not your goal! In your research, consider the following questions to ensure you are ready to start the journey!

  • What are your favorite animal products? What plant-based alternatives for these exist? 
  • Where can you purchase plant-based alternatives to the animal products that you want? 
  • What are some of your favorite meals? Find plant-based versions of these online or in cookbooks so you can still enjoy your favorite things!
  • Are there any restaurants near you that have plant-based meal options? 
  • If you do have any health conditions that may impact you in the transition, consult a medical professional. After that there are likely resources with tips and advice from plant-based eaters that have the same conditions as you.
  • What challenges do you anticipate facing in your transition? What can you do to overcome these? A common example is ex-cheese eaters craving cheese once they go vegan. Look around to see what other people who have faced challenges you anticipate facing are saying (there are lots of plant-based bloggers out there). Making a plan and being prepared to face these obstacles beforehand will allow you to overcome them much more easily!

Tip 3: Be smart! Make sure you get all the nutrients you need!

While many plant-based foods are packed with nutrients, plant-based doesn’t necessarily mean ‘healthy.’ Don’t immediately assume you will be healthier on a plant-based diet. As always, staying healthy takes work, and as you transition to plant-based, it will take a little more work and time each week to meet your food needs!

I don’t like to use the term “junk food” because all food is fuel for your body or can serve you emotionally, but certainly some foods can offer more benefit in terms of nutrients than others. There are plenty of plant-based foods that aren’t necessarily beneficial to your health, especially ultra-processed ones. This is not to say you can’t eat them; just don’t make them a meal three times a day. This is where tips 1 and 2 come in. If you have a plan ahead of time for what you can now eat and make at home, you won’t be scrambling and relying on freezer aisle and other processed plant-based foods to fill the gap of the missing animal products. These foods can make you feel crummy over time, hurt your health, and ultimately make you likely to return to an animal-product diet. Balance is just as important on a plant-based diet as it is on a diet including animal products!

Vitamins and Minerals

When decreasing your consumption of animal products, there are some specific vitamins and minerals to be aware of to make sure you are still supporting your body! Some of the key ones a person on a plant-based diet should be cognizant of are vitamins B12, A, and D, as well as protein, calcium, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fats. In the United States, most people rely on animal products for these essential things. There’s no need to panic, though, because you can get all of these things, except B12 and Vitamin D, from plant-based foods. And even B12 and Vitamin D, which are not naturally occurring in plant-based foods, you can supplement or get from fortified plant-based foods. I’ll now briefly touch on a few in this list that are more difficult to get on a plant-based diet. 


Iron is an essential mineral used to make hemoglobin, which is a protein that carries oxygen to your lungs, and myoglobin, a protein that gives your muscles oxygen. Iron is also needed for the production of some hormones. This explains why you feel so tired and energy-depleted if you’re iron deficient. 

Countless times people have told me, “You’re vegan, you’re gonna be iron deficient.” And while this is not necessarily the case, it can absolutely happen. On a plant-based diet, especially a vegan one, you are at a higher risk of iron-deficiency if you are not careful. Though I will say, you can be iron deficient eating animal products (as I was), so it all depends on the choices you make! 

If you are plant-based it’s important that you prioritize eating foods high in iron. These include spinach, iron-fortified bread and cereal, lentils, white beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, baked potato, and broccoli among other things.

When you have iron-rich foods or an iron supplement, pair it with Vitamin C or Vitamin C rich-foods (citrus, berries, etc.), which enhances your body’s absorption of iron. A big reason that vegans struggle with getting enough iron is because plant-based iron sources are not as easily absorbed as animal-based iron sources. Vitamin C is the solution to this! Alternatively, make sure you don’t pair iron and calcium, as calcium inhibits iron absorption!

Vitamin B12

B12 is a vitamin that helps make DNA and keep the blood and nerve cells all around healthy. B12 is only found naturally in animal foods, which is why it’s so essential to seek out B12 on a plant-based diet. Plant-based foods only include B12 when fortified. You can find B12 in fortified cereal and nutritional yeast, a cheese-tasting flake-like product. 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus, which aids the body in building bones. It can also reduce inflammation and help control infections. There are only a few foods that have Vitamin D and the best sources are animal products. The plant-based foods that include Vitamin D are mushrooms and fortified plant milks and cereals. And, of course, you can get Vitamin D by sitting out in the sun!

Supplementation (taking a pill or liquid form) is another option for getting all of these vitamins and minerals, too! As a vegan athlete, I supplement to make sure I get these things with the demands of my training. Always talk to your healthcare provider before supplementing, though!

To learn more about the other key nutrients and minerals a plant-based eater should pay attention to, visit vegan.com or foodinsight.org.

Tip 4: Be flexible

One of the most exciting things about stepping into plant-based eating is how flexible it is. There is a large spectrum of options from simply plant-based all the way to veganism. An important thing to keep in mind as you approach plant-based eating is that you can always change—you can always return to a previous diet or try a different one if something isn’t working for you. If you decide to go vegan, it doesn’t have to be for life! With any form of plant-based eating, you are in charge of what you eat, and there are no hard and fast rules for how to do it “right.” Flexibility is your friend! 

Flexibility was something that I struggled with in my first few years as a vegan. I believed I could never eat anything non-vegan or I wouldn’t be a “real” vegan. So I didn’t, even though this sometimes hindered my ability to fuel my body or even my emotional desires for specific foods. It was only recently that I truly embraced flexibility on a vegan diet, and this came from adapting to my circumstances. A month ago, I traveled abroad for the first time to Italy with my family. Before the trip I was nervous about how I’d be able to stick to my vegan diet. I also recognized that food is very much a part of culture, and I wanted to be able to experience authentic Italian food (especially the parmesan). 

I ultimately decided before I left that the trip would be more enjoyable for me (and my family) if I was willing to stray a bit from my vegan diet and eat what was available at the restaurants we were at. I decided I would have some cheese and egg (in pasta) while abroad. I also decided that I still wouldn’t have meat because it is now unappetizing to me and would make me exceptionally uncomfortable to eat. It was really important that I made a plan ahead of time based on my comfort levels so I was ready for the experiences I was about to have and not make stress-inducing, last-minute decisions. Throughout the trip, I had meals with cheese and egg, and much to my surprise, it was delightful. It was relieving to eat something non-vegan and see that nothing happened to me—no one condemned me for being a fake vegan. And I recognized that having a few animal products here and there wouldn’t increase my environmental impact much. As the trip went on, I found myself more and more relaxed eating parmesan and delicious Italian pasta. 

Some Pomodoro, topped with parmesan, I enjoyed in Italy!

I learned such a valuable lesson on flexibility from this experience, and I have taken it with me since returning home. On occasion, if I really want something non-vegan, like an old snack from childhood, I’ll have it because it serves me emotionally, and it keeps me satisfied with my diet. In the past, at an event where the vegan “meal” option was a simple salad with no protein, I would’ve just eaten the salad and refused to have anything else that wasn’t vegan. But I now recognize that this was detrimental to my body, especially as an athlete. Now, in those situations, I embrace flexibility and prioritize fueling my body over rigidity for the sake of being a “real” vegan. Now, I might decide to eat a baked potato even if it has some butter in it because I know my body needs a complete meal, and it will make me feel satisfied with what I ate. I never thought that going vegan would help me, a rigid person in all areas of my life, become more flexible. It is just one reminder of many that a plant-based diet doesn’t simply change what you eat, it changes who you are!

For those just starting your plant-based diet, you too should strive to embrace flexibility. You will learn to assume there won’t be food for you when eating outside of your home and be flexible as a result. Making this assumption you can decide, for this dinner, you will be okay having some cheese so you can have one of the entrees. Or maybe you want to stick to plant-based eating that day and will make a meal by combining sides at the restaurant. Or maybe you decide to eat something beforehand so you can still have a meal to fuel your body. Get used to always having extra snacks for unexpected situations so you have the option to stick to plant-based eating and, more importantly, have something to eat. And, of course, there will be times when you can’t plan ahead—sometimes you may have to eat something you don’t want to, and that’s okay. It’s ultimately more important that you fuel your body, even if it is with a food you are avoiding. Over time, you will establish a routine as a plant-based eater and learn how and when you’d like to or need to be flexible and stray from the diet. Trust me when I say flexibility is one of the biggest keys to longevity as a plant-based eater!

As a plant-based eater, always pack snacks! Source

Tip 5: Consider costs

I recognize that I am privileged to have enough money to put food on the table. Unfortunately, for many people, this is not a reality, and the option to spend more money for plant-based products does not exist. Veganism has a long way to go in terms of accessibility, but that’s why sharing this information is so important—the more people who go plant-based, the more we increase the demand for plant-based products and push our country to make these products more cost-effective and more widely available. We have a long way ahead of us to make accessibility a reality, but the plant-based industry is steadily growing! By 2030, the industry is expected to double!

Unfortunately, as it stands right now, if you do buy the plant-based meat and dairy alternatives (which are the most expensive plant-based products) or go out for plant-based meals at all, then it’s likely you will spend more on food. If you are planning to go plant-based, it’s important to determine how many of the more expensive plant-based products you can afford. And consider your food preferences and desires too—the last thing we want is for you to spend more for plant-based products but find you are less satisfied with what you eat. This is not to say you should write off plant-based eating if you can’t routinely afford the more expensive plant-based products. It’s just a reminder that cost is certainly a factor with a plant-based diet. 

The global value of plant-based foods from 2020-2030 in billions of U.S. dollars. Source

I will remind you, though, that many of the foods you eat every day, and are likely already purchasing, are plant-based. All fruits and vegetables (in their unprocessed form), grains (like rice, oats, wheat, barley, quinoa), legumes (like beans, chickpeas, soybeans, peanuts, and lentils), and nuts are vegan! That covers quite a lot of food products! If you are eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet, these items will be the large bulk of your diet. It is the plant-based meats and dairy alternatives (cheese, sour cream, milks), which are not necessarily essential for your nutritional needs and often highly processed, that tend to make a plant-based person’s grocery bill increase. And for animal-meat-eating folks, it’s meat products that are actually one of the most expensive things at the grocery store, even more than conventional veggies and fruits. So going plant-based isn’t necessarily exponentially more expensive, as many assume.

Tip 6: Get support, take advantage of resources!

Ask your plant-based friends questions about their experiences. Ask your friends for recipes. Go to plant-based restaurants and festivals near you! And take advantage of the tons of online resources like these: 

  • Vegnews– massive plant-based media outlet. Includes a magazine, website, recipes, reviews, travel, a podcast, news, and more!
  • Forks Over Knives– recipes, meal plans, health information, the Forks Over Knives documentary, and more!
  • Vegan Outreach– a nonprofit organization spreading information about the vegan diet. They have a vegan mentor program where you can get a mentor to help you in your plant-based journey. You can also sign up for 10 Weeks to Vegan for free, which includes a weekly email full of tips and resources to help you make the transition to a vegan diet. 
  • Purple Carrot– A vegan meal delivery service! Just like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron, you can select from many recipes each week and get them delivered right to your door for easy prep and delicious eating! While this is costly, it can be a great way to try new recipes and get ideas at the start of your plant-based journey! You can also access all of their recipes for free on their website if you want the inspiration but not the price!
The 10 Weeks To Vegan program at Vegan Outreach. Source
  • Nora Cooks– vegan recipes!
  • A Virtual Vegan– more vegan recipes!
  • Vegan.com– a center of vegan information! Includes guides, health information, recipes, an FAQ page, and more!  
  • Happy Cow– Great website to find plant-based restaurant reviews and restaurants near you! Also includes a blog and other tips of vegan living. Available as an app, too!
  • No Meat Athlete– A hub of information for plant-based athletes!
  • There are so many places to draw support from, so take advantage of them to make your plant-based journey exciting and successful!


I hope you feel more comfortable starting your plant-based journey with my tips and the resources I’ve provided. For those making the change, I am so excited for you to experience plant-based eating and all that comes with it! 

Stay tuned next week for a comprehensive guide of staple plant-based foods!

Thanks for reading!

-Lindsey 🙂 

Recipe of the Week: Homemade Vegan Feta Cheese!

I discovered this recipe after being at an event that served feta and wondering how I might be able to veganize it at home. (There are pretty good vegan fetas you can buy from the store, but if you want a cheaper, less processed option, this is a great recipe). Again, I’m sending you to someone else because so many of my favorite recipes come from other people! This week it’s vegan feta cheese from Melanie McDonald at avirtualvegan.com. I follow this recipe pretty loosely now and often just taste test and adjust until it’s just right. The recipe calls for coconut oil but you really don’t need it. I have made this recipe without coconut oil every time, and it’s always delicious (I don’t like coconut and it’s also expensive). So, no worries if you’re missing it! 

I like to make this feta and leave it in the creamy blender form and make a meal of it. I’ll cook up some bulgur wheat, crisp some chickpeas, and chop some cucumber, bell peppers, or lettuce. Then I’ll add it all to a bowl and top with the feta! Since I started making this meal it has been a staple for me!