I became a vegetarian at 11 years old. However, none of my other family members were vegetarian or knew how to respond to me becoming a vegetarian so I like to say I started as a “carbetarian.” My mom never knew what to make for me and always thought it was a phase I was going through, so for our meals she would just give me larger portions of everything but the meat. Most of the time this meant more carbs.
This is how the first five years of being a vegetarian went for me and needless to say, my health took a toll. I became severely anemic and lacked many vitamins. After this realization, my Mom and I decided it was time to become a healthy vegetarian. Now that I am older I try to avoid many of the “meatless” options as I do not think that they are my healthiest option, but there are some really good brands that I would like to mention that are great substitutes for families with young adults who have also decided to go vegetarian.
In no specific order, here are my top recommendations for meatless substitutes:
- Yves Meatless Ground Round Original – This item is easily substitutable for any recipes asking for ground beef. With this item I was able to enjoy easy dinners such as vegetarian chilli, tacos or lasagna.
- Gardein chick’n scallopini – With options such as the Gardein chick’n scallapini I was able to enjoy dinners when my family had meat portions such as chicken, steak, or pork chop. These products come already seasoned, so all my mom had to do was cook mine in a separate dish at the same time.
- Tofurkey Deli Slices – These sandwich slices allowed me to take sandwiches to school again. These are easily substituted for regular meat deli sandwiches and come in a variety of flavours.
- Tofurkey – One of the hardest parts about becoming vegetarian was holiday dinners. When everyone looked forward to turkey or ham I had to look forward to mashed potatoes and veggies. With this product I was able to enjoy dinner again. This product is known for its turkey like texture and flavour and is a product even my meat eater family members enjoy.
These are my personal four favorite meat substitutes for convenience. All of the websites showcase all of their products as well as great recipes that can be made using their products. For an individual who is just becoming a vegetarian, I would highly recommend trying these products and checking out the website.