I received an email from a woman who was looking for a support group because her granddaughter had recently decided to become vegan.
While I gave her some ideas and recommended some reading materials, I failed to mention some other products that might help, like mock meat. So, I emailed her a bit of a guide on faux meat since it can help make the meal seem a bit more familiar to new vegetarians or vegans and their non-vegetarian friends.
Faux meats have come a very long way since I first started trying them, but there are still some not-so-good ones. I am sharing recommendations for some that I have tried and know to be both tasty and vegan.
I’ve recently tried Boca Spicy Chik'N Patties (made with non-GMO soy). They really are quite spicy and can be used in a sandwich, a wrap or cut up and used on top of a salad. I also have cut one up and put it on top of teriyaki noodles, which was a good idea if a do say so myself. http://www.bocaburger.com/products/nutrition-info.aspx?product=5928360014
Another good one is Morningstar Farms Hickory BBQ Riblets. The sauce used on the "riblets" is really rich and sweet. This product is also pretty realistic as far as approximating taste and texture. You can eat these next to some grilled veggies and mashed potatoes. You can also put this on a sandwich. Morningstar Farms has ideas on their website for their products. http://www.morningstarfarms.com/morningstar-farms-hickory-bbq-riblets.html
Tofurky is a brand I like all the way around. I find their deli slices to be helpful. My husband is a newer vegetarian than I am, so it is nice to have things similar to what he was used to in his meat eating days. Sometimes I pack his lunches with sandwiches made with Tofurky deli slices like the oven-roasted style. They also make a vegan sausage, Beer Brats, that are meant to go on a grill and do so very well. I recommend grilling some veggies as well while you've got the grill going. http://www.tofurky.com/tofurkyproducts/deli_slices.html
Lightlife brand's Gimme Lean sausage mimics a ground sausage nicely. It is spiced well and makes nice patties that you can cook for breakfast or whenever you want. There are recipes on their website as well. I have used it to make faux sausage gravy served over grits. You can also use it in sauces or casseroles. http://www.lightlife.com/Vegan-Food-Vegetarian-Diet/Gimme-Lean-Sausage