Sunday, March 17, 2013

Faux or No?

 There's a bit of controversy in Vegan-land surrounding the issue of "fake meat." Some folks eschew it for dietary/health reasons, opposed to the processing and often scary-sounding ingredients that go into the stuff. Others are opposed for ethical reasons, not wanting to perpetuate the idea that animals are food, fake or not. Then there are those who believe Boca, Gardein, Morningstar Farms, etc. have a place in their vegan diets, as a transition food for new veggies and also as an occasional treat or supplement to their otherwise whole foods diet. That would be me.

In general, I don't eat a lot of processed foods, preferring to fuel my body with real, natural foods. The bulk of my diet consists of veggies, whole grains, legumes and fruit, and I believe that to be the healthiest way to eat. However, I also enjoy soy or coconut-milk based creamer in my morning coffee, vegan butter and cream cheese substitutes for my bread & bagels, and a couple Tofurky deli slices on my sandwich. Veggie burgers and the like are convenient for the times when I don't feel like cooking completely from scratch, or when it's not convenient to do so. Bringing along my own "burger" to an omnivore's cookout, for example, is a much better option than relying on the raw veggie platter or questionable side dishes to fill me up. And, yes, when I'm craving something sweet, I'm grateful to have veg-friendly ice "cream" and other treats on hand!

This past week I've purchased more faux meat products than usual because 1) Chip is making his way toward a more plant-based diet, and these items are perfect for the transition and 2) my grocery store had them on sale. Here's an example of how I used meat substitutes to prepare some healthy, vegan meals. Remember, this is not a typical week, I wouldn't normally rely so much on these products, but this is a good example of how they can be incorporated into your vegan diet if you choose to do so. Please note: not all meat substitutes are vegan; many contain cassein and other dairy ingredients so be sure to read the labels carefully!

Gardein Crispy Chick'n Filet over pasta w/marinara sauce

Gardein "Beef" Stew

Gardein Crispy Tenders over fresh green salad
Oh, and here's my favorite pic of the week; My formerly-veggie-hating man was attracted by the "colors" of these fruits & veggies at a roadside stand, had to pull over and buy some!


  1. so pleased I found you.
    followed you from a favorite
    my granddaughter works in N.Y.
    and is vegan.
    grandma eats healthy
    but still learning
    will visit often...

  2. I'm usually a "no faux" vegetarian. I can't claim to be fully vegan because I raise hens and eat their eggs. Despite that, so many of our meals are vegan. I have been tempted to buy some faux bacon to make for my sons, who are omnivores, but eat mostly vegetarian when they are with me. It is nice to be the "chef" in the family, because if it is good and plentiful, my family does not complain about a lack of meat. I'm pleased for you that your guy is eating a more plant based diet. SO MUCH better for him than the typical American diet.

  3. One Woman's Journey, thank you so much for stopping by! I'm so glad we found each other! Any friend of Aisling's is a friend of me. Please do visit again, I'm off to your blog now..

  4. Aisling, I think if you can avoid the faux stuff, you're in much better shape. I know how healthfully you've always eaten, and fed your family, they are lucky to have you! :)