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The Veggie Bible: Your Guide to Plant-Based Food Products

I have fluctuated between veganism and vegetarianism for five years now, and I truly love every minute of it. However, the beginning was admittedly rough. It was a confusing dietary transition–– there are just so many plant-based options at the grocery store, I never knew where to start or what was good! So, with my half decade’s worth of trial-and-error, I decided it was time to document what I always find myself going back to. I present to you, The (incredibly biased) Veggie Bible: the products that are absolutely essential in your vegetarian pantry. Enjoy!

 

Meat Alternatives 

  • Sausage-less Sausage, Trader Joe’s

The first of many Trader Joe’s favorites, these sausages are a staple in my Italian house. They are savory, well-seasoned, and have a dense tofu-like texture.They do not feel like traditional meat (which is a plus for me), and taste absolutely fantastic in pasta dishes or sauteed with vegetables. 

  • Meatless Nuggets, Quorn

I’ve tried many chicken nugget alternatives in my day, and I always end up coming back to these. Seriously, they’re like the holy grail of fake chicken. They’re incredibly filling, not dry, and they somehow taste good even microwaved. I have no clue how they managed to make them so delicious, but kudos to Quorn. 

  •  Black Bean Veggie Burger, Bubba

This was the very first food item I purchased as a vegetarian, and it’s been a favorite ever since. They are so good, I sometimes eat them plain by themselves! Also, the ingredients list is just *chefs kiss*: black beans, bell peppers, rolled oats, carrots, corn, broccoli…need I say more? 

  • Mini Crispy Crabless Crabcakes, Gardein

These are pretty hard to find on shelves, but if you manage to spot them, GRAB AS MANY AS YOU CAN AND RUN. Even when I ate meat, I never really liked crab cakes, but there’s just something about these that are so ridiculously addictive. Pop some of these in the oven, whip up a good lemon aioli, and you’ve got yourself a meal.

 

Nutrient-Packed Snacks 

  • Sea Salt Crunchy Chickpeas, The Good Bean

These little guys really manage to pack a punch. They’re salty, perfect to grab on-the-go, and super craveable. Pro tip: I put them in my salads in lieu of croutons because they add more flavor and protein!

  • Protein Bars, RX

With 12 grams of protein per serving, it’s really hard to go wrong with these decadent bars. They are all fudgey, super dense, and will definitely hold you over in between meals. My favorites are Coconut Chocolate, Peanut Butter Chocolate, and Chocolate Sea Salt, but I’m determined to eventually taste test every flavor.

  • Oat Milk Yogurt, So Delicious

This vegan yogurt is genuinely to-die-for. In terms of texture, it is not as thick as regular dairy; the best way I can describe it is having the consistency of a Danimal. Personally, i’m not bothered by this because I either overload my yogurt with granola or use it in a smoothie. I highly recommend trying either Spiced Pear & Fig or Sweet Mango!

  • Potato & Peas Samosas, Sukhi’s Indian Cuisine

In my opinion, these samosas are the perfect vegetarian food to have stocked in the freezer: they make a great snack or appetizer! Bonus: even though they’re yummy enough to be eaten plain, the box comes with an out-of-this-world cilantro chutney. 

  • Chickpea Puffs, Hippeas

Think of these as a more protein-packed Cheeto alternative. Do they taste like Cheetos? No, not even a little. But they’re goooooooood. They have a decent range of flavors, too: Vegan White Cheddar, Sea Salt, Sriracha, Barbeque, and Nacho Cheese. Yum!

 

Vegan Sweets

  • Coconut Milk Frozen Mousse, So Delicious 

Though I adore So Delicious’s regular non-dairy ice cream, this product holds a special place in my heart. The texture is super fluffy and unique (think of it as a mix between whipped cream and ice cream), which  is actually pretty rare to come by. Most vegan and low calorie ice creams have a gritty or rough texture, but not these frozen mousses. My favorite flavor is mint chocolate chip, which is very light & refreshing and manages to have no underlying coconut flavor. 

  • Dark Chocolate Sunflower Butter Cups, Trader Joe’s

Being plant-based means eating peanut butter, and lots of it. These sunflower butter cups are a great alternative for anyone who’s allergic to peanuts, but still wants a fun treat. When I gave one to my mom, she actually had no clue that they were vegan and peanut-free–– they’re just that realistic. 

  • Cinnamon Almond Butter, Justin’s

My mind was blown when I first tried this spread. I really could not believe that Justin’s managed to make almond butter even more craveable. Just a dollop of this stuff is enough to make fruit and oatmeal taste like dessert. But, between you and me, it’s ideally eaten straight from the jar by the spoonful. 

  • Soft-Baked Snickerdoodles, Trader Joe’s

These chewy cookies are absolute cinnamon-sugar HEAVEN. Whenever they end up in my pantry, it takes every ounce of self control to not scarf down the entire box in one sitting. In addition to being free of peanuts, gluten, soy, wheat, and tree nuts, they are completely vegan. 1000/10!

Bella Trucco is currently the Senior Editor of HC TCNJ. Bella is a junior majoring in Communication Studies with minors in Psychology & Marketing. She has always been a big fan of pop culture, social justice, and the oxford comma.
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