Guide to Plant-Based Meats
With plant-based meats being more available to us now more than ever, it’s such a great (and convenient) time to be vegan! If you’re veg-curious and feeling saddened about having to give up the satisfaction of that rich meaty taste, you are in luck because you definitely don’t have to give up anything! With plant-based meats rising in popularity and being included in almost every major grocery store and most global fast-food chains, vegan meats are becoming accessible to more and more people so that transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle is easier than ever. In most stores and restaurants nowadays, there are a variety of vegan burgers, fish, deli slices, ice cream, cheese, yogurts, milks, etc. – the list goes on and on. The caveat though is that sometimes you need to visit a few grocery stores to find all your favorite vegan meats.. This is where Vejii bridges that gap, and I am so excited to share this amazing company with you all! Let’s take a look at this Guide to Plant-Based Meats!
Vejii is an online vegan market that ships vegan groceries, protein and sports nutrition products, personal and home care products, vitamins and supplements, and baby products right to your doorstep. What’s even greater is that through their Vejii Express program, they ship out specific products in 1-2 business days. It’s almost like Amazon Prime but specifically for vegans AND they price match and have points discounting feature! (We love saving money!) Their purpose is to “provide a new level of accessibility [so that] more people can adopt this lifestyle and therefore improve their health while taking better care of the planet.” How pure is that! Plant-Based on a Budget is all about it, and I am so excited to share my experience with Vejii Express and my favorite plant-based meats that they offer!
Favorite Breakfast Sausage
Lightlife: Gimme Lean Sausage, 14 oz:
If you enjoy a sausage-flavored, protein-rich breakfast, this sausage is for you! his tube sausage can be crumbled and included in a tofu scramble or even made into patties to have on the side of your favorite breakfast recipe.
- Price – This tube of sausage is $4.49 which is cheaper than the Beyond links mentioned below. Very reasonable for all that you’re getting.
- Taste and Texture – What’s great about this product is that you get to choose your texture! If you want to make crumbles and crumble it into your rice dish, tofu scramble, or veggie bowl, you can! Or, you can even make it into a sausage patty for a filling breakfast sandwich! You’ve got options with this product, to say the least! The taste is very sausage-like and will be a hit paired with anything!
- Ease of Cooking – With its versatility of being tube-based, you can be as creative as you want! It can be a tad bit messy to remove from the packaging, but other than that, it takes about 5 minutes to cook and brown nicely!
- Overall Thoughts – Great flavor and very enjoyable in a breakfast dish to add on some extra pizzazz to your meal.
Beyond Meat: Beyond Burger, 8 oz:
These burgers are absolutely spectacular! At $5.98 for two 4 oz patties, these burgers check off every category in my book and would be very convincing and enjoyable for a non-vegan family/friend.
- Price – $5.98 for the package.
- Taste and Texture – Phenomenal! It’s been a while since I’ve had non-vegan meat, however, from what I remember, this tastes very similar to it. It’s very dense, savory, full of a unique “meaty” flavor, and it didn’t leave an artificial aftertaste whatsoever.
- Ease of Cooking – I cooked these patties straight from the refrigerator after being defrosted, and the patties took about 10 minutes to cook on my iron skillet. Super easy! You can also put these guys on the grill for an awesome outdoor barbeque!
- Overall Thoughts – I would definitely recommend it! It’s unique in that its main ingredient is pea protein and they do not have any soy products in them. At 20 grams of protein per patty, you can’t go wrong with this delicious patty!
Favorite Vegan “Fish”
Gardein Fishless Fillets, 10.1 oz
If you’re missing the taste of fish, you are going to love these fishless fillets! Each pack includes six fillets and you can cook these straight from the freezer!
- Price – This pack is $4.98 with each fillet being about $0.83 which is not bad at all for all that you get.
Taste and Texture – Very fishy (in a good way)! It’s crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside with a texture that sheds away nicely as you get your bite into it!
- Ease of Cooking – I cooked these using the conventional oven method and they came out perfectly in about 20 minutes with me flipping them at the halfway point. Their packaging says you can fry these as well to get that satisfying texture of non-vegan fried fish.
- Overall Thoughts – I’m not a huge fish fan, but I thoroughly enjoyed these fillets! I felt decently satiated with 3 fillets and I generally have a big appetite so that says a lot! I think these would go a long way for someone who is used to having a fish-based diet and is opting for a plant-based lifestyle.
Favorite Deli Slices
Tofurky: Oven Roasted Deli Slices, 5.5 oz
There is nothing more convenient than making a quick sandwich for lunch! These deli slices are perfect for that quick morning lunch prep before work or even just an easy weekend lunch!
- Price – This pack is $3.00 and includes 15 slices of deli. That’s $0.20 a slice!
- Taste and Texture – I’d say this is fairly accurate to its a non-vegan counterpart. It peels nicely from the other slices and folds perfectly if you like to dress your sandwiches in a specific way. There is a bit of a salty taste to it, but that’s pretty typical for your average deli meat, vegan or not!
- Ease of Cooking – With no cooking involved, these slices are the epitome of convenience. All I had to do was defrost the package and they were ready to go!
- Overall Thoughts – I love having these slices on standby in the refrigerator for quick and mindless meals. Slapping on a few slices with some vegan mayo, lettuce, tomato, and bread makes lunch a breeze and holds me over nicely!
Favorite Hot Dog
Light Life: Smart Dogs Jumbo, 13.5 oz
So convincing! Definitely a top favorite for the most accurate portrayal of the traditional hot dog.
- Price – $3.99 for five hot dogs amounts to $0.80 per dog! That is not bad at all considering how much you pay for your “traditional” hot dog.
- Taste and Texture – Sooo similar. To me, there is almost a soft rubbery texture to hot dogs and Light Life nails it in the nicest way! The taste is so familiar and could easily pass as a non-vegan hot dog in my opinion.
- Ease of Cooking – After defrosting, I cooked these on the iron skillet for about 10 minutes, turning them frequently and they came out splendidly! The instructions on the packaging include them being cooked in boiling water on the stovetop as well as the grill, just like your traditional hot dog.
- Overall Thoughts: The dogs have that traditional hot dog taste, and if placed in between a folded piece of bread with some ketchup, mustard, and pickles, I’d say that this could pass as a high-end ballpark hot dog!
Beyond Meat: Beyond Sausage Brat Original, 14 oz
These sausages are something special! At first glance, they look very raw like your non-vegan sausage, and once cooked, come out incredibly flavorful!
- Price – You get 4 massive sausages with this pack for $8.54 which makes each link $2.14. Very fair for the high-quality sausage that these turn out to be.
- Taste and Texture – Very spot on! They come out very similar to your non-vegan sausage and are incredibly juicy and thick, which each bite delivers a unique blend of meaty spices.
- Ease of Cooking – Super easy once defrosted! It took about 10 minutes on my iron skillet to brown nicely, delivering an aroma of unique spice as it sizzled away! Without having to add any oil or water to the pan, it produced a fair amount of oils that prevented any sticking to the pan while cooking.
- Overall Thoughts – These are very satisfying! I can imagine cooking these on a skewer over a campfire along with some veggie kabobs with family and friends in the future as they’d be very enjoyable for non-vegans alike!
Favorite Ground Meat
Beyond Meat: Beyond Beef Plant-Based Ground, 16 oz.
I cannot say enough about this product. It is easily my favorite plant-based meat on the market to date. There is a unique flavoring to it that honestly can be enjoyed without any added seasonings in my books!
- Price – At $9.49, it is semi-pricey at first glance, but it is absolutely worth it! The packaging lists 4 servings which comes out to $2.37 per serving which is slightly cheaper than buying the pre-molded Beyond Burger mentioned above.
- Taste and Texture – The taste and texture are both phenomenal and will have you wanting seconds! The texture is so similar to your traditional ground products and the Beyond taste is just so uniquely flavorful and delicious.
- Ease of Cooking – Very simple. The product comes in square packaging and you can choose whichever method you’re going for since this is a ground product. You can make patties, small crumbles, big crumbles, add it to sauces, chili, etc. – there are so many options! It took about 20 minutes for it to cook in my pasta sauce for spaghetti and came out delicious!
- Overall Thoughts – Definitely a top favorite in the grounds department. I highly recommend you trying this one out! It’s perfect to have on hand for burgers, tacos, meatballs, sliders, and so much more.
Beyond these 8 products reviewed above, there are countless more options out there! It’s amazing to think that just a few years ago, the closest thing to a plant-based meat was something super creative like a massive vegan steak made from mushrooms or savory vegan wings made from cauliflower. Shopping for vegan products was limited to the basics (rice, beans, fresh veggies, fruits, etc.) only and it was unheard of to have a “bleeding” vegan meat product like the Impossible Meats. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that of course – it’s just nice to have something easily accessible that hits closer to home looks-wise and to not have to creatively work so hard to simulate an old traditional recipe if you weren’t raised on a plant-based diet. Plus, having it shipped to your front door with a company such as Vejii makes it that much easier for old and new vegans alike to satisfy a burger craving!
I hope this review of some of my favorite plant-based meats entices you to give them a try and possibly motivate you to try tinkering into a plant-based diet! If you don’t care for some of these above, that’s okay! Most companies are working to improve their product and come out with more variety, flavors, and different formulas as you read this so there will be more options to come to a physical store (or online store) near you soon! Another awesome concept is that they already rank very similarly price-wise to their non-vegan counterparts and as the demand increases and more and more people show interest in vegan products, the price will only become more reasonable and affordable for more and more people. Thanks to companies such as Vejii making these products more convenient and accessible, the chances of this happening sooner rather than later is more possible than ever.
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