What Can Vegetarians Eat?

» Posted by on Sep 18, 2011 in Environment, Ethics, Health, Quick Vegetarian Recipes, Vegetarian Sources of Protein, What Can Vegetarians Eat | 0 comments

What Can Vegetarians Eat?

What can vegetarians eat?  Really?

Well, let’s see.  In the past two weeks, I’ve had:

  • A roast beef and white cheddar sandwich
  • Bacon and sausage pizza
  • Tacos with ground beef
  • A kale salad with tamari-marinated tofu with sesame sticks and Asian dressing
  • A buffalo chicken sandwich
  • A meatball sub with melted provolone
  • Barbecued beef sandwich
  • A three-cheese omelet with breakfast sausage
  • Greek gyros with feta and Tzaziki cucumber sauce
  • White pizza with caramelized onions
  • Bangers (sausage) and mash (mashed potatoes)

And so forth.  And guess what…no animals had to die for any of them.

A lot of people ask me that — “What can vegetarians eat?  Don’t you go hungry?”  Put very simply, vegetarians can eat VERY well.

We use a few secrets that you may or may not know about.  Aside from great organic meals — salads, soups, raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc., I’m a proud user of “meat analogs.”

You might also call these “fake,” “faux,” or “replacement meats.

what can vegetarians eatThey’re made from soy, wheat gluten, and even mushroom protein.  And guess what — they taste pretty close to the real thing.  Companies such as Morningstar Farms, Veggie Brothers, Quorn, Boca, Lightlife, Amy’s, and other are producing analogs of everything from bacon, Italian sausage, bratwurst, ground beef, ham, turkey, chorizo…even seafood.

Meat analogs are commonplace in Asia and other foreign countries, but have just started gaining notoriety in western cultures over the last 10-20 years.  More and more restaurants are using them in dishes for vegetarians…and those are restaurants that are also serving meat.

Now, I’m not advocating that you eat these replacement meats at every meal…or even every day.  A balanced diet is compromised of a lot of different types of foods, and the healthiest people out there are the ones eating the biggest variety of foods.  This includes everything we mentioned above in the organic section.

However…people asking “what can vegetarians eat” probably don’t know about the potential to have great meals that taste pretty dern close to what you’re already eating as an omnivore.

On major holidays, you can substitute these analogs for the real thing.  For example, on Thanksgiving, you can substitute an herbed chicken cutlet from Veggie Brothers that tastes JUST like a slice of Turkey.  A company called Tofurky even offers a full Thanksgiving dinner — giblets, gravy, and all.

On the fourth of July, you can do veggie burgers and soy hot dogs.  And in most cases, they’ll go right on the grill.

All this sad, most meat analogs probably aren’t the best option for people with wheat or soy allergies.  But there are up-and-coming producers that use other bases for their analogs.  There’s a company called Quorn that makes fake chicken patties and cutlets out of mushroom protein, also known as mycoprotein.  It doesn’t taste anything like mushrooms.  Their specialty is a gruyere chicken cutlet that has melting gruyere cheese baked under the crust.  One of my absolute favorites.

Not every analog is perfect…there aren’t a ton of convincing bacon analogs out there (even though they’re still pretty tasty).  But in most cases, even die-hard meat eaters can’t even tell the difference.

No matter which way you slice it, the question of “what can vegetarians eat” has a pretty simple answer.  We eat whatever we want, and we eat very well.  And you can too.

Check out Vegetarian Sources of Protein



  1. How Do I Become A Vegetarian files: How do I STAY a vegetarian? | Why Become A Vegetarian - [...] I fight this obstacle in a couple ways.  First off, I use several meat analogs — fake meats — …

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