Food Empowerment Project’s mission is to help people understand how their food choices can change the world-for the good.
The first step to ethical eating is to go vegan and eat only plant-based foods, which will benefit animals, our environment and our health. If you have time to cook, the best and most nutritious foods will be those you make yourself from whole plant foods (including canned, frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables). You might also check out our Recipes page and our sister site VeganMexicanFood.com.
You might want to see if there’s a Farmer’s Market or CSA available in your area* as they generally have fresh (and often organic) produce for reasonable prices and you can support farmers by buying from them directly. Or if you can, grow your own food!
When shopping for packaged foods, you’ll want to read the labels to ensure your food item contains only plant ingredients (if unsure of an ingredient, you can consult the HappyCow Ingredients to Avoid list*). Hint: if the product has any cholesterol, then it is not vegan (plants do not contain cholesterol). Some products may be labeled as vegan, which means you typically don’t have to read the ingredients. Explore unfamiliar aisles at the supermarket (and unfamiliar grocery stores) – you may discover some great new vegan items to try!
When eating out, if available, your best option will be a vegan or vegetarian restaurant, but you may also have good luck at the following kinds of restaurants: Afghani, Burmese, Chinese, Ethiopian, Greek, Indian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Nepalese, Tibetan, Thai, Vietnamese. Just be sure to nicely ask your server about the possibility of animal ingredients to ensure you can get your dish animal-free (it may help to ask specific questions, such as “Is there any fish sauce or egg in the Vegetable Pad Thai?” at a Thai restaurant or “Is there any lard or pork in the refried beans?” at a Mexican restaurant). If you’re technology-oriented, you might search online to find some smartphone apps or websites to assist you in finding vegan-friendly restaurants in your vicinity.
If you would like to try vegan versions of popular foods made with animal products, we’ve put together a list of vegan products that we have taste-tested and recommend. From non-dairy condiments to mock meats, you’ll find an incredible array of delicious foods listed below.
Some important notes:
- Because of labor concerns, we recommend you choose carefully when purchasing the following products: chocolate, wine, soda.
- Because of deforestation and indigenous human rights concerns, we recommend you avoid vegan foods that contain palm oil. We have included products that contain palm oil marked with a
strikethrough(not recommended) as we were concerned that if we left them off, it might be unclear if we were aware of their existence.
- Some products might be more difficult to find than others, but do ask your grocer to stock them if they aren’t available.
- You can also buy some vegan food items through online retailers, so if you can’t get them locally, try searching online.
- We include company names (below) for your convenience in locating recommended products; however, we do not endorse any specific company (and some companies may produce other products that are not vegan or include non-recommended plant foods like palm oil or unethically sourced chocolate).
- If you know of other tasty vegan, palm-free foods that we do not have listed, please let us know!
Updated January 2016
Vegan Dairy Items/Condiments
Earth Balance –
Natural Buttery Spreads are sold in tubs and sticks; products include original (from a natural oil blend), original whipped, Soy Garden (from crushed soybeans), Soy Free, and olive oil-based. They also have vegan shortening sticks for baking and frying.
Smart Balance –
soy margarine sold in tubs and sticks (make sure tub says vegan, not sure if all varieties are vegan)
Daiya – Shredded Mozzarella, Cheddar & Pepper Jack. Blocks are available in Jalapeño Havarti, Medium Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Smoked Gouda styles. Boxed Cheezy Mac in Deluxe White Cheddar Veggie, Cheddar and Alfredo style.
Cheddar, Swiss & Provolone Slices
Dr. Cow – Organic, creamy cheese in flavors like Aged Cashew Nut, Aged Cashew & Hemp Seeds, Aged Cashew & Crystal Algae, Aged Cashew & Brazil Nut, and Aged Macadamia
Earth Balance – Vegan cheddar Mac & Cheese in Cheddar, White Cheddar and Gluten Free Cheddar.
Vegan cheddar flavored squares
Field Roast Chao – Non-dairy coconut cheese slices in Coconut Herb with Black Pepper, Creamy Original with Chao Tofu and Tomato Cayenne with Spicy Peppers (perfect grilled cheese)
Follow Your Heart – Organic soy-based Vegan Gourmet cheese blocks come in Monterey Jack, Mozzarella (it melts and is great on pizza!), Cheddar and Nacho. Soy-free slices in American, Provolone, Mozzarella and Garden Herb
Go Veggie – Vegan Cheddar Singles and Vegan Shreds (read labels as not all of their products are vegan, some are lactose free, but contain casein)
Kite Hill – Soft-ripened almond milk cheese. Soft Fresh Original, Truffle Dill & Chive, Soft Ripened (perfect on crackers or paired with fruit). Ricotta (sweet with a buttery finish)
Miyoko’s Creamery – Artisan vegan cultured nut products. Classic Double Cream Chive, Double Cream Sundried Tomato Garlic, High Sierra Rustic Alpine, Fresh Loire Valley in a Fig Leafe, Mt. Vesuvius Black Ash, French Style Winter Truffle, Aged English Sharp Farmhouse, Aged English Smoked Farmhouse, Country Style Herbs de Provence, Double Cream Garlic Herb. Vegan wine and cheese party, anyone?
Parma! Vegan Parmesan – Made from walnuts and nutritional yeast, comes in a shaker bottle (great sprinkled on pasta, salads, and popcorn!). Comes in Original and Chipotle Cayenne
Road’s End Organics – Chreese packets of instant sauces are great for mac ‘n’ cheese (Cheddar, Mozzarella, and gluten free Alfredo and Cheddar); they also make a Nacho Chreese Dip in mild or spicy flavors
Sheese – Soy-based cheese.
Blocks in Cheddar (smoked, chives, medium and strong), Edam, Cheshire, Gouda and Mozzarella. Creamy style in Cheddar, Chives, Garlic & Herb, Mexican and Original. Great right on crackers!
Treeline – Artisanal treenut cheeses. Soft French-style nut cheeses in Scallion, Chipotle-Serrano Pepper, Green Peppercorn, and Herb Garlic (perfect on crackers or a crusty baguette). Aged nut cheeses (hard cheeses) in Classic Aged and Cracked Pepper
Soy-Cheese Slices in Mozzarella and American
VTopian – Artisan Cultured Wedges, Cheddars, Bries and Spreads. Decadent flavors: Aged White Cheddar, Spicy White Cheddar, Macadamia & Cashew Camembert (wedge) ,Caramelized Onion, Camembert (wedge), Chive & Dill (wedge), Reserve Sharp Cheddar (wedge), Cranberry Brie, Raspberry Brie, Sundried Tomato Brie, Peppercorn Brie, Dark Chocolate Strawberry Brie, Mapled Seitan Cheese Ball Mediterranean Feta, Roasted Red Pepper Surrise, Creamy Basil Borealis
WayFare We Can’t Say It’s Cheese Spread – Dairy free cheddar spreads in Mexi-Cheddar (creamy quesadillas), Hickory Cheddar and Cheddar
Daiya – Creamy, soy-free cream cheese style spreads in Plain, Strawberry and Chive & Onion
Follow Your Heart –
Vegan Gourmet cream cheese is creamy and organic
Tofutti – “Better Than Cream Cheese” in
non-hydrogenated plain, French onion (yum!), herbs and chives, garlic and herb, and plain flavor are great for bagels
Kit Hill – Almond milk based cream cheese style spreads, Chive and Plain Cream Cheese style
Trader Joe’s – Dairy-free cream cheese style spread
There are several good vegan yogurts on the market. Why not try them all?
Almond Dream – Almond based, low fat, non-dairy yogurt in strawberry, vanilla, mixed berry, plain and coconut
Coconut Grove Cultured Coconut Milk Yogurt in plain, vanilla, blueberry and strawberry.
Daiya – Greek yogurt alternative (soy free) in peach, black cherry, strawberry and blueberry
Kite Hill – Artisan almond milk yogurts (soy free) in plain, peach, vanilla, blueberry and strawberry
Nancy’s Soy Yogurt – Variety of flavors including: raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, mango, kiwi-lime, vanilla, and plain
Silk – Variety of flavors including: Blueberry, Banana-Strawberry, Black Cherry, Peach and Key Lime; also available in family-size tubs
So Delicious – creamy cultured coconut milk yogurts in blueberry, chocolate, passionate mango, plain, pina colada, raspberry, strawberry, strawberry banana and vanilla
Trader Joe’s – Cultured coconut milk yogurts in variety of flavors
Tempt – Hemp milk based yogurt in original, blueberry, strawberry and raspberry
Follow Your Heart – Vegan Gourmet sour cream alternative is also organic
Tofutti – Sour Supreme and non-hydrogenated Better Than Sour Cream, sour cream substitute
Wayfare – We Can’t Say It’s Sour Cream
Follow Your Heart – Vegenaise vegan mayonnaise (refrigerated) — our favorite! Also comes in Grapeseed Oil, Expeller Pressed, and Reduced Fat, and Soy Free Vegenaise, Horseradish Sauce, Tartar Sauce, Roasted Garlic Vegenaise Gourmet, Barbecue Vegenaise Gourmet, Chipotle Vegenaise Gourmet, Pesto Vegenaise Gourmet
Hampton Creek JustMayo – Original, Chipotle, Garlic and Sriracha (banh mi favorite)
Miso Mayo – For the truly adventurous–delicious with veggies and sandwiches!
Nasoya – Nayonaise vegan mayonnaise
Spectrum – Light Canola Mayo, Light Mayo Organic
Trader Joe’s – Eggless Mayo
There are a many milks made from plants, the most common of which is coconut milk, which can be found in a can at most grocery stores. This may not be desirable for drinking, but is a great substitute in recipes which call for milk. There are other options which are suitable for drinking and in recipes: soy, rice, almond, hemp, sunflower – most large grocery stores have at least one.
For breakfast and egg-centric dishes, tofu is a great texture match, just choose the desired firmness. You will want additional flavoring, however, as tofu doesn’t have a strong flavor – you may want to add nutritional yeast, garlic, salt and/or vegetable oil (e.g., for scrambled tofu).
ENER-G – Egg Replacer. This powder can be quickly mixed with water to substitute for egg in baking recipes, as it mimics the chemical properties of eggs. This is not suitable for eating raw or for recipes where egg would be a primary element (e.g., quiche).
Vegan “Meat” Alternatives
BREAKFAST & SAVORY “SAUSAGES”
Amy’s – Breakfast Links
El Burrito – Soyrizo (soy-based Chorizo)
Field Roast – Grain meat sausages in three flavors: Italian, Mexican Chipotle and Smoked Apple Sage Apple Maple Breakfast sausage
gardein – Sausage breakfast patty
Lightlife – Gimme Lean Ground Sausage Style (in a tube), Smart Links Breakfast
Loma Linda – Little Links (in cans)
Organic Sunshine Patty – Breakfast patty
Sol Cuisine – Breakfast Patties
Soy Boy – Breakfast Links
Tofurky – Breakfast Links, Italian Sausage, Kielbasa, Beer Brats. Artisan sausages in Andouille (gumbo!), Spinach Pesto, Chick’N & Apple
Trader Joe’s – Soy Chorizo
Yves – Veggie Breakfast Links, Veggie Breakfast Patties, Veggie Brats, Veggie Brats Zesty Italian
Amy’s – California Veggie Burger, Texas Burger, All American Burger
Beast Burger, Beastly Sliders
Boca Burgers – Vegan Original Burger
Don Lee Farms – Veggie Patties available in warehouse stores (like Costco)
Dr. Praeger’s – California Veggie Burgers and Tex Mex Veggie Burgers
Field Roast –
Hand formed burger
Gardenburger – Vegan options: GardenVegan, Flame Grilled, Black Bean Chipotle, Veggie Medley, California Burger
gardein – The Ultimate Beefless Burger, The Ultimate Beefless Slider
Lightlife – Smart Patties Black Bean Burger, Smart Patties Original Burger with Quinoa
Morningstar Farms – Roasted Garlic & Quinoa Burger, Spicy Indian Veggie Burger
Organic Sunshine Burger – Original, Garden, Barbecue, Southwest, Falafel patty
SoyBoy – Okra Courage Burger
Trader Joe’s – Meatless Burger
Wildwood Organics – SprouTofu Veggie Burgers in Original, Shiitake and Southwest
Whole Foods Market – Meatless Burger
Worthington Loma Linda – Vege-Burger, Redi-Burger (in cans)
Yves – Meatless Beef & Chicken Burgers
Field Roast –
Lightlife – Smart Dogs, Tofu Pups
Sol Cuisine – Sol-Dog
SoyBoy – Not Dogs, Vegetarian Franks
Tofurky – Hot Dogs, Jumbo Hot Dogs
Whole Foods Market – Meatless hot dog
Worthington Loma Linda – Linkettes, Big Franks (in cans)
Yves – Meatless Hot Dogs, Tofu Dogs, Good Dog, Jumbo Hot Dogs
GROUND “BEEF” SUBSTITUTES
BeyondMeat – Beefy Crumbles, Feisty Crumbles
Boca Burger – Boca Crumbles
El Burrito – Soy Ground
gardein – The Ultimate Beefless Ground
Gardenburger – Meatless Crumbles
Lightlife – Gimme Lean beef style in a tube, Smart Ground, Smart Ground Mexican
Sol Cuisine – Organic Veggie Crumbles
Trader Joe’s – Meatless Crumble
Upton’s Naturals – Seitan varieties in Chick, Chorizo, Italian, Ground and Traditional
Wildwood – Meatless Crumbles
Worthington – Vegetarian Burger
Yves – Meatless Ground Round Original, Meatless Ground Taco Stuffers, Meatless Ground Turkey, Meatless Ground Lettuce Wraps
Lightlife – Smart Bacon and Fakin’ Bacon Smokey Tempeh Strips
Sweet Earth – Hickory & Sage Smoked Seitan Bacon
Upton’s Naturals – Bacon Seitan
Yves – Canadian Veggie Bacon, Veggie Bacon Strips
BeyondMeat – Chicken-free strips in Lightly Seasoned, Grilled and Southwest (excellent salad topper),
Boca – Chick’n Patties, Spicy Chick’n Patties
gardein – Sven Grain Crispy Tenders, Sweet and Tangy Barbeque Wings, Chipotle Lime Crispy Fingers, Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n, Crispy Chick’n Patty, Crispy Marinara Chick’n Filets, Teriyaki Chick’n Strips, Lightly Seasoned Chicken Scaloppini
Layonna – Vegan chicken “steaks” – round patties, chunks and meatless chicken (mock of half chicken)
Lightlife – Smart Strips Chick’n Style Strips
Morningstar Farms – Grillers® Chik’n Veggie Patties
Tofurky – Slow Roasted Chick’n Shreds in Lightly Seasoned, BBQ, Sesame Garlic, Tandoori, and Thai Basil
Trader Joe’s – Meatless Orange Chicken
Chickin Nuggets, Chickin Fillets
Whole Foods Market – Breaded Chickenless Patties and Chickenless Nuggets
Yves – Heart’s Desire Meatless Chicken Strips
“MEATLOAF” & “RIBS”
Field Roast –
Meatloaf, Quarter Loaves
gardein – Southern BBQ Riblets, Home Style Beefless Tips, Meatloaf (better than mom’s, don’t tell mom!)
Morningstar Farms – Hickory BBQ Riblets
Sol Cuisine – T-Ribz
Viana – Veggie Gyros
Field Roast – Deli Slices in Smoked Tomato, Wild Mushroom, and Lentil Sage
Lightlife – Smart Deli Slices (ham, turkey, bologna), Smart Deli Pepperoni
Tofurky – Tofurky slices in Oven Roasted, Peppered, Hickory Smoked, Italian, Bologna style, Roast Beef style, Smoked Ham style and Pepperoni
Yves – Deli Slices in Meatless Bologna, Ham, Turkey, Salami, Pepperoni, Smoked Chicken and Roast without the Beef
Amy’s – Meatless Veggie Meatballs
gardein – Classic Meatless Meatballs
Nate’s – Meatless Meatballs in Original, Zesty Italian and Savory Mushroom
Trader Joe’s – Meatless meatballs
Whole Foods Market– Meatless meatballs
Sophie’s Kitchen – The New Vegan Seafood! Vegan Crab Cakes, Breaded Scallops, Breaded Fish Fillets, Breaded Shrimp, Breaded Coconut Shrimp, Smoked Salmon, Black Pepper Toona, Sea Salt Toona
gardein – Mini Crabless Cakes, Golden Fish Fillet (veganized fish & chips!!)
Loma Linda – Fishless Tuna
Taste Above – Crab Cakes
Kite Hill – Decadent almond milk ricotta ravioli! Mushroom Ricotta & Spinach Ricotta
Rising Moon Organics – (not all varieties are vegan, look for the “V” on the front of the package). Organic vegan varieties: Garlic & Roasted Veggie Ravioli, Garlic & Basil Gnocchi, Spinach Florentine Ravioli, Butternut Squash Ravioli, Creamy Artichoke & Olive Ravioli
Soy Boy – Original Tofu Ravioli, Ravioli Rosa and Ravioli Verde (all made with Soy Boy organic tofu)
Soy Boy – Soy Boy Organic Baked Tofu in a variety of flavors: Tofu Lin (great in stir fry), Italian Tofu, Caribbean Tofu and Smoked Tofu
Tempt– Soy-free hemp tofu in Extra Firm Original, Chili Lime, Chorizo and Chimichurri (soy free tostadas!!)
Wildwood – Wildwood Sproutofu, organic, pre-seasoned/marinated tofu – ready to eat in Teriyaki Baked, Savory Baked, Royal Thai Baked, Aloha Baked (pineapple and pepper kebabs), Garlic Teriyaki Smoked, Mild Szechuan Smoked, Hickory BBQ Smoked, Pineapple Teriyaki, Moroccan Baked, Indian Curry Baked, Mongolian Baked (varieties vary by location)
Celebration a compassionate holiday and start new cruelty-free traditions!
Celebration Roast with traditional bread stuffing, Forager Roast, 1 lb. Celebration Roast, Hazelnut & Cranberry En Croute
gardein – Holiday Roast with cranberry & wild rice stuffing, Savory Stuffed Turk’y and Lightly Breaded Turk’y Cutlet (top with mushroom gravy and devour)
Tofurky – Tofurky Roast and Gravy (can’t beat the original!)
Trader Joe’s – Turkey-less Stuffed Roast
Vegans can have their pizza too!
American Flatbread – Vegan Harvest (best frozen vegan pizza available), Not a fan of vegan cheese? Try the Farmers Tomato Pie. (note: only these two pizzas are vegan)
Amy’s – (not all varieties are vegan, check the labels). Vegan varieties: Light & Lean Roasted Vegetable No Cheese, Vegan Margherita, Roasted Vegetable, Rice Crust Spinach, Rice Crust Dairy Free Pesto
Daiya – All varieties are gluten free and vegan! Supreme Pizza, Pizza Bianca, Cheeze Lover’s, Margherita, Fire Roasted Vegetable and Mushroom & Roasted Garlic
Tofurky – Pepperoni Pizza Pockets, Pepperoni Pizza, Gluten Free Pesto Supreme Pizza and Italian Tofurky Sausage
Pizza Pizzaz squares
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