20 Yummy Vegan Protein Foods to Try at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods + Costco
So, you’ve got this whole weekend grocery shopping thing down to a science now. You shop TJ’s for budget clean-eating pantry items, affordable wines and Champagnes. You scan Costco’s hidden perks whenever you’re buying in bulk. And you’ve mastered Whole Foods’ budget organics offering. Sometimes you even price compare all three stores — like when you’re jonesing for pumpkin spice foods or stocking up on organic coffee beans. Well, add one more to your tri-store trifecta: great-tasting vegan meat alternatives for #MeatlessMonday and, with ALL of these options, any other day of the week too. Here’s a look at what’s cooking in the vegan frozen foods aisle at your three fave stores.
1. Sriracha Flavored Baked Tofu: Everybody HEARTS Sriracha! While it’s not all that difficult to prep, marinade and bake your own tofu, why go to the trouble when there’s TJs doing all that for you. Lazy girl FTW!
2. Beef-Less Ground Beef: Talk about your tasty *fake* meats — this one’s so good, even the carnivores in the house will devour it. Better pick up one package for you and a second for everyone else.
3. Soy Chorizo: Spiciness is the hallmark of chorizo, so don’t be surprised when you bite into this soy version and feel the heat. This would be deliciously picanté served up in a vegan gumbo.
4. Chicken-Less Crispy Tenders: When you’re jonesing for some chicken tenders, this is truly the next best thing. The crispy coating really holds up to any dipping sauce you want to take on.
5. Black Bean & Corn Enchilada: These enchiladas are a favorite of fans both vegan and carnivore. It’s rare to find organic eats this inexpensive, but you’d better buy two because one serving is never enough.
6. Meatless Meatballs: When you’re craving a meatball slider or sub, it’s great to have a bag of these babies on hand in the freezer. They make a quickie appetizer to serve with a beer when friends drop by unexpectedly.
7. Breaded Turkey-Less Stuffed Roast With Gravy: These little stuffed meatless roasts tend to pop up at TJs around the holidays. The star of this show is the stuffing made of cranberries, celery, apples, bread crumbs, rice and turkey spices. Going vegan at the holidays can be a challenge, but with these, you won’t be missing a thing!
8. Beyond Meat Beyond Beef Beefy Crumbles: These crumbles heat up quickly in the microwave and are packed with flavor and spices. Crumble them over pizza or in a vegan bolognese sauce and they’re delish.
9. Quorn Chik’n Nuggets: If you’re searching for a #MeatlessMonday replacement that doesn’t contain soy, you’ll love these nuggets. The corn breading crisps up nicely in the oven, making them perfect for dipping.
10. Dr. Praeger’s Purely Sensible Foods California Veggie Burgers: The Dr. Praeger’s brand of meatless foods are the go-to for vegans, as well as many gluten-free folks. One glance at the short ingredients list on the label tells you there’s no artificial ingredients, dyes or additives — and they taste delicious. What’s not to love?
11. Lightlife Smart Dogs: Healthy and hot dogs are words not generally spoken in the same sentence, but these hold up to the mustard and ketchup well. Kids young and old will gobble them up.
12. Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n: You can turn out a pretty believable stir-fry by just adding some fresh chopped veggies to this package. It’s a perfect dinner if you’re craving takeout but trying to eat healthy.
13. Gardein Crispy Chick’n Sliders: Everything you could ask for in a frozen slider and more, this meat substitute heats up quickly in a toaster oven. Unlike some chicken wannabes, these are coated in a breading that tastes like the real deal.
14. Gardein Sizzling Szechuan Beefless Strips: The sauce on these is flavorful, but not too spicy-hot. Serve them in a stir-fry mixed with fresh veggies over basmati rice, and your taste buds will be doing the happy dance.
15. Field Roast Vegetarian Sausages: These sausages get an A+ for appearance — it would be hard to pick yours off the grill if it were surrounded by the real thing. Unlike a lot of sausage replacement foods, they have a flavor that will satisfy your grilled sausage cravings and (bonus) they don’t contain soy.
16. Gardein Mini Crispy Crabless Cakes: These might just be the tastiest morsels this side of the vegan food chain. The crabless filling has all the great seasonings you’d expect in a real crab cake. Serve them with a tossed salad for a quick and healthy meal.
17. Don Lee Farms Veggie Patties: One of the original veggie patties, these are still a fave vegan go-to. Bonus: They’re also gluten-free!
18. Gardein Lightly Seasoned Chick’n Scallopini: These tenders say they’re lightly seasoned, and they are. But that’s what makes them so versatile. Pan fry them plain and serve with a sauce, or dip them in some panko breadcrumbs before baking and they’re utterly delicious.
19. Gardenburger Malibu Vegan Burger: These burgers are a tasty take on the real thing. Serve them on a toasted bun with some garlic aioli and a splash of Sriracha and no one will be the wiser.
20. Gardein Golden Fishless Filets: These make a tasty dinner on nights when you’re working late and need to rustle up a quick meal. Just nuke a potato, steam some broccoli or toss a side salad and dinner is served. The “fish” is very mild tasting, but the breading is extra-crisp and delish.
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(Photos via Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Costco)