In Praise of Prepackaged Vegan Products

In her new cookbook, Hot for Food All Day, Lauren Toyota shows that vegan recipes can be seriously delicious—and super simple to make. Here, she shares the vegan products that deserve to be in your cooking arsenal.

We’ve come a long way with vegan convenience products, and it makes me joyful! Bottom line: I use them. Do I use them all the time in every meal? No. But I use them in my cookbook. How often you make and eat things is your own damn business. But I stand behind the vegan food products at the grocery store because, at the end of the day, ain’t nobody got time to make every single thing from scratch. Find and support the brands you love—below are just a few of my favourites.

(Related: How to Become a Vegan: A Beginner’s Guide)

Vegan cheese is so good. If you’ve been scared to try it, know that it’s better than it’s ever been! If you can only find slices, you can just shred the whole stack on a box grater. Daiya has a line of shreds called the Cutting Board Collection that melts and tastes amazing. For slices, I like Follow Your Heart/Earth Island, Field Roast Chao Slices and Violife.

Vegan deli slices are what they sound like: meatless deli slices! I usually use the Tofurky brand slices myself.

Veggie ground round is a meatless ground beef substitute. There are plenty on the market, so find your fave and use it!

Soy curls are the best thing ever. Really the only kind I’ve ever seen is a brand called Butler Soy Curls. You can easily order it online rather than running around to a ton of stores and searching the shelves.

Frozen french fries and tater tots are vegan—hallelujah!

Excerpted from Hot for Food All Day by Lauren Toyota. Copyright © 2021 by Lauren Toyota. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Next: Try Toyota’s recipe for vegan pasta, which unexpectedly features Brussels sprouts.

Originally Published in Best Health Canada