Processed Vegan Foods Are Helpful. Here's Why...

From my Instagram last night:

   Caption under pic "I
 made portobello lasagna tonight using spaghetti sauce, vegan sausage, 
spinach, basil, oregano, vegan cream cheese, garlic, and onion. I 
haven't made this since last year and usually add Daiya "mozzarella" but
 it wasn't necessary this time. Our taste buds are changing again and we 
use less vegan cheese than before.  Faux meats and cheeses definitely 
helped our family a lot in the beginning of this food journey. What's 
for dinner at your house?"

Caption under pic "I made portobello lasagna tonight using spaghetti sauce, vegan sausage, spinach, basil, oregano, vegan cream cheese, garlic, and onion. I haven't made this since last year and usually add Daiya "mozzarella" but it wasn't necessary this time. Our taste buds are changing again and we use less vegan cheese than before. Faux meats and cheeses definitely helped our family a lot in the beginning of this food journey. What's for dinner at your house?"

After posting that picture, I thought about our family's vegan journey. When I started cooking vegan meals 3 years ago, we ate a lot of vegan prepacked items, faux meats and cheese.  It really helped us transition as a family because I didn't know much about vegan cooking and the faux meat and cheeses made for quick go-to meals.

I may have given up on a vegan lifestyle without being able to rely on the processed faux products.

Even though I have no plans in the near future to eliminate vegan meat (mainly Field Roast sausage) and vegan cheese from our diet; I will say we no longer buy seitan, Gardein products, or Amy's prepackaged meals.  It's not because I dislike these products, but mainly because I feel so much more confident in the kitchen.  I find myself making vegetable stir-fry, spaghetti with TVP & black bean tacos as filling, simple and inexpensive meals. 

In the beginning, vegan cooking can be intimidating.  Sometimes it's hard not to see meat as the center of a meal and faux meat can help make the transition easier.

If you're fairly new to a vegan lifestyle, don't beat yourself up about eating a lot of processed foods. As you research, learn and grow, that will decrease and you will love eating more whole foods.

Thanks for reading!