In 1988, realizing there was no difference between the dogs he loved and the pigs he was eating, Jack Norris, RD, became vegan. Now, as the executive director of Vegan Outreach and co-author of “Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet,” Jack promotes the vegan lifestyle to all.
But what to eat? At the time Jack became vegan, few people knew what it meant and vegan products were scarce — he lived on peanut butter and jelly, stir-fry’s, and burritos. But today, vegan products have gone mainstream and it’s hard to keep up with all the new foods and products being introduced on a weekly basis.
If you’re interested in making the switch to veganism, you might be wondering where you should start. To give you some inspiration, we asked Jack what his favorite vegan foods are — here’s what he said.
I love protein and Tofurky’s Italian sausages provide a whopping 30 grams per serving. I eat these every day. While this works great as a staple for breakfast, I also often slice them up for my pasta sauce in the evening, too! You can find some here.
Who needs regular cheese when there’s Miyoko’s Aged English Sharp Farmhouse? The Sharp Farmhouse is my favorite, but Miyoko has a wide variety of amazing block cheeses and I’ve yet to try one I don’t like.
Want a satisfying burger without the risk of ingesting the harmful bacteria often associated with red meat? Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger is amazing and packs 20 grams of protein per serving.
I know it’s shameless to list the same company twice, but I’d be lying if I didn’t include Tofurky’s Veggie Roast at the top of my list. The veggie roast put them on the map. And while there are many great vegan roasts, Tofurky remains my favorite.
An afternoon snack of crackers and Daiya Cream Cheeze Spread hits the spot. This is my favorite vegan cream cheese so far, though there are admittedly many other tantalizing brands. You can find it here.
Classico’s spicy red pepper pasta sauce is what I’d label “vegan by accident,” and has been a staple in my diet for decades. It has the perfect amount of kick to make a bowl of spaghetti interesting and delicious. You can find it here.
I never cared about shaving cream (or in this case, gel) until I tried Dr. Bronner’s. It literally makes the incredibly-tedious-and-often-painful procedure something I actually look forward to. Most importantly, no animals have had shaving cream dripped in their eyes to make this product. You can find it here.
Creamy Original Chao Slices by Field Roast are coconut-based and seasoned with chao tofu to provide a rich and creamy alternative to dairy-based cheese. But be careful — it’s nearly impossible to have just one. You can find it here.
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Jack Norris, RD is an American dietitian and animal rights activist. He’s the executive director of Vegan Outreach, an American grassroots animal advocacy group, which was founded in 1993. He’s also the co-author of “Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet.”