No Meat, No Problem

By Paige Green, Hy-Vee Dietitian on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Explore the possibilities of plant-based eating

Plant-based eating has been one of the biggest trends of 2020. But what does "plant-based" exactly mean? The consensus seems to be a diet that prioritizes fruits and veggies, whether someone excludes meat from their diet or not. Nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans and legumes are also encouraged.


A recent study showed that eating quality plant-based foods while cutting out meat, as well as heavily processed foods, can reduce your risk for heart disease. Companies have taken note and have released a variety of plant-based protein products. Whether you’re jumping on the trend or simply prioritizing your health by adjusting your eating habits, there’s no doubt that adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is a positive move.

Plus, it’s easier than ever to find delicious plant-based meals right inside the grocery store. Here are some you can try:

Boca Veggie Burgers: Your grill won’t know the difference, and neither will you. This plant-based “meat” is just as delicious as it is convenient. Plus, just because it’s meatless doesn’t mean it lacks protein. Each juicy patty contains 13 grams of protein per serving, as well as 60% less fat than a traditional hamburger.

 TRY THIS RECIPE: Buffalo Cauliflower Lettuce Tacos

VeganEgg: Scramble to the store to pick up this incredible egg replacer that mimics the taste and texture of this common breakfast staple. The versatility you’d expect from the egg is just as exceptional with this product. You can whip together anything from moist muffins to fluffy scrambled eggs.

Melissa’s Organic Tofu:  Tofu is made from soybeans and is a solid substitute when it comes to protein. It has a remarkable ability to soak up any flavor you put with it, meaning the recipe options are endless. And, again, the protein content doesn’t suffer – it packs in 8 grams per 3-ounce serving.

jackfruitThe Jackfruit Company: The jackfruit itself is big – so big that one single fruit can weight up to 100 pounds. The Jackfruit Company does the work and prepares it for you, making a variety of products that resemble a meaty texture. One of the company’s most popular products is the "pulled pork." This fruit is about to become your new favorite.

Gardein Beefless Ground Crumbles: Whether you’re a proud carnivore, devoted vegetarian or vegan newbie, ground meat is – or was – a staple in so many recipes. These Gardein meatless crumbles are versatile, won’t shrink down when cooked, and contain 18 grams of protein in each ¾ cup. It’s a garden-grown protein you can count on.

If you decide to add more plant-based proteins to your diet, you don’t have to fret about missing out on your favorites. Whether you opt to enjoy one plant-based meal per week, or fully convert to this eating pattern, more variety is always welcome at the dinner table.

paigePaige Green received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management at the University of Northern Iowa in 2012. She pursued her passion for nutrition at Iowa State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics during the spring of 2015. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Paige truly sets out to educate individuals on finding a healthy balance in life and her passion for people and nutrition inspires clients of all ages. You can find Paige at the Ames Hy-Vee on Lincoln Way.