Meat seems to be the mainstay of the American diet. There are those who eat meat and then there are all the rest. Meat eaters rarely try meat substitutes, for fear of them tasting like cardboard. And while that is true of some brands, here are 5 soy based products that taste like the real deal. The next time you want to cut back on fat and calories or just don't feel like cooking meat, opt for these healthy products instead. They can be found in most grocery stores in the frozen food sections. (Note: As with any frozen product, these are processed products, so watch for salt and sugar content. However, most ingredients are much healthier than any breaded meat you would find and are much lower in fat and calories.)
If you're craving FRIED CHICKEN, try: BOCA ORIGINAL CHICK'N MEATLESS PATTIES
Made with soy protein, these patties really do taste like fried chicken. One patty has 160 calories, 6 grams of fat (none saturated), 15 grams of carbs, 11 grams of protein, and a whopping 10% of your daily iron. A great option for kids, they come in chicken nugget varieties as well, and it's likely they won't even notice the difference!
If you're craving SAUSAGE, try: MORNINGSTAR FARMS VEGGIE SAUSAGE
Made with organic soy, each patty contains 80 calories, 3 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbs and 8 grams of protein (6% of iron as well). They bake in about 15 minutes and save your caloric bank by being flavorful but not drowned in grease.
If you're craving GROUND BEEF, try: BOCA GROUND CRUMBLES
Perfect for sloppy joes, chili, pasta dishes, and Mexican food, this soy protein (made with no artificial flavors or preservatives) has 60 calories per serving, with 0.5 grams of fat, 6 carbs, 3 grams of fiber, and 13 grams of protein. Look for labels that are lower in salt.
If you're craving CORN DOGS, try: MORNINGSTAR FARMS VEGGIE DOGS
Though they've recently had issues with their suppliers, making these delectable veggie dogs nearly impossible to get (and royally pissing off thousands of vegetarians in the process), they are worth the wait. These corn dogs really taste like the real thing and take the edge off when you are craving fried food. At 150 calories per dog, 4 grams of fat, 22 carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein, this is a good "treat" to have on occasion.
If you're craving BACON, try: MORNINGSTAR VEGGIE BACON STRIPS
Though these don't taste exactly like bacon, they have a very satisfying flavor and get quite crispy (and I know many bacon lovers that prefer these over the real thing). At 60 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of protein for 2 strips, it's a better bet than its fatty counterpart and can be a great addition to eggs.