There’s no arguing that meat is pretty delicious. I mean, what’s not to like? It’s red, juicy, fatty, and filling. But as research into nutrition and the environmental expands, it’s becoming increasingly clear that we shouldn’t eat too much meat. “But I need my protein!”, you shout as you read this. And while you’re not wrong, most people forget that there are several alternative protein sources that can give you the same nutrients and satisfaction as a T-Bone, with arguably the same rich flavor.

So, I’ve made a list of my favorite alternative protein source products for you to eat without missing the meat!

Alpha Foods

Gabriela Blanco

Knowing that a plant-based diet is good for our health, helps animals, and promotes a more sustainable environment, Alpha Foods offers a range of plant-based entrees for those leading a meatless lifestyle or just having a meatless Monday. I got to sample all of their offerings including burritos, handheld pot pies, chik’n nuggets, and tamales.

With fire roasted peppers, onions, and spicy sauces, the chik’n fajita burrito and chik’n veggie tamale were a perfect lunch for my breaks in-between classes (yes I’m summer classes, yes it’s as bad as it sounds). They were filling, bright, and freshly flavored, and most importantly, with each bite I was genuinely surprised that I wasn’t eating chicken. They’ve definitely mastered the texture and flavor of alternative protein sources.

The same goes for their breaded chik’n nuggets, which reminded me of my favorite dinosaur chicken nuggets that practically defined my childhood. Even the buffalo chik’n pizza and handheld pizza pot pie had the same greasy, gooey bite that you look for from spicy chicken and Italian sausage.

Even better, all Alpha Foods’ products are super convenient to prepare, with simple microwave and conventional oven heating instructions on each product’s wrapper. There’s no excuse for not being able to skip the meat with Alpha Foods; they make it easy, delicious, and addicting.


Gabriela Blanco
Gabriela Blanco

Now I know, getting your daily source of protein from rice sounds ridiculous and impossible, quite frankly. But thanks to RightRice, it can actually happen. In fact, RightRice makes their dry, shelf-stable rice grain from lentils, chickpeas, peas, and rice, resulting in a grain with double the protein, five times the fiber, and 40% less carbs than a normal bowl of rice. At 180 calories and 10g of protein per serving, RightRice is another healthy, filling option for a meal without meat.

I got to try four of their most popular flavors: original, Spanish, lemon pepper, and garlic-herb. And despite not being a true grain, all flavors had the same starchy taste and texture as our favorite carb. Even better, they cooked faster than normal rice; from start to finish it took me less than ten minutes to prepare an entire packet. One of my favorite meals using RightRice was mixing their Spanish flavor with black beans, broccoli, peppers, and curry sauce. So thanks to the miracle that is RightRice, now you can eat all the rice you want and not feel guilty about carb-loading.

Dr. Praeger's

Gabriela Blanco

Last but definitely not least, Dr. Praeger's sells the best meat alternative for busy people. Their frozen veggie burgers, chick'n tenders, seafood entrees, puffs, hash browns, cakes, and bowls are all quickly prepared in a microwave or oven, making them great for people who want to but don't have the time to make their own meatless meals. In fact, the company was founded by two heart surgeon friends who definitely didn't have the time to be cooking up kale puffs in between open heart surgeries. I tried their California veggie burgers and they've been my favorite quick lunch this summer. They cook in under five minutes and taste just as fresh as if I had made them myself, with chunks of carrots, peas, and red peppers bursting with flavor in my mouth. They're also super versatile, going great on a sandwich or in a rice bowl or even in a tortilla. 

So, hopefully this list got you excited to try plant-based eating. I myself decided to avoid eating meat after watching an especially impactful documentary on Netflix about the meat industry (as one does when bored over the summer). It’s opened my eyes to the danger of meat to both our bodies and the planet, and while I’m not certain I’ll stay strictly meatless I’m definitely going to stop eating so much of it. So, if you’re like me or just want to go meatless for fun, I hope you find this list of alternative protein sources helpful. Meat is soooo last season anyways.