Many people don't realize how easily vegan food can replace meat, dairy, and eggs in traditional recipes. It can be hard to forgo the foods our families have been eating for years, but thankfully, companies all over the world make vegan products that work flawlessly as substitutes for meat, dairy, egg, and even honey.

When it comes to comfort food, I have nine recommendations for those who are interested in eating less meat or becoming vegetarian or vegan.

1. Earth Balance Vegan Butter 

This butter works perfectly in any recipe that calls for dairy butter, such as cookies, on toast, or for sautéeing veggies. It's also amazing melted on a baked potato.

2. Bob's Red Mill Vegetarian Egg Replacer

Black Forest Brownies

Vegan Feast Catering on Flickr

If you like to bake, this product is for you. It's pretty simple: In a recipe that calls for an egg, mix one tablespoon of egg replacer with three tablespoons of water.

Companies are also making fake vegan eggs that work in omelettes or as scrambled eggs, but they're currently only sold in the US. If you're curious about why vegans don't eat eggs, you can learn more here.

3. Yves Veggie Ground or Gardein Beefless Ground

Chili and lasagna are two of the most comforting and satisfying meals, especially in the winter time. Ground veggie "beef" can be used in exactly the same way as meat; just add it in when the recipe calls for ground beef or turkey. These products are also perfect for vegan bolognese sauce or taco meat. 

4. Chao Cheese Slices 

I've tried a lot of vegan cheese, and this is definitely the best when it comes to grilled cheese. The original flavour is similar to swiss or light cheddar, so it tastes delicious on its own too.

5. Daiya Shredded Cheese

This brand of vegan cheese goes perfectly on pizza or nachos. It melts like dairy cheese and has that same satisfying saltiness. Make sure to melt it on top of something for ultimate goodness. 

6. Toffuti Sour Cream and Cream Cheese 

In any recipe that calls for sour cream or cream cheese, Toffuti is your go-to. Remember that baked potato from earlier? It would taste amazing with some vegan sour cream on top.

7. Zengarry (Canada) or Kite Hill Cheese (USA)

Zengarry and Kite Hill make soft vegan cheeses that are perfect for spreading on crackers. Pair the cheese with seedy crackers, some grapes, and fruit preserves, and you have a crowd-pleasing snack or appetizer.

8. Nona Alfredo-Style or Cheesy-Style Sauce

Can you tell I like cheese? Nona vegan cheese sauce is perfect for making fettucini alfredo and mac n' cheese or pouring on top of nachos. Bonus points because their products are made from healthy ingredients like cashews and olive oil.

9. So Delicious Dairy-Free Ice Cream (Canada) or Ben & Jerry's Non-Dairy (USA)

There's nothing more comforting than a bowl of ice cream, especially when it tastes just like the stuff you grew up eating. So Delicious and Ben and Jerry's both make vegan ice cream that goes perfectly in sundaes, milkshakes or floats.

As you can probably tell, there are a lot of substitutes for the meat and dairy products that many of us are used to eating. They're perfect when you're craving something comforting and nostalgic, and if you're transitioning to a vegan diet, these products are a great way to get accustomed to vegan food while still eating the classic comfort foods you love.