So you’ve decided you’re going to go vegan, but where to start? What will you replace the ham in your sandwiches with? Will you ever get to taste anything like sausages again? Whether vegan-curious or in the midst of transitioning, this list will help you make choices that feel familiar to you and, ultimately, make your journey easier.
There’s never been as much variety in plant-based milks as there is right now. You can choose from soy, cashew, coconut, rice, hazelnut and almond milks. You can even get them in flavours including chocolate and strawberry! Try out Alpro and Oatly.
You may be surprised to know, but plant-based sausages are very very similar to the real thing. There are several brands that produce vegan sausages and more are coming every day! Try Linda McCartney vegan sausages or Dee’s Wholefoods.
Irish people are quite fond of eggs, but you don’t have to promote the egg industry to enjoy the taste of them. Try out the Follow Your Heart vegan egg, which makes very eggy-tasting scrambled eggs and omelettes, or you can make your own eggs out of tofu.
Mayonnaise is made with eggs, so vegans don’t eat it. But if you’re a coleslaw lover and you were worried about alternatives, you can rest assured that vegan mayonnaise is just as good as what you’re used to. If you’re also a garlic fan, we personally recommend the 3am Garlic Mayo from Moodley Manor.
Many people very strongly about cheese, and it’s one of the most cited reasons why people don’t want to try veganism. But in the past few years, plant-based companies have made huge strides with vegan cheese. It’s now relatively easy to find Nature & Moi or VioLife cheeses in any major supermarket in Ireland. They may not be exactly like the real thing, but we think they’re pretty close taste-wise, and things are only going to get better from here. We recommend shredded Nature & Moi cheese for pizzas.
You’ve no doubt heard of the Beyond Burger, which is a brand of plant-based beef patties that are apparently indistinguishable from the real thing. Unfortunately it isn’t available in Ireland yet, but you still have options if you want a nice Sunday roast with the rest of your family.
If your little ones love chicken nuggets, you should try Quorn‘s take on the staple as they are incredibly similar to actual chicken nuggets from any generic brand at the supermarket. There are a range of chicken products from Quorn that are absolutely worth a try, like southern fried chicken burger patties, fajita strips, fillets and chicken-free slices.
You can make your own bacon from scratch from dulse, tempeh or coconut, or if you want something out of the packet you should try Moodley Manor’s Badass Bacon, a firm favourite of the Irish vegan community.
Chocolate is an easy one, as there are quite a few bars you’ve eaten your whole life that are accidentally vegan (such as Fry’s Chocolate Cream) and a whole host of others by vegan brands, like Vego, MooFree and Fabulous Free From Factory. You can even get vegan Nutella (SoFree by Plamil is available online and at Holland & Barrett), hot chocolate (Cadbury’s and Galaxy drinking chocolate are both accidentally vegan) and cookies (Tesco Free From chocolate chip cookies)
Alpro has a big range of delicious vegan yogurts similar to Petit Filous, with flavours including vanilla, mango, strawberry and banana, and apple and pear. Koko is another brand that’s coconut-based and available in many major supermarkets, such as Tesco.
This cold, creamy goodness makes some of the worst days better, but you don’t have to live without it by going vegan! There is some absolutely fantastic (and so delicious) plant-based ice cream from Irish brands like Two Hens Ice Cream and Nobó. Even Aldi has vegan ice cream, and Dunnes has an own brand vanilla and caramel flavour that won’t break the bank. If you feel like spluring, you can try Ben & Jerry’s Dairy Free flavours, Almond Dream or Swedish Glace.
Take a look at our list of vegan alcohol and accidentally-vegan products, as well as our list of vegan-friendly restaurants and cafés by county.
Check out Plantgoodness24.ie (the online Irish vegan supermarket) for more delicious food, as well as cosmetic and household products.