January 21, 2023

You may be wanting to go 100% vegan, or simply include more plants in your diet, or improve your personal and environmental health without sacrificing great taste. The plant-based eating trend isn’t happening only in big cities in coastal states; plant-based purchases are increasing in every region of the country and among vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike!

More and more Americans are trying plant-based eating or at least a “Meatless Monday” meal every now and then. However, plant-based doesn’t automatically mean vegan. A vegan is someone who does not eat or use animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs, honey, etc. whereas a vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat, but may include dairy, eggs, fish and honey.

Going vegan and eliminating all animal products can be daunting, but with the help of Hy-Vee dietitians and Hy-Vee’s widespread HealthMarket selection, you’ll quickly discover how simple it is to start off your New Year with more plant-based versions of traditional favorites! Consider these three vegan diet tips from Hy-Vee registered dietitian:

  1. Always check the bold allergens statement. Use the bold allergens statement found at the bottom of the ingredients list as a first-glance check to see whether a food product is vegan. If the food contains any milk or eggs it will be bolded, telling you the product isn’t vegan without you’re having to read the entire ingredients list. However, honey is not considered one of the top 8 food allergens, so you’ll still need to skim the ingredients list.
  2. Swap ground meat with mushrooms + walnuts for your “meaty” mixture. The tangy flavor and oily texture of walnuts pairs with earthy mushrooms to create a ground beef alternative without a lot of fat.
  3. Vegan baked goods can still taste delicious! Most baking recipes call for butter or eggs, so vegan baking requires a few unfamiliar ingredient substitutions. Try substituting coconut oil for butter and a chia egg for a chicken egg. Simply add 3 tablespoons of warm water to 1 tablespoon of crushed chia seeds. Allow the seeds to soak for 5 minutes until you have a gel-like consistency. Then use the mixture in your recipe.

Hungry for more diet education and guidance? Invest in your health! Ease into a new way of eating with help from a Hy-Vee dietitian during a 1:1 consultation. A Hy-Vee dietitian can provide food tips and suggestions specific to your health goals and discuss nutrients of concern when eating a vegan diet. Connect with your dietitian and learn more about our services at www.hy-vee.com/health/hy-vee-dietitians/.

Ready to get started on a vegan diet? Try out these Sheet Pan Nachos perfect for sharing on a game day with your friends and family!

Vegan Sheet Pan Nachos
Serves 8

All You Need:
1 (8-oz) pkg whole baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 cups Hy-Vee walnuts
2 tbsp Hy-Vee thick & rich tomato ketchup
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp Hy-Vee cayenne pepper
1 tbsp smoked paprika
½ tsp Hy-Vee garlic powder
2 tbsp Gustare Vita olive oil
1 (13-oz) pkg Hy-Vee white corn restaurant style tortilla chips
1 cup dairy-free Mexican-style shreds
½ (16-oz) container homestyle guacamole
½ (8-oz) container chipotle Bitchin’ Sauce
½ cup Culinary Tours mild Texas style two corn salsa
¼ cup bottled pickled red onions, drained
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Thinly sliced jalapeño peppers, for garnish*
Fresh cilantro, for garnish
Lime wedges, for serving

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, extending paper over edges of pan; set aside.
  2. Place mushroom slices in a medium saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil; boil for 4 to 5 minutes or until softened. Drain mushrooms. Place on paper towels; pat dry.
  3. Place mushrooms and walnuts in a food processor or blender. Cover and pulse or blend until finely chopped. Add ketchup, tamari, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika and garlic powder; cover and pulse or blend until smooth.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushroom-walnut paste; cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring and breaking into fine crumbles. Stir in olive oil; cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until browned and crumbled, stirring occasionally.
  5. To assemble, spread half of tortilla chips in prepared baking pan. Layer with half each of Mexican-style shreds and mushroom-walnut crumbles; repeat layers with remaining chips, Mexican-style shreds and mushroom-walnut crumbles. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until shreds are heated through.
  6. To serve, lift edges of parchment paper to remove nachos from baking pan; transfer nachos to a large serving platter. Top with guacamole, chipotle sauce, corn salsa, pickled red onions and lime juice. Garnish with jalapeño peppers and cilantro; serve with lime wedges, if desired.

*NOTE: Chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes. When working with jalapeño peppers, wear protective gloves. Recipe source: January 2023 Hy-Vee Seasons magazine. The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.