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Dear HG,

I recently became a vegetarian, and haven't found very many "meat-like" items besides veggie-burgers.  Do you know of some other good vegetarian products?

-Burger Burnout
Dear Burnout,

You're in luck. There are tons of "meat-free" products in the market these days, with everything from bacon to meatloaf being made sans meat.  Some of my favorite veggie foods include Morningstar Farms Corn Dogs (crunchy, golden, and delicious), Gardenburger Riblets (BBQ as good as you'll find in Memphis!), Amy's Kitchen Tamale Pie, and Boca Meatless Lasagna, Chili and  Chik'n Patties (great on a Wonder Light bun).  All of these veggie finds taste awesome, are low in fat and calories, and high in fiber and protein (a nutrient that some vegetarians find it hard to get enough of).  In general, keep an eye out for products from Morningstar Farms, Gardenburger, Boca and Amy's Kitchen.  They all make really great meatless stuff!

Dear HG,

I'm having trouble finding some of the great items you rave about. I'm not in a  huge city, but I'm not in a small town either.  How do I go about getting my store to carry these items?

-Dreaming of Distribution
Dear Dreaming,

I hear you.  It's frustrating to hear everyone raving about how amazing a diet-friendly food or beverage item is, and then be unable to get in on the munching action.  Unfortunately, many of the best products are made by smaller companies whose merchandise is only sold in a limited area.  The internet, though, has done a lot to fix this problem, as most companies now have online stores and will ship their products directly to you.  If the company hasn't made their products available online, or doesn't ship to your neck of the woods, ask them why not.  Email them and let them know you'd love to buy their products.  Get your diet-concious buddies to do it, too.  Think this could never work?  It can!  In fact, subscribers here at HG deluged House Foods with emails asking for shirataki noodles and slowly but surely, they're getting out there!   Honestly, though, the very best way to get your local stores to carry an item is to be vocal.   Become a nag, and get your friends to do the same.  Keep asking your grocery store manager to carry the foods you want.  I harassed my local market into carrying Boca Lasagna.  And it was well worth the effort!  Bottom line?  Where there is demand, supply tends to follow.

Today, August 17th, is National Cheeseball Day.  Ew.

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