Top Pick Of The Week

May 17, 2011


That delicious “meat sauce” is made with tempeh-based “meat.” Photography courtesy Lightlife.

WHAT IT IS:  A delicious line of popular products made with tempeh soy protein instead of animal meat.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: The texture is so good, and the seasoning so deft, that you don’t realize the “chicken,” “bacon,” “burgers” and so forth are not real meat.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Another delicious way to cut back on cholesterol and eat sustainably.
WHERE TO BUY IT: Find a store locator on the company website,

.Page 2: Lightlife’s Tempeh-Based Products



Recently we had the opportunity to taste a sampling of the Lightlife line at an industry event. When we RSVP’d, we were omnivores looking forward to getting to know the line. We left as evangelists, with delicious vegan choices to help us eat more sustainably.*

To those with raised eyebrows, we aver that, two months later, we remember every bite. The feast included smoky “burgers,” juicy “hot dogs,” and “turkey” and avocado sandwiches on whole grain bread. We were in heaven.

Don’t let the quote marks bias you. We loved the “meats” so much that we bailed on an invitation to dinner at Todd English’s new restaurant and stayed at the Lightlife party to eat seconds of everything.

*The production of meat is a huge drain on the earth’s resources, and is also the number one contributor to climate change. More about this below.


These vegetarian meats are such a close match to real meat, that in many cases the substitute is as enjoyable as the “real thing.”  In certain cases, we preferred the vegetarian option. Pepperoni is an example: all of the spice and chewiness, without the greasiness of the real thing.


  • Start the day with bacon-style strips, “sausage” patties or links.

Hot Dogs, Sausages & Ground “Meat”

  • Under sauerkraut or with mustard, we couldn’t tell that these juicy dogs weren’t “real meat.”
  • Three flavors of sausage—chorizo, Italian-style and smoked—go from morning (eggs) to lunch (quiche) to dinner recipes.
  • The burgers were also hit: Smoky and delicious, they tasted as if they had just come off the grill.
  • Ground “beef” and “sausage” make it easy to create “meat sauce,” stuffed mushrooms, and more.


  • You can have your chick’n any way you want it: cutlets, wings, tenders and strips.
  • There are also “steak strips” for your fajitas! (See photo below.)

Deli Meats

  • Make a “bologna,” “ham” or “turkey” sandwich.
  • “Pepperoni” pizza tastes like the real thing.

There are also meals ready to heat and eat.

The website has coupons and lots of recipes.

What is “sustainable” eating? Continue below.


This is Page 2 of a three-page review. Click on the black links to visit related pages:


Sustainable Eating

We love meat. And we don’t have cholesterol issues.

But we’ve chosen to eat more vegan meals in order to do our part to “save the planet.”

Choosing to eat more vegetable-based foods is one small but significant step toward that goal. Plant-based foods take less from the land than meat-based foods.

Beef is the food that has the largest negative impact on the environment.†

  • The enormous volume of meat, pork and poultry farm waste can't be re-processed, and could potentially end up in our waterways.
  • For every sixteen pounds of grain and soybeans fed to beef cattle, we get back only one pound of meat.
  • On average, land requirements for meat-protein production are 10 times greater than for plant-protein production. Producing 1kg of animal protein requires approximately 100 times more water than producing 1kg of grain protein.
Have a no-meata-fajita!
  • Less than half the harvested acreage in the US is used to grow food for people. The rest is used to grow food for cattle and other meat animals.
  • The increasing demand for meat by the Earth’s growing population has felled  vital rain forests, which are turned into fields for grazing and for growing food for meat animals. Nearly half of the world's rain forests have already vanished. While they cover only 7% of the Earth’s land, these forests contain nearly two-thirds of all animal and plant species, which vanish when their habitat is destroyed. Trees also ingest carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas. The fewer trees on Earth, the more climate change.

But you don’t have to be on a social mission to enjoy Lightlife products. And you don’t have to give up flavor and enjoyment. These products get by on taste alone.


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