8 New Portland-Made, Plant-Based Protein Staples
Where do vegans and vegetarians get their protein? In Portland, our veritable plant-based paradise, it comes from an endlessly diverse array of local foodstuffs, from mock chicken strips and salads to miso tofu, artisan tempeh, and savory seitan.
Sound super strange? Don’t close this tab, carnivores! You won’t want to miss the crave-worthy granola and nut butters we’ve included. (Plus, a government advisory report recently recommended that we all eat more plant-based foods, anyway.) Check out the protein-powered, Portland-made products filling our pantries and refrigerators right now:
Hanzi’s Famous Salads by Higher Taste
The Story: Beloved by old-guard veggies for their trademark Buzzitos and Golden Slice sandos, the Wrobel family has lovingly prepared the Higher Taste’s fresh vegetarian fare for wholesale markets from Food Front to Fred Meyer since 1987. The Southeast Portland-based company has provided a colorful array of wholesome bulk deli salads—think curried rice and chickpea edamame—for fifteen years, and will now also offer “Hanzi’s Famous Salads” in single-serving containers. We recommend the Veggie Chik, a rich mayo-and-tofu mock-chicken salad also available as a homestyle spread.
Find It: New Seasons Market, People’s Co-op, Food Fight! ($4.25)
Pecan Crunch Granola by Ark Elements
The Story: This new meal delivery service provides ready-to-eat Paleo entrees to local Crossfitters and gluten-free health foodies. On the side, they also make a killer granola. The company’s Pecan Crunch blends nuts, coconut oil, maple syrup, and even yams to create minimally processed, vegan, grain-free goodness with 8 grams of protein per serving.
Find It: New Seasons Market ($9.99)
white bean tempeh by Cultured Bean
The Story: Athonwy Doherty launched his alternative tempeh company last year, proffering bricks of fermented beans to People’s Farmers Market shoppers. Never pasteurized or frozen, the soy-free slabs are available in black bean, white bean, and weekly specials made with intriguing ingredients like seaweed, shitakes, and sesame seeds. Rather not cook it yourself? Keep an eye out on Portobello’s menu, where the allergen-friendly tempeh makes seasonal appearances.
Find It: People’s Co-op ($4.29), Food Fight!
In League With Seitan by Snackrilege
The Story: Portland’s only vegan metal sandwich company now sells its signature seitan a la carte. Fans of the Hail Chic’n, Bunslawter, and Snaxegrinder can make their own homemade hoagie out of Snackrilege’s salty wheat meat, or scarf down the single-serving container for a simple, savory snack. (Avert your eyes, gluten-free folk!) The seitan is also sold wholesale to veg-friendly campuses from Intel to University of Portland.
Find It: Food Front NW, Alberta Co-op, Food Fight! ($3.00)
Mountaineer Maple by Bogg’s Trail Butter
The Story: Bogg’s blends almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts and peanuts into a heavenly nut butter, sweetening the stuff with maple syrup and honey* and pouring it all into a squeezable pouch. These four-ounce pouches are perfect for mountain climbers, distance cyclists, marathon runners, PCT hikers—anyone who needs to consume 800 calories (and a day’s worth of fat) in thirty seconds. But this isn’t just fuel; trail butters are delicious and dangerously crave-worthy. Maybe we should all take up trail running as an excuse to eat the whole pouch?
Find It: Food Front NW, Whole Foods ($5.49)
*This product contains honey and is not suitable for strict vegans.
Slow Roasted Chick’n by Tofurky
The Story: Now the biggest name in fake meat, Tofurky has produced soy-based grub from sausage quiche to pepperoni pizza pockets since 1980. (Fun fact: the Wrobel family helped the company develop its famous roasts!) The Hood River-based company recently entered the wheat meat market with a new line of Slow Roasted Chick’n, available in six rich, globally inspired flavors like Tandoori, Thai Basil and BBQ, all packed with about 23g of protein per serving.
Find It: New Seasons Market, Food Fight! ($3.50)
Tofu Misozuke by Obon
The Story: Japanese native Fumiko Hozumi moved from San Francisco last year with husband Jason Duffany to open a restaurant showcasing traditional plant-based Japanese recipes. Until the couple’s brick-and-mortar dreams come true, find Obon’s fledgling menu—think fried curried kabocha and creamy onigiri—at People’s Farmers Market, and its Tofu Misozuke inside the co-op. Dating back hundreds of years, this simple, versatile miso-pickled tofu spread is a savory substitute for dip, cream cheese or pate.
Find It: Food Front NW, People’s Co-op ($4.49)
Organic Tempeh Patties by Cascade Naturals
The Story: Sandra Coggins’ one-woman artisan tempeh company spawned from life-changing lessons in fermentation at the Kushi Macrobiotic Institute in Massachusetts. Now based in North Portland, Coggins’ small-batch tempeh burgers are flavored with tamari, apple juice and herbs for a nutty, savory meat substitute with 16g of protein per patty.
Find It: People’s Co-op, Proper Eats, Food Fight! ($3.65)