Make sure you read the ingredients before you buy. (I think it's Morningstar that likes to sneak in milk and eggs). I personally think that once in a while fake meats are ok. They are a lot better for you than actual meat, and they are great to have if you're having a craving! But I think the healthiest way to go is to limit them to a couple times a week.
Like Nicole said Morning Star, Boca, and Amy's all have some with dairy some without. While I would say in an ideal world you shouldn't have them from time to time when I don't feel like making my own black bean patties I will have an Amy's All American Vegan Pattie on the grill yummy. I also know the Morning Star riblets are vegan and yummy. Also some safer alternatives to meat are Seitan, which works great in stew and stroganoff versions, or Tempeh.
Courtney, if the faux meats are making your transition easier, go with it for now. Slowly reduce the amount as you find vegetable-based meals with whole grains that you enjoy. We rarely eat these processed faux meats, but will every once in awhile. You can also find recipes to make your own seitan and tempeh which would also be better for you later on in your journey. Good luck!
I eat fake meat from time to time; I like having some burgers or sausages in my freezer to use in a pinch. Highly recommed Field Roast sausages and meat loaf (mentioned in another thread on this board); they're made from grain, not soy and are much tastier than soy sausages. For burgers, I use Boca.
Are those field roast sausages, do they have protein? If we need both a bean type of protein and a grain type, if we eat this, we are having the grain type right? And we'd still need a bean type to make it a complete protein?
No, I think that's a myth. You can get protein from non-legume plant sources such as quinoa and amaranth. Field Roast sausages are very high in protein. It is from wheat gluten, so if you are gluten-sensitive, you'd have to avoid their products.
I think especially while you are trying to transition, if you like the "fake meats", its fine. Do watch out because a lot of them aren't vegan (milk and eggs) - Morningstar in particular has very few vegan products. I like Amy's because they're usually pretty clearly labeled. And I haven't found a Field Roast product yet that isn't AMAZING! Although, like Laura said - they won't work for you if you are sensitive to gluten!
I try to only have fake meats once in a while, because although they are way better than the real meat alternatives, they are still highly processed and not that great for you. But, especially having kids - sometimes I just need something quick, easy, and pretty much a no-brainer, and the fake meats are a lifesaver!
Esperanza - the "protein-combining" stuff is mostly just a myth - you don't need to eat different types of protein right together in the same meal to make up a "complete" protein. Its now pretty widely accepted and well-researched that as long as you eat a variety of different foods every day, your body will get everything it needs.
Starflower, I am actually not referring to it being in the same meal. I mean throughout the day. Alicia does talk about needing both in the day, in her book. So my question is this a grain protein and I still need a bean protein later (or before) in the day?