Monthly Archives: March 2017

Best Packaged Vegetarian and Vegan Foods

These days, many of us are doing our best to be healthy and avoid “processed” foods and eat lots of fresh veggies and protein and all that jazz. But hell, we’re also busy, sometimes in a hurry and sometimes just plain lazy/tired/hangry! There’s nothing wrong with that! These options are especially helpful if you are new to eating vegan/vegetarian and are looking for some help and inspiration. I didn’t realize how many amazing options there were.

These are my go-to foods when I just want a quick meatless meal that’s also tasty and filling.

SWEET EARTH BURRITOS

burritos

I am sort of embarrassed to say that since discovering these burritos, I practically live on them. But they are just SO good. There are several flavors including a few breakfast versions. They are all really high in protein and made of pretty healthy ingredients. Please note that the Kyoto, Curry Tiger, Anasazi and Big Sur Breakfast flavors are fully vegan. The others contain eggs and/or cheese.

GARDEIN MINI CRABLESS CAKES

crab

I admit I love seafood, especially shellfish, and my previous efforts at being fully vegan failed mostly because of this. UNTIL I DISCOVERED THESE BABIES! I went to a vegan restaurant a while back and had vegan crab cakes and didn’t stop talking about them for days. They were just SO good. When I was in the freezer section and WF and realized Gardein also made a version, I was skeptical. I didn’t think they’d be that good but I had to try them. I was so excited to learn they’re really good!! I don’t know how they make vegan ingredients taste like fish. I’m not sure I want to know. But regardless, I am thankful that I can enjoy the taste of crab cakes without thinking about murdered crabs. You really can find vegan versions of EVERYTHING!

BEYOND MEAT BEEF CRUMBLES

feisty

Another thing I loooved as a meat eater was beef tacos and nachos. I haven’t had beef in 5 years and I can’t say I miss it honestly. But I still love Mexican food and try to recreate my favorite restaurant dishes as often as possible. I was so excited to find the “Feisty” Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles because it has a great taco seasoning flavor. I won’t lie, the crumbles do have a bit of that funky fake meat aftertaste if you eat them alone, but if you slather salsa and guacamole on top, you’ll never notice. The texture is just like crumbled beef.

BEYOND MEAT SINGLE SERVE MEALS

meals

Stop the press. These meals have SAVED me at times when I am craving restaurant food (and also times when I have very low blood sugar and I am within 5 minutes of a meltdown). There are only 4 flavors so far – Indian Curry, Korean BBQ, Vietnamese Lemongrass and Roasted Sweet Potato Chili; however, they are really good. My favorite is the Korean BBQ. They are all super high protein and have a good balance of fats/carbs too. They heat up in 5 minutes and will keep you full for hours, but also keep your taste buds happy.

SWEET EARTH BREAKFAST SANDWICHES

break

I used to live on my homemade Egg McMuffin sandwiches. I had a hard time saying goodbye to Canadian bacon. However, Sweet Earth has made all my breakfast sandwich dreams come true! They have several flavors – Harmless Ham & Chickpea Patty (the only vegan one), Meatless Sausage Egg and Gouda, Harmless Ham Egg & Swiss and Benevolent Bacon, Egg & Cheddar. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

ORGANIC VEGETARIAN CHILI WITH RED BEANS & ONION

chili

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trader Joe’s recently changed the packaging/label on the veg chili and I have to say I’m in love with this new 1970s Brady Bunch theme. I just want to stuff my face with chili every time I see the new cans on the shelf. Anyway, the recipe itself didn’t change at all (or if it did, I can’t tell) and there have been many times when I’ve lived solely off this chili for several days straight. Unlike a lot of chilis, this one really strikes a perfect balance of salty, spicy, beans, and “meat” (it’s tofu). It’s a great all-around meal that’s very filling and has 15 grams of protein….pa pow! It’s a tad spicy but in a very good way. Add a little sprinkle of shredded vegan cheese and green onions (because I am obsessed with green onions) and you have yourself a tasty meal.

 

 

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Why Drinking Milk is Worse for Cows than Eating a Hamburger

I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about animal welfare issues. I have done a lot of research and have a TON of passion for promoting kind treatment of animals. After watching terrifying PETA videos and reading awful things about the meat industry, I abruptly stopped eating meat 5 years ago. I didn’t stop with the dairy though. Like most people, even health- and environmentally-conscious ones, I thought it was relatively harmless to drink milk and eat cheese.

What I didn’t realize for a very long time was how devastating the dairy industry is for animals (not just cows, but also goats, sheep and any other animals that produce milk)….perhaps even more devastating than the meat industry (if that’s possible). The reality is that the females are continually impregnanted (basically raped) so that when they give birth, the farmer can separate the baby from his mother immediately to steal her milk. These newborn babies, brand new to the world and wondering where their mothers went, are usually sent straight to slaughter. These so-called farmers do this over and over to ensure that the mom is always lactating. When she’s finally spent, after all the abuse she’s endured, for who knows how long, they haul her off to slaughter too. So they not only kill the babies, but they kill mom too. Females usually fare worse than the males for this reason. Because the farmers want their babies/milk, their abuse is prolonged but they meet the same fate as their babies eventually. In the end, all the animals are hauled off to slaughter because at some point, they stop producing and they are worth more dead than alive. This is disgusting to me and it makes me embarrassed to be human at times, to be perfectly honest.

THIS is the reality of the meat and dairy industry. How does that milk taste now?

Vegan Nachos

My favorite thing to eat when I got out is Mexican food. I could literally eat it every day of my life. And who doesn’t love a margarita? So I try to replicate Mexican dishes at home as much as possible so I can enjoy the flavors without all the added calories (and margaritas…sad face). Here’s my go-to recipe for nachos:

10-12 Tortilla chips

1 cup Beyond Meat crumbles (Feisty flavor)

1/4 cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)

1/2 cup vegan refried beans

1/4 cup salsa or pico de gallo

1/2 avocado (chopped)

2 tsp sliced or chopped black olives

Warm up the beefless crumbles in the microwave. Arrange your chips on the plate, sprinkle the cheese and briefly microwave to melt it a bit. Add the meatless crumbles, beans and pico de gallo layer by layer with the chopped avocado and olives on top. Easy peasy!

These go great with my favorite margarita recipe!

nachos