I love food – don’t you love food? Though I mostly eat homemade meals instead of reaching for something over processed (and usually expensive), I will admit to succumbing to the occasional vegan item I see in a store. Especially new items. If I see a vegan option that I’ve never heard of before or haven’t seen in stores, I get excited. A bit giddy. I have to have it, I have to try it.
Sometimes, that purchase turns out great, other times…not so much. However, the following six products fall in to the former category! They were tasty, sometimes healthy, and, most importantly, all vegan-friendly. If you have the same tastes as me, you might really enjoy them too!
Gardein Breakfast Saus’age Patties
One of my biggest cravings as a vegan is oddly enough breakfast sausage. I’ve tried to replicate it on my own, but something about it is always off. Every time I’m making a big breakfast with tofu scramble, tempeh bacon, and some toast, it feels like I’m missing something, and that something is clearly that texture, taste, and scent of a sausage patty.
Gardein’s Breakfast Saus’age Patties truly stopped me in my tracks when I spotted them at Giant Eagle. Originally planning on buying a few breakfast burritos, these faux meats immediately became so much more appealing. Fortunately, they didn’t disappoint! Right out of the package, they hit me with mouthwatering smell. I baked them and paired them with a homemade tofu scramble. Perfection.
Trader Joe’s Vegan Cream Cheese
I’m a bagel fiend. I’ll eat them with peanut butter. I’ll eat them with jelly. I’ll eat them with butter. I’ll even gladly eat them plain. But for some reason, bagels with cream cheese was never really my thing.
However, over the past couple months, I had been seeing a lot of vegan cream cheese recipes on Instagram, which led to a lot of cravings for it. Enter my wedding day. My husband and I got married in a private ceremony at a local courthouse, accompanied only by his friend, who we hired to document everything. After the ceremony and photos, we all went back to our apartment to enjoy bagels and whatever spread we chose as a sort of “reception.”
I chose Trader Joe’s vegan cream cheese (the price was right), and I did not regret it! It was so smooth and creamy…and might have tasted even better on some Ritz-like crackers! If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, I definitely suggest trying their cream cheese. It’s not as pricey as Miyoko’s, so it’s a great, cost-effective option.
Daiya Chocolate Cheezecake
Over Orthodox Easter weekend, I was visiting my family in Pennsylvania. I went out to dinner with my mom at my favorite vegan spot (The Flaming Ice Cube in Boardman, OH in case you were wondering), and afterwards, we went to Target in search of some skin product she had a coupon for. Once we found it, we decided to peruse the vegan food. Surprisingly, it had a much larger selection than our local Target on Long Island! Which is why I was so surprised to see a huge array of Daiya’s cheezecake. And the chocolate one? It was calling me.
At the time, I had no real reason to buy it, but I knew I had a wedding celebration coming up that would put me right back in Boardman, just a couple minutes away from this Target. Everyone in my family likes cheesecake, so I decided right then that Daiya’s cheezecake would be our dessert.
The chocolate cheezecake did not disappoint.
It was so creamy and chocolatey…so delicious. It was hard not to eat the entire cake! But I knew I had to share. I hadn’t had chocolate cake of any kind in a few years, but Daiya quickly reminded me what I was missing. And boy, am I missing it again.
JÙS by Julie Choco-Nana Smoothie
I’m slightly embarrassed over how often I get this drink. I work near a JÙS by Julie location, and there are some days when I simply don’t have time to prepare a lunch. That’s when I find myself in the shop, picking up what is usually this Choco-Nana Smoothie (unless it’s not available, in which case I’m very sad).
Admittedly, this smoothie (and really all of their products – at least the ones in-store) are all a bit pricey, but sometimes it’s just too good to give up. The pull is very strong for me, but I do limit myself to no more than once a week, if even that. Drinking this smoothie is on par with drinking chocolate milk – but healthier! Unfortunately, the last time I was at their store, they appeared to have updated their packaging, decreasing the ounces in each bottle…while not decreasing the price. So I might not be getting this smoothie for a while.
Sweet Earth Cauliflower Mac
A lot of people cite cheese as their reason for being unable to go vegan, but that was never actually an issue for me (dairy in general was though – I grew up drinking milk everyday and loving it). I liked the occasional frozen mac ‘n’ cheese dinner. I was fond of cheese pizza. I enjoyed breakfast sandwiches with a slice of cheese on top. But I was never obsessed.
Oh, how the tables have turned.
As a vegan, I’m crazy about cheese. When I’m at a vegan place, what am I getting? Something super cheezy. If I see a vegan mac ‘n’ cheese, I’m on it. So when I saw Sweet Earth’s Cauliflower Mac in the freezer at my local CVS, I was interested. Though it wasn’t a cheesy as I may have liked (I ended up adding some of Trader Joe’s vegan mozzarella shreds), it was still pretty tasty! It might not be my favorite vegan mac ‘n’ cheese, but so far, it is the most conveniently located of them for me. I can pick a meal up on my way home after work, pop it in the microwave, and voila, there’s dinner.
Burger King’s (Veganized) Impossible Whopper
Growing up, I looked forward to Thursdays. After my dad got home from work, we’d pile in the car and head to the local Burger King. and picked up our usual order at the drive-thru: three hamburgers – plain because we liked putting the ketchup on ourselves – three orders of four-piece chicken nuggets, and three small fries. We’d gt home and top our burgers with the appropriate condiments ad pile on some fries (I only put a row of six or so and refused to stack them on).
By the time I went vegan, that tradition had long passed, but I still missed the taste, convenience, and familiarity of Burger King. Sure, I could still get an order of fries – and I did enjoy the fries – but that’s no fun! So when I found out Burger King was testing the Impossible Whopper, I rejoiced. I rejoiced even more when they announced the date it went nationwide. I got to enjoy the Impossible Whopper (no mayo, of course!) in my hometown Burger King with my dad, brother, and new husband, and I can do it again and again in the future, which means no arguments over where to eat when I’m visiting my meat-eating family.
Have you had any of these veg-friendly items? What vegan alternatives are you loving right now?
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