Every good, health-conscious vegan knows that highly processed meat and dairy substitutes are NOT a requisite part of a healthy, balanced diet. That being said, they certainly can be fun every now and again--so while we should be working to center our diets around whole, unprocessed grains, vegetables, and legumes, I think it's okay to enjoy these fun foods every now and again.
Like many of you, I received a shipment of vegan cheese samples from Galaxy Foods a while back. I never much shared on this blog how I used those products, so here's a sampling.
I used the Pepper Jack Rice Vegan cheese slices to make a small array of simple Southwest-style foods, namely...
Cheese and mushroom quesadillas on whole wheat tortillas, and
Nachos on baked blue corn tortilla chips with salsa. Both were ready in just a few minutes and made satisfying and tasty small meals. I was surprised and impressed by the melt that I was able to achieve with these rice cheese slices--a rare quality among vegan cheese products.
With the white cheddar block cheese I went a healthier route and made salads... most notably this delicious salad with roasted apple-shallot vinaigrette. Cheese and apples make a surprisingly complimentary pairing, and this "sharp cheddar" style vegan cheese brought back remembrances of that. All in all, I liked the Galaxy Foods products that I sampled. I was more impressed with the individually sliced cheeses than I was the block cheeses. I may purchase these products from time to time in the future, but I really can live without them. I'm sure all of us as vegans have heard people tell us over and over again that they could never give up cheese. But really, it's pretty amazing how you get used to not eating it, and you really don't miss it or crave it ever. You just have to learn new habits--and it's easier than most people realize!
But I digress. I picked up these vegan buffalo wings made by Health Is Wealth Foods one day just to give them a try. I always loved the flavor of buffalo wings. But you know what they say--Wings are for flying, not frying... I made a dipping sauce by mixing some vegan ranch dressing (from The Grit Cookbook) with some Louisiana hot sauce. These were actually very, very tasty--a good treat every now and then.
I used some vegan sausage patties from Trader Joe's to make this breakfast sandwich on a whole wheat English muffin with strawberry preserves. Another one that's good for a treat once in a while.
This one's an all-time favorite weekend brunch--tofu scramble. I threw in some mushrooms, red peppers, and zucchini, and added some fresh salsa at the end. Tofu scramble is hardly an egg substitute--it is delicious and unique in its own right. And it's a great way to take in some vegetables early in the day.
I made a nice trip to the farmer's market yesterday and picked up plenty of veggies to do some cooking this week. I recently got a new cookbook and I am excited to delve into it--and to share with you what I come up with! So I will be back around soon. Have a great week!