Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fakin' it

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!

21 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Everything in moderation, right? ;0)

Oooh, your farmer's market bounty sounds wonderful!!

Carrie™ said...

Melty cheese in quesadillas looks yummy! I've tried Morningstar Farms Buffalo Wings and find them quite hot. Next time I'm in the US, I'll look for these ones. I'll be checking back to see what you come up with from your new cookbook.

VeganCowGirl said...

I am not a fan of fake processed cheese but it looks like you have done some great stuff with it.

Yum!

Urban Vegan said...

I try to usually make scratch foods, but these convenience foods are lifesavers on busy nights. The way I look at it, it's cheaper and porbably healthier than going out to eat, right?!

Animal-Friendly said...

I completely agree that a diet of wholesome foods definitely has room for a few processed foods every now and then. Your breakfast sandwich sounds really different- strawberry jelly? Hm..... sounds like a combo I will just have to try!

artnerd said...

how do you get vegan free samples? i would like to sign up for that mailing list!!

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Ohhh......... I *JUST* mase quesadillas with the rice cheese myself. Will be posting soon as well. Yours look LOVELY!

The Voracious Vegan said...

Great post! I love a good omni sub every now and then! I'll have to try that cheese, the melt really does look amazing. Can't wait to see what it tastes like.

Kati said...

Sausage patty + strawberry preserves?? That is one combination I'd never come up with on my own, Laura! I guess it can't be much different than topping the patties with maple syrup, though, which I find quite tasty.

Those wings look especially tasty! I like the quote to go with them, too. :-)

Darius T. Williams said...

Tofu scramble? I've never had it - but it looks interesting.

-DTW
www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

bazu said...

you're right- I don't buy cheese very often, but every so often a vegan grilled cheese just really hits the spot.

shellyfish said...

Your food always looks so yummy! And hey, a little comfort food every once in a while is ok, too!

Jes said...

The quesidillas look pretty darn good, not gonna lie. I can't remember that last time I had one...!

Jackie said...

My former treats no longer taste so good.

Imported Vegan cheese I am now wary of, Redwoods only OK with strong tasting items added with it, Scheese made me gag which was dreadful seeing it costs an absolute fortune here. Therefore I won't ever grumble about us rarely having them in the shops.

Bought frozen burgers and sausages nice for a treat but I actually get worried about the additives so takes the fun out of eating them.

I think my taste is slowly evolving and I actually prefer fresh foods and cooking from scratch or eating raw LOL

Monika K said...

I've never been into the rice cheese, but maybe I should give it a real try. I'm impressed more and more with the vegan "substitutes" that companies are coming out with...I think it's only a matter of time before someone comes up with a vegan cheese that's indistinguishable from cow cheese. Hope all is well - happy weekend!

Bob LaGatta said...

I don’t know on how I stumbled upon this cooking blog., All I know is that I’d better check out the archives for a good read. Ha-ha! Just droppin’ to say hi!
Oh. You might want to check this out: http://www.technocooks.com for uhm…a different “menu.”

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prashant said...

I won't ever grumble about us rarely having them in the shops.

Work from home India

Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident Lawyer said...

Wow everything here looks scrumptious. Awesome looking at the photos.

Alaina said...

Good stuff here. I've been enjoying what I've been reading!

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enjoy your recipes.

Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
and benefit from their exposure on Petitchef.com.

To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use http://en.petitchef.com/?obj=front&action=site_ajout_form or just go to Petitchef.com and click on "Add your site"

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