The Tale of the Half-Assed Vegan
I’ve always been sort of a follower when it comes to dietary habits. In high school when all my friends went on an extremely healthy and well-balanced diet of Twizzlers and Diet Coke, I was all over that truck stop-style diet and have the war wounds (read: cavities) to prove it. In college, my roommates were vegetarians, so of course, I too became vegetarian. When Skinny Bitch came out, you can bet your antibiotic-laced, factory-farmed chicken that I hopped on that vegan bandwagon for a hot minute or two.
While I completely support the ethos behind veganism, I could never really get on board with all of the substitutes. From Vegenaise to soy cheese, the vegan versions of some of my favorite foods fell so terribly short of the real thing that I would have rather eaten a bowl of plain beans and lettuce than try to recreate traditional meals with the special vegan-friendly ingredients. As one could probably guess, the vegan stint didn’t last too long. There’s only so many bowls of cereal and soy milk a girl can tolerate.
Recently, I moved in with a friend from high school infamous for her gluttonously carnivorous ways. She wouldn’t think twice about drinking a cup of gravy straight from the gravy boat (true story) and will freely admit that her favorite way to eat bacon is to eat just the fat (again, true story). So, you can imagine my utter shock when said friend announced she was going the way of Alicia Silverstone and adopting a vegan lifestyle.
Not one to subsist on nuts and fruit, my new roommate has become a guru on vegan substitutes. She’s spent the last month stalking the aisles of Whole Foods and Harvest Co-op, finding the best vegan substitutes money can buy. Always a giver, I share with you some of her choice finds:
Lightlife’s Smart Chili
Unlike the Smart Bacon that all-too-disturbingly resembles the doggie treat Beggin’ Strips, this chili is downright delicious – not to mention good for you (260 calories; 0.5 grams fat; 12 grams fiber).
Morningstar Farms’ Sausage Patties*
One time, I convinced a boyfriend that he was eating real sausage when in fact I was stealthily serving up these veggie protein nuggets of pure joy.
*Yes, vegan watchdogs, I realize Morningstar products aren’t entirely vegan. But really, they’re close enough for me.
Posted by Amelia