Day damn four. I’m still hanging in there.
I had a particularly stressful day at work (yesterday) and found myself craving something super greasy and bad. I had depleted all of my reserve snacks (almost entirely produce) and even added a side with my soup at lunch (BBQ jackfruit), but I still found myself STARVING by the time I left work a little after 5. With about an hour’s drive home in afternoon traffic, I knew I’d be “hangry” by the time I made it there.
On top of things, I had to make a stop at Kroger to pick up a cake for a co-worker’s birthday celebration that we’re having today. Normally, this is an easy task and not one I put entirely too much thought into. Get the cake and dip out. BOOM. Yesterday was different though. I was hungry and approaching this task as someone attempting to live a vegan lifestyle.
As I strolled through the deli/bakery section, I found myself picking up various items to see if they were “vegan friendly”. Newsflash (sarcasm) almost none of them were. I think the only things I came across that I could eat were some assorted flatbreads and vegetable sushi rolls. Everything else either had eggs, meat or cheese in it. Even the soups and side dishes (like creamed spinach, mashed sweet potatoes, salads–but I knew all of these things contained no vegan friendly components). Was I up for supermarket sushi that had probably been sitting out since that morning?
I wasn’t in there for me, but I couldn’t help but to make the trip about me. All I wanted was some really shitty comfort food and I couldn’t think long or hard enough to come up with anything substantial outside of eating an entire bag of kettle chips. I grabbed the cupcakes (which I won’t be able to eat) and meandered over to the condensed section of “Plant based alternatives” of the refrigerated produce section. There were an assortment of nut milks, humus, nut based yogurts, dairy free “cheeses”, plant-based oils and soy crumbles (oh boy). I must have stood there blankly for about ten minutes before I came up with the idea of buying a block of dairy alternative cheese (daiya medium cheddar style) because I remembered that I had a package of soy crumbles just WAITING to be eaten at home. This called for vegan friendly nachos (drool).
I admit, I was kind of hesitant to buy the “cheese”, especially since my first encounter with the daiya brand was about 5-6 years ago when I purchased a bag of Mozzarella Style Shreds and was disappointed when I realized it tasted like shredded styrofoam. Call me what you want….maybe I didn’t eat it properly (I think I put it on a salad), or maybe I didn’t store it properly and it expired…there could be an assortment of reasons why I didn’t like it, but I just didn’t like it and I’ve stayed away from these types of “cheeses” ever since. So imagine my interest being sparked when I saw that this brand sells the “cheese” in a block!
I got home and cooked the soy crumbles. They cook a little quicker than actual ground beef (or turkey/chicken as I prefer) and dries out if you’re not careful, so I decided to marinate it in fresh salsa so that the crumbles could absorb the flavor from it. My only other experience with soy crumbles was the time I tossed them in chili to “trick” my dad into eating vegetarian chili (we put actual cheese on it, so it wasn’t vegan). While the crumbles were doing their thing, I sliced up about a third of the “cheese block” and popped a small cube in my mouth. To my astonishment, it actually tasted CHEESE LIKE. It was creamy and savory just as you’d expect cheese to be. I was in heaven. I tossed the cheese blocks into the pan with the soy crumbles expecting it to quickly melt (like actual cheese), but it didn’t. The cheese seemed to be melting in “time lapse” motion. After about 8 minutes of this, I grew inpatient, took the cheese out of the pan (it was softer now, just not melted), tossed it into a bowl and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. BOOM. melted cheese!
The vegan “nachos” ended up not being half bad (so ok, I mostly made a “cheesy”, “meaty” dip of sorts and just dipped the chips in there. I could have probably chopped up peppers and onions to toss in to, but I was too lazy). The soy crumbles had a bit of an odd aftertaste, but the “cheese” helped to mostly mask it. I became full a lot quicker than I anticipated with the soy crumbles, “cheese” and chips. I was–dare I say it, satisfied?
Here is what I ate yesterday:
Breakfast: 1 small apple, 1 banana, water, coffee with almond milk creamer
Snack: 1 orange, water
Lunch: Red Roasted Pepper & Tomato Bisque, 1/2 cup of BBQ jackfruit, water
Snack: Cucumbers, humus and grapes, water
Dinner: Vegan nachos (soy crumbles, cheese and chips), Halo Top (dairy free), water