Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Take-Out Day, Tennis, and A Girl Can Dream

Last night, Ryan and I had a date night (thanks, Mom!). He brought home take-out from P.F. Chang's. He ordered the Vegetable Chow Fun, and I chose the lettuce wraps. I always get the lettuce wraps.

Then we headed out for a little action on the court. Ryan was a totally rockin' player back in the day. It has been years since we've played together. It felt really good to get out there and sweat. I don't sweat enough, quite frankly. Even when I'm at the air-conditioned fitness center, it's hard for me to really sweat.

It's funny because I was out there doing pretty well, if I can say that. I was thinking, wow, I could really DO this. Maybe I'll even be on a TEAM. Then Ryan serves a few at his actual speed, not the "being easy on his wife" speed...and I realize...maybe I have a little ways to go before I sign up. ha! :)


Earlier that day, the kids and I had to "go into town" for an appointment. We stopped by Drug Emporium first because my sister Tracy had been telling me I need to check it out. (I think there are a few Drug Emporiums scattered here and there across the U.S. - don't know if they all have health food.) They have a huge selection of natural food products. It's like a mini-health food store in there. In fact, I'd say there's just as much - if not more - than some small health food stores. The prices were good, too. I can't say everything was cheaper than Whole Foods, but there were many, many things that were. They have a big refrigerated/frozen section. Amy's meals were definitely cheaper than at W.F.

at Whole Foods
my mock chicken salad on a bed of lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and garbanzo beans,
with a few Multi-Grain chips on the side

We still had to stop by Whole Foods for some produce. And I had to feed my starving children. They were subsiding on trail mix and...ahem...a small pack of Nutter Butters from the doctor's building gift shop. Ryan had met us there to watch the kids while I went into my appointment. Later, the kids said, "We ate Nutter Butters!" I said, laughing, "Ohhh, I see. Daddy let you have junk food." My 5 year old very defensively said, "Whaaat? Nutter Butters aren't junk food!" I guess the peanut butter aspect threw him off. (For the record, Nutter Butters, with all of their icky ingredients, are technically animal-product free. Very occasionally, Ryan has the kids in a "gas station food" type environment, and getting a pack of 4 Nutter Butters for the kids to share is his go-to.)

Since my subscription expired, I also picked up the latest copy of VegNews. Obviously, I love it; it's the only magazine I read from cover to cover (even the advertisements). But one of the first places I turn: the New Products pages.

This is the product I'm most looking forward to trying. Hopefully, it will be at W.F. soon. Earlier this year, when I was shopping and happened to see Daiya sitting in the "cheese" section for the first time, I gasped. I think people two aisles over heard me gasp. I may gasp again when I see Tofurky Pepperoni Pizza behind the glass.

I really am trying to move farther away from all of the packaged food. I do want the major bulk of my diet to be whole & fresh with a lot of raw. However, I just can't shun the aisles of the grocery store completely. I have 3 kids, and I'm tired...I can't cook every single thing from scratch. Plus, it's just fun when new products come out on the market.

I'm still waiting on a few things...

1) Vegan canned biscuits (I think maybe there are technically some that are vegan already, but I'm waiting for the organic, non-hydrogenated, non-sugar kind to come out.)

2) Vegan canned crescent rolls (again, a healthier variety)

3) Squeezey cheese in a can!

I mentioned squeezey cheese once on a vegan message board, and the great Jo Stepaniak suggested I make a batch of her Uncheese, then put it in a frosting piper. I thought this was a fabulous idea.

It doesn't completely fulfill the convenience aspect I am looking for, but it's yummy, fun, and looks cute. (Tornado was all too happy to eat my sample here and ask for many more samples to follow.) You could stick the frosting piper in your cooler for a road trip.

So...what vegan convenience foods do you dream about?


  1. Mmmm raiding the WF salad bar! :D
    Hmm, I try to avoid processed foods too, but I can't get enough of veggie burgers and LaraBars! I still have yet to try the 4 new LaraBar flavors. And I would love to see what the hype is all about with Daiya cheese when and if it shows up in the WFs near me...

  2. Ooo, vegan squeeze cheese. I don't blame you. In all my strides towards healthy eating, I could still squirt that Easy Cheese straight into my mouth any day.
    I am so mad that you went to Drug Emporium! I was going to request that when I'm down. They carry PB2, that dried peanut butter powder that goes into the homemade protein powder. You can't buy it anywhere in MO except for Kansas City.

  3. OK so I am abvioulsy NOT vegan but totally agreeing with the lara bars and then this is my vegan friendly/raw foods STAPLE for like everything now...seriously:


    I haven't tried a vegan friendly cheese I like daiya is ok...the best yet..but I am still not feelin it.

    Question when you go out how d you know your food was cooked in a vegan friendly way? or maybe at this point its just experience.

  4. Oh, and to answer your question...vegan convenience foods...
    Anything that the Schwan's man used to bring...raspberry push-ups, ice cream drumsticks, little deep dish pizzas, patty melts

  5. Tofurky pizza! Oh I am so excited to try that! I love your squeezy cheese. Hm, what vegan convenience food do I wish for? Maybe just more GOOD cheese options. I am super picky about vegan cheese and so far only like Daiya chedder and tofutti cream cheese.

  6. Thanks for the Drug Emporium heads up. I've not ever gone into one. I assumed they were like Walgreen's basically.

  7. Great tip on the cheese spread. I sometimes put mine in a piping bag when I want it to be pretty. Your gun would make it easier to store in the frig with less risk of squirting in the shelf. ;-)

    I have not heard of Drug Emporium before. Now I need to see if we have any around here.


  8. Oh, I could have written a chunk of your post myself. I am so with you on trying to serve my family and myself the best in whole foods, but I am tired like you! Hello? Homeschooling three kids, like you? Thank you for understanding me, sister. That's why I say under my blog's title how I don't worry about what makes a more noble vegan. Nutter butters are a great treat for vegan kids occasionally. Yay, Dad! :-)

  9. Diana, Daiya is no big deal to me when it's not melted, but when it's melted...good grief, it's addicting.

    Cary, I always took Easy Cheese (I forgot that's what it was called) to Super Summer, etc. We can totally still go to Drug Emporium when you're here. And I completely saw that PB you are talking about, when I was there. Ooo, Schwan's - that's a great answer. Yeah, push-ups would be really fun for the kids. And an exact little pizza replica would be fun. I'm pretty sure I never had a patty melt, though.

    Kristi, that sounds really good! I just looked at the website; I'll be on the look-out for it. How/on what did you try the Daiya? Was it melted? I don't like it plain necessarily. When I'm eating tacos, I like to grate Vegan Gourmet. I think the texture is so good. And about the restaurant thing - I DON'T know if it was cooked vegan-friendly, and honestly, I don't truly trust anyone. If it was up to me, I'd probably never eat out. But my husband likes to occasionally. He's bent so much for me (he's practically a vegan by now), I feel like it's the least I can do for him. And sometimes with other family and friends I end up going out. Honestly, besides vacations, I probably only eat out a few times a year (besides salad bar at W.F.). That's why going to CA was so fun! I can relax and enjoy at a vegan restaurant.

    Carissa, I don't like all of the cheeses, either. I only like Vegan Gourmet (not melted) and Daiya (melted).

    blessedmama, I actually have thought to myself that I love what you wrote on your blog title. I feel the same way. (I like how you put it - "noble vegan.") As I was "whipping up" some raw cracker chips tonight, I called out to my husband in the other room, "How do people DO THIS for every meal?! I'm dying here!" I'll pass on your message to "Dad." :)

    Thanks for your comments, everyone!

  10. Thank you for your comment on my blog. :) I have a question about being vegan. I know that some vegans don't like to eat honey - I was wondering if you do. Thanks. :)

  11. I'm with you on the vegan biscuits. Whenever I see a new brand in the freezer (frozen loose rolls or biscuits) I always check to see if they are vegan. So far, no luck here.

  12. Jessica, when I find vegan canne biscuits, you'll be the first person I tell! :)

    ateenagegourmet, I've seen the honey issue floating around on different blogs lately. I don't eat honey, nor do I have any desire to. However, I'm not a fan of judging someone on something they do that doesn't meet a certain "criteria." I AM a fan of people making every choice they can possibly make that eliminates as much suffering as possible. I don't personally think honey is vegan, but I don't have strong feelings against someone who consumes it, anyway. I guess the only problem I could possibly see with this is that it confuses people. A waiter at a restaurant might tell me something is vegan because the vegan that came in before me didn't have a problem eating honey. Does that make sense? Other than that, I think it's up to everyone to personally decide what they are comfortable with. I don't see any need to eat honey. I see plenty of alternatives, and it's a little gross to me, anyway. I also feel bad for the bees - they went to so much work, then get their hard work replaced with something less to enjoy. I have read mixed stories about the life and danger of bees in regards to the honey industry. I'm a really sensitive person, and I'm bothered by things that other people might consider a small level. But I would hate for someone to give up the effort of working toward becoming a vegan altogether, just because they don't want to eliminate honey (or cheese or whatever). My final thoughts - if there was bread sitting on the table, and it was vegan except for honey, I would serve it to my kids if they were hungry and wanted it. I wouldn't eat it, though. Thanks for your question!

  13. Oh, get back on the Veg News subscription wagon! The 10th anniversary had a special Peter Max cover that's just too pretty to miss! I'll post it later.

    That easy cheese is a darned awesome idea!

  14. Awesome idea re: the cheese gun. Which one of the uncheese recipes did you make? The "Gee Whiz" spread seems like a natural choice.

  15. PS I put you on my blogroll!

  16. Gee Whiz would have probably been the best choice. (And it's the one that has beans, right?) I've made that one before; This particular one I just followed (loosely) the recipe that goes on Grilled Cheez Sandwiches.

    Jenn, bummer; they didn't have a choice of covers at WF!