Wednesday, March 23, 2016

new take on old favorites

I love cheese. Yeah lots of people say that but I really mean it... like really, really mean it. Like hoard slabs of double cream brie to myself and eat the entire thing on apple slices for lunch, love cheese. Like hover over the gourmet cheese section like Carrie Bradshaw shops for shoes, love cheese. Cheese was the last brick in my wall of animal product foods. Once I was able to break thru the cheese standoff inside my head, it felt like a huge purse of bricks was lifted off my shoulder. I felt like I could really do this.

I don't miss cheese nearly as much as I thought I might.

So far I've found some pretty dang good substitutes for cheese - mostly for on my faux-bologna sandwiches. (confession: I liked bologna more than any grown up should) 

Daiya Medium Cheddar Style Block - Firm faux cheese that's easy to slice to shred
Go Veggie Classic Plain Cream Cheese - This should be called "I can't believe it's vegan and not dairy cream cheese"
Follow Your Heart Garden Herb Slices - If I didn't know better I might say it's dairy.

These are hardly all vegan cheeses and not nearly a complete list of the cheeses offered by the companies listed here - these are just my favorites ... so far. Plus I haven't even started to dive into making my own! That will come later ;)

Back to bologna. I know - GROSS. My husband called me out numerous times when I indulged in my favorite Oscar Meyer beef bologna slices. You couldn't pay him to even try a slice! Me on the other hand, there were times I craved it, and have since childhood. 

Enter faux meats!

I've had several fake turkey slices and think they are all just ok...they get the job done, I suppose. But when I saw bologna it was like a light at the end of the tunnel for the part of me that misses deli sandwiches. So far I've found and tried two of them. 

Winner by a huge margin - Yves. Good color, texture and I swear it even smells like real bologna.

I know, I know these aren't "healthy" vegan foods along the same lines of kale, avocado or lentils, but without choices like these I might fall backward into old comfortable habits. Convenience foods like cheeses and deli slices are fast easy options that can make for a good lunch that's not too filling and doesn't pack on the fat calories like their animal based counterparts. Buuuut add some kale, a few avocado slices and a squirt of yellow mustard on sourdough and call it lunch!

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