One of my favorite breakfasts, because it is easy and delicious is Quaker instant oatmeal. Today I had the maple & brown sugar flavor. Yummy! Just add hot water, and there you go! I do actually like to eat my oatmeal with a little bit of milk, and from past experience I know that my favorite milk substitute is Almond Fresh. For use in things like oatmeal (or cooking/baking) I just use the original version. Of course, if you sat down to a glass of the original Almond Fresh expecting it to taste like a glass of milk, you’d be disappointed. That’s why, for actual drinking out of a glass purposes, with a cookie, for instance, I absolutely LOVE the coconut version! It is possibly even better tasting than actual milk. But I do love the taste of coconut, so maybe that’s just me. Or maybe it’s the cookies I keep eating with my milk.
Lunch?! Ain’t nobody got time for that. Just kidding. Sort of.
I do typically eat lunch, however I don’t have the best track record of eating lunch on Sundays. Because of my Sunday schedule, I often find myself going without a mid-day meal. I did have a tiny snack during the day. I offered my daughter some yogurt melts that someone had given us as a gift. She ate a whole bunch of them, and seemed to really like them. So I offered her another big handful, which she started throwing at the other people in church. They were all slobbery, so I didn’t want to put them back in the package, but I also didn’t have anywhere else to put them, so I ate them. They are, obviously, not vegan. And for an adult, also somewhat of a waste of a cheat. So anyways, no real lunch, but don’t worry, I make up for it by eating dinner twice.
As you can probably tell, there’s no cheese on this pizza. I got it from Panago, and as they don’t offer a cheese substitute, I considered adding some of the daiya pepperjack style shreds that I enjoyed so much last night. However, in the end I decided to just try it out sans “cheese.” The pizza in the picture above is the regular hand-tossed crust, with Italian tomato sauce, and it’s loaded with green pepper, red onion, tomato, pineapple and banana peppers. I wasn’t really expecting that much considering that there’s no cheese on it, but it was great – a very fresh tasting sweet and spicy meal that I would definitely eat again. Who knew? Fruits and vegetables actually taste good! In addition to the fruit on my pizza, I also enjoyed a lemonade juice box from Panago’s organic juice line-up. As a lemonade lover and a juice box lover, I was grateful that dairy has not infiltrated the world of juice (as far as I know…but I wouldn’t put it past dairy to try), so this was obviously a safe vegan choice with no disappointments.
Now since I plan on ordering Panago again (I eat a lot of pizza), I needed to do a little research on which of their other menu items are vegan-safe. What I found is that all of the pizza crusts are animal product free and they do have a veggie pepperoni topping, but aside from the obvious options such as the real meat, cheese and sour cream, there are also a few other things to avoid ordering on your vegan Panago pizza. These are the pesto sauce, the cheezy cheddar sauce, the jalapeño white sauce, the chipotle cilantro sauce, the coconut curry, the butter chicken sauce, the sautéed mushrooms and the caramelized onions. None of Panago’s breadsticks are vegan friendly either. As far as the dipping sauces go, most contain dairy, but the safe dips are the Italian tomato, cayenne hot sauce and the BBQ sauce.
We decided to try the Hurry Up Alfredo recipe that popped up in my Facebook newsfeed the other day. Shopping for this dish was our first incident of grocery store frustration (my husband totally freaked out – I guess everyone deals with stress differently), as my husband had a difficult time finding the tahini and nutritional yeast. He went to Safeway, Co-op and Superstore and couldn’t find it. That doesn’t mean these stores don’t have these items of course, they probably do, but if you don’t know where to look, or what something looks like, it can be a little challenging. After consulting with an expert in vegan cookery over at Entrées Etc, my husband decided to go ahead and make the recipe without those ingredients. According to him, according to her, tahini off-sets the pungency of the soy sauce and lemon juice, while nutritional yeast bulks up the texture to be more “cheesey.”
While we did decide to forego those ingredients for convenience tonight, sounds like it might not be a good idea to do so regularly. If Wikipedia is to be believed, tahini and nutritional yeast pack a nutritional punch, so we’ll definitely want to pick some up for the future. When we do, I’ll hopefully have some helpful tips for tracking it down in the grocery store.
The only changes my husband made to the recipe (aside from the omission of the tahini and nutritional yeast) was that we used lime juice instead of lemon juice, and instead of the (optional) 2-4 cloves of garlic we used an entire bulb. Yep. We love garlic. Also, my husband did buy earth balance margarine as the recipe called for, but I expect that vegan Becel would have worked just as well. As I’m sure we’ll be making this recipe again, we’ll certainly have the opportunity to find out for sure.
Taste-wise, the pasta sauce (which we ate on fettuccine) was delicious! To be clear, it’s not that the pasta sauce tasted *exactly* like any other alfredo sauce I’d ever had before (although, who knows, when we try it with the nutritional yeast and tahini, maybe it will), but it just doesn’t really need to be compared. It’s a wonderful sauce. Pasta, to my surprise, is actually typically vegan, so no big changes required there.
This is a recipe I think we’ll keep in mind to help us deal with the potential issue that when I invite someone over for dinner, I almost feel guilty serving them vegan food. I would feel absolutely zero guilt serving this.