The Vegan Tales — Sampling New Products

My vegan adventure is a little rockier so far than I anticipated. I thought it would be easy for me to go vegan because I’ve been a vegetarian so long. I thought I knew what to eat, and I thought I knew what vegan products tasted like.

I was just a little off on those assumptions.

One thing I didn’t understand was the bread issue. I eat a lot of sandwiches because I’m always eating on the go. Regular bread is not vegan. Who knew? Most commercial breads have some milk products in them. I think bagels and tortillas are the main breads available that don’t routinely use milk. I thought I’d read somewhere that English muffins were safe, but I must have been mistaken because the pack of English muffins I bought has milk listed as an ingredient. Oops! Who wants my barely nibbled English muffins?

I did finally find a load of wheat bread at the regular grocery store that does not appear to have any milk in it. If it does, please don’t tell me. I’m desperate for bread here. The brand is Orowheat. I bought the whole wheat version. I’m giving it a thumbs up. It’s good bread, and it also claims to be free of high fructose corn syrup, which can’t be a bad thing.

I also tried some rice cheese. You need something to put on your sandwich, don’t you? I know I need something, but it will not be rice cheese. That was a real gagger. I spit it out and tossed the whole package in the trash. I’m not the kind of person who usually does that, but this was awful.

Next I tried some vegan margarine. I found this at the Corner Market on the rich end of town. I don’t know if they have it at the other locations or not. First, I melted some on a sweet potato. I put it in the microwave, so it really melted. It was good that way. I very much enjoyed the potato.

I expected I’d enjoy my Orowheat bread toasted with some vegan margarine spread on it the next morning.

Wrong.

It didn’t melt on the toast. It cooled the toast off instead of the toast warming it up. It tasted like I’d spread Crisco on my toast. Considering that it is made entirely from vegetable oils, that may be essentially what I did.

To be fair, I used the stick variety, and they do sell a tub variety for spreading, but I’m not sure I’m ready to put any version of it on toast again. I bought some Smucker’s Simply Fruit, and I’m thinking I’ll be better off to put it and nothing else on my toast.

If the “natural flavors” listed in the Simply Fruit ingredients are not vegan, please don’t tell me. I just don’t need to know.

I know I’ll make it through at least one more week of being vegan. I have my soup that I made on Saturday. I have my sweet potatoes that I baked yesterday. I have a bag of apples. I have this bread that looks like it’s okay to eat. And I have the great new vegan discovery called canned peas.

I’m eating cereal with soy milk, and I like it. I bought some Kashi cereals that I like, but I’ve also discovered that some of my normal standbys like Life cereal are vegan, so that takes care of the breakfast issue.

For the most part, though, dairy substitutes are not cutting it with me. I’ll just have to get my calcium from the dark green leafy things. That ought to help with the weight loss issue. Last I checked, you could eat a lot more spinach per calorie than Cheese Whiz.

Going vegan, it turns out, means not eating so many processed foods in favor of eating more fruits and vegetables. Who knew?