I have a mental photograph of myself living this vegan life. I stand in a massive, rustic kitchen filled with double-ovens, butcher block topped islands, fresh fruits and vegetables, and artistically arranged canisters of beans and grains. The blade edges never dull and a fresh breeze flows through my clean, vegan kitchen while I slice, chop, bake, and stir-fry; always from scratch and always with organic ingredients. Reality looks somewhat different. I try to make sure the majority of my diet conforms to my ideal as much as possible but, I admit it, convenience foods are a part of my diet. Like all humans, I get busy and I get tired. This last week was once such week. After going to the board meeting, the retreat-especially the beautiful but long drive up and back-, and then working a fund-raising event (including getting miserably lost on the way home…refineries are terrifying in the pitch dark), I’m feeling a little burnt-out. I’m better today and am looking forward to getting back to my fresh meals, but convenience foods saved my vegan bacon the last couple of days.
Fortunately, there are convenience options that manage to skirt the border of health. Cans of organic, low-sodium chili beans (Eden Foods is one of my favorite brands for canned beans), organic, non-gmo mock meats, and mock cheeses all serve to fill in the gaps when I’m so tired I don’t want to eat anything; especially if I have to cook it. One of my favorite go-to convenience foods is Yves Veggi Deli Bologna. It cooks in under three minutes and isn’t the worst possible thing I could eat: 4 slices contain 80 calories and 14g of protein. With some stone ground mustard and seed bread, I have an instant meal. A sliced apple or peach for dessert and I’m happy. There’s a bonus to Yves Bologna: I used to eat fried bologna sandwiches when I was little and Yves tastes exactly as I remember. Better, really, as it’s not greasy.
So, I offer up my thanks to Daiya, Tofurky, Yves, Amy’s, and Field Roast for getting me through the last week when I barely saw my house much less my kitchen. Now, I consign them back to the freezer for next time and crack open my cookbooks, ready to re-energize and tackle a new week of fresh, from scratch, colorful meals. I need to re-energize first so I’m off to consume some chia seeds. Let a new week of VeganMoFo2014 begin!