Favorite Vegan Foods: Gardein, So Delicious, Upton’s Naturals and More

What's this? Finally, a post, but not a recipe? I have been in a real rut lately. I haven't been making anything new. A year into it, and the house is still under renovation. But! One room is completely finished! A powder room, but still. Many other rooms just need the trim painted and the windows cleaned, but both of those are still big jobs. Though the kitchen is functional, it's not finished and I don't have the time or energy to make big, elaborate meals in it. But someday!

In the meantime, I thought I'd share some of my favorite vegan items since I'm trying to eat more vegan at home.

veganfood

First up is Gardein. I don't love a lot of fake meats, but everything I've had from Gardein has been really great. Their stuffed "turk'y" was as good as the Trader Joe's and Tofurky turkeys, but I only see it around the holidays (and I believe the TJ's version is no longer available). Their mandarin chick'n is also a favorite. Gardein is easy to find in most "healthy" freezer sections. I've seen Gardein products at Kroger and Publix as well as Whole Foods. Gardein really helps a good dinner come together quickly and easily.

Next, I finally got around to trying Dandies vegan marshmallows. I didn't realize that I even missed marshmallows, but I wanted to eat the whole bag right away. I think they taste better than standard grocery store marshmallows. There's a great vanilla flavor and the texture is perfect. As far as I know, Whole Foods is the only store around Nashville that carries them.

I've already proclaimed my love for all things So Delicious*, but lately, I've discovered that I can't handle much dairy ice cream any more, so these ice creams have taken the place of my beloved Ben & Jerry's favorites. The cherry amaretto is my absolute favorite. The Coco Whip is a Cool Whip substitute and it is fantastic. It keeps well in the freezer, too. It also doesn't have that weird aftertaste (and afterfeel) that Cool Whip has. I'd recommend Coco Whip be used for any Cool Whip recipe, regardless if you're vegan or not. So Delicious products are available at most groceries, but Whole Foods has the most comprehensive selection.
(*I thought I had, but apparently not here, just on Instagram. So Delicious is...um, so delicious! All the coconut stuff as well as most of the almond products. I don't love the almond yogurt.)

The BE Hive seitan is a product that--I think--is available only in Nashville, but if you're local, I highly recommend trying it out. I mean, I could make my own seitan, but I'm not gonna. Not when I can buy really good, already-made seitan (available all around the city). I used the filets on sandwiches to simulate a roast beef, but they can be used for any chunk purpose.

uptons

Last up is Upton's Naturals jackfruits. Again, this is something I could make myself (my recipe for barbecue jackfruit is here), but I often just don't feel like going to the trouble of preparing my own. I will say that Upton's doesn't take out some of the stuff that I do when I prepare my own, so the texture is different (it's moister, for one thing), so I like my own barbecue version just a bit better. However, the chili lime carnitas version is really great. We used them for tacos. If you want to try them out, you can find them at Whole Foods. I'm looking forward to trying out their seitan, too since it comes in several flavors.

And speaking of Tofurky, I like to use the Tofurky Italian Sausage in my red beans and rice. I use the Vigo brand, which does not contain any stock (though it does list "natural flavors," which I hope is not animal-derived). It makes the meal really hearty (and helps one package become four servings).

One thought on “Favorite Vegan Foods: Gardein, So Delicious, Upton’s Naturals and More

  1. They are just like the other products. So, no soy. They are made form gletun mainly and have a much more substantial texture than the classic veggie dog which I'm sure is what you're referring to—I remember the time you tried the other soy based veggie dogs. Oh, I remember!These are like the Field Roast Sausages in texture and they are fantastic on the grill. Try them, Nic.

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