Buttered Toast and Jelly

"butter" and jelly

When I turned vegan about a year ago, I didn’t plan to find faux versions of old favorites like butter, cheese, and ice cream. I just figured it was time to eat differently, learn new recipes. Given how busy I stay with Popcorn Press in my off hours, my diet largely became salads, spicy beans (or mixed beans and corn) on toast, and (more often than not) refried beans with hot salsa eaten with corn chips–all easy-prep meals.

That having been said, after a couple of months, I got a hankering for hot dogs and tried Smart Dogs, to great satisfaction.

And I missed buttered toast. To compensate, I’d use olive oil spray (poured olive oil drips too much) and nutritional yeast. But it wasn’t nearly the same.

I’m happy to report, however, that my non-vegan wife and daughter have been shopping for me, and they came home from a co-op store recently with earth balance spread. Historically, I’ve been something of a butter snob. When the family began buying a popular “lite” product years ago, I insisted on calling it “I Can’t Believe It’s Passed Off as Butter!” (You may recognize the actual product name.) So I was skeptical of earth balance.

Turns out the stuff is awesome! I’d have a difficult time distinguishing it from actual butter. So I’m back to buttered toast! Add a little Braswell’s Hot Jalapeño Pepper jelly, and I’m a happy man.

Vegan Fast Food

Homemade pico de gallo

Stopped by Taco Bell today for lunch. PETA recommends their 7-layer burrito as a vegetarian option; for vegans, skip the sour cream and cheese, and add pico de gallo and potatoes.

Wanting to know for sure the potatoes weren’t cooked in oil shared with meat, I asked the guy behind the counter, explaining that I’m vegan.

“Oh, my best friend’s vegan!” he said, “so I get it entirely. When she comes over, I cook potatoes, and she brings some other stuff, and…”

A year-plus ago, when I turned vegetarian, eating out seemed a chore. Eight months ago, turning vegan seemed even more troublesome. I felt apologetic for imposing, and it seemed few people even knew what the word meant.

Today it just ain’t no thang—even at Taco Bell. And for that, I’m thankful.

Photo by jeffreyw