Food Finds: Comfort Food Quick Fixes

I try hard to eat healthy and not a bunch of processed foods.  Let’s face it, sometimes you just need a quick, indulgent fix though!  Being vegan, that doesn’t always come so easy.  I can’t just walk into any old store and pick up some Easy Mac, or an already cooked comfort food, like those whole chickens from Costco or Publix so many people I know pick up.  I can hear them sucking the grease off their fingers from the other room.
Although it’s not so easy for vegans, it has become way easier.  I recently gave into some comfort foods I found in my local grocery store.  Now that I’m in Nashville, I go to Kroger – definitely not the healthiest of grocery store options, but more affordable than some of the others.  To my surprise, Kroger does have a decent selection, and even carries some items I have yet to see!  Read on to find out about some awesome tasting vegan delights.  But be careful with this stuff.  Just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it should be consumed in mass quantities.
Daiya Cheezy Mac
daiya boxI can’t tell you how many brands of dairy-free macaroni & cheese I have tried that taste purely of cardboard. Each time I’ve tried these awful substitutions, I vowed only to make my own concoction, which is delish. However, it still upset me that I couldn’t grab a box of the stuff and whip it up in a pinch, and on those days I just don’t want to cook.
Well, when I came across Daiya brand’s Cheezy Mac, I was quite skeptical. I had been in this predicament before. I like all of Daiya’s products, so why should their mac & cheese be questionable? Well, I thought the same thing about Earth Balance and was highly disappointed in their macaroni and cheese. Yuck, I actually added hot sauce and potato chips to try and get it to taste good, and was only mildly successful.
cheezy macBut alas, I was ecstatic when I tried the Daiya Deluxe White Cheddar Style Veggie Cheezy Mac! My gosh, this stuff is terrific and SO simple to make!!! All you do is boil the macaroni and add the cheeze sauce and voila, the comfort of childhood without any dairy…or powdered cheese. AMAZING!! 5 Star Review, Daiya! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Dream Caramel Latte
dream latteYou know those Starbucks Frappuccino bottles you find in grocery stores? I used to love the vanilla or caramel flavor. When I saw the makers of Almond/Soy/Rice Dream make something similar, I thought it would be fun to try and see how it measured up. The results? While I wouldn’t say it is better than the creamy, delicious, but oh so dairy and refined sugar-laden Starbucks bottles, the Caramel Latte flavor was pleasant, but not very caramelly. And it gets chunky kind of easily with all of the almond milk settling. I’ll give this one 2.5 Stars.
Gardein BBQ Pocket Meals
gardein boxGardein products are usually one of the better mock meat offerings out there. One of my weaknesses is BBQ sauce. I’ll put it on anything. Before my vegan days, I loved BBQ wings and pulled pork – mostly because of the sauce. When I saw Gardein’s BBQ Pocket meals, I knew I had to have it! The “pulled porkless shreds” are in a delicious breading, which reminded me of a soft roll you’d get from an Asian restaurant for a pork bun. These pockets are microwavable or can be popped into the oven. I tried them both ways and they taste great! Though I’m really trying hard NOT to use a microwave anymore. Gardein gets 5 stars for this product!
Jiffy Vegetarian Instant Corn Muffin Mix
jiffyI’ve been craving a corn muffin for about a year now. I’ve been meaning to make a batch from scratch and even saved some recipes on Pinterest, but just have not gotten around to it. I was in the baking aisle not knowing what I was looking for exactly when I saw a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix with the green vegetarian label on it. Curiously, I picked up the box and saw the mix itself was vegan.

Cheezy Mac with Corn Muffin Crumbles.

Cheezy Mac with Corn Muffin Crumbles.

I substituted the eggs with ground flax and followed the instructions on the mix. The muffins came out delicious… but they did not hold together. I went against my better baking judgment and didn’t add water to the flax since the Jiffy box did not say to. I think that would have made all the difference. Anyway, still a great comfort food fix when I’m looking for a quick muffin mix. By the way, I made use of all the crumbled corn muffins by throwing them on top of my Daiya Cheezy Mac and adding chili powder… so amazing!! Jiffy’s Vegetarian Corn Muffin mix gets 4 stars for not directing us correctly!


  • Sandy Lo

    Sandy Lo’s personal story is inspiring. She started, StarShine Magazine, an online publication in 2001, at the age of 18. She wrote her first novel in 2009, “Lost In You,” followed by the “Dream Catchers” Series. She was the first person ever to professionally interview Taylor Swift and has received personal endorsements for her books from members of boy bands Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees. Recently, she has been seeing some tremendous momentum in book sales on Kindle. She has been included on the “50 Writers You Should Be Reading” list by The Authors Show, and “Dream Catchers”, “Breaking The Moon” and “Indigo Waters” reached the Top 100 Best Selling Coming of Age novels in Amazon’s Kindle Store. What makes this even more unique, is that Sandy relocated from NY to Nashville in order to write “The Watch Dog,” which is set in a fictional town outside of Music City. “The Watch Dog” reached the Top 10 Ghost Stories on Amazon. Aside from her writing projects, Sandy is also a freelance digital strategist.