Thursday, June 18, 2009

Oh, The Goodies I Got!

OK. We know that the population of the US is approx. 9 times greater than that of Canada. Some research says that 2.8% of the population is veg*n, some studies say as much as 4%. Let's go middle ground & assume that vegetarians make up 3.5% of the general population, in both countries. Based on that fact, the buying power of vegetarians in the US a whopping 10.6 million. In Canada, a measly 1.1 million. Therefore, American veg*ns have many, many more products to choose from. Those of you living in the USA are so lucky to have such kick-ass veg selections. Some of which I brought back home with me.
Up first - burgers!

I can easily find Amy's Texas Style burgers, but rarely Amy's Chicago Style burgers. As for the others pictured here, not in Canada. We used to have Lightlife and Boca, but they packed up and left. :o( Gardenburger sells 3 or 4 varieties here, but not these ones.

Although I like a veggie burger that resembles a hamburger, I also like some non-hamburger-type varieties. One store I was at had a discontinuation sale on the Chik'n Grill and had them priced at $1.69 a box! Needless to say, I bought a few of those. I also searched and searched for Gardenburger's "Meat"loaf, but didn't find any.

These are new to me. The only ones I've tried so far are the Ginger Teriyaki Veggie Cakes. They were quite nice. They looked really small, so I made two, but could only eat one. They are very filling, so be warned. I'm excited to try the other two.

Yea, I'm Canadian and yea, I like bacon. Stereotypical, but it's true. (I also like donuts, maple anything & hockey. hehe! Beer, not so much) Anyway, my bacon now is cruelty free. Try to find a decent bacon replacement here. All we have are Yves strips or "Canadian style" and I don't really like either one. Smart Bacon does in a pinch, but man - Morningstar Farms is by far the best. I have these in sandwiches and on their own alongside my pancakes. I like these even better than bacon!

We are total Riblets addicts. There is NOTHING here that compares. Not even close. On this trip, we scoured all the grocery stores and couldn't find any Riblets. OH NO!!!** I did see some Morningstar Farms ones. They are NEW! so the box says, so I got those - boxes & boxes of them and prayed that they would be as good as Gardenburgers.

They are eerily similar, even the sauce. I still have some Riblets in the freezer, so maybe a taste-off is in order. I also saw a large NEW! on a box for Italian Sausage. Thankfully, Tofurky sausages are available in Canada, and I've tried Boca's version in the past. The Boca ones were OK and I usually use them as a component in a recipe rather than just grilled on a bun. We haven't tried Morningstar yet.

Most days, my work lunches consist of leftovers from dinner or something I cook up specifically for lunches. Sometimes I'm lazy and just make a sandwich. Sometimes I'm super lazy and grab a frozen dinner from the freezer. I bought some of these just for some variety.

I tried the Enchilada Pie the last trip and I thought it was pretty good for a frozen entree. Then I saw Kashi has frozen dinners. Black Bean Mango sounds amazing, doesn't it? I just hope it tastes as good as it sounds.

Mmmm-mmmm! I loves me some Quorn! This originated in the UK I believe and has spread to other countries, but not to Canada dammit! Quorn makes a terrific replacement for chicken in recipes and gives a different texture from tofu. The roast helps solve the Christmas & Thanksgiving issue, the naked cutlets are great for pretty much anything and the tenders are in chunk form. Great for Quorn salad sandwiches, stir-fries, pasta dishes, etc. It's nicely flavoured too.

For super convenience, breaded patties & cutlets. The patties are nice in a bun with lettuce & "mayo". The cutlets are perfect for those nights when I come home and don't feel like cooking at all. Throw a couple of potatoes in the oven along with the cutlets, salad or veggies on the side and dinner is served!

Of course, we like to have junky finger foods for game night.

I freakin' love those corn dogs! No condiments necessary - I like them as is. The Buffalo Wings are sometimes a little too spicy for me, but some plum sauce for dipping helps to cut the heat and they are very tasty.

On one trip I found these Smart Stuffers with the cranberry stuffing and I took them to a Christmas dinner for my "main" option. I thought they were really good. Au Naturel used to make a veggie version of Cordon Bleu and a Broccoli & Cheez, but I haven't been able to find them for a long, long time. Imagine my excitement when I saw those 2 varieties available in Smart Stuffers! My only regret....I should have bought more than just one package of each. Dammit!

Of course I had to stock up on Fire Roasted Tomatoes. I have a few cans of crushed still in my pantry cupboard, so I grabbed a few more of the diced. Why bother chopping tomatoes when it's already done for you? And these Bush's Beans...OMG! Sooooo, good! Growing up on the east coast, I had more than my fair share of beans. I love 'em! I always preferred the variety with molasses, but those ones seem to only come with pork. Boooo! Beans with Tomato sauce are meat free, but I don't like those. I like a sweet sauce. Bush's to the rescue. These remind me of the beans I used to eat as a kid. Great for "beans & wiener" cravings. I know, I know. The sophistication of my tastes is astounding.

On the advice of Karen, I bought some Cracklin' Oat Bran. I should have gotten more. This box is history. United States and Canada both have these huge, long grocery store aisles loaded top to bottom with boxes & boxes of cereal. I guess we're a couple of countries full of cereal lovers. I will confess, when I was single, there were days when I'd come home to my bachelorette pad, pooped and just not in the mood to whip up a meal for one, so I'd have cereal, a la Jerry Seinfeld. Maybe not the most nutritious meal ever, but I could have had worse.

The hempmilk I picked up because I was in an optimistic mood that day. I've heard good things about hempmilk, but the brand I tried was one of the most disgusting things ever made. Living Harvest brand is one I see showcased on blogs, so I'm hoping it's good. I've yet to see it in any stores near me. Even though I'm a little apprehensive, I'm willing to try it. As of yet, I haven't opened the carton, but one of these days I'll get brave and I'll let you know the results.

Ah, Tings. Again, another product I've heard about over & over, but have never been able to find. Even this bag took a bit of searching. I haven't opened it yet and I really don't know what to expect. It will be an exciting adventure in snacking.

I've found a couple of brands of meatless chicken-flavoured bouillon cubes at my local grocery store that are pretty good, but trying to find a decent, flavourful "beef" one has been a bit of a struggle. I've heard of this one from fellow veggies in the US so I'm going to give it a try. Once we get back into the cool weather and soups & stews are mainstays, I'll crack this puppy open.

I mentioned in another post a long time ago, about Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. When I was young, I'd go visit my grandparents in the summer. My grandfather always made cinnamon rolls for me with orange icing. These have long disappeared around these parts. The only variety available to me now is with white icing. So, whenever I'm shopping in the States, I grab one or two tins of the rolls with orange icing.

Oh how I love these! Total fat & sugar, and totally delicious. Everytime I have these, I think of my grandfather. I think Jim & I devoured all of these in a day and a half.

We also got Simon some treats which he talked about in his post here. Some other randoms that we grabbed....Jim got more cheese in a can (who knows....), some Hershey bars, Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies, I bought some Agave that I thought was a steal at $3.99. I pay $7.99 here. When I compared the bottles, the one I usually get is twice the size. Ah well, I needed it anyway. I also got some Diet Mountain Dew.* It made an appearance around here a few years ago and I was buying it for about 6 months, then it disappeared. Weird! So I got 2 cases. It doesn't really taste the same, but it's good enough. I've heard that Mountain Dew in the US contains caffeine while Mountain Dew in Canada doesn't. Why can't they just make it the same everywhere. This was a discussion going on for a while about Oreo cookies. Some places they're vegan and some places they're not. My Oreos are vegan, while Chips Ahoy! uses LARD!? That's something new, so proof that label reading is a never ending chore.

*I've been told that diet pop is bad. I know, I know, but I don't have very good teeth, so I try to keep sugars to a minimum. I drink maybe 1 pop a day or 1 every other day, so it's not excessive. Since I switched from regular pop, my check-ups have been cavity-free. I might grow 3 heads, but at least the teeth in those heads will be nice.
**Checked the Gardenburger website - RIBLETS HAVE BEEN DISCONTINUED!!! NOOOOO!!!!!! I also noticed while zipping around the site that some of the addresses in the task bar say Kellogg's do I did some investigating. I found out that in 2007 Kellogg's bought Gardenburger. That explains the whole riblets thing.


Randi said...

Did you pick up all this stuff on your last trip? Did you get it all at Wegman's? I tried the Kashi mango dinner thing but I hated it. If you think NY has tons of stuff, you should head East of Port Huron. I just took Robin's cousin( who lives in St. Thomas) to Ann Arbor, because her son is following a special diet( for ADHD) and she spent almost 400 on groceries at Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Plum Market and a few other places.

dreaminitvegan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dreaminitvegan said...

Wow how do you close your freezer door. hee hee. I love hempmilk and you should like this brand.

Crystal said...

Wow, I have so many comments about your post!

*How packed is your freezer right now? Wow!

*It must be so super exciting to find all those products. I love finding new products to try, but as a State-side person, I've seen most of them

*I love Riblets too and I could get them so cheap at Trader Joe's. So sad that they are discontinued...maybe I can hoard the rest of them in the stores ;)

*Bush's Baked Beans - totally grew up on those. They were a staple for YEARS! I've now moved to making my own baked beans, but love it when my mom makes Bush's.

*EasyCheese - loved it! Man, we used to drizzle that stuff directly into our mouths. Haven't had it in years.

*Um, totally agree, HempBliss is NASTY. Tried it at a fair and had to swallow it in front of the vendors, but was dying to spit it out. Living Harvest is so much better.

* that's a new product to me, I should try it!

Loved the post, like I said, I had so many "talking to the screen" moments!

urban vegan said...

RIblets have been discontinued? Oh crap.

Well, I make Susan's with my favorite BBQ sauce from Trader Joe's and they are actually even better. Make 'em with your favorite sauce:

You know I love to peek in on what you buy. It was so great talking to you the other day. Good luck tomorrow!

Vive la revolucion!

Everyday Superhero said...

So upsetting about the riblets. Don't try the wings. The sauce is all vinegar. It's gross.

You really scored with your items. So much good stuff. You're set for the summer. It's nice to not have to worry about making a meal when it's warm out.

I've seen the Living Harvest Hemp milk in the Shopper's of my small town here in Ontario. Let me tell ya, there aren't that many tree huggers here so I'm sure you'll find it in the big city. :-)

Anonymous said...

I work for Kelloggs and I can say that they bought out the Gardenburger brand. The Riblets are now Morningstar brand, but it's the same formula.