Some things I found at Grocery Outlet today! And then I veer off into a rant.

Today, Sunday morning, we went to our local Grocery Outlet. We go on Sunday mornings because it tends to be the least hectic time on the weekend. Well, do you know what I found? Beyond sausage patties and for only $3 a box! I think I picked up six boxes. If I’m lucky, I can maybe get them for about $6, but if they aren’t on sale, more like $7. On the weekends I tend to do a savory breakfast and a sweet breakfast. The sausage can go actually with either. I do like sausage with pancakes.

They have also been carrying this brand I haven’t seen anywhere else called Unmeat. It’s a brand from the Phillipines and right now at Grocery Outlet, it’s been going for a buck. They have minced meat (12oz), Hungarian sausage (4 full-sized links), chicken nuggets (12) and veggie burgers. I don’t get the veggie burgers but I really like the other three. I made vegan gumbo with the Hungarian sausage. I figured they were probably the closest to andouille sausage I was going to find anyway. I’m neither a sausage nor Cajun expert so I thought my gumbo was delicious. I usually don’t like Cajun nor Creole cuisine much, I thought it was the thyme, but now I’m wondering if it’s something called filé. It’s described as “earthy” and it’s the “earthy” taste I find a bit too much. Thyme can also be off-putting to me, but I put thyme in my gumbo and thought it was just the right amount of earthy flavor for me. I didn’t have any filé, though. I plan on making it again since I have some celery that needs to be used soon, and I got some more okra and a bell pepper this week in my local produce box. I hope to take pics of it to share here.

And my son now knows where the vegan Magnum bars are in the freezer section of Grocery Outlet and always grabs a box. They also have the dairy Magnums but he always goes for the non-dairy ones. I really don’t know if he’d like the dairy ones as much anyway. As I’ve said before, I don’t make him eat vegan. We got him some dairy ice cream at this school field day last summer and he wasn’t super enthusiastic about eating it. A lot of it melted before he ate it. I think he would have preferred a sorbet or popsicle but ice cream was the only option. He used to love dairy cheese but now he will rip it off something like a pizza and just eat the tomato sauce crust. My guess with the cheese, it’s a texture issue. Dairy cheese has a certain chew/almost rubbery aspect to it, especially mozzarella, and he has become more picky with texture lately. He’s gotten so accustomed to vegan cheese, he doesn’t like the dairy anymore. I’m totally fine with that, but occasionally, we find ourselves between a rock and hard place when it comes to finding vegan food and we might be lucky to find a vegetarian option. My hometown, for example, has one vegan option as far as I know and that’s a pizza place that has Daiya. My mom took me to a play last year in Abingdon, VA and I found the ONE vegan option in the whole town and it sucked. It was a dry falafel on a stale tortilla. Ha! Even vegetarian can be hard to find around that area. Beans, green beans and greens are likely to be cooked with pork meat. Even something like mac and cheese might only be available with bacon.

I would totally eat 100% vegan if it was readily available all the time. Personally, I just don’t think about what I don’t eat. I did miss meat and cheese a lot in the beginning but I no longer do. Unless something develops with my health, I can’t imagine what would cause me to quit eating mostly vegan. I think the good thing about what I do is all about how I think about it. I don’t think I’m a failure if I find myself back in my hometown because of a family emergency and I have to eat non-vegan meal at a restaurant or maybe a donut someone brought. My choice would be to go very hungry or throw in the towel if I saw it as black and white. And I don’t handle hunger well! 23&Me confirmed I’m likely to get hangry. But now I can be like, “Okay, I’ll eat this donut that someone else brought in so I can still function. No big deal.” When I’m home, I can still buy my vegan groceries and visit our vegan bakery.

I just find it a little funny there are vegans out there who would tell me how horrible I was for eating Dunkin Donuts donut while visiting a dying family member in the hospital, claiming it was like only beating your spouse some of the time, who will quit being vegan before a year is up because of the needless black and white way of viewing reducing animal consumption/helping animals. I don’t think I’m exaggerating either when I say, maybe in a year, I have the equivalent of 2 cups of milk (probably less) and one egg. I might unknowingly eat fish sauce and lard too. So a teaspoon of lard and maybe the one quarter of an anchovy? No industry is staying afloat if everyone in the world ate that much animal product. It’s literally not possible. I am not so worried about every individual choice I make being that I am only one in 8 billion or so people, but the actual patterns of the world. I just don’t see how staunch veganism is going to achieve real change. It’s just not possible right now for most people. There are literally towns in the USA right now where one would be lucky to find one vegan dish. It wasn’t until the last couple of years I’ve even seen vegetarian broth and bouillon in most grocery stores!

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  1. Great post, Heidi! You said it all a lot all a lot better than I ever could. I agree with you regarding how it is unnecessary (for the sake of animals) to be uncompromisingly strict about consuming only vegan foods.

    Thank you so much for sharing, regarding the cheap fines at grocery outlet. I am intrigued by the idea of the cheap meatless meat from the Philippines. Hope I will get a chance to try it one day. That’s amazing that you are finding the vegan magnum ice cream bars at Grocery Outlet, too! Hope you can keep finding nutritious food that your son will enjoy, texture wise and everything.

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