What I eat when life puts me in the fast lane
I don’t know about you, but sometimes making 100% of my meals at home just isn’t feasible. Sure, you’d love to make crackers out of your juice pulp or whip up a batch of hummus at the last minute…but life gets crazy busy sometimes. I used to feel guilty about taking shortcuts or cracking open a can of soup so that I could get in my PJs that much faster, but not anymore.
Why? Well, I have a few off-the-shelf products that I’ve come to adore. They keep me plant-strong and feeling good about where I’m spending my money and what I’m putting in my body when life puts me in the fast lane.
Check ‘em out, give them a try, and comment below with your favorite quick-fix options.
Mary’s Gone Crackers
I’m an addict. Like stage-an-intervention addict. These uber-crunchy vegan crackers are not only gluten-free, but they’re GMO-free, and 100% organic. The worst thing about them is trying NOT to eat the entire box once they’re open. Primarily made of brown rice, quinoa, and flax seeds, they’re perfect for dipping, or when you just need a little crunch and munch to get you through that last afternoon meeting. Of course, Whole Foods has them, but I’ve also seen them at CostCo and in the natural aisle of standard grocery stores.
Annie Chun’s Miso Soup Bowl
If you’re watching your sodium, this may not be your first choice, but I always have a few of these noodle bowls tucked in my desk drawer or in a suitcase when I travel. The miso has a wonderful flavor, and all it takes is some hot water to make this surprisingly filling soup. When I’m nursing a cold, it’s also one of my go-to choices (since my childhood favorite of chicken’n’stars just isn’t an option anymore).
Bakery on Main Gluten Free Granola
Part of the Non-GMO project, this California-based company has started popping up in mainstream grocery stores near me (and hopefully, you). The granola is delicious, plus it’s made from GMO-free corn and brown rice. My favorite is the Nutty Cranberry Maple. Just pay attention to the serving size…I’m always tempted to fill my bowl to the very top. But, between the nuts and the grains, it’s surprisingly filling, especially once you add your favorite nut milk or yogurt.
Field Roast Sausage
From brunch parties to cookouts, Field Roast grain-based sausage rocks my world. Even my meat-eating friends gobble this stuff up (I’m not sure they even knew it was vegan the last time it was on the buffet). I love the Apple Sage sausage for brunch events, and their Mexican Chipotle sausage is reminiscent of chorizo – perfect for a cookout or a throwing together a quick salad for a picnic like this one. I always have a few packages in my freezer for last minute meals. Their products are not organic, but they are GMO-free.
Almond milk yogurt? Oh, yes please. Vegan and soy-free, I use the plain flavor for baking and the vanilla in my granola for a filling breakfast. I’ve found this in specialty and conventional grocery stores, but the thing that sets them apart from the other dairy-free, soy-free yogurts is they’re GMO-free, too. Winning!
Brad’s Raw Kale Chips
I’m going to start with the harsh reality of these green gems: they are pricey. You could make your own kale chips for 1/3 of the price. But this is about convenience, and when I’m craving a road-trip food like GMO-filled Doritos, the cheesy kale chips or the hot and spicy kale chips hit the spot. I have seen them on sale a few times, so keep your eye out – when they’re a few bucks off, horde them like you’re prepping for a zombie apocalypse.
Have you ever had a cracker that was so substantial, it almost doubled as a full meal? Enter the Doctor Kracker Crispbreads. These beasts are great for all kinds of spreads and dips, and you could even make a hefty (albeit crunchy and crumbly) sandwich with these. They are a tad expensive, and only 8 come in a box…but one cracker should do you just fine for a snack or a light meal with a few veggies and some hummus or a nut cheese. I’ve seen these at Wegmans, Whole Foods, and Giant. They’re 100% organic, too.
Emmy’s Organics Raw Macaroons
The day I discovered Emmy’s raw coconut macaroons was a day of pure, unadulterated gluttony. These little beauties come three to a pack. I told myself I’d eat one each day for three days. Incredibly rich, heavenly, and purely decadent, about 6 minutes after opening the package all three were gone and I slipped into a dessert coma. Because sometimes you just need a damn cookie. I’ve only seen the macaroons as my local organic market, but a few of their other products have started cropping up in Whole Foods. Fingers crossed you’ll see them in a store near you. (Psst – if you can’t find these locally, Amazon sells them.)
Imagine Broths & Soups
GMO-free, organic, and easy to find, I use Imagine no-chicken broth anytime I don’t have time to make my own stock. They’re high in sodium, as most broths are, so I would recommend using them sparingly. But when you’ve got a huge meal to cook (Thanksgiving!) or you’re in a rush to whip up a quick bite, having a few of these soups on hand can mean loads of flavor in just minutes. The creamy butternut squash soup is fantastic, as well. Up the ante on it by throwing in a few dashes of smoked paprika, and serve it with some garlicky croutons for a fancy meal in a flash.
purely elizabeth granola
Vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and made with all natural ingredients, purely elizabeth granola gets an A+ for both healthy and tasty. Full of seeds, nuts, oats, and spices (I’m partial to the pumpkin fig), this cereal is incredibly filling and packed with fiber and protein. A tad pricey, and I’ve only see it at Whole Foods, but worth tracking down if you need a solid breakfast option for your busy mornings. I guess the best part about the price is it does help me with moderating my serving sizes…I want to make this stuff last.
Way Better Snacks sprouted chips
Good luck trying to put these chips away before you polish off the entire bag…especially the sweet potato tortilla chips. Holy moly. When you need something crunchy, addictive, and fun, I highly recommend these bad boys. Eat them right out of the bag, or use them to scoop up some homemade salsa (pineapple habanero, perhaps?). Find them. Now. And then curse me when you find yourself completely addicted, too.
A few missing names…
You may have noticed that I didn’t mention Larabars, Pacific Nut Milks, Kashi, Lightlife, or Morningstar Farms. These companies use GMO products, are owned by large corporations who donate significant amounts of money to prevent GMO labeling, or use questionable practices with their ingredients. As a result, I’ve made the personal decision to spend my money elsewhere. In a pinch, I can always make due with some carrots, apples, hummus, and little salad.
What are some of your favorite vegan snacks? Let me know by leaving a comment below!