If you know me in real life you’ll know I’m in a long distance relationship that spans over 5000 miles. Los Angeles and London. We’ve been together through my pescetarian phase, my year long foray into all things meat and finally my overnight nose dive into veganism. It’s funny how our food “traditions” have changed based on my dietary preferences. My old traditional “first food in LA” was always a shrimp burrito, now it’s a portion of seasoned curly fries.
LA was where becoming a vegan started to form in my mind. I was struggling with my eczema at the time and Brian suggested I try the almond milk in the fridge to see if I liked it. Turns out I did! A couple of weeks later I was a vegan.
I just got back from my 9th visit to LA and whilst I was there I realised I’ve never actually shared on the blog what amazing vegan food is available in America. The best vegan mayonnaise and the best vegan faux meats. So I’ll be outlining a few of the yummy things I like to eat and the things I like to smuggle home in my suitcase!
My hoard I brought back in my suitcase…basically why it weighed 55lbs.
Candy from Premium Chocolatiers – “No Nos”, “No Whey!” and “Mini Peanut butter cups”
1 quart of Maple syrup (it’s stupid expensive in the UK)
Earth Balance original vegan butter
Follow Your Heart Vegenaise Tartar Sauce
Field Roast Wild Mushroom Quarterloaf and 2 Celebration roasts
Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo
Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Blend (like vegan nutella basically…)
Dark chocolate covered pecans and Maple creme sandwich cookies from Sprouts Farmers Market
Whilst I was away I finally got to try some brands I’d had my eye on for a while
Beyond Meat chick’n – with miso udon noodle stir fry
Beyond Meat chick’n is CRAZY GOOD. It pulls apart into strings like real chicken. Brian can’t really tell the difference so omni seal of approval right there. I loved it. I didn’t get a chance to try their beef crumbles but that’s on my list for next time!
WholesSoy & Co soy yogurts!
For the last couple of months I’d heard people on the internet (mostly on r/vegan) ranting about how great Wholesoy was and how happy they were about it’s return to stores so obviously I had to find some. I tried the peach, blueberry and vanilla flavours. Admittedly since being vegan I don’t really eat many yogurt substitutes but this is really, really good. Creamy and full of flavour without being pumped through with sugar. They do a plain flavour which I think would be great for cooking.
Vegan Black pepper Toona from Sophie’s Kitchen
We bought this fairly near the beginning of the trip but I admit I was pretty scared to open it. Before I was vegan tuna mayonnaise sandwiches were my go-to. I absolutely loved tuna. So this had a lot riding on it. Does it taste like tuna? Not really. It’s like a salty, peppery seitan. However, it not really tasting like the real thing doesn’t mean it’s bad, it tasted great in a toasted bagel mixed with Just Mayo. Be warned, when you open the can it does look a little like cat food but it’s good I promise!
This seitan bacon from Sweet Earth is pretty darn tasty. It’s got quite a strong smokey flavour, we had it a lot with potato hash and the Field Roast breakfast sausages. I saw some burritos made by Sweet Earth in Target but didn’t get to try one – next time!
Field Roast can do no wrong, I love those people. These breakfast sausages are delicious. I’m wishing that I had smuggled them home too. There’s only one place you can get Field Roast over here in the UK (at VX in Kings Cross!) so I try to try as many things as possible when I’m over in LA. I was disappointed we couldn’t find the new Chao slices though!
(Our vegan thanksgiving dinner)
Gardein Fishless Filets & Turk’y Cutlets
SHUT DOWN EVERYTHING. These fishless filets are amazing. I love Gardein, in my eyes they can do no wrong. I’ve loved every single product of theirs I’ve had the pleasure of eating. Brian was super impressed how much these tasted like the real deal. I would happily eat them forever.
The Turk’y cutlets we had for our Thanksgiving dinner. They come with a little pouch of gravy which is super tasty. I think they tasted pretty authentic but my turkey knowledge is somewhat diminished. Definitely would eat and enjoy again!
I also ate my weight in Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo. I’m a complete freak for mayonnaise so I was so happy to see another vegan version on the market besides my beloved vegenaise. I have to say I am extremely impressed with Just Mayo, it tastes an awful lot like I remember real mayonnaise tasting. I had it with nearly all my savoury meals. I’m also really pleased that they are launching in the UK in Tesco in 2015 – hopefully in April! Yay!
The other exciting thing that happened whilst I was in LA was our unboxing of the vitamix! Brian’s mum was kind enough to buy us one for a wedding present and they kept it in the box until I could come open it in person!
Making pumpkin soup!
So there we have it, some of the awesome vegan food America has to offer at the moment!