I am fortunate to live (for now) in a rural area with lots of local producers, a health-gourmet products store, and a self-serve local / organic grocery. There are also two conventional grocery stores, one of which has some local produce in season. Not bad for a county with one stop light and about 16,000 people! However, I don't belong to a CSA, hours can be limited, and my favorite store - the self serve organic / local foods shop - is one mile down a windy dirt road that follows a river, a challenge that I am not up to during a regional deep, icy cold in my shoebox-sized economy car. Instead, I shopped tonight at the chain grocery store. And, now might be an appropriate time to disclose that my year of vegan eating is complicated by food allergies (or sensitivities) to wheat, corn and soy.

Kale, broccoli, carrots and beets made their way into my cart for roasting tomorrow. Russet potatoes were on sale at 99 cents per pound, but I haven't figured out root storage and the ones I already have are looking wrinkly. Pass. I skipped most of the internal aisles, and found a small "organics" selection where I located my best find and greatest disappointment of the evening.

Best find: Mary's Gone Crackers Original: Tasty little crackers, just fine plain, though I think they'd be good with humus or a tapenade. I'm enjoying them with a kalamata olive spread (thanks, Dad - you brought it back from Greece for me!). A little pricey, but really, there's not much in the processed snack department that is vegan and wheat/soy/dairy-free. I highly recommend these crackers. And, as a Mary myself, I love the name.
INGREDIENTS: ORGANIC SHORT GRAIN BROWN RICE, ORGANIC WHOLE QUINOA, ORGANIC BROWN FLAX SEEDS, ORGANIC BROWN SESAME SEEDS, FILTERED WATER, ORGANIC WHEAT-FREE LOW SODIUM TAMARI (WATER, WHOLE ORGANIC SOYBEANS, SALT, ORGANIC ALCOHOL), SEA SALT.

Greatest disappointment: Quorn ("kworn"), a meat-like fermented mycoprotein, contains egg and dairy. The company makes Chicken-Style Nuggets, Patties, Garlic & Herb Cutlets and Gruyere Cutlets; Chicken-Style Naked Cutlets, Meat-free hot dogs, Chicken-Style Recipe Tenders and Beef-Style Recipe Grounds; a Turkey-Style Roast and meat-free Meatballs.  I've had quorn before and loved it as a tasty, soy-free alternative. At the time, I was not eating a vegan diet, so failed to notice the troublesome ingredients. I had been looking forward to some non-chicken nuggets. *sigh* However, I do need to congratulate my rural, small-town grocery store on carrying a soy-free meat alternative product. I would recommend Quorn to ovo-lacto vegetarians as a tasty soy-free option: www.quorn.us
 


Comments

Jerry Bob
01/11/2010 17:43

A shoebox sized car? Really? Tell me you have four-wheel drive Chevettte. No... A Gremlin! That would truly round-out your hip, country-side, committed vegan life-style.

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    Mary Alzire

    Thank you for taking the time to visit my site.  You can comment on any post by clicking its title. I welcome your comments and questions.

    "The Year of the Vegan" is a diary of my challenges and triumphs during 2010 - a year in which I will not consume any animal products. This commitment is motivated by my disgust about the hidden and externalized environmental, social and societal  costs of our nation's food network. Join me considering what we eat, and why.

    This year is also a year of personal transitions - from graduate student and freelance writer living in rural southwestern Virginia to fully-employed DC resident.

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