It’s All About the Ingredient List

This is off topic of dining out and rather on dining in, but I am so frustrated! I’ve been tricked. I spend so much time right now reading labels in the grocery store, it’s becoming my new hangout. But I thought I was getting to know which brands I could go to and cut down on some time. I was congratulating myself on avoiding tons of sneaky milk and egg add-ins in everything from cereal bars to barbecue sauce (as well as a lot of ingredients that come from a lab). And then tonight I read the ingredients list for a few of the items in my freezer.

I know, fresh and whole food is best. I actually subscribed to a low-cost vegetarian meal-planning website (the Fresh 20) that is awesome. Most of the vegetarian meals are vegan or can be tweaked to be vegan and all the meals for the week work together so you don’t end up with any spoiled produce. I’ve learned a lot about cooking in the past couple of months and tried some new veggies.

But… sometimes I’m lazy. I just don’t feel like cooking for an hour or so some nights (I’m slow) or, if I don’t have dinner leftovers, preparing my lunch in advance for work (and I’m not a morning person so forget about waking up early to do it). So about 3 times a week I fall back on my old habit where I used to microwave everything and zap a quick meal.

I KNEW these microwave masterpieces where high in sodium and processed. I DID NOT know that several of them contained milk and eggs. Until now. Lightlife and MorningStar Farms ARE vegetarian, but only some of their products are vegan. No more of MorningStar’s Maple Flavored Veggie Sausage Patties for me, which was one of my favorite Sunday breakfast treats. Grrr.

Contains both milk and eggs :(

Contains both milk and eggs 😦

I also discovered that the soy cheeses I had – Veggie brand (Shreds, Slices, etc.) and Trader Joe’s Soy-Sation Three Cheese blend – contained Casein, a dairy milk protein that I want no part of. I get it; it’s for people who are lactose-intolerant, but I’m sure I’m not the only person who has been fooled by this. My Daiya cheese is vegan but sadly Publix only carries the mozzarella variety. I guess I need to start visiting some new hangouts grocery stores.

Lesson learned: READ ALL THE INGREDIENTS FOR EVERY BRAND!

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