I haven’t been veg all my life, I started eating veggie about 13 years or so ago. I seem to get asked this question frequently. “How long have you been a vegetarian?” After I respond, generally it’s followed by “Is your whole family vegetarian?” And then, inevitably, the last question will be something along the lines of “Don’t you miss meat?”
No, I really don’t miss meat. It’s been so long ago, that I think I’ve almost forgotten what it tastes like. In fact, on occasion I have to hand my veggie dog over to my husband and ask him if it’s really fake because I can’t tell. He nibbles on it, makes a yucky face and confirms that it is indeed faux meat.
What I do miss, however, are some items that have meat product in them – namely foods with gelatin. (For those non veg readers thinking “gelatin???”, here’s an article for you). These foods include marshmallows (i.e, rice crispy treats, s’mores, roasted on an open fire), jello, jello based desserts, Starbursts, etc. Sometimes I get lucky and find a veggie replacement at a health food store. But, not always. And some things just aren’t the same. They don’t taste right or the texture is just odd.
I discovered a place, however, that seems to do the trick at helping with the craving. The Vegan Store. An online/mail-order store with a bunch of very cool and very good replacements. I make an order about twice a year that typically includes marshmallows, gelatin, “fruit jel”, gravy, pre-made crispy treats, tofu jerky, and whatever else hits my fancy. The only problem is this: I gorge myself on the food when it comes in the house. For example yesterday, I made Strawberry Fruit Jel. I had about 3 bites of it last night. And today, I polished the rest of it off. 95% of the bowl to myself in one sitting (the other 5% was what I ate last night). Yum.
I went poking around online today trying to decide what to get in my next order. Unfortunately, they don’t have any more of the Fruit Gel in stock. (Or maybe that is “fortunately”). But just looking through the products online, my mouth is already watering for rice crispy treats. It’s been far too long since I’ve had one. They even have “ricemallow creme” now in either regular or strawberry flavors! Maybe now I can make one of those yummy fruit dips that everyone raves over and yet I have never tried. An order is definitely going to need to be placed – and soon. Gotta stock up for the holidays!