It’s National Frozen Food Day (Frozen Food Month, too!) and there are thousands of different kinds of frozen foods on the market, but what is available for a plant-based eater? Not so long ago there were only a handful of products to choose from and it was usually the obligatory cardboard-tasting veggie burger or soy patty.
The companies that are coming up now hold to higher standards and integrity and are gaining a strong following. Here is the mission statement of one of the newer companies, Beyond Meat:
We believe there is a better way to feed the planet. Our mission is to create mass-market solutions that perfectly replace animal protein with plant protein. We are dedicated to improving human health, positively impacting climate change, conserving natural resources and respecting animal welfare…
They boast a handful of plant-based protein products that you can use just like you would in a recipe that calls for traditional meat. Unfortunately for me, I cannot ingest this awesome product due to maltodextrin, which is a derivative of corn. For those of you without corn allergies, have at it. They all look tasty and are great additions to any meal.
One of the longest standing vegan frozen food companies is Tofurkey. This is a wonderful product that exists because vegans wanted to be able to celebrate the holidays with some kind of “turkey.” Back when the Spouse was still eating wheat, I made killer traditional tofurkey roasts, with all the trimmings. Tofurky carries a full line of products for the vegan, ready to heat and eat. They just aren’t gluten free.
Then there’s Amy’s Kitchen, which carries a full line of frozen meals. Amy’s has made a reputation for themselves over the years, making food that is packed with flavor. They are in almost every store I shop at. While they are not 100% vegan (some of their products use real cheese), I’ve enjoyed every dish I tried. Some more than others. Again, I have to watch the ingredients for corn content, but I can enjoy most of the meals when I’m not busy cooking for myself and my spouse. Amy’s also has some awesome gluten free products available.
Another type of frozen food for vegans are the fried potato products and vegetables. Most of these I can have: French fries, tater tots, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, and Asian stir fries. Sometimes, especially with the physical challenges I’ve faced over the last few months, it’s easy to grab a few bags of frozen goods to keep us going — especially since I know I need to eat more vegetables.
We can’t have a conversation about frozen foods without talking about ice cream. A few years ago there were one or two choices for frozen treats, all made from soy, and they always seemed to be a bit on the grainy side. Today a quick search reveals quite a few brands: Coconut Bliss, So Delicious, Almond Dream, Purely Decadent, and Blue Mountain Organics. And don’t forget the local ice creameries like Sweet Ritual in Austin, Nami in Phoenix (home of the Tsoynami soft serve), and even Sweet Action in Denver which isn’t vegan but does offer at least two different vegan flavors every day.
Frozen Food Day doesn’t have to be all about brand foods. Food can be made from fresh ingredients at home and then packaged and frozen. I use this method with Southwestern Veggie Burgers. I cook and freeze Tempeh Chili and Fava Bean Cassoulet. These can then be thawed out and enjoyed weeks and even months after they’ve been made.
Celebrate Frozen Foods Day by supporting your favorite brand of vegan meals or getting to your local ice cream place for a coconut or almond milk based frozen treat. Or you can just cook some great food in your own kitchen for later on. Have a great Frozen Food Month.