Five Friday Faves 12.01.17

Happy Friday and first day of December! It’s been oh…9 months since I’ve done one of these, so figured I was due 😉 Ironically, the last time I posted 5 Friday Faves, I was heading to Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day and I’m heading there again tomorrow for my birthday weekend! For years it’s been my tradition to go to Christkindlmarket to get a boot/mug of warmed spiced wine (so I have a few of them!), do some shopping and eat some yummy food! This year, they’ve also set up a market in Wrigleyville, so I’m excited to check that one out!

 

With that, here are this week’s faves! I like to post favorites from my week or old favorites that I use regularly. Hope you enjoy and Happy Friday! TGIF!!

#1 – Vegan Pizza!

Every Friday night is pizza night around here, and I’ve tried a few different vegan pizzas, so here are my top choices. Of course, you could make your own, but I make all of our dinners/lunches throughout the week – so Friday is a nice break from cooking.

  1. Sonoma Dairy Free Flatbread – I recently discovered this at Meijer, which is where we buy the majority of our groceries, so it is great for the convenience and portion control. It’s the perfect little personal pizza and tricks my brain into thinking – you get a whole pizza to yourself! The crust is also nice and crispy –  not gummy like some gluten-free ones (I’m not completely gluten-free, but I buy a lot of gluten-free items, so that’s just a bonus!). The veggies and dairy-free cheese are also delicious. I definitely don’t feel deprived when everyone else is eating their DiGiorno or Pizza Hut, lol.
  2. Amy’s Margherita Swirls – Definitely a VERY close second, but I’ve only been able to order them from veganessentials.com, so they aren’t as accessible as I’d like. They are also a great way to portion control 🙂 With a side of vegan garlic butter, ahhhmazing!
  3. Gardein Meatless Pepperoni Pizza Pockets – These are great, but they are very small, so even though that’s great for portion control – I don’t feel satisfied by just one. We also don’t have a microwave, so they take quite a while in the toaster oven. If you’re on the search for a good pepperoni pizza substitute, however, they might be right up your alley. I ordered them from veganessentials.com, but I’ve also seen them at Wal-Mart.
  4. Daiya Supreme Pizza –  This actually used to be my go-to dairy-free pizza at Meijer, but I found that 1) I was eating the entire pizza – see above about portion control – and did I mention I’m addicted to food. 2) Once I tried other vegan pizza crusts, realized how gummy this one was. I’m not saying it’s terrible or that I would never buy it again – but it’s not in the top three anymore.
  5. Papa Johns – This is purely #5 because we’re not in their delivery area and I have to drive 15 minutes to get it – which is a good thing, lol. It’s definitely a treat, and I have to really focus on portion control for this one. Papa Johns has always been my favorite place to order pizza, and I was absolutely ecstatic to find out that their garlic butter is vegan! I usually order a small pizza with onion, jalapeños, black olives, pineapple, extra sauce and no cheese on a hand tossed crust. It’s delicious. If you think pizza without cheese is weird, it is – but I honestly don’t miss the cheese and make up for it with garlic butter 😉 Here’s a bonus link on “how to order vegan pizza” 🙂

 

#2 – Meal Mentor Plans

You’ve probably seen me post a few meals where I’ve mentioned Meal Mentor, and you might be thinking – what is that? Well, it’s a vegan meal planning program where they send you weekly recipes (with calorie counts), and shopping lists and I LOVE IT! It saves me so much time each week when I’m planning our meals. I don’t always make all of the meals, I pick and choose and throw in a couple of other things like our normal taco Tuesday or Friday pizza night. I seriously love it and how it’s always giving me new ideas and the recipes are so incredibly easy and adaptable to your tastes. It definitely got me out of my food rut and introduced me to some new flavors and ways of doing things. For one – we use way less oil. They taught me that you could easily sub veggie stock or water when you’re sautéing onions or other veggies. I also love that it comes with a private Facebook group where everyone posts pictures of their food, reviews or how they’ve adapted the recipes. It’s a great community! Here are some of my favorite recipes so far – BBQ Bean Stew, Thai Rice Soup, California Drive-Thru Fries, Good Greens & Gravy, and Big Mac Potatoes (all time favorite so far!).

 

#3 – Seeds of Change Ready to Heat Rice

This has been a game changer for me. The majority of our house likes white rice, so instead of make two kinds of rice when we have it – I always use one of these packets. We don’t have a microwave, but it is easily heated on the stove. Usually, I steam it with a little water (covered) or just add it to the sauce or soup I’m already cooking. It works especially great if I’m cooking soup in the crockpot. I just add this in and let it cook along with the rest of the ingredients. Comes out perfect every time 🙂 I used to get it at Meijer, but recently found it in bulk at Sams Club.


#4 – Orange Tempura Cauliflower

No matter if you’re a meat eater, vegetarian or vegan – you will love this! The kids absolutely love this – so much so, that we have to make both bags that come in the box! I serve it over rice/broccoli, and sometimes we add a little soy sauce and sriracha. If you have a Sams Club membership, this is a must!

 

#5 – Grand Rapids Brewing Company Vegan Mushroom Wrap

I’ve been trying out a lot of vegan items around Michigan, and this is by far my most favorite! I loved it so much that I had it twice in a week a few weeks back.

Description from their website: house-made vegan mushroom “burger,” bibb lettuce, fried green tomatoes, red onion, vegan chipotle aioli, dijon mustard, vegan jalapeño wrap. btw… we dare you to say vegan again! 

I don’t even like mustard, and it is soooooo amazing! Vegans and non-vegans agreed!

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