Many people wrongly assume that a vegan diet automatically means intensely healthy salads for every meal, but that couldn't be further from the truth!
Unfortunately, it is just as easy to eat unhealthily on a vegan diet. Think about all the tasty foods that are vegan and also jam-packed with fat and sugar...french fries, Trader Joe's cinnamon rolls, cookie butter (my weakness), Oreos...the list goes on and on. Luckily for me, I tend to gravitate towards nutrient-packed meals filled with veggies, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, etc. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't indulge every now and then (and probably more often than I should!).
Before continuing on with this blog post, I'd like to clarify some things about my decision to follow a cruelty-free lifestyle. I decided to eliminate meat and most dairy products from my diet
for the animals
, not because I didn't like the taste, wanted to lose weight, thought it was healthier, etc. My sole decision to join the vegan club was because I didn't want to put my hard-earned money towards an industry that exploits and abuses sentient beings that I deeply love and adore. In choosing this lifestyle, I've automatically made healthier decisions and lost a small bit of weight, but those are only added bonuses and play no influence in my dining choices, for better or for worse.
Because it was never a thing about not liking the taste of meat, I find myself salivating at pictures of macaroni and cheese, cheese fries, ice cream cones, etc. So as not to deprive myself, I always end up making my own delicious vegan version of dairy and meat-filled meals. On the first night in my new apartment, I was desperate to make a vegan Mac n' Cheeze Burger. So, I did! It was SO GOOD and SO EASY it's almost funny. I could probably eat it everyday but that wouldn't be good for my waistline, haha!
Mac n' Cheeze Burger
1 Box of Earth Balance Orange Cheddar Vegan Mac n' Cheese cooked according to the package instructions (I used Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread and Original Unsweetened Almond Breeze almond milk)
1 Vegan Griller Boca Burger Patty
1 Tomato (or, if you're like me, halve two or three cherry tomatoes)
1 cup Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
black pepper, to taste
Thousand Island Spread
1 tbs Just Mayo vegan mayonaise
1 tbs Ketchup
1/2 tbs of sweet relish
1/2 a cap full of white vinegar
Cook the Earth Balance Mac n' Cheese according to package instructions. When mixing in your cheese sauce, add the Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds to make it extra thick and creamy. Stir continuously until Daiya Shreds are melted. Season the mac n' cheese with black pepper to taste. Microwave the Boca Burger Patty according to package instructions. In a small cup or bowl, mix together the Just Mayo, ketchup, sweet relish, and white vinegar until combined. Spread Thousand Island on your bun, top with cooked Boca Burger Patty, tomatoes, and giant scoop of mac n' cheese. Your tastebuds will thank you!