After a long winter of cooking homemade soups and delicious vegan meals from scratch, I have become lazy. I have myself convinced that pre-packaged foods are okay once in a while. Since I am in the frame of mind of preparing foods “in a jiffy,” I thought I would try some baked goods “out of the box.” Last night, I made bran muffins using the 7 ounce bran muffin mix from the brand “Hodgson Mill.” I followed the directions on the box but I “veganized” the ingredients with Earth Balance butter, soy milk and 2 ripe bananas mixed with 1/2 cup of water to replace the eggs. They came out pretty good. In the past, I have made some really great brownies using the packaged fudge brownie mix from the brand “Cherrybrook Kitchen.” I once brought them to a Super Bowl party and everyone loved them!! I’m sure many of the kids would not have eaten them if they heard the word “vegan.”
Tonight’s experiment was a carrot cake with vanilla frosting. I used the packaged carrot cake mix from the brand “Simply Organic”. The back of the box actually gives directions for a vegan carrot cake using applesauce. I followed that recipe using pre-grated carrots to keep things simple. For the frosting, I used the packaged “Cherrybrook Kitchen” vanilla frosting mix using Earth Balance butter and rice milk. I decorated the top of the cake with chopped walnuts and it came out delicious! What could be easier?
In conclusion, I would have to say that use of these pre-packaged mixes are essential for me to enjoy my vegan lifestyle, as long as I use them in moderation. Why does being vegan have to be hard? My motto is to “just keep it simple”!!!