Vegan at the Cracker Barrel

Vegan at the Cracker Barrel seem a bit impossible? Well, I did it last night. Of course, I had to have the manager come out and arrange special things for me and discuss what things are vegan.

It turns out they cook their sprouts with ham, their pinto beans have ham in them, they cook most of their veggies and even their rice in beef broth, and much more. At least they were honest!

However, I ordered a garden salad which has a vegan dressing, a plain baked potato, corn with no margarine and a fresh seasonal fruit dish. The  at the last minute, she mentioned that one manager she knew was vegan and loved their granola (which they usually put on the yogurt). That sounded great, so I ordered that (no yogurt).

My faves were the garden salad, baked potato and granola. The granola had dried berries, oatmeal and almonds. It was delicious and seemed very healthy. The baked potato was huge and the garden salad was so yummy. I used some of the dressing that was for the salad, for my baked potato. I also added a bit of salt and a bit of pepper to it.

So you can eat vegan there. I sent them a comment on their website thanking them for being hospitable and helpful (some restaurants aren’t). I also asked them to have a “special diets” section in their menu with a “vegan” subsection. I asked them for veggie and rice options without butter or beef broth. I suggested they cook rice in vegetable broth.

I Ate the Vegan Black Bean Burger at Scrud’s Restaurant in Utah

I just ate at this place called Scrud’s in Utah and they had a great Vegan Black Bean Burger. I was told the bun is even vegan. I had tomato, lettuce, pickles and avocado on it. I had the side salad “with no cheese and no bacon.” I did not have fries. The black bean burger does not touch a grill or a fryer, but everything that does (fries, other burgers, etc.) comes in contact with LARD, FYI. Ask for a bun with no butter, too. I had to ask for one after they had brought me one with butter on it.

Anyway, it was a BIG, tasty vegan black bean burger! It did not taste dry like the one at Wendy’s. It had corn, green peppers and tomatoes chopped up in it. The beans seemed very fresh. They were not formed into a compact, had been frozen, type “patty” of beans. It is a huge chunk-bunch of fresh, delicious, moist, juicy mixture spread onto the bun. It is 10 times better than the (expensive) cheap, low quality, dry, tiny black bean burger at Wendy’s, so please go to Scrud’s instead of Wendy’s if you want to be more pleased!

Of course, if you want to encourage Wendy’s, at least try theirs once. Then tell them it is great but just costs too much for the value given. Just keep in mind that we do buy dried beans and cook them so we know they do not cost very much. We are willing to pay over $4.00 for this child-sized sandwich to test it and make other reataurants also wish to put out vegan items. However, on a regular basis, we are not going to run in, to pay over $4 for a sandwich that leaves us hungry. We are aware that beans do not cost much. I am positive Wendy’s buys dried beans in bulk to make these. Granted, I know that hiring expensive dieticians and chefs, patenting a new black bean burger and getting it PETA approved cannot be easy or cheap. I will give you that, Wendy’s.

Scrud’s is a small chain with 4 restaurant locations and it is kicking Wendy’s butt on this, though. Come on, Wendy’s. You can do better than that with all the money you have! Don’t let a tiny chain beat you in the butt and make you look, well, “cheap.”

Recommended Vegan Values Childrens Books For Your Homeschool

The Lorax

Horton Hears a Who

The Secret Garden

Hubert the Pudge

My Mom Eats Tofu

The Giving Tree

Benji Bean Sprout Doesn’t Eat Meat

Saving Emily

Real Superheroes Eat Tofu

Plants Feed Me

The Magic Finger, Roald Dahl

Not a Nugget

Charlotte’s Web

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

How to Eat a Rainbow

National Geographic Safari

Counting Safari Adventure

Blocky book set: Safari Friends

Baby Animals on Safari 1&2

Safari: a Photicular book

Dive In!

National Geographic: Dive!

Magic Schoolbus takes a Dive

SkippyJohn Jones Takes a Dive

Deap Sea Dive

Deep-Diving Submarines

Yellowstone: Eye of the Grizzly

Yellowstone National Park: An A,B,C Adventure

Bugling Elk and Sleeping Grizzlies

When the Wolves Returned

Big Mammals of Yellowstone for Kids

Yellowstone and Grand ateton Babies

Snow School

Grey Wolves: Return to Yellowstone

Yellowstone Moose

Deep in the Swamp

The Swamp Where Gator Hides

In the Small, Small Pond

Song of the Water Boatman

Butternut Hollow Pond

“One Small Square” habitats series

Here is the Coral Reef

The Hidden Forest, Jeanine Baker

Down, Down, Down by Steve Jenkins

Here is the Southwestern Desert

Way Out in the Desert

Desert Giant

Creatures of the Desert World

Rocky Mountains Plants and Animals

Good Night Mountains

Color the Wild Rockies: Discover the Great Outdoors

Rocky Mountain Wildlife

Rocky Mountain ABC’s

Good Night Texas

Sounds of the Wild: Forest

Moose, By Meryl Magby

Grandpa Skates with a Bear

Hyenas: On the Hunt

A Hummingbird Miracle

In Denali: A Photographic Essay

Ice Bear

Whales and Dolphins

An Octopus is Amazing

What It’s Like to Be a Fish

In the Sea

Whales

The Blue Whale

National Geographic Kids: Penguins

National Geographic Explore: Penguins

National Geographic Kids: Frogs

Antelope, Bison, Cougar: A National Wildlife Alphabet Book

National Geographic Kids: Pandas

Llamas and Other Latin American Camels

South American Animals, by Karen Arnold

Amazing Animals Series: Rhinoceroses

Animals in Danger in Asia

Peacocks for Kids

Cheetahs for Kids

Gorilla Mountain: The Story of Wildlife Biologist Amy Vedder

Animal Atlas

Tiger Rescue

I See a Kookabura!

National Geographic: Mission: Elephant Rescue

African Animals: Elephants

Elephant by Suzie Eszerthas

Marine Habitats: Life in Saltwater

Beaks!

Life in a Rainforest

Life in the Temperate Grasslands

Life on the Tundra

Kangaroo Island: Wild Habitat: The Story of An Australian Mallee Forest

Finding Home 

Chimaka the Chimpanzee

Mia the Meerkat

Destination: Australia

Kangaroos, by Sara kras

The Forest in th Clouds

Explore the Tropical Rainforest

Talking With The Animals: Patti Summer

Vegan Convenience Food Review

Vegan Products photoA few of these I have tried. I’ll tell you what I already know, and what I am going to learn and tell you about when I try them.

I love Rice Dream and hate “Silk” Soy drink. Rice Dream is like Skim milk, only slightly sweeter. It is fortified with Calcium and other nutrients you’d get if you drank milk. Because I love that and found out that the most recent Ben & Jerry’s Sorbet I tried, which was WAY SUGARY and WAY TOO SWEET actually had an egg component in it, I decided to try Almond Carob Rice Dream Frozen Treat. Oh, my goodness. That is so yummy! It isn’t too sweet and is much healthier. (Check out the ingredients when you go in to the store.)

Earth Balance spread made with Olive Oil is yummy, too. It tastes just like our Country Crock, and works great melted and poured on popcorn, and also spread on toast! I haven’t tried it for any other purpose yet. I just bought a 2nd tub, because my 1st is almost gone. Don’t be afraid to try this one. It is so normal looking and tasting. It is delicious!

Amy’s Vegan Shepherd’s Pie (not pictured) and Amy’s Vegan Pot Pie (made with tofu) are so delicious and very filling. I have either bought the store out of them, or have nearly done so, pretty much whenever I go. They take about 45 minutes to cook in the oven, but are oh, so worth the wait!

Barbara’s Brown Rice Crisps are good and very healthy. My preschool daughter adores them. They do get soggy quick, though, and I hate that. I may buy them again, maybe.

Amy’s Vegan Burgers are extremely nutritious, but, after trying part of one, I didn’t even care how much I’d spent on them. They sat in my freezer 1 month. While de-junking the freezer to make space one day, I decided I’d never eat them. I threw them away in the trash can. They were so disgusting! It was like eating cardboard. I have also tried those meat replacers made to have exactly the same nutrients that beef has, made for people who need to approve of these things for school lunch or nutrition programs at schools or preschools. Avoid these at all costs, because they are rubbery (like eating a bunch of fat from meat) and taste like flour and water, which they consist mostly of. Gardenburgers and Black Bean Burgers are not Vegan, as they contain eggs (sad). Most Boca products contain cheese (also sad). Original Vegan Boca Burgers taste great and are very healthy. I just nuke them in the microwave 1 minute 45 seconds for a small one, or, as I had larger  ones last month, they took 2 minutes to heat. Costco in my area (sillies) stopped carrying them (that makes me mad).

Last night, I was shopping for this stuff for an hour and a half, and then went straight to Parent Night at the Elementary School. When I returned home, I discussed things with my kids and husband. By the time I was ready to eat, it was very late at night, and I hadn’t time. I decided to break out a microwave dinner I had just purchased, “Helen’s Pasta Primavera.” While the dinner was cooking (4 minutes) I prepared a multigrain toast covered with Adams Peanut Butter, some fresh strawberries & a tall glass of water to go with the dinner. The dinner was made with marinated Tofu, non-egg pasta, a teeny bit of tomato sauce, broccoli, and very few small pieces of carrot, red pepper and onions, I think. It was delicious! I will definitely buy that again. As I won’t find balanced vegan meals at local fast food joints, this is the better choice for me, even though it is much more pricey than a non-vegan microwave dinner.

Starlite Beef Style and Black Bean Style Taquitos are very delicious. The Beef Style are less spicy and I think they taste slightly better because of that, but I like them both, and bought both again. Try them!

Helen’s Pasta Primavera, Rice Dream, Rice Dream Carob Almond Frozen treat, Earth Balance Spread made with Olive Oil, Vegan Boca burgers, and Amy’s Shepherd’s Pie and Veggie Pot Pie are all recommendations! They’re great!