Frozen vegan

It was 11 p.m., past closing time for any good take-out places, including the vegan-friendly taco and burrito place a block away from my boyfriend’s place.

But I needed food. I was so hungry and had 90 minutes left of my telecommuted work shift. Food needed to happen.

So I went to Ballard Market, a 24-hour grocery store that stocks tons of the natural and veggie-friendly products I like, not to mention its killer produce section. (They let me buy one celery stalk at a time! God knows I never use a whole bunch of celery!)

For some reason, I was in the mood for some vegan trash that didn’t require prep, so I cruised the frozen aisle. After eyeing vegan pizzas and dairy-free mac and cheeses, I settled on an intriguing option: Sukhi’s Indian-style vegan chili chicken.

I mean, it came with its own naan.

Bear with me, the house was dim, making for extra-crappy phone photos.

Bear with me, the house was dim, making for extra-crappy phone photos.

And I wanna say it was in the neighborhood of $4.49.

The prep was pretty simple. The naan could be zapped for 30 seconds and the “chicken” required four minutes. I knew it would probably come out better in the oven, but that required 45 minutes. This was almost midnight. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

So I nuked it. The naan was thick and not very conducive to the Indian style of using your naan to pick up your food. It was more like a soft, slightly chewy flatbread. Though it was not authentically naan-y, it was good to have with the “chicken,” which was mostly a heap of some kind of soy protein in an oily chili sauce.

I’m not super experienced with fake chicken outside of what I was served in the school cafeteria and the awesome stuff at Bamboo Garden, but this chicken had more of a sausagey texture that I would never have mistaken for chicken.

Don’t get me wrong, this satisfied my craving for a quick, savory protein and I kinda dug the spice in the sauce. But the chicken entree was greasy, and just like in the omnivore world, products branded as “authentic” can easily fall flat and fail to live up to its label’s claims. It just didn’t make me feel as good as I do when I make my own food or when something is prepared for me in a plant-friendly kitchen.

See, omnivores, vegans are just like you! We have subpar frozen dinners, too!

Nonetheless, I was happy to explore the world of garbage vegan foods. I can’t be a saint all the time. Next time: frozen vegan pizza!

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