Frozen Sandwiches, Wraps, and Pockets are Delivering Flavor Without Meat
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For such a casual, great-on-the-go meal, a really good sandwich can be deceptively complicated to make. Slicing vegetables, mixing aioli, sometimes seasoning, roasting, or grilling things to go inside — it’s no wonder many of us just slap together a PB&J when we’re in a pinch. This is especially true if you’re a person who eats exclusively or mostly a plant-based diet: cold cuts, perhaps the easiest sandwich filler, are off the table.
Except, they’re really not. At least, not these days, anyway. Consumers today need options for quick and easy meals, and brands are answering that call with tasty and varied products. Major players in the plant-based space, like Daiya and Tofurky, sell pre-sliced vegan meats and cheeses that make it easy to slap together a quick but satisfying sandwich.
No matter how you slice it
But it’s not just the legacy brands. Popular indie brand Miyoko's, which focuses on vegan alternatives to dairy, sells pre-sliced cheddar and pepper jack cheese slices. They’re made from an oat milk base, and contain no soy or other major allergens, which can be a real barrier for some folks to eating plant-based food. And it’s great both hot and cold, so you can whip up a triple-decker grilled cheese or just throw a single slice on a cold sandwich.
Likewise, the young, veggie-focused brand Sweet Earth is making cruelty-free cold cuts. Made from a base of vital wheat protein (aka gluten), they have ham, pepperoni, and turkey-style slices that are ready-to-eat straight from the package. A basic ham and cheese sandwich or spicy Italian sub can now be made vegan without any extra effort. And when you’re already hungry, that no-brainer lunch is a blessing.
More options abound in the freezer aisle. Shoppers today will find microwaveable sandwich wraps and pockets of all sorts. Alpha Foods makes a line of burritos, which are essentially wrapped-up sandwiches. Some are fairly traditional burrito fillings, like the Steakless Ranchero, but if you need a quick Philly cheesesteak fix, they’ve got you there as well.
Newcomer brand Cool Beans makes wraps as well, with Moroccan, Mexican, and Indian-inspired fillings. They keep it simple — no plant-based meats or cheeses, just tasty seasoned beans and vegetables — perfect for those who lean towards whole foods/plant-based eating. It’s that rare gem of healthy, fresh food that’s convenient and microwaveable.
That's a wrap
TaDah! is a brand that’s all about falafel, including a line of falafel wraps. Even if you’re far away from your favorite falafel stand, you can get your fix in a matter of minutes. All of TaDah!’s products are vegetarian, and two of their wraps, the lemon-garlic hummus and harissa brown sugar, are totally vegan.
Even Del Monte, the company best known for their canned vegetables, is taking a bet on quick sandwich-style meals. Last year they debuted a line of pocket sandwiches, not unlike your more traditional pocket sandwiches, but all vegetarian and containing a full serving of vegetables in each. The varieties include a Philly with plant-based meat, spinach artichoke, and more. They’re not entirely vegan — all flavors contain actual dairy cheese — but it’s nice to see a veggie-heavy take on a quick and easy snack food.
Subs, grinders, pitas, wraps, pockets — whatever your preferred vessel may be, chances are there’s something in the freezer aisle that will suit your cravings, sans meat. Vegetarian and vegan options are already abundant, and with new brands and new products entering the market all the time, it’s only going to grow. And why wouldn’t it? If you have a freezer, a microwave, and a really good product, you can have a delicious hot sandwich at two am, or when you’re too busy to leave the office for lunch. Your Meatless Mondays (and maybe some Tuesdays, Wednesdays, etc.) have never been easier.