Monday, March 7, 2011

Vegan options in Ocala Florida

We only had a short time after dropping off our passengers in Ocala, Florida and the one thing that came up on Happy Cow was a Natural Market.  Not knowing if this was going to be a small boutique vitamin/health food store or major market, I figured we'd find something to eat along the way back if it was a disappointment.  It wasn't.  For a small town in Florida, smack dab in the middle of the state, (I guess it's proximity to Gainsville counted for something as there are 2 more of these in that city), this was a mecca.  It was a mini Trader Joes, or Whole Foods.  Frozen items took up almost two walls with a "dairy" case, (Silk is my target when I travel.  I can drink my coffee black but my preference is Starbucks Mocha Powder and Silk Soy Creamer.  In addition to pretty well stocked isles, there's a bulk foods area, a produce section, a salad bar and deli counter.  The vegan options seemed to run about 10% in the deli counter/premade sandwich section.

I stocked up on Primal Strips in a few different flavors for when I absolutely have no options, like those 4 hour flights to Barbados, and grabbed a bottle of dressing for the salad I loaded up.  (By the way, I think these Amazon offered Primal Strips are a pretty good deal.  I think I paid $1.39 for them if they're the same).

The premade foods I opted for were the Tofu Salad Sandwich and the Tofu Artichoke Casserole.  I didn't get any pics of the casserole but it was flavorful enough and made a nice side dish.  There could have been more artichokes but it was a decent dish.

The dish had a nice flavor profile, mild yet flavorful and green peppers, onions, carrots, and olives gave the puree of tofu a nice texture.

The tofu salad sandwich was a wrap and was outstanding.  It reminded me of my best tuna salad sandwich, just the perfect amount of soft puree of tofu and a few bits of crunch.  Lettuce to add to that crunch, (and sandwich stability re-enforcement), and a tortilla paired with the filling to make sure it didn't squirt all over the copilot when you took a bite.

Flying by Jacksonville, Florida, looking towards Africa.

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