Golden Krust at Dollar Tree

I’m trying to hit up all the Dollar Tree stores in my area to see if any of them have Just Mayo in stock. So far it seems like only one store ever carried it, and they haven’t restocked since it first sold out 🙁 But when I stopped at an out-of-the-way location, I did find another vegan snack they don’t carry at the store near me.

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Golden Krust empanada.

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They come frozen with instructions to heat in the microwave for 1.5 to 2 minutes, then let it sit in the wrapper for 2 minutes so the crust becomes flaky.

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The crust ended up with a texture a lot like a pop tart, with barely more filling than a pop tart. It’s filled mostly with cabbage, but I did notice a few corn kernels and bits of green something. Still, it tasted pretty good. Very spicy. I just wish there was more filling because the crust is dry – but having a glass of almond milk nearby solves that problem.

Anyway, it’s definitely worth $1. If you’re doing vegan on a tight budget, this’ll do.

Vegan at Dollar Tree Dollar Stores

A while ago I read Hampton Creek Foods made a deal to begin selling a shelf stable version of Just Mayo at Dollar Tree stores, and there are quite a few locations all over Grand Rapids. In fact, I’d been hearing it’s pretty easy to go Vegan at Dollar Tree in general, and I wanted to check it out.

Stock can change frequently, so these items may not always be available – but the good thing is, when one item disappears it’s usually replaced with another!

Just Mayo - Vegan at Dollar Tree
So on my first trip I went straight to the condiments and found Just Mayo for just $1. Sure, it’s a small 8oz jar, but still – I think it’s actually cheaper to buy 4 for $1 each than to buy a 32oz jar from Meijer or Target. I bought three. (Wal-Mart apparently has the best price currently, but I don’t get out that way)

I poked around to see if there was any other neat vegan stuff.

Vegan at Dollar Tree
And here’s what I grabbed: bac’n pieces, vegetable stock, lime juice, an over-priced can of chickpeas (an impulse buy), frozen fingerling potatoes in an herb “butter”, a box of frozen soft pretzels, frozen green bean fries, and veggie spring rolls.

On my next trip, I realized I’d been overlooking a certain brand in the frozen foods.

Chef Ernesto - Vegan at Dollar Tree
I wanted to try Chef Ernesto! I grabbed another package of Jennifer’s Garden spring rolls, but also Chef Ernesto brand samosas, veggie burgers, and battered mushrooms. You will notice the Chef Ernest items are marked “100% Vegetarian.” They are, in fact, 100% vegan!

Chef Ernesto - Vegan at Dollar Tree And they all looked pretty good out of the box, too. I baked all of these, although you also have the option to pan fry, deep fry, or microwave, depending on the item.

Chef Ernesto - Vegan at Dollar Tree
The veggie burger came out beautifully browned, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s slightly smaller than a Qrunch Burger, but the perfect size for those cheap store-brand buns. Pretty spicy, but not overwhelming. They are made without soy and held together by potato, and I’m pretty sure they’re gluten free. The burgers come two in a box.

The spring roll wrappers were nice and crunchy. The filling is minimal, but good enough for the price – even a tiny bit better than I expected. They have a good flavor, but nothing special. I’d still get them again.

I was skeptical about the battered mushrooms, I figured there’d be a ton of batter and a tiny piece of mushroom underneath it somewhere. That was not the case, there was just the right amount of batter for a big piece of mushroom. The real problem I had is the batter never really got crispy. Maybe if I gave them an extra 5 minutes in the oven. I also wish the instructions would’ve suggested turning them halfway through.

Finally, those cute little samosas! They are mostly filled with potato, with maybe two or three peas thrown in. They were loaded with spices, though, and had a good flavor and a flaky crust. I don’t mind eating potato samosas, I’d do it again.

Some people were concerned about the ingredients, so I’ve provided pictures from the back of the boxes below.

Chef Ernesto - Vegan at Dollar Tree
Veggie Burger.

Chef Ernesto - Vegan at Dollar Tree
Battered Mushrooms.  

Chef Ernesto - Vegan at Dollar Tree
Samosas.

Jennifer's Garden - Vegan at Dollar Tree
Spring Rolls.

If you’ve gone vegan at Dollar Tree, what are your favorite finds? Are there any other discount stores where you find great prices on vegan items? Comment below and let me know!

Dollar Store Finds: Seven Layer Salad with Just Mayo & Bac'n Pieces

A couple weeks ago at our Sunday family dinner, Tete made Seven Layer Salad…and I was kind of jealous. I threw together a one-bowl recipe so I could be like my omnivorous counterparts 🙂 I didn’t realize there are so many variations on the seven layers, you can practically do whatever you want. Here’s my version:

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Layer 1: Romaine Lettuce
Layer 2: Cucumber

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Layer 3: Onions
Layer 4: Peas

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Layer 5: Just Mayo (as much or as little as you want. Some salads I saw online were SWIMMING in mayo! A bit much for me!)

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Layer 6: “Cheese” – I used Teese brand cheddar (I prefer Daiya)
Layer 7: Bac’n Pieces

I would’ve liked to have fried up a slice or two of Lightlife Vegetarian Bacon to mince and sprinkle on the salad, but since I was short on time the Bac’n Pieces were very handy. I hadn’t had a Seven Layer Salad in years, it made me feel like a teenager again 🙂 So I think that’s worth the $1 each I paid for an 8oz jar of Just Mayo and the, erm, however many ounces of Bac’n Pieces (although I question paying $4.50 for that little chunk of vegan cheese, but sometimes you just have to splurge). Thanks, Dollar Tree!!

Dollar Store Finds: Snapps Crispy Green Bean Fries

I’m working my way through all the vegan stuff I found at Dollar Tree the other day. Tonight I tried…

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Snapps Crispy Green Bean Fries! I am a big fan of fried foods. You just pop these babies in the oven at 450 for 4 – 5 minutes, flip them, and bake another 4 – 5 minutes. Easy. Well.

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After 5 minutes on each side they still seemed soft, so I gave them another 5. And I noticed something else. There seems to be a little discrepancy between how the green bean fries look on the box…

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and how they look in real life.

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Just a little. On one hand, I was disappointed by the lack of breading. On the other hand, the breading had *very* little flavor so I didn’t feel like I was missing much. I dipped them in a dairy-free creamy Italian dressing, and they were pretty okay.

The portion is just enough for one person to have a snack (or side). I guess that’s fair for $1. And maybe for $1 they can’t afford to use more breading… But still, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for a little salt and pepper to be added.