Mistress Ginger’s Vegan Guilty Pleasures

Even a pristine level-seven vegan can indulge in those guilty pleasures of yesteryear.

All of my many lovers (who aren’t vegan) think I’m oh-so-disciplined, that I eat only tree bark for breakfast and beet shrapnel for lunch, and that dinner consists of freshly chilled ice cubes with a spritz of lemon. Being the vegan goddess that I am, I do have a pristine plant-based diet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to indulge occasionally in what might be considered junk food. In fact, I like to give into temptation every now and then because, as my dear friend Mae West once said, “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” And so here I go, revealing all my dirty secrets—my guilty vegan pleasures!

1. Nutter Butter
Every now and then, I visit the local hardware store (partly because I have a major crush on Chad, the checkout guy). Near the counter where I tend to loiter is an array of snacks, and I always manage to snag a mini-pack of Nutter Butter. They’re delicious, and Chad agrees. So, if you do find yourself at your local hardware store, be sure to grab some of the Nutter Butter. But, hands off of Chad! He’s one guilty pleasure that’s all mine.

2. Oreos
When I’m filling up my gas tank at the Pump-n-Munch, how can I possibly resist the miniature pack of Oreo cookies? They are perhaps the classic vegan junk food and a timeless treat. Though old school, they never get old to me! And for an especially devilish indulgence, I whip them up with some vanilla So Delicious nondairy ice cream. Did somebody say “vegan Blizzard?” Forget Dairy Queen—I’ll be your Non-Dairy Queen!

3. Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts
Aaaaannnndddd when I’m at the local video store (yes, my neighborhood still has an actual brick-and-mortar DVD-rental place), they’ve got that rack of treats with the microwave popcorn, but my eyes go to the two-pack of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts. Sure, I feel a little self-conscious when I plop them on the counter along with every film ever made featuring vegan heartthrob Joaquin Phoenix, but I don’t care. As long as I don’t burn the Pop-Tarts, it’s all good.

4. Kettle-cooked potato chips
Whenever I find these salty morsels at, well, anywhere, I make sure to grab a bag because the extra crunch of the kettle-cooker puts them in a naughty bracket all their own. So as not to seem totally brutish, I serve them in my grandmother’s Blue Willow China. And—because presentation is everything, dearie—even when you’re gorging on chips and binging on Netflix.

5. Fudge-covered graham squares
When I’m shopping for new panties at Dollar Tree, I can’t help but skip-to-my-lou over to their food aisle, which is surprisingly sprawling, wouldn’t you say? Although I find it mildly disturbing to shop for food at a dollar store, that doesn’t stop me from indulging in fudge-covered graham cookies that are reminiscent of something made by the Keebler elves themselves—but all vegan, oh-so-heavenly, and only one dollar!

6. Graham Crackers
Speaking of graham-cracker goodness, I need to talk to you about basic graham crackers and where you can find the vegan ones. Really, it ain’t so easy to find them made without honey, especially if you’re searching at the frou-frou natural food stores. That’s when you hitch a ride down to the big ol’ supermarket to get yourself a box of the original Nabisco grahams. These are good for making a vegan graham cracker pie crust, but they’re also totally munchable straight out of the box.

7. Tater tots
While you’re at the supermarket, be sure to prance on over to the frozen food section, where the Ore-Ida Tater Tots are calling, and you’ve got to answer that call. Grab a bag, run home, and pop them in the oven (but be sure to pay for them first). Serve them with a heap of ketchup, and then savor this nostalgic throwback to the best of the elementary school cafeteria, or to that time you were entertaining sailors at the VFW. Or was that just me?

When she’s not indulging in guilty pleasures, Mistress Ginger can be found singing on the cabaret stage and whipping up new recipes for one or more of her many lovers.

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