There’s always a bigger fish to fry, unless you’re vegan, and in that case, the following snacks will offer some sizzle.
The foodie finds come courtesy of 32-year-old vegan recipe developer Nicole Vranjican. She features grocery hauls, simple vegan recipes and cook-with-me videos on her YouTube channel, NikkiVegan, which has nearly 160K subscribers.
“I started cooking from a young age with my Norwegian grandmother, so I have a lot of memories in the kitchen with her,” Vranjican told The Post. “It wasn’t until I went vegan that I noticed a learning curve, so I was excited to share my recipes when I made something delicious.”
As a first-generation American based in LA, she taps into classic meals prepared by her mother and grandmother, especially the authentic approach characteristic of her upbringing.
“There aren’t a lot of shortcuts or processed foods in the Norwegian way of cooking, so I grew up with wholesome, delicious and simple meals,” she explains. “The old-fashioned approach to cooking lends itself to veganism and doing your best for the environment, so I focus on whole plant foods as opposed to pricier alternatives.”
It wasn’t until Vranjican became vegan that she grew interested in sharing the whipped-up creations she deemed “very good and delicious.” She aims to share wholesome dishes on the healthier spectrum — even if her viewers don’t subscribe to a completely vegan diet.
“I make vegan recipes seem doable and practical because for me, being vegan is less of a diet and more of a lifestyle,” she said. “It’s delicious, relatively easy and good for the environment.”
Knowing everyone’s food preferences differ, Vranjican doesn’t let that hinder her gorgeously plated creations posted to her YouTube channel, blog and Instagram. Creating new recipes encourages her to have a better nutritional mindset, too.
“I used to have a restrictive, diet-y mentality with food, so learning about plant-based nutrition helped me understand what the food is doing for my body and counting that as a blessing, instead of something to be afraid of,” she said.
Vranjican shared some of her favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes to create in a pinch:
For breakfast: “I have this blueberry crumble recipe that’s a healthier version,” she shares. “You just pop it in the oven and it’s a great breakfast or brunch option. It’s probably one of my most made and popular recipes. It’s super simple with oats, banana and almond butter as the topping and it’s baked blueberries with coconut yogurt. It feels like a decadent treat and you can customize it with frozen fruit.”
She also enjoys her ‘Best Ever Vegan Pumpkin Muffins‘ as a delicious fall treat. I worked hard to make the texture fluffy and the spices perfect,” she adds.
For lunch: “I love making burritos and throwing whatever leftovers I have in the fridge,” she said. “I’ll roll up hummus, roasted veggies and canned chickpeas into a big tortilla and toast it in a pan.”
For dinner: “My potato taquitos with salsa verde is really good,” she shares. “I also love my roasted broccolini and kale salad with homemade cashew dressing.”
Even though Vranjican’s three-course meal options are the definition of “recipes made simple,” she highlights her favorite vegan snacks you can shop on Amazon below. No need to wheel a cart in the grocery store — simply hit “add to cart” and enjoy food sent directly to your door.
“The packs of everyday dal are so good and come in a bunch of different flavors,” Vranjican said. “You can eat them as a snack or pair them with rice and some broccoli for a nice meal.”
“The Field Roast Vegan Corn Dogs remind me of going to a fair and are just so good,” she said.
“If you give the blueberry muffins to anyone who isn’t vegan, they wouldn’t know,” she said. “They have a perfectly fluffy texture and taste delicious.”
“I love eating these mango chunks frozen because they don’t freeze all the way and taste almost like a sherbert,” she said. “They’re a great summery cold treat, too.”
“I’m obsessed with Enjoy Life’s chocolate chips and I use them for everything,” Vranjican said. “They’re the best to use in chocolate chip pancakes or muffins, as well as to make candy.”
Plus, she made dairy-free chocolate peanut butter cups for Halloween and the chocolate was “so creamy and sweet,” she adds.
“The texture of BoomChickaPop and the sweet and salty ratio make BoomChickaPop incredible,” she said. “It’s also ‘accidentally vegan’; I don’t think it’s a classified ‘vegan product.’”
“If you love Nutella but don’t want to do the dairy, Nutiva is the same thing and so good,” she said.
“If you like the texture and taste of Captain Crunch, the Puffins’ Cereal is very similar,” she said. “They come in a lot of different flavors, too.”
“My mom always gets the big bag of Late July’s tortilla chips and it reminds me of being home with her,” she said.
“Simple Mills Organic Seed Crackers are grain-free, have a nice crunch and are properly salted — which is important,” she said.
“I like to have a kombucha every once in a while if I’m not in the mood to have a glass of wine,” she said. “It’s fizzy, festive and better than a glass of water sometimes.”
“I drink the chamomile tea with lavender almost every day,” she said. “It’s very calming for nighttime and soothing for during the day to help with anxiety.”
“My friends and I did a blind taste test for coffee creamers and the Silk Soy Creamer was our favorite,” she said. “I always mix it into my cup.”