I once had a waiter at a chain restaurant named Tom. I asked Tom if the dressing for the salad had dairy in it. He looked up from his notepad, half smiled and snarkily replied, “Well all of our salads, including the dressings, are gluten free. It says so on the menu.”
I took a deep breath, smiled, and sweetly replied, “Yes, that’s wonderful. However, gluten free means no gluten, like wheat. Vegan means no animal products, like dairy. That steak you just brought out is gluten free.”
With that realization, he released his locked shoulders, turned beet red and throroughly apologized. Needless to say, he was super pleasant afterwards and even comped a portion of our meal.
This encounter happened circa 2013 but I still remember it like it was yesterday. Most likely because I am constantly asking, “Is this dairy free?” to this day. And as of the past few years, also asking, “Is this vegan and gluten free?”
Suffice it to say, there are some foods I have come to love that are both vegan and gluten free. While I shop at many grocery stores to fulfill my dietary needs, Trader Joe’s has some key products that have a special place in my heart. And on my palate. With that said, here are my favorite vegan and gluten free items from Trader Joe’s: