Available at Various Grocery Stores

If not for the Higher Taste sandwich, purchasable for approximately $3.39 in the pre-packaged food sections at many grocery stores, I'd starve to death. The sandwich is vegetarian (but not vegan--there's honey in the buns), convenient, filling, and moderately healthy.

Each sandwich is nestled in a slightly sweet, sprouted wheat bun dotted with sunflower, flax, and sesame seeds. The bun is usually moist and soft, but check the expiration date, because it gets a little stale if it's too old. Filled generously with shredded "fresh carrots, broccoli, red cabbage, onions, and lots of love," the vegetables are always crisp, and though there is a mountain of them, they're actually a pretty understated garnish.

The protein is what makes each sandwich different. In the Portland's Best Bar-B-Q, vital wheat gluten is mixed with a barbecue blend of tomatoes, roasted peanuts, mustard, and spices. The sauce is savory but not very spicy--in fact, it's vaguely sweet. The Bhima Power Burger (a big hunk of sesame-seeded tempeh) and the Spicy T.L.C. (slices of tempeh, lettuce, and carrots) are both spiced delectably. However, the Higher Taste company needs to refine its tempeh, because those sandwiches always feel crusty to the palette.

The Golden Slice, on the other hand, is a slab of firm, curry-dusted, dewy tofu, that I could have for lunch and dinner for days on end. Even my meat-eating boyfriend, who shamelessly murders and consumes cattle in the form of steaks and cow-burgers--for the pure gluttony of his taste buds--swears by the glorious, sunny Golden Slice. It is light, it is a meal in itself, it is natural, and it provides protein and vegetables. It is small enough to eat while sitting at a computer. And it is the reason I have not yet starved to death.