Category Archives: products
In my 17 months as a vegan, I have been to many, many potlucks, a cookie exchange and other gatherings surrounded by food. It’s so nice to go somewhere and not have to say “what’s in this?” or “can I eat this?”
But it wasn’t until this past weekend that I went to a vegan cookout! And it was so much fun 🙂
Saturday was Derby Day here in Kentucky but the Louisville Vegetarian Club decided to have an “alternative” cookout held at Tyler Park here in Louisville. This event was sponsored by Tofurky and Rainbow Blossom (a local health food store) who both donated food items!
What a beautiful day it was!
And the food was yummy too!
Tofurky brat on a Rudi’s hot dog bun with relish, mustard, ketchup and some organic tortilla chips with Athenos roasted garlic hummus 🙂
And of course, the rest of the crew brought some really delicious food to share!
Carrie‘s black bean quinoa and Seana’s vegan macaroni salad
Somebody knew my birthday was the day before and made this amazingly decadent chocolate cake with ganache and strawberries 🙂
Thank you Carrie 😉
I also had some spicy pasta salad a la Karen and these insanely addictive peanut butter chocolate chip blondies. Let’s just say I did not need to eat the rest of the evening!
I have to thank everyone for coming out and for sharing some truly wonderful dishes. You guys are so wonderful and I’m so glad to have this group in my life 🙂
I don’t know if this is truly a new flavor or just new to me, but I am loving the “new” Larabar I tried this week 🙂
Blueberry Muffin is delicious! I think it might just be a new favorite. The only place I have seen them is Whole Foods.
Happy Tuesday! 🙂
Seitan is one of those foods I didn’t try for the longest time because I wasn’t really sure I needed to. I mean, I already had tofu. Then I tried tempeh and was very impressed. And I had no idea how to cook it.
But when I dined at Ramsi’s Cafe on the World over the summer (one of many times) I decided to finally give this seitan (say-tan, not Satan, haha) a try.
I liked it so much that when I went back to Ramsi’s the next time, I tried the Jamaican seitan sandwich, which I posted about back in August.
I can’t really describe seitan, other than to say I find it just as delicious and versatile as tofu and tempeh. But I still have yet to purchase and cook any seitan myself at home. Maybe someday!
Have you ever had seitan? Do you cook with it at home? What are your favorite recipes to use it in?
I have to admit, this thing has been in my freezer for quite some time.
I was really excited when I heard that the vegan Tofurky Pizza finally came out and were being carried at my local Whole Foods Market. The best selling point for this pizza is the Daiya cheese, which is the best vegan cheese (for pizza) on the market, in my opinion. I tried it on a homemade pizza once and it was delicious.
I didn’t care much for the high price of this item (around $7) but you have to factor convenience into the cost. This would feed me for at least two meals and only took 12 minutes to cook in the oven. No time spent on preparation or chopping veggies for toppings.
I decided to get the Italian “Sausage” and Fire Roasted Veggie because a plain cheese pizza just sounded boring to me and the only other choice was pepperoni. I need my veggies! Plus, this may be the only time I try this product so I had to go all out!
- I liked that the crust was thin and got a little crispy thanks to my cooking it directly on the oven rack.
- The vegetables were delicious!
- Short cooking time and easy to cut with my pizza cutter.
And the Not-So-Good:
- Even though this pizza tasted decent, it probably still isn’t worth $7.
- There was not nearly enough Daiya cheese on this pizza.
- The Italian sausage was just okay, I expected it to be a bit more flavorful.
I would probably buy this product again, perhaps another variety, if I need to get a vegan pizza to go and the store I am at is all out of Amy’s No Cheese Roasted Vegetable Pizza. The sauce they use on that pizza is so good, you don’t even need non-dairy cheese.
I had the leftovers for lunch today and I have to stick by my “just okay” review. But I’m glad I finally tried it!
Have any of you tried the Tofurky pizza? Did you like it?
I have not been blogging a whole lot the past few months and it’s had me doing a lot of thinking regarding this blog and it’s future. By the way, I’m happily taking suggestions on name changes. Ha.
I feel like in many ways, I have moved away from what this blog was originally intended for (an accountability/food journal) and that’s okay. A lot has changed in the past two and a half years that I’ve been blogging here.
But what hasn’t changed is that I still love to write and share the things I enjoy with people, which is what I want to continue to do here. I love this community!
While my weight loss is a big part of my “story” and a reason for blogging, I don’t want to focus on that so much anymore. I still struggle sometimes to maintain my weight but I’m in a good place now and have another system of accountability that is working well for me now.
I also went vegan more than a year ago and so much about that has changed my life and my views on a lot of things regarding food, health and other topics.
So anyway, please be patient with me as I work out the kinks and decide how best to move this blog forward. And if you have any advice, I’ll at least consider it 😉
Back in my pre-vegan days, one of my favorite guilty pleasures was the creamy, chocolately, hazelnutty spread known as Nutella.
I was first introduced to Nutella by Mrs. Mays, my high school French teacher. Then I rediscovered it a few years ago when I needed something to take to a party to share and the rest was history.
I was in love. I ate Nutella on bread, in oatmeal, mixed in with dry cereal, many many times. Check out this picture from February 2009:
But as much as I love Nutella, when I decided to go vegan in October 2009, I had to say goodbye. If only Nutella didn’t contain milk…it might be the only thing I really “miss” since giving up animal products.
I’m too lazy to make a homemade version myself so I’ve been curious to know if there is a vegan-friendly Nutella-like product on the market.
Then I found this:
I had seen the Justin’s Chocolate Nut Butters raved about on the blogs of both Heather and Matt, two of my favorites. So when I found it at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago, I decided I had to see for myself.
I probably could’ve picked something better to try it on (like some French bread maybe?) but I drizzled it over my pumpkin oatbran on Friday morning. You know how I love pumpkin!
Now, don’t get me wrong or let the title fool you. This was a delicious breakfast and it left me full for hours!
But it wasn’t Nutella. Not quite anyway.
I’m starting to wonder if it’s just been so long since I’ve had the stuff that I don’t even remember what it tastes like? The Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut butter had a good flavor, but reminded me more of Dark Chocolate Dreams PB than Nutella.
It’s got to be the skim milk (note: Nutella also contains whey). Even the generic Kroger-brand version of the stuff is good. But I don’t do dairy anymore. Not even for Nutella.
Oh well. Perhaps I will give it another shot in the future on something other than pumpkin oatbran. What do you think?
Should I break down and try to recreate the stuff myself? Anybody got a recipe?
Yes, more pumpkin! I’m glad you liked my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins post from yesterday. Around here, it’s going to be all pumpkin, all the time. At least for a little while 😉
‘Tis the season!
The first time I had gnocchi, I tried the Whole Wheat version and enjoyed that. I was super excited to see a pumpkin version but I wondered how it would taste, since most of my pumpkin consumption is in the form of sweets or oatmeal.
I cooked the package as directed and used this pasta sauce that I believe I purchased at Whole Foods (don’t quote me):
I mixed it with the last of these Boca crumbles which had been in my freezer forever. It feels so good to use stuff up, doesn’t it?
All together! It doesn’t look like much but this really filled me up and I didn’t want to stuff myself anyway because I went to a Body Pump class about an hour after dinner! 🙂
I believe the sauce might have taken away from the taste of the gnocchi but the sauce itself was delicious. I wanted to get pumpkin sauce to go with it but most of the ones I saw contained dairy. However, I did take a bite of one without sauce on it and the pumpkin flavor was still very subtle.
This was a good, healthy meal and very tasty but I think in the future, I will stick with the whole wheat gnocchi. Or perhaps I will try my hand at making some myself?
What products have you tried recently that left you just slightly disappointed?
If you asked about weather preferences, I would be the first to exclaim that I am totally a warm weather person! I hate being cold, so cold that no matter how many blankets you throw on or cups of tea you drink, you can’t shake that shiver.
But this year, it’s just been HOT. We hit the 90’s in June and hardly looked back. While that is okay for the Summer months, here we are getting ready to celebrate the first day of Fall and it’s going to be 96 degrees.
So as much as I love Summer and dread Winter, I need a happy medium!
Even though Fall has yet to really arrive, I’ve been getting a head start on my favorite Fall flavors.
I also found some Pumpkin Spice coffee at one of my new favorite places in the world (haha): World Market!
Sadly, even though I’ve been enjoying my pumpkin beverages, I have yet to actually make anything with “real” pumpkin. But it’s still early. Heck it’s not even really Fall yet.
Side note: has anyone been able to find Libby’s pumpkin anywhere? I’m still on the hunt. Whole Foods brand organic pumpkin just isn’t the same 😦
When I first went vegan, I wasn’t too interested in “replacement” products. You know, like soy cheese (and soy free too), cream “cheese” and so on. Tempeh Bacon. You catch my drift. Non-dairy ice cream was about as far as I would go.
But little by little, I have tried products such as those and mostly I’ve been impressed. I love Tofutti cream cheese and sour cream, which taste exactly the same as the real deal to me.
Some products have been better than others, that is for sure, but it has been fun to try all the various alternatives out there. Even more evidence that it is possible to eat a vegan diet without sacrificing all of your favorite foods (or condiments).
The latest product I have experimented with is Nayonaise, a mayo-like product from Nasoya, those tofu people:
Since I started my journey to health in 2007, mayonnaise has been a rarity, as it contains a lot of calories and fat, especially when served at a restaurant. At home, the fat free versions just didn’t taste as good. Then, when I went vegan and said no to eggs, mayo was out for good.
Until tonight when I decided to give the Nayonaise a shot on a Morningstar Farms Grilled Chik’n patty for dinner.
I have to say, it has been a LONG time since I’ve had mayonnaise. However, the Nayonaise tasted pretty darn close to me. I can’t wait to try it on veggie burgers and in recipes (like potato salad) that would normally call for mayo.
Like I said, the consistency is different but the taste (and smell) are spot on. Do you use faux mayo? How?
Have you tried any other replacement products? Which ones were hits? Misses?
I did not care much for this vegan alfredo pasta I had one time. But that’s the only thing I can remember not loving. I’m sure there are others, but the good definitely outweighs the bad!
Carrot Cake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Chocolate Chip Brownie!
I was so excited to try these as I love Larabars and every time they come out with a new flavor, I end up loving it (much like the recent Tropical Fruit Tart).
The Carrot Cake flavor (not pictured) was pretty good but the other two really blew me away!
I was ready to declare this one my new favorite until…
While it’s more dessert-like and less snack-like, the Chocolate Chip Brownie Larabar is very, very good. It is definitely my favorite of the three new flavors.
Thanks Larabar for sending the samples! I look forward to purchasing some on my own very soon 🙂
Disclaimer: These samples were sent to me for free but I was under no obligation to review them, or review them positively, nor was I compensated for my review.
Okay, I will admit now to you guys that I’ve sort of been lazy in the kitchen lately which is why I have been buying so many frozen foods. I’ve been so busy and it has been so hot here that it literally drains any energy I have left for cooking. I promise I will be back to cooking my own food again soon.
But in the meantime, it has been fun to try some new things and at least I am buying good brands with better ingredients, like Amy’s, right?
I found some frozen pot pies at Rainbow Blossom on Saturday, so I decided to give them a try for lunch on two separate occasions this week.
I didn’t realize it before I took this to work, but this one had to be cooked in the oven! Luckily, we happen to have one here, but it was hard to wait 15 minutes for my lunch to cook when my stomach was rumbling.
And it was worth the wait! The veggies, even though they had been frozen and then re-heated inside the pie, were tasty and still firm and I loved the crust.
And it had some tofu in there too! I really enjoyed this one. Way more than this:
This one cooked in the microwave, thank goodness, but sadly, I didn’t care much for it.
It was edible, but the mashed potatoes didn’t have a lot of flavor and the entire dish itself was just pretty bland. I think I found probably two garbanzo beans in the whole pie.
There just wasn’t much to it. I think it could’ve used some more seasoning or something. As much as I hate to add salt to anything, I think that might’ve helped, looking back.
I’m definitely picking up another veggie pot pie in the future though, that thing was amazing!