That’s It! Fruit Bars Review

Check out my quick review and “recipe” for one of my new favorite snacks!I’m loving the That’s It bars because they’re just real fruit, only 100 calories per bar, vegan and gluten free. What more could you want in a quick grab & go snack?

Behold, The Vegg!

Prepare to have your mind blown by The Vegg – Vegan Egg Yolk. This is not the egg replacer that only binds things together but tastes like the cardboard box it came in. No, this is rich, yolky goodness that begs to be mopped up with a piece of toast an savored. My life as a plant based foodie is now complete.

*If you have a request for more recipes with The Vegg, leave me a comment and let me know what you’d like to see me make next.

GoPicnic -Vegan friendly grab & go meals

Tired of lousy airline food? Try a GoPicnic box!

Natural Products Expo West Day 1 recap

Wayfare Foods- We Can’t Say It’s Cheese

Southwest Potato,Black Bean & Corn Napoleon

by Veggietorials

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Keywords: appetizer snack side gluten-free dairy free nut-free soy-free vegan vegetarian wayfare foods mexicheddar Cinco de Mayo Southwest

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1 baked potato
  • 1 tub Wayfare Mexi-cheddar
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 2 teaspoons Southwest or taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes

For Garnish

  • Cilantro
  • Green onions
  • Salsa

Instructions

Mix the black beans and corn with the lime juice and Southwest seasoning.You can heat the mixture through if desired,but skip it if you’re in a rush. Use a food ring to plate your creation. Start with a thin layer of potato, then add the bean and corn mixture. Add dollops of Mexi-Cheddar and smooth out before adding another layer of potato. Use a sheet of wax paper or parchment and press everything together using a gentle touch. Slowly slide the food ring off your stack. Add another small spoonful of beans/corn and garnish with tomatoes, cilantro and green onions.

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My love for cheese makes me think I was a mouse in a past life. I would eat it here or there, I would eat it anywhere. The world is brimming with exciting new plant based products every day, but I’ve had my eye on Wayfare Foods “We Can’t Say It’s Cheese” for months. Whole Foods never got any in store despite my weekly requests(begging/pleading)but last weekend, I was finally able to find some out in Kapolei at Down to Earth.

All you need for food alchemy are the right ingredients. I took some simple pantry staples- potatoes, black beans and corn  and paired them with Wayfare’s cheese spreads…so good, I almost cried. How is it possible that they are gluten free, dairy free, nut free, soy free plant based products with THIS MUCH flavor? The Hickory Cheddar brought back happy memories of the crocks of port wine cheese I’d sample at Pea Soup Andersen’s as a kid. Not exactly the same, but yummers enough to eat with a spoon- or crackers if you must. I’m sure it would’ve made an amazing sauce base for some creamy mac n cheese, IF I hadn’t devoured the whole tub in 2 days. *burp* The Mexi Cheddar style was not as spicy as expected and the texture was a bit softer than the Hickory Cheddar. It worked perfectly for my food creation below.

So here is my best advice for making mere mortal ingredients into food magic: we eat with our eyes first. You can spend a whole lot of time cooking but if it lacks plate appeal, you’re just not as excited to eat it. Make it look gorgeous and even the pickiest eater wants to give it a try. All I did for this Southwest Potato,Black bean and Corn Napoleon is bake the potato @ 400 degress for an hour and heat up black beans and corn with a shake of southwest (or taco) seasoning , squeeze of lime.

Use a food ring to plate your creation. Start with a thin layer of potato, then add the bean and corn mixture. Add dollops of Mexi-Cheddar and smooth out before adding another layer of potato. Use a sheet of wax paper or parchment and press everything together using a gentle touch. Slowly slide the food ring off your stack. Add another small spoonful of beans/corn and garnish with tomatoes, cilantro and green onions.

I served my Southwest Napoleon with a kale and cucumber salad along side a bowl of carrot soup for a complete meal. Total time in the kitchen: 1 hour 10 minutes. Active prep/cooking: 15 minutes

 Great meal for a Meatless Monday or any lazy day!

I got sauced! Gardein Meatless Ground

 

I am an unapologetic sucker for new products. The shiny packaging, the allure of something new to taste- yes, bring on the processed food! While I make a great effort to source my life from whole foods, these meat analogues are fun to play with from time to time. The Gardein meatless ground is now available at Costco stores in the refrigerated section. According to the package, it can be frozen for up to 3 months. Once thawed, it should be consumed within 1-2 days. Though not organic, the soy and wheat ingredients are non GMO.

I used one package and crumbled it before adding it to my sauce. Simple sauce: 1 onion diced, 4 cloves garlic, one 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes, one 15oz. can fire roasted crushed tomatoes, 1/2 jar sun dried tomatoes in oil pureed, 2 small carrots finely chopped, Penzey’s Tuscan seasoning, fresh basil, salt+pepper  to taste.

The crumbles are added after the sauce has been simmering for about an hour. One package of Gardein ground equals 1.2 pounds of ground beef. I found that the crumbles soak up a lot of liquid, so I would only use a half package of the crumbles next time. I like a saucier sauce consistency, so use less crumbles or add an additional can of tomatoes. Two 15oz cans for half pack OR three 15oz cans for a whole pack of meatless ground.

Behold, the sauce!

Of all the vegan ground products I’ve tried, this is the most convincingly “meaty”. The texture isn’t weirdly spongy like other meatless grounds. I’ll definitely keep some on hand for lazy days when I want to make tacos, sloppy joes or pasta sauce.

Winner, winner Gardein dinner!

Spaghetti ala Bolognese

Rau Om Tofu Misozuke

When I hear that there is a new vegan “cheese” on the market, I stop everything and order two packages of the product, pronto! A vegan cheese truly is the chupacabra of plant-based eating.

Reviews have been touting Rau Om’s tofu misozuke as the holy grail of vegan cheese. A taste so extraordinary, that you would savor the flavor with soju or sake and nothing more. I think one review even compared the tofu misozuke to foie gras…really? Could it be?

My tofu parcel arrived neatly wrapped in parchment and cradled by a piece of bamboo. Tofu misozuke is a Japanese delicacy enjoyed straight up or as a spread, usually with a glass of wine or sake. The non GMO tofu is bathed in miso, sake and sugar. When the tofu emerges after a two month fermentation process, the taste is completely unique .The flavor profile is so deep, you could drown in it, so go easy. Slice into the small block and it has the creamy, buttery texture of a pate. A mere mortal block of tofu has been transformed into an umami wrapped, velvet tongue taste delight.

Because it is marinated in miso the tofu can be on the salty side, so keep that in mind when deciding how to serve it. A good crusty bread will work but certain crackers will  over power due to the sodium content. I used the tofu misozuke in a cucumber maki roll and the flavors were balanced perfectly. The sweet tang of sushi rice paired with cool cucumber and a savory sliver of the tofu were working. If I had to compare the tofu misozuke to something in the omnivore world, I think it’s reminiscent of uni (sea urchin) with the sweet brininess. I think it can be used to bring an amazing depth of flavor to sauces and I’m anxious to play around with this new ingredient.

It would be unfair to compare the tofu misozuke to cheese or foie gras because there is no fatty mouth feel to the tofu like foie.  And I don’t find it to be as pungent as cheese, which can be a good thing. Rau Om has created a delicacy that is unique enough to stand on it’s own without pretending to be anything else. If you aren’t near the Palo Alto or Sunnyvale farmers markets, you can order online (2.5 oz/$7 +shipping). The tofu is perishable so they send the product with ice packs via priority or expedited shipping. If you’re feeling adventurous and don’t mind waiting two months, you can try making it yourself with Rau Om’s recipe here. I’ll be attempting to make my first batch this weekend since the two blocks I ordered were shamelessly devoured. I want more.