Thursday, December 30, 2010

Candle Cafe in Your Dessert Case

On my last trip to Whole Foods I noticed something special in the refrigerated section of the bakery. Normally I'll spot a couple Chicago Diner treats or Vegan pumpkin pie, but this time I found Candle Cafe Cheesecake and Tarts! The three flavors of the tarts were Raspberry Linzer, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Chocolate Mousse. The lone Cheesecake flavor was Vanilla. As someone who has been to Candle 79 I can tell you that they are one of the best Vegan restaurants in the country. So to have them do some prepackaged stuff is exciting to me. Now let's talk a little bit about the goodies!

The Raspberry Linzer Tart had a nice tangy zing without being, too, uh, tart. The rich buttery crust was a plus. And one thing that applies to all of the tarts is that they are very rich. Being rich isn't a problem but you will underestimate the small size and assume you can down one and still be hungry. Not that I know anything about that...

The Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart is just what a PB lover like me wants. Smooth peanut flavored cream cheese with a hint of chocolate topped off with some peanuts.

Holy crap! My favorite of the four is this vanilla cheesecake. The vanilla taste is strong with an explosion of vanilla bean. Slightly smaller than then the tarts but oh so worth it!

And last but not least is the Chocolate Mousse Tart! Creamy and chocolaty goodness in such a small package. Thank you Candle for branching out to the poor souls that have not been to your restaurants. Now, can you package that cannolli?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Kettle Tias! Salsa Picante Chips

Sometimes a product is so awesome I jump in the air and high five the invisible Vegan gods. This bag of Kettle Tias! Salsa Picante Chips is such an example. I noticed the colorful bag in the chip aisle and just assumed they weren't Vegan. To my delightful surprise they were animal product free!

When I got home I had to know how good these things were. I mean, are they Doritoish? Do they have any flavor? Did I waste my money? Well Kettle hasn't failed me yet so I opened the bag optimistically. From the first bite I knew these were the chips I was waiting for. The cheesy spiciness hit me and sent me back to my 4th grade lunch room. These are the closest to Vegan Doritos without a doubt. I'm going to start 2011 with a new favorite chip!

Congrats Kettle, please keep them coming!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Have a Vegan Pepperminty Christmas!

While I'm not the biggest Christmas fan, I can appreciate all of the treats associated with the holiday. Candy Canes, check. Cookies, check. Soy Nog, check. The common thread is the overabundance of peppermint. If you love peppermint then you must be doing cartwheels right now. My advice is to chow down out on this stuff while it's around!

The legend...Candy Cane Joe-Joe's. I've heard about these cookies forever. Now that Omaha has a Trader Joe's, I can finally try them out and see if they warrant all of the hype. The verdict? They are one of the most amazing cookies I've ever had! It's a basic sandwich cookie but the little candy cane pieces in the frosting make them divine. Seek them out.

These Dark Chocolate covered cookies from Late July has some similarities to the Candy Cane Joe-Joe's but ultimately I didn't enjoy them as much. They are dipped in chocolate and have peppermint sprinkled on the outside with a hint of a salt to go with the sweet. The cookies are fancily individually wrapped so you feel guilty when you eat 6 at a time. I see this as more of a gourmet cookie for all of you foodies out there.

Good ol' candy canes from Tru Sweets! I think everyone can agree Christmas isn't Christmas without a candy cane. These are pretty much the most awesome candy canes ever because they are Vegan and organic. I'd love it if they introduced other flavors like cherry or bubble gum, just because I'm weird like that.

This Chocolate Peppermint Stick Soy Beverage from Westsoy is the jam! I'm not sure if I'm under the spell of peppermint right now, but I enjoy it almost as much if not more, than the Silk Nog I reviewed last month. I even drank it a room temperature and it blew my mind. The chocolate/peppermint combo is a match made in heaven. I'm definitely going back to the store to stock up on this stuff.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I'm Moving The Facebook Group to a Facebook Page!

Ain't no thing but a bag of frozen fries.

Hello fellow Lazy Vegans! I'm moving our Facebook group to a new Facebook page I hope you come "like" us. Thanks for the support!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Laziest Vegans Top Ten Asks Kelly Peloza

This is a new segment I'm calling The Laziest Vegans Top Ten. This is where I get to ask a prominent Vegan what their favorite pre-packaged convenience foods are. Today's guest is Kelly Peloza, author of The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur. This first time author is originally from Chicago, IL and is currently in Milwaukee, WI as a Photography Major at MIAD. Kelly can also be found at her blog Seitan Beats Your Meat. So let's get started!

What is your favorite veggie burger?
I love any kind of black bean burger, and Boca vegan burgers are pretty good.

What is you favorite frozen dinner?
I'll probably get an F on being a real college student but I don't really ever have frozen dinners.

What is your favorite ice cream?
Temptation from Chicago Soydairy

What is your favorite chip or cracker?
Whole Foods Rosemary Crackers

What is your favorite cereal?
Peanut Butter Panda Puffs

What is your favorite candy?
Sour Patch Kids and Go Max Go Bars

What is your favorite cookie?
ABC Cookies or Candy Cane Jo-Jo's. Or any kind of Oreo-type cookie, really

What three pre-packaged food items would you take to a desert island?
Sabra Pine Nut Hummus, Ricemellow Fluff and Peppermint Chocolate Soy Milk

Name a product you would like Veganized?
A really good vegan salami. I used to have it all the time as a kid, so it's more of a nostalgia thing that a craving. This may or may not be too gross to include in the post, but I'd eat it with chocolate, all in one bite

What are your favorite local and/or online stores for Vegan products?
Riverwest Co-op, Beans and Barley and Vegan Essentials (online AND local!)

And that concludes The Laziest Vegans Top Ten. Thanks Kelly!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Rudi's Organic Bakery 7 Grain with Flax Bread

Without a doubt my favorite bread is Rudi's 7 Grain with Flax. When I buy it, I just don't buy one, I buy three. Two go in the freezer and one stays out. So what do I do with all that bread? Well, mostly I use it for my pb's (no j), but also for veggies burgers. My old mainstay bread was a Wild Oats (R.I.P.) brand. but those are a little hard to come by these days.

The bread is chewy and had little seeds all over the loaf. It can be a bit moist so make sure you use it up or it will go bad pretty quickly. One of my favorite parts of this bread (besides the fact it tastes wonderful) is that it says Vegan on the back! It's just the little things. So what is your favorite bread?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Moo Free Vegan Advent Calendar

Happy December everyone! Can you believe how quickly this year has gone by? Pretty insane. I'm going to take this month to remember and reflect on the crazy year that was 2010. So much has happened in the last 11 months that it's hard to wrap my head around it. Anyways, lets talk about this cool Advent Calendar I got!

When I was growing up we always had an Advent Calendar for Christmas. Advent Calendars have a tiny door for each day in December leading up to Christmas. When you open one of the days you get a chocolate. My brother and I shared, one of us would get odd days and the other would get even days. I thought it was one of the neatest parts of the holiday (well except for the gifts). At some point last month I decided I would seek out a Vegan Advent Calendar to help me not feel so grinchy about Christmas (don't get me started).

Luckily Vegan Essentials got these Moo Free Advent Calendars in stock a week before Thanksgiving. I think they are really cute and perfect for a Vegan or dairy intolerant person.

December 1st is here!

Even your parents will appreciate these. Today's chocolate appears to be an ornament, and it tastes silky smooth! Only 23 more chocolates to go!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mission to Paris: Pt. 2

I was in Paris for 6 days, 4 of which were spent looking for Speculoos. My Vegan entourage had their lasers set for this sweet, cookie tasting spread. Honestly I've never heard of the stuff and I didn't understand why it was such a priority. Well after consuming a decent amount of Speculoos I can tell you that, a. It's worth the hype b. The taste is unreal c. You may have Speculoos cravings days later. To me, the taste is a cross between a vanilla cookie and peanut butter. That description still doesn't do it justice. Maybe someday we can get this sweet treat over on this side of the Atlantic.

Before we found the Speculoos, this chocolate spread from Lotus was the go-to sweet spread. Not a whole lot of mystery with this one, it's chocolaty! This was reserved for the Vegan croissants we found.

Speaking of Vegan croissants, here they are in all their glory! Pop them in the oven and cover them in chocolate or Speculoos and boom, you have breakfast.

For the extra lazy Vegan we got some croissants with chocolate already in them! Can't beat that.

These bad boys were purchased at the Loving Hut in Paris. They were comparable to the bars I reviewed earlier this month. I might even give the edge to this version of white chocolate, but not by much. Notice the bar even got caught in the Paris rain!

Look familar? Yeah I just reviewed it but this time it's the Cheddareese flavor. So you ask, what did we do with this stuff? It ended up in some mashed potatoes! Thanks to the kitchen at The Gentle Gourmet B&B we were able to do a little cooking. As for the potatoes, they had a nice cheesy flavor that reminded me of Chreesy. Of course they were way better because they were homemade.

This was my going away plane treat. I've never seen pistachios shell-less in a bag before and I may never again.

Merci Beaucoup!

...and this concludes Vegan MoFo 2010! I had a blast and I will definitely participate next year. The most fun for me was seeing other blogs and all the yummy stuff they fixed up. You MoFo'ers almost made me want to cook, damn you!!! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mission to Paris: Pt. 1

So after a total off three flights and 13 hours I'm back from Paris. It was an exciting time! I met a lot of new friends and now have a better idea of how global Veganism is. Besides frequenting most of Paris's Vegan friendly restaurants I also got a chance to sample some pre-packaged Vegan treats. Seeing how I don't speak or read a lick of French, it was quite interesting. With all the help of my friends I was able to decipher the labels. If you see Végétal on the packaging it means the item is Vegan.

Hand model: Joshua Katcher of The Discerning Brute

So this is what everyone went NUTS over. It's hard cheese from Vegusto. I'm not a hard cheese fan because it made me sick as a child and I've never had any desire for it. According to everyone that came into contact with this cheese, it is AMAZING. Apparently it has a rich aged cheese taste, so if you love hard cheese seek this out at all costs. The Loving Hut in Paris carries it.

You know if there is falafel to be had, I'll be there. I ate it cold and it was great so I imagine they are the bomb if you to heat them up.

Ok, this was some good hummus. On top of some fresh French bread it really hit the spot. Part of our Vegan entourage felt this was the best hummus she ever ate. I respectfully disagree, how is this trumping homemade hummus? Oh well, it's all good.

Some Vegan margarine for that baguette? Sure why not! Creamy and not salty.

With bread at every street corner (yes they really do eat and walk around with baguettes) you best believe we had every Vegan spread we could get our hands on. This was some kind of fermented tofu spread. Tasty stuff, kind of hummusy.

I didn't get a chance to taste this yogurt but I was told it was excellent. Non GMO goodness!

I did eat one of these puppies and it was delish! This Caramel pudding was so creamy and rich I had to double check the label to make sure it was Vegan. Import these please!

I was thinking the Caramel was the pinnacle of French puddings but these Vanilla pudding cups from Sojasun really won me over. Yummy!

Whew, I've only hit the surface of my Paris Vegan spree...part Two tomorrow!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Amy's Organic Cakes & My Trip to Paris

I remember the first time I bought one of Amy's Cakes, I couldn't believe you didn't have to bake them or heat them up. All you do it take the cake out of the freezer and let it set in the fridge for an hour. It's the perfect lazy dessert!

The orange is my favorite. Its flavor is orangy without being overwhelming. It could sub for vanilla cake in almost any situation. I can imagine strawberries and soy whip on top of this puppy! As for the chocolate, it's chocolaty! I like it, don't get me wrong, but I'm just not a chocolate person. With a side of Vanilla Soy Delicious I'd totally pig out on it. So the moral of the story is- if you like like cake and you're lazy, Amy's Organic Cakes were made for you!

With that said, this is my last MoFo post for a week. I'm going to New York and then to France for Thanksgiving and Paris Vegan Day. It's my first time to Europe so I'm pretty excited! All I can think about is National Lampoon's European Vacation and getting a beret that says Rusty. When I get back I'll finish up MoFo with a couple posts about the Vegan loot I find in the city of lights. I would also like to say thanks to everyone who has been checking out my blog since Vegan Mofo started 20 days ago. It's been fun and I think I've learned how to be a more productive blogger. Have a great Vegan Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Vegan Essentials Rocks!

As I've said before, I'm kind of a Vega fiend. About once a month I order a couple jugs of Vega from Vegan Essentials. This month I also tacked on some food items for my MoFo posts. Guess what one of the things I ordered was? You guessed it, Liz Lovely cookies. I've never eaten a Liz Lovely cookie in my life so I wanted to order some and do a blog post about it. Well, as it turns out 3 out of the 5 cookies I ordered were recalled for non-Vegan chocolate. Luckily I hadn't received them in the mail yet or I might have already ate 'em. I contacted Vegan Essentials right away and they promptly refunded me for the 3 cookies, no questions asked. Thank you Vegan Essentials! Also thank you to Liz Lovely for doing the voluntary recall. When the cookies I ordered are back in stock, I will definitely review them. Ok, on to the other items I purchased!

This Cinnamon Roll from Heart Bodies is a decent Vegan version of the beloved pastry. It doesn't compare to a fresh roll by any means but it's definitely worth trying. It's moist with a great cinnamon flavor. A minor gripe is that I wish it had a bit more frosting. Still, I'd get one again!

You don't see Vegan Graham Crackers everyday, so I jumped at the chance to eat some Grateful Grahams. They taste delish! Honestly, they are closer to being a cookie than a cracker but don't let that dissuade you. The cracker/cookie is super moist and chewy, topped with organic cinnamon and turbinado sugar. Get some if you so desire!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thai Kitchen Rice Noodle Soup Bowl

When I was a kid, my favorite soup was Mrs. Grass Chicken Noodle Soup. I loved the little broth ball and the tiny noodles. Sometimes I would even add more squiggly noodles and cook two boxes at once. These days I can't mess with Mrs. Grass but the Thai Kitchen Spring Onion Soup is a wonderful replacement. I have to say the one of the reasons I keep coming back to this soup is because it says Vegan on the back. Hopefully more companies start labeling products Vegan (when they are Vegan of course) because in the long run it will create customer loyalty.

Spring Onion is my backup meal at work when I unexpectedly have to stay late. I can leave it in my lunch box for weeks at a time and it will never go bad. Now isn't that convenient! The flavor of the soup is very herby with hints of onion and spice. I really love the taste! The rice noodles are tiny and delicious. Make sure to cook the soup long enough or you will end up with hard noodles (it sucks, trust me). And remember to let it cool before you eat it or you risk burning your face off. So if you need a little soup on the go or you are a lazy bum at home, give Thai Kitchen soup bowls a shot. Drink up!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rising Moon Organics Ravioli

Back to my O.G. collection, Rising Moon's Ravioli caught my attention back in the day because of the big ol' V on the packaging. At the time there weren't many products that so proudly displayed their Vegan status. On the basis on that alone I purchased a couple and tried them out. They are super easy to make! Can you boil water? If not, go here.

So basically you boil the ravioli in water and then coat them in olive oil, voila! I find the ravioli to be soft but firm. Out of the three Vegan flavors I like the Mediterranean Garlic & Herb the best. I usually eat them plain but you can throw 'em in with some red sauce or what not. Vegan ravioli, bless you!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Amy's Non-Dairy Vegetable Pot Pie

Amy's Non-Dairy Vegetable Pot Pie makes me look forward to cold weather. I don't buy it much during the warmer months so I don't have to run the oven. But when it gets chilly and windy I love running the oven all the time. A word of warning...the non Vegan Pot Pie looks very similar the the Vegan so be careful! I've purchased it before and had to pass it off to a family member.

I used the "quick cook" instructions by microwaving the pot pie for 3 minutes before placing in the oven. It comes out of the oven with a crisp outside and a creamy inside. I guess some people think a Vegan pot pie wouldn't be hearty, but it really is! You've got potatoes, tofu, carrots and peas all up in there. My side dish with the pot pie is usually French fries or frozen corn. I'm so sophisticated!

Monday, November 15, 2010

New York Slices

I saw this New York Slices pizza in the frozen section of my Whole Foods yesterday and I had to give it a try. New York Slices in located in Highland Park, Il (huh?) and is sold through out the Midwest. I love pizza and I thought it was cute that it is sold in a carryout pizza box. This pizza is a 16" Vegan cheeseless pizza with Spinach and Mushrooms.

Just a short 7 minutes at 450 F and your pizza is done! The 8 slices are conveniently cut so you can bake one slice or all 8. I thought the taste was great for a frozen pizza. The sauce, spinach and mushrooms were all flavorful (add Parmazano for an extra kick!) The crust is standard NY crispy thin crust. The only negative I could find is the pizza cannot be folded in half when eating. If you see this in your Whole Foods, pick it up!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Trader Joe's in Omaha!

It's been a long time coming and it is finally here! Trader Joe's opened this Friday and I picked up a couple of goodies to try. For non Nebraskans, AK-SAR-BEN is Nebraska spelled backwards but it also used to be a race track/sports and concert venue. Nirvana played there! Now it is considered a part of town.

Maple Leaf Cookies
These were quite the surprise! I like maple but I didn't expect to enjoy the cookies as much as I did. Super maple taste in a cute maple leaf cookie sandwich. Win!

Vanilla Joe-Joe's
A vanilla cookie with vanilla bean filling? Nothing groundbreaking but damn good. Count me in.

Dark Chocolate After Dinner Mint Thins
Fancy mints! Eat two or three of these and you are good for the night. Great mint taste with rich chocolate.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Virgil's Cream Soda Laziest Vegans Taste Test!

We had so much fun with the Silk Nog taste test that I decided to hold court once again. This time we are taking on Virgil's Cream Sodas plus Root Beer. Joining me in this joyous exercise is Mr. Laserton, Princess Lasertron, Pookie Pie and Jenny K (self-proclaimed Izze fan).

Orange Cream Soda:
Mr. Lasertron- Notes of clementine and tangerine. Didn't taste any vanilla but it was decent.
Princess Lasertron- *Due to my selfeshness, Princess Lasertron did not get to taste the Orange Cream Soda*
Pookie Pie- Tastes likes melted orange candy. DO NOT LIKE.
Jenny K- (Shakes head no) Can I pour this out?
Me- I loved the strong & sweet orange popsicle flavor. It's not an everyday drink but I do love it.

Black Cherry Cream Soda:
Mr. Lasertron- Distinct Wild Cherry flavor, I enjoyed it.
Princess Lasertron- Just tastes like Cherry.
Pookie Pie- Tastes like Dr. Browns Cherry Soda. I can't taste the cream and that's good. Makes me want a Kosher Hot Dog with Sour Kraut (Vegan of course). Going back for seconds!
Jenny K- It doesn't have a strong flavor but the flavor it does have is good.
Me- Kinda surprised by the cherry flavor. It reminded me of cherry cough drops (the good ones). I'd totally buy it again.

Cream Soda:
Mr. Lasertron- Wow that's really good!
Princess Lasertron- Tastes like Root Beer Float with the fanciest vanilla ice dream.
Pookie Pie- This the business. They really captured the essence of creaminess.
Jenny K- Tastes like fake vanilla.
Me- One of the best sodas I've ever had. Tastes like creamy heaven. Also, Amy loves Virgil's Cream Soda!

Root Beer:
Mr. Lasertron- It tastes like Root Beer.
Princess Lasertron- I can taste the anise and wintergreen.
Pookie Pie- It's my favorite Root Beer
Jenny K- I'm not a huge Root Bear fan but it's not too bad. Better than other Root beers.
Me- A good Root Beer but it was the least of the four for me.

Mr. Lasertron: Cream Soda
Princess Lasertron: Cream Soda
Pookie Pie: Cream Soda
Jenny K: Black Cherry
Me: Cream Soda

So by a landslide, Cream Soda is crowned champion! Thanks to everyone who participated in the taste test. See you next time!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Amy's Answers The Proof of Purchase Dilemma!

**Update 9/1/11** Amy's has changed the program a bit. You now get to pick what item you want in exchange for your UPCs.

I just got word from Katie @Amy's Kitchen that there is a reason to save the Proofs of Purchase from Amy's products! If you collect 25 Amy's Proofs of Purchase, you can mail them in and Amy's will send you a goodie bag with Amy's stuff and coupons!!!

Send your 25 Proofs of Purchase to-

Amy's Kitchen, Inc.
PO Box 4759
Petaluma, Ca 94955-4759

Thank you to Katie and Amy's Kitchen for allowing me to sleep at night again.

**Update 1/24/11** I got my gift box! Look here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nutrilicious Donut Holes

There is nothing like eating a fresh donut...everything seems right with the world. I've been lucky enough to visit VooDoo Doughnut in Portland and Ronald's Donuts in Las Vegas. Fresh Vegan donuts are a little hard to come by in these neck of the woods (as I'm sure they are in most places). Donut Holes by Nutrilicious do a decent job of giving you a Vegan donut (well, hole) to cure your Homer Simpsonish cravings.

Seasonal Donut Holes are new this year. I think it's a pretty cute idea! The Pumpkin Holes' taste is pretty spot on, I'd say they were my second favorite. I feel the Gingerbread Holes' flavor was a little weak. I was hoping they would be a little bit more spicy with less of an aftertaste.

The Carrot Cake Holes are true to their name and have little carrot pieces in them. They are my favorite and unsurprisingly I ate them after I took these pictures. I wanted to hate the Chocolate because it is carob glazed (I despise carob) but I couldn't do it. Despite a little aftertaste I enjoyed snacking on them. They tasted sweet and chocolaty and not gross like I feared (past carob trauma).

So If these Donut Holes pop up at a store near you, give 'em a shot! No, they are not a fresh out of the oven Grape Donut (I Love You) but they are pretty darn good.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...