Thursday, April 28, 2011

Eli's Earth Bars from Sjaak's

A couple weeks ago I got a surprise in the mail from my friend Amy who runs the awesome blog tahinitoo. I tore the package open and inside were three Eli's Earth Bars! Amy lives in the Vegan paradise known as Portland, Oregon and has access to stuff I won't see here in Omaha for a couple years. I honestly had never heard of these bars before but became excited when I read that they are produced by Sjaak's, who makes tons of excellent Vegan treats. What is also exciting is the fact that the bars are all organic and Sjakk's donates 5% of every sale to a non-profit charitable organization that benefits children. Pretty amazing!

Now to the nitty gritty. Obviously people will compare these to Go Max Go Bars but I think Eli's Earth Bars are good enough to stand on their own. Out of the three I would say the Treasure Bar was my favorite. Loaded with sweet pb crunch, it's definitely something I've missed in a Vegan candy bar. It melted in my mouth and was gone in no time. If you've had Sjaak's pb cups before then you know what I'm talking about.

My second favorite was the Celebrate Bar. I'm not usually one for coconut but it really hit the spot. It's definitely an Almond Joy descendant with crunchy almonds and soft coconut.

And last but not least is the Dream Big Bar. It has some of the elements of the Treasure Bar but a little too much caramel for me. But I did enjoy the addition of the peanuts, though. In all honesty, I would eat any of these bars at any time because they are delicious. You can purchase them at Food Fight, Cosmo's, Vegan Essentials, Pangea and even Sjaak's!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Kashi Mayan Harvest Bake

The Kashi Mayan Harvest Bake is one of the most unique frozen dinners I've ever had. The list of ingredients includes plantains, sweet potatoes, kale, polenta and pumpkin seeds. Definitely not your usual line up for a frozen dinner! As someone who has a handful of frozen dinner standbys, it was nice to mix it up and try something new.

What came out of the microwave wasn't as fancy looking as the picture on the box but don't let that fool you. If I were to describe the meal I would say it definitely leans towards Latin cuisine but unlike anything I've ever had before. I enjoyed all of the different flavors from the sweetness of the potatoes and plantains to the spiciness of the ancho sauce and the sheer number of ingredients made it very filling. My only complaint is that it isn't organic. Minus that minor gripe, I think this is one is a winner. I look forward to new and interesting offerings from Kashi.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Frank's Red Hot Sauce: An Addiction

I've never had a taste for hot, tear inducing food. Some might even accuse me of having a farmer's palate (you know who you are). My brother Doug for example loves to eat hot sauces and hot peppers for fun. I never wanted any part of it, mild is fine with me, thanks. But something odd happened about 2 months ago. While making some nachos with Amy's Traditional Refried Beans I noticed I was out of salsa. I was pretty bummed as I usually enjoy some salsa or taco sauce on top of my nachos. While looking in the cabinet I noticed an unopened bottle of Frank's Red Hot and that's when everything changed.

So I opened the bottle just hoping it wasn't too hot or gross. I put on a couple drops for a test taste. My first reaction is that it's hotter than what I'm used to but it wasn't so unbelievably hot that I couldn't eat it. I put a couple more drops on my nachos and I went to go eat. While eating the nachos I noticed that the taste of the hot sauce was actually addicting. I went back into the kitchen and checked the label for ingredients and was shocked that there were only 5 (Aged Cayenne Peppers, Distilled Vinegar, Water, Salt and Garlic Powder) and they were all natural! Needless to say I grabbed the bottle and dumped Frank's at will. The sauce encouraged me to eat more nachos until the whole can of beans were gone and half of the bottle disappeared.

2 months later I'm even more addicted than ever. I take a small bottle to work in my lunchbox in case I have the urge to dump it on something. My favorite thing to put it on besides nachos is Amy's Roasted Vegetable Pizza. I also sprinkle Frank's on tortilla chips, which is a nice snack. And don't tell anyone but I put a little on a gingerbread cookie (wow, I'm bearing my soul aren't I?). So I admit I have a problem, but I'm not hurting anyone else. Frank's has became a guilty pleasure that I never would have been able to predict and if nothing else, it really clears my sinuses! Stock up on Frank's Red Hot today!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Vegan Easter Bunny

I really didn't want to do an Easter candy post because I'm still on a sugar high from Valentine's Day but I saw Vegansaurus's post about Vegan Cadbury Eggs and I fiended out. If someone were to ask me what I missed from my pre-Vegan days, I would say Cadbury Eggs. So I wasted no time and ordered the gang of Easter candy from Pangea.

So these are the VeganSweets Vanilla Cream Eggs aka Vegan Cadbury Eggs. They are delicious and do taste similar to the real thing. Sweet and creamy just like I remember. I wish they had the yellow yoke like the Vegan Etsy ones but that's just nitpicking. I totally give these two thumbs up!

Next up is Sweet & Sara Easter Peepers & Skippers. A faithful reproduction of Peeps only better! Sara has reformulated the marshmallow recipe and it's better than before. On the packaging it says "Skipper is the name of Sara's childhood rabbit and is Sweet & Sara's mascot." How cute is that!

Who doesn't love a big chocolate easter bunny? This Chocolate Happy Bunny is made out of pure Belgian chocolate. I'm saving it for a friend who is going to house-sit for me but I'm sure it's delicious.

You really can't have Easter without jellybeans. I can't even remember the last time I had one. VeganSweets Jellybeans are fantastic and no one will notice that they are Vegan.

These Dandies Tweets are similar to the Sweet & Sara's Peepers but they have a lemon flavor. I really loved them! The lemony flavor was nice and tangy and had me wanting more.

Sjakk's Crunchy Peanut Butter Easter Egg rounds out the treats from the Vegan Easter Bunny. Beautifully decorated and packaged, I would describe it as a gourmet Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. So darn good!

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Spy Mexican Vegan Treats

Back in March, I went on a cruise through the Caribbean. Stops included Key West, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. At each stop I looked for pre-packed Vegan food. I didn't have very much luck but it was still fun looking!

While in Cozumel, I ran across these chickpeas and peanuts from Fritehsa in a gift shop. I had my fingers crossed that they were Vegan and sure enough they were. The Strawberry Candied Peanuts were my favorite. Can you go wrong with sweet coated peanuts? Nope! I also enjoyed the Hot Chickpeas as they reminded me of spicy CornNuts. Yum yum!


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