Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sweet & Sara Halloween Marshmallows Treats

Happy Halloween everyone! Without a doubt, Halloween is my favorite holiday. Candy, costumes, scary movies and jack-o-lanterns...what's  not to love? Sweet & Sara Halloween Marshmallow Treats are quickly becoming a Vegan tradition. Marshmallow Spiders, Bats, Ghosts and Cats are the standard for decadent Halloween loving Vegans. And you can't forget about Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows, Chocolate Dipped Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin, Marshmallow Pops or the Chocolate Dipped Rice Crispy Treats. I hope you got to try one or all of these treats this season. If not, there is still time! I mean, really it's never to late since everyday is Halloween as far as I'm concerned.

And this brings us to the last day of Vegan MoFo 2012! Thank you to everyone who followed me this month while I blogged my little heart out. Between the posts I did here, I also blogged for Vegan MoFo and Vegan Omaha. Quite the busy month! I hope you had as much fun as I did. Enjoy the rest of your Halloween and watch the Magic

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Amy's Organic Beans & Rice Burrito

In the last three years, I feel like I've represented all of my favorite Vegan convenience foods. From Uncle Eddie's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, to Upton's Seitan Tamales to So Delicious Almond Milk Ice Cream Minis, I feel like I've been covering my bases. Well, shockingly, there was one glaring omission. Amy's Organic Beans & Rice Burrito! For real, I eat that thing all the freakin' time. How have I not blogged it yet? Maybe I take it for granted? I have no idea, but I'm glad to finally show my love for one of the best Vegan convenience foods EVER.

So, there are many way to eat an Amy's Beans & Rice Burrito. My favorite way right now is to simply douse the burrito with Frank's Red Hot. I also love it with Food For Lover's Queso on top with lettuce and tomato. To those who have never had the pleasure of eating a Beans & Rice Burrito, it's got lots of flavorful refried pinto beans and yummy brown rice. Not spicy at all, which is great because you can dress it up how ever you want. On the nutritional tip, you are looking at 10 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber. A pretty nice meal when you're in a jam. And don't forget to save those burrito wrappers for Amy's Points! Thank you to Amy's for creating one of my all time favorites.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

OCD Sweet Stix aka Vegan Twix

A couple of months ago, I was able to sample the amazing "Vegan Twix" from Obsessive Confection Disorder. They're called Sweet Stix and they're something I've been waiting a long time for! Twix was always one of my favorite candy bars, so I've been pretty bummed for the last 10 year or so. But thanks to Melodi, I can stuff my face with delicious Sweet Stix!

Rich and buttery caramel makes Sweet Stix light years better than your old boring Twix. Handmade with love, these Stix are wide and chubby, not the long and skinny bars of old. Also, I enjoy the high quality chocolate and assorted natural ingredients that make it so tasty. Four Sweet Stix come to a box but I guarantee you will inhale them right away. 

So if you've been longing for your Twix fix, the answer is finally here!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Koyo Tofu and Miso Ramen Noodle

Growing up in the 80's, I used to eat packages of supermarket ramen noodles like there was no tomorrow. Ramen was super cheap (like 10 cents when on sale) and super easy to make (an eight year old kid could make them). If there was nothing else to eat in the house, you always knew you had ramen. Fast forward 26 years...I still love ramen, but I'm not as impressed with supermarket ramen because of the gross ingredients. Fortunantly, Koyo Tofu and Miso Ramen Noodle fills that void.   

I know you're saying "John, supermarket ramen noodles are supposed to be a little gross." Yes, but I don't think it's too much to ask for decent ingredients with lots of Vegan choices. The Tofu and Miso Ramen tastes like a classier version of what you grew up with. Baked organic noodles, little tofus, and no additives, preservatives or msg. My only complaint is that the portion is kinda tiny and I inhaled it. You're probably going to need two packages for a meal. And the best part is the wealth of different flavors. You don't like miso? No problem, there is also Mushroom Ramen, Seaweed Ramen, Asian Vegetable Ramen, Lemongrass Ginger Ramen, Garlic Pepper Ramen and Soba Ramen.

So if you miss ramen noodles and want a ton of Vegan choices, I think you will appreciate the line of Koyo Ramen Noodles and especially the Tofu and Miso Noodle!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Saffron Road Dates, Tamarind & Walnut Appetizers

Every once in awhile, I come upon something that doesn't fit into a particular category. The Dates, Tamarind & Walnuts Hors D'oeuvres from Saffron Road are kind of all over the map. It's a pastry that has sweet and savory features, which could be either an appetizer, main dish or dessert.  But no matter what you call them, for whatever occasion, I think you'll enjoy them.

My first bite is telling me, "This is dessert!" The warm sweet dates, cinnamon, walnuts and phyllo pastry all melted in my mouth. I particularly loved the phyllo, because it's something you don't see in a lot of Vegan frozen foods. Once I had a couple more, the tamarind taste became more apparent, and now I felt it was a proper savory appetizer. I ate them on their own, which you can do, but I'd love to see what other people eat with the Saffron Road Hors D'oeuvres. Either way, I think you will enjoy this complex and refined appetizer!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rescue Chocolate Peanut Butter Pit Bull & Foster-iffic Peppermint Chocolate Bars

There is nothing better than eating something you enjoy and being able to help a cause. Well, every time you purchase a Rescue Chocolate chocolate bar, 100% of the net proceeds go to animal rescue groups. As someone who went Vegan for my cat, I really appreciate businesses that support animal groups. And as if that wasn't enough, the candy bars are slammin'!

This bar literally melted in my mouth. It was really soft with just a hint of crunch. A peanut butter center with chocolate on the outside. My only complaint is that it's so good that I need more than one! A pb lover's dream.

A yummy dark chocolate bar with peppermint notes. I would have liked a bit more peppermint flavor but it's a minor quibble. I like that you can break this bar into squares very easily. Although you're just going to eat the bar all by yourself, right? So, next time you are jonesing for chocolate and or candy bars, check out Rescue Chocolate!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread

When I was at the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival this year, one of the samples I got to try was the Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread. I've seen it in the store before, but I'm not a huge Earth Balance/ Margarine person. The sample I had in Toronto really blew me away! When I got back to Omaha I bought a tub because I was so impressed. 

As you can see, the spread is white as snow. The flavor is obviously heavy on the coconut, which is good as long as you like coconut. It melts in your mouth!

You can use the Coconut Spread for many things, but my personal favorite has been on toast. Eventually I'd like to use it on something sweet. Cornbread, pancakes, banana bread? I think the sweetness plus the coconut flavor would be divine. I makes you wonder what new coconut product will they come up with next? 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Vegan Chocolate: Raisins, M&M's and Gummi Bears

Every year, I get ready for Vegan MoFo by buying a ton of stuff ahead of time. That way, I have some time to review everything, take pictures and of course, eat! I try to buy things I haven't eaten before, because it keeps things fresh and interesting. These three chocolate treats have been on my radar for awhile, but MoFo gave me a little incentive to buy them all. 

Vegan Chocovered Raisins from Fabulous Freefrom Factory. Talk about the holy grail! I can't tell you the last time I've had chocolate raisins, but they are as delicious as you remember. Soft, melt in your mouth chocolate, coating plump raisins. Why didn't I buy two packages? 

Holy Cow Vegan Dark Chocolate Beans. Miss M&M's? Well here you go! They're not as soft as M&M, but that's a minor complaint. I ate these like there was no tomorrow. Now I await the day when I can buy Vegan Reese's Pieces so I can do my E.T. impression.

Organic Chocolate Covered Gummi Bears from Chocolate Decadence. I had no idea that chocolate covered gummi bears was a "thing." I figured it was just Vegans being crazy. But no, chocolate covered gummi bears are the rage, and thankfully we are not left out. These were great! My only complaint was that the gummi bears were stuck together and I has to break them out of the chocolate. But hey, we live in a world with Vegan gummi bears covered in chocolate, and it's great!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Nature's Path Organic Corn Flakes

It seems the older I get, the more conservative I get...with my cereal. Don't get me wrong, If someone finally came up with a crazy Vegan marshmallow cereal (a la Lucky Charms) I'd be the first in line. But for the most part, I've been avoiding super sweet cereals. Enter Nature's Path Organic Fruit Juice Sweetened Corn Flakes. A great basic cereal that is lightly sweetened and has uncomplicated ingredients. Corn meal and/or yellow corn flour, grape and/or pear juice concentrate, sea salt. That's it. All while being Organic and Gluten Free.  

The cereal by itself does have a slight sweetness, but nothing that's going to blow you away and make you say "this was sweetened by a pear!" I tried the cereal by itself with unsweetened almond milk and it was tatsy. If you like a bit more sweetness, try some banana or strawberries to liven things up. Either way, it's a great way to start your morning!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

So Delicious Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk

No bones about it, So Delicious is one of my favorite brands. From ice cream, to yogurts and almond milk, So Delicious lives up to their brand name. They recently asked if I was interested in trying their new Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk. Uhh, yeah!!! It's totally the perfect time of year to be drinking this stuff. I wasn't in the Halloween mood till I had a swig of the Pumpkin Spice. Now I'm decorating the house and everything!

In fact, ghosts will be fighting off other ghosts just to get a sip of the new Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk! My first impression was that I was drinking pumpkin pie, no lie. A spicy pumpkin pie that was pureed with coconut milk and put in a carton. Decadent liquid dessert! Unless you absolutely hate pumpkin, you're going to want to buy it by the case. 

So Delicious also sent their other holiday Coconut Milks: Nog and Mint Chocolate! I reviewed them last year and I LOVE them. So if for some reason you don't like pumpkin, Nog or Mint Chocolate will be right up your alley. Thanks again to So Delicious for making the lives of Vegans so very delicious!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Vega Cocoa Kissed Savi Seeds

You know that Vega makes some of the most kick-ass supplements out there, but how about snacks? I was a little surprised to see these Cocoa Kissed Savi Seeds, because to me, they look like dessert! And they are, but after learning what Savi Seeds are and the health benefits, I can see why Vega makes them. Savi Seeds are rich in protein, omega 3's, tryptophan and fiber. So you get have your cake and eat it to, so to speak. I know, I know, you wonder if they taste good...

Hell yeah, they taste good! The chocolate is rich and the Savi Seeds are tasty, kind of like an almond. If you need a post work-out replenishment, these are some monsters. Now are they chocolate candy? Not exactly, but you will be more than satisfied nutritionally and it will most definitely cure your sweet tooth. If you are not a chocolate fiend, they also have Natural and Caramelized flavors. Hats off to Vega again for another innovative product that creates it's own niche. Can't wait to see what they come up with next!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fair Trade Month!

October is Fair Trade Month and I'm happy to be reviewing a ton of socially responsible products. Katie from Fair Trade USA went out her way to send me some of the best Fair Trade products that are also Vegan. For those of you who aren't familiar with concept of Fair Trade, it's basically a movement to alleviate poverty in developing nations, while ensuring consumers quality products that improve lives and protect the environment. So when you see a product with the Fair Trade Logo, you can be assured that the product is a good one!  

Kopali Organic Chocolate Covered Banana. These are nom city! I ate the whole package right away. Well, after I took the picture anyway. They are little banana bits, which are easier to eat when compare to large banana slices. They taste wonderful and I hope to see them in the store soon!

Alter Ego Dark Quinoa Dark Chocolate. Who knew? Quinoa and chocolate are AMAZING! The quinoa gives the chocolate the perfect crispness. Sort of like a Crunch bar, but totally Fair Trade chocolate. Buy it ASAP.

Madhava Organic Raw Agave Nectar. Agave is a great sweetener that is usually on the counter at my house. I personally don't use it, but my coffee/tea drinking girlfriend swears by it.   

Sweet Riot Chocolate Kickin' Coconut Bar. Another amazing Organic chocolate bar, but this time it's got coconut! Oodles of sweet delicious coconut covered in dark chocolate. Another ASAP buy! 

Rishi Organic Pu-Ern Ginger Tea. A spicy, potent, gingery tea. Great for Sunday morning breakfast!

Honest Tea Black Forest Tea. A delightfully berry tinged non-caffeinated iced tea. Great when you don't want anything overpowering sweet.

And if that wasn't enough, Coconut Bliss was kind enough to include a free coupon for giveaway! (**Updated 10/16** Fair Trade USA will also send you an above product of your choice plus a Fair Trade Tote Bag!) All you have to do is comment down below which of these products you are most excited to try. I will randomly pick a winner, Wednesday at 4pm CST. Also, look for a Vegan MoFo Fair Trade giveaway soon! Thank you to Fair Trade USA for promoting these wonderful products. Remember to look for the Fair Trade label!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Upton's Naturals Vegan Chipotle Wrap

Earlier this year, my local Whole Foods in Omaha got a whole lot cooler by carrying Upton's Naturals Wraps and Sandwiches. It's great to have to-go Vegan food for lunches, make-shift picnics or even a snack before you shop (don't go grocery shopping when you are hungry, take my word for it!) My favorite wrap varies, right now it's the Chipotle. Other wrap flavors are Chicken Bacon Ranch and Sesame. The sandwich choices are BBQ Slaw and Focaccia Sandwich.

As you can see, Upton's is generous with their seitan! A Chipotle Wrap is pretty filling, with 22 grams of protein per wrap. That's what I call a power lunch. Flavor wise, the Chipotle sauce has a little kick but it's nothing you can't handle. Now for the bad news... it looks like the wraps are only available in Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. So what this means is that you need to come visit the Midwest and see how we get down!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

GoodBelly Probiotic Juice Drinks

GoodBelly is one of those products that's been on my radar for awhile, but I just never felt it was something I would need or enjoy. That all changed sometime last year, when I was at an outdoor market in Boulder, Colorado. One of the vendors was GoodBelly, and they were handing out free samples. Normally I'm not one to rush for a sample, but I really wanted to try it because I didn't see myself buying GoodBelly any time soon. I drank my little sample and was pleasantly surprised. I'm not sure what I expected but it tasted like smooth fruit juice, pretty delicious! Ever since then, I wanted to try more of their products so I could blog about them.  

GoodBelly + Strawberry Flavor Probiotic Juice Drink. I didn't realize it when I bought this, but GoodBelly+ (plus) is fortified with vitamins (hence the plus). Which I guess make sense considering it's a tiny shot. I enjoyed the strawberry flavor, fruity and smooth. It goes down real easy, so you might not notice you are drinking a probiotic/vitamin drink. A great breakfast supplement. Love the smiley face packaging too! 

GoodBelly Cranberry Watermelon Flavor Probiotic Juice Drink. This is the straight up GoodBelly, no extra vitamins. Same thing, great juice flavor. I enjoyed the sweet and tart mixture on this one. This is a great all day beverage. I'm no expert on probiotics, but from what I know, they're supposed to help your digestive systems along. Check out the science on probiotics and even if you have no interest in the benefits, I think GoodBelly is a great Vegan beverage that everyone can enjoy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Somersaults Salty Pepper Snacks

Last April, I went to Austin to attend the Texas VegFest. It was my first time in Austin and I really enjoyed it. So if you've never been to Austin, do that! Anyway, what I'm getting to is that inside one of the Texas VegFest swag bags were these things called Somersaults. I was surprised that I'd never come across them. The flavor was Salty Pepper, which is right up my alley. I'm a life long snackie, so I was pretty intrigued with what these little round things were all about.

I opened up one of the bags at the hotel and started snacking. My first reaction was "Holy crap these are good!" Tons of sunflower and sesame seeds mixed into a wheat flour nugget with lots of spices. The flavor was really hearty and satisfying and the peppery taste was so addictive. Needless to say, by the time I got back to Omaha, I was all out of Somersaults. Of course, I couldn't find them in my area, so I did what any rational person would do, I ordered them online!

If you are looking for a different kind of snack, I think you'll find Somersaults fascinating. And if you aren't a Salty Pepper fan, the other Vegan flavor is Pacific Sea Salt, which I'm sure is delicious.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dr. Cow Aged Cashew and Macadamia Nut Cheese

Earlier this year, I had Dr. Cow Aged Cashew Cheese for the first time. I'm not much of a hard cheese connoisseur, but I was seriously blown away! The Aged Cashew Cheese is so delicious, I knew I had to buy some more so I could blog about it. To up the ante, I also purchased some Dr. Cow Macadamia Nut Cheese to compare. Dr. Cow promotes their cheese as Tree Nut Cheese, which is a cute way of saying it's Vegan without scaring off non-Vegans. Dr. Cow Tree Nut Cheese is also organic, raw, unpasteurized and gluten-free.  

I could probably eat the cheese by itself very easily, but I decided to pair it with some Late July Classic Rich Crackers. Classic Rich Crackers are very buttery, just like Ritz. A great organic cracker that I find myself buying all the time.

The Aged Cashew Cheese has some salty ranch notes. I can taste the cashew flavor, but it's so refined, you might not notice. Comparing it to real cheese, I would say it has a smoked Swiss flavor. I'm in love with Aged Cashew and will go on the record as saying it's (presently) my favorite cheese. Aged Macadamia Cheese has some fruity notes. I got a strong macadaminan flavor. Very tangy and a little mustardy. I found it a little softer than the Cashew Cheese, which isn't a bad thing.

So if you love hard cheese or cracker cheese, I think you'll really enjoy Dr. Cow. I can recommend the Cashew and Macadamia for sure, and I hope to try the other varieties soon! If you can't find it in your area, Vegan Essentials is having a 10% off sale for the entire month of October, using coupon code "mofo!"

Friday, October 5, 2012

Late July Vanilla Bean With Green Tea Cookies

Cookies are the best dessert! No, I'm not going to argue with you. One thing about being a Vegan, is that there is no shortage of cookies to choose from. My new cookie love is for the Late July Vanilla Bean Green Tea Sandwich Cookies. I used to be a big green tea drinker back in the day, so I was intrigued with how the flavor would represent in a cookie.

If you are expecting a crazy herbal cookie, you are out of luck. The green tea is just a minor note in a delicious sweet sandwich cookie, and I enjoyed it! The mixture of the vanilla bean, the chocolate cookie and the green tea extract is the perfect symphony of flavors. As you can see in the pic, I got a little almond milk to dunk the cookies in and they were sooo good soft. If you love the typical chocolate and vanilla sandwich cookies, give these green tea laced cookies a try. It's a flavor that you might not even know you like, but end up loving!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dr. McDougall's Spring Onion Noodle Soup

For some reason Dr. McDougall's Soups have never been on my radar. Not sure why? They're all Vegan, and widely available. A couple weeks ago I saw them on the shelf at Whole Foods and with Vegan MoFo on my mind, I grabbed a couple to review. The Spring Onion really caught my eye as it is usually one of my favorite soup flavors. Quarrygirl raved about Dr. McDougall's Soups in the past, so I was fairly confident that I would enjoy them. Anytime you can just add water and have a delicious meal, that's my kind of cooking.
So, all you do is open the the cup, dump in the flavor packet, fill the cup with water up to the line, microwave for 1 minute & 45 seconds and let sit for 5 minutes. Super easy! I was really impressed by the flavor. This isn't you typical instant meal. In fact, Spring Onion was DELICIOUS. It has a brothy onion flavor that had me wanting more. The noodles were the perfect tenderness. Honestly, it was way better than I ever expected. A perfect emergency meal that you could leave in your lunch bag or at work. I'm happy I finally tried Dr. McDougall's Soup and I can't wait to try all the other flavors!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sambazon Organic Acai Berry Sorbet

I'm new to the whole acai berry thing. Honestly, I've never gone out of my way to try anything with acai. It always seemed so gimicky and snake oilish. That changed a couple months ago when my friend Chris suggested I try a Sambazon Protein Smoothie. I ended up really liking it and I was surprised it contained acai berries. So the other day, I noticed this Samazon Acai Berry Sorbet and was pretty excited about trying it out.

So what does acai taste like? I would have to say a mix between blueberry and cranberry. If you like either of those, I would think you'd be down with acai. The sorbet was tangy and fruity. It was sweet without being over the top cloying. There's a little grit from the acai berries, but I've become accustomed to that by now. I'd say the Acai Berry Sorbet is a solid choice for someone who like sorbets and wants a healthier, less sugary alternative with loads of antioxidants. If you've never had any acai berry products before, this might be a good gateway to take you all the way to level 7 acai berry lover (that's when you're able to pronounce it.)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Trader Joe's Veggie Wrap With Hummus

I stopped by Trader Joe's the other day looking for a Vegan Falafel Wrap that @Raqueliiita posted on Twitter the other day. While I didn't find that Falafel Wrap, I found a Veggie Wrap With Hummus! For only $3.99 you get a ton of veggie wrap and should have more than enough to share.  So how does it taste?

With pre-packaged sandwiches you never know how fresh they will be. I've had a couple of airport sandwiches that were past their prime. I thought the Veggie Wrap was pretty fresh, and not soggy. It had tons of veggies and a liberal amount of hummus. Those were the pros. The cons: somehow the wrap was still a tad dry. I suspect it's because there are no tomatoes or sauce, maybe to keep it soggy-free. Also, I found it to be a touch bland. Perhaps TJ could add a little flavor to the hummus? Get some olives up in there or something?

So wrapping up, even with a couple of flaws, the Trader Joe's Hummus Wrap is a nice cheap meal in a jam. If you have a little time, add some tahini or tomatoes and it will be a more enjoyable experience.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sweet & Sara Peanut Butter Smore

Welcome to Vegan MoFo VI! I can't believe this is my third MoFo. For those who aren't familiar with my blog, I review Vegan convenience foods. It's not rocket science, but it's stuff I eat anyway and I enjoy doing it. So with that said, I'm going to review one of my all time favorite treats, the Sweet & Sara Peanut Butter Smore!

As a lot of you know, I'm a Sweet & Sara Smore freak. I seriously eat two of these a week, minimum. I convinced Whole Foods Omaha to carry them, thank god. Eating a PB Smore is euphoric to me. Is it health food? Hell no. But that's what the gym is for. Everyone deserves a vice.   

Peanut buttery, marshmallowy, chocolaty, graham crackery goodness. The first bite is always the best. As I get closer to the end of the smore, I get a little sad inside. Did I eat enough smore? Probably not. Should I eat another one? That's always the struggle.

I don't have a rating or anything on my blog, but I would give this the highest rating possible. Like 20 marshmallow thumbs up. And then some.


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