Monday, September 30, 2013

Mori-Nu Vanilla Pudding Mix

I've seen this Mori-Nu Vanilla Pudding Mix in the stores for years. A part of me has always wanted to try it, but I've honestly been afraid. You see, the main ingredient is a block of silken tofu. While I love tofu, I wasn't sure a dessert made mostly from a block of tofu would be very exciting. But I placed this on my bucket list of pre-package Vegan eats, so bombs away!

Surprisingly, I dig it! Now don't get me wrong, you're going to know you're eating a block of tofu. But there's ways to lighten the tofu taste. One way is to use almond milk (or whatever alternative milk you want) instead of the suggested water. Another tip is to add a little fruit. Also, make sure to chill it once blended, the warm tofu pudding isn't happening. If you wanna' see what it was like to be Vegan in the 90's, here's your chance! Tastier than it sounds, everyone should eat this at least once in their life. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Laziest Vegans Top Ten Asks Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the creator of the Post Punk Kitchen and author of countless Vegan cookbooks. In about a  month, her new book Isa Does It will be released. Most of you know that I'm Isa's friend and I've had the pleasure of taste testing most of the recipes from Isa Does It. Let me tell you that this is her best book to date, hands down. If you are into cooking, this is the book to own. Lots of the recipes are even easy enough for a lazy vegan like me!

I can also reveal that creating The Laziest Vegans in the World blog was a way of impressing Isa. Whether that's worked or not is open to interpretation. But, I can vouch for this list, it is 100% accurate. So, what kind of cookies does Isa really like?

What is your favorite store bought veggie burger? 
I like those fake chicken patties, like Cluckphrey's. With sweet pickles, please.

What is your favorite frozen dinner?
If it weren't for Amy's Frozen Burritos I'd be dead.

What is your favorite ice cream?
Those super old school Rice Dream Nutty Bars and Mint Chocolate Sandwiches.

What is your favorite chip or cracker?
Completely addicted to Kettle Bakes Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips.

What is your favorite cereal?
I like to have a lot of cereals around, like Seinfeld. I don't eat them for breakfast, more for dessert. Let's say right now it's Arrowhead Mills Sweetened Shredded Wheat.

What is your favorite candy?
Caramels from Obsessive Confection Disorder. I really love the seasonal flavors, like apple cider caramels in the fall, or lavender in spring. But you can't go wrong with any of them.

What is your favorite cookie?
Is there another cookie besides Uncle Eddie's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip?

What three pre-packaged food items would you take to a desert island?
How about I take all condiments so that any items I scavenge will be delicious? Sriracha, Reduced Fat Olive Oil Flax Vegenaise, and Wildwood Soy Creamer for my morning salt water coffee.

Name a product you would like Veganized?
I think that every vegan baker in the world is crying out for some peanut butter chips to bake with. Tropical Source used to make PB chips and chocolate mint chips and they cruelly stopped producing them over a decade ago, but my heart still yearns. I'd also love a widely available cultured nut-based cheese. Especially a melty one. Oh, and I wish for the soy yogurt famine to end. Sorry, I have a lot of wants.

What are your favorite local and/or online stores for Vegan products?
My local Asian market is pretty great for really fresh produce, sauces and cool rice paper things. And I have to give props to regional chain, Natural Grocers, because when I fill stuff out on their customer request forms, they actually listen.

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

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Annie Chun's Spring Vegetable Ramen Soup

I'm always down for ramen! Be it in soup, salad or entree; I love me some ramen. Annie Chun's newest (well, new to me) instant soup, Spring Vegetable Ramen, is a packet of soft ramen with a flavor packet. To fix, all you have to do is warm up the noodles, drain, add the flavor packet along with water and then microwave. Pretty easy and painless.

So, overall the soup is easy to make. One drawback is that you need your own bowl, which can suck if you are at work or not at home. Taste-wise, I was a little disappointed in the flavor of the flavor packet. It had a very dark taste if that makes any sense. I like my broth a little herbier, and this wasn't it. Thankfully, the soft ramen noodles make up for the off flavor.

In closing, I think this is a decent quick soup assuming you have a bowl. Also, I wasn't very impressed by the broth, but it might be more to your liking. Give it a try!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gardein Lightly Breaded Turk'y Cutlet

I was on the lookout for new Vegan eats, at Target of all places, when I saw the new Gardein Lightly Breaded Turk'y Cutlet. The thought of a Vegan cutlet with gravy made my stomach growl, and I had to have it. A common hot lunch in elementary school was beef cutlet with mashed potatoes and gravy. I still crave it in a weird nostalgic way. So, I thought this would fill that little food void from my childhood. At the very least it looks really good on the package!  

A quick 20 minutes in the toaster oven yielded probably my favorite Gardein meal EVER. I attribute some of that to the emotional connection, but holy crap is this cutlet ever good! Crisp, hearty and tasty; I would take this over any fake turkey roast any day. The cutlet does have a hint of turkey, but topped with the gravy, it just tastes like a damn good cutlet to me. Nicely breaded with four servings in a packet, it feels like a full meal, just add veggies. The gravy packets that come with are super easy to use. Thaw the packets in hot water, empty them and then microwave the gravy for a minute or two. My only complain is that I would have liked more gravy, but wouldn't we all?

So, I give the Gardein Lightly Breaded Turk'y Cutlet the highest recommendation, the Golden Microwave. Actually, I just made the Golden Microwave up, but you get what I mean. If you're looking for something a little different that's more like a meal then just a snack, give the new Gardein Cutlets a whirl.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Jones Halloween Sodas

Growing up, we always had soda available in our house. I thought it was pretty normal to drink soda every night with dinner. But sometime in my early 20's, I had to stay late at work and I ate a boatload of Sweet Tarts and chugged a 24 oz Pepsi. The sickness that resulted still lives with me today. Yes, I'll have a Virgil's Root Beer or Cream Soda once in a while, but that's it. No Pepsi, no Coke, no Mountain Dew...yuck.

So where am I going with this? Well, Dinosaur Dracula, a blog I'm very fond off, posted about the Jones Soda Halloween flavors: Caramel Apple, Candy Corn, Blood Orange and Red Licorice. Matt blogs or vlogs about all kinds of cool stuff (toys, candy, you name it) from the 80's, 90's and all the way to the present. Right now he's doing a Halloween countdown, hence the Jones Sodas. I thought, "Boy, I wish Jones Sodas were Vegan," because I'm really jealous of some of the cool stuff he blogs about plus I love Halloween. How the heck do you NOT drink a soda called Candy Corn? ...Bueller? Bueller?

I know Jones Sodas are one of the more "natural" sodas out there, but I had to double check they were Vegan. After a couple emails to Jones Soda, sure enough, they're Vegan! Well, great, so the hard part is out of the way. I'm going to get my Halloween soda on! But will this soda-hating 35-year old like them?

Unfortunately, the novelty of Halloween sodas could not overcome my soda bias. All of the flavors were really one note. If I had to pick a favorite, I would go with the Candy Corn Soda. To me, it tasted Cream Soda-ish and very sweet. Not something you would want a lot of, but nice as a Halloween treat. Next favorite would be the Caramel Apple Soda. It definitely tastes like apple, not so sure about the caramel. Blood Orange is your typical orange soda, nothing special. And my least favorite was the Red Licorice Soda. Wow. It seemed like a demented bubble gum with the worst aftertaste ever.

In closing, these Jones Halloween Sodas are definitely more of a gimmick that anything else. They might be cool for a Halloween party, but that's about it. BOO.

Monday, September 23, 2013

No Whey! Halloween Chocolates

One of the drawbacks of having Vegan MoFo in September is less Halloween blogging. I'm hoping to remedy that with this No Whey! Chocolates Halloween post. I've known about No Whey! for about a year and I love their seasonal treats. They're straight outta Cleveland, so I can feel the Midwest Vegan love. Here's a few of the Halloween goodies they have to offer this year!

These Spooky's Oh's are Newman O's dipped in light chocolate. On top of the cookie is a little Halloween ghost or bat. As you can see, I had to have a little taste during the photo session. Holy crap are these good! I can't tell you the Weight Watchers points on these, but boy is it ever worth it.

The Nut Butter Crisps are big chocolate bars with a nut toffee added to the bar. I was going to compare it to another candy but I'm at a loss. If you like chocolate and nuts, you'd probably dig these.  

The Rice Crisps remind me of Nestle Crunch bars, only smaller size. Every trick or treaters dream! Do yourself a favor and check out No Whey! Chocolates today!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Trader Joe's Frozen Falafel

I'm an absolute falafel connoisseur. I eat it a lot. I was introduced to falafel later in life, so I guess I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do. The best part about falafel love, is that any falafel worth its chickpea will already be Vegan. My first falafel sandwich was from Sultan's Market in Chicago and I have to admit, it's still my favorite. So the bar is set pretty high.

I've never been gaga over pre-packaged falafel. It's ok, but it's usually dry or just not tasty. However, on my last trip to Trader Joe's, I noticed they had some frozen falafel. It's Trader Joe's, it's falafel and it's Vegan, what the hell, I guess I'll try it. You only live once!  

So right off the bat I notice the direction stating that the preferred method of cooking is the microwave. What? You almost never see that. The preference is usually the stove or toaster oven, but never the microwave. Well, I was smart about it. I put half of the falafels in the microwave and the other half in the toaster oven. That way I could determine MY preferred cooking method.

Well, I hate to say it, but the falafels were pretty uninspired. The texture reminded me of a reheated tater tot. Absolutely no moisture, no crisp, no crunch. I think the only thing that might have saved them is deep fat frying. Neither cooking method yielded great results. Yes, the microwave was quicker, but that's about it. And I thought the toaster over would make the falafels crispier but that wasn't the case. I'm so bummed!

The taste left much to be desired. Not very flavorful, you would definitely need hummus or something to spice it up. The only saving grace is that maybe I've had so much good falafel that the Trader Joe's Frozen Falafel never stood a chance. Whatever the case, buy at your own risk. I hope you have better luck than me!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Amy's Light & Lean Spaghetti Italiano Dinner

I've always thought that Amy's had the best Vegan frozen dinners overall. Do I need to list them? From the Black Bean Enchilada Dinner, to the Dairy Free Rice Macaroni & Cheeze, the Roasted Vegetable Tamale and last but not least, the Tofu Scramble. Now comes their new line of  Light & Lean frozen dinners, and I started my taste test with the Spaghetti Italiano Dinner. I love spaghetti, so I'm all about it. My only concern is the "Light & Lean" tag. Would the reduced fat/calories be a taste killer? Would I turn into a new-age health foodie? Good questions!    

Well, not shockingly, the Light & Lean Spaghetti Italiano Dinner is excellent. Maybe I'm drinking the Amy's Kool-Aid, but I can barely notice that the dinner is low fat/reduced calorie. Everything is tasty and satisfying. The "meatballs" were especially a surprise. Made out of lentils, tofu and quinoa, the meatless meatball were very filling. The sauce was tangy and the pasta was nice and firm. Even the broccoli was good for a frozen dinner. I think it's fair to add the Spaghetti Italiano Dinner to the exclusive list of Amy's best frozen dinners. What is your favorite Amy's dinner?  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Vega One All-In-One Nutritional Shake Starter Kit Giveaway

Vega One is one of my favorite products and I pretty much drink it everyday. So when I get the chance to give away some Vega One to the uninitiated, I get excited. It really is the perfect Laziest Vegans supplement! Great for meal replacements, pre/post workout or even as a treat. I'm a realist, I know many of you think Vega is expensive, so here is your chance to try Vega One for FREE.

The new Vega One All-In-One Nutritional Shake Starter Kit has two packets of French Vanilla (my favorite), two Chocolate and one Berry. It also comes with a $5 off coupon off a tub of Vega One! If you don't know what the fuss is about, check out my review from last year.

Vega has kindly given me FIVE boxes of the Starter Kit to giveaway. A Starter Kit retails for $18.99, so you definitely want to win one of these! All you have to do is tell me is which flavor you think you'll like the most in the comments below, and leave your email so I can contact you when you win. Fudge your email if you're worried about spam (example: laziestvegans at gmaildotcom.) Contest ends 9/20, Friday 7pm CST. Good Luck!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hilary's Eat Well Original Veggie Bites

Falafel, hush puppies and nuggets are some of my favorite things; they're tiny little balls of goodness that are cute and fun to eat. Those were my thoughts as I ate a whole bag of Hilary's Eat Well Original Veggie Bites. I love Hilary's Veggie Burgers and these are just as good if not better. And exactly like the burgers, these are gluten-free. Ok, let's take a look at these mini nuggets of goodness.

They really are a mixture of all my favorite bite size foods. The breading reminds me of falafel, the inside has the doughiness of hush puppies and the size is classic nugget. But I won't take anything away from the Veggie Bite, it is unique and delicious! The ingredients are gold; millet, quinoa, spinach, onion, garlic and sweet potato make Veggie Bites irresistible. I had mine with some ketchup, but sky's the limit. BBQ sauce, Vegenaise or Franks Red Hot all would make a tasty dip. Or simply eat them bare and enjoy the oniony garlicky flavor. I didn't eat them with a side, but I imagine fries, tater tots or even a side salad would be a perfect accompaniment.

So, if you like fun, bite sized food, I think Hilary's Veggie Bites are what you've been waiting for!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Dr. McDougall's Pistachio Citrus Quinoa Salad

I'm a huge fan of Dr. McDougall's Soup, especially the Spring Onion. So simple to make and it tastes wonderful. On my last trip to the store, I saw this Dr. McDougall's Pistachio Citrus Quinoa Salad. It's not soup, but I still had to give it a try. I love quinoa and couscous, so it felt like a no-brainer. At first I thought Howard Dean was on the package, which was weird, but it's Dr. McDougall of course!

As you can see, the salad isn't super photogenic, but don't let that fool you. It packs a lot of flavor and is perfectly filling. Upon the first taste, I noticed a strong citrus zing and a heartiness from the quinoa, couscous, pistachios and almonds. My only complaint is I would consider this more of a side dish instead of a sole meal, but that's a personal preference. Also, it's called a "salad" but it's warm. The package suggests the Pistachio Citrus Quinoa Salad over a bed of greens and I would have to agree with that.

Bottom line: if you're looking for a quick, filling and healthy quinoa bowl, this might be right up your alley!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Phoney Baloney's Coconut Bacon

One of the most exciting products I've encountered this year is Phoney Boloney's Coconut Bacon. The coconut bacon is the brain child of Kyle Domer aka Vegan Vagrant. Just the idea of coconut bacon makes my mouth water, so I ordered some ASAP. The flavor is amazing because it really has that deep smokey bacon taste and to my surprise, the fatty element of bacon is somewhat reproduced and it almost melts in your mouth. The best part is that it has tons of uses and you can rub it in hipster faces that your bacon is cruelty free AND tasty.

As you can see, it really livens up a salad! I love the size and the texture. A bonus is that the bacon flakes are soft and not hard like Bacon Bits. I've been putting them on my salad more often then not this summer. Probably not the most low fat option out there, but it's mega delicious and filling. If you want instant flavor, here you go!

And if you are an ambitious Vegan, you should try Isa's recipe for Butterscotch Coconut-Bacon Cupcakes which uses Phoney Baloney's Coconut Bacon as a topping. Isa made these for Omaha Vegan Drinks and they were a monster hit! The salty coconut bacon mixed with the sweet cupcake was such a revelation. I'm think I want these again sooner than later, they're so good.

So go hunt down some Phoney Baloney's Coconut Bacon and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Chipotle Fiesta Vegan Pockets

I love it when Vegan products are obvious about it! Lately I've noticed a rise of products that actually say "Vegan" on them. When Trader Joe's started putting "V" on all eligible items in the store, it felt like a big step. Some companies were hiding the fact they were Vegan to not dissuaded non-Vegans from buying their stuff. Well, you can't get any more blatant than calling your product Vegan Pockets. I came upon these at out Akin's Natural Foods Market and I had to have one. Best name ever!

You get two 5 ounce Vegan Pockets in a box. I got the Chipotle Fiesta flavor, but there is also Orient Express, Back to Our Roots and Taste of Italy. They're pretty easy to make, throw one in the microwave for 2 minutes and you're done. I thought it tasted pretty healthy due to the whole wheat flour crust, which isn't a bad thing.  I had one for lunch today and it filled me up. Being stuffed with potatoes, black beans, tomatoes, corn, onions, brown rice and bell pepper makes Vegan Pockets very hearty. There was a bit of spice but nothing crazy hot. I like that they are not huge, and the size is totally portable. The whole point of a pocket is to be able to eat one on the run and Vegan Pockets are perfect in that regard. Love the name and I can't wait to try the other flavors!  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dandies Air-Puffed Vanilla Marshmallows

Marshmallows have always been one of the Vegan Holy Grails. Stupid gelatin is in a lot of the good things we grew up with, including marshmallows. Thankfully there are a couple Vegan companies out there that have figured out a way to make amazing marshmallows without using gelatin. Sweet & Sara, which most of you know well, is the answer to gourmet marshmallows. And then there's Dandies made by Chicago Vegan Foods. I've always felt Dandies was the answer to old school Kraft Jet Puffed Marshmallows, which I loved as a kid. The Star Trek V Kraft Marshmallow Dispenser is laser etched into my brain and I wish I had one for this blog post. It was fun to see how many puffy marshmallows you could fit in your mouth at one time.  

Texture-wise, Dandies are really close to non-vegan marshmallows, puffy and soft. They even have that powdery coated outside skin, which I love, and the taste is pure vanilla mashmallowy goodness! The best part is how versatile they are. From rice krispie treats, to hot cocoa and smores to just eating them one by one while you write a blog post, you're gonna' love them. And I've never done it, but I've heard they are fabulous charred over a campfire. If you haven't had the pleasure of eating a dandies, do me a favor and try one soon!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fritos Corn Chips

My favorite chip growing up was Fritos. Sure, Cheetos and Funyans weren't too far behind, but Fritos and I have an emotional attachment. I vividly remember being at my Grandmother's during the summer, running through the sprinkler, eating popsicles and Fritos. Of course, growing up in the Cornhusker State, anything with corn was super popular. Years later I became a Chili Cheese Frito fiend (I'll admit I miss them.) And I've also had a couple Frito Pies in my time.

Chicago Vegan Foods even put a Frito Pie Kit with Teese in the Vida Vegan 2013 Swag Bag! How rad is that?

Another thing I love about Fritos is the size. They are tiny and manageable. Eat them one by one or by the handful! Now for the sad news... I'd love to eat Fritos more often than I do, but there's a little problem, GMO's. Frito Lay uses GMO corn for Fritos.

I don't talk about GMOs much because most of the stuff I review is Organic or Non-GMO. I don't know if you've noticed but I don't usually review products that use GMOs, so I would feel weird posting these Fritos without mentioning it. And while we're at it, if you love Fritos and would like to see Frito Lay stop using GMO's, here is a link to contact them. Every little bit helps! I know there are a couple Non-GMO Frito alternatives out there like the Trader Joe's Organic Chip Dippers, but it's just not the same.

So, now my love of Fritos is known and I'd love them even more if they were GMO Free!


Friday, September 6, 2013

Snapdragon Spicy Kimchi Noodle Dinner

I'd heard of kimchi, but I didn't know exactly what it was. Come to find out it's Korean fermented cabbage, not something I grew up with, but kind of like a spicy sauerkraut. The reason I found this out is because I recently bought a Snapdragon Spicy Kimchi Noodle Dinner. I took the leap because of the big ol' "V" on the front of the container. When I see stuff with the Vegan "V", I feel like I should give it a shot. This is one of those bowls where you add a bit of water, some ingredient packets and throw it in microwave for a couple minutes. So how was is and is it right for you?

Obviously, never having had kimchi before, I didn't know what to expect. With that said, it has all the qualities you would want in a noodle dish. It's spicy and tart from the kimchi, with just a hint of sweetness. I like that the noodles hold their shape. And there are sesame seeds sprinkled in that add to the fun flavors as well as the texture. It's also low in fat, so that's good if you care about that sort of thing. And being that it's easy to microwave, you can take it to work, school, etc. Or keep it around the house as an emergency food. So if you like noodles with a little bit of kick or you are looking for something different, give the Snapdragon Spicy Kimchi Noodle Dinner a try!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lucy's Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

While sprucing up my blog for Vegan MoFo, I glanced at my sidebar and noticed Gluten Free was one of my top tags. I was pretty surprised because I don't go out of my way to eat Gluten Free; actually, I eat a lot of gluten! Maybe it's because a lot of Vegan food is Gluten Free by default, which is great for everyone.

On a semi-related note, Omaha recently got a Akin's Natural Foods Market so you know I scoped it out for Vegan goodies. What I found were these Gluten Free Lucy's Chocolate Chip Cookies, and I decided to put them to the Laziest Vegans chocolate chip cookie test. If I know anything, it's a good chocolate cookie. Would gluten free measure up?

My first thought was "Pleasantly Surprised!" I've had some Gluten Free cookies that were straight up blah and tasteless, but these were excellent. They reminded me a little of Chips Ahoy, right down to the crunch of the cookie. Some people prefer a moist cookie but I can go either way. The chips were crispy, sweet and decadent. If you gave me a blind taste test, I'd never guess this was a Gluten Free cookie. So Lucy's Chocolate Chip Cookie is a win-win for everyone: Vegan, Gluten Free and Nut Free!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Vida Vegan Con 2013

I was honored to once again be invited to Vida Vegan Con, the Vegan bloggers conference held in Portland, Oregon. I was part of two presentations: Cookbook & Product Reviews workshop and  Ethics Beyond the Plate panel. I'm not a very strong public speaker, but I try my best. I feel strongly about Veganism and I think my spin on it deserves a spot at the table. If I'm going to speak anywhere, it makes sense at Vida Vegan (or a Star Wars convention.) As you can see above, the 2013 Vida Vegan Swag Bag was right up my alley. So many great products!  

On the first day (Friday), the exhibitor hall was opened up. Inside, companies were ready to show off their new Vegan products. Organizers Jess, Janessa and Michele (pic, upper left) were making sure I didn't sneak in before it was time. Virtually all of the great mainstay companies were there. To be honest, I was pretty overwhelmed and didn't get half of the pics I wanted to. Also, I'm not much for crowds, but I did manage to get a couple pics off for you home viewers. All of the venders were good sports and they were more that happy to give you a sample of their amazing products.

What kind of sample do you want? Ice cream? Check. Nachos? Sure. Pot Pie? No prob. I'd like to say a thank you to all of the companies that attended Vida Vegan and handed out samples. It shows that you go the extra mile for your Vegan customers, and we won't ever forget!

So enough of the swag bags and samples, I'm here to do some work! The Ethics panel didn't require too much prep, only that I form my thoughts into coherent sentences (which can be difficult.) But thankfully we had some awesome panelists (Laura Beck, Jamie J. Hagen, Leigh-Chantelle and Erika Larson) who had some great ideas and opinions. Also we had an awesome moderator, Jason Das, so everything went well. Bullet dodged!

But for the Cookbook/Ethics class, I made a little PowerPoint that you can see a part of above. I basically want to show that anyone can do it. I presented my steps for reviewing products and creating a blogpost (let's just say there were a few cats involved.) I had fun presenting and hopefully someone was inspired to review cookbooks or products. Thank you to Lisa Pitman and Hannah Kaminsky for rounding out such a great class.

When I wasn't eating, speaking in panels or classes, I was attending other people's events! So many great things went on during the 3 days, I tried to attend everything I could. The schedule was packed and there was many good choices. A little something for everyone.

And the main thing about Vida Vegan was to have fun! Yes, Veganism can be a pretty heavy topic sometimes and yes, our work is never done, BUT we have to show Veganism can be exciting and enjoyable. You have to emphasize that the choice not to eat and exploit animals is the right decision by not being a Debbie Downer all the time. 

One of my favorite classes of the con was the Vegan MoFo Workshop (pic, lower right-hand corner) led by Kittee Berns, Mo Martin and Amey Mathews. Veganism doesn't have to be boring and I think Vegan MoFo shows that. Being friends with Panda With Cookie (pic, lower center) proves valuable. Setting Portland on fire and eating all their pizza with Kelly and Louzilla (pic, upper right) is always a riot. Watching the Austin peeps turn a bar in PDX inside out (pic, upper center) was amazing. I could swear I was in Texas!!! And obviously, hanging out with Isa (pic, upper left) a majority of the time is a joy, xoxo. Ooh, I even won some prizes at Vegan Battle Royal!  

All of these Vegans in one place makes for happy times! It gives you a chance to meet new friends and get reacquainted with old friends. Whether it was my friend Dan (pic, far right) from The Gay Vegans. Jason and Jesse (pic, far right) from SuperVegan and NY Feral Cat Initiative. Dan and Nicole (pic, far left) from Upton's Naturals and Vegan Things I Like. Or my twin sister Amey from Vegan Eats & Treats (she's not really, but it sounds plausible.) Great to see everyone, I wish I had more pics!

So you have Vida Vegan Con going on and all of the fun outside events happening, but there's even more! Vegan donuts, more specifically, GRAPE VEGAN DONUTS. They were my calling card for Vida Vegan 2011 and this Vida Vegan was no exception. I ate at least one grape Voodoo Doughnut everyday I was in Portland. You see, I can't get Vegan donuts in Omaha, so it's kinda a big deal, you know? Peace to Voodoo Doughnuts and their Vegan Grape Ape doughnut. I'll be back soon!

You can't live on donuts alone shockingly. But thankfully, Portland is one of the most Vegan friendly cities in America. I ate way more than this but these are some of my favorites. Starting at the upper left hand corner and going clockwise is Portobello, Vita Cafe, Veggie Grill and Blossoming Lotus. Tons of great food, I'm so jealous of you Portland!

So I have no idea when or where the next Vida Vegan Con will be. My personal hopes are Chicago, Austin, Denver or even Portland again. Regardless, I'll be there, either as a speaker or an attendee. It's a life changing experience that every Vegan should get to have. Great classes, great events, great food and most importantly, great people. Thank you once again to Jess, Janessa and Michele for hitting it out of the park and making the Vegan community proud. Let's do it again!


Monday, September 2, 2013

Kettle Brand Maple Bacon And Sweet & Salty Potato Chips

These Maple Bacon and Sweet & Salty chips from Kettle Brand have cause a bit of a stir, specifically the Maple Bacon ones. Why? Because the Maple Bacon Chips are Vegan. Yes, some Vegans are upset that "bacon" is a Vegan flavor. I tend to be a pretty non-judgmental Vegan and I even enjoy the flavor of fake bacon in seitan, tempeh and now chips. As long as the flavor is created without harming an animal, why are you complaining? Go whine about something else while you type on your non-Vegan computer. Anyway...

So let's start this off with the Maple Bacon chips on the left. Do they really taste like bacon? There's definitely a hint, but I would align it closer to a BBQ chip. I do like it! It's sweet with a little bit of tang and some bacon inspired smokiness. Even if you are not a bacon fan, you're not going to cringe at the taste of these. I'm going to say the bacon name is mostly for marketing purposes. Good for Kettle for taking a bacon chip and making it Vegan!

Now, let's talk about the more innocent Sweet & Salty chips on the right. I find them really interesting. It's a basic potato chip that has been sprinkled with a sweet and salty coating. Pretty tasty actually, they remind me of sweet corn. The sweetness is restrained and doesn't take over the traditional potato chip flavor. They're probably best on their own, but I could imagine them tasting good with some Vegan sour cream dip.

Thank you to Kettle for making these flavors of potato chips Vegan! They didn't have to, and I certainly appreciate it.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Nature's Path Envirokidz Lightly Frosted Amazon Flakes

Welcome to day one of Vegan MoFo VII! This is my fourth Vegan MoFo, but in some ways I still feel like a newbie. If you've never been to my blog before, it's all about pre-packaged Vegan foods. Once in awhile I'll talk about trips I take (like my forthcoming Vida Vegan Con post) or spotlight prominent Vegans in The Laziest Vegans Top Ten. But anyway, that's what I'm all about... now let's talk about some Vegan cereal!

If you look at any one of my cereal blog posts, a common complaint of mine is the lack of fun Vegan cereals. Yeah, I know there is every kind of whole grain, super healthy, vitamin fortified cereal out there, but I just want some damn Vegan Lucky Charms. With that said, one of my favorite brands is Nature's Path. Everything is organic and a majority of their products are Vegan. And they even have a cereal line aimed at kids like me called Envirokidz. So you could say the Envirokidz Lightly Frosted Amazon Flakes jumped out at me when I saw them.

There's not a whole lot to them honestly! Very simple ingredients: corn meal, evaporated cane juice and sea salt. I thought they had great flavor and sweetness. And if for some strange reason they aren't sweet enough for you, I'd add some strawberries or blueberries. In closing, I think kids and adults would enjoy Amazon Flakes since they are sweet but not cloyingly so.

What kind of Vegan cereal would you like to see?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...