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It’s Not Meat, it’s BEYOND Meat!

beyond-meat-logo-300x300Plant based and vegan foodies love a good veggie burger. Sure, there is plenty of great plant based whole foods out there, but our programmed minds want to chomp into a good burger from time to time.  Right now, we are in the middle of the summer, which is BBQ season. Why can’t us plant based/ vegan folk get in on that BBQ action?

It’s taken me what seems like forever to get my hands on some Beyond Meat Beast Burgers. My local Whole Foods, in Hyannis (MA), is the only joint that carries them, and the couple times I was there, they were out. It doesn’t help that I am on an island, a man-made island, but there are only two bridges to get of this sandbar so, there’s that. We are not to progressive here on Cape Cod. I had to put my name down to get some, and it felt like an eternity before they got a shipment in.

feistybagv3highresrgbIn the meantime, I was able to score some of the Beyond Meat Beefy and Feisty Crumbles. THAT NIGHT we had to have tacos. The Feisty Crumbles we’re nearly jumping out of the bag on into the skillet to get warmed up. I cooked up based on the instructions, added them to my shells, sprinkled some Daiya on and tried not to douse them to much with Franks Red Hot. Hands down, this is the closest texture wise to “real” meat. They were not to dry, although I did add some water when warming them up as I’ve found most plant based/ vegan crumbles dry out pretty quick. The flavor? Soooo on point! I am a taco connoisseur. If it’s spicy, or has a hint of zippiness, it takes precedence over any food for me. My mom was born and raised in Louisiana, and though I was the first to be born back in the North, I swear my taste buds were made for spicy foods. Read more

World Peas Fava Ranch

peas1Finding good plant based/ vegan snacks is super hard. Yeah, I know, eat a fruit. You know what though, that gets boring all the time. Sometimes you just need to kick things up a notch, while still staying within the goals you set out for. Which for me is to eat whole foods, not overly processed with chemicals and additives.

So, when I had the opportunity to try out World Peas Ranch Fava Crisps I was all about it. They graciously sent out a bag to taste test and it was nearly gone before I could get it in the door.

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Rhythm Superfoods Zesty Nacho

zestyI’ve had no luck making my own kale chips. I’ve tried making them in a dehydrator. I’ve tried making them in the oven. Neither came out good enough, never mind the ability to call them edible. Now, I’m not a great cook, but I know I can make things taste good. So, I kind of gave up on kale chips and came to the realization that they would not be part of my snacking pleasure.

UNTIL…

I’ve seen Rhythm’s brand all over the place. They are all over Facebook. They have a decent presence on Twitter. They are absolutely blowing up on Instagram. So, when I was in local grocery store trying to find something new, I saw a display case with Rhythms Kale Chips.

They come in a variety of flavors, but when I saw the Zesty Nacho one’s, the craving for nachos kicked in. I picked up the bag and had to read it. How can nacho not have cheese? Well Rhythm claims they are vegan, and judging from the ingredients, it’s the tahini and other spices that give it the nacho flavor. This snack fits my lifestyle, and dieting needs, to a tee. Vegan, check! GMO free, check! Organic, check! I could go on a couple more checks but you get the idea, this stuff is good and clean.

The only negative is the fact the bag only has two servings. Trying to stop after one measured serving is super difficult. This stuff is good. I really want to try other flavors, but the local store is limited. So I will keep an eye out for more and maybe come back and either add to this review, or add another for each flavor. Either way, this stuff is great and so much better than processed chips. Yum!

Website: http://rhythmsuperfoods.com/

 

Raw Revolution Glo Bars

globarI’ve been a big fan of Raw Revolution bars for a bit now, and I recently got the opportunity to try out the new line of “Glo Bars” they’ve put on the market.

One of the things I miss most about going plant based/ vegan is some of the great tasting protein bars I used to have. My favorites were Quest Bars. There were so many flavors, sooo many flavors. The lemon pie one killed me! But, they are loaded with dairy and whey protein and that’s not conducive to this lifestyle. So, what to do?

Where can I still get that sweetness in bar form?

When I need a little boost, or I am rushing out the door without breakfast; what then?

globarfactsI can finally say, that bar has appeared!

The Raw Rev Glo Mixed Nuts, Caramel & Sea Salt bar has a creamy, delicious taste with rich dark chocolate and smooth caramel flavor. Includes organic ingredients with omega-rich superfoods to keep you GLOing from the inside out. Each bar contains easily digestible plant based proteins, amino acids and trace minerals to keep your body lean and active. Also contains omega rich organic chia, almonds, organic flax seeds and mineral rich sea salt for GLOing health. Raw Rev has raised the bar on our commitment to taste, nutrition, and affordability. Always free from GMOs and artificial ingredients. – from raw rev’s site

globar2I intentionally cut and pasted the snippet above because it describes the Mixed Nuts & Caramel bar, which is my favorite of the three flavors they have. They are so good, I could easily have a couple of them at a time. That’s my only big complaint, the size. Although they are packed with fiber, and are filling, I feel like they could have been a tad bigger. Another minor quip is the amount of saturated fat in such a small size. The saturated fat per bar is 2.5g compared to 0g when comparing it to some others. Maybe I’m just nitpicking, as long as it’s good fat I’m good with it!

The texture is extremely close to that of a Quest bar. I love the addition of chia in the bar as I love the little snap the seeds have to em. Overall, these are hands down my new go to snack/ protein bar. The price point is right, the flavor is right and most importantly; the ingredients are right!

Raw Revolutions site: rawrev.com

 

Tofurky Beer Brats and Spinach Pesto Sausage

SpinachPestoBlackSleeve-300It’s been a while since I’ve had Tofurky, but I remember I’ve always enjoyed it. I’ve been interested in going back to purchasing vegan options for meat replacement products, and Tofurky has always been at the top of the list as far as pushing their product further.

As I’ve made the transition to a plant based diet, and my family has tried to as well, it’s been tough on my youngest son. For whatever reason, he still feels like he needs to have a “meat” like item on his plate, especially at dinner. We started using quinoa for tacos, but he didn’t like that. We tried Morningstar crumbles instead and he was sold. Hmm, we thought, how bout Tofurky? We had liked it before and now they had a lot of the flavor profiles we had been eating in the past.

brats1I had the opportunity to try the Spinach Pesto Sausage and the Beer Brats. I sliced up the sausage and pan fried it like I normally would and served it with rice and a veggie. Both my boys and I agree, this sausage was fantastic. Not only did it have the texture and “snap” of a sausage, it also had the flavor profile. Best part about it? My little guy agreed it was great and he annihilated what I had served to him. Kid-friendly? Heck yes! Bonus points to the fact it was not meat!

I made the Beer Brats as close to how I would have made brats years ago. My boys requested orange peppers, so I sliced some up, tossed them and some onions in a pan and cooked them down a bit. Before they were completely mushy, I added the brats on top, covered the pan and let it cook up for a bit.

After they steamed up a bit, I pulled em out & sliced em up. I then added them back to the pan and turned the heat up a bit to get some nice color. All the while I had cooked up some plain white quinoa.

brats2This was another hit. My older son and I agreed that when we are out at cook outs this summer, these brats will certainly be coming with us. And my little guy? Yeah he ate every bite again. I’ve been up front with him and let him know it’s faux meat. He was apprehensive at first, so honestly, I was non-descript with him when we  made the initial transition. Now that he knows these products taste good, I have been able to get him to open up to new things.

Thank you Tofurky not only for great products that are healthy and ethically viable, but for making it easier on families to make the transition to a lifestyle many of us are proud of living.

Website: http://www.tofurky.com/

Food Review: Mama’s Fire Tibetan Hot Sauce & BBQ Sauce

Mama’s Fire Tibetan Hot Sauce and BBQ Sauce
Brought to you by The Sacred Works Project

A while back, after a teaching by Lama Migmar, I drove him back to Boston from the Cape. We hadn’t eaten yet, and when we got to his brother’s house he invited me in for dinner. We had a traditional Tibetan Soup with a light salad. He asked me if I wanted to try some Tibetan sauce (it was more of a paste) and warned me it was hot. I LOVE spicy stuff so I was down. Not only was it great, and a little burny (yeah it’s not a word, I just made it up) but I had to have more.

For months afterward I was trying to find anything that was similar and until I opened the mailbox one day and saw some Mama’s Fire Tibetan Hot Sauce in there, nothing stacked up.

MFTHS (it’s easier to abbreviate this one, lots of typing with this name) is not dead on to what I had with Lama Migmar, but it is comparable in it’s own way. It is very unique in the fact ginger seems to be one of the main ingredients, and while it does not add heat, it most definitely adds some bite. I’ve put it on just about any sort of dish I use hot sauce with. My favorite it is to use it on turkey tacos, the ground turkey absorbs a lot of the flavor and still leaves the heat. When I can, I use this stuff in every dish that calls for hot sauce.

Along with the Tibetan Hot Sauce came a bottle of BBQ Sauce. The first opportunity I had, I marinated some chicken in this stuff, grilled it up and wow, it was fantastic. Some BBQ sauces out there have to much honey, to much smoke and they just lack a good flavor. Mama’s Fire BBQ has a clean, tangy flavor without the smoky aftertaste of a lot of the store bought sauces.

My wife got a skirt steak a few weeks back and let it sit in a crock pot for 8 hours. It melted into a pulled beef heaven. But, I’m not here writing about my wife’s skill at cooking, we’re here to talk about this sauce. I’ve been huge on eating lots of proteins and stuff like that, so one day I took some of the left over skirt steak, microwaved it with some of Mama’s Fire BBQ and poured it over some brown rice. When I was finished a small tear came to my eye, because I realized there was none left. Not only was the beef gone, but so was the BBQ sauce.  🙁

I am a big fan of both of these sauces as you can tell, and I think you ought to give them a try. I still have a bit of the hot sauce left, so I haven’t started shaking from the Mama’s Fire dt’s yet.

Food Review: Field Roast Apple Sage Sausage

Firstly, I’ve been looking for months for this product. I’ve been to the major supermarkets, some of the local natural food stores but ventured a bit farther than normal to one about 30 minutes away. I found the Field Roast Apple Sage Sausage at Cape Cod Natural Foods… found a whole bunch of other stuff as well, I’ll be making the trip back most definitely.

Onto the sausages…

Wow! These have to be the tastiest faux sausages I have eaten to date, hands down. Other companies have tried to match the flavor and consistency of sausage, and though a few have been close, nothing compares to these. It has to be in the ingredients, which are filtered water, wheat protein (vital gluten flour), expeller pressed, high oleic safflower oil, Yukon gold potatoes, non-sulfured Washington state dried apples, yeast extract, onion powder, barley malt extract, fresh garlic, torula yeast, natural liquid smoke flavor, black pepper, spices, rubbed sage. Don’t forget the fact each link has 26g of protein, that’s huge!

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