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Quick Bites #8: No Whey! Chocolates

It’s been nearly 6 months (or more) since I’ve done the last one of these, wow I’ve been slacking! One of my 2019 resolutions is the hope that I write more here so let’s hope that it keeps up!

Being newly single, I wanted to have a complete and absolutely vegan holiday this Christmas and finding candy was a chore and a half. Nearly everything has some sort of animal byproduct in it whether that’s egg, milk, gelatin or whatever other nastiness these companies can think of to use as fillers.

I have heard people talk about a company called No Whey! that makes vegan chocolate and treats so I figured I’d give them a day in court. As you see over to the right, I ordered two bags of chocolate figurines, some peppermint no no’s a chocolate lollipops.

To be honest, I was a bit put off by the cost (nearly $30 for the lot before shipping) but figured they had to be worth the money. The fact alone that no animals were used to make these treats seemed to tamp down any feelings of overpaying. When I got them, again, I was a bit put off as the packets seemed a bit small and there was as many individually wrapped figurines as you would normally get from the cheapo candy brands. The packets of no no’s were certainly single serve and sprinkling only two packets of them in some stockings was an epic failure.

I will know better next time though, and there will be a next time. I found that every dime I spent on these did hold merit and value. Sure you can buy the usual Xmas santas at the store for the kids but what is in those? No Whey! chocolates (the individual wrapped santas) are made from Vegan Cane Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Unsweetened Chocolate, Rice Syrup Powder, Sunflower Lecithin.

While this may seem like I am unhappy with the product that is not the message I am trying to convey. Sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is though and if you want to talk the talk you do what you can to stick to it. I will continue to order from these guys for every holiday coming up, the fact that they are vegan makes them a winner in my book!

I really enjoyed the flavor of the chocolates, the no no’s were really tasty and had an awesome crunch to them. It’s sad that I was just at the beginning of a new nutrition plan and couldn’t enjoy them as much as I wanted to. My kids devoured them within a few days though and that speaks volumes when it comes to enjoyment; they don’t eat things they do not like and these were gone!

If you are looking for some really yummy and ethically made, No Whey! is the way!

Website: http://www.nowheychocolate.com

Quick Bites #7: Beyond Sausage

Remember the hype when Beyond Meat released the Beyond Burger?

Remember how hard it was to get one?

I live on a man-made island, the wait was terrible! Insufferable even!

Months ago Beyond Meat hyped up the Beyond Sausage; What?

“How long is that stuff gonna take to get here,” I thought?! It wasn’t super quick, but it was much quicker than the burger. The first time I “saw it” at my local Whole foods it was already sold out and I sulked away…

Last week I scored a package though and for me it was the right flavor, the hot Italian. I prefer just about everything with a little spice so I was excited to get these home. It was going to be a couple days before I got to eat them but finally I slapped all four of them on the grill.


I only added mustard as I wanted the sausage to speak as truly as it could, it needed mustard though; every sausage needs mustard.

Unlike some of the other companies that claim their product is a sausage substitute, the fact they are gluten based is evident. The Beyond Sausage is not gluten. It is not made from soy. Like the burger, it is pea protein based. The first thing I noticed when I bit into the sausage was the familiar “snap” when biting through the casing. The other companies lack that snap.

The flavor was spot on; not super spicy but it tasted like a sausage. I would have liked a bit more heat, especially because these will be my go to for jambalaya! The texture was softer than I remember a sausage being, which for me was good as that sometimes could get kind of nasty being all hard and gristly. The grill up nice over an open flame, I can’t wait to cook these up for some non-believers!

Man it’s so amazing to be vegan!

Quick Bites #2: Divvies

My family and I just got back from spending three days and two nights at the Wolf Creek Lodge in Fitchburg, MA. While I could bellyache about the trip all day long, I already posted a review on Trip Advisor and will leave my comments there. There were a few good things about the lodge though, specifically the ropes course and the water park. And although the water was chilly, it was fun enough to get past it.

One of the evenings we went looking for a sweet treat in hopes to find something vegan, and tasty. Having already eaten the sub par buffet that evening, my dinner consisted of a basic salad and tater tots; it was with great trepidation that our quest for dessert began.

I walked past the ice cream area slowly just to see if I could find anything, ANYTHING AT ALL, that I could enjoy. Hidden in a basket, I spied some prepackaged goodies and sharpened my gaze to try to read the packaging. Low and behold I spotted the v word on the package. I could see a variety of cookies and stuff like that but what caught my eye was the chocolate chip sandwich. I asked the person behind the counter if I could read the packaging and she grabbed it for me.

The company that makes these confectionery delights is called Divvies. They are based out of New York and seem to have a really good supply chain, even some local shops here on Cape Cod and the Islands.

Per the Divvies website “Divvies Bakery is the magical land of “YES!” for many with dietary restrictions to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and dairy.” While I don’t have a restriction in my diet, I choose not to consume animal products so it’s nice to see these guys are available. I remember the Lil Debbies chocolate chip cookies and how the vanilla frosting inside was so decadent. Divvies has brought back the childhood flavor, for me at least, and I am grateful to be able to enjoy these again.

But alas, the package of three has already been eaten and now I am just sitting here sad and without cookies…

I could always order them! YAY! Yes, you can order right from the site and the prices are extremely reasonable considering most vegan cookie companies charge quite a bit more as the ingredients cost more. Once my wallet replenishes itself from the Xmas holiday extravaganza I will surely be placing an order. Divvies are my new favorite sweet treat!

Quick Bites #1: Natures Bakery Fig Bar

14714508_1812044975709516_5648594890091659264_n1As you can imagine, I am always on the road. Yes, I share what I usually pack and eat during a day from time to time, but I don’t really talk too much about some of my favorite treats. Of course I pack all sorts of fruits and veggies to nosh on throughout the day, but sometimes you need something with a little more substance.

They are not a hugely popular snack, but one thing I’d been missing for some time was Fig Newtons. Unlike Oreos, which are inadvertently vegan, Fig Newtons are not. They have whey. To top that off they are loaded with sugar, high fructose corn syrup and regular corn syrup. That is not a good snack!

Natures Bakery has none of that crap in their fig bars and they are just as tasty, if not more tasty, than I remember fig bars being. I was introduced to these bars as they were one of our sponsors for the Ragnar Adirondack race. Not only did they donate fig bars but they make amazing brownie bars which are roughly the same size. These figs bars are a little more serious than Fig Newtons used to be. They are kind of like the more diesel and buff older sibling.

These are packaged as “twin packs” meaning there are two fig bars in each package and they are considered two full servings. Yeah, they both get eaten each time! That said, eating both of them are super satisfying and knowing they are not packed with garbage ingredients and junk carbs I feel good scarfing them down.

Were you a fan of fig newtons as a kid?

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.

Read more

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.


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.