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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.

Glorious!

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 #4: Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie

I’m trying to make better choices when I’m at work and driving around from job to job in my van. Years ago I would stop at a fast food place or a convenience store and just fill up on the crap they are peddling. It’s easy to fall into that trap fast and quick, it’s part of the reason I pack my lunch everyday.

There are some days though when I eat all the food I’ve packed and I’ve been working hard and need more sustenance. My new best friend is the Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie!

I’ve had a bunch of flavors so far including the pumpkin during the fall (can never get enough pumpkin flavor) and I love the lemon cookie. I have this weird thing with lemon. You see, my mom would always bake me lemon cakes on my birthday. She made it every year because from what she knew; I loved lemon. Mom, sorry, while I’m satisfied with the flavor of lemon it’s not a “to die for” type of thing. So maybe it’s a subconscious thing that I like lemon? Either way, it’s one of my favorite flavors; thanks mom!

These are no joke cookies though folks. They are not energy bars. These are more of meal replacement / protein supplement before anything else. A full cookie is two servings and packs 16 grams of protein and a whopping 360 calories. I did call them a meal replacement but they are not in the sense that you should eat these to lose weight. The amount of sugar alone tells you that, 24g if you eat the whole cookie.

Honestly, who doesn’t eat the whole cookie though. The cookies I’ve had have been moist and chewy; seriously they could be dangerous if I kept them stocked in my house. Though I do hope I work near the supplement store tomorrow because now I am really craving these! The major bonus here is these things are legit vegan and the ingredients are good.

If you want to try them out, right now you can get 20% by using the code BA55986 at LennyLarry.com

Quick Bites #3: Forager Cashewgurt

My breakfast routine is that of a man 40 times my age; oatmeal every single day. Ya, it’s great for you and has all sorts of health benefits but for crying out loud, in my head I’m thinking; can I get something different?

Don’t get me wrong, I love oatmeal. I put all sorts of stuff in it to change it up day-to-day, but it gets old! No sooner had I asked the mental question when a container of Forager Cashewgurt appeared in the fridge.

I immediately went to work and decided today I was having a friggin breakfast bowl! I cooked up a bit of tri-color quinoa, got my hemp seeds out, cut up a banana and put it all together adding a nice drizzle of peanut butter.

Praise the people at Forager, my breakfast was saved!
This container was the plain flavor which opens up all sorts of possibilities. On its own I wouldn’t eat it, because… well… it’s plain of course. This was amazing as part of a breakfast bowl. I have even added it to smoothies to thicken them up a bit. Because of its numerous uses, this stuff can be used in anything and everything that calls for dairy yogurt. Not that you are eating that mess anyway, right?!

Forager, I love you! I can’t wait to try out some of the flavored stuff, for now this will become a staple in the fridge.

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?

Tofutti’s Better Than Cream Cheese IS BETTER!

IMG_8653My family just got back from spending a week at Disney World. I’ve never been and was pretty amazed at the fact it was all that it had been made out to be. At 42 years of age, I felt like a kid again the first time I saw the Magic Kingdom. It was awe inspiring to say the least. The crowds; yea not a fan of those at all! It blows my mind how blind people are to young children and how careless they are when they walk into them, heck more like barrel through them. Anyway…

While there, as you could imagine, there were treats galore; for the average eater that is. To my amazement, there were more than a few options. On one of our last few days we went out for ice cream at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and found Tofutti. I have had So Delicious’ version of ice cream and Trader Joe’s. Tofutti was pretty amazing though and was really creamy tasting, something the other ice creams seemed to lack. At some point I will go into the ice cream more, this is a different review though. Read more

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

Neat, Not Just a Meat Alternative

neat_tacosTaco night is a big one in our house, as I’m sure it is in most homes. We’ve tried quite a few of the f’meat crumbles out there. We’ve had the Morningstar, Smart Ground and Boca. Up until now, Boca was our go to crumble, especially on taco night. That all changed though.

Neat is quite different than your average crumble, because it’s not really a crumble. Neat is a powdered mixture of only 7 ingredients compared to the average 26 in an already “crumbled” crumble. There are no preservative and no added fillers, the ingredients are very intentional for what the product was designed for. 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.

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/