August 31, 2004
Vegan Wheat Thins
I don't know if all Wheat Thins are vegan, but these Harvest Crisps, Five-Grain are and they're good, too.
You've got to visit NabiscoWorld.com, it looks kinda like Disney.com, but it's all about food instead of cartoons. (they do have food cartoons)
Now just because it's Nabisco does't mean they don't care about a healthy diet. Look, they have this sensible snacking link right on the main page, and the sensible snacking page has links like - What's your snacking IQ? - 100 ways to burn 100 calories.
They do care.
August 30, 2004
It is hard to believe a box cake, especially Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Dark Chocolate Fudge, is vegan...but it is.
I use Ener-G-Egg Replacer to substitute for the eggs.
One thing, don't try to get fancy and make a layer cake. I've found while a 9x13 works, my vegan layer cakes never hold up. They fall a bit and get gummy. I'm going to overcome, and I will give you the secret recipe as soon as I find it, but make do with a 9x13 until then.
August 28, 2004
Here's a trick for tastier rice. Toss in a couple of Knorr Vegetarian Bouillon, 1 - 1 cup dry rice for tasty, 2 - 1 cup dry rice for tastier, when you place the rice and water in the pot. Yum. Everybody (vegan/non-vegan) likes it.
August 27, 2004
Vegan Onion Rings
I never trust anything battered and fried in restaurants. When I do ask the wait-person if I can eat it, I usually regret it. So (when I am not dieting) I make them at home.
There are many batter mixes and a lot of them are vegan. I didn't think so for a long time, and one day I saw a packet by a big batch of fresh Vidalia's and just on a whim I picked it up and read it...vegan.
This is McCormick Onion Ring Batter Mix and even McCormick's is vegan and I bet they didn't do it on purpose! So read the package you find in your grocery store by the onions and then fry up some onion rings, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, okra, zucchini, whatever.
Put a game on, get some beer, call your friends, wear a T-shirt, swear a lot and pretend you're in a sports bar.
August 26, 2004
Sugar Snap Peas
I have actually read the words - "There is no such thing as a fat vegan." - Well, come to my house! I am blaming it on the summer, (pies, blueberry coffee cake, etc.) on this blog, (I have to eat to post!) on a lot of things, but the reason is I feel like I am denying myself (meat, dairy, eggs...) so I indulge myself.
And it's true, but I don't want to be fat so before this gets totally out of hand I am taking steps and sugar snap peas are one of my weapons against total porkdom. I need to snack, I need a nice crunch and a sweet flavor and these peas do it. Eat them shell and all, crunch, crunch, but very tender.
There's plenty around right about now and I am taking advantage of them.
Now, promise not to laugh when I make the Duncan Hines chocolate cake I have in the cupboard. (I have to eat to post!)
August 25, 2004
Heat 'n' Serve Indian Dinners
Can you tell that I have been busy lately? The 2 last posts are package dinners. Well, summer's almost over and chili is on the way.
If you like Indian food, these Tamarind Tree dinners might be good for a quick meal, especially if you have a microwave at work. They do not need to be frozen or refrigerated. They are "retort packaged" or vacuum packed so you can take them to work and leave them there for up to 24 months!
The only down side is you will have to bring a 1 1/2 quart microwave safe dish in which to make the rice, but the upside to that is the rice comes in these neat little pouches with holes in them. Get the water boiling, then submerge the rice pouch in the water and microwave it for 3-5 minutes. Take out the pouch and slit it open - no muss - nice rice.
Pita bread or tortillas are also suggested if you can't do the rice.
I've only tried the Dhingri Mutter, extremely spicy, but good. I am going to try the rest of the vegan ones, 4 out of 8 are vegan - Alu Chole, Channa Dal Masala, Vegetable Jalfrazi.
I found them in my good health food store, and they are also for sale online at the Annie's Homegrown website.
August 22, 2004
Yves, The Good Bowl
I am a fan of Yves. Their insanely quick (2 min.) microwavable vegan foods save me on days I cannot cook for one reason or another. Mostly because I am tired and hungry.
The Mac'n Soy Cheese has casein in it, but the rest are completely vegan. (for those who eat casein, the Mac'n Soy Cheese is really good) Both the Santa Fe Veggie Beef and the Thai Lemongrass Veggie Chick'n are quite spicy. Veggie Beef is my favorite.
August 20, 2004
Vegan Taco Bell... Almost
This is about a previous entry - Taco Bell. I wrote that a rice and bean burrito at taco bell is vegan. (w/o cheese of course)
But then I received this comment in reply to that post:
taco bell rice is made with chicken stock. sorry, hate to be the bearer of bad news.
Posted by: [Unsigned] at August 6, 2004 04:49 PM
I wondered what the truth actually was so I emailed Taco Bell and asked them. That was 2 weeks ago, I had almost given up on them, but I received a letter from Yum! Brands, Inc. today - they own Taco Bell.
Now, I am a member of PETA, so I know that Yum! is not the best company because of their purchasing of chickens that are tortured and treated horribly. (reason I am vegan, animal cruelty) I am with Peta in their attack on KFC, but I have got to give credit where credit is due and I see from Yum! what I hope is a glimmer of hope.
There is no chicken stock in Taco Bell Seasoned Rice!
...but there is casein (sodium caseinate) in there, so Taco Bell's Seasoned Rice is "almost vegan." Legal for me, but if you don't go for any dairy, don't get the rice when you order a bean burrito with no cheese.
The rest of it is okay. The tortillas are clean, the beans are vegan, and of course so are the vegetables, and the hot sauce is too. As well as a number of different stuff on their menu. I got the entire low-down from them and I do appreciate it.
Here's a PDF of their complete Ingredient Statement.
So I hope that Yum! will bow to the pressure that Peta is placing on them to clean up their KFC act and care more and more about the "ingredients" they sell in their restaurants.
August 19, 2004
Vegan Carob Chips
I love these Sunspire (nice website) Vegan Carob Chips.
I use them for everything, cookies, chocolate hazelnut biscotti (Stay tuned for that one!) cake, anything that calls for chocolate chips and beyond. If I have some too long I usually end up eating them by the fistful.
They make better than chocolate chip cookies.
August 18, 2004
Soy Feta Cheese
Look what I found!
I must warn you, this cheese is not completely vegan, it contains casein. For me it's a great find because I give in and eat casein. That's what makes me "almost vegan" as I have said before.
Soy Moon makes 6 different Gourmet cheeses, the rest are Soy Gouda, Soy Provolone, Soy Mozzarella, Soy Mozzarella with Italian Herbs, and Queso Blanco Mexican Picante Style.
I happened upon the little tub (4oz.) of soy feta yesterday and it is gone today.
Very, very tasty.
August 17, 2004
Soyrizo Veggies & Yellow Rice
I love Soyrizo and so do a lot of people. Almost Vegan gets found by people searching for Soyrizo 3-5 times a week.
Another of my fave quick meals is Soyrizo veggies over yellow rice. I used zucchini and yellow squash that I bought from my neighbor's little farm down the street. He sells his wares out of an old camper parked on his front lawn a few yards back from the main road.
His tomatoes are the best, huge and very red.
You can use any combo of vegetables, but I didn't toss in the tomatoes. (Recipe in pic - 3 zucchini, 3 yellow squash, 1 onion, 1 green pepper) Saut? the veggies in a generous amount of olive oil and then squeeze in the desired amount of Soyrizo when the vegetables are just about done. The Soyrizo only takes a minute or two on high heat.
I sauted a huge pan of vegetables and only used 1/4 - 1/3 package of Soyrizo. I could have used up to 1/2 package, but I was sharing with folks who do not like spicy food.
August 14, 2004
I'm Eatin' Pudding!
I just made this pudding and it is in the refrigerator right now thickening up. I have not had pudding for the 5 years I have been vegan, and probably a lot longer than that.
This Oetker, Simple Organics Cooked pudding and Pie Filling Mix, Mocha flavor, I found at my health food store.
The reason I thought to have some pudding was because I saw a package screaming "Soy Pudding" on the shelf. Well, I read the ingredients on this extremely expensive Soy Pudding and then picked up the Simple Organics and saw basically the same stuff in it for half the price. The only difference was the Soy Pudding called for soy milk in the directions.
So I bought the simple organics pudding, decided to make it with soy milk and felt kinda clever.
Oh, one more difference - Mocha flavor. It is tasty!
August 13, 2004
Soy Boy Ravioli
Soy Boy Ravioli is amazing. I have fed it to die-hard carnivores and they love it. It's just darn tasty.
The company who makes it, Northern Soy, Inc., is incredibly low key. I "hear" (rumors on the internet) that they make different kinds of ravioli -- tomato with roasted red pepper filling, and spinach pasta with tofu-based garden herb filling -- but I have not seen them in my health food store, only this "original" ravioli so my suspicion grows.
Their website is no help either. The Soy Boy Website is coming soon. (As soon as they finish resigning their membership in the pencil club?)
The funny thing is these guys can afford to be eccentric cause they make kill vegan ravioli, and that is no easy feat.
These are a must find/try! --> Good health food stores.
They would be great with spinach pesto sauce and are also excellent with tomato Sauce. If you want to be really decadent, after you've boiled them, toss them in a pan with some vegan margarine plus a little garlic and fry them a bit. Then sprinkle with vegan parmesan.
August 12, 2004
Thank God for Amy's. I just had a pack of company at my house. I cooked and cooked and I am beat. So luckily I have a bunch of Amy's burritos on hand and I am not going to cook for days!
These Bean & Rice Burritos are great and so are the Black Bean and Vegetable, and the Breakfast Burritos, all vegan. Amy's tries so hard to be helpful, from their very tasty frozen food to the totally informative Amy's website.
All the products (vegetarian and vegan) have these little icons on them so you don't even have to read the ingredients. If you want to read them, they provide a very clear and informative pop-up window providing nutritional information and ingredients for every one of their products.
August 11, 2004
Vegan Hot Dogs
At my family's summer events they like to barbeque so I decided to join them in a hot dog. I would seem very all American eating a hot dog with them, not "weirdo vegan" as they usually see me.
So I tried these Tofu Pups, quickly slipping them out of the package and passing them to the cook to grill for me --> Yuck!
Then I noticed these Smart Dogs and thought that the "Smart" meant they had figured out how to simulate a hot dog --> Blaaagh!
I hope I am missing something and am not just incredibly hot dog picky because I am originally from Chicago. I like other vegan "meat" products. Now, I am on the lookout for a good vegan hot dog. (Not one with eggs in them!)
If anybody knows of a good vegan hot dog, please tell me.
Sorry about this entry Lightlife, I do like many of your other products. (Steak/Chick'n strips are great)
August 09, 2004
Zatarain's Beans and Rice
I had this Zatarain's Black Beans and Rice for the first time last night. Yum!
Boy is this good, and it is vegan. Zatarain's Red Beans and Rice is vegan too, and I bet it is just as tasty. You can buy it right from the Zatarain's website if you can't find it at your local grocery store.
They have a number of tasty looking products, but unfortunatly no ingredient lists on their website.
But you can legally jazz up your vegan dinner tonight with their black/red beans and rice mixes. Thanks Zatarain's!
A comment from another vegan, Carmen, suggests adding fresh or frozen veggies to the mix to make a meal. She said she loves the Black-Eyed Peas & Rice Mix so I assume that one is vegan too, but read the box to make sure.
I just went to another market today and found a few more Zatarain's rice dishes so I can assure you that the Jambalaya Mix, Dirty Rice Mix, and Spanish Rice Mix are all vegan.
Unfortunately the Long Grain & Wild Rice, Rice Pilaf, and French Market Vegetables & Rice Mix have chicken in them.
August 08, 2004
Vegan Spinach Pesto Sauce
Well, I am still eating spinach pesto sauce, but it is not as good the second day so I would suggest making just about as much as you need.
This Soymage Vegan Parmesan Alternative is the secret to completely vegan pesto sauce. There is an almost vegan parmesan cheese I like and I will put it on the blog as soon as I go to the store (about 45 miles from me) that carries it and pick some up.
But in the meantime, make yourself some spinach pesto if you have some basil, spinach, olive oil, vegan parmesan, garlic, a blender, food processor, or a mortar and pestle for you purists out there.
Vegan Spinach Pesto Sauce
3 Cups Spinach (fresh)
1 Cup Basil (fresh - take off stems)
6 - 8 Cloves Garlic (minced)
1/2 - 3/4 Cup Vegan Parmesan Alternative
1 1/2 Cups Olive Oil
Place leaves and garlic in the blender or food processor and use the low "grind" to chop up the spinach and basil, add the olive oil a bit at a time as you chop, drizzle through the top of the blender if you want to be fancy, just pour it in and turn on the blender if you don't. Use a wooden spoon to push the leaves down to be ground up, but be careful doing it.
Pour in the vegan cheese at the end, blend, and sample to taste.
Blend until you have a good, liquidly mix, but not too long that you no longer have pieces of leaf.
These amounts are all variable according to your personal tastes. Add more garlic if you love it, more or less cheese, oil, and of course more fresh basil if you have it.
Make some pasta, pour some pesto over it, (do not heat pesto, the pasta will warm it up) and shake some more vegan parmesan alternative on top. Great for lunch on a hot day.
August 07, 2004
I really like pasta, and tonight I had pasta that was a little different -- gnocchi.
I spotted this package of multi-colored gnocchi, (which means multi-flavored: plain, spinach and tomato) at an upscale supermarket not far from my health food store.
Gnocchi is naturally vegan. I served it with a vegan spinach pesto sauce. I got a bit of basil at a farmer's market today, but not enough to make straight pesto so I made spinach pesto instead, because I did have a lot of fresh spinach.
The pesto turned out good. I'll post the vegan spinach pesto recipe tomorrow seeing as I made so much that I will be eating it for days.
August 05, 2004
Thai Kitchen has a most beautiful website, and I love their instant rice noodle soup.
They make a number of different vegan products. I am very intrigued with the thought of their coconut milk for use in recipes, so I'll look for some next time I go to my local health food store. Even though they do sell their wares on their website, it was quite a bit more expensive there -- $3.50 for 4 packets of soup and I bought one elsewhere for 55 cents.
My favorite soup is Bangkok Curry, nice and spicy. They also have Garlic & Vegetable, Thai Ginger, Spring Onion, and Lemongrass & Chili.
These single packs of soup are great for a lite lunch or a snack. Completely vegan because they use coconut milk instead of cow's.
August 03, 2004
More Vegan Cookies
I love these MI-Del Chocolate snaps. They are a quick, small, taste treat and not anywhere near as loaded with calories as The Best Cookies in the Galaxy.
At 130 calories for 5 cookies and only 45 calories from fat they are a lot less decadent, but do the trick when you are looking for something vegan, sweet and crunchy.
Find these ChocolateSnaps, and they also make LemonSnaps, GingerSnaps, VanillaSnaps, at good health food stores.