Categories
TEST PRODUCTS

THRIVE ALGAE OIL

I can’t say enough good things about this oil. Thank you for coming into my life for starters.

THRIVE ALGAE OIL 2

Check out some recipes using Thrive Algae Oil here: https://fat-freechef.com/category/thrive-algae-oil/


BAKED VEG CHEESE AND VEAL CANNELLONI

We use the other white plant meat for this fine American-Italian casserole. Veg veal! I think I’ve had veal once or twice aside from a luncheon sandwich meat called veal loaf back in the long ago days. I recall it not having much flavor – not the loaf that tasted more like bologna, but the fresh pounded cutlets. 

Mild in flavor, soft when ground, which is what we did here. We, meaning me. I figured I must have had some divine or other intervention help on this one, since I nailed it first time. On my birthday too! Had no idea I’d be cooking today. Must be that Alpha Lipoid Acid I’m taking that fixes fatigue. It works.

What a treat. OMGod does this have meat in it? And the sauce!! All so rich, all so wonderful!

Makes 14 stuffed cannelloni


DIRT BROTH 5

SHARON’S DIRT BROTH

The animal-free chef’s answer to Bone Broth! Instead of cannibalizing an animal to cure what ails me, I go to the soil and the salt of the earth! The best feel good broth I’ve ever had. Before – During – After.

Makes 35 cups


SHARON’S MANICOTTI

This has been a long time in the planning and waiting stages – mainly to get the filling right absent any animal products. It’s a success I waited three decades to achieve.

Makes 11 stuffed pasta and 5-1/4 cups sauce


BARBECUE SEITAN SANDWICH

Pieces of seitan sautéed in Thrive algae oil, then steamed in a barbecue sauce. Served on toasted Italian bread with dill relish and mustard. Simple, easy, great taste and texture!

Makes 4 sandwiches



Also check out their website for more intel: http://www.thrivealgae.com






Categories
HIPPEAS TEST PRODUCT REVIEWS TEST PRODUCTS

HIPPEAS

HIPPEAS VEGAN WHITE CHEDDAR 2

ORGANIC CHICKPEA PUFFS  VEGAN WHITE CHEDDAR

I’ve been meaning to try these puffs, when lo and behold they’re staring me right in the face at Starbuck’s coffee shop just after I had a discussion with the barista about when they’d be getting vegan products in. Guess she didn’t know she had these either, or maybe she thought I was talking strictly about sandwiches and sweets.

It didn’t matter.

I was shocked and delighted when I saw the very product I had posted on Facebook as my next vegan product to try. So the HIPPEAS came to me. Nice!

For years nobody used white cheddar as a cheese flavor – even dairy white cheddar went out of style. Sounded too racist or something. It’s like white American cheese, it was the best American cheese (when I was still eating dairy cheese), but you couldn’t say it, and practically nobody uses it in their restaurants. American cheese is yellow/orange. Period.

Half my family comes from Vermont, so I’m familiar with Vermont flavors.

Puffs are puffs. Vegan puffs are like animal-based puffs. Only Better. More texture without losing its puff appeal.

The white cheddar tasted remarkably like dairy white cheddar flavor – actually more dairy-like than the real dairy cheese flavor. Those old style orange cheese puffs never did taste like real cheese to me way back when I ate them every now and then – at somebody else’s house.

I don’t believe I ever did buy them for myself. I would buy these HIPPEAS ORGANIC CHICKPEA PUFFS for myself.

Since they don’t yet make them in larger bags, other than snack size, I’d have to buy a case for entertaining guests. Maybe it’s better that way. Everybody gets their own small bag.

Nice job HIPPEAS. Will look forward to trying the other flavors. Maple Glaze and Happening’ Hickory are up next.

HIPPEAS VEGAN WHITE CHEDDAR 1

Order online at amazon.com.

Also visit their website for more flavors and intel: http://hippeas.com






Categories
TEST PRODUCT REVIEWS TEST PRODUCTS

emmy’s ORGANIC COCONUT COOKIES

In some locations around the country Starbuck’s coffee is beginning to sell some vegan food items. At one such location in Cleveland, Ohio Steve found these Super Food Bites. COCONUT COOKIES made by emmy’s ORGANICS. Wow, I thought, just when a lady at another Starbuck’s told me vegan items wouldn’t show up in the mid-west any time soon. First they go to the west coast and then work their way slowly east.

Our lucky day in Cleveland! Two flavors too. Vanilla bean and dark cacao. They texture pretty much the same, cookie-fudge-brownie with lots of coconut. Dry, but pleasantly dry, not crumbly dry like a cookie, more crumbly dry like fudge. A delicious little cookie. Satisfying. They have to be when you only get three to a pack for about 3 dollars.

But are they a super food bite? Serving size is one cookie. 100 calories per cookie. 70 calories are from fat. They’re pretty small. So 3 cookies equals 300 calories without the specialty coffee that you’re buying to go with it. I’m assuming this is a snack.

I would buy them again just because they taste so good, not because they’re a super food bite. 300 calories seems like a lot for so little. But so what. It’s a treat. Bring in some more treats Starbuck’s.

emmy's ORGANIC COCONUT COOKIES

Check out their website for more flavors and to buy directly from emmy’s: https://emmysorganics.com






Categories
FOLLOW YOUR HEART Non-Dairy TEST PRODUCT REVIEWS TEST PRODUCTS

VEGANEGG

VEGANEGG PKG. 2

It took awhile for me to get to this VEGANEGG by Follow Your Heart. Steve finally found it at the Westside Market, but when unpacking the bags I noticed it was outdated by over one year. I almost gave up on it, since the people who sold it gave us such a hard time over a refund, even though he admitted selling us an outdated product and even said he had one more like it.

Anyway, we finally got back to the market and even-exchanged it against my better business judgment, but in hindsight I’m glad I did. Even this one, though, didn’t have such a great code. May 28, 2017 and it’s mid-March. I think most people who sell vegan products wrongly think, that because they contain no animal products, the codes really don’t matter. They do. Codes do matter.

St. Patrick’s Day. Happy. Happy. Me alone with Lilly, not wanting to work so hard today, decided to experiment with this VEGANEGG.

I had already researched it and read some reviews, which were all a bit lack-luster. They talked about the sulphur smell, they didn’t cook up so much like scrambled eggs, think they were looking for an exact replica. Nothing special. So here we go.

I follow the instructions: 2 tablespoons of the egg powder, not packed, into bowl with 1/2 c. very cold water (better from refrigerator than faucet, which is good for me, since that’s where mine is – in the fridge).

Whisk it, or if you want fluffier eggs, then blend it, but because I was only making one portion (one egg) I thought a blender too much fuss for too little product. So I whisked it a lot.

The instructions next said to heat a little oil (I used margarine for more flavor) in skillet over medium high heat. Pour in egg mixture, watch it sizzle, then immediately start scrambling using a spatula, which I did.

It said it takes longer than scrambling a chicken egg, about 6-8 minutes to firm it up. It didn’t take that long. I then salted and peppered the egg as I continued to scramble, but not a whole lot of scramble, since I don’t like my scrambled eggs in little bits.

I tore 1 dairy-free American cheese single by Tofutti on top of eggs, then sprinkled them with a little Follow Your Heart Parmesan. Covered skillet for 1 minute, then folded the egg over onto itself till the cheese was soft and melted enough for me.

I plated the egg, squirted some ketchup on it and ate it right away.

This portion seemed like 2 large eggs to me, not 1 egg as the instructions indicated. But it’s been a long time since I’ve had an egg, so maybe they’re bigger these days – everything else is.

Frankly, I was pleasantly surprised by the result. Although the person reviewing the egg on the internet was correct about the sulphur smell, it was only when I opened the bag. The cooked egg didn’t have a strong odor of anything. It was really like cooking a chicken egg, and now I’m looking forward to making an omelet, then trying some other stuff with it.

Prices vary across the internet, so shop around. I would buy these in bulk, to lower the price, if I could get a good code.

Lilly Belle loved them. I’m impressed with the VEGANEGG and am looking forward to making them for Steve.

VEGANEGG PLATE 1

https://followyourheart.com






 

Categories
GARDEIN MEATLESS MEATS TEST PRODUCT RECIPES TEST PRODUCTS

GARDEIN MEATLESS MEATBALLS

This is such a no-brainer. Steve sautéed some mushroom, onion and green pepper, then added a homemade marinara sauce we had frozen. Then added fresh garlic and basil.

Open the package of frozen meatballs, add to simmering sauce, cover and cook about 15 minutes or till heated all the way through.

Serve over pasta or on a sandwich. We chose burger buns. Excellent.

People have claimed for years that a meatless meatball could not be made without egg whites. Gardein proved them wrong. Take note MorningStar!

The fennel flavor was great. The meatballs actually textured more like an Italian sausage meatball, which was fine with us. They actually textured like they had bits of grizzle in them. Some will like that feature, some may not.

Update: The second time I tried these meatballs, I didn’t like them. Then I realized that I had cooked them too long in the sauce. They were tough and dry.

So I bought them again and this time thawed them before adding to the heated sauce. Then I cooked them, covered, just till heated through.

Not all animal-free meats cook up the same. Some, when cooked too long fall apart. Others when cooked too long toughen up. These toughen up and dry out when cooked too long.






Categories
SAN PELLEGRINO SODA TEST PRODUCT RECIPES TEST PRODUCTS

RAISIN BEET CAKE

raisin-beet-cake-2

RAISIN BEET CAKE

You won’t detect the beets like you would detect the carrots in a carrot cake. Made with San Pellegrino Blood Orange Soda. Definitely a keeper! 

Makes 8 inch double layer

Categories
BRAMI LUPINI BEANS TEST PRODUCT REVIEWS TEST PRODUCTS

BRAMI SNACKING LUPINI BEANS

brami-lupini-beans-2

PRODUCT REVIEW: A relative of the peanut family, the lupini bean tastes and textures like half bean and half nut.

My first response was no, I don’t like them. The garlic and herb flavored lupini beans tasted like lemon, then I realized it was lemon flavored – didn’t get the herb or the garlic, since the lemon over-powered it all. Too dry, didn’t like the shell on, then didn’t like the effort of removing the shell. Dud. Steve ate the whole bag, stating all the while that he didn’t like them. The next day he said, “don’t throw those beans away yet. I’ll eat them, cause I know they’re good for me”. He’s on a heart healthy diet since having carotid artery surgery.

I recalled to him what the owner said about not being able to stop eating them and I wondered why. So today I opened a new bag – sea salt flavor. I still had difficulty removing the shell because it’s soft as far as shells go, so the peeling is like trying to peel a soft garlic cloves with your fingernails, but then I read the back of the bag that told me how to do it by biting down gently using my back teeth, then popping out the bean from the shell – after I popped one out across the room of course. I’m glad I wasn’t a guest in somebody’s house.

They chewed more like a soft nut than a bean. They’re not creamy, but just soft enough where I think I can get used to them. In fact, when I went back to my desk, I resisted several times getting up to try more. I’ll save some for later.

Expense is going to be the big factor here. I paid over 5$ a bag (5.3 oz.) and although it serves 5 at 15 beans per serving, I think the impression will be that it costs too much, since if you can’t stop eating them, a 5$ snack is a lot for most people. However, if this company takes off and I’m thinking that it might just do that, then the cost will come down some with increased sales and production.

The unfamiliarity of the lupini bean is probably the stumbling block. I’ve never had one. I’ve seen them in stores in tall jars, looking all yellow, like these do, but I wasn’t curious to try them. Maybe I’ll try those now and compare the two. Maybe the jarred variety are softer, maybe not.

The bean word threw me, since it doesn’t texture like a bean. It’s probably more like a boiled peanut. I’m taking Steve’s direction on this, since I’m already wondering what the other two flavors will taste like. I could even become expert at removing the shells, or decide to partake of the extra fiber. There really isn’t all that much difference between the shell and the bean.

They’re very low fat, soy free, gluten free, low calorie, low GI, vegan, non-GMO.

Refrigerate after opening, if there are any left.

Check out their website: http://www.bramibeans.com






 

Categories
BONTA d'ITALIA PASTA SCHAR'S GLUTEN-FREE PASTA TEST PRODUCT RECIPES TEST PRODUCTS

SPAGHETTI RICE PILAF

SPAGHETTI RICE PILAF

The holidays are gone. That doesn’t mean great tasting food went with them! Enjoying a special rice pilaf made with browned gluten-free spaghetti sticks (Bonta d’Italia Authentic Italian Pasta), curry-coriander rice, sautéed peppers, onions and peas. Tossed with walnut crumbles and served with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil! Sunday dinner anybody?

Makes 9 cups

Categories
GOAT SCHAR'S GLUTEN-FREE PASTA TEST PRODUCT RECIPES TEST PRODUCT REVIEWS TEST PRODUCTS

CAULIFLOWER CASHEW PAPRIKASH

cauliflower-cashew-paprikash-1-lg

CAULIFLOWER CASHEW PAPRIKASH

Schar’s Gluten-Free Spaghetti topped with sautéed mushroom, sweet red pepper and onion. Followed by paprika and saffron seasoned roasted cauliflower. Top it all off with a Cashew Paprikash Cheese Sauce. Sprinkled with fresh grind black pepper and served with a fresh mint garnish!

Serves 4 – Sauce makes 4 cups

Categories
JAVA FACTORY JUICING & BEVERAGES TEST PRODUCT RECIPES TEST PRODUCTS

WHITE RUSSIAN COFFEE

java-naglia-1

WHITE RUSSIAN COFFEE

Java Nagila chocolate & mint flavored coffee served with vodka and coffee liqueur. Topped with candy cane dust, powdered dark cocoa and fresh mint sprig. Served with a candy cane dipper. Super special!

Makes as many as you want

Categories
JUICING & BEVERAGES TEST PRODUCT RECIPES TEST PRODUCTS

HOLIDAY SPICE COFFEE

HOLIDAY SPICE COFFEE

Java Factory hazelnut & nutmeg flavored coffee with additional fresh grated nutmeg. Topped with vegan whipped cream, fresh orange zest and a cinnamon stick. Garnished with a clove studded orange wedge!

Makes 1 serving

Categories
TEST PRODUCT REVIEWS TEST PRODUCTS

ALMOND MOZZARELLA STYLE CHEESE

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Whoa. Steve bought this thinking of course that it was vegan. Who wouldn’t at first, second or even third glance think the same? That was the intent. To fool you. When companies try to fool you with labels and advertisement, beware.

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Companies like Lisanatti Foods are trying to get vegans back to the vegetarian trough. They steal everything that so-called vegans are into: gluten-free, no cholesterol, GMO-free, lactose, saturated fat and preservative-free to make it look like their product is made for people with a conscience.

They then consider that the most difficult food for vegans on Facebook to give up is cheese. That’s where they get their research from – Facebook. They simultaneously consider the food fear of most so-called vegans being not getting enough protein. Lisanatti Foods adds just enough milk protein to allay all fears, which translates to fear of eating milk protein.

The cheese tastes terrible. Textures terrible. It actually tastes like an infant’s milk vomit smells. One must wonder how someone could make a terrible cheese when the second ingredient listed on the label is milk, which means there is a lot of it in this cheese.

Why would they even have to say it melts, when it’s made from dairy? All dairy cheese melts. Again, they want the label to look vegan. Vegan cheeses say that on their labels, because one doesn’t expect plant cheese to melt.

This company must think that vegans are really stupid, but then again, this is not a vegan cheese. So that leaves the rest of you in the ‘easily had’ department in their eyes.

Dairy is poison. There is nothing healthy about dairy. Do not buy this product – even if you’re not vegan.






Categories
DELIGHT SOY TEST PRODUCT REVIEWS TEST PRODUCTS

DELIGHT SOY

VEGAN NUGGETS 2
Vegan Chicken Nuggets Served Cold

PRODUCT REVIEW FOR: Delight Soy Vegan Chicken Nuggets In Mandarin Sauce.

Okay, Heinen’s Supermarket in Northeast Ohio buys the vegan nuggets from Delight Soy, then they add their own mandarin sauce to it and sell them in the deli.

First time Steve brought these home I was stunned at how good they were. I figured they had to be made from gluten, since there was no aftertaste of soy. They’re made from green soy beans by a company in North Carolina that grows them, then makes this wonderful product along with other products I have yet to try.

This has to be the finest plant meat product – at least the one I tried, the vegan chicken nuggets – that exists on the planet today. It is a real treat. Steve works near a Heinen’s so he can get them for me with ease. I just want everybody else to be able to taste these gems.

I usually don’t do anything with them. Don’t even cook them. Eat them right out of the container with nothing but the sauce coating that comes on them. And there’s not a lot of sauce.

They are just perfect. So now how do we get Delight Soy to expand their reach so we all can enjoy their perfect product?

They need to expand – fast. Maybe they need investors. Check them out. I never would have heard about them if Steve hadn’t gone looking for new vegan products in Heinen’s. Wow. They need some press. They have THE recipe, that will change the lives of chickens around the globe, and the way humans view plant meat. People need to get on this.

Oh, Heinen’s makes the perfect sauce to go with these nuggets. Next, I’d like to see a barbecue and maybe a maple mustard, maybe a teriyaki.

I’m already looking forward to pay day. You know what I’ll be getting as a treat from Steve. Hope he gets the large container. We all three love them. So yes, three large containers. Lilly Belle, our vegan dog, gets one all for herself.

Thank you Heinen’s for carrying this wonderful vegan product!

Check on VEGAN CHICKEN SCORCHED RICE made from these delightful morsels!

VEGAN NUGGETS 3
Vegan Chicken Nuggets Served Hot – pan-fried in oil
VEGAN NUGGETS 4
Vegan Chicken Nuggets served as the main dish plant meat with carrots, asparagus and green beans. I had to extend the sauce here. Not a problem. I already had a mandarin type sauce on hand.





 

Categories
BLUE DIAMOND ENGLISH MUFFIN GOAT MATCH MEATS TEST PRODUCT RECIPES TEST PRODUCTS WINE

MUFFINS and GRAVY – match meats

MATCH PORK

MUFFINS and GRAVY

You know biscuits and gravy? This is muffins and gravy! English muffins, the greatest biscuit in the world! Topped with Match Meat Italian Sausage without the Meat Gravy! Made with Pinot Grigio wine, almond milk, mushroom, sweet onion and celery. What more could I ask for? 

Makes 4 cups gravy

Categories
TEST PRODUCTS

JACKFRUIT

THE JACKFRUIT COMPANY 2

THE JACKFRUIT COMPANY

That’s who made the Jackfruit I tried.

Looks like animal meat. Looks like fall off the bone animal meat.

But it isn’t. It’s jackfruit. Everybody’s talking about it being the one food that will feed thus save the world. It’s got everything going for it. Lots of nutrients. A part of it can be used as glue. A part used as timber. The plant itself has a huge yield. Can grow about anywhere.

Eat it ripened and sweet as a sweet fruit or eat it green and unripened as a savory food that resembles animal meat when cooked and pulled.

There’s only one problem. I don’t like it. Maybe it’s just me, since so many people rave about it, but it is just awful. I tried it right out of the package, then cooked. The cooking didn’t change it.

It textures more like a tender stalk that’s been cooked and pulled than animal meat that’s been cooked and pulled. There’s nothing wrong with that. If it tasted good. It just doesn’t.

Maybe if you like super gamey taste. Maybe it’s a spice I’m not familiar with or a combination of spices that give it that horrible taste and after taste.

I’m not giving up on jackfruit. The Jackfruit Company, in partnership with Global Village Fruit, is now the largest supplier of Jackfruit products in the world, so I don’t know what my chances are of getting a different tasting product from a different vendor. I’m still going to try though. Maybe it’s just the recipe, not the fruit that tasted so bad.

I did read somewhere, though, that the ripened fruit has a putrid smell when opened, and it needs to air out before eating it. Maybe they didn’t air this particular batch of jackfruit enough. I don’t know.

The good news is that Lilly Belle, our vegan dog, loved it. Wants it all the time now!! So I’ll buy it for her. It’s a fruit, so it’s not a big source of protein. But she gets her bigger protein elsewhere. It has a lot of nutritional benefits – all good.

I really do want to like this, so I’m hoping the flavoring added is what I didn’t like.

When I try it again by flavoring it myself I’ll update you.






 

Categories
CLEVELAND KRAUT TEST PRODUCT RECIPES TEST PRODUCTS

CLEVELAND KRAUT

CLEVELAND KRAUT 1

The beet kraut is milder than the whiskey, because of the addition of the beets. Sweet!

CLEVELAND KRAUT  3

I wish they’d take that racist face off from the label of Bergman Ball Park Mustard. I’m going to have to stop buying their mustard if they don’t.

CLEVELAND KRAUT  4

I’ve read that raw sauerkraut is a good natural probiotic – even not raw. I can’t prove it, but I believe it. There has rarely been a sauerkraut I didn’t like. Raw is definitely different, but I like it.

CLEVELAND KRAUT  5

These krauts don’t disappoint. Raw is good. Perfect for many types of sandwiches.

VEG DOG AND KRAUT BURRITO 1

I’ll be having Steve buy me more. Comes in other flavors. Check out their website. Cleveland Kraut






Categories
FOLLOW YOUR HEART Non-Dairy TEST PRODUCTS

FOLLOW YOUR HEART CAESAR SALAD DRESSING

VEGAN CAESAR SPINACH SALAD 1

Hey, if you’ve got the money and not the time, use Follow Your Heart Caesar Salad Dressing for your Caesar salads!

Categories
TEST PRODUCTS

THE HARVEST OF SAFFRON

Finally, the finest saffron in the world – from Iran – is now mine.

Many times over the years I’ve used saffron, always packaged in a tiny plastic box on a card, enough for 1-2 dishes. Although it was good, this is so much nicer. The fragrance alone was potent beyond pleasure – something I’ve never fully appreciated till now. Even my vegan dog daughter, Lilly Belle, loved the fragrance. We could smell it through all the packaging.

I bought this on eBay – one ounce, which is a lot, for $45.00 PERSIAN SAFFRON. The stigmas come packed tightly bound, so I’m expecting this to last a long time.

I highly recommend this high quality Persian Saffron.

TOMATO SAFFRON RICE 2

TOMATO SAFFRON RICE






 

Categories
POLAR TEST PRODUCTS

POLAR VEGAN JERKY

IMG_1783

A dollar a package at our local grocery. Who would think?

When I was a teenager I bought a Slim Jim every now and then. That’s about it as far as my exposure to jerky. It just never appealed to me, especially when they started making an entire industry out of it. I used to think how can people chew it?

I don’t really have anything to compare it to, but Steve likes it, Lilly Belle loves it, and I like it too. Not break your teeth hard and it’s tasty.

Even a meat-eater friend likes it. So hey, a tip of the hat to Polar Vegan Jerky.






 

Categories
TEST PRODUCTS

ORGANIC VALLEY SOY CREAMER

I have creamer in my coffee once a week, when Steve makes it for me, on our Sunday off, which really is Tuesday.

Last week he brought this creamer home and as coffee creamers go I like it. My first thought, of course, is always what else can I use it for?

It’s a small container, so much else besides coffee. Nobody seems to want to make a creamer for savory dishes, other than Rich’s, which isn’t sold many places and is always frozen, and there’s nothing wrong with frozen, but sometimes I think if their sales don’t pick up I might be without a creamer altogether.

Farm Rich that used to sell in Ohio sold out and the people they sold to discontinued the product. No more nondairy creamer in quarts.

What’s an animal-free chef to do?

Make my own.






 

Categories
CHRISTOPHER RANCH ROASTED GARLIC TEST PRODUCTS

Roasted Garlic By Christopher Ranch

I walk into Gordon’s Food Store – it’s a food service distributor that also has stores that serve local restaurants when they run out of goods before their scheduled delivery, or for those who don’t want to pay for delivery (if that’s the case) and for the locals in the neighborhood. Like me.

I see two bags of garlic in the cooler. One is a huge bag of peeled cloves, the other a bag of roasted garlic – lots of roasted garlic – the most roasted garlic I’ve ever seen in one place. I can’t buy both – no money, no room in the refrigerator. I buy the roasted garlic.

Oh my goodness, I am in garlic heaven. It doesn’t taste quite like my own roasted garlic. Maybe because it’s in a bag, that the flavors become more roasted tasting, but they are strong. Not garlic strong, roasted strong.

Still, I like it. I use it in a lot of dishes, in a lot of ways. It lasts a long time. I still have it. I imagine that restaurants must love that they don’t have to roast their own. I suspect that they would use a lot less than I use in a given recipe, because if I ran a for-profit kitchen, I’d be scrimping on product too.

It tends to steal the show, no matter what you put it in, so you have to match it with complimentary ingredients, and use less. I mean, who puts a half cup of roasted garlic in anything? Me. What’s that? Two whole bulbs or more?

Trial and error. Like a kid in a candy store, I tend to overdo it. But I like it.

Next time I’ll buy that huge bag of peeled, raw garlic cloves.

Try this recipe out: ROASTED GARLIC SPINACH PESTO






Categories
SILK MILK NON-DAIRY TEST PRODUCTS

SILK CASHEW MILK

With a touch of almond? That’s the first time I saw that, right now looking at the photo as I type. Didn’t know that.

Cashews are my favorite nut – okay, legume. It’s still a nut to me. Brilliant is the person who discovered you could milk a nut. I love it.

One complaint. You need two cashew milks: one for drinking and one for cooking. The one for cooking you can drink too, when you don’t want so much sweet.

Chefs want to make creamy, savory sauces. Too much sugar or the addition of vanilla or vanilla tasting substances inhibits creativity in the kitchen. Vanilla does not belong in a savory sauce.

Don’t block us. Chefs don’t like to be blocked.






 

Categories
GIA RUSSA TEST PRODUCTS

READY TO USE CHOPPED GARLIC

BY GIA RUSSA. Salt-free. No oils. No preservatives.

Lots of restaurants use ready to use chopped garlic. So why not give it a try? Especially since I could buy it in a large jar at a good price – save me some money and some time, peeling and chopping my own.

Well, the jar is almost gone, and I’m thinking that although I liked the convenience, it takes a lot more of the already chopped to flavor a dish than when you chop it yourself.

The ready to use chopped garlic sits in liquid. If I submerge raw garlic in water in a jar and refrigerate it, it will flavor the water and become less potent. The same thing happens when you place raw garlic in a cooked dish. The garlic flavor dissipates, losing potency. That’s why so many people use garlic powder in addition to the ready to use chopped or their own raw chopped.

But still, the garlic in the liquid has already lost its bang before adding it to a dish. It tastes almost sweet.

I’ll still use it from time to time, but only in some instances, not as a replacement for all my garlic needs.






 

Categories
FOLLOW YOUR HEART Non-Dairy TEST PRODUCTS

FOLLOW YOUR HEART PARMESAN CHEESE

FOLLOW YOUR HEART PARMESAN ON PLATE

DAIRY FREE.

I had my doubts. Was I pleasantly surprised. Looked like parmesan, smelled like parmesan, tasted like parmesan. I didn’t even try to melt it, since it tasted so good right out of the container.

The fill is small – in the container. The product is not easily obtainable. I bought mine from Vegan Essentials online. And of course it’s expensive.

I thoroughly enjoyed the miracle of plant parmesan! And Follow Your Heart made it happen. Thank you.






Categories
TEST PRODUCT REVIEWS TEST PRODUCTS UTZ SNACKS

UTZ SWEET POTATO CHIPS

If you’re expecting a sweet potato chip to texture like a white potato chip, you’ll be disappointed. The texture is thinner and a lot less crispy.

I like them though. Not immediately. The texture is not what I’m accustomed to. They don’t grab the dip like a ruffle chip would, but then the plain white chips don’t grab the dip very well either. Maybe UTZ can create a ruffled sweet potato chip – something a little thicker.

One thing I’ve noticed with vegan foods is that if there’s no animal in it, then somehow manufacturers think they have to take everything else out too – all the stuff that makes a food taste and texture good.

The salt on these chips was barely perceptible. Okay, so maybe most people should eat less salt, but why is that requirement only attached to vegan foods, animal-free foods? It doesn’t make any logical sense.

Lots of people don’t eat animals because of the ethical issue surrounding slaughter. It has nothing to do with health, or salt, or flavorings.

I’ve had UTZ ‘s other chips before. There’s salt on them. Why so little salt on the sweet potato chips, just because they might be a little healthier being orange?

A little more salt, okay?






 

Categories
TEST PRODUCT REVIEWS TEST PRODUCTS

GO RAW GINGER SNAP

SPROUTED COOKIES.

Steve brought these home for me to try. Junk-free food they advertise, and I’d agree that they certainly didn’t taste like what most people would call junk food – high sugar, fat, salt, processed everything type of food.

But although they call it a cookie, it textured more like a snack. The picture on the bag is misleading. The ‘cookies’ are tiny wafers – they don’t look like cookies at all.

The texture is crisp to extra crisp – like a tiny hard cracker. Thin. The flavor is mild. Not very sweet. Non-addicting. I had them opened for quite a while.

The good news is that I eventually did finish them – over a couple of weeks.

If you have to have a snack, this is probably a good snack. If you have to have raw, then there are going to be deficits in texture and flavor. Most people wouldn’t think of a cracker or cookie as being raw, or unprocessed, and I don’t know what the criteria are for being able to certify or classify something as raw, or even if there is agreement on the criteria. The raw revolution is probably still fluid.

There was nothing offensive about these cookies.






 

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ROSE CITY CHOCOLATES TEST PRODUCTS

ROSE CITY CHOCOLATES

I’ve been buying my mother chocolates from Rose City Chocolatiers every holiday for a while now, yet I never tried them. I just took her word that they were good by the way she talked about savoring each one – and hiding them from view, so she wouldn’t eat them all at once, or have to share them with staff.

Although my mother isn’t vegan, when I buy her food, it is always animal-free. For Father’s day I decided to buy my husband their Father’s Day special – that way I could get to try them too to see just how good they were.

After all the companies I researched online, that sold vegan chocolates, I hit the jackpot the first time with Rose City. They’re not an all vegan company, but they have a large vegan selection.

I love that I can buy my mother beautiful chocolates with no animal in them, that she can savor. And for my husband who loves chocolate, he loved these too!

Check them out. Rose City Chocolates






 

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TEST PRODUCTS

NICE! SESAME CASHEWS

I didn’t try these right away. Thought they’d be too hard for my fragile teeth.

Steve was eating them. Lilly Belle was eating them. Finally I took a little piece. Whoa. Good. Not too hard. Not break your teeth hard. Perfect crumble texture. A little sweet too – not too much.

Nice! is Walgreen’s brand. I’d say nice too!

I like the BOGO or buy 1 get next one 1/2 off at Walgreen’s. Hope that includes Sesame Cashews next time the other Nice! nuts are on sale.

Great snack.






 

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CASHMERE CLINE WHITE WINE TEST PRODUCTS

CASHMERE CLINE WHITE WINE

We had this wine with Chinese food. Everything about it was great.






 

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GREAT LAKES BREWERY TEST PRODUCTS

I’ll have a DORT please

Great Lakes Brewing Co. makes some great beer, and their Dortmunder Gold is a favorite. It’s one of these lagers that doesn’t really need to be sold on tap. Don’t get me wrong – on tap is good. But it’s just as good from the bottle.






 

 

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LIBBY'S TEST PRODUCTS

LIBBY’S MICROWAVE WHOLE KERNEL CORN

LIBBY'S MICROWAVE CORN 2

Although this Libby’s Whole Kernel Sweet Corn was packaged for the purpose of microwaving it, you don’t have to. I already had My Immune Booster Soup on the stove, so just added the corn to it. Delicious.






 

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LIBBY'S TEST PRODUCTS

LIBBY’S PUMPKIN

When using canned pumpkin in a recipe I find that it’s always best to go with a name brand.

Libby’s Pumpkin didn’t disappoint.

Try PINK LENTIL PUMPKIN SOUP made with Libby’s Pumpkin.