I’d love to know what you think of these items, or if you have any favorites you’d like to share.


Vegan Chocolate Candy Bars

This is the product that gave me the idea to start this page.

These chocolate bars are the most outrageously yummy ‘just like the real thing, only better’, candy bars! <mini rant>I mean, I hate to call them vegan candy bars, only because of the stigma attached to vegan food - like one is apologizing  for it not being like the original version (and why is it that only non-vegan food is considered the ‘original version’ of food anyway?!). Why does it have to be inferred that the non-vegan, aka decomposing animal flesh, is somehow the flavor benchmark for all food anyway?!</mini rant> I have to admit, though, I had missed the occasional candy bar I had indulged in before I went vegan, so when I discovered these bars made by Go Max Go Foods I went ‘nuts’ :)

MAHALO coconut-almonds-chocolate (Almond Joy)

JOKERZ caramel-peanuts-chocolate (Snickers)

TWILIGHT caramel-chocolaty nougat-chocolate (Milky Way)

BUCCANEER chocolaty nougat-chocolate (Three Musketeers)

 


And when you are hankering for that solid chocolate bar with an intensely deep, chocolaty/nutty aroma and flavor, combined with a creamy, silky smooth, velvety melt-in-your-mouth texture, this bar is for you!  And don’t let the ‘bittersweet’ tag throw you off if you are not a fan of the sometimes too-bitter darker chocolates or sometimes too-sweet milk chocolates. Somehow, by uniquely combining a pure and simple list of ingredients consisting of sugar/chocolate/cocoa butter/soy lecithin and vanilla, Lindt has managed to create a chocolate lover’s dream taste hovering somewhere between the finest milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate.

Lindt SWISS BITTERSWEET Fine Dark Chocolate 3.5 oz.
(white wrapper)

Vegan Cheese

My unending search for the best vegan cheese has ended!

I’ve tried a lot of vegan cheese and most of them only get an A for effort. Not so with DAIYA Vegan Cheeses! These cheeses are bursting with robust flavor and will melt beautifully into a rich, buttery gooey sauce! I know! It’s unbelievable!

The Italian Blend is perfect for pizza, nachos and lasagna ~ and the Cheddar is perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches, Mexican dishes and dipping sauces. These awesome cheeses are even great blended!

April 2010 Update >>> Daiya has officially introduced a commercially packaged product line along with stepped up national distribution so many Daiya cheese lovers who previously had a difficult time finding Daiya cheeses will now be able to purchase them!

 

Vegan “Mayo”

Fellow vegans, throw out your Veganaise! Heck, everyone else throw out your Hellman’s!

WILDWOOD Aioli Zesty Garlic is so freaking DELICIOUS I still cannot believe it everytime I use it. When I ate flesh I was a mayo addict. If it was not full-fat Hellman’s I didn’t want it. You know what I’m saying, Hellman’s Mayo fans!

When I chose to go vegan my search for the perfect mayo replacement began. I thought it ended when I found Veganaise. Not a bad product. It’ll do in a pinch. But honestly, it has no depth, no flay-vor! Wildwood, like it’s label states, creates a savory marriage of earthy garlic and zesty lemon juice melded with the creamy, tangy flavor of tradition Mediterranean AioliI gotta tell ya, it’s actually way better than Hellman’s!

Aioli3


Even though it’s so incredibly flavorful used alone, I like to blend other condiments into it to create an assortment of creamy sauces. Below are just a few of my favorites.

Blend with:

  • sweet herb rice vinegar and agave in coleslaw or use as a creamy dressing for any kind of salad
  • Honeycup brand mustard  and schmear on a baked crusted Cluckphrey fillet sandwich
  • ketchup, or Amy’s Sweet and Tangy B-B-Q Sauce, and a shot of The Wizard’s Vegan Worcestershire to smother your favorite burger sitting on a bed of thinly sliced Vidalia onions – this is waaay better than any “secret sauce” I’ve ever had!

Vegan Ice Creams

There are quite a few delicious vegan ice creams. This one happens to be the best! The Mocha Almond Fudge is to die for!


best-vegan-ice-cream

TURTLE MOUNTAIN Purely Decadent Coconut Milk ice cream. “Nuff said!

And for you raw foodies, if you haven’t already discovered this gold-mine of an ice cream, have I ever found the smoooothest, creamiest, most delicious ice cream for you! Well, technically, it’s called a gelato, but whoa, does it ever answer that hankering for a bowl of ice cream! Chocolate Hazlenut is the only flavor I have had so far. Enjoy!


org-nect-ic

ORGANIC NECTARS Raw Agave Gelato

Vegan Sausages

Even though I’ve only enjoyed their sausages,  based on how much I like the them I am sure the rest of FIELD ROAST Grain Meat Co.’s product line is also delicious.

The sausages are made in small batches in Seattle with authentic ingredients, utilizing traditional sausage-making techniques to craft their gourmet quality sausages. My favorite is the Smoked Apple Sage sausage, made with “sweet Granny Smith apples, Yukon Gold potatoes” and seasoned with “pungent sage and ginger”.  I like to prepare it by actually removing the ‘skin’, crumbling it and frying it up in a cast iron skillet. The finished product has all the “juicy, firm yet tender” texture, but also the crunchy bits you expect from ‘classic’ pan-fried sausage.

Needless to say, the Italian style sausage would be yummy crumbled into to your favorite spaghetti sauce, or as sliced ‘pepperoni style’ medallions on top of pizza ~ and the spicy hot Mexican Chipotle would make a mean Taco filling! I can’t wait to try them!

≡ ≡

I was searching for a pattie-style vegan sausage and found this absolutely delicious sausage that is a dead-ringer for that slightly spicy/chewy traditional breakfast sausage many of us ‘converts’  grew up on. It can be crumbled as well and cooked up all browned, complete with crunchy bits – yum! Twin Oaks Community Foods Vegetarian Breakfast Style Sausage

 

 

Vegan Tofu Press

Cooking with blocks of plain tofu, and just about anything made from them, took me forever to get acclimated to. I prefer  my cooked tofu to be on the firm side and nothing I could do would sufficiently drain the blocks of their moisture prior to cooking until I found the TofuXpress.

Before purchasing the TofuXpress, I must have used a half a roll of paper towels while working to press out the water from each block, not to mention the precious time that all took. After that, I would have to pop the pressed tofu into my freezer overnight (more time) in order to “improve” the finished texture. After that, the frozen brick was removed and thawed (more time) before it was at last ready for cooking. Whew! Needless to say, I avoided preparing my own tofu dishes unless I really got a hankering for it – because for my taste, the tofu has to be pressed really dry to attain the texture I am looking for – very firm (not hard), and very slightly chewy.

Well, now that I have since bitten the bullet and spent the money (well worth every penny, I might add!) on a TofuXpress, the entire process of cooking with brick tofu is a breeze, one that I actually look forward to! No more time-consuming and messy hand-pressing with bulky weights, no more wasted paper towels or having to wash cloth towels, and no more freezing! Using the TofuXpress is so easy and foolproof!

The TofuXpress is a well-made, quality product and so it seems that it will be a onetime purchase. You simply remove the tofu from the package, rinse with water, place it in the presser receptacle base, secure the presser/lid, place it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight if you want, pour off the water, remove the presser/lid and the tofu is pressed. (Note: In addition to using the press I  purchase firm/extra firm tofu to begin with and have found by trying all sorts of brands that I have gotten the best taste, texture and cooking results from  Wildwood’s SprouTofu Firm tofu.)

 


 

bvp-tofupress3

 

Vegan Jerky

Even when I was a consumer of animal flesh I thought jerky was disgusting in every way – the animal parts it was made from, the taste, the texture – gross!  As a vegan I would notice my daughter and son-in-law munching on vegan jerky occasionally and assumed it was just as gross, sans the animal ingredients.  Over time, my daughter wore me down after repeated entreaties to  “just taste it, it really is good”. So I tasted it.

Well!! These vegan jerky strips are plain old super-yummy and delicious! The texture is virtually identical to that of prime cut stewed beef, with that stewed beef tender, yet firm, yet slightly chewy texture. How do they do that?! The six flavors are authentic, Texas B-B-Q being my favorite. For lunch today I divided it in half and laid each half inside a mini bread pocket, schmeared some Amy’s Sweet and Spicy B-B-Q sauce on it (cuz you can never have enough sauce), and mmm mmm mmm was that good along with some crunchy-cold bread and butter pickles.

 

Primal Strips - Vegan Jerky


More good news about this product from PRIMAL SPIRIT FOODS is that it  was Voted Best New Vegetarian Snack by VegNews Magazine - and for good reason!  These strips are 97% fat-free, made from non GMO vegetable protein, have no preservatives or artificial colors, and are high in protein. And of course, as with any food made without animal products, they have no cholesterol. They are a perfect high quality energy boost for travel or for outdoor activities from hiking and camping, to paddling and long distance running.  When I was traveling across country recently, I packed a strip along with an apple as my snack on the plane.

 

Vegan Tofu

WILDWOOD Organics says it best: Not all tofu is equal! I’ve tried a lot of different tofu brands because, quite frankly, I did not like it much and was searching for a tofu that I could not quite describe but I’d know it if I found it. My search was finally successful.

best tofu

This tofu is made of certified organic non-GMO sprouted soybeans in filtered water with a natural firming agent to set it into that typical brick shape.

I find this high quality tofu to have a more consistent and appealing texture than the other tofu I have tried. SprouTofu also makes a better scramble as far as flavor and texture. And because it is naturally low in moisture content, if you use the Tofu Xpress to squeeze out even more water, you can eliminate the timely reducing step that we all hate about making tofu scrambles.

It presses its water out more evenly so that when I slice it up to bake or broil the slices maintain their shape and do not crumble or degrade. The manufacturer also claims that this tofu is easier to digest and improves nutrient absorption. I don’t know about the nutrient absorption, but I can say that no one has reported any digestive complaints.

Gardein™ Products

Just about anything that Gardein (a clever combination of the words garden and protein) makes is really delicious – and vegan. My favorite item is the Lightly Seasoned Chik’n Scallopini. In literally minutes from freezer to plate you get a gourmet looking and tasting entree item. The way you see it pictured on the front of the bag really is how it will look every time you prepare it. It tastes great “plain’ because the seasonings are really good, or sometimes I’ll dip it in some Amy’s Sweet ‘n Spicy b-b-q sauce or creamy mustard I whip up with Honeycup mustard and Wildwood’s Aioli.

From their website: “gardein™ is a wholesome range of tasty plant-based foods with a meaty texture. it’s made from soy, wheat and pea proteins, vegetables and ancient grains (quinoa, amaranth, millet and kamut®). gardein™ is easy to digest and free of cholesterol, trans and saturated fats. the majority of gardein™ foods are a good source of fiber and low fat too. gardein™ is also animal and dairy free.

gardein™ is complete protein – containing all the essential amino acids. it’s easy to digest and free of cholesterol, trans and saturated fats. the majority of gardein™ foods provide a good source of fiber and are low in fat too.”

Gardein Chik'n ScallopiniGardein’s website also has some really good recipes that you can ‘wow’ both your flesh-eating and vegan friends with.

Vegan Yogurt

Any of the delicious creamy flavors of Whole Soy & Co. will satisfy your search for a wonderful tasting yogurt.

Vegan Milk

After an exhaustive  search for a soy milk that did not make me gag I have found one, Soy Dream Organic Enriched Original (or Chocolate) Soy Milk, that not only can I enjoy with my cold cereals but I actually crave drinking a tall glass of the plain or chocolate flavors -  the same craving I used to get as a non-vegan when I just had to have a glass of cold milk. You milk lovers will know what I am talking about :)

Vegan Cupcake (packaged)

Ok, the reason you cannot see the actual cupcake is that I could not put it down once I started eating it and I did not have another one to take a picture of for you and I could not wait to go out to the store to buy another one since I  wanted to post about right now. *deep breath*

vegan cupcake

Wow, was that ever delicious – an over-sized incredibly fresh (like it was baked this morning!) richly moist and tender chocolate creme-filled cupcake,  generously iced with creamy-thick fudge-y ganache! Not for the diet-conscious, though it is made with simple and good ingredients with no preservatives (they even use vegan sugar!).

 

 

Vegan ARTICHOKE DIP


Vegan COFFEE CREAMER

and, yes, it really tastes better and ‘creams’ better than Silk, etc…