Saturday, June 4, 2016

Product Review: V-dog jumbo veggie chew

I love my dog. 

Everyone knows that. But, he isn't vegan. He eats more non animal products than I know your average dog eats, but he does eat salmon based foods about 90% of the time. I mix his foods with beans and chickpeas and veggies, and no beef or chicken. So I guess you could say my dog is pescetarian.

He is also a power chewer, and in the past I've tried everything I could to satiate his chewing. The Himalayan dog chew (milk based), deer antler (salvaged alter), kongs, bully sticks which were like crackers to him various puzzles and the like. None of them worked and a lot of them were insanely messy. It can be a nightmare when you have a power chewer.

The only thing that keeps him going is pressed rawhide which is the inner skin of cow. I don't like that this seems to be his only avenue,, and even though it is, I continue to look for alternatives.

When V-dog announced their vegan dog chew, I was over the moon. I waited a few months until I could find it readily available, and I ordered one from the UK.

I got the largest one they sold and total it was about $10 US, that's the price of a moderately priced rawhide bone, so that was good to me.

It smelled great and seemed dense. Its made of mint and rice and when I realized that I thought, great, this is gonna last all of 2 minutes.

I gave it to Brian, my 100 pound bullmastiff, and at first he didn't know what to make of it. Then he LOVED it, like carried it around the yard in delight loved it.

That thrilled me! Next was his test, how ling would it last. Let's say it had a good 10 minute run. When it got soft, it was over. The rice casing just softened too much and he inhaled it.

Bone coma. 

Another failure, partly. He did love the flavor, it's ethical, it just didn't last long, and I think that's the downfall for power chewers, especially the small demo of vegan alternatives for them.

In the end, I'd get 20 if they lasted even a couple hours, but at $10 each, to last 10 minutes is just too much. If you have a moderate chewer dog, those are fantastic and I believe they could last quite a while.

Perhaps I'll get more for an occasional treat for him, but this dog needs to chew and I reluctantly have to go back to the pressed rawhide.

But I will stay on the lookout for more vegan dog products.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Vegan Street Fair: Review

Hi everyone. 
Today I'm going to talk about this past Sunday's Vegan Street Fair that was hosted in North Hollywood (Burbank).

This was the second year for this street festival that brought together many vegan street vendors and tons of delicious vegan eateries and merch from all over. The first year was met with much, and frankly justified, criticism, with its ticket system, tiny space, extreme over crowding, and just lack of overall planning for the crowds, if you were looking at it from a customer's point of view. This past Sunday was try #2, and for the most part, it was a stellar improvement.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream review conclusion.

Hi everyone!
I'm back with my final thoughts on the remaining flavors of Ben & Jerry's new Frozen Dessert  flavors.

In my previous post, I did a review of their chocolate fudge flavor. This review will be a run down of their other three flavors.

Let's start with the flavor that I liked the most.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Food Review: Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge vegan 'Frozen Dessert"

Not ice cream, but "frozen dessert" because you can't call it ice cream without milk. It's like the whole thing Hampton Creek went through with Just Mayo. But I digress.

I have never really had Ben and Jerry's ever. Even before I gave up dairy, I really was never a fan of too much stuff in my ice cream. I was a purist, and like my vanilla clean and sweet and my chocolate rich and heavy.

This was years ago, and I've opened myself up to the many types of yummies out there in all flavors from folded ice cream where you add your own goodies and its mashed in for you right there, to  whatever else adds not only flavor, but also some sweetness.

When I was at Union Station in Los Angeles, commuting for work, I was pleased to find out that they has all four flavors in stock!

I went on and picked up all four, though I really only wanted three, but I figured I'd get all four and write reviews on them anyway.

This review is only for The Chocolate Fudge Brownie, as I just cant eat that much ice cream, er frozen dessert in one sitting, so Ill space them out as time goes on.

The four new vegan flavors are Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Coffee Caramel Fudge, Chunky Monkey (kudos for them for making a vegan version of one of their most popular non vegan flavors) and P.B. & Cookies.

The total for all 4 pints (473 ml or 14.77 oz so not really a pint, it's an ounce and a quarter short) were $28. So that's $7 for a pint-ish of frozen dessert. That's expensive. You are supposed to get 4 servings per pint...yeah, sure.

I opened the fudge brownie and it was pretty smooth. I let it sit for about 10 minutes until it was scoopable.

After some time, I found that when it was soft, it scooped nicely, like we are used to seeing in those photo ads. So, sexy. I had a spoon, and though look is nice, taste was key.

I should take the time to say, I really haven't found much chocolate ice cream that I've been impressed with. I honestly don't think chocolate lends itself well to ice cream/frozen desserts unless it's got additional chocolate melted over it, or fudge chocolate melted in it.  Frozen tends to make the chocolate taste grainy.

The base of this is almond milk, and you taste it. First. It's a different taste than say soy or coconut, which are just creamier. First you taste almond, for a moment, then the fat immediately after, then you taste at the finish the chocolate. I felt the whole ice cream was missing a middle note so it felt hollow. I nice vanilla would have been good to carry the middle and the end, but as it is now its kind of bland.

The texture of the ice cream itself is grainy. I think its both the use of almond milk and the chocolate. There is not much "creaminess" to it. That was disappointing. The brownie was these little generic chunks added in. They didn't add too much to the experience.

Some good parts are it's not overpoweringly sweet, which I appreciate. The fat makes the ice cream really rich, so the pint can last. I DO taste chocolate, but, as always, I wish I tasted more.

Eating this by itself will probably disappoint. Eating it ala mode on a warm chocolate fudge brownie would be enjoyable.

Ratings Good 10 to bad 1:
  • Criteria: 
  • Taste, the flavor of the snack.
  • Health, how bad is it for you.
  • Price, paying for its value.
  • Ingredients, is it made of good or bad stuff.
  • Expectation, my overall take on this snack. Was it worth buying it?

  • Taste: 4
  • Health: 2
  • Price: 2
  • Ingredients: 5
  • Expectation: 3

This flavor I wouldn't buy again. I really think they need to rework this formula. Hey, never said my reviews were gonna be nice.

I'll have reviews on the other flavors so (may do them all together) so check back. And if you like, I'm on Facebook where I post articles and other goodies, so follow.

Alright. Eat fun, eat affordable, eat well. Stay vegan.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Vegan Oktoberfest review!

This past weekend, Saturday to be exact, I partook in my first Vegan Oktoberfest and it was fun.

The even spanned two days, and was located in downtown LA, so I was able to take the train. While on my way, I sean into a friend's boyfriend. She was already there working the event (helping set up) so we traveled together and go there with time to spare. 

I waited in line and was chatting it up with a bodybuilder and his sites who were also vegans. A LOT of vegan body builders come to these events as their "cheat days". They liked my outfit, which I made :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Black Bean Burger recipe…kinda.

Hello one and all.
I'm blogging again, this time with tons of content and a furor to do at least one vegan related post a week, if not more.

This post I'd like to mention a few things before we get to the food.
I have a Facebook page now.
There is a manifesto stuck to the top of the page which pretty much explains all that I want to do with this blog/FB page.

I'm about vegan foods on the cheap. As wholesome and 'natural' as I can get them. I'm not militant about organic, though I'm not against it either. I'm just for good affordable low processed foods. So not too many box foods, I guess.

Speaking of which, I'd had a craving for black bean burgers for a while now, so after I soaked a pound of black beans overnight, cooked them, and had them at the ready in the fridge for two days, I finally got up and decided to make my patty mix and it was worth it.

After I took the beans out of the fridge, I got my ingredients together.

The base for the burgers is pretty much anything you wish it to be. Nearly any veggies will work but make sure they don't hold a lot of water. You want the end result to be tacky, but firm.

I used the entire pound of cooked beans mixed with carrots, three cloves of garlic, onion, and my go to tried and true, the Better than Bullion veggie bullion. I use this magical seasoning in nearly everything. It's so flavorful and delicious (and cheap). They make many vegan varieties, but the all vegetable version has the best dynamic flavor.

I also add a cup of uncooked oats.

Blend it good.

Here is the mix, with some unprocessed beans and nutritional yeast (about a cup). I then mix it all together.

This wet base I generally half and freeze. I do this because it makes a lot of burgers and if I were with other people I'd make the batch larger, but I save it for a later date.

Next I add the filler which is gluten free baking mix. You can use wheat flour as well, but I try to keep the wheat down, especially when I eat this on a grain bun. I add about 2 cups (perhaps a little less) of the flour to make the mix stiff.

I like it stiff enough to hold a spoon in.

Mission accomplished.
Then I start the burger magic. I toast the burger bun first, then I sautéed some spinach. Next I chopped the cap off the cap of a mushroom and grilled up that baby, then I cooked the patty.

After the patty is nice and toasty, I add it to my fixings and presto, I have a great vegan burger I just devoured.

It was so good. I added some Just Mayo and some cocoanut bacon, but next time I may leave a lot of that out. I'm a ketchup and mustard gal.

The mushroom was super juicy and could have been the burger alone, but I craved a black bean patty. I love these. They are quick, easy and only get better after the batch has marinated for a day or so.

Great, now I'm hungry.
I'll talk to you all later.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

It's been too long: Persimmon and pear cobbler.

Hi everyone!
I'm sorry it's been over a year since I've written on this blog. This past year has been utter shit and I dropped out of a lot of things.

My favorite vegan Lager for $12.99!!

I have a lot of cooking experiments I've been doing and plan on listing them, at least one weekly, as I progress back into regular food blogging.

I also have a lot of food reviews and snacks I want to list and tell you all about. So stay tuned for those, prices will always be included.

As for what I've been doing recently, I've taken up a love of persimmons.
I think they are just delicious. Not too sweet, but rich enough to be satisfying. I like to wait until they are over ripe then I can cut them and scoop them with a spoon. Yumm.

There is a farmer's market a block from e and on Sunday's I go there for produce.
I was getting a CSA for a while but had to stop it because of finances. I want to start it back up so let's hope that will happen sooner than later.

The persimmons at the market are super cheap compared to the $2 each at the grocery.
I buy them and just wait, sometimes over two months, for them to get good and over ripe. I'm patient.

These persimmons were almost too ripe, but they scooped out nice.

The ingredients for this cobbler were sparse: some persimmons, some cinnamon, a Korean pear. Let's talk about those. I'm not a big fruit person, and I thought the crunch of a firmer pear would be a nice texture enhancement. turns out I'm not a big fan of them compared to other pears. They are mostly water, almost flavorless, and too expensive (3 for $5) to justify getting again. But I used them, but this was a good experiment.

I made my 1 cup flour, 1/2 cut earth balance, and 1/4 cup water pie crust for the base of the cobbler. Added sugar, candied ginger pieces, some corn starch and flour for thickener and poured the mixture into a braking pan. I cooked it for about 50 minutes and it firmed up nicely. The taste was nice, but needs adjustment. I want to add more cinnamon and powdered ginger next time. I also plan on puréed the ingredients and making it more like a pumpkin pie texture. I think that would translate well.

Look it that texture. It would total benefit being puréed. 

In any account, I am so going to make this again when I get more persimmons. Which I hope will be soon :) Okay, that's it for now. I promise I am going to post at  lead once a week. I've missed it.

Until next time!!!