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.
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 before....like 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:
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?
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.
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 :)
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.
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.
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.
Hi everyone! I hope your year and time and vegan eating are going well.
Me? I'm on a journey I guess. I'm trying to understand my relationship with food and understand how my body is reacting to what I eat.
One way I'm doing this is hiking everyday. I've always loved walking, but now I take advantage of the park above me and the many hiking trails and bike paths that are there. I go with my dog every day and so far it's been 6 weeks, and I'm loving it.
I'm feeling so much more in tune with my body, and I feel much stronger. Also, I am listening to my body. I've regained my body clock and can sleep and wake up with no alarm, and I'm also understanding how my body reacts to food. I don't snack anymore, and I make sure I have three square meals a day.
Breakfast generally involves a bowl or oatmeal (a favorite) or I juice. I tend to juice 2-3 times a week.
Lunch can vary, but I tend to have a hearty salad with some tofu for protein and a glass of water.
Dinner, I tend to eat around 8pm, involves whatever I want. Mostly it's on a bed of lettuce, though, and it tends to not make the meal so heavy. But now that the weather is getting colder, I'll do soups, or roasted veggies or whatever else my CSA will provide.
Continuing my CSA is one of the best decisions I've ever made. I love it, and though it can at times be a strain on my fixed budget, it's well worth it because the better eating makes me feel better.
I'm going to share a lunch I have a couple times a week that's fast and kinda like junk food for me.
BBQ Tofu on Toast
You need tofu (I love this Trader Joe's kind its actually delicious and the texture fries great), onion, BBQ sauce, avocado (half at most) and two pieces of bread. If I'm not making my bread and I buy it, lately I've only been going with Eureka! brand bread. It's delicious, organic, and vegan. Plus, you can buy it at some Targets, which is convenient.
I start by grilling the onion to the point where they are just about to caramelize. Then I add the bread and flip it over so it gets toasted on both sides.
I remove those and add the tofu. Here is where I add the avocado.
The tofu I cook it until its browned on both sides.
Then I turn off the heat.
I then add a few dollops of BBQ sauce and allow the remaining heat to do it's thing (you may need to cover with a lid to avoid splattering.
I slather the sauce over and flip the todo and presto, lunch is served!