GreenBeat Veggie Burger Press

We were recently contacted by Greenbeat and asked to review a three-in-one veggie burger press and the corresponding eBook.* We can only review and endorse the veggie burger press as the recipe eBook is not vegan.** The product comes with two different size presses, large and small, and wax paper sheets. There is also an attachment that pops off to for an option to make a large stuffed veggie burger.

greanbeat burger press box with seal Greenbeat system

The veggie burger press arrived quickly and I decided a plan of attack by finding, and changing, a veggie burger recipe that I wanted to make. I also bought Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger because I was excited to have stuffed veggie burgers with vegan cheese. The Beyond Meat burgers are too greasy to use in the press for small or stuffed burgers. Even with the wax paper, they did not work very well and ended up falling apart. The homemade veggie burger worked well with or without the wax paper. I tried the homemade burger as a large and small patty.

veggie burger in press  veggie burger on bun

Product: Greenbeat Veggie Burger Press

Overall Grade: A-

Pros:

  • This system allows for easy veggie burger forming, while keeping your hands mostly clean.
  • The system is compact. The pieces all fit inside each other, allowing for the system to take up only a small space in a drawer or cabinet.
  • Using the press allows for uniform sized, professional looking veggie burgers.
  • The product is easy to purchase through Amazon.
  • The cost is a little under $16 and should make homemade veggie burgers cheaper than buying packaged ones in the store on a regular basis.
  • Helps reduce the consumption of processed veggie burgers. Especially if you use fresh and non-processed ingredients.
  • It is a great way to be accountable to yourself by knowing what is in the food you consume.

Cons:

  • Even though we are not reviewing the eBook, we found it to be a con since most of the recipes contain dairy and egg. They can be substituted with vegan items, but the dairy and egg industries are full of torture, pain, and death and we cannot promote that. We hope that the company will consider making more, if not all of its eBook cruelty-free.
  • The attachment to make the stuffed veggie burger was very difficult to remove. I had to wash and dry off the press, and make sure my hands were dry, and I still struggled to open it. I only made two stuffed burgers, but making large amounts would have been frustrating.

  

* We will gladly accept vegan products for an honest review.

** If you purchase the veggie burger press, please note that the recipe eBook that you will get a link for is not vegan. Many of the recipes include dairy and egg and therefore, we do not endorse the eBook. We recommend using your own recipes.

 

 

Advertisements

Banza! It’s Pasta!

I have been hearing about this new pasta craze on social media and I was curious to give it a try. Since the pasta is sold at Costco, I only had the option of a large box. I held my breath and gently tossed the box in my cart, hoping that I didn’t commit to pasta we would not like. To my delight, we really enjoyed the flavor! I was also pleased with the high fiber and protein in the nutritional values. The best part for me was that it was a gluten free pasta that did not fall apart when cooked or reheated. Many rice based pastas do not last well as leftovers. They often get crunchy and/or fall apart.

box with sealpackage of pasta

Overall Grade: A

Product: Banza Pasta, Rotini Shapped

Pros:

  • This product is becoming widely available in stores across the US.
  • The pasta has a delicious taste. The flavor and texture seem very close to wheat pasta.
  • It is certified gluten free and GMO-free.
  • It contains only four ingredients and they are all things that I was familiar with – no funky ingredients.
  • A serving has a whopping 14g of protein and 8g of fiber! Wowsa!

Cons:

  • It is over $4 a box (if you look at the smaller individual boxes). Wheat pasta can be purchased for under a dollar. It doesn’t have the same nutrition, but if we want people to switch to healthier products, we need to make them more affordable.
  • There are two serving sizes on the box, 2oz and 3.4oz. The 3.4oz serving is 340 calories!! I know this is equivalent to wheat pasta, but I wish it were lower calories. If you are not calorie-obsessed like I am right now, then please ignore this con.

The Beyond Burger Goes Beyond Expectations

I have to be honest, I have been excited about this burger since I heard about it a year ago. I have been waiting patiently, or not so patiently, for it to be available in my area. The marketing has wooed me and I have been dreaming of a vegan burger that can draw in omnivores. When I saw this was available at my local whole foods, I became diligent in trying to get my hands on a box or two. It was hard since they were selling like vegan hotcakes. When I got my hands on a package, I decided to make a cheeseburger on a gluten free bun, with onions, vegan mayo, and BBQ sauce. If I would have had pickles in the house, they would have been on top as well.

BB package

I had read reviews that my house would smell of meat when I cooked the burger and that I should be prepared to be disgusted by the look of the burger. Neither of those things happened. My home smelled delicious, but not of meat- it was more like a grilled veggie smell. The pinkness of the burger did not upset me because it still didn’t look like meat to me. I was a bit taken back by all of the oil in the burger and the calorie count. I knew this would only be an occasional treat for me. Fast forward to dinner and my first bite and I loved it! The texture was a bit “meaty”, but not anymore than other veggie burgers that are intended to imitate meat.  It has been decades since I’ve had meat and this reminded me of a good veggie burger. It had an aftertaste of what I remember Boca burgers tasting like, only better. I am very excited for the omnivores in my life to give this a try at their next BBQ. This seems like a great burger for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores.

beyond burger on plateBeyond burger on plate

Overall Grade: A

Product: Beyond Meat, The Beyond Burger

Pros:

  • This burger becoming more available in stores across the country. Right now it is in Whole Foods and Safeways.
  • It is packaged like meat to entice omnivores.
  • It is vegan, gluten free, soy free, and delicious!
  • It has no cholesterol
  • It has 20g of protein!
  • This needs its own bullet point, it is DELICIOUS!
  • It does well on a pan and on the grill.
  • It looks like a burger to entice omnivores.

BB cooking

Cons:

  • It is pricey! Whole foods sells it for almost $6 and there are two patties equaling a quarter of a pound. If we want to entice omnivores, this product needs to be cheaper or comparable to two meat burgers.
  • It is too fattening for me. The amount of grease that came out, was a bit much for me. I don’t mind this food on occasion, but I can’t do this on a regular basis. The calorie count was also a bit high for my tastes.
  • The plastic packaging is a bit much and seems wasteful. The container could be smaller.
  • Most veggie burgers are offered in packages of 4 or 6. Two patties is just odd. We have a family of three, so we have to buy two packages for almost $12!!

BB in package

Crab and a Clean Conscience- Gardein Crabless Cakes

Ahoy maidens and mateys!  Veganswashbuckler is back, or you may call me Squashbuckler for short, as me fellow Vegan reviewer Amanda will do.  The crew quite likes it, and I admit it be less of a mouthful than how I was christened.  Just don’t call me late for dinner, especially if Gardein Crabless Cakes be on the menu.  Arr!

These fine morsels deserve the grade of A.

Now, before I became a Vegan pirate, when I was a wee little corpse munching scalawag, methinks I tended to avoid the crab cakes.  I never cared for mayo, and even today I fear the Vegan version.  Nevertheless, if ye like the stuff, by all means check this out, from another of our Vegan reviewers, Dawn.  Nevertheless, blindfold any miserable corpse muncher and give them a taste test, and I dare them to tell me these cakes are crabless, ye scoundrels and crab steaming poltroons!  And, since they already be blindfolded, make them walk the plank unless they reform their ways!

These tender chunks of delight are a treat lightly fried, and they come out crispy on the outside and juicy in the center.  They have the essence of the briny deep, they do, and a fine texture that will leave ye in amazement.  Add these yummy fries as a side, courtesy of another of our Vegan reviewers, Julie, and ye will have yerself a mighty fine repast with little effort.  Tell the chef to have the night off, but to take it easy on the grog and bring yer ship back in one piece.

The only real criticism I have of these nuggets is that they’re a bit tinier than ye think, and they only come ten to a package.  Ye may be left a little unsatisfied, but the flavor is a big winner.

Not So Tempting Yogurt, Vegan MoFo Day 29

I have tried most of the vegan yogurts on the market, if not all of them, and have found a clear worst in the bunch. The title of this post was almost “This Yogurt Makes Me Gag!”. If you haven’t already tried Tempt Hemp yogurt, I suggest you save your money. They are pricey and taste like chalky yogurt. Gross about sums up the way these yogurts taste. I’ve tried all of the flavors that I can get my hands on and they all seem to be the same. The product today does not earn the seal of approval here at Veggie Product Reviews.

resized_20161128_134039

Product: Tempt Hemp Yogurt

Overall Grade: D

Pros:

  • The only pro that I can think of is the nutritional value of this product. A container has 10g of protein and 15% iron. It is hard to find a yogurt that has that much protein.
  • If you can’t do soy or nuts, this is a good alternative for you…… if you can stand the taste. Go me! I found two pros!

Cons:

  • The taste is chalky and gross. It made me gag.
  • My toddler liked it at first, but now won’t touch it. I think the chalky taste has kicked in for him as his taste buds have formed.
  • It is expensive. I’ve seen them for about $2 a container.
  • There is no calcium. I think calcium is a reason some people consume yogurt, no?
  • If you did want this product, it is hard to locate. I’ve only seen it at specialty stores like Whole Foods.
  • It is hard to cook with because the chalky flavor seeps through.
  • The product is quite watery and not thick and rich like other dairy alternative yogurts.
  • The product is also grainy and not smooth. GAG!

 

 

 

 

Planet Protein Bars, Vegan MoFo Day 28

Today we bring to you a review of a product that won’t even be fully launched until sometime next year.  But, Planet Protein was kind enough to offer us a bar each of their two flavors in exchange for an honest review.  You can purchase them in pre-launch from the Planet Protein Facebook Page.

The texture reminded me a lot of the old school Power Bars: chewy, a little gritty/chalky.  I don’t mean that in a bad way.  I really liked the texture of Power Bars and have missed them.  So, if you’ve been missing them too, here’s your vegan replacement!

Product: Planet Protein Plant Power Bar (Cherry Almond Fudge / Cocoa PB Crunch)
Overall Grade: A-  (cherry) / A (peanut butter)

 

planetprotein

 

Pros:

  • 20g of plant based protein
  • Chewy, lightly gritty – a la the old Power Bars
  • Non GMO
  • Gluten and soy free
  • No sugar alcohols, added flavors, no preservatives
  • No stevia so no funky aftertaste like some vegan bars
  • Cherry & Peanut Butter varieties?  Yes, please.  They’re both lightly sweet.  You wouldn’t confuse them with candy, but that’s not what Planet Protein sets out to be.

Cons:

  • They’re a little spendy.  From what I can tell MSRP is $3.50 per bar when purchased individually.  But, that’s the tradeoff for supporting small business and healthful products so I didn’t ding it in the grade for this.
  • The cherry got an A- instead of an A because I’d like just a little more cherry flavor. The texture was also just a tiny bit harder than the PB which I thought was perfect.
  • I can’t go pick one up on my lunch break tomorrow 😉

 

Hemp Hearts, Vegan MoFo Day 27

I remember hearing about hemp ropes and how it is a strong material as a teenager. I wondered if it had any other uses, besides the illegal kind (well, at least illegal in some states). Then I started hearing about hemp ice cream, milk, yogurt and more. The one thing that I’ve noticed about all of those products is that they seem to be a good source of protein. When I stumbled upon Hemp Hearts, I was intrigued. The little seeds seemed easy enough to sprinkle on food, put in smoothies, baked goods, and more. After trying a sample, I was on sold! They had a nice mild flavor and the nutritional information seemed too good to pass up. They contain mostly unsaturated fat, 3 grams of fiber, 10g of protein, iron, thiamin, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, manganese, riboflavin, zinc, and vitamin B6. These little seeds seem to be a powerhouse of nutrition. Since then, we sprinkle them on anything we can think of!

hemp hearts bag

Product: Hemp Hearts, Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds by Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods

Overall Grade: A

Pros:

  • They have a mild and delicious flavor.
  • They are fun to sprinkle on food!
  • The powerhouse of nutrients and vitamins make these a must have for all- not just herbivores!
  • They are non-gmo verified and have an organic version
  • You can buy this product in a large package (28 oz or 5lbs), which is sure to last you quite some time.
  • This product is widely available. I’ve seen it many places, but I usually buy it at Costco for a decent price.
  • They are fun little snack on their own.
  • Gluten free, soy free, and free of everything except hemp.
english muffin sprinkled with hemp hearts
Vegan GF English Muffin spread with homemade vegan cheese and Hemp Hearts.

Cons:

  • I really don’t have any cons. I do wish they didn’t have 13g of fat, but at least it isn’t saturated fat.

 

 

 

 

Not Your Parents Tofu Scramble (Microwave), Vegan MoFo Day 26

Last year for MoFo you might remember that we posted about The Vegg’s egg scramble product. Since then they have come up with an updated version of that product called “Not Your Parents’ Tofu Scramble”. The creator of The Vegg contacted us to ask us to provide a review the microwave version of the “Not Your Parents’ Tofu Scramble”.* I loved the old product, but it had complicated directions and it is no longer on the market. The title of the new product is a little confusing. It is an “egg” scramble. It is not a tofu scramble where you use a block of tofu. Confusion of the name aside, this product seems to imitate scrambled eggs quite well. As you can see by the pictures, it looks like scrambled eggs. The directions were very simple. Mix with water, place on a plate, microwave, push curds around, and then microwave more. You might remember that Follow Your Heart has a vegan egg scramble out as well that we reviewed during Day 1 of MoFo 2016. I am a huge fan of The Vegg because they were the first company to come out with a vegan egg yolk that has a wonderful taste and is easy to use.

5 oz package with seal

Product: Not Your Parents Tofu Scramble by The Vegg (Microwave Version)

Overall GradeA

plate with cooked NYPT scramble
Breakfast: GF O’Doughs bagel, Tofutti Cream Cheese, The Vegg Not Your Parents Tofu Scramble, and a SoL patty

Pros:

  • This product has 22g of protein per serving. Move over eggs from a chicken’s butt, this is some serious proteinage!
  • The product has 15% of your daily needs of iron and 20% of your daily needs of B12. The Vegg really took an opportunity to make this product more nutritional than the Follow Your Heart vegan egg.
  • There is NO cholesterol!!
  • The instructions are easy. No stove necessary, just a microwave.
  • The product is able to be made on the stove or in the microwave. Options are good.
  • The products is certified Kosher.
  • I don’t have to add any vegan milks to make this product high in protein. I’ll mention it again…….22 g of protein
  • The product easily makes curds that have a feel just like an egg in your mouth and look like scrambled eggs on your plate. Texture and look of this product is spot on.
  • It is gluten free! It is made in a facility with wheat though.
  • This product is toddler approved! My son loved it.
  • This made us feel like we were eating a plate of scrambled eggs. I’ve often missed that as a vegan and am glad to have this back in my life. I like being able to whip up some vegan eggs on a weekend. And since this is so easy, I can do it during the week too!
Whisked with water, ready to go into the microwave.

Cons:

  • Currently the 5 oz version is sold on The Vegg’s website for $9.59 (plus shipping and tax).  This product is not cheap. A carton of eggs is much cheaper.
  • The current products are mostly available online only. This isn’t for lack of trying on the part of The Vegg. I’d love to see this product on store shelves some day.
  • Without adding black salt, pepper, and other seasonings this product is quite bland. It didn’t have that much of an egg taste. I was able to easily remedy this with seasonings.
  • This product contains soy, which would be a con for people who need to avoid soy.
  • This product isn’t as versatile as it’s competitor at Follow Your Heart. It can only do scrambled eggs. It doesn’t seem to be able to be used for an omelette or quiche. The good news is that I think there are plans on the horizon for a product that makes an omelette. We hope to review that product when available.
NYPTS in microwave
After being microwaved for a few minutes. The curds are starting to form.

 

*We are willing to review any vegan product in exchange for an honest review from a member from our review team.

 

 

Tofurky Ham & Cheese Style Pockets- Vegan MoFo Day 14

Ahoy, mateys.  Veganswashbuckler, the piratical bane of the shores of all carcass devourers, is on extended leave from a plundering, and I’m at yer service with another Vegan chow review.  Today, I get in touch with me inner bachelor, and review an item perfect for any gentleman with a heart o gold who’s too inept or lazy to cook a fine cruelty free meal for himself.

tofurky-pocket-seal.

Tofurky Ham & Cheese Style Pocket overall grade: A-

I gave me chef the day off on this one, as any rank amateur can handle prepping one of these fine repasts.  He’d better bring me ship back the way I left it, or I just might leave him on a deserted island next time we’re in the neighborhood.  But I digress.  I prepared me pocket the way it was meant to be, in the microwave, and it cooked up nicely.  A fine chef am I.  Here is what you get when you do it right:

tofurkypocket2

Looks mighty tempting, I’d say.  But hands off!  Tis for me.  The cheese and briny haminess were a gourmet complement to one another, and it sure reminded me of those very hot pockets I ate in the distant past, the ones that were done in two minutes and would burn a hole in yer mouth if ye lacked the requisite patience.  I’d say the overall product is very tasty, though they be a bit stingy on the filling, methinks.  But if yer expecting authentic ham and cheese taste, Tofurky has delivered.  The convenience is mighty enticing, and the cleanup is much easier than swabbing the deck.

On the negative side, I did not count the ingredients, but I’d estimate them at around 30, so it may not be the healthiest treat.  And one pocket cost me $2.99, so I’d need to do a lot more raiding and plundering if I made a regular habit of these delectables.  But hey, if yer at home hangin around in yer skivvies and you’ve knocked back a bit too much of the ole grog, these pockets just may hit the spot!

 

 

 

 

Kite Hill Plain Yogurt, Vegan MoFo Day 12

I may be alone in this, but in my dairy days I was a big fan of plain yogurt.  The fruited ones were good, but there was nothing like the plain with my own added ingredients or along side a Mediterranean meal. When I stopped eating dairy, there really was nothing like it.  I’m allergic to soy, so I couldn’t even try most vegan yogurts.  The ones I could try were either overly sweet or they were chalky.  Then I met Kite Hill.

I see on the Kite Hill website that they’ve released an unsweetened plain soon.  I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for that.  But, for now, I present to you the original Kite Hill plain almond milk yogurt.

 

Product: Kite Hill Artisan Almond Milk Yogurt (Plain)

Overall Grade: A

 

20161112_102700
Pros:

  • It actually tastes like I remember plain yogurt.  Even though it has sugar in it, it’s not overly sweetened.
  • It’s creamy not chalky or grainy
  • It’s perfectly tart.
  • The container is recyclable
  • It’s just one of a line of yogurts which will be reviewed in the future.
  • It gives me back one of my favorite breakfasts: plain yogurt, blueberries and granola

 

20161112_103005

 

Cons:

  • The only thing holding the Kite Hill plain yogurt back from getting an A+ is that it’s not quite as thick as I like yogurt.
  • It’s spendy at $1.99 for a 5.3 oz container (it’s on sale at the WFM in the Triangle area this week for $1.69)
  • I’d like it to come in larger containers too for recipes (can we say tzatziki sauce?)