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.

 

 

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Kite Hill Jalapeño Cream Cheese

I have been vegan for quite some time, but still enjoy bagels and cream cheese for breakfast. I try not to eat it every day, but I will admit that it makes a regular appearance on the breakfast table. Some mornings I switch it up for oatmeal (or a half of an English Muffin), to be a little healthy.  Kite Hill has always been a delicious brand, but it is a bit too expensive to have every week. However, the jalapeño flavor makes me want to buy it weekly. cream cheese tubProduct: Jalapeño Cream Cheese By Kite Hill

Overall Grade: A

Pros:

  • It is vegan cream cheese!!
  • It has a delicious creamy flavor with a hint of spice.
  • It is mildly spicy. I would prefer it a bit spicier, but it is good for most taste buds.
  • The package lists less than 10 ingredients!
  • It is almond based, unlike other popular cream cheese alternatives made of soy.
  • It is a cultured cheese product and therefore has a more in-depth flavor. Kite Hill cream cheeses are the closest flavor to dairy cream cheese that I have tried.
  • It is gluten free and soy free.

cream cheese on a english muffin

Cons:

  • The cream cheese is quite pricey. I have seen it for about $7 a tub. At this price, it will only make an appearance on my table for special occasions.
  • I can only find it in health food stores. I hope to see it in more mainstream grocery stores.

 

 

 

Hilary’s Ranch Chia Dressing

The longer I am vegan, the more I see items popping up to mimic my old nonvegan favorites. It is a great time to be vegan! I am a fan of Hilary’s products and was excited to try this product. It was so thick, that it would not come out of the bottle. I had to take a knife to it to get it out of the bottle. With a skinny neck, it was hard to get to the contents that were down below where my knife could reach. I had to thin the product out with plant based milk. I was conflicted in rating this product. My husband and I did not like it, but my son did. It did not taste like ranch to us, it was very vinegary and the chia taste was detectable. Since 1/3 of my family liked this product, I am giving it the seal of approval with caution.

dressing bottle with seal

Product: Hilary’s Ranch Chia Dressing

Overall Grade: B-

Pros:

  • The product is free of corn, dairy, gluten, and soy.
  • It is a vegan ranch option!
  • This product was available to me in Whole Foods and Kroger.
  • My son liked it as a dip!
  • It is an organic product.
  • It is low in fat and sugar, compared to other ranch dressings.
  • The ingredients are all recognizable.

Cons:

  • It is so thick that it does not pour out of the bottle without thinning out.
  • It was too thick to be a salad dressing. It was more suitable as a dip.
  • The taste was too vinegary for a ranch dressing.
  • The product tasted and felt too much like chia seeds. While I love chia seeds, I didn’t like it in this product. The dressing had a strange flavor.
  • The bottle was over $4 in stores. It is pricier than most bottles of dressing.

 

 

 

 

Fresh Vegan Mozzerella by Miyoko’s Creamery

I have been waiting to try Miyoko’s vegan buffalo mozzarella for what feels like years, but I think it really has only been a year or two since it has been sold to the public. Every time I have tried to order it online, it was out of stock. It is finally being sold in stores and I jumped at the chance to give this product a try! It lived up to all my expectations and MORE! I am having a hard time locating it where I live, but was able to find it on a trip to Myrtle Beach, SC. I am hoping for it to be more widely available in my local stores that carry Miyoko’s cheeses and butter.

fresh vegan mozz package

Overall Grade: A

Product: Fresh Vegan Mozz by Miyoko’s Creamery

Pros:

  • This cheese is amazing! It had a texture and taste very close to what I remember fresh mozzarella made from cow’s milk.
  • I find this cheese to be a huge win for animals. It tastes close to the original and is made without cruelty to cows!
  • This needs another bullet point- the cheese tastes amazing and functions just like its dairy counterpart! It melts! It also tastes great straight out of the package.
  • This is amazing on pizza!
  • It is becoming more readily available in health stores across the country.
  • It does not have a lot of ingredients. The ones it does have are all pronounceable and ones that I am familiar with.
  • This product is free of cholesterol, lactose, eggs, gluten and soy!
  • This product is organic and non-GMO!
Gluten free pizza (crust review coming soon) with Miyoko’s Fresh Vegan Mozz, Basil and tomatoes from my garden, and tomato sauce

Cons:

  • The cheese is fattening at 10g a fat per serving. The serving sizes are small.
  • The cheese has only 1g of protein and NO calcium. If we are going to get people to switch to cheeses made without the use of animals, we need it to mirror or come close to the nutrition of dairy cheese. I get my calcium mostly from greens, but new vegans or those thinking of making the switch would be more enticed by a product that had some nutrition to it.
  • This product was $9.99 for 8oz! That is outrageous! I know this cheese is cultured, but this is not affordable for the average person. This will be a once-in-a-while purchase. I feel like I say this on so many reviews, but vegan products need to be more affordable for the average person.

Skinnypop White Cheddar Popcorn Cakes

If you live in the United States, Happy 4th of July! Today I wanted to highlight a snack that might be good to serve at your holiday picnic or travels. I came across Skinnypop White Cheddar Popcorn cakes and when I see a vegan white cheddar product, I scoop it up! This was one of my favorite flavors as a vegetarian. As a vegan, I am excited to see more products popping up that are cheddar flavor.

Skinnypop box

Overall Grade: A

Product: Skinnypop White Cheddar Popcorn Cakes

Pros:

  • The white cheddar flavor is spot on, it was the cheesy flavor that I remember from my vegetarian days.
  • Vegan cheddar flavor! I’m always looking for this flavor in a vegan snack!
  • They are 45 calories per cake, making for a light snack.
  • The cakes are made of popcorn, not rice. There is nothing wrong with a ricecake, but this is a bit more exciting!
  • Skinnypop brand products are available in both health food stores and non-health food stores such as Food Lion, Walgreens, Harris Teeter, Walmart, CVS, Lowes Foods, and Kroger.

Cons:

  • The cakes were a little on the firm side, almost stale tasting. I enjoyed it, but my husband was not a fan.
  • There are 12 cakes to a package and two to a plastic sleeve. They don’t last long!

 

 

 

 

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

Follow Your Heart Grated Vegan Parmesan, Vegan MoFo Day 16

Unlike Amanda, I am not Italian.  I’m the youngest of 5 children with my earliest memories in the suburbs of Baltimore, born to parents who grew up and met in Baltimore City.  Then my dad went on to school and then on to be the preacher at a little country church in eastern North Carolina.  We were not shredded Parmesan people.  We were spaghetti sauce from a jar, grated Parmesan from a can people.  I’m also a little older than Amanda and when I was little the can was cardboard rather than plastic.  I was probably an adult before I realized that’s not the only kind of Parm there was.  Truth be known, I loved the stuff.  I frequently snuck to the fridge and just emptied some out in my hand to eat.   While Follow Your Heart has the shredded Parmesan people covered (read Amanda’s review here), they didn’t forget about the rest of us.

I’m just going to say it straight up: I loved this stuff!  I even caught myself going to the refrigerator to get some in my hand once… or twice… or let’s just say I lost count.  Since I found it on vacation, I even got one right before I left town to sneak in my suitcase.

 

Product: Follow Your Heart Grated Parmesan

Overall Grade: A+

 

fyhparm

 

Pros:

  • FYH nailed the flavor of the original stuff in the green can (at least as close as I can remember…it’s been a while)
  • Like the shredded, it’s in line with other vegan cheese prices
  • It’s not powdery like the original.  At first I thought that was going to put me off.  It didn’t. I actually liked the texture a little better than the original
  • It was even good alone.

 

I have one con:

  • I can’t find it where I live yet.  I am eagerly on the lookout.  I’m almost to the point of begging FYH to ship me some to hold me over.

 

BTW, I really liked the shredded kind too.

 

 

 

 

Follow Your Heart Shredded Vegan Parmesan, MoFo Day 15

I was raised in an Italian family and one thing that was always available was Parmesan cheese. Not that kind that came in the green plastic jar, but the kind that came from the deli that my mom (or grandmother) shredded or ground to put into a glass shaker. At every meal someone said “did you put the parm on the table?” When I went vegan, I would sometimes longingly look at the cheese and remember it’s tangy taste and salty flavor. Since then I have tasted some sprinkle jar vegan kinds and had not been all that impressed. I was so excited when I saw this product at our local co-op as I had been waiting to give it a try. As soon as I got home, I ripped open the package and threw a pinch in my mouth. It’s been about 7 or 8 years since I’ve had fresh grated parm, but this made me do a double-take thinking I was eating the dairy version. The taste seemed to be spot on. A little nutty, salty, and tangy.

Product: Shredded Parmesan by Follow Your Heart

Overall Grade: A

Pros:

  • Tastes like the dairy product it imitates! It is spot on for flavor and texture.
  • It melts!
  • It adds that touch you need to Italian food.
  • The price is in line with other vegan cheese products. It isn’t cheap, but won’t break the bank.
  • Since you don’t have to use a lot, it lasted quite a while for me. I did sneak a few pinches from the container every now and then.
  • It is soy and gluten free.

    parm on vegan gf pizza
    Vegan and Gluten Free pizza with the Parmesan sprinkled on top

Cons:

  • It isn’t easy to find here. I’ve only been able to find it at our local co-op. It isn’t at my Whole Foods yet.
  • It is a little on the salty side. So is dairy Parmesan, but I was kind of hoping the vegan version would be a little less salty.

 

parm container on the shelf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Mushroom Ricotta Ravioli is a Pirate’s Treasure – MoFo Day 2

Happy Vegan MoFo Day 2! Today we have a special guest blog post for you! Enjoy mates!

Overall Grade: A

 

Ahoy there you landlubbers, Veganswashbuckler here, back for another Vegan cuisine review.  I’ve been out to sea, and it’s good to be back on dry land; while seaweed is delicious and nutritious, and staves away the Scurvy, your captain was getting pretty sick of it.

While sailing the seven seas and plundering the shores of the carcass eaters and fighting the trawlers and whalers, your first mate made a stop by Italy to try out a new, glutiny delight from the almond cheese experts at Kite Hill: their mushroom ricotta ravioli.  A fine meal it was, and it reminded me of what it was like to be a miserable baby cow milk munching scalawag, without all of the feelings of guilt and complicity.

kite-hill-rav-seal

These ravioli are jumbo sized, though 10 in the pack may have left a hungry pirate like me a little unsatisfied.  These are a gourmet treat, mateys, and make sure you bring along a nice side of veggies if you’re planning to share.

As far as taste, I’d say these nuggets were mighty authentic, with a delicate, cheesy filling that was mighty pleasing to me palate.  And for all of my gluten-free first mates, I beseech the good gentlemen and gentlewomen at Kite Hill to try out a version without the wheat.  And if you could do it without raising the price, I won’t make ye walk the plank.  These pockets of pasta bliss will please any Vegan or non-Vegan you may know, and for all the non-Vegans out there, stop lining the pockets of the animal torturers, or I’ll make ye swim with the fishes!  With fine options such as this, no need for you to bellyache about not being able to live without meat.  If your friend the Veganswashbuckler can do it, then shut yer mouth unless yer filling her with cruelty free sustenance.

If you’re wondering how your favorite Vegan pirate had his ravioli, my chef prepared it with an Earth Balance margarine sauce that included mixed mushrooms, spinach, garlic, and red pepper flakes, with a sprinkle of salt, nutritional yeast, dried oregano, and dried sage.  It was enough to make Mario Batali, Giada de Laurentiis, and Chef Boyardee reformed Vegans!  Believe me when I tell you, Chef Boyardee would be pleased to know he’d never have to eat beefaroni again.

Arr!

kitehillplatedravioli