Go Veggie Grated Parmesan Style Topping

We took a little hiatus from writing reviews. During that time, we sampled a lot of products! We have quite a few products that we would like to share with you, so stay tuned!

When I think of Italian food, I remember back to my childhood and the shaker of fresh grated Parmesan that sat on the table for every meal. My mom and grandma used to grate it in the food processor and put it out at almost every meal. It was like ketchup, we put it on everything.  Since going vegan, I have been on the search for a vegan grated Parmesan that tastes like the dairy version from my childhood. The product from Go Veggie, is not this product. I was sorely disappointed. We believe in honest reviews here, so I am not holding back in my critique of this product.Go Veggie Container

Product: Go Veggie Grated Parmesan Style Topping

Overall Grade: D

Pros:

  • It is a vegan cheese product.
  • Unlike other vegan cheese products, this has protein and calcium. While most vegans know we don’t need the extra protein and calcium, having them in products helps win over omnivores.

Cons:

  • This product tastes gross! I could barely stomach the taste. It doesn’t come close to the fresh Parmesan taste or from what I remember from the store bought shaker container.
  • This product smelled like rotten feet. One sniff made me gag. I had to plug my nose when I sprinkled it on my food. This product is getting a D for this con alone. Food should not make me gag by the smell.
  • This is not something I’d keep at my table or serve to anyone. No one in my family liked it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Melty So Delicious Mozzarella

It still feels peculiar as a vegan to exclaim “I like cheese!”, but I do!  When I learn of a new vegan cheese, or new to me, I jump at the chance to give it a try. On Instagram, I started to see buzzing that So Delicious created a line of vegan shreds. Being a fan of their ice cream treats, I knew I wanted to give these shreds a try. After a couple of months of waiting for them to appear in my local stores, I finally found them at an area Whole Foods and grabbed one of the last two on the shelf. I am now able to get all three flavors regularly in my area.

 

Mozzarella PackageProduct: Mozzarella Flavored Shreds, by So Delicious

Overall Grade: A

Pros:

  • The shreds are gluten free, vegan, soy free and non-gmo verified.
  • The shreds melt well. They melted instantly in my microwave testing and quickly in the oven. I have tried them in mac n cheese, nachos, and a sandwich.
  • This cheese tastes good out straight of the package. Hold the presses! Yes, you read that right. I have tried the Mozzarella and Cheddar and they taste reminiscent of their dairy counterparts, as is. Watch yourself as you might eat the whole bag before it heads to food!
  • They are perfect for pizza! I haven’t yet tried them on pizza, but seeing how they worked on other foods convinced me that I have to buy another bag and make pizza.
  • This product would be a great one to share with your dairy eating friends to show them how delicious veganism alternatives can be!
  • They have three flavors: Mozzarella, Cheddar, and Cheddar Jack. I hope to try Cheddar Jack soon!mac n cheese

Cons:

  • If you are a reader of the blog, you can probably already anticipate the first con. Price. Like all other vegan brand name cheese options, the bag was pricey. I am pretty sure it was priced the same as Daiya at over $5 a bag! Vegans aren’t made of money!
  • An area where I feel that vegan cheese makers are failing is in the nutritional content. Many people who eat dairy cheese do so because it has calcium and protein. Yet very few, if any, of the vegan brands have protein and calcium. This brand has zero for both. While I don’t need to get these from vegan cheeses in my diet, I know this could be a impediment to others switching to vegan cheese.
  • It is fattening! It is made from coconut and has 7g of fat per serving. I looked up a brand of dairy mozzarella and it was only 3g of fat per serving.
  • It is not available as widely as other vegan brands. I hope it will be soon!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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