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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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!

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Tofurky BBQ Chick’n Pizza

Those days roll around when you need to do something quick for a meal. When those days hit, I like to have a frozen pizza on hand. I try not to rely on that often, but when I do I want a good pizza waiting for me to pop in the oven.  I don’t like to feel like I am eating junk food, so I serve it with a salad full of veggies, and sometimes fruit. While I enjoy many of the vegan gluten free classics, I sometimes crave new flavors. I was delighted when I heard that Tofurky came out with a line. I was even more delighted when I learned that I could find one of those locally.

Product: Tofurky Barbecue Chik’n pizza with roasted corn

pizza bos

bbq chickn pizza

Overall Grade: A. I really liked the combination of BBQ sauce, chick’n, onions, cilantro and corn. I would buy this again and hope to try the other flavors listed on the website.

Pros

  • The flavor combination is non-traditional is nice to stray from the norm of pizza flavors
  • It is nice to have a vegan protein on pizza every so often.
  • Tofurky was NOT skimpy on the toppings, like I’ve seen on other frozen pizzas. I like a lot of toppings on my pizza!
  • The crust was good. I have to comment on the crust since this is a gluten free pizza. Not all gluten free crusts are created equal.

Cons:

  • The BBQ sauce was a little too sweet for me. I prefer more of a tangy sauce.
  • This pizza is too small to feed 2.5 people. I’ve noticed this with all vegan pizzas. Maybe they think we eat small portions?
  • The pizza is expensive. I don’t remember the exact price, but it is at least, if not pushing, $10. In my opinion, that is entirely too much money for the size of the pizza.

 

 

 

 

Snacking and Relaxing with Daiya Supreme Pizza

We at Veggie Product Reviews have had a lot going on and hope you will excuse our absence from posting. We have been enjoying many new products and hope to get back to regular posting soon. When things get busy, sometimes you need a little help in the kitchen with something quick. I don’t like to include processed food on a regular basis, but sometimes feel like it is called for. When we eat a processed item, we try and have something healthy with it. This post is about pizza and if we do a frozen pizza, we generally make a fresh salad with spinach, greens and fresh veggies.

Daiya Supreme Pizza

On this particular occasion we had the Daiya Supreme Pizza purchased from the frozen section of the grocery store. I like all of the Daiya pizzas that I’ve tried, but this is my favorite so far. I really like the combination of ingredients. The pizza has Beyond Meat sausage crumbles, peppers and onions. As a gluten free vegan, I don’t often get to have meat substitutes on my pizza.  This is a nice treat and change from the norm. I enjoy how Daiya isn’t skimpy on vegan cheese or toppings. I’ve tried other vegan brands where there is barely coverage of the vegan cheese. Maybe it is just me, but I like a lot of vegan cheese on my pizza. I like it to be covered. If I’m going to have junk food, why not go all out?

This pizza is a true winner for me and next time we buy a frozen pizza, I plan on it being this one. I like the other flavors as well and need to make sure that I’ve tried them all. I am sure you will see more pizza posts in the future. Happy snacking and relaxing!

Veganized Family Recipe -or- Beyond Beef Mac – Day 20

When I was growing up, my dad was a student and then a pastor.  With 5 kids in the family, that meant mom had to work and dinner was often a little later than any of us would have liked.  When I was around 10 she started to teach me how to cook.  I liked it right off the bat.  Each weekend I’d learn a dish as  she cooked it.  Then, over time, I knew how to make enough basic meals that I could work into the weeknight rotations and have dinner on the table when she got home.

I don’t remember her ever teaching me this particular dish and I’m hoping I served a vegetable with it (probably green beans), but it was one of my favorites.  We called it beef mac, but you might know it better as beefaroni or chili mac.  Basically,  our version was just a combo of boxed mac and cheese with our sloppy joes.

It’s one of those comfort food dishes that I still want and my sister still asks for every now and again.  I’ve never gotten it “quite right” until the new Daiya Deluxe Style Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac came along.  It’s creamy and cheddary and quite a lot like I remember the famous blue box mac n cheese.  Daiya does have a “taste” in all their products that makes you know it’s Daiya.  It’s in here, so if that taste isn’t something you’re fond of, you may not want to eat it straight like this, but I don’t think you’d notice it mixed with the other things in the Beyond Beef Mac.  I like Daiya’s taste, so this was a hands down winner for me.  It reminds me a lot of the cheddar wedge before they changed the recipe, which was my favorite Daiya ever. By the way, the alfredo is good too, but I like this a little better.

 

Daiya's Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac
Daiya’s Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac

 

Using the Cheezy Mac, combined with one of my favorite products, the Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles, I was able to recreate this old favorite, even to my sister’s satisfaction.

 

beyond Beef Mac
Beyond Beef Mac made with Beyond Meat Crumbles and Daiya Cheddar Cheezy Mac

 

 

Dawn’s Beyond Beef Mac

1. Make a box of Daiya Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac according to the package directions.
2. While the macaroni is cooking, brown a bag of Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles in a separate pan with a little olive oil (or canola, or sunflower, or whatever you like)

3. When the Cheezy Mac and the Beefy crumbles are cooked completely, mix the crumbles into the Cheezy Mac (still in the pan you cooked the mac in)

4. Add the following and stir:

  • 1/4 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • Several drops liquid smoke
  • 2 Tbsp dried, minced onions
  • 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic

Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve and enjoy.  It’s good at room temperature later too.  Or cold from the refrigerator.

 

Just a few notes: My tastes on the onions and mustard change a bit from day to day.  So start with that and add however much seems right to you.  You can substitute 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire in place of the aminos and liquid smoke.

 

Thanks for letting me share this little part of my family with you!

 

 

Day 15 – Barack’s Veganism

I realize that this is the second post in a row about vegan cheezes. I can’t help it. They’re so delicious and I want to give credit where credit is due.
I am grateful that Barack has decided to conduct random visits to vegan households to try vegan food. It’s only a matter of time until he’s vegan. Barack’s imaginary visit to my house would include a Miyoko’s Kitchen vegan cheeze spread.
20150729_135527
Miyoko’s Kitchen Artisan Vegan Cultured Nut Products include something for everyone. They have soft, cream based, spreadable cheezes (my personal favorites), and they also have harder, more traditional cheese-like products. I’m not very creative in the kitchen so I usually enjoy my Miyoko on crackers. although one time we did try a mac and cheeze recipe from their helpful blog.
The Classic Double Cream Chive is my number one favorite. I can (and have) eaten almost half the wheel on crackers in one sitting. Second place is a tie. That award goes to the Double Cream Sundried Tomato Garlic and the Fresh Loire Valley in a Fig Leaf. I like these on their own, too, but have found them even more enjoyable spread in a quesadilla or as a dollop on top of a tofu scramble.
I don’t want to downplay the other flavors. I just favor the creamy ones because I don’t like heavier, smokier flavored foods in general. Others that I know rave about them. To each his or her own!
The bottom line is that these cheezes rock. They’re a little pricey, and you do have to pay for refrigerated shipping, but it’s a treat that’s well worth it once in a while. They’re also organic, which in my opinion adds more value to them. Hopefully they will be available locally in stores very soon!
Happy Vegan MoFo’ing, Barack!