Review: So Delicious Cultured Almond Milk Greek Yogurt

So Delicious Greek Almond Milk YogurtMan, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Sorry for that. Thanks have been crazy busy, but good. I finished my yoga training, and have actually been subbing here and there at my regular yoga studio. My new job is going really well; although, my brain is usually fried by the end of the day because I’m learning so much. All this being said, I’m looking forward to a boring and uneventful rest of the year.

Anyway, back to the important stuff: the food. I thought I’d start my foray back into blogging with a review of So Delicious’ Greek Yogurt. Greek yogurt is one of the few things I miss being vegan and I was so excited to find that So Delicious is offering a vegan version. I couldn’t wait to get home and try it. And then I did. And then I was so, so disappointed.

So, where to begin? I opened the attractive packaging and dipped my spoon into the vanilla yogurt. The consistency was very much like regular Greek yogurt: thick, rich and creamy. The color, however, was brown and off-putting. And then I took a bite and my heart sank. The texture was very mealy. I tried another bite, hoping that maybe I could get past the texture, but I just couldn’t. And the flavor wasn’t appealing either. There definitely wasn’t the tang that you get with regular Greek yogurt. Frankly, it made me gag a bit. My husband tried the strawberry flavor and had the same experience with the mealiness and flavor.

After browsing the site, I noticed that So Delicious offers a Greek-style yogurt using cultured coconut milk. I’d definitely be willing to try that if I come across it, though I haven’t seen it in the stores. Have any of you tried the coconut milk version? If so, what are your thoughts?

I hope you all are well!!

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Product Review: Nasoya Nayo Whipped Sandwich Spread

Potato Salad

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a representative from Nasoya to try out the company’s revamped line of Nayonaise. Now, I realize that it’s advertised as a sandwich spread, but the warmer weather has me thinking about cookouts, and one of my favorite cookout foods is potato salad. So I decided to try out the Nayo Whipped Sandwich Spread in my recipe, which I’ve included down below. (I also received a jar of the original Nayonaise, which I’ll review and post at a later date.)

Nayo Whipped

Tasting the sandwich spread right out the jar, I noticed that it has a slightly sweet and tangy flavor, which added a little extra punch to my potato salad. The sweetness counterbalanced the vinegar and mustard that I added to the recipe. The spread also incorporated really easily, coating the potatoes really well and adding a nice creaminess to the dish. And a little goes a long way.

All in all, if you’re looking to incorporate a little extra zing to your sandwich or your salad recipe, I highly recommend the Nayo Whipped Sandwich Spread.

Vegan Mustard Potato Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients:

3lbs mix of Yukon and red potatoes, cubed and cooked until just tender (these provide two different textures to the salad)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
1 cup Nayo Whipped Sandwich Spread
1 tbsp dried dill (or a little less if you’re using fresh)
2 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste (I like a lot of pepper)

Directions:

Salt the warm potatoes after draining. Throw all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Note: There’s a lot of room for experimentation with this recipe. Normally, I just eyeball it when I make it and don’t actually measure anything.

Enjoy!

Yes, It’s Vegan: Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust

Veggie PIzza

A couple of months ago, we were invited over to our friends’ house for dinner. They made these wonderful little vegan pizzas on a thin, whole-wheat crust. I thought for sure that the crust was homemade, but I was surprised to learn that it was actually Pillsbury’s Artisan Pizza Crust.

Now, flash forward to this past weekend and we finally remembered to pick some up from the grocery to make at home. Our friends had divided the dough into smaller pizzas, which made for a thinner, crispier crust. We decided to just leave the crust as-is, which made for a thicker, chewier crust. We topped ours with a simple tomato sauce, Daiya Mozzarella Cheese, green olives, cremini muchrooms, onion and mixed greens.

The final result was way better and way cheaper than any kind of vegan pizza we could get around town (sadly, Louisville has a lack of vegan pizza options unless you want to just get it without cheese). And it took about 20 minutes total to make, which is less time than it would take to pick up a pizza or have it delivered. I still love to make homemade pizza dough, but this is a great option if you don’t have the time to spend waiting for the dough to rise.

Review: Trader Joe’s Vegetable Panang Curry, Green Curry

Okay, here’s my unsolicited Louisville shout out: We have tons of international restaurants spread out across the city. You name it and we probably have it. Although, sadly, we don’t have a lot of vegan restaurant options (I guess I’ll have to open that vegan diner I keep talking about). But as far as Thai food, we have that in abundance and whenever I pay a visit to one of our Thai restaurants, I almost always get the green curry with tofu.

On a visit to Trader Joe’s, I noticed two microwaveable vegan curries in the soup section: Vegetable Green Curry and Vegetable Panang Curry, which I’m also a big fan of. At around $2 each, I thought I’d give them a try.

My husband had the green curry and I had the panang curry, though we sampled each. I made basmati rice to go along with them, which helped to bulk up the meals.

And the verdict? They were actually pretty good. Both were very soupy, even for a curry, but the rice helped to soak up the coconut milk broth. I wouldn’t recommend eating either without a side of rice.

The green curry had a spicy kick and lots of carrots and other veggies. The panang curry was milder and had lots of carrots and sliced baby corn. You get a lot with each container and I could even see splitting one if we made tofu to go with it. So, if you’re looking for a quick and filling lunch or dinner option, I recommend both.

Product Review: MimicCreme (Revisited)

I love coffee. Love it. I typically drink it black, but recently thought it might be nice to change it up with a little non-dairy creamer. Long ago, I tried the Silk Creamer and found it a little too sweet for my tastes — and I’m talking about the Original, not the flavored varieties.

On a recent trip to Whole Foods, I walked past MimicCreme cartons on the shelf and decided to grab one to try in my coffee. I tried MimicCreme last year during Thanksgiving, but I used it in savory dishes, such as my green bean casserole. It worked perfectly as a substitute for heavy cream and I plan on using it again this year.

Well, after trying the Original Unsweetened in my morning coffee, I’m hooked. The creamer provides a nice, rich creaminess to my morning cup(s) of coffee without any sweetness. But if you do like a little bit of sweetness with your caffeine fix, there are Hazelnut Biscotti and French Vanilla flavors available.

Product Review: ingenuiTEA Teapot

Ok, so I realize that this post isn’t directly related to veganism, but as a huge coffee and tea fan, it all goes hand in hand with the food — at least in my opinion.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend invited me to a Tea 101 class at the Louisville Tea Co., a new spot in town to buy loose-leaf teas and to have a cup or two. I was excited to go, but already being a tea drinker, I didn’t think I’d learn much. Boy, was I wrong. The two-hour course was super-informative and I learned lots of interesting things about how different types of teas are processed. If you live in or around Louisville, I highly recommend the class. It’s a lot of fun.

While there, I was introduced to the ingenuiTEA teapot. I’m always looking for an easier way to brew my tea and after just a few uses, I’m already in love. Just add your tea leaves and pour in the water. The leaves have plenty of room to expand so that you get the most flavor and benefits from the tea. After the appropriate brewing time, just set the teapot on top of your cup and the water comes out of the bottom to leave the leaves and any tea dust behind.

And, of course, be sure to serve your tea with vegan scones, biscotti or shortbread (see what I did there?).

We Bought the Blender

Okay, we did it. We finally broke down and bought a fancy-schmancy Vitamix blender, BUT we ended up going the reconditioned route to save some pennies.

When we made the decision to buy, I went to the Vitamix site to make the purchase only to find that they are currently out of stock for new blenders. I sent an email to find out when more would be in stock. The friendly sales rep said more would be available mid-July, but mentioned that they have reconditioned ones in stock for considerably less.

The reconditioned blenders are ones that people sent back under the 30-day money-back-guarantee policy. (Let’s face it: It’s a pretty expensive blender if you’re only going to use it to make smoothies.) The company takes the returned blender, runs it through the same testing as the new blenders (or so they say), removes any blemishes and replaces the pitcher and tamper with new ones. And, you get a 5-year warranty with it.

So we went for it.

I don’t have it yet, but it’s due to arrive on Monday and I AM SO FREAKIN’ EXCITED! (It doesn’t take much for me.) I found a vegan peach sherbert recipe on its website that I want to try because, even though I’ve seen it work in person, I’m still baffled as to how a blender can make ice cream.

We’ve been talking about buying this thing for so long that I hope I’m not disappointed. I’ve said it here before: I’m not a fan of having lots of kitchen gadgets. But, as you all know, once you’ve spent some time cooking in your kitchen, you start to know which tools you need and don’t need.

Once I get the blender and play with it a bit, I’ll post a review.

I hope you all are well!

Review: Daiya Cheddar Wedge

If I had a dime for every person who, when they find out I’m vegan, says, “I could never give up cheese!” Let’s just say this blog would look a whole lot better than it does. The great thing about being vegan today is that you don’t have to “give up” anything; you just have to find the right products to replace the ones that you currently use.

I FINALLY got my hands on the new Daiya Cheddar wedges that just hit the market. You would have thought I won the lottery when I spotted them on the shelf. I promise no one got hurt, but I do think I scared a few people.

My first impression was that the package is really small for the nearly $5 price tag. But when I opened the package, I found that the block of cheese is the same size, if not bigger, than a block of the fancy cow’s milk cheese you see at Whole Foods. So, really, the price isn’t so bad.

Reviews of the cheese had led me to believe that it wasn’t very firm, but I found just the opposite to be true when I cut a few slices. Is it as firm as a traditional block of cheddar? No. But it sliced easily and held its shape.

I’ve tried many other brands of block-style vegan cheese and they were all pretty gross. My biggest worry when I heard about the wedges was that they wouldn’t taste very good cold. And I was relieved to find that not to be true. The cheddar had a nice tang to it that worked really well by itself, or with crackers and slices of apple. And I was surprised by how rich it was; a few small slices go a long way with plate of fruit and crackers.

This product certainly gives me more options for my lunch dilemma. I can’t wait to try the other varieties.

Up next this week? I’m making Japanese-inspired hot dogs with wasabi fries, as featured in the latest issue of VegNews. I’m also making a pot pie using my slow cooker. I’ll have posts on those later in the week.

I hope you all are well!

Vegan Weekly Roundup

Hey there! I hope you all had a great week. This was yet another week of cheap and easy meals for us that weren’t really blog-worthy, so I apologize for the lack of posts. So, in lieu of any food posts and pics, I thought I’d offer a roundup of some of the vegan-related posts that piqued my interest this week.

Much-needed lunch ideas.

Interview with Bryant Terry, author of “Vegan Soul Kitchen” and “The Inspired Vegan.”

Helpful food storage and safety tips.

A review of the new Daiya Wedges (I haven’t seen them in Louisville yet).

A video recipe for Vietnamese Caramel Cooked Tofu. Yum.

A new vegan-friendly lunch spot if you’re in or around Louisville. Can’t wait to try it.

My idea of the perfect staycation.

Or if you want to get away, a vegan lodge in Grenada.

New Product: Daiya Wedge Cheese

Have you heard? Daiya is coming out with wedge-style cheese! I’m a big fan of the cheese shreds, so I’m hoping the wedges are just as good. My only question: How do they taste cold? The story on VegNews offered instances of using the cheese in hot dishes, but I really want a cheese that you can eat with crackers and fruit. I don’t see anything on the Daiya site about the wedges, but VegNews reports that they’ll be out on April 1st. Let’s hope it’s not an April Fool’s joke.