Vegan FroYo at Tutti Frutti

Vegan MoFo Day 15:

Have you heard?!  Tutti Frutti has soy frozen yogurt!  They have all the nutritional information on their website.  It lists quite a few flavors, but I have only tried the Vanilla and Peanut Butter.  This was at their Marina Del Rey location.  I’ve also been to the one in Los Angeles on Wilshire, but they only had the peanut butter flavor.  The Irvine location got rid of it due to low demand.  I liked the flavor (more sweet and less tangy), but my vegan guy thought there was a chalky aftertaste.  I can kind of see what he means, but it didn’t bother me that much.

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt

Vanilla and Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurts

So go out and try it.  If you like it, keep buying it – or it just might be gone forever.

More Brunching at Real Food Daily

In relation to where my vegan guy lives, Real Food Daily is quite convenient.  And this makes it especially nice when we want some breakfast foods, since RFD serves brunch on Sundays (you can see more brunch items in my last RFD post).

My vegan guy went with his usual tofu scramble, but I wanted something new and got The Weekender ($14.25): scrambled tofu, onions, tomatoes, cashew cheese, tempeh bacon, half order french toast or two pancakes with hash browns or fruit.  I got it with pancakes (added blueberries) and hash browns.  I love this meal, because (1) it fills you up and (2) it combines sweet with savory.  This is great for those of us (like me) who are indecisive when it comes to menu ordering.  I still don’t like their tempeh bacon, but everything else was delicious!

RFD Weekender

The Weekender

And this sweet-aholic always eyes the bakery display case at their Santa Monica bakery.  I didn’t want something too heavy after eating that large meal, so I got the lightly sweetened Blueberry Coffee Cake.  I only thought it was decent – not spectacular.   Maybe it was just too dense and not moist enough for me.  Won’t stop me from trying their other desserts, though!

RFD Blueberry Coffee Cake

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Did you here?  RFD is now serving Pasadena!

My Favorite Store Bought Mac and Cheeses

Vegan MoFo Day 10:

I just want to take a moment to tell you how amazing Leahey Gardens Mac and Cheese is.  I purchased a bunch of these from Vegan Essentials, because I can’t find it locally.  In my opinion, this is the best vegan mac and cheese in a box (or bag) on the market.  It’s prepared very similar to the conventional kind in the blue box.  The sauce is a powdered mix that you cook with some water or non-dairy milk (I also add some Earth Balance to it) then mix it in with the cooked noodles.  So simple and so delicious.

Leahey Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

And also a shout out to the best frozen mac and cheese out there:  Amy’s Rice Macaroni and Dairy Free Cheeze.  Even easier than Leahey Gardens!  Just pop this guy into the microwave.  It’s a small meal, but very satisfying.  And the best part is that this one is pretty readily available in your local grocer’s freezer section and is gluten free.

Amy's Mac and Cheeze

Amy’s Mac and Cheeze

(Source)

But if you don’t want to clean up dishes from either of these, I’d like to tell you about a Vegan Mac and Cheese Competition coming up this Saturday, October 13th in Los Angeles. Pay $5 to sample vegan mac and cheeses from local restaurants.  There will be a People’s Choice Award and a Judge’s Choice Award.  Get there early, because (apparently) only the first 100 will get samples.  See details here.

Vegan at zPizza

Vegan MoFo Day 9:

Daiya vegan cheese has really revolutionized vegan pizza.  I remember when vegan pizza was just a mythical creature in childhood fables.  Now, vegan pizza can be found all over the place.  On a recent trip to Tennessee, it seemed vegan pizza was our only vegan option.  Progress, I tell you.

zPizza is a national pizza chain that is helping spread the gospel of vegan pizza.  They have a pizza called the Berkeley that is full of veggies and fake meat.  I never was a fan of real meat on my pizza, so I tend to just stick to veggies – which is what my vegan guy and I did on our last trip to zPizza.  We got a vegan Mushroom and Olive Pizza.  The crust is a one-size fits all kind of crust:  not to thick and not too thin.  I like it.

zPizza Mushroom and Olive Pizza

Mushroom and Olive Pizza

But my vegan guy likes the fake meat, so he got a Hawaiian Pizza to eat the next day.  They put a good amount of hearty-sized bits of the fake meat and look at all the pineapple.  Fruit on a pizza is a great way to get your 5-a-day!

zPizza Hawaiian Pizza

Hawaiian Pizza

Check their website to see where your local zPizza might be.

Mail Order Raw Chocolate from Cloud 9

A quick review for Day 8 of Vegan MoFo:

I’m a sucker for deals, so when an offer hit the web for a sample of vegan raw chocolate from Cloud 9, I had to get it.  I’ve calmed down with purchasing discounted goods a lot since this deal went out.  For awhile there, I had more food than I could eat.

I understand the benefits of raw foods, but I just can’t get on board with raw chocolate.  It’s way too bitter for me.  I think I’ve finally learned my lesson to stop ordering it.  I’m thinking that the only way I’d learn to love raw chocolate is if I never ate sweetened foods.  Then maybe my taste buds would find the raw chocolate pleasant.  But, something tells me I won’t be giving up my vegan cakes and ice creams anytime soon.

As for the goods, I only had a very tiny sample of each flavor and then gave the rest away.

Cloud 9 Raw Chocolates

Raw Chocolates

The better ones would be the Macadamia/Goji and Cranberry/Pecan, because the sweetness of the fruit helps balance out the bitterness of the chocolate.  I couldn’t handle the bitterness in the Walnut and Original at all.

Cloud 9 Assorted Chocolate

Clockwise: Original, Walnut, Macadamia/Goji, Cranberry/Pecan

If you like really bitter chocolate, go get some of this.  It has some great nutritional qualities for a candy bar and I hear quite a few people liked it at Natural Products Expo East.

Back to the Roots Mushroom Growing Kit

Vegan MoFo Day 5:

Many months ago, I bought this deal for three mushroom growing kits by Back to the Roots.  I thought this was such an awesome thing!  I can grow my own mushrooms?!  I love mushrooms.  Plus, oyster mushrooms were expensive and hard to find in the stores.  I thought I’d save a bundle.

The thing is, you have to spray the thing with water twice a day, everyday, until you are ready to harvest.  Since I’m gone most weekends, this kit ended up being quite a burden.  When I finally found a good time to start growing, I did as directed.

First, you have to soak the kit (instructions are included when you buy the kit).  Then you drain it, put it back in the box, cut some slits, and wait for things to grow.

Back to the Roots

Soaking the Bag

If your kit actually grows – it’ll look something like the following pictures (I’m such an urban-farming hipster now!):

Back to the Roots Day 1

Day 1

Back to the Roots Day 7

Day 7

Back to the Roots Day 8

Day 8

Back to the Roots Day 9

Day 9

Back to the Roots Day 10

Day 10

Back to the Roots Day 11

Day 11

I say “if” you kit grows, because my first kit did not grow.  They have a 100% guarantee, so I contacted them for support.  It took a few days for them to respond (a lot of time wasted for a kit that should be harvestable in about 10 days).  By the time they did reply to me, I had already given up on that kit and started a new one (seen above).  They gave me tips on how to save the first kit, but it never did grow, so they sent me a new one.

They also say that “when you are ready” you can go ahead and follow the same steps to harvest the other side of the kit.  Cool – I can get two harvests out of one kit!  Well, I wasn’t “ready” to harvest the second side immediately after finishing the first side, so I waited a week or two.  That was a mistake.  I came into my kitchen one day to see my kit covered in mold (the bad kind) and fruit flies swarming the place.  I had to take that kit out to the trash – leaving me with only one harvest under my belt.

So, would I buy this again?  Definitely not!!  I think I bought it for around $13, but I’ve seen oyster mushrooms being sold at Whole Foods for $10-$15 a pound.  Considering I only got 3 and 1/8th ounces out of my one harvest, it was way not worth the money. I’d say this is only worth it if you have kids and want to do something fun with them.  Save your mushroom purchases for the stores.

And did they taste good?  I actually didn’t see much difference in them compared to some varieties of cheaper mushrooms at the store.  I had been wanting to try this Clam Chowder recipe from Healthy Happy Life, so I used the mushrooms for that.  The soup was great!!  But I think you could easily sub the mediocre Back to the Roots mushrooms for another variety.

kblog Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder

Dinnertime at Real Food Daily

Day 4 of Vegan MoFo:

My last two posts from Real Food Daily have been about their brunch items.  Because it is one of the few places to get vegan breakfast foods, my vegan guy and I come here a lot in the (late) mornings.  Very rarely do we actually come here for dinner, but sometimes we do.

In my pre-blog days, I tried numerous lunch/dinner menu items here that I did not document.  I am a big fan of their sandwich menu, including their Reuben ($11.75): tempeh, tofu cheese spread, sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing on sourdough rye bread.  I got it with a side Caesar Salad (really good!!).  This reuben is full of sauerkraut and is so juicy.  It doesn’t make you feel heavy after eating it, either.

RFD Reuben

Reuben

Another great item is their Mexico City Tacos ($15.95): two crispy tacos, red chili beans, tempeh, vegetables, smoky chipotle cheese, avocado, jicama slaw, and Fiesta rice.  This is one item off their specials menu.  I am a big fan of mexican inspired dishes and this had all the components of a tasty south of the border meal.   Two things I loved were the creamy beans and cheese.  One thing I wasn’t that into was the jicama slaw – not a big fan of jicama.

RFD Tacos

Tacos

And again with the dessert!  I have terrible willpower when it comes to dessert.  A few other tables around my vegan guy and me ordered a Cookie a la Mode, so I did too.  The thought of a warmed chocolate chip cookie with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream sounded so wonderful and decadent.  Unfortunately, the cookie was not warmed and wasn’t particularly good at room temperature, either (I think it was gluten free).  I did like the ice cream.

RFD Cookie a la Mode

Cookie a la Mode

Vegan Divas Sent to Your Door

Day 3 of Vegan MoFo:

 

A while back I got a sample of products from Vegan Divas in New York City.  I was curious if a freshly baked product can make its way to the west coast and still taste good.  Did it?  Read on.

Assorted Goods

I got three different Baked Doughnuts – I’m a huge Homer Simpson and was really excited about the doughnuts.  The Toasted Coconut was very moist, but I thought it had an aftertaste – maybe the baking soda?  The Chocolate Iced was also moist – although not as moist as the coconut – and had a nice flavor.  Last, the Cinnamon Sugar was kind of plain for my taste.  Not too much to it.  The quest for an awesome donut I can get in SoCal (or mailed to me) continues…

Doughnuts: Chocolate Iced, Toasted Coconut, Cinnamon Sugar

I liked the other goodies better than the doughnuts.  First were some Chocolate Chip Cookies made with spelt flour. At first glance, these looked thin and crispy.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that these were thin and soft.  They had a very nice flavor and had just the right amount of chocolate chips.  Spelt products have really taken a turn for the better.

Another goody was the gluten free Macaroons. I normally don’t like macaroons, because every one I’ve had has been wet and full of long strands of coconut (ew).  This one reminded me more of a cookie.  The chewier texture was a delightful surprise – score for the coconut!

Lastly, I tried the Spelt Brownie.  This is a stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth kind of brownie.  Luckily, it wasn’t a bitter tasting brownie, but still wasn’t my favorite.  I’ve had some better vegan brownies, but I also would not be disappointed had I ordered this for dessert at a restaurant.

Clockwise: Chocolate Chip Cookies, Spelt Brownie, Macaroon

You can order these goodies and more at their website.  Some items are only available for delivery in Manhattan, though.

 

More Great Food From Follow Your Heart

Day 2 of Vegan MoFo!!

I try to eat at a lot of vegan-friendly places, but sometimes a girl just wants a good vegan breakfast!  That is why I went again to Follow Your Heart in Canoga Park.  I wish there were more vegan breakfast joints in LA and Orange County.  But, then again, I do love Follow Your Heart.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t too in love with my breakfast choice.  I got the Tofu Eggwich ($6.95): scrambled tofu patty, tomato, avocado, “pastrami” wheatmeat, and Vegenaise on an english muffin.   You also get a choice of potatoes or fruit.  As you can see, I went with the potatoes – so good!  I don’t know what they did to them, but they were delicious.  The tofu patty on the sandwich was not that delicious.  I thought it was going to be a slab of marinated tofu, but this one was smushed up tofu with some kind of thickening/binding flour or starch and spices.  I didn’t really like the flavor.

Follow Your Heart Tofu Eggwich

Tofu Eggwich

I wasn’t sure how big that tofu sandwich was going to be, so I got a side of Cornbread ($2.50).  This sure was a hearty slice of cornbread.  I’m a snob when it comes to cornbread – I like it fluffy and on the sweet side.  Hearty cornbreads just don’t do it for me.  They asked if I’d like honey with it, but since I don’t eat honey, I declined.  It would have been better with some kind of sweetener – jam or agave/maple syrup, though.

Follow Your Heart Cornbread

Cornbread

My vegan guy didn’t care for breakfast foods and went straight to lunch.  He got the Reuben ($10.75): thinly sliced wheatmeat, cheese, sauerkraut, mustard, and Vegenaise, on rye.  I’d like to tell you how good or bad it was, but I actually don’t remember what he thought (and neither does he).  Oops.

Follow Your Heart Reuben

Reuben

To see more great stuff from Follow Your Heart, see my previous posts here and here.

Honee Review and Bonus Recipe!

Today is the first day of Vegan MoFo!  Happy Vegan Month of Food everyone!!  In honor of this great month, I will be posting my first recipe to this blog.  Not many more will follow, but I will bring you some of my favorite tasty recipes every so often.   And check out the official Vegan MoFo blogroll to see some awesome blogs talking about how amazing vegan food can be.

Anyway.

A new product has come on to the markets replacing honey.  Now, I know some vegans eat honey, so this is a non-issue.  But I used to love honey and now I don’t eat it anymore.   I was super excited to try this Bee Free Honee made from apples.  Apples?  Really?  I had read reviews raving about how this product tastes “just like honey!!”  They claimed it doesn’t even taste like apples.

I beg to differ.  The syrup was good, but it did not taste like honey.  In fact, it tasted just like a sweet apple syrup. Hmmm – now what was I going to do with the bottles I had bought in excitement for a product supposed to taste exactly like honey?  I didn’t like the taste of it in my traditional uses for honey (mainly with peanut butter and bananas), so I sought out recipes for this product.

Bee Free Honee

Bee Free Honee

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