Showing posts with label Meatless Monday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Meatless Monday. Show all posts

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Jackfruit Company

The Jackfruit Company's BBQ Jackfruit in a simple
sandwich I created using vegan bread, avocado,
romaine lettuce and vegenaise.
Although I have been a vegan for a little over a month and love it, I am "silent" on the issue, as I may make a few suggestions to my family and friends sporadically, I will never push my views let alone how I choose to eat, on them. Will I continue eating vegan? I am seriously considering it. Before eating vegan, I was a vegetarian for over 10 years. This excludes the vegetarian binges I would have in my early teens into my early 20's.
 
Recently, when shopping at Whole Foods, I discovered an amazing vegan addition on the shelf, The Jackfruit Company BBQ Jackfruit. It comes pre-packaged and prepared, so all you have to do is break the seal and you are good to go. When reading the ingredients in the store, I was modestly impressed with the idea that this mock meat alternative was, in fact, made of jackfruit.
 
As you may or may not be aware, jackfruit is quite healthy and filled with an array of vitamins such as B1, B6, and C. It is also quite high in potassium and in magnesium. The seeds themselves are very rich in protein.
 
This incredible BBQ Jackfruit tomato-based blend consists of both sweet and savory with a hint of tangy spice and smoky mesquite. Made with young jackfruit, this amazing mock meat alternative includes: tomato paste, light brown sugar, vinegar, sunflower oil, onion, garlic, salt, natural flavor, red chili powder, ground black pepper, and ground white pepper.
 
Would I recommend this amazing mock meat alternative? Absolutely. Would I ever eat it again? Absolutely.
 
The Jackfruit Company offers four unique flavors. These flavors include: BBQ, Tex-Mex, Teriyaki and Curry. For more information, visit the official website today.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Cheesy Vegan Penne Pasta

Cheesy Vegan Penne Pasta
As a lacto-ovo vegetarian, I am discovering a lot of creative new ways to cook some of those timeless dishes without the carnivore classic in them. Kind of like the bun without the hot dog, only with a veggie dog in between the bun. As there are so many alternatives to meat (which you can find here) there are alternatives to those dishes that possess them too. And although I am a vegetarian, where I enjoy dairy, eggs and honey, I find myself really intrigued by vegan eating. In fact, there are times where I will go on what I refer to as 'vegan binges' and I will eat vegan for months. Is it hard to be a vegan? Absolutely not. It is just a matter of not worrying about what you eat, but only finding good food to enjoy that is not only meat-free, but free of dairy, eggs and honey.
 
Recently, in the kitchen I decided to create a very creamy yet cheesy vegan penne pasta. Most penne is vegetarian; however, not all of it is vegan. A good vegan penne can be homemade and rustic, as it can be found in a lot of grocery stores. Whole Foods for instance. So, how do you make cheesy vegan penne pasta?
 
First and foremost, you are going to want to add water into your pan followed by your favorite herbs and spices. The secret to any amazing pasta is to season the water in the pan before actually cooking the pasta. Of course adding more herbs and spices is an option later. I have been doing this for years and will continue for the rest of my life.
 
For this particular dish, I favor simplicity. What I added to the water only consists of salt, pepper and oil. That's it. No more, no less. You can add whatever you would like. If you are searching for that epic heat, you can add a little cayenne pepper and jalapeno. If you are looking to transform your cheesy vegan penne into a classic Italian dish, you can add some basil and oregano. You can do a lot, but for this dish I decided to keep it simple.
 
In a separate bowl, you want to create a base. This is where the magic happens. You are going to want to add one cup of unsweetened Silk Coconut Milk followed by two tablespoons of Earth Balance's vegan butter. You are also going to want to add some Sari Foods Nutritional Yeast Flakes followed by a little more salt. In my quest in making an outstanding cheesy vegan penne pasta, I added some vegan protein powder by Purely Inspired. This added a great balance of taste, creating a fusion of flavor. Blend everything together and sit the bowl aside.
 
Keeping an eye on your pasta, continue letting it cook until you have reached your desired texture. If you love your pasta al dente, it is key to test the pasta every few minutes. Once finished, strain the penne and place it directly into a separate bowl. Add the ingredients from the bowl. Mix generously.

Take a plastic or styrofoam plate, add some aluminum foil and place the penne on to it so it. Why? Because doing this will keep it's heat locked into place, so it won't get cold.
 
For more nutrition, you can add more of the nutritional yeast flakes. I will say this, adding more to the dish sort of dries it out, but is great for vegan athletes who are looking for more nutrients in their cheesy hot bite. Although the dish will lose it's creamy texture, the taste will remain the same.
 
Enjoy!
 


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Food Talk: Exclusive Interview with Gardein

When it comes to enjoying amazing vegetarian food, gardein is definitely one of the best there is. In fact, it is a personal favorite of mine. Recently, I had the chance to speak with the CEO and founder of Gardein, Yves Potvin about the brand. Here is what he had to say...

(Q) Tell me a little more about the gardein brand...
gardein (garden + protein) is a sustainable protein brand that creates deliciously meaty foods made from plants. We offer mouthwatering products that are good for you and good for the planet. Our product line-up includes 23 different products, ranging from beefless tips, golden fishless filets, as well as, awarding winning favorites such as seven grain crispy tenders and crispy chick’n sliders, and a selection of limited edition holiday items (Turk’y Holiday Roast stuffed with Wild Rice and Cranberries with traditional gravy). Breakfast, lunch and dinner are covered for anyone who wants to incorporate great tasting, plant-based protein into their diet.

(Q) Behind every great product lies a major source of influence. What inspired you to create this plant-protein brand?
I was inspired to create healthier, sustainable versions of foods people love to eat that offer real meat-like taste and texture I’ve always believed that plant protein should be at the center of every plate. It shouldn’t have to feel like a sacrifice to swap meatless options into your diet. We launched gardein in 2009 and have since become the fastest growing brand in the category. My goal is to continue developing new convenient and versatile plant-based proteins to feed the rising demand for healthier meat options. I feel it has never been easier to make the change in your diet for better health and a better environment.

(Q) It is evident that Gardein is made from plants, but is gardein free of genetically modified organisms (or GMOs)?
Yes, the soy protein and wheat in all our products are non-GMO We are currently enrolled with the Non-GMO Project and hope to be 100% non-gmo in the near future.

(Q) I absolutely love the 'Beefless Tips' however; everything I have tried by gardein has been fantastic. What are your current best sellers?
We love hearing that you love gardein! Of course we make delicious beefless items, but we’re so much more. We currently offer 23 products and to date, some of our most popular items are: the gardein golden fishless filet, which is our newest product, but already a fan favorite. It’s a cholesterol free, great-tasting protein that is rich in flavor and texture and provides 32 mg of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids. The gardein seven grain crispy tenders which provide a good source of protein with 8g per serving, no trans-fat and are ready in only 10 minutes! The gardein mandarin orange crispy chick’n is another favorite and a good source of protein with 17g per serving. It also comes with a sweet and tangy sauce. The gardein crispy chick’n sliders are perfect as a snack or meal, each meat-free slider comes with a bun and delivers 11g of protein and only 190 calories per serving. In addition this Item won Better Homes & Gardens Magazine Best New Product of 2014 as voted by consumers. The gardein ultimate beefless burger is ready in as little as 8 minutes and this beefless burger is made with 65% less fat than a beef burger.

(Q) Talking about the health benefits, what are the benefits of eating Gardein?
Eating meatless, even just one day a week, is the simplest way to improve your overall health. gardein has less fat than traditional proteins and no cholesterol, which can reduce the risk of obesity, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. gardein also provides a good source of protein and fiber.

(Q) How do you flavor your products? I have to ask, the yeast extract that you use in your products, is it MSG or non-MSG?
While we won’t give away the secret to how we create such tasty treats, we can say confidently that there is no MSG in our product and we use non-MSG yeast extract to enhance gardein’s flavor. I was trained as a traditional French chef and understand that flavor is everything. Over the past 30 years, I have dedicated my career specifically to perfecting the taste and texture of plant-based foods.

(Q) Is it true that if you eat one less meat burger, it's like taking your car off the road for 320 miles? And if an entire family of 4 stops eating red meat for a week, it's like taking the car off the road for 3 months? Tell me a little more about these statistical facts...
Yes! gardein is making the world a better place, one meatless meal at a time. Many people don’t know that cutting back on meat just one day of the week, while beneficial to your health, has a drastic impact on the environment. One of the biggest environmental impacts of a meat-eating diet is the depletion of natural resources, specifically the consumption of large amounts of water for livestock production. Today, with more than 17 billion livestock in the world, that’s about triple the number of people, raising these animals requires huge amounts of water! Most of the water is used to irrigate the grains and hay to feed these animals – it can take up to 15 times as much water to raise animals compared to farming plants for food supply. Also, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recently published a report stating that the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions than transportation.

(Q) What is your stance on animal cruelty?
We believe all animals deserve to be treated in a humane and compassionate manner. We support and applaud the efforts of the multitude of organizations bringing awareness and affecting policy change including PETA, HSUS, Mercy for Animals and Sea Shepherd.

(Q) I think a lot of your fans (like myself) want to know what products you are going to be coming out with next. The question remains, what is next for Gardein?
You’ll have to wait and see! We are always developing new protein innovations, new flavors and new categories to meet consumer’s culinary preferences. I can’t tell you what will be next, but I can tell you they will be tasty!

(Q) For those people considering the vegetarian or vegan eating lifestyle, what advice do you have for them?
Today, eating better for you protein is easier than ever. We suggest incorporating meat options, such as plant-based proteins, like gardein, into your diet slowly. Try eliminating meat once a week for Meatless Monday. Another great way to cut back on meat is to swap out the meat from your favorite meal with a plant-based options. Our website offers great meatless recipes that deliver tasty and filling meals.
For more information about gardein, please visit www.gardein.com today.