Sunday, November 26, 2006

Book Review: La Dolce Vegan

I chose this to be my first vegan cookbook. Why? Well, my local bookstore didn't have the others in stock, but this one has a few things that i know i'm going to like.

I've heard some really great reviews about this book, and some rather scathing ones, and i have to admit, i can see both sides of the story.
While there are a number of "glorified stir-fries", there are also a few recipes that i wouldn't have even thought to try.

Aesthetically speaking, i can't stand a cookbook without pictures of the food. Even a few are enough to get my eyes hungry and get inspired about the dishes. The only pictures here are either wannabe pin-up shots or overly excited head shots with friends. Unimpressive to say the least.

However, i have a few things tagged that look good, and we'll see if la Dolce Vegan is livin' good.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Review: Earth Balance Buttery Spread

I didn't think i'd be able to find something to replace creamy farm fresh butter, but this has fast become a staple in my house. From sauces to toast, it's always perfectly delicious.

Looks, spreads, melts like butter
AWESOME buttery taste, slightly sweet beginning
No slippery film in the mouth
Large tub lasts a long time
Good for baking, has baking measurements on tub

flavor isn't long lasting

Verdict: HIT

I wish the flavor lasted longer, but that's because it's SO GOOD! This stuff is perfect for pancakes, crusty breads, or sauteing onions and garlic to start a meal! However, if you want to be a baking guru (like i do) go ahead and purchase some of these:

They keep great in the freezer (thaw before use), and you'll always have enough on hand to make some fluffy vegan biscuits. For more info visit Earth Balance.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Review: Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese

Cream cheese was such a vice for me, but now i can't even look at omni cream cheese without getting a tummy ache. I was so excited to try this, even though both whole foods by me no longer carry it now...:(

Great texture
Slighty sweet taste
Not slippery in the mouth
No tofu flavor

Is partially hydrogenated, some trans fats

Verdict: HIT

This stuff is amazing! I can see it in dips, sushi, on bagels, in pies, the possibilities are endless! May have trans fats though, but it's all about moderation right?

For more information on this and other Tofutti products, recipies, and nutritional information visit the Tofutti brand site here.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Review: Vegenaise

Never ate a lot of mayo in my day, but lately i've been missing the spread of something on a sammich and yummy dips. Though i got about 3 different pronunciations of the name, everyone said the same thing: "It's GOOD."

Has it's own slightly sweet flavor
Not oily
No Trans fats
No cholesterol (because it has no animal content!)

Fat content (still 20% less fat than mayo though!)

Verdict: HIT

This stuff is to die for, it's creamy, slightly sweet, great texture and amazing hold, i want to kiss the makers! I served this mixed with lemon and dill for dimmping some fresh hot artichokes and carnivorous E said "What IS this stuff, it's INCREDIBLE, this is like GOOD mayo!". Don't gobble it down too fast though, because 1 Tbsp has 14% your DV of fats (about 9g fat, 1g sat fat= 4% DV) BUT that is bounds less than regular mayo. I think my mouth is watering...

For more information on this product, check out The Follow Your Heart Vegenaise page.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Review: Vegan Rice Slices

Ok, so a word about most vegan cheese: BLURG! This claims to melt, so we'll see!

All rice, no soy for those who are allergic
Good "flavor"

Doesn't melt
Tastes rice powdery

Verdict: MISS

OK, so something is lacking in these slices. Maybe my mouth is crazy, but this also has a powdery taste, no doubt from the fine rice in the ingredients. I do like the fact that it's not soy though, as i have many a friend who is allergic to soy and vegan! Tried to melt it, doesn't work, tried to eat it cold and the texture put me off so badly. I tried to use it up but ended up throwing a few slices away because i COULD NOT subject myself to it again. The search for great vegan cheese continues....

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Review: Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (Non-Hydrogenated)

I've heard so much about trans fats lately that trying this product was a must! I love the original, how would this compare?

Creamy start
No trans fats

Aftertaste is powdery

Verdict: RISK - MISS

If you're absolutely trans-fat-free then this would be the way to go, but i warn you, it is bland. The texture is strange too because it starts out creamy and then leaves a powdery feeling afterwards. I think i'll stick with the partially hydrogenated version. I'm not sure this would work in dips or pies either, that powdery taste really turned me off and i probably won't use it for anything.

For more information on this product and more visit the Tofutti Brand Website.

Review: Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream

After trying the Better Than Cream Cheese, i couldn't wait to try this product as it's strawberry season, and sour cream/brown sugar with strawberries are a delectible treat round here!

Looks, smells, spreads, mixes, dollops like the real thing
Slightly sour beginning, creamy texture
No trans fats
No phlegm after you finish

Bland on its own
Slight tofu aftertaste

Verdict: RISK

I think this would work best for dips, adding herbs and other thing will give it flavor and the sour cream itself will lend great body. On it's own, it's rather bland, so buyer beware.