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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Vegan

PRODUCT: Good Karma Non-Dairy Creamers Are Most Welcome

The makers of Good Karma Lactose-Free Creamers deserve good karma.

The new, all-natural line of dairy-free, lactose-free, soy-free, kosher-certified creamers is delicious. And most people won’t be able to tell the difference from conventional creamers.

Vegans and the ever-increasing community of lactose-intolerant people can rejoice. If you’re cutting down on sugar, you can rejoice, too: There’s none in the Original flavor, proving that you can create something excellent without refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

Also available in French Vanilla and Hazelnut, the creamers arrive just in time for the holiday season. You can serve a flavored creamer that fits in with virtually any food regimen. (Calories/tablespoon: 20 for Original, 30 for flavors.)

 

A boon for vegans and the lactose-intolerant. Photo courtesy Good Karma Foods.

 

The creamers are available in supermarkets and in Walmart stores nationwide. The 32-ounce containers are very affordable: a MSRP of $2.64 for Original and $3.37 for the two flavors. The line is certified kosher by OU.

Learn more at GoodKarmaFoods.com. If you “like” Good Karma on Facebook, you can enter to win a nifty Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Maker, a brewer for serious coffee lovers. We tried it at Williams-Sonoma and would like to win one ourselves.

The company also supports sustainable agriculture. Good karma, indeed!

  

Comments

COOKING VIDEO: Delicious Homemade Falafel Recipe

 

If you can’t find a local restaurant selling delicious falafel sandwiches, here’s a video that shows how easy they are to make at home.

And here’s a falafel recipe along with recipes for your choice of tahini sauce, yogurt sauce or garlic sauce.

Made from chickpeas and/or fava beans, garlic, parsley, cilantro and seasonings, falafel is a vegan food that is an excellent ambassador for how tasty vegan cuisine can be.

Falafel is also dairy-free, cholesterol-free, egg-free, sugar-free and potentially gluten-free.

  • Gluten-free. Many recipes add bread crumbs or flour to bind the ingredients and keep the balls from falling apart when fried. To avoid gluten, make gluten-free bread crumbs and substitute potato flour.
  • The Right Fat. If you fry your falafel, canola oil and peanut oil are monounsaturated fats (good for you fats). To cut down on fat calories, you can bake the falafel instead of frying.
     
    Falafel is frequently enjoyed in a flatbread wrap or pita pocket, along with lettuce, tomato, tahini sauce and pickled turnips (also included in our falafel recipe).

    You can also add falafel balls to a green salad or serve them with a yogurt dip or as part of a mezze (appetizer) plate with feta, hummus, babaganoush and/or tabbouleh—delicious dips now available in many supermarkets.

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    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Lightlife

    A couple of months ago, we received an invitation to two industry events on the same evening.

    One was for the Lightlife brand of vegan “meat” products. The other was to the opening of celebrity chef Todd English’s new restaurant.

    We made plans to stop by and taste Lightlife, a product line we’d never tried, and then head to Todd English’s restaurant. Here’s how the evening turned out:

    We liked the Lightlife foods so much, we stayed the entire evening, happily tasting everything. We never made it to the restaurant. Could there be a better endorsement of how good the Lightlife “vegan meat” products are?

    We are neither vegetarian nor vegan. We eat everything that’s delicious, and nothing that isn’t.

    Eating more vegan foods (products without any animal-based ingredients) supports our personal commitment to eating more sustainably. As much a we love meat, cheese and dairy foods, producing them takes a big toll on the planet.

     

    Lightlife’s vegan Chick’n Corn Chowder
    is enhanced with “bacon.” Both meats are
    made from tempeh, a soy-based protein,
    and are delicious. Photo courtesy Lightlife Foods.

     

    The line is certified vegan and kosher by OK. Read the full review. It also explains the differences between tempeh, tofu and seitan.

    If you’re looking for delicious, prepared vegan food, also see these Top Picks Of The Week:

  • Field Roast Grain Meat Company
  • Vegetarian Plus Asian Entrées

      

  • Comments

    GOURMET GIFT: Fresh-Picked Avocados & Avocado Recipes

    A fresh-picked, healthy gift.

     

    Last month we wrote about California Avocados Direct, a business started by a fourth-generation California farm family.

    The plump Hass avocados are fresh-picked to order and shipped that day, along with a note from the farmer about when they’ll be at peak ripeness (in about 10 days, so there’s plenty of time to plan how to serve them).

    We sent some gift boxes to family members as a Cinco de Mayo surprise, and got such enthusiastic thanks that we’ve added the avocado gifts to our new gourmet gift store, TheNibbleGourmetMarket.com.

    Avocados are a perfect gift for healthy eaters, anyone with allergies (gluten, lactose, etc.), vegetarians and vegans. And since fresh fruit and vegetables are de facto kosher, we’ll be sending them as gifts to kosher friends as well.

     

    Check out these lovely avocado gifts, and think of them as a healthy and nutritious present for Father’s Day (Sunday, June 21st). Shipping is included in the price, and your gift supports family farming in America.

  • Avocado health benefits, how to select avocados and an avocado omelet recipe.
  • Avocado ice cream (a very popular flavor in Mexico).
  • Turmeric-Spiced Chicken Avocado Tacos.
  • Tuna & Avocado Chirashi Sushi.
  •   

    Comments

    TOP PICK: Gourmet Vegan For Everyone

    Delicious Vegan Ginger Chicken. Photo
    courtesy Vegetarian Plus.

     

    If you’re not already a flexitarian, pescatarian or vegetarian, a vegan diet may seem extreme. Give up all animal products, including dairy, eggs and honey?

    If that sounds like too much sacrifice, you should still consider choosing it for a day or two each week. It’s not only healthy, but it’s also painless. Just browse through a vegan cookbook and see all the delicious things you can have – from chili, pasta and stir-fry to hummus, tabbouleh and many global favorites.

    Typically, people adopt the vegan lifestyle for compassionate reasons, wishing no harm to animals.

    But concerned environmentalists have joined in as well, on the grounds that the planet’s livestock are the number one contributor to global warming.*

    *Manure produces methane.

    If you feel compassion for animals or for the planet, the international recipes from Vegetarian Plus frozen entrées are so delicious that eating vegan one or two days a week is a snap—no cooking required (a microwave is not “cooking”).

     

    The Vegan Ginger Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken, Orange Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Vindaloo are so good that we prefer them to alternatives with real meat.

    Read the full review and promise yourself that you’ll try them. The review also contains a list of vegan celebrities. Would you believe that Mike Tyson is a vegan?

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Quinoa & Whole Grain Brown Rice

    Absolutely delish: a mix of quinoa and brown
    rice, deftly seasoned. Photo courtesy Seeds
    Of Change.

     

    The Uyuni Salt Flats of southeast Bolivia, high in the Andes Mountains, are best known for salt production. But quinoa has been cultivated there by the Incas for some 5,000 years.

    Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wa or KEE-noo-ah, is an exceptionally nutritious supergrain (in fact, it’s the Quechua/Inca word for “mother grain” or “super grain”).

    Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain. A complete protein equivalent to milk, it contains all eight essential amino acids and a portfolio of vitamins and minerals. Everyone should eat more quinoa.

    Our discovery of the week is a shelf-stable (no refrigeration required), 90-second microwavable package of quinoa and whole grain brown rice from Seeds Of Change.

    This whole-grain combo is deftly seasoned with black pepper, garlic, onion, parsley and sea salt. The earthy flavor of quinoa tempered with nutty brown rice is a winner. We consume lots of quinoa and lots of brown rice, and the mixture is magical.

     
    Serve it with anything or enjoy it as a high-protein, whole grain snack.

    Seeds Of Change products are certified organic by the USDA and QAI. The company contributes 1% of net sales to advance the cause of sustainable organic agriculture world wide.

    Print out a $1.00 coupon at SeedsOfChangeFoods.com.

      

    Comments

    GOURMET GIVEAWAY: Laurel Hill Tortilla Chips

    Super Bowl Sunday is February 6. If you win this week’s Gourmet Giveaway prize, you will be well prepared for a football party.

    Two lucky winners will each receive two bags of every flavor of Laurel Hill Tortilla Chips, including:

  • Multigrain
  • Nacho Cheese
  • Olive & Caper
  • Pumpkin Seed
  • Sea Salt & Lime
  • Made with all-natural ingredients, no preservatives and a selection of healthy ingredients like chia seeds, flax seeds, quinoa and pumpkin, these chips taste as good as they sound. They’re also gluten-free, kosher and vegan. With a thick texture and unusual rectangle shape, Laurel Hill tortilla chips will have you dipping away.

  • Learn more about Laurel Hill Tortilla Chips by checking out our review or by visiting LaurelHillFoods.com.
  •  

    Open the bag of Sea Salt & Lime tortilla chips
    and you’ll smell the natural lime oil flavoring. Photography by Hannah Kaminsky | THE
    NIBBLE.

  • To Enter This Gourmet Giveaway: Go to the box at the bottom of our Gourmet Snacks Page and click to enter your email address for the prize drawing. Approximate Retail Value Of Each Prize: $30.00. This contest closes on Monday, January 31st at noon, Eastern Time. Good luck!
  • Comments

    HEALTHY RECIPE: Tofu Caprese Salad

    Substitute tofu for mozzarella in your
    caprese salad. Photo courtesy
    MaiCuisine.com.

     

    We love cheese. We eat it daily: mozzarella, feta and goat cheese are favorites.

    They’re also loaded with saturated fats. So one of our 2011 goals is to look for satisfying substitutes.

    When we had lunch at Mai Cuisine, a creative New York-area sushi bar-and-restaurant chain, we didn’t have to look far. We discovered Tofu Caprese, which has become a new favorite low-calorie, lowfat appetizer, side or snack.

    Mai has cleverly substituted tofu for mozzarella. (Tofu is sometimes called “the cheese of Asia” due to its physical resemblance to a block of farmer’s cheese.) It’s delicious, and it’s also vegan, helping us with our environmental goals to eat vegan two days a week. (If you don’t know how animal-based foods contribute to global warming, here’s the scoop.)

    While cheese has protein, it has a lot of saturated fat. An wee ounce of mozzarella (made from the milk of cows or water buffalo) has less fat than other types of cheese, but that’s still 6g, including 4g saturated fat. And don’t think you’re “doing good” by choosing part-skim mozzarella: It saves just one gram of total fat.

     

    On the other hand, tofu, which is pressed from the curds of soybean milk, is a highly nutritious, high-quality protein that has much more protein per ounce compared to meat. It has no saturated fat, is filled with calcium, manganese, with a good amount of copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.

    Try it; you’ll like it!

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Dr. McDougall Healthy Soup

    Photo courtesy Right Foods.

     

    The doctor is in…and he’s making healthy soup.

    John McDougall, M.D., physician and nutritionist, has been studying the effects of nutrition on health for more than 20 years. A founding father of the modern wellness movement, he established the McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, California, to help people improve their health.

    His line of foods features oatmeal cups—add water and heat, (loved ‘em)—soup cups and low-sodium soups (bland). The newest entry is a line of heat-and-eat soups, about two cups per carton.

    The soups are packed full of good things—veggies, brown rice and other whole grains, plus black beans, peas and lentils. Some are so thick, they could be a side dish!

    Needless to say, we enjoyed these fat-free, dairy-free vegan soups as a light lunch, snack and dinner course. Read the full review.

  • Find more of our favorite soups plus recipes in our Soup Section.
  • How to garnish 20 different soups.
  • Comments

    PRODUCT: Amy’s Organic Chocolate Loaf Cake

    Hankering for a piece of chocolate cake?

    Keep one of Amy’s new Organic Chocolate Cakes in the freezer—regular or gluten-free—and slice a piece whenever the mood strikes.

    For a vegan product—no butter or eggs—the cakes are rich and moist, and a good quick fix. The gluten-free version disappeared from our freezer as quickly as the conventional recipe. The one thing we could wish for is a bit more cocoa flavor. But add a scoop of ice cream and you won’t notice.

    For a crowd-pleasing dessert, top a slice with a scoop of ice cream and provide ramekins of chocolate and/or butterscotch chips, chopped nuts, dried cherries or other favorite toppings. People will have fun customizing their garnishes. Or drizzle a warm dessert sauce—such as recent Top Pick Of The Week, Sassy Sauces.

    In addition to being organic, the cakes are certified kosher by Ner Tamid K.

     

    Vegan chocolate cake, regular or gluten-free.
    Photo by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.

  • Find our favorite cakes and recipes in our Gourmet Cakes Section.
  • Find our favorite gluten-free products in our Gluten-Free Section.
  • Comments

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