Category Archives: Vegan Products

Just tried some of the new Kite Hill Cheeses

Standard
Kite Hill Cheese

Two new non-dairy cheeses, available in the Whole Foods Artisanal Cheese Case

I’ve been hearing a buzz about a new brand of nut-based cheeses, Kite Hill. It is a collaboration of Tal Ronnen, Monte Casino, Jean Prevot, and Dr. Pat Brown. I was excited to try it, as it is difficult for companies to emulate the flavors & textures of cheese, and that is the excuse that I hear most often for why people cannot give up animal products. There are 4 flavors available currently: Casuccio (Soft Fresh and Truffle, Dill & Chive), Costanoa, and White Alder. Unlike any other vegan cheese brand, Kite Hill is being sold from the artisanal cheese case in Whole Foods… not the vegan cheese case. This is both good and bad, I think, as it shows that these nut-based cheeses are of the same quality as the other artisanal cheeses that Whole Foods carries. It will also possibly result in dairy cheese lovers buying the product, however if someone is specifically looking for vegan cheeses, they could miss it.

After reading the descriptions on the website, I was really hoping to try the Costanoa. The Whole Foods I live near is a small one though, and they only have the Soft Fresh Casuccio and White Alder right now, so I bought both of them. They were each about $13.99. More than I would normally spend for a wheel of cheese, but I had to try them out. I bought some Milton’s crackers to go with them, and set off for home.

My opinion on these new cheeses, honestly, is that they are fairly bland. Maybe that is how they are supposed to be. The Casuccio has the consistency of a block of tofu with a texture on top, and a hint of some kind of potentially (ever so light) cheesy flavor. It’s not awful, but I think I would get just as far smearing lightly marinated tofu on a cracker (which would be cheaper.) The White Alder on the other hand, was a more worthwhile pick. It is a Brie clone, down to the wooden wheel/box that it comes in. I was never a Brie connoisseur, so I can’t speak to the subtleties of the flavor, but I think I remember it being a bit more pungent and flavorful. It does have a nice spreadable consistency though, and I think with a milder cracker or maybe some fruit it would be better able to show its strengths. I am going to try it in a recipe tonight, and I may put the remaining Casuccio on a salad, as the Kite Hill website suggests.

I will continue to be on the lookout for the Costanoa, and will update this once I find it. Happy Cheesing!

Advertisements

Happy New Year!

Standard

champagne_glassesLooking to ring in the new year in a compassionate way? Here is the latest list of vegan & non-vegan champagne/sparkling wine for your celebrating pleasure (from http://www.barnivore.com)…

Search results for SPARKLING WINE
Vegan Friendly
Domaine Carneros Sparkling Wines
El Grifo Sparkling Wines
RSVP Sparkling Wine
Schmitt Sohne Sparkling Wines

Not Vegan Friendly
Blue Mountain Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine 2007
Blue Mountain Brut Sparkling Wine NV
Campari sparkling wines
Four Cousins Sparkling Wine
Freixenet Sparkling Wines
Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wine
Wycliff Sparkling Wines

Search results for CHAMPAGNE
Vegan Friendly
Champagne Fleury
Domaine Ste. Michelle Blanc de Blancs
Domaine Ste. Michelle Blanc de Noirs
Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut
Domaine Ste. Michelle Extra Dry
Domaine Ste. Michelle Luxe
Harmony Wynelands Champagne
Korbel Natural Champagne
Merridale Champagne Style Somerset
Perrier-Jouët Champagne
Piper Heidsieck Champagne
Veuve Clicquot Champagne
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne
Wilsons Creek Almond Champagne

Not Vegan Friendly

Bollinger Champagnes
Cook’s Champagne
Freixenet Sparkling Wines
Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wine
Harmony Wynelands Wedding Champagne
Korbel Brut
Korbel Extra Dry
Louis Roederer Champagne
Moet Champagne
Pink Champagne

Enjoy & celebrate safely!

Microwave popcorn for vegans!

Standard

Some time back, me & the bf went over to a friends place for movie night. He, knowing that we are vegan, had purchased some snacks that he thought we could eat. He, not being vegan, didn’t know about all of the mystery ingredients that come from animals that many manufacturers feel the need to put in their products. Milk, whey, casein… and the ever mysterious “natural flavors.” This is when I discovered that microwave popcorn is not usually so vegan-friendly.

The following day, I decided to go to the grocery store and take a look for myself. I couldn’t find one brand/variety that was definitively vegan. So I went home and did some Internet research. I found lots & lots of recipes for DIY microwave popcorn, including the paper bag method which I have adopted as my go-to method since.

  • Take a quarter cup of popcorn kernels & place them in a paper lunch bag
  • Fold over the top a few times securely & place in the microwave on its side
  • Set the timer for 2 minutes (like any microwave popcorn, you need to listen for the pops to slow… indicating doneness)
  • Eat as is or mist with olive oil & sprinkle with salt (I like to grind my salt in a coffee bean grider to make it into a really fine dust.) Shake the bag to coat all popcorn & eat!

I haven’t found the right way to apply a buttery substance (Earth Balance, or my preference: Smart Balance w/ Flax), because it always makes the popcorn mushy & damp… yuck! I have however experimented with other spices instead of, or in addition to, salt. My favorites: Old Bay or Cayenne Pepper… yum!

Popcorn for vegans!

Recently, the bf went on a trip for work. When he travels, he is always looking for quick meals & snacks that he can make in the hotel room, since usually he only has access to a fridge & microwave. On this last trip he found Pop Secret Sea Salt. It’s only ingredients are: Whole Grain Popcorn, Palm Oil, Sea Salt & TBHQ (I love short lists of ingredients!) Now, the paper bag method is certainly healthier, as TBHQ (while vegan) is not the best thing to put in your body… but if you are not in the mood to pick up paper bags, popcorn kernals, salt & spices and assemble them yourself, this is the next best thing. Enjoy!