Food Review | Gardein Shakshuka Breakfast Bowl

Vegan Breakfast Bowl

Here we go again. Another breakfast bowel from Gardein. I have to say after the steak and eggs breakfast bowl I wasn’t super excited to try another bowl. This one was better though, maybe because of the lack of that green sauce. This one instead had a red sauce, and something that was cheesy, but not cheese as this is a vegan meal. The meal was ready in only 6 minutes.

Taste better than it looks

I liked the heat in the dish, it wasn’t too much but just right for me. And the meat had the right texture and sponginess. I had to look up Shakshuka it “is a delicious combination of eggs, tomatoes, and spices popular across the Middle East and North Africa” according to google. That is a pretty good description of this meal. This one I might try again. However, keep in mind if it comes in a box, it’s not as good for you as simpler overnight oatmeal.

Lots of ingredients there!

Vegan Ice Cream Review | Ben & Jerry’s P.B. & Cookies

OMG So good!

I had this for the first time tonight. It came from a Whole Foods order. This is my new favorite ice cream! And it’s vegan! No, it’s not healthy, but it is vegan and so yummy. My favorite ice cream flavor is cookies and cream and this adds another of my favorites, peanut butter. I only have one problem with this, I have to share it with the kids. They loved it too. Give this a try. Comfort food is an amazing thing when times are tough.

Chinatown Ice Cream Cone 2“Chinatown Ice Cream Cone 2” by LabyrinthX-2 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Here is to ice cream!

Unforeseen Impacts of COVID-19

I’ve been thinking about all the secondary impacts that we may see from this new time we find ourselves in. Already, some are coming to light.

Video Conferencing – Zoom made a good business decision to give away time on its platform, but it has had privacy consequences for them. However, they have also positioned themselves as the household name for video conferencing especially with a younger set of people as they have been the choice for teachers and education since the price is right.

To go along with this video conferencing topic could we see more acceptance of the working from home or remote working arrangement? I know that it differs from leader to leader, as to if they are accepting of this arrangement or not. It also differs from person to person. Some like to go into the office, some just like the flexibility and some don’t want to go in at all. Of course, there are people who will take advantage of this newfound flexibility, but that happens everywhere for everything.

Air pollution – With traffic declining so much there has been a noticeable difference in the air quality. We have seen many pictures of this already on social media.

Does air pollution really matter to society? Will things change now that we know if we stop driving we will see a measurable and visible clearing of the skies? Will electric vehicles gain popularity even faster than they have been?

Indoor fitness – This one is especially close to my heart as I am an avid Zwifter. Zwift has seen a huge explosion in signups. Even only a fraction of these new members continues it will mean great gains for this business. Not to mention the potentially better recognition of esports since so many events, including the Olympics, has been pushed back. All these athletes need to stay in shape, so they are turning to online alternatives.

Food – It’s been difficult to buy certain things at the grocery stores and services like Instracart and Amazon Fresh are having difficulty keeping up with the demand to deliver food to those who can afford not to venture out. Which is another topic entirely, the divide as it’s called is very visible in those getting sick and those able to stay at home and get deliveries.

We have been trying new products that don’t normally appear in the grocery isles at our go-to markets, because now everything that Amazon has is available. Some of those reviews of new food are appearing here.

Will people turn towards vegan foods more? From what we currently understand this outbreak occurred from a food market where dead animals where kept in unsanitary conditions. An article on VegNews stated that there is renewed interest in egg alternatives now.

There are many more here and I may add to this post as time goes on. Stay healthy out there!

Pizza Review! | Sweet Earth Protein Lover’s Pizza

This was pretty good

It is hard to find pizza with plant-based meat on it. This is one of them and I liked it. Vegan’s beware though, that’s real cheese! If your vegetarian or flexible on the cheese thing, you might like this. Notice the crust has a lot of herbs in it. I thought it added to the pizza, but others may not like it. I would get this again. I really liked it. It was difficult not to eat the whole thing.

Uncooked pizza

I ate it before I could take a picture of the cooked pizza. That speaks to how good this was!

Vegan Food Review | Gardein Stea’k & e’ggs Breakfast Bowl

Gardein Stea’k & e’ggs Breakfast Bowl

Yes, it is vegan. If you are looking for something easy to take to work that is different and easy, this might be a good option. It takes 5 minutes to warm up and comes with a sauce on top of the whole thing. The steak does not taste or have the mouthfeel of steak. If you’re trying this for the steak taste move on. If you are eating this and want some protein in the morning and can’t remember what steak and eggs taste like then you might be okay with this. I won’t be getting this again.

Cooked meal

This wasn’t a horrible meal. It did break up my breakfast routine and that was nice. I tried something new and I probably won’t get this again, unless I get very bored with my usual breakfast options again.

Is it healthy?

So, is it healthy? Probably not. Look at all those ingredients and that 780 mg (34% of your daily). That’s not good. Calorie-wise, it’s not horrible if its the only thing you have for your meal. One more thing, I hate it when they put an apostrophe in a word just to indicate its not real eggs or meat.

VeganCuts Box | December 2019

VeganCuts Box | December 2019
VeganCuts Box | December 2019
The girls and I look into this month’s vegancuts box

Winner! Hippeas Nacho Hippeas – I love these and so does Emily (6). They are like Cheetos but made from beans and of course vegan cheese.

Winner! Theo Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Bar – The girls and I shared this for dinner tonight. It was fantastic. I’ve seen this in our local Mother’s Market and will be getting more of them. So good!

Nugo Dark Chocolate Mocha Protein Bar – This was really good! You can taste all the chocolate for sure and the crunchy bits in the center taste like oreo. Very good and chocolatey. I would eat again!

Elma farms Poshi Marinated Artichokes – Even though my wife loves artichokes, she was not interested in these. They were donated to my in-laws, but I haven’t heard if anyone has enjoyed them yet.

Pirq Golden Vanilla Beverage – I enjoyed this very much. I’m not sure I would buy it myselff, but it wasn’t bad. I enjoy Orgain vegan drinks better though.

Pyure Organic Harmless Hunny – We didn’t try this and gave it away to a friend.

Navitas Organics Greens Essential Blend – Made this just the way that is outlined on the packaging, 8 ounces of almond milk and 1/2 a banana. Its okay, not too chalky, but came out a bit brown and thats, not a lovely color to drink. The taste needs some work, but it is healthy so there is that.

Beanitos Sea Salt Black Bean Chips – These were just okay. A good amount of salt, but don’t taste like regular tortilla chips.

Kibo Mediterranean Herb Chickpea Chips – Not sure I liked the Mediterranean herbs on the chips, but the chips themselves were okay. You can taste they are made with chickpeas so if that bothers you these are not for you.

Winner! Bobo’s Chocolate Chip Oat Bites – These are fantastic. I’ve been a big fan of Bobo’s ever since discovering them late last year. Many stores (Sprouts, Whole Foods, Mother’s Market) carry their products and I love all of them.

Humming Hemp Spicy Hemp Hearts – I had no idea how to incorporate these into something else, so like the artichokes, they went to the in-laws house.

Ellyndale Organics Keto Coconut Infusions Organic Coconut Oil Packets Non-Dairy Butter Flavor – This name is far too long for a product!

Top 7 Veestros

Veestro is a plant-based meal delivery service. The meals that you get are fully made and only need to be reheated. You can reheat your meal in the microwave, stovetop or oven.

The meal plan we subscribe to is called the A La Carte Plan. You can choose which meals you want sent to you. I have been receiving the Veestro meals for about a year now. I stole all the images from Veestro. Below are my favorites:

Southwest BBQ Chick’n

Number 7 – Southwest BBQ Chick’n (360 calories w/ sauce)

The BBQ sauce on this is not very spicy and has the right amount of sweetness for me. This also comes with some mixed veggies on the side and some fingerling potatoes. This meal is best prepared in the oven.

Breakfast Burrito

Number 6 – Breakfast Burrito (390 calories)

The sauce on this is basic tomato sauce, nothing fancy, but it does deliver on a very good wet breakfast burrito. Those aren’t eggs either, yummy tofu is seasoned well in this meal. This meal is best prepared in the microwave for a quick meal, for drier/crispy tortilla reheat in the oven. I usually can’t wait in the morning. The potatoes that come with this are heavily seasoned, which is not depicted well in the image above.

Veggie Empanadas

Number 5 – Veggie Empanadas (400 calories + 270 for Chimichurri sauce)

I love eating empanadas, but I hate making them. Veestro has your back again! You get three of these beauties which are best reheated in the oven. I don’t like oil heavy sauces, so I don’t use the Chimichurri sauce. I live to eat this with Bitchin’ Sauce.

Country Fried Chick’n

Number 4 – Country Fried Chick’n (360 calories + 80 for sauce)

One of my true favorites. The gravy here has whole mushrooms in it so, it looks very different from what is pictured here. This meal is best reheated in the oven so the outside of the chicken is nice and crunchy.

Chinese Eggplant StirFry

Number 3 – Chinese Eggplant StirFry (630 calories)

This is by far the heaviest meal by calories. This meal has a peanut buttery meal. I reheat this on the stovetop and its very delicious! The sauce makes this dish!

Oatmeal Breakfast Pie

Number 2 – Oatmeal Breakfast Pie (310 calories)

This is such an easy meal to reheat. Just pop it in the microwave and it is done in minutes! I also like to cut this in smaller pieces and add almond milk and other toppings. This is a great breakfast!

Chick’n Nuggets

Number 1 – Chick’n Nuggets (300 calories + 60 for sauce)

These are so good! They are comfort food for me for sure. The sauce on these is again so very good. Not too sweet and not too spicy. These are best reheated in the oven.

Vegan Food Review | Sweet Earth Breakfast Sandwich

Sweet Earth Harmless Ham and Chickpea Patty
Sweet Earth Harmless Ham and Chickpea Patty

This sandwich is smaller than most traditional breakfast sandwiches, which is okay if you’re not starving. It contains 270 calories. 8 grams of sugar and a total of 33g of carbs. 14 grams of protein are in there as well. As the vegan phenomenon picks up speed these frozen convenience foods are coming out at an incredible speed. While that’s nice for people who are converting, it’s not really all that healthy. If you want to cut out things from your diet that is not healthy, don’t start by purchasing foods that come in wrappers. Buy some vegetables and fruit and eat those. It’s cheaper and better for you.

Ingredients List

Silken Tofu(2) (Water, Soybeans(2) Calcium Sulfate, Glucono Delta Lactone), Onion, Water, Vital Wheat Gluten, Canola Oil(3), Maple Syrup(1), Chickpea Flour, Tomato Paste, Apple Cider Vinegar, Garlic, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Agar Powder, Sea Salt, Vegetable Mix (Red & Green Bell Pepper, Onions, Carrots, Celery), Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Nutritional Yeast(1), Natural Flavors, Natural Hickory Smoke Flavor, Spices, Cane Sugar(1), Baking Powder(2) (Corn Starch, Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Gochugaru Chili Flakes, Basil, Paprika, Dried Purple Carrot Juice Color, Allspice, Cloves, Dill, Citric Acid, Granulated Garlic, Turmeric, Roll: Water, Whole Wheat Flour, All Purpose Flour, Cane Sugar(1), Durum Wheat Flour, Oat Bran, Flax Seed, Rolled Oats, Canola Oil(3), Sea Salt, Baker’s Yeast. (1)Organic. (2)Non-GMO. (3)Non-GMO Expeller Pressed.

There is a lot of “stuff” in this for the size of it. What did it taste like? As you would imagine it was kind of bland. I was excited about this because I haven’t had a breakfast sandwich since I went vegetarian, but this didn’t taste great. I will say that I’m not hungry after eating it so at least it was filling. Everything in this seemed to have the same texture. It went from frozen to ready to eat in a really fast 1:15. the bun was really soft, kinda like a potato bun. There is dried tomato kinda sauce on it. Right in the center perfectly squirted on by some machine in a factory. The chickpea patty, taste like it, chickpeas, which are okay, but I’m not a huge fan. the chickpea patty didn’t taste like much but a pasty, dry, chickpea paste. The Harmless Ham texture was okay, a little too soft to approximate actual ham. It didn’t have that burst of flavor that you would get with real ham, that comes from fat and salt. The bottom bun got that hardness in the center that sometimes happens with food overcooked in the microwave. I have to say though it was nice to have a change in texture.

All in all, I won’t be getting this again, but as I browse the Sweet Earth website I see they have another breakfast sandwich that is sadly, not vegan. It’s called, Benevolent Bacon: Egg and Cheddar. I’ve had the benevolent bacon before and I liked it. While this has real egg it looks like the same bun as the chickpea patty, not a good sign. It also has cheese, so I don’t think I’ll give this one a go after all. Before, I leave you I will say I like a lot of the Sweet Earth foods. Especially the Big Sur Breakfast burrito, it’s vegan and it’s delicious.