Follow Your Heart Cheese Slices [Review + Giveaway]

Growing up, grilled cheese sandwiches were a mainstay in Carm’s home. They were quick, easy and delicious. Mama Macaroon would get really creative with her grilled cheese recipes. Well, now, we can re-create some of her recipes, like “American & Boysenberry” (a recipe we’ll share soon), thanks to the great varieties of Follow Your Heart cheese slices!

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Early on in our vegan journey, we struggled with finding good cheese to make these sandwiches. Either they didn’t get melty or they were just inedible. However, vegan cheese has come a long way. For those of us missing the melt, Follow Your Heart cheese slices do not disappoint.

The slices are available in 4 varieties:

American
Garlic Herb
Provolone
Mozzarella

The mozzarella makes for a great in a panini sandwiche. The American is all set to top a slice of apple pie. If you’re veganizing French Onion Soup, the combination of the Provolone and a little nutritional yeast set it off. Carm’s even made grilled cheese croutons, using the Garlic Herb (recipe to come soon). 

Follow Your Heart cheese slices are not only vegan, but they are gluten-free and soy-free. They have a coconut oil base which helps the cheese melt and adds a boost of cheesy flavor. The added bonus is that these products are Non-GMO! 

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Are you ready to give these a try? Well, now you can! Of course, they’re available in stores across the U.S. However, you can win a prize pack that includes 1 of each of the 4 varieties AND a cute Follow Your Heart heart-shaped cheeseboard (great for your next dinner party!)

Enter today for your chance to win! We’ll announce the winner during #VeganFoodChat on Wednesday, September 16, 2015! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and may be the CHEEZIEST person win! 

Thanks to Follow Your Heart for making this giveaway possible to our readers!

A Gardein Showdown with Meatless Meatballs & Beefless Grounds [Recipes + Review]

Katherine Hepburn once said “If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.” I think that it’s safe to say that she did okay for herself.

Mac and I are of the ilk that likes to take chances in the kitchen. And although we’ve made a few so so meals, several duds and a couple of what-in-the-world-were-we-thinking? dishes, our track records is very solid when throwing back and letting our culinary whimsy take over the stove. When the great folks at Gardein wanted us to sample some of their most popular foods and come up with recipes, we were excited for the challenge and the fact that we love their products. Gardein’s already tasty  is a company that’s been cooking up great meatless, vegan foods for sometime now.

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In our opinion, Gardein’s Classic Meatless Meatballs are the best vegan meatballs on the market. They have the texture and flavor of actual meatballs, with a wonderful fennel flavor (although they don’t contain fennel) that reminds me of my grandmother’s Sunday crowd favorite. Although heating up Gardein’s amazing meatballs and simply putting them in a vegan calzone, slicing them thin and using them as a vegan pizza topping or plopping them over your favorite pasta is absolutely acceptable and encouraged, we decided to bend the rules a bit and came up with Meatless Meatball Kebabs! These bad boys are easy, yummy and look great and can be used in a variety of ways. We decided to simply eat them as is with a little sauce doused atop.Although we used a grill pan, they also taste amazing cooked on a barbecue grill or charcoal pit! 

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Gardein Meatless Meatball Kebabs
Yields 4
A new twist on an old favorite! Great on the stovetop or the grill!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 4-6 prepared bamboo skewers
  2. Cherry tomatoes
  3. Pearl onions or 1 large onion chopped into 1 inch cubes
  4. Mini peppers. Ends cut off and seeds removed
  5. 1 bag of Gardein Meatless Meatballs
  6. Extra virgin olive oil
  7. Oregano
  8. Fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
  9. Your favorite spaghetti sauce
Instructions
  1. Soak skewers before use according to packaging
  2. Thread skewers with cherry tomatoes, mini peppers, onions and at least 2 Gardein Meatless Meatballs until you run out of room
  3. Brush the skewered kebabs with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with oregano and freshly ground black pepper
  4. Heat up a grill (or grill pan) to medium and brush it with extra virgin olive oil
  5. When it’s good and hot, place the skewers in the grill pan making sure not to have them touch
  6. Cook the kebabs for about 20 minutes or until nicely charred, turning every 5 minutes
  7. When the kebabs are finished you can either serve them with your favorite spaghetti sauce over spaghetti, in a sandwich or simply on a plate!
The Food Duo http://thefoodduo.com/
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When it comes to Gardein’s The Ultimate Beefless Ground the possibilities are only limited to your imagination. Their ground has a very pleasing and hearty texture than can pass for meat any day of the week. You can also choose to use their gluten-free option which taste great as well. Their Beefless Ground are ideal for tacos, Sloppy Joe’s, Jamaican beefless patties, chili or for vegan Scotch eggs! We chose to make a very simple and very delicious Buffalo lettuce wraps which are proven crowd pleasers. Not only are they extremely easy and inexpensive to make, they’re good anytime of the year for any season. But they’re especially popular for Spring and Summer cookouts, so give ’em a try at your next Meetup or gathering. 

let          lettuce1

Gardein Beefless Ground Buffalo Wraps
Serves 2
A spicy, crisp, and yummy treat for everyone!
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Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 T of vegan butter/margarine
  2. 1 clove of garlic, minced
  3. 1 ½ C of your favorite hot sauce
  4. ½ tsp cumin
  5. ½ tsp onion powder
  6. 2 T white vinegar
  7. 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  8. ¼ of medium onion, chopped
  9. ¼ C defrosted peas
  10. 1 C Gardein Beefless Ground
  11. 5-6 romaine lettuce leaves
For Buffalo Sauce
  1. Heat up a skillet to medium heat
  2. Add butter and swirl it in the pan while it melts
  3. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant
  4. Add hot sauce, cumin, onion powder and white vinegar and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally
  5. Set aside
For the Beefless Ground
  1. Heat up skillet to medium heat, then add the olive oil
  2. Toss in chopped onion and cook until tender (about 5 minutes)
  3. Stir in the peas and cook for about 1 minute
  4. Add the Gardein Beefless Ground and cook until nicely browned (about 10 minutes)
  5. Stir the Buffalo sauce and cook for about 2 minutes
  6. Pour prepared Beefless Ground into 1-2 bowls and serve place in lettuce leaves
  7. Scoop into leaves, fold, eat and enjoy!
The Food Duo http://thefoodduo.com/
And in keeping with our of experimenting with food, consider our recipes as only a guide. Feel free to experiment with our experiments. Whatever you decide to try, Gardein makes a great base for countless fun and easy meals that vegans and omnivores will both enjoy! 

To help you get started on your foodie scientific journey, Gardein’s offering our readers a way to save! Get a $1.00 off coupon today! Take it to the store and explore all that Gardein has to offer in delicious non-GMO, vegan goodness!

Already a Gardein fan? Tell us which product you love the most in the comments below! 

Mom Goes Vegan: Mother’s Day Gifts From Uncommon Goods [Products Review]

source: blueeggbrownnest.com
source: blueeggbrownnest.com

Happy Early Mother’s Day to all the Moms and their Moms and their Moms… Though it’s right around the corner, sometimes us kids get a little caught up in life and may need a bit of help in finding the coolest of the cool Mother’s Day Gifts! That’s where online shops like Uncommon Goods become a HUGE help, especially if you think your Mom has everything…and then you find out that she doesn’t! 

These days, specialty online retailers seem to come and go like the wind… the ordinary ones at least. In the days before Al Gored invented the internet, people either made their own unique items, knew hippies who made cool things or they had their ear to the ground of a few esoteric artisan shops. That all changed in August of 1999, when Uncommon Goods launched their amazing and one-of-a-kind site. 

Based in good ole Brooklyn, Uncommon Goods has been selling some of the most clever and creative goods you’ll ever see. In fact, they’ve been one of our go-to for special holiday gifts for some time. Artichoke’s brother being one of the many benefactors with a bike chain bottle opener and a duct tape wallet. This online shop truly have something for everyone and their prices are reasonable considering the high quality and uniqueness of their items. So, we were pretty stoked when they asked us to pick some items to review for Mother’s Day! 

Newsflash: Uncommon Goods’ Founder and CEO, David Bolotsky has been vegetarian since the age of 11. The company is “vegetarian” too! 

Many of the products offered are crafted by artisans or small manufacturers who are passionate about what they create. Uncommon Goods is diligent about selling items that are sourced from environmentally friendly, socially responsible artists or . They’ve also set up a worthy cause called Better To Give, where they’ll donate $1 to any non-profit of your choice (so far they’ve donated over $1,000,000.) 

We recently received their wonderful Soup and Sandwich Ceramic Tray Duo set which will get much use over the years. Before trying it out for ourselves, we agreed to serve Mama Mac’s lunch (tomato soup and vegan grilled cheese) on the set, after striking a deal for her to go vegan for a week (with the incentive that Carlo would cook all of her meals). The set, which is oven, microwave and dishwasher safe is sturdy and clean looking, and contrasts nicely with whatever you decide to serve. I think a good guacamole and chips snack just may be in the cards sometime soon! 

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The Storyline Soap Sampler Gift Set may be about the most clever thing we’ve seen in some time. Created by Jonathan Savoie & Madeline Novak, these fragrant soaps, which are cruelty-free and 99% organic, come wrapped in their own individual book pages! A win, for those who admire repurposing materials that would most likely be tossed out or forgotten. So far, Artie has been bogarting the soaps, noting that his favorite of the lot is White Rabbit, which has a sweet jasmine scent that doesn’t overpower. This set would also make for a great graduation or Father’s Day gift. 

source: uncommongoods.com
source:  uncommongoods.com

Another very clever item of note is the Define Bottle. Designer Carter Kostler redefined cool, with this portable water bottle and infuser that has a compartment to add fresh fruit. The parts are screwable and interchangeable based on your use and need. It even comes with a strainer attachment for the center! Macaroon says she may want to try to make some iced tea with this. For sure, this one is a winner. We see this being a hit at our next vegan Meetup potluck! 

source: uncommongoods.com
source: uncommongoods.com

Uncommon Goods is the ideal site for gift giving or to simply treat yourself (which we like to do!). It’s comforting to shop at a site that’s socially responsible, accessible, treats their employees well and sells awesome and well-made goodies. We simply love Uncommon Goods!

Remember, Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10th! You have just a few days to place your order!!! You can shop by Mothers Day Gifts or by Gifts For Mom and see what they have in store for Mom! Then come back here and tell us in the comments what you got her! We’ll keep it a secret…at least until Sunday!

TruJoy Sweets: A True Joy For Your Taste Buds! [Product Review]

trujoy-logo
source: trujoysweets.com

You really have to take your hats off to vegan entrepreneurship. When there’s an absence of a veganized version of a popular product that our community craves, someone somewhere will eventually come up with a vegan alternative. This is why we always encourage fellow vegans and omnivores alike, to start their own vegan business ASAP! I truly admire socially conscious entrepreneurial companies like TruSweets (the maker of TruJoy Sweets) who seized the opportunity to create vegan treats that everyone can enjoy. 

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The good folks at TruSweets (who also own Surf Sweets) created some rather delicious treats that are organic, gluten-free, kosher, vegan, and corn syrup-free. And to top it off, 1% of sales are donated to environmental causes! TruJoy’s colorful packaging beckons you to tear open a bag and dive in as if you were a 7-year-old (although I do this as a 47-year old!) who eagerly wants to get a treat fix. Mac and I ended up trying the Organic Fruit Chews which already had a strong buzz leftover from Natural Product Expo West. These colorful not-too-sweet little gems taste like a grownup version of Starburst. And unlike Straburst, each flavor has a distinct taste that stands out on its own. My favorite flavor was the orange and Mac favored the zingy cherry one. Of course, my kid-like curiosity got the better of me and therefore I experimented by chewing several combos of flavors to see what they would taste like. And although I’m a TruJoy purist, the combos weren’t half bad!  

These candies are great alternatives to the non-vegan and oversweet dreck that selfishly monopolizes supermarket shelves worldwide. The price point for TruJoy Sweets’ products are reasonable considering the quality of their goods and that they give 1% to meaningful environmental causes  such as Rozalia Project. 

To learn more about TruSweets, make sure to check out trusweets.com.