Product review: Earth Balance White Cheddar Flavor Puffs »
If you haven’t heard of the Earth Balance Aged White Cheddar Puffs yet, you must live under a rock! Don’t be embarrassed, everybody has to live somewhere. So I finally tried these bad boys and they are good! They are not as amazing as the beloved Jax of my childhood—any Jax fans out there?!—but they hit the spot. Way better than Tings. They aren’t super cheesy but they do have a nice subtle cheddar flavor. And they are super puffy! The puffiness is my favorite part.
I got mine from Vegan Essentials but I’m hoping to see them in stores near me soon.
Enter the Earth Balance vegan baking contest! Or just admire the recipes! »
Katieg’s Entry: Lemon Curd Cake with Coconut Glaze
This is a super-hard contest, but I though the overachievers among us ought to know about it (the rest of us can just profit from the results): Earth Balance wants you to make delicious baked goods with their products. Duh, easy. Does anyone NOT use Earth Balance in baking?
Except here’s the catch: You have to invent the recipe yourself. That usually doesn’t go so well in my house; we’re still rehashing the Chutney Pie Debacle of 2006. But if you fancy yourself an up-and-coming Isa or Colleen, then by all means, invent away. That’s not the hardest part!
After slaving away over 17 drafts of the perfect Peanut Butter Banana Chia Açai Spice Drops, YOU HAVE TO TAKE A PRETTY PICTURE OF IT! I shall never be a professional chef in the internet age. My food photos are all grainy and dark and show how messy my house is.
After all that, you could win a sweet trip to Vegas, which you will need to recover from the stress of entering this contest. Oh, and there are categories. We already missed pies and cake.
- Cupcakes: Dec. 10 to 16
- Cookies and Bars: Dec. 17 to 23
Go Vegansaurs! Bake and invent! Then share your recipes with us! Those of you who aren’t sneaking in moments to write posts at work can go browse the recipe collection and tell us about the gems.
Get the tissues: “As bounty hunters with bush knives entrapped them in a circle and moved in for the kill, the only thing this mother orang-utan could think to do was to wrap a giant protective arm around her daughter.”
Luckily, rescue group Four Paws saved the orangutan and her baby. They were released back into the wild in a more remote and safer area. Jeez, I am so thankful. And what were these men trying to kill the mama and baby for?: palm oil. The Borneo palm oil companies are said to be offering £70 (about $110) for each orangutan killed on their plantations. So sad. And bounty hunters aren’t the only problem, there’s also severe deforestation due, again, to palm oil. One preferred method of clearing is uncontrolled fires that have killed thousands of orangutans. Fucking A.
Four Paws has some really great programs in place to help orangutans, they seem like an awesome organization. You can donate to them here. I found this palm oil free shopping guide. Does anyone have any other resources about palm oil they recommend? I feel like palm oil is my worst issue, it’s just everywhere; it’s overwhelming. Any tips for me? I’ve heard that organic palm oil doesn’t have the same issues and is fine to eat — do you know if that’s true? I quit regular Earth Balance awhile back and only buy the organic kind and the AMAZING coconut spread! It’s amazing!
via Daily Mail
Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread: Put it on or in EVERYTHING »
Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread. Oh, hell yes. Use it as sexual lube (commonly known as, “lube”), massage oil, in cupcakes, on toast, on a spoon, for high-temperature frying, or for high-temperature sexual relations. This shit does it all! There’s a reason this won product of the year at Vegnews, and your holiday baking just got a whole bunch more delicious. Plus, it’s all organic, so it doesn’t have any of that bad, shady palm oil in it (warning: shitty PDF). Seriously, if you love orangutans (and who doesn’t! They’re basically the muppet version of Jay Z and Bruce Vilanch’s love child), then only buy the organic Earth Balance DO IT. And since the organic regular Earth Balance is hella whipped, it’s not as good for baking, but now that shit doesn’t matter because this coconut spread is perfect for all your baking needs! Also, use it to get gum out of hair and to shine your silver! DO IT.
To further convince you of its glorious truth: Here’s a PDF from Earth Balance with tons of recipes, and coupons! Whole Foods also has a coupon — I wonder if you can combine to actually make money on this deal?? Learn the art of the pon, people.
MORE NOG, PEOPLE! Earth Balance soy nog spotted
somewhere Megan shops in Brooklyn at Whole Foods in Philadelphia. Hot damn! Has anyone tried it yet?? How does it compare to my beloved Silk Nog? It’s definitely a less-evil company, so if it’s good, I’m all about the switch! And has anyone tried So Delicious’ COCONUT NOG? What do you think? Don’t hold back on me, man! This is the shit I live for!
Now, a song: I want the nog! I want all of the nog! I will not stop until the streets run yellow with nog, it’s my box of nog! Give it to me, NOW!
Vegan Spinach Borek Phyllo Dough Puffs from the Earth Balance blog! WANT WANT WANT. Want so much. I mean, look at these! They look like spanakopita springrolls! It has a tablespoon of pomegranate molasses, of which I’ve never heard. Has anyone ever used it? I love molasses. Or at least I love gingerbread dough when it’s full of molasses. I could eat that all day! In fact, I have eaten it all day on many an occasion. My gingerbread house had to renovated but that just made it cozier.
I don’t know what it is but I love combos! Like cookie-pizzas! Or sporks! Or centaurs! I don’t know why. Maybe it’s part of modernity? We’re running out of space so people make ottoman-coffee tables and couch-beds. And me and Mimi Clark make cookie-pizzas. I am thoroughly modern Megan, after all.
More polvorónes, this batch from Amani in Oakland, who says that “Earth Balance made them amazing!” They do look pretty adorable!
Calorie count cage match: KFC Double Down vs. Vegan Double Down »
Everyone and their dog knows that the KFC Double Down is cardiac arrest in sandwich form, and our vegan version isn’t doing much better. But we at least would never lie to you. Kill you, quite possibly, but never lie.
Unlike KFC, who would do both. Their marketing materials had clocked their version in at a lean-and-mean 540 calories and 32 grams of fat (practically diet by fast food standards), and now CityRag is calling bullshit. By their math, using published nutritional data, the KFC Double Down’s real calorie count? 1190 calories and 86 grams of fat—over twice as much as advertised.
So, not that you should care, I thought I’d run the numbers for one serving of our version to see how it stacks up.
- 2 Gardein Chick’n Scallopini patties: 180 calories, 4g fat
- 2 Tbsp Vegenaise: 180 calories, 18g fat
- 25 percent of the batter recipe (plenty for one sandwich): 225 calories, 25g fat
- 2 oz Follow Your Heart Monterey Jack: 140 calories, 14g fat
- 3 strips Smart Bacon with cooking oil: 60 calories, 8g fat
Grand total: 785 calories, 69g fat. I think that means, we win! Or, we lose! Also, let’s be realistic. Neither of these counts include the vat of fryer oil we’re using. So add another 300 to 500 calories to both those numbers.
Moral of the story? There is none. Life isn’t Beatrix Potter, and sometimes we eat stuff that might kill us. The end. As long as it’s only killing ourselves without dragging any animals along for the death ride, I don’t see the problem. You know what, I think there is a moral after all. Mentos!
[link via Bacon-loving Hipsters Can Kiss My Vegan Ass]
KFC to unleash the Double Down sandwich, we celebrate by cracking the code »
Over at The Consumerist, they’ve been following KFC’s new (and revolting) Double Down sandwich. In case you’re new to the story, the Double Down is a bacon and cheese sandwich, with two slabs of fried chicken replacing the bread, and a mystery yellow substance they’re calling “The Colonel’s Sauce” (a name that implies more intimacy with the Colonel than, we hope, is actually involved). After months of rumors and marketing teasers, the Double Down is finally real, with a scheduled release date of Monday, Apr. 12 at a KFC near you.
As vegans, we’re of course bound by blood oath to be outraged by meat surrounded by meat and drizzled in dairy, especially when mass-produced by a megacorp dedicated to poisoning as many people worldwide as possible. But sometimes something is just too ridiculous to hate, and like a game of culinary marry-fuck-kill, we saw the Double Down and chose “fuck.” So with that, I present:
It’s actually good! And by “good” I mean “not good.” Or a word that means a mix of good and not-good, where “not good” describes how you feel after downing this fistful of instant regret. Here’s how you can make your own and share my suffering. You know you want one.
First thing’s first. Start by getting your kitchen stocked with vegan substitutes.
- Gardein Lightly Seasoned Chick’n Scallopini
- Lightlife Smart Bacon
- Follow Your Heart Vegenaise
- Energ-G Egg Replacer
- Earth Balance Natural Shortening
- Follow Your Heart Monterey Jack
You can replace the shortening with canola oil or even Crisco, if you feel like taking your life into your hands. Before doing anything else, I fried up about six pieces of Smart Bacon, and thinly sliced the Follow Your Heart Monterey Jack using a mandolin. If you don’t have a mandolin, a cheese slicer will do the trick, or a sharp kitchen knife if you’re really patient. You should also thaw out the Gardein patties, which are usually kept frozen.
The Colonel’s Sauce
No one has any idea what’s in this stuff, so I basically went for “yellow”.
- 4 Tbsp Vegenaise
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- 1 tsp turmeric
Mix it up until it looks yellow. Adjust as needed.
- 1 Tbsp sage
- 1 tsp ginger root
- 1 Tbsp rosemary
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder or cayenne
- 1½ tsp thyme
- 2 Tbsp garlic salt, or mix 1 Tbsp salt + 1 Tbsp garlic granules
- 2 Tbsp onion salt, or mix 1 Tbsp salt + 1 Tbsp onion granules
- 3 Tbsp dried parsley
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp powdered vegetable bullion from Rapunzel, or any vegan “chicken-flavored” bullion.
- 1 pack of McCormick Thick & Zesty Spaghetti Sauce Mix (available at Safeway), or 1 packet of any vegan tomato powdered instant soup.
Grind into a fine powder using a food processor or blender, and set aside.
Making the batter and deep-frying it all up
- 3 Tbsp Ener-G egg replacer
- 4 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- ½ cup unsweetened, plain soy milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
In a mixing bowl, beat together the egg replacer, water, canola oil, and soy milk. This is your “eggs and milk” batter.
Now is a good time to get your deep-frying apparatus into gear. If you own a deep fryer, you know what you’re doing here. For everyone else: melt the whole box of Earth Balance shortening in a wok or cast-iron pan on medium heat. Top it up with canola oil if the pool of oil isn’t deep enough.
Next, thoroughly mix together the flour with the “secret” herb and spice mix that you made earlier. Spread out the flour mix onto a long sheet of baking paper.
You basically want to coat the living hell out of the Gardein patties, then deep fry them until your kitchen smells like KFC. So: take a patty, dip it in the batter, then roll it in the flour/spices until it’s completely coated. Then take the same patty and repeat; you want to coat the coating.
Finally, drop in your patty and deep-fry it for a few minutes, until golden brown. You can test out your oil beforehand with a small glob of batter and flour. You really don’t want to cook them for too long!
Putting it all together then nomming the shit out of that
Now you’re ready to assemble your Vegan Double Down: two slabs of fried fake chicken, stuffed with fake bacon, fake cheese, and fake “Colonel’s Sauce”. Make it look pretty.
You will eat about half of this before realizing what a mistake it’s been. But until that moment, it will taste like sweet, deep-fried heaven.