Review: Gardein Buffalo Wings! »
Because I’m Canadian, I got in on the Gardein craze a little before most of you Yankees, as the Great White North had that shizz a full year or more before the US of A. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I know my stuff when it comes to pea-protein-based fake meat, so let me lay on you my review of Gardein’s latest oeuvre, Buffalo Wings!
There are a couple schools of thought when it comes to vegan “wings:” there’s the breaded school (crunchy breading covered with hot sauce) and the not-breaded school. Gardein’s wings are of the not-breaded variety. They are, rather, wing-sized nuggets of Gardein’s magic “chicken” substance covered with a bright red (so you know they’re Buffalo wings) spicy sauce. They come frozen and in a little pouch with the sauce already on, which brings me to my first quibble—you need a microwave to get these out of the pouch and onto the baking sheet in a dignified way. If, like me, you live in a microwave-free household, you have to do what I did and pry those frozen little things apart with your bare hands, which kind of sucks. I mean, it’s hardly a dealbreaker, but you don’t want to do it while wearing a white shirt is all I’m saying.
Once you manage to get them on the baking sheet, though, it’s full speed ahead. The wings bake for about 15 minutes, and then you eat them. First things first: spicy alert! Like I said, I am Canadian, and I’m not terribly heat-tolerant, but these things have a kick! Don’t eat them if you have a bleeding ulcer! Personally, I like a touch more sweetness with my wing sauce, but Gardein’s Buffalo sauce does hit the spot. The wings themselves are satisfying and chewy and pleasantly stringy so that they get ever-so-slightly stuck in your teeth. Floss after eating if you have a date later! Serve with vegan ranch if you have it. I love me some vegan ranch and think that any way I can get it into my mouth is a-OK. I ate a whole package of these by myself for lunch (well, I guess I also ate three pickles with them, but since the nutritional value of pickles is “salt,” I don’t count them), which means I ate 2.5 servings, or 10 pieces. At around $4.50 per package, these ain’t no 10-cent wings, that’s for sure, but they’re certainly cheaper than the napalm-coated wings at Weird Fish (which I love, but they are too spicy). All in all, these are some tasty, reasonably-priced, and surprisingly healthy (not that I endorse counting calories at all, but these are pretty low-calorie, soy-free, and low-fat). Perfect for a night in, and, I suspect, highly compatible with beer.
These things are available in the freezer section at Rainbow and at some Bay Area Whole Foods, and if I know Gardein’s marketing and distribution people, I’m sure they’ll be widely available soon, if they aren’t already.
Please see quarrygirl’s review of this product to know it’s the bomb!
shopping vegan at the 99 Cent Only store (read: being broke AND awesome) »
I love the 99¢ Only chain. I mean, it’s dirty, has hella long lines, and may be actively displacing the people of West Oakland, but shit. 99 CENTS ONLY!
If you can look beyond the box of frozen sausage marinara for kids and neon green “less than 2% avocado” guacamole, you’ll find a veganic wonderland of expired goods and opportunity. The West Oakland branch (across the street from BART!) carries those delicious cartons of Imagine Organic No-Chicken Broth (four bucks at health food stores!), half moldy lemons and Smart Balance Light (regular Smart Balance has whey; these fuckers want to keep vegans skinny). They’ve got every necessary condiment aside from Vegenaise, those two Top Ramen flavors that are vegan (though the MSG headache still remains), soymilk (with high fructose corn syrup!), ricemilk (without high fructose corn syrup!), some obscure brand of soy chorizo, and gigantic bags of kettle corn.
Don’t forget the refried beans that taste like nothing (no lard! Yay!), totally ripe avocados, chipotle salsa (they call is “sauce” here but it’s the best!), corn tortillas seemingly made for Daiya quesadillas, almost attractive produce (you only need it for a one night stand!), and the light of my life:
Nacho cheese flavored sunflower seeds!
So rather than speculating as to why this synthetic nacho cheese powder is vegan, or asking yourself whether its ethical to consume metaphorical dairy products, I suggest one personal inquiry: “should I crack open the shell, or just chew ‘em up?”
Additionally, the 99 Cent Only store carries laser pens. This is the best way to play with cats ever. 99 cents!
[Ed.: Bryan May is new to Vegansaurus, and you’re gonna fucking love this guy. He grew up between christian rock and a hard place, but middle school found Crass, and all those forward thinking punx led him to coming out as a vegan to mom in 9th grade. It went well. He lives in the Westest of the Oaklands and is interested in making zines, taking pictures, child development, and trying to keep the company of cats (especially those with disabilities). He bleeds garlic and sweats nutritional yeast.]
Wholesome Bakery to open in new Bernal Heights Marketplace! »
Big news. Wholesome Bakery is looking to go legit. Currently part of the Street Food Revolution, it’s an entirely vegan bakery (on wheels). BUT NOT FOR LONG. They will soon OPEN EVERY DAY FOR US TO BUY DELICIOUS VEGAN BAKED GOODS PRAISE BE in the new Bernal Heights Marketplace. They are shooting to open by the first of the year and we’re all very excited. With vegan bakeries on a race to set up a shop in SF, we all win.
BRING IT, CUPCAKES.
NEW VEGAN ICE CREAM ALERT!! ALSO A FIRE!!!
Now that I have your attention. New local non-dairy raw(-ish?) ice cream, Alkemie, hits the shelves at Bay Area Whole Foods! It’s available in a small variety of flavors, like vanilla bean and mint chocolate chip (UGH SOME CREATIVITY PLEASE, I’d love a double-chocolate cookie dough crunch fantasy with marshmallows and teddy grahams, PLEASE GOD IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK!? And before you say boo, I know some of you are purists. Just know your place as an Undeserving Poor and shut yer yaps!),
Anyway, it’s on sale now for $5.99 a pint. The Chronicle Food & Wine staff gave it a thumbs-up as a non-dairy product, for what that’s worth. Probably not much because that article appears to be written by a moron. There are tons of non-dairy ice creams that aren’t soy-based already on the market, especially in the Bay Area. Get it together, Chron, you sound like my Grandpa. Actually, my Grandpa was a lot cooler than you.
I’m really into offending people today, you’re all lovely. I apologize.
(Thanks, The Sisters Vegan, for the heads-up!)
Good news: The coveted 2010 AT&T Yellow Pages Rainbow coupons will be good on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Bad news: only in January, March, May, July, and September. Recession hurts us all, I gets it. Thanks to Rainbow for continuing to give us poor people and fake poor people in San Francisco a reason to bitch about long lines while we’re spoon-fed our cheap-ish organic veg eats.
Suggestion: make the coupons available on your website, and pass out copies in low-income areas. I know they do the Yellow Pages because it’s accessible to everyone but let’s be real, the hippies and vegans go around stealing all the coupons in them anyway and THE YELLOW PAGES ARE KILLING THE EARTH.
That is all.
Brand-new Trader Joe’s product worth losing your shit for! Dark Chocolate Nutty Bits (PERVS and also, hehehe) with almonds, pistachios & PUMPKIN SEEDS. Throw in some fleur de sel (fancy! also, huh?) and BAM! a delicious gluten-free (we’re looking out for your our celiac brothers & sisters! You better have our back when the war starts!) snack.
Now, run, bitches!
Meals for Change is this really awesome company that has a too good to be true thing going on. They might be run by the mob but more likely I am just an alarmist crazy person with trust issues (all true) and they are just some of the greatest fools on earth. From their website:
Conceived as a source of support for Bay Area Community Services’ programs serving the elderly and disabled, Meals for Change combines our expertise in kitchen production, practical job training programs, and a partnership with nearby family farmers to produce creative fare with seasonal flair.
All of the money raised goes to lots of great causes, most geared toward helping senior citizens. They’re now serving up healthy all veg-meals (many vegan! Including a vegan shepherd pie and vegan paella!) in various San Francisco supermarkets (including Rainbow, the Delanos IGA on 18th Street in the Castro, and both Real Foods).
So yeah, buy their food. Feel like less of a scumbucket. You are full and self-righteous, your day can begin!
Kombucha ON TAP at new Noe Valley Whole Foods. What are we, Santa Cruz!? Oh, the humanity! Actually, totes don’t mind, luv SC 4 eva!
Oh also, notice in the case to your right, top row. those are the new vegan donuts that come in tons of flavors and are only 99 cents. They are a blatant rip off of Pepple’s Donuts but they’re less than a buck. SO TORN.
That’s where you’re wrong, Noe Valley Whole Foods. Other than that blatant lie, it’s adorable! Even getting some tofu paella for dinner! Way to turn it out, Baby Valley Whole Paycheck! (har de har har)