Product review: Tofurky Pockets! »
Tofurky has new products, and they sent us some to try out. Have you seen these Pockets in the frozen food section of your grocery store? I haven’t, but my grocery store isn’t really up on the latest in vegan convenience food.
This is the Pepperoni Pizza Pocket. I had to cook it in the oven, because we don’t have a microwave (or room for a microwave) in my apartment, but it only took like 30 minutes from freezer to plate.
This tasted like a less sodium-y Hot Pocket, which was about exactly what I wanted after coming home a little tipsy. “Food, comfort me!” I demanded, and this definitely did the trick. If you don’t like Hot Pockets, you won’t have any need for Tofurky Pockets, but if you do miss them, this is a fine vegan analog.
This was the BBQ Chick’N pocket. I cut it in three because I had two non-vegans to share it with, for research purposes. They both loved it, and said the sauce in particular was “delicious.” I thought was pretty sweet, for barbecue sauce, and the chicken pieces were like standard fake chicken. The crust crisped and browned nicely in the oven, and it was, again, satisfying to eat after a couple drinks.
Hey look, Turk’y Broccoli Cheddar! It was very well peppered, which was a nice surprise. The vegetarian I split this one with thought it was pretty good, too, especially the pepper. There was a fair amount of broccoli involved as well; that certainly doesn’t make it healthy, but Turk’y Cheddar alone, who needs it? Really, the insides tasted kind of like a weeknight casserole from 1989, and I have no complaints about that.
Now, I wouldn’t eat these every day, at all, but Tofurky Pockets are certainly better for you than gnarly old Hot Pockets. Is substituting all the convenience food from your freezer section with vegan options the future? Some of us might say so.
It’s another installment of Animal Legal Defense Fund’s 30 Second Animal Law! Today we learn “What laws protect animals who are raised for food?”
Did you ever see a video of horrific cruelty toward farmed animals and wonder, “Why is that legal?!” The sad truth is that there are no federal laws that govern the way farmed animals are raised. State laws are sorely lacking. So what can you do if the law can’t protect them?
By going vegan you remove your support for the cruel system under which 10 billion land animals are raised each year. A plant-based diet is healthy, delicious, and better for the environment as well.
NYC Review: Blossom du Jour in Chelsea! »
Blossom restaurants in New York invited Megan and I to try their newest outpost, Blossom du Jour Chelsea!
Megan: It’s a fast-food kind of place. Not like Foodswings with all the (delicious, delicious) junk food, but it seems like mostly a place you’d grab a sandwich to go. They do have some cafe tables that we took to eat.
Meave: It’s a nook. An adorable nook. If I worked or lived around here, I’d pop in all the time, but it’s not a place that looks designed to linger at.
Megan: We decided to try one of their many sandwiches. It was a tough choice but we powered through. Now behold, The Avocado Griller: ”in-house grilled rosemary lemon un-chicken, fresh avocado, v-pesto mayo, crisp romaine lettuce” (note, ours pictured below is on ciabatta). The first thing I did was immediately drop half the sandwich on the floor because I’m the super genius. But when I took a bite of the second half, I ‘bout died. SO GOOD. In my non-veggie days (2000? Wow), I used to enjoy chicken and avocado sandwiches and it was totally like that BUT WITH PESTO! And yummy bread! So, yeah, this sandwich is amazing. I want to eat it everyday. Oh and they deliver! But just a block short of my office. *Sad face*
Look at this and tell me you’re not dead:
Meave: I ate the protected innards of the fallen sandwich, because I have no class. Megan’s right, it was amazing. I would’ve added tomato and pepperoncinis, but I’m impossible to please. The pesto and avocado combo is pretty unbeatable, though, so rich and creamy.
Megan: We also got this chickpea and quinoa salad. I just don’t love salads (“a vegan who doesn’t like salad?! What the whaaa?” —my dad) so I wasn’t that excited by it but the dressing was interesting and good.
Meave: It was nice with the dried cranberries hidden in there, chewy little sweet bits of contrast to the mixed greens and tangy dressing. I was surprised to find it in a plastic box in the premade food fridge, but again, this seems like a grab-and-go sort of place, and if you’re in a hurry you don’t want someone making your salad fresh, so it makes sense. And it was a fine salad.
Megan: As we were thirsty, we decided to try one of their special juices. Neither Meave nor I are that into the big juice fad but we decided to try the Pretty In Pink. Lo and behold: it was yummy! Refreshing and not thick or anything like I expect all those healthy juices to be.
Meave: I am not into “juicing” as an “eating alternate” or “ridiculous overpriced nonsense lifestyle,” but I do miss the juicer I left behind when I moved to New York this year, and the cheap, good produce I was constantly putting into it. The pineapple-beet-apple combo is sweet and sour and crisp, very easy to drink.
Megan: They also have all kinds of baked goods! Like chocolate croissants! Damn, son. It wasn’t AS flaky and crispy as I remember regular croissants to be but it was buttery and a bit flaky and chocolaty and YUM.
Meave: Megan was so excited about this croissant! I thought it was pretty good. The chocolate inside was nice and bitter, which was a good contrast to the pastry. I bet it’d be best earlier in the day (we were there at 7:30 p.m. on a Wednesday, not the ideal time to buy morning-fresh baked goods), but it was a solid approximation.
Megan: We tried a red velvet cupcake as well. Tasty! I’m so tired of red velvet cupcakes having just a plain, sugary vanilla frosting instead of cream cheese flavor frosting. This totally had a nice cream cheesy flavor. The frosting was super-sweet but the cupcake part wasn’t so it wasn’t overwhelming. It also had a hint of lemon? I think? If I had to choose, I would get the chocolate croissant over the cupcake but come on, I’d pick the chocolate croissant over oxygen.
Meave: I liked the cake over the frosting, which is pretty unusual for me, as I am a hardcore frosting-only woman. (In small times, I’d eat the unwanted frosting from my friends’ cake at birthday parties.) And while this frosting was plenty good, the cake was better; like Megan says, not as sweet, a good crumb, and the color was pleasant, not creepy or (too) unnatural, which can be a problem with red velvet cake.
Megan: Oh snap I almost forgot! They also have vegan cronuts! We didn’t get to try one because they were out. But next time, lookout cronuts! Imma eat you up!
Megan: All in all, the avocado “chicken” sandwich was my favorite thing. I love it. I want to marry it. I want to marry it and have the chocolate croissant as my maid of honor. I can’t wait to try the other sandwiches! (They have a meatball sandwich and an eggplant parm sub!)
Meave: I will attend that wedding. I will give away the bride, even, if she doesn’t mind marrying a sandwich with some bites taken out of it because there is no better way to express how good that avocado and pesto taste together than devouring it.
Sorbet review: Dolce Gelateria in the West Village! »
Megan: Meave and I got free sorbet at Dolce Gelateria in West Village! Because we are the coolest vegans! All of their sorbets are vegan (though I don’t know their sugar source) and they have lots of flavors: lemon, mango, chocolate, cantaloupe, peach, strawberry, and more.
Meave: We were secretly hoping the olive oil gelato (below, middle of the back row) would be vegan, but no. Still, there are tons of vegan sorbet flavors, and in the gelateria tradition, they’re all really beautiful.
Megan: I’m always ragging on sorbet because you know it’s our only option for dessert at 99 percent of non-vegan restaurants. But they had chocolate sorbet! If every restaurant had chocolate sorbet, I would never complain again (about sorbet, everything else is still up for scrutiny). So obvi I had to get the chocolate because I never see it and additionally: CHOCOLATE SORBET. I also got strawberry.
The strawberry was good, not too sweet and nice and refreshing. And the chocolate was great! I kept asking our host like, “is this really vegan? Yeah? Really? Can you check the ingredients? You’ll check those for me, right?” So she did—water, sugar, chocolate. BAM! Vegan! How happy am I? (HINT: SUPER HAPPY). In summary: I. Want. More. Additionally: CHOCOLATE SORBET.
Meave: Yeah, sorbet on its face isn’t really exciting anymore, but when someone offers us free sorbet, we aren’t too good to turn it down. Plus it’s sooooooo hoooooooooot, saying no to cold desserts would be dumb. I got mango and cantaloupe, because I love both those fruits but I have been way too lazy to buy and prep them this season. Why not let someone else mix them with water and sugar and whip them into a creamy vegan treat?
Meave: Gorgeous, right? Megan wasn’t into it (“Why did you get the two fruits I hate?” she said), but I thought the flavors were as bright and summery as the colors. I’m also really into Dolce’s style of putting the flavors side by side instead of one on top of the other. The whole point of having two scoops is tasting them individually AND together, plus this way they melt evenly, so you’re not eating the top flavor at peak cold while the bottom flavors turns into sorbet soup underneath it. All other cold dessert places need to get it together.
Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! »
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, animals!
Wow, what a big week!
After years of research funded by Google’s co-founder, the world’s first cultured meat taste-testing went down in London. The Today Show was one of hundreds of media outlets to cover the historic event. You can see HSUS’s supportive remarks for the slaughter-free meat, too. In addition to the massive potential for eliminating a huge amount of animal suffering, keep in mind that cultured meat uses 99 percent less land, 96 percent less water, 45 percent less energy, and produces 96 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than conventional meat.
A researcher at the University of Minnesota also found this week that by dramatically reducing animal consumption, we could free up enough food for another 4 billion humans.
And on the legislative front, the fight against Iowa Rep. Steve King’s nefarious farm bill provision continues, with more than a third of House members now urging leadership to strip the provision. Have you contacted your lawmakers yet?! Animals need your help now more than ever.
Video of the week: Do you like it when farm animals hang out with dogs and cats?
It’s Vegan Shop-Up time again! It looks to be as awesome as ever, and the weather promises to be a bit less oppressively humid, so come on over to Bushwick and get shopping! Or at least eating and drinking. It’s like our very own vegan microcosm Smorgasburg, only with a way better bar.
If you’ve never been check out the list of vendors to see what wonders await you. See you tomorrow!
The August Vegan Shop-Up runs from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 10, at Pine Box Rock Shop, 12 Grattan Street in Brooklyn off the Morgan L stop.
Via our Laura at Jezebel, some really wonderful Chilean college students are calling attention to the plight of urban street dogs. Or at least call attention to the dogs themselves. Get your tissues out, it’s a weeper.
Have you seen these orphaned baby fruit bats? Look at them, with their tiny baby bat blankets and their tiny baby bat bottles! Just look at them being so insanely cute I can’t even take it!
I was planning on going down to Australia and batnapping them immediately, but Grist says the Australian Bat Clinic, where they live, could really use some donations and volunteers, so maybe a less felonious trip is in order.
[thanks to my brother for the tip!]
Shop at Float through Sunday to help the House Rabbit Society! »
Rabbits are amazing, the House Rabbit Society is a wonderful organization, and you could do worse than buying a shirt with their adorable logo from Float, where $8 from every item purchased will go to our bunny-helping pals at the HRS. But this deal only lasts through 8 a.m. Monday, so get on it!
Foreign consumption of quinoa is good for Bolivia, say actual Bolivians »
Hopefully putting an end to the great quinoa controversy of 2013, NPR reports that while foreign consumption of quinoa has increased the domestic price of quinoa in Bolivia, it’s also increased Bolivians’ income, so “they’re able to now afford [foods such as] tomatoes and salads and veggies, and foods that they weren’t able to afford before,” Eduoard Rollet of Alter Eco told Allison Aubrey.
"It’s not true that due to an increase in the price of quinoa, less and less is being consumed" in Bolivia, The Associated Press quoted [Bolivian President Evo] Morales as saying in an article in February.
In fact, Morales pointed to a threefold increase in domestic consumption of quinoa over the past four years.
That means we can continue to eat quinoa without “stomaching the unpalatable truth” about it, right? Considering the truth about quinoa sounds pretty palatable to me, and more importantly, to the people producing the quinoa for us. If they say their experience is positive, then that’s what counts.
[summer fruit salad with quinoa by Typical Domestic Babe]