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Archive for the ‘Premade Gluten Free Vegan Products’ Category

Why are we posting about humane cheese on a vegan site? Because we are so thrilled to discover a small, slaughter-free dairy farm that is dedicated to providing a wonderful life to their cows, treating their cows as family pets, never slaughtering them – male or female – and who ships the cheese they make for sale! Because we feel that if you are able to explain why you support this cheese, it is a way to get people for whom going vegan seems too extreme to still think about the issues and realize there are better ways.

Gita Nigari Farm, also known as “the yoga farm”, is a farm based on the tenets of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. As such, they are imbued with the philosophy of Ahimsa, as well as the Hindu reverence for cows. As they say, front and center on their sites, they are the first slaughter free dairy in the USA – no cows or bulls are either killed or exploited to produce their dairy products, and “our cows and bulls are protected for their entire lives!”

Well, when we heard about this, we had to reach out to them, and try their products. Again, while not vegan, if more farms operated like the Gita Nigari Yoga Farm, the concerns about animal welfare would be raised in our collective conscience, and one of the primary reasons that people go vegan – over concerns for animal welfare – would start to be addressed on a wider basis.

Put another way – the Gita Nigari Farm serves as an example of how a dairy farm can, and should be run. The more people who know about it, the more people can demand nothing less of dairy farms. And we consider that a win for the animals.

The Gita Nigari Yoga farm produces and sells humane sharp cheddar cheese, baby Swiss cheese, paneer (a mild Indian cheese), ghee (clarified butter), buttermilk, and carob milk.

At the time of this writing, the price for the cheese is $12.00 per pound, and they will ship across the United States. The shipping price for up to three pounds is a flat rate of $10.00, via the USPS. They accept Paypal.

Yes, it’s more costly than the cheese you can buy at the supermarket. So yes, it’s likely not going to be something you eat daily; but as a treat – and to support a farm that actually reveres their cows and cossets them, we say it’s worth a splurge of support every now and then!

Of course, by “slaughter-free” we aren’t just referring to what happens at the end of life for these cows and bulls. As most of you probably already know, part of the slaughter cycle at most dairy farms is slaughter of newborn calves, and the harvesting of rennet from their stomachs, which is then used in cheese production. As Gita Nagari farm is a slaughter-free dairy, they use vegetarian rennet (for you non-vegans reading this, always check the ingredients on cheese, if it doesn’t specifically say “vegetable rennet”, that cheese is almost certainly not even vegetarian).

Here is the unboxing of our order of Gita Nigari Yoga Farm humane, slaughter-free cheese:

The package arrived via USPS. We had been provided by email with a tracking number as soon as the package left the farm.

gita nigari humane slaughter free cheese package

 

The cheese was packaged really well, being double-wrapped, and they had included an ice pack (by the time it arrived to us, the ice pack had melted, but it had done its job – the cheese was still fine when it arrived):

gita nigari humane slaughter free cheese opening

 

The cheese itself, in the package:

gita nigari humane slaughter free cheese in package

 

We ordered three pounds of cheese – two of the sharp cheddar, and one of the swiss:

gita nigari humane slaughter free cheese cheddar and swiss

 

Don’t you love their label?:

gita nigari humane slaughter free cheese cheddar

 

gita nigari humane slaughter free cheese baby swiss

 

So, how does it taste? It tastes like a wonderful cheese, made with love, respect, and a dash of good karma. :-)

humane slaughter-free cheese

 

You can check out Gita Nagari Yoga farm here, where you can read about their cow protection program, and you can even adopt a cow!

Sometimes it can be difficult to follow a perfect diet. Even for those who know the importance of a pure organic diet of whole foods, it can be difficult to maintain that during times that are busier than normal. When a busy schedule kicks in, the need for convenience can take over. Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice health for convenience.

Kolat was founded by a nutritionist who realized that even she had a hard time following her own nutrition advice. She created Kolat, a nutrient-rich super food, to assist those who need food packed with antioxidants, essential minerals, healthy fats, and phytonutrients, but who don’t have a ton of time. Kolat foods have 50% of the Recommended Daily Value of vitamins per serving, making it a perfect food for adults and kids.

Kolat offers four products:

Ranked among the highest in overall antioxidant potential, blueberries and omega 3 rich walnuts are known for their immune-boosting effects and brain-health promoting properties. Combined with cinnamon, a warming spice known for its ability to stimulate many vital functions including your circulatory system and your metabolism. Giving you that extra boost, this superfood fusion will make you feel like you can conquer the world … or at the very least, tackle that looming deadline you’ve been putting off!

  • Blueberry Cinnamon Walnut, packed with cinnamon, blueberries, Organic Coconut oil and dates. It’s full of Vitamins:A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Biotin, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid, C, D2, E, K.
  • Cherry Vanilla Almond, made with almonds, dates, cherries, organic coconut oil and natural vanilla. Full of A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Biotin, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid, C, D2, E, K.
  • Dark Chocolate Coconut, a rich, delicious blend of almonds, shredded coconut, dates, organic coconut oil, natural vanilla and unsweetened cocoa powder. This mix contains vital Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Biotin, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid, C, D2, E, K.
  • Espresso Hazlenut, a decadent mix of hazelnuts, almonds, dates, ground espresso bean and organic coconut oil. It contains Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Biotin, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid, C, D2, E, K.

When we got our hands on the Blueberry Cinnamon Walnut Fruit and Almond Butter, as well as the Dark Chocolate Coconut Fruit and Almond Butter, we were, admittedly, dubious. We’ve had holistic whole packaged foods that, while they may have been good for us, were not very palatable. Luckily, Kolat did not disappoint.

The Blueberry Cinnamon Walnut Fruit & Almond Butter smells beautifully of cinnamon, with a full, nutty aroma. The taste is full and rich, and this delicious mixture is filling and satisfying. It tastes unbelievable with apple slices and carrot sticks. It’s a perfect snack in between meals, and would be perfect for the kiddo’s lunchbox.

The Dark Chocolate Coconut is unbelievably decadent. It’s a rich, nutty flavor that feels like dessert and not like a superfood. It feels indulgent but it’s so good for you. This is one of their best sellers and we can see why, it’s rich and delicious. It tastes perfect with sliced pears and strawberries.

If you’d like to try Kolat, it is in distribution many states, and available on Amazon.com.

kola nut butter

Vegan and gluten-free cheese has come a long way. Gone are the days of unpalatable soy cheeses with crumbly or rubbery textures. Not only are delicious every day vegan cheeses available, but so are artisan vegan cheeses such as those made by vegan cheese company Kite Hill.

Kite Hill artisan non-dairy cheeses are the first vegan cheeses to ever be featured in Whole Foods Market’s cheese department. Kite Hill makes their vegan artisanal cheeses in the same way that traditional dairy cheese is made. All of their cheeses are made from a proprietary nut milk blend, after which it is pasteurized and blended with lactose-free culture and naturally occurring enzymes. As the mixture curds, the curd is distributed into cheese molds and aged.

The Kite Hill cheese we sampled is their White Alder cheese, a soft ripened cheese, similar to brie. The cheese came in a round wooden box, and was carefully wrapped to preserve it. It has a soft rind, in which there is very creamy cheese. The taste of the cheese is soft, which is perfect for those who don’t like a strung cheese. Because it is such a soft taste, it pairs really well with seasoned, gluten free crackers, taking on any flavor that it may have. It would also be delicious spread on tortilla chips and carrot chips. While Kite Hill recommends pairing it with white grapes, we paired it with strawberry, apple slices, dried cherries and dark chocolate, and it was an absolutely delicious offering. We can also see this tasting delicious as grilled cheese, with some gluten-free bread and perhaps some tomato or pesto.

Kite Hill recommends pairing this vegan cheese with a dry white wine or champagne, but if you’re a non-drinker, it would taste delicious with sparkling cider.

Kite Hill vegan artisanal cheeses are available at Whole Foods markets everywhere, or check their store locator for the store nearest you.

kite hill vegan white alder cheese

We love our vegan and gluten-free cheese, especially when it’s non-GMO. Parmela’s Creamery, which started out with their signature product, parmesan-style cheese, will not disappoint. Their vegan cheeses are fermented like regular dairy cheese, offering a whole new vegan cheese experience.

Parmela’s nut-based cheeses are fermented and aged to offer a rich, tangy flavor, just like dairy cheese. The almond and cashew-based cheeses include soy, which is in a more digestiable form due to breaking down during the fermentation process.

Parmela’s also just released their creamy vegan cream cheese. Also nut based, these spreads include rich coconut oil to bring a full flavor to the cream cheese. Parmela Creamery vegan cream cheese comes in 3 flavors: original, black pepper and kalamata olive. Like the parmesan-style vegan cheese, the cream cheese is fermented and aged.

There’s more exciting news: Parmela’s will be expanding their line even further, to include sauces. The sauce flavors are Tomato Vodka, Alfredo and Artichoke. All are vegan, gluten-free and nut-based, and perfect on gluten free pasta, gluten free lasagna, or over veggies.

You can order all existing Parmela products, and get on a waiting list to be notified when the sauces are available, at Vegan Essentials.

Parmela's vegan cheese

Vegenaise has long been the choice for many vegans when it comes to vegan mayonnaise. New player on the block, Hampton Creek, is changing the game with their new vegan mayonnaise, Just Mayo.

Just Mayo is a delicious concoction that includes tangy lemon and vinegar. We got our hands on a jar from Whole Foods and were delighted to find that it tastes absolutely delicious. Just Mayo being vegan and gluten free did not sacrifice taste in any way. The first recipe we used to give Just Mayo a spin was vegan and gluten free egg salad sandwiches. We’ve seen several vegans around the web mention that they use noodles as the “egg” in their egg salad, which is a genius idea because it offers a perfect consistency without the strong tofu taste found in most vegan egg salad.

Vegan and Gluten Free Egg Salad Sandwich with Hampton Creek Just Mayo

4 pieces of your favorite gluten free and vegan bread
1 cup vegan and gluten free noodles, cooked and chopped into small pieces
1/3 cup Just Mayo
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons chopped purple onion
1 teaspoon dill
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients, except the bread, together in a small bowl. Spread on bread to make two sandwiches.

It’s that simple, and so delicious. For a stronger taste, let the salad sit in the refrigerator for an hour so the tastes can meld together.

Natural Foods Expo West has come and gone in the city of Anaheim, and it did not disappoint. This yearly conference is a who’s who of natural foods and it did not disappoint this year. From cashew ice cream, to coconut fake bacon, to the finest organic and vegan juice cleanses, the offerings were delicious and bountiful. One product that stood out is the gluten-free, vegan meat called Neat.

Neat meat replacement is made from a blend of beans, nuts and seasonings that are all vegan and gluten free. They offer 3 different varieties: Original, Italian Mix and Mexican Mix.

Original is a blend of garbanzo beans, pecans, oats, cornmeal, garlic, onion and sea salt.

Italian blend contains Italian seasonings, garbanzo beans, pecans, oats, cornmeal, garlic, onion and sea salt.

Mexican blend is a mix of Mexican seasonings, garbanzo beans, pecans, oats, cornmeal, garlic, onion and sea salt.

Neat meat is a bagged mix that is reconstituted with water and your favorite egg replacement, such as Vegg vegan egg replacement, or flax seed oil. With the ease of preparation and the delicious taste, Neat meat is quickly amassing a large fanbase, with glowing reviews:

“We ate them hot and plain out of the oven and they tasted like a fried meatball. Even those who normally eat meat really liked them.”

“Neat is so much better than veggie crumbles or other soy based products.”

“Quick family meal without the artificial ingredients and the kids loved it! Tasted just like meat tacos.”

You can get Neat vegan ground meat mix at Amazon here

And for those who are already fans, Neat is soon releasing a breakfast sausage product very soon. To stay abreast of their product releases, and purchase their products, visit their website.

neatmeat

If you find you’re in a pinch for a quick dessert, or have a large dinner on which to focus, this delicious recipe will make it look like you spent hours on it. Part of the reason it is so simple is because the base, the vegan and gluten-free chocolate cake, is pre-made by Amy’s Organics, and available at Whole Foods and the frozen section of most grocery stores. It is delicious, and doesn’t even need to be baked!

Vegan and Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Sweet Cashew Cream and Poached Cherries

*At least 2 hours prior to preparation, take the Amy’s Organic Chocolate Cake out of the freezer to thaw, and soak the cashews.*

Vegan and Gluten-Free Cashew Cream

1 cup raw cashes, soaked at least 2 hours
1/4 cup filtered water
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Put all ingredients in a blender, and blend at high-speed until thick and creamy. If needed, keep adding water in small amounts to get the cream to the desired consistency. Set aside.

Poached Cherries

1 cup distilled water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups of cherries, pitted
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Heat all of the ingredients, except the cherries and lemon juice, in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to boil. Let it boil gently for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Don’t let it over-boil. Add the cherries and lemon juice and cook for another few minutes and remove from heat.

When ready to serve: slice the chocolate cake into serving sizes. Place each piece of cake on a plate, and spoon the cashew cream and poached cherries (preferably still warm), over each slice. Serve.

To top the entire dish even more, add some chocolate shavings as garnish. Simply use a vegetable peeler to shave some of your favorite chocolate into small shavings.

It’s that time of year to get in your last minute holiday shopping. As both vegan and gluten free lifestyles are growing in popularity, and necessity, so are new products that appeal to both worlds. Vegan and gluten free sweets and treats are now increasing in popularity and make an excellent stocking stuffer. Here are our five favorite vegan and gluten free stocking stuffers:

1. Gluten Free Chocolate Covered Pretzels – these delicious treats are the perfect marrying of sweet and salty. Gluten free pretzels are covered by vegan chocolate, to make a perfect holiday snack.

2. Organic Nectars Organic Raw Cacao, Chocagave, Organic Chocolate Dessert Syrup – this decadent chocolate dessert sauce is the winner of the 2008 Sofi™ silver for Outstanding Dessert Topping. This delicious topping is a mix of raw cacao powder, raw organic agave syrup, and organic nectars. Because it is low-glycemic, it is suitable for that diabetic gift recipient on your list!

3. Lazy Day Chocolate Orange Slice Truffle – treat your gift recipients to a crunchy cookie that is smothered in creamy belgian chocolate.

4. Sweet Pete’s All Natural, Gluten Free, Vegan Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels – the combination of caramel and salt is widely popular these days, and there is no need for those who are vegan and gluten free to be left out. The caramels are made with vegan coconut milk, covered in dark chocolate, and then sprinkled with sea salt. These are sure to be a hit!

5. Yummy Earth Organic Candy Drops Wild Peppermint – it doesn’t quite feel like the holidays without some minty treats! These peppermint candies are free of dyes, chemicals, pesticides, gluten, and animal ingredients.

Most of these products are available in bulk, which means you have the option of buying a bigger shipment, and dividing them up amongst friends and family to give you more bang for your buck. We’d love to hear from you – what are your favorite vegan, gluten free stocking stuffers?

Looking for a Christmas gift for that tough-to-shop-for vegan? Vegan chef and YouTube show host Vegan Zombie has teamed up with Conscious Box to create the Vegan Conscious Box for conscious consumers.

Conscious Box is a service that offers subscribers access to a monthly box full of goodies that have been specifically curated from businesses that operate sustainably, ethically, and with social responsibility. The contents are always a surprise, and the products will always be different. The contents can be seasonal, or be geared towards a special event and are suitable for all ages.

The Vegan Zombie hosts a YouTube channel that is dedicated to cooking vegan food and surviving the zombie apocalypse. Along with his German Shepherd dog, Indy, The Vegan Zombie dishes up some delicious, animal-free grub, while giving the best zombie survival tips. The Vegan Conscious Box is filled with all of the Vegan Zombie’s favorite products, hand-picked by him to ensure they are truly animal-friendly.

As the Vegan Zombie himself says, “What if the entire world wakes up on Christmas morning only to find themselves transformed into zombies? The entire world, that is, except for you—a vegan, who didn’t imbibe in the Christmas ham that’s infected everyone you know and care about. How will you fend off the flesh-eating hordes? With December’s Vegan Conscious Box, of course—the best Z-Day survival kit ever created.”

The Vegan Conscious Box is $19.95 per month and full of everything from snack foods to body care. It should be noted that the edible vegan goodies in the Vegan Conscious Box may *not* necessarily be gluten free, so if you order the service for yourself, you may have to take your chances on having to give a few items away to lucky friends and family who are not gluten intolerant. But there are still all of the other fun goodies to hoard for yourself!

Beyond Meat, the revolutionary vegan meat alternative, has announced that the Rocky Mountain region is the newest area to start offering Beyond Meat. Encompassing Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Kansas, the veggie world is abuzz, as vegetarians in those regions make a mad dash for their nearest Whole Foods store.

The Maryland-based company was founded by animal-lover, Ethan Brown. Brown grew up on the family farm before becoming vegan, and once he started trying other meat alternatives on the market, he realized there weren’t many that were very good. He began production of a new type of vegan meat that was made from soy, pea powder, carrot fiber and gluten-free flour. All of the healthy goodness is mixed together, poured into huge machines on Brown’s non-animal farm, and extruded in a way that looks and feels very much like real chicken. Their plan is to eventually roll out fake beef and pork products, once the chicken products are fully launched.

Don’t expect to run down to Whole Foods and buy a box of Beyond Meat just yet. So far they are launching it via Whole Foods prepared foods. If you aren’t familiar with Whole Foods, the prepared foods section is what would be the “deli” section of most mainstream supermarkets. There is a display case with pre-made salads and other side dishes. Beyond Meat can be found in Whole Food’s chicken tarragon salad, chicken curry salad and chicken Cesar salad, to name a few. Beyond Meat will eventually roll out unprepared options for us cooks who like to prepare things our way!

Here are the new Whole Foods locations where Beyond Meat can be found:

Boulder
2315 30th St. or 2905 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80301

Boulder
1275 Alpine Ave.
Boulder, CO 80304
303-443-1354

Boulder
2584 Baseline Rd.
Boulder, CO 80305
303-449-7636

Lakewood
444 S. Wadsworth Blvd.
Lakewood, CO 80226
303-935-5206

Denver – Capitol Hill
900 E. 11th Ave.
Denver, CO 80218
303-832-7701

Santa Fe
753 Cerrillos Rd.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
505-992-1700

Denver – Cherry Creek
2375 East 1st Ave.
Denver, CO 80206
720-941-4100

Lakewood
14357 W. Colfax Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80401
303-277-1339

Glendale
870 S. Colorado Blvd.
Glendale, CO 80246
303-691-0204

Salt Lake City
6930 S. Highland Dr.
Salt Lake City, UT 84121
801-733-9445

Fort Collins
2201 S. College Ave
Fort Collins, CO 80525
970-267-9201

Highlands Ranch
9366 S. Colorado Blvd.
Highlands Ranch, CO 80126
303-470-6003

Albuquerque
5815 Wyoming Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
505-858-3048

Albuquerque
2103 Carlisle Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
505-260-1392

Overland Park
7401 West 91st St.
Overland Park, KS 66212
913-652-9646

Colorado Springs
3180 New Center Point
Colorado Springs, CO 80922
719-622-1099

Overland Park
6621 W. 119th St.
Overland Park, KS 66209
913-663-2951

Park City
1748 West Redstone Center Dr.
Park City, UT 84098
435-575-0200

Boulder
2905 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80301
303-545-6633

Colorado Springs
7635 North Academy Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
719-536-0101

Basalt
340 Reed St.
Basalt, CO 81621

Centennial
6853 S. York St., Suite 119
Centennial, CO 80122
505-983-6087

Santa Fe
1090 S. Saint Francis Dr.
Santa Fe, NM 87505
505-983-5333

Salt Lake City
1131 E. Wilmington Ave.
Salt Lake City, UT 84106
801-359-7913

Superior
303 Marshall Rd.
Superior, CO 80027
720-274-1415

Denver – Tamarac
7400 E. Hampden Ave., Unit D
Denver, CO 80231
303-488-2000

Salt Lake City
544 S. 700 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
801-924-9060

Denver – Washington Park
1111 S. Washington St.
Denver, CO 80210
303-733-6201

Westminster
9229 N. Sheridan Blvd.
Westminster, CO 80031
303-650-2333

No matter how healthfully you normally eat, sometimes you just need to indulge in something decadent. We went crazy for this gluten free seasoned batter mix by Better Batter and immediately started thinking of everything we could bread with it. Pickles were one of the first things we thought of and we were not disappointed. Make a big batch of these as a snack or for a barbecue; they are sure to be a hit!

Vegan, Gluten-Free Fried Pickles

Ingredients:

2 cups of Better Batter gluten free seasoned batter
1 jar dill pickle slices (whichever brand you prefer)
1 1/2 cups almond milk (or your favorite milk alternative)
4 cups of your favorite oil for frying, we use sunflower oil

Directions:

Preheat 4 cups of frying oil in a large pot, to about 350 degrees. Drain the entire jar of pickles and put them into a bowl with the almond milk. Place the flour into a separate bowl. Take some of the pickles out of the almond milk and put into the bowl with the gluten-free flour, covering the pickles completely. Shake off the extra flour and gently put into oil, a few at a time. Fry them until they are a nice golden brown, like onion rings. Repeat the process until all of the pickles are fried.

We love these pickles dipped in vegan, gluten-free ranch dressing.

One of the biggest obstacles that those who are vegan and gluten-free have to overcome is finding ingredients that are both. Flavor extracts often contain ingredients that are neither vegan (carmine from beetles) or gluten-free (wheat derivatives). This can be tough for those who love to bake, but who need to be sure that their ingredients are safe for them to eat.

Faerie’s Finest vegan and gluten-free food extracts and flavoring are all vegan and gluten-free and are available in an astounding 127 different flavors. Formulated to withstand high heat and still retain full flavor, Faerie’s Finest food extracts are available in two fluid ounces, eight fluid ounces, and 16 fluid ounce bottles. In addition to flavor extracts, Faerie’s Finest offers several lines of various food flavorings, including alcohol-free flavor powders, food-grade essential oils, flavored sugars, flavored salts, peppercorns, coffees and teas. And upon our inquiry, they wrote to let us know that happily all of their products are vegan and gluten-free.

Faerie’s Finest is a small, family-owned, business that was founded in 2002, by husband and wife team Faerie and Christopher. They started with 29 products, and have grown their product offerings to over 1,500. Their delicious array of vegan and gluten free flavor extracts includes:

Pineapple
Apple
Caramel
Peach
Strawberry
White Chocolate
Blackberry
Cream Cheese
Peppermint
Key Lime
Coconut
Vanilla Butternut
Chocolate
Pistachio
Cranberry
Passion Fruit
Blueberry
Raspberry
Maple
Lavender
Pomegranate
Root Beer
Bubblegum
Hazelnut
Sweet Dough
Cream Soda
Grape
Birch Beer
Eggnog
Cola
Guava
Cotton Candy
Brandy
Lemongrass
Honeysuckle
Rose
Pear
Nutmeg
Hibiscus
Blood Orange

For those who like to add a little flavor to their coffee, iced-tea, almond milk, or other beverage, Faerie’s Finest also offers a line of vegan and gluten-free flavor drops, which are unsweetened flavorings. They are very concentrated, and so you will only need a few drops, and come in fifty flavors. Since they are not sweetened, they are great for those who avoid sugars or are diabetic. If you want to enhance the flavor even more, just add a bit of Stevia or your preferred sweetener. To learn more about Faerie’s Finest vegan and gluten-free food extracts, and other products, check out their website.

For vegan foodies who still love to play with the texture of alternative meats, Beyond Meat chicken alternative is the newest player in the alternative meat game, and they are promising to become a top contender. Creating a product that is both vegan and gluten-free, Beyond Meat claims that their fake chicken will blow the competition out of the water in both taste, and price.

The Maryland-based company gave an interview with NPR today in which founder Ethan Brown, a vegan, spoke of growing up on his family’s farm and developing a concern for the welfare of farm animals. After becoming vegan, Brown discovered that the meat alternatives on the market were less than appealing and decided to strike out on his own and reinvent the world of meat alternatives; from there, Beyond Meats was born.

The guardian to 6 rescued slaughterhouse pigs and chickens who lay “happy eggs,” Brown set up shop just a few miles from his own home and went to work concocting his new fake chicken from soy, pea powder, carrot fiber and gluten-free flour. Brown calls it his “modern farm,” and there are no food animals on site, just his production facilities complete with a customized machine to produce his chicken alternative. The faux meat mixture is poured into the machine, cooled, and then extruded in a way that results in a product that, Brown claims, mimics the look and texture of real chicken.

While the launch date for Beyond Meat faux chicken strips has not been announced, the company has announced that it will launch sometime within the next month, and start at Whole Foods in Northern California (something that delighted us since some of our staff is based in Northern California, which means we will be able to bring you an exclusive product review!). Brown states that he wants his product to be a game-changer, launching the company from just another health food brand, to mainstream product for the masses. With that goal, he aims to eventually roll out fake beef and pork products as well.

While we have seen faux meat products, such as Kellogg’s Morningstar Farms, dominate the mainstream market, none have offered the promise of being vegan, gluten-free and chemical free, all at once. There is no doubt that meat alternatives are growing at a nice pace, as even those who eat meat are opting for occasional fake meat meals for health reasons. The practice of “Meatless Monday” has quickly grown into a concept that commands many food blogs and has crept onto the menus of restaurants throughout the United States. If Beyond Meats delivers as promised, we could see a new onslaught of fake meat consumers and the demand for these foods begin to rise.

Brown boldly states that production for his fake meats are by far cheaper than the average production costs of real meats, and says that he is hopeful that, as the trend of fake meat becomes more popular, that the negative implications of animal farming on the environment, economy and animal welfare will see a positive impact. We couldn’t hope for that more.

To sign-up for the Beyond Meat newsletter that will include announcements such as their grand unveiling, as well as their national distribution plans, visit their website.

It is day two of our celebration of both National Celiac Awareness Month and Cinco de Mayo week! To keep the celebration going we are featuring delicious vegan, gluten-free tempeh soft tacos with lime crema from Vegan Celebrations. We are huge fans of lime crema, so gleefully made this dish solely thinking about the lime crema. The recipe calls for soy yogurt, but we prefer almond yogurt and used that instead. We also snuck in a little extra lime because we are huge lime fans. The lime crema offsets the spicy chipotle pepper in adobo sauce beautifully, and the delicious garlic adds an extra layer to the flavor bouquet. This is sure to leave dinner guests begging for more!

Soft Tempeh Tacos with Lime Crema

MAKES 10 TACOS

LIME CREMA

  • 1 cup plain soy yogurt (or almond or coconut — whatever your favorite plain yogurt alternative is)
  • Juice of 1 large lime

TEMPEH SOFT TACOS

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ small white onion, sliced thin
  • ½ bell pepper, any color, sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • One 8-ounce package tempeh, any variety, sliced thin
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite vegan, gluten-free taco seasoning (we like Spicely vegan, gluten-free taco seasoning)
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 10 corn tortillas (make sure they are organic so as to be sure that they are not GMO)

TO MAKE THE LIME CREMA:

Whisk together the yogurt and lime juice in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the tacos.

TO MAKE THE TACOS:

Warm 2 tablespoons of the canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil and the tempeh and sauté for 5 minutes or until the tempeh is lightly browned on both sides. Stir in the chipotle, oregano, taco seasoning, and stock and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Warm the tortillas, 3 at a time, in the microwave for 30 seconds*. Fill with the tempeh mixture, then top with Lime Crema. Repeat until all the tortillas and tempeh are used.

*If you prefer to not use the microwave to  to warm your tortillas, simply preheat the oven to 250 degrees, wrap a damp dishtowel around a stack of tortillas, place them in a baking dish and cover.  Warm in oven for 20 minutes.

Pair this delicious dish with your favorite vegan, gluten-free beer for a filling and refreshing dinner!

It’s Cinco de Mayo week here at the Happy Gluten Free Vegan and we are so excited to start making some delicious vegan, gluten-free Mexican food! Mexican fare is often the staple of those who are newly vegan and/or gluten-free because it is one of the easiest cuisines to eat when following this dietary lifestyle. With a base of corn, rather than flour, and plenty of delicious veggies and spices as the mainstay of their dishes, it is the perfect option for the conscious consumer.

Today’s recipe comes from one of our favorite cookbooks, Quick & Easy Vegan Celebrations by Alicia C. Simpson. Alicia has an entire mouth-watering section devoted to Cinco de Mayo and does not disappoint! Remember that these are strictly vegan, so in a few recipes, you have to get creative and substitute gluten-free ingredients. Luckily, in this first recipe, it was happily gluten-free, so we are offering the recipe as is. This vegan, gluten free huevos rancheros alternative is full of delicous ingredients such as chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, garlic, black beans and zesty salsa. We went a bit further and topped it off with some melted Daiya cheese, sliced avocado and vegan sour cream. It was unbelievably good, but trust us, if you want to remain true to the recipe, it will be still taste amazing.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Huevos Rancheros

Yields: 4 SERVINGS

HUEVOS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • Two 12.3-ounce packages firm silken tofu
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1⅓ cups plain rice or soy milk
  • 2 to 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced

RANCHERO SAUCE

  • One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup diced white onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Twelve 6-inch corn tortillas (use organic to ensure that you are not consuming GMO corn)
  • 2 cups cooked black beans

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 12-cup cupcake tin.

TO MAKE THE HUEVOS:

Warm the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, garlic, and onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Purée the tofu, turmeric, salt, and milk in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer the tofu mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the bell pepper mixture and the chipotles. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the cupcake cups and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly, then remove the “egg” from each cup with a soup spoon.

TO MAKE THE RANCHERO SAUCE:

Purée the tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Warm the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes while your “egg” is baking.

TO ASSEMBLE THE HUEVOS RANCHEROS:

Arrange the corn tortillas on serving plates and evenly distribute the cooked black beans among them. Top each tortilla with one “egg” and top each, evenly, with sauce.

Accompany this with some delicious orange juice or coffee, and this is a truly satisfying breakfast!

This week is kid’s week, and while we are aiming to bring you delicious vegan and gluten-free recipes, we are not completely oblivious to the fact that, while many of you may wish you did, you don’t have a ton of time to cook up recipes from scratch AND be mommies and daddies. Between classes, after school lessons and play dates, there isn’t always a ton of time to channel your inner Food Network chef. Here are a few of our favorite vegan, gluten free companies and their products that will help you produce a delicious meal in minutes!

Sophie’s Kitchen is our favorite, go-to company for delicious vegan, gluten free mock seafood. Yes, you read that right, mock seafood. Sophie’s Kitchen proves that fake can be absolutely delicious. While we don’t use microwaves in our kitchen, the products are all microwavable, and don’t take long to heat-up in the conventional oven for fellow non-microwave users. Our favorite gluten-free, vegan products from Sophie’s kitchen are crab cakes, breaded vegan scallops and prawns. For a delicious addition to each, mix up a little vegenaise and gluten-free sweet relish to make a vegan, gluten-free tartar sauce. Sophie’s Kitchen products are available at Whole Foods, online and various natural foods stores across the nation. To learn more, visit their website.

Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes are a great oatmeal alternative and cook up just as fast! Because most commercial oatmeal either contains gluten, or is processed in plants that also process gluten foods, it doesn’t work for those with a gluten sensitivity. Quinoa flakes just need hot water and your favorite toppings to dish up a delicious and healthy breakfast to your children. Add a little coconut milk for a creamed oatmeal treat, and added nutritional benefits. Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes can be found at Whole Foods, most natural foods co-ops, and in the natural foods section of many traditional food supermarkets. You can also order them online through their website.

Amy’s Kitchen is well known among the natural foods and vegetarian/vegan community for their organic vegetarian and vegan foods. Lately, though, they have stepped-up their game in offering gluten-free, vegan foods and they are one of our favorite go-to brands for a quick meal. If you take advantage of the product search feature on the Amy’s Kitchen website, you will find 70 products that are both vegan and gluten-free, and most notably, two kid-specific meals called “Not Just for Kids Meals,” a line geared for kids, that adults will love as well. Their vegan and gluten-free “Kids Baked Ziti Meal” consists of organic rice noodles, dairy-free cheese and pasta sauce. On the side is broccoli, rice-based focaccia bread, and apple crisp as dessert. Their vegan and gluten-free “Kids Rice Mac n’ Cheese meal” includes delicious rice macaroni and organic broccoli, topped with vegan cheese sauce, and apple crisp on the side. Amy’s is available at most traditional and natural foods markets, and can also be ordered through online retailers, such as Amazon.com.

Missing the experience of making Rice Krispie treats with your kids? Well Chicago Vegan Food’s “Dandies” vegan and gluten-free marshmallows are the answer to restoring your happy childhood memories! These vegan, gluten-free marshmallows are not only free of animal products, such as gelatin, but they are made in cooking equipment that is dedicated to vegan food preparation. Chicago Vegan Foods also makes a delicious vegan, gluten-free cheese alternative that melts and stretches, just like real cheese. A perfect alternative for those who experience stomach upset from Daiya vegan cheese. Chicago Vegan foods are sold at both natural foods supermarkets and online retailers, visit their website to find the closes retailer to you!

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know what your favorite vegan, gluten-free quick meal products?

We hit up one of our favorite vegan cookbooks, Quick & Easy Vegan Celebrations because we were in the mood for some comfort food. We noticed that macaroni and cheeze was one of the most popular recipes in the books by customer rating, and the only thing that needed to be tweaked in the recipe was substituting the macaroni and bread crumbs with gluten free options.

Classic Macaroni and Cheeze

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

  • 1 pound gluten free macaroni
  • 2 medium yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • ⅔ cup diced white or yellow onions
  • 2½ cups water
  • ⅔ cup canola oil
  • ⅓ cup raw cashews
  • ⅓ cup raw macadamia nuts
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup unseasoned gluten free bread crumbs, optional

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, combine the potatoes, carrot, onions, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. (The smaller you cut them, the less time it will take.)

Put the canola oil, cashews, macadamia nuts, salt, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, cayenne, and the vegetables and their cooking water into a blender and process until completely smooth. Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce until completely coated. Transfer to a lightly oiled 3-quart casserole dish or place 6 lightly oiled 6-ounce ramekins on a baking sheet and divide the mixture evenly among them. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs, if using. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling.

This dish will take you back to those childhood days where you ate warm mac and cheese on those cold winter days!

We could barely contain ourselves when we started to hear the buzz about gluten free, vegan Shirataki noodles. Not only do they meet our dietary restrictions, but they can help us lose weight? This sounded too good to be true. The key to Shirataki noodles is their main ingredient, Glucomannan fiber.

We first heard of Glucomannan fiber on the Dr. Oz show when he touted it as a great way to assist in a healthy weight loss plan.  Glucomannan is a fiber that comes from the konjac plant, a plant grown largely in Japan. Because it is such a hearty, easily soluble fiber, it is used for treatment of, among other things, constipation, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes and weight loss.

Not long after we saw this episode of Dr. Oz, the popular website Hungry Girl (link) started touting glucomannan-based noodles, Shirataki noodles, as a great alternative to pasta. Traditional Shirataki noodles are made solely from the konjac plant fiber and contain zero calories, zero carbs, zero gluten or animal products, and are high on soluble fibers. The Shirataki noodles we tried are from a brand called House Foods and have tofu added to the noodles to offer more texture. Unlike the traditional noodles, these Shirataki noodles pack a whopping 20 calories per serving. If you are looking for a variety of noodles, House Foods offers macaroni Shirataki, Fettucine Shirataki and angel hair Shirataki. We tried the spaghetti-shaped Shirataki noodle.

Since the noodles are already soft, we only had to par-boil them for 2-3 minutes to get rid of, as the package put it, the “natural aroma.” Just a word of warning, this “natural aroma” smells like dead fish. But after some rinsing and par-boiling it was not noticeable, and once we dropped the noodles into our homemade “chicken” noodle soup, they immediately took on the flavor of all the seasonings in the soup. They made an excellent addition to the soup and truly did fill us up! The spaghetti noodles are also ramen-like, so would be great for making homemade ramen noodles.

To learn more about the Shirataki noodle, visit the Shirataki Noodle website!

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us and green beer will be flowing! Just because you are vegan and gluten free does not mean that you can’t partake in the festivities! We have assembled the perfect gluten free, vegan beer and gluten free, vegan food color combination for you.

First the beer!

While there are many gluten-free beers on the market, we focused on Green’s Beer pretty fast. Despite the fact that they are based in Belgium, their fun, green beer bottles with old-fashioned font just scream “St. Patrick’s Day”. What we love about Green’s gluten-free beer is that they are proud of the fact that they are vegan. They state right up front on their website that, “Green’s Beers are suitable for both Vegetarian and Vegan diets,” and, “Green’s Beers DO NOT contain any of the following allergens or products thereof: Gluten, Crustaceans, Eggs, Fish, Peanuts, Soybeans, Milk, Lactose, Nuts, Celery, Mustard, Sesame seeds, Sulfur dioxide nor Sulfites.”

Many don’t realize that there are both vegan and gluten free beers. When you are a beer-lover, perhaps the worse diagnosis you can receive is that of celiac disease. But that did not stop the founder, who became determined to create a beer that is not only safe for those with gluten sensitivities to consume, but that actually tastes good. With so many gluten-free beers having tried, and failed, to deliver a full-flavored product, this was no easy feat! Green’s has now come up with 3, full-flavored options.

First up is their Discovery Amber Ale vegan and gluten free beer. It is made without any wheat or barley and has carmel and nut flavors. Plan to pair this with Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies or Red Potato Cakes with Tomato and Wilted Spinach.

Next up is their Endeavour Dubbel Ale. The unique thing about this particular ale is that it is the world’s first version of this style ale that is made without barley. The flavor in this vegan, gluten free beer is toffee and dark-sugar, and it would make a great pairing with gluten free, vegan risotto-stuffed portobello caps with vegan cheese crisps or some pucker-up potato salad.

Finally, Green’s vegan, gluten free beer brewery offers the Quest Tripel Ale. Like the Endeavour Dubbel Ale, this beer is notable because it is a tripel ale that is made without barley, which is quite uncommon. This ale is a light-bodied beer and has lovely flavors of candied fruit. This ale would taste delicious with crock-pot carrot potato soup or vegan, gluten-free cheeze cracker soup.

Now the green!

If you are looking for green beer, fear not! We tracked down a food coloring company that proudly sells vegan, gluten-free food coloring. AmeriColor food color offers a huge array of vegan, gluten free food colorings. They are also kosher certified, if that is also important to you. With five gorgeous green colors from which to choose, you are sure to find the perfect St. Patrick’s Day shade! Who would have thought that gluten free, vegan green beer was still a possibility?

Sometimes you just don’t have the time (or the energy) to make something from scratch. And sometimes you just want pizza – but gluten-free, vegan pizza. Now, we’re lucky that here in Boulder, Colorado, there are quite a few pizza places that offer both gluten-free and vegan pizza. But what if you’re not in Boulder or somewhere else that has these options? Or what if you are in Boulder, but you just want to eat at home – food from home? Here is our perfect, 15-minute solution for a scrumptious, gluten-free, vegan pizza at home.

First, we’re going to cop to it right up front – this starts with a pre-made frozen gluten-free vegan pizza from the store. We happen to like Amy’s frozen pizzas – the gluten-free one has a rice flour crust – because they use organic ingredients whenever possible, and they are yummy. But you could also use the Tofurky brand of gluten-free pizza with Daiya cheese, or any other favorite vegan, gluten-free pizza.

So, here you go:

Incredibly Easy Scrumptious Vegan Gluten-Free Pizza

1 frozen vegan, gluten-free pizza
1 can organic diced tomatos, well drained
1 teaspoon chopped garlic (we keep a jar of organic pre-chopped garlic in the fridge – see how easy this is?)
1/2 teaspoon oregano

Preheat your oven according to the pizza directions, and get your pizza ready to go into the oven.

Mix the other three ingredients well – make sure the tomatos are well drained or they will weep all over your pizza and make it soggy! – and spread them on the pizza, leaving an inch margin around the edge.

Cook according to the pizza directions.

Enjoy! This takes any frozen pizza, and brings it to a whole new level, and so easily!

Nothing makes me a happier gluten-free vegan than some fresh-from-the-toaster cinnamon raisin toast slathered with buttery vegan margarine. If you live near a Whole Foods, you’ll be happy to know that some Whole Foods bakeries are now making their own wheat-free raisin bread, and while for some reason they don’t advertise it as such, it is vegan, as well.

Now, if you are Celiac and have to worry about cross-contamination, then this isn’t for you, as they do bake it in a bakery that also bakes wheat-based items, but if you can handle that, your tummy and taste buds are going to be happy campers – or is that happy chompers?

The Whole Foods wheat-free raisin bread is without question the best that we’ve had, hands-down!

Pop it in the toaster, and then top it with some Earth Balance vegan margarine (either the stick or the spread), and yum, yum, yum!

For extra yum points, top with cinnamon (vegan) sugar!

(Why yes, I do like my toast on the dark side!)

gluten-free-vegan-raisin-toast

A new company serving the gluten-free vegan market has opened in Boulder, Colorado. Zest Brands makes some of the most delicious gluten-free vegan cookes I’ve had. And they are completely gluten free and vegan! Intentionally!

Zest is a relatively new company, but they have already made inroads to being carried in several shops around the Boulder area, and while this is not a Boulder-only website, right now your best bet to taste these yummy treats is to either be in Boulder, or to have a friend in Boulder pick them up and mail them to you.

Currently you can enjoy a shortbread sandie cookie, a chocolate ginger cookie, or a lemon coconut cookie. Of the three, our favourite (and the favourite of everyone who sampled them) was the lemon coconut, followed by the shortbread sandie. Surprisingly, while I had thought I’d like the ginger chocolate the best, it was my least favourite – which isn’t to say that I didn’t like it! What’s not to like about anything that’s chocolate, gluten-free and vegan?!

Here is the gluten-free vegan lemon coconut cookie:

zest-gluten-free-vegan-cookie

And here are its ingredients:

zest-gluten-free-vegan-cookie-ingredients

You can read more about Zest Brands gluten-free vegan cookies, and other products (all of which are gluten-free although not all are vegan (although all are vegetarian)) at the Zest Brands website.