16 August 2012

Review -- Pacific Northwest Kale Chips

Recently, I received a request from Melisser at Vegan Cuts asking if I would be interested in reviewing Pacific Northwest Kale Chips, and I absolutely jumped at the chance. I've seen them on the Vegan Cuts website a few times, but, I kept putting off trying them out. So, apparently, it was some sort of magical intervention on behalf of the universe that I finally got to try them. There are 3 flavors of the kale chips, and all 3 are raw, gluten-free and vegan!! Can you even freaking believe it? The flavors are: Stumptown Original, Cheezy Crunch, and Glacier Peak Greens.

One day earlier this week, I got home from the dream job to find the box sitting on my porch. I'm pretty sure I actually squeeeeed when I saw it. Hey, I get pretty damn excited about food. I can honestly say that I was skeptical about kale chips in general. Hell, it took me years to even give kale a shot in my green smoothies. So, I was a little skeptical. Well, my loves, my skepticism was completely unwarranted. I liked all 3 flavors...but I emphatically LOVE the Glacier Peak Greens. They're spectacular! I crave them now.  On to the reviews!!!

Cheezy Crunch
These are definitely my least favorite of the kale chip trio. I still think they're good, but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy them again. I think that maybe it was just that they weren't cheesy enough. Or, maybe, what happened is that I tried the other two first and found them to fit my tastes more. It happens...people have different tastes. You may find them to be your favorite.

Ingredients: organic kale, organic cashews, organic yellow bell pepper, organic onion, organic lemon juice, nutritional yeast, organic turmeric, salt.

Stumptown Original
These chips come in a very close second place to the Glacier Peak chips. They are nice and crunchy, with a gentle spiciness and a mild nutty flavor. I can't get over how delicious they are!

Ingredients: organic kale, organic hazelnuts, organic red bell pepper, organic onion, organic garlic, organic lemon juice, nutritional yeast, organic turmeric, organic cayenne, salt.

Glacier Peak Greens
O.M.G. These things are incredible. You can see from the photo below that the GPG flavor has cilantro, lime and jalapeno. They're nice and spicy with a touch of tang from the line. Really, they are so freaking good! Don't just take my word for it, get some for yourself.

Ingredients: organic kale, organic cashews, organic yellow bell pepper, organic onion, organic cilantro, organic jalapeno, organic lime juice, nutritional yeast, salt.

You can order Pacific Northwest Kale Chips from their website, as well as from Vegan Cuts here.
You can also follow PNKC on twitter here, and Vegan Cuts here.

If you're wondering, Vegan Cuts is a website that offers special deals and great prices on 100% vegan products and services. I've made numerous purchases from their site for awesome products. 

Want something awesome??? You can get 10% off your next order at Vegan Cuts with the code "BLOGFRIEND" (does not count on your shipping...just the merchandise). This offer expires on October 31, 2012.

This is the first time that I've done a review in exchange for a product. But, I have been 100% honest and am not being compensated in any way for my review. I just happen to really believe in the Pacific Northwest Kale Chips and I truly think you'll like them.

08 August 2012

Spaghetti and Balls

I've been so busy lately that the blog has been neglected. I do apologize for that. Things are calming down again and I should be able to start cooking more. As an act of good faith, I have decided to share my latest attempt at pasta sauce with you. It is quite yummy. And garlicky. And goes perfectly with The Sexy Vegan's Balls (pictured above). The balls are nutty and moist....all the things a ball should be. Haha. But, really, they are quite delicious. The recipe is not mine to share and can be found in his cookbook.

I had an abundance of tomatoes that were on the verge of going to veggie heaven, so I decided to attempt another marinara sauce. I never remember what all I put in it the last time I made it, so it always turns out differently. This one turned out even more different because my sweet basil died and the only fresh basil I had was Thai basil (it has a slight licorice flavor). It turned out much better than I had anticipated. In fact, we scarfed all the sauce up in one fell swoop. No leftovers made for a sad chickpea the next day.

Serves 2-3 people

  • 6-ish tomatoes (I had 3 large romas, 1 regular, and 2 medium-size orange ones)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 TB olive oil (I started with 2 and kept adding it as needed)
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • a palmful of fresh basil leaves, maybe about 1/4 cup, then minced
  •  2 TB fresh parsley, minced
  • Parmela vegan parmesan substitute, at least a couple TB
  •  1/4-1/2 tsp dried oregano, depending on your tastes. I used 1/4 as I don't particularly love it.
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 TB sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (sounds weird, but helped in combatting the acidity of the tomatoes)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Add the tomatoes to an oven-safe dish and lightly coat with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and roast for about an hour. Once they are soft and getting some browned spots, go ahead and remove from the oven. Let them cool down a bit before handling them. 
  2. In a skillet, heat 1-2 TB olive oil over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the onion and cook until softened. Then add in the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant and is soft. Turn down the heat to low. 
  3. Take your tomatoes, a smidge of olive oil, the fresh herbs, sugar and milk and blend it up in your food processor until it is to your liking in terms of chunkiness. Now add this to the skillet and let cook together for at least 10 minutes. I added in the vegan parm and let it cook another 4-5 minutes. Adjust your seasonings and you're done.