Vegan Foods, Products and Restaurant Review Page Announced!

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After 21,000 views to my little blog and over 215 blog posts to date, things have really started to get exciting as I am finding more and more wonderful, thoughtful, and delectable vegan products in my mailbox at the MeatyVegan headquarters. I excitedly check the mailbox each day to see what has arrived.

Just today I received a sample of TheVegg (the 100% plant-based egg yolk replacement) and a copy of their gorgeous little cookbook (shown above)! Cannot wait to try and review this product. I have been wanting to use this since I first heard of it and it was so thoughtful of them to send me a sample.

Also upcoming is a review of Tofutti who sent me some product coupons and an adorable Tofutti Stuffed Bear. We love their sour cream and cream cheese products and I am hoping to share more than a review as I would also love to share some of our Tofutti recipes.

And, expect a long overdue review of the Manna Organics products that were sent to me last week. The gluten-free-vegan cinnamon bread was SO good … I literally didn’t have a chance to take a photo of it before it was gone! If you don’t know about this company yet, please check out their website. It is very inspiring.

Since so many new products are coming in and I am privileged to try and review each, I have now dedicated an entire page to these reviews. Over there on the left hand column is the link titled “VEGAN REVIEWS.” Please start there as I have scoured every blog post and linked directly to the extended review for each.

Have an item you want reviewed?

Please contact me at the “ABOUT MEATY VEGAN” link and I will send my postal address. I love trying new amazing vegan products! You can also simply email me at ericcharleslindstrom@gmail.com to get more information.

MeatyVegan.com already has a VERY loyal vegan following (so far thousands in just the first 6 months), 21,000 blog views (and growing) and every one of the entertaining posts reaches 50,000 vegans on Facebook and about 5,000 (plus many more retweets) on Twitter and many more on Instagram. A single blog post can easily be seen by 75,000 vegetarians, vegans, and (opinionated) omnivores. I LOVE opinionated omnivores.
Personally, I am also a very active vegan citizen with known followers and guest bloggers from around the world. Having your food, product, or book reviewed on MeatyVegan.com reaches a very targeted, and trusting audience and I would love to add you to my ever-growing list of vegan/cruelty-free products!
Go MeatyVegan and …
Go Vegan.

Vegans Never Have to Ask …

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“Is this broccoli free range? Said no one, ever.”

~ Meaty Vegan

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Host your own free-range raw vegan barbecue

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This week we had guests from out of town. Inevitably, whenever people visit, the subject of being vegan comes up. People have to eat. One friend who was in the group knows Jen and I are vegan and told us that, while not currently vegan, she tried it once but “her body needed more protein.” Did she really just say that? She then went on to assure us that any and all meat she eats is free range or grass fed. I had my first “I’m one of those vegans moments.”

“They still die in the end.” I responded, causing a look of confusion and concern on her face. “But they live happy lives and that makes me feel better. I like knowing that while they are living, they can graze and spend time in the sun and socialize.” I am paraphrasing but that’s the gist of it.

That caused…

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Tilikum has spoken: “I love living at @SeaWorld!”

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[ORLANDO, FL] SeaWorld announced this week that Tilikum, the killer whale at the center of recent controversy, has spoken.

“I love living at SeaWorld,” the 12,500-pound whale surprisingly said during a phone interview this past week. “Not sure what all the fuss is about … this place is great!”

Using advanced technology developed by the Animal Speak Institute (ASI) in Edmond, Oklahoma, scientists were able to convert sonar signals from the marine mammal into spoken word. Code named “The Dolittle Project,” the device can also convert dolphin sounds into Tweets and Facebook posts.

“We were surprised to find out that Tilikum actually speaks fluent French,” noted Dr. Bloom from the Institute. “We brought in a translator and within a few hours we knew exactly what Tilikum was saying. It was fascinating. Or as Tilikum put it ‘très magnifique!'”

Tilikum’s well-being has come under intense scrutiny due in part to the release of “Blackfish,” a documentary that claims the marine animals at SeaWorld are being mis-handled and shouldn’t be held captive in the first place.

“Don’t know what they’re talking about … this place is awesome,” Tilikum continued. “While all my friends ‘out there’ need to find food and swim for thousands of miles, I get food dropped into my mouth every day and only have to swim in circles.”

When protesters outside of SeaWorld were informed of Tilikum’s statements, they packed up their signs and went home. One protester commented, “… who’s going to argue with a 12,000-pound killer whale?”

Tilikum concluded the interview by saying that in the wild it sometimes took weeks to find a mate, take her to dinner, let her know he cares about her — before he “got lucky.” At SeaWorld, “trainers get me off once a week,” he went on to say, “and, the only thing missing afterward is a cigarette. I’d kill for a cigarette.”

Funding for this program provided by SeaWorld and Trident Seafood, Incorporated.

Go vegan.

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Friday Macro Vegan Gluten-free Dinner

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The best restaurant in Ithaca, isn’t a restaurant.

Every Friday night for 18 years, Priscilla Timberlake and Lewis Freedman open their hearts and the doors to their home and serve a three-course meal. But not just any meal. Everything served is macrobiotic, vegan, gluten free and 100% … amazing. Don’t believe me? Just ask T. Colin Campbell since he is known to also dine at this special place just 20 minutes outside of Ithaca.

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After finding a seat at this often-crowded weekly event, Lewis leads the room in a moment of quiet reflection and then instructs everyone on the technique of blessing the meal. After the blessing, Lewis ignites into a very animated live rendition of the night’s menu. Loudly and enthusiastically announcing each of the courses and many of the ingredients (although he sometimes forgets one or two). I am not sure if any other restaurant in the world does this, but it’s my favorite part of the opening ceremonies.

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Every meal starts with soup. In all the years I’ve attended, I’ve never once had a bowl of soup I didn’t love. Soup is such a warm and welcoming way to start a meal and each bowl explodes with flavor and texture.

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Following soup is the main entree. A plate loaded with a variety of offerings: pressure-cooked brown rice, kale salad, pressed salad, nori rolls, tempe, tofu, and other seasonal (mostly local) fare. The plate is alive with color and flavor and it’s always very satisfying.

While many of the diners are vegan, some are vegetarians, some are raw foodists, and oftentimes omnivores sneak in and find themselves in welcome company enjoying a meal they might not ordinarily try.

How many people have dinner served with twig tea? Or find a shaker of gomasio on every table?

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After all these years of creating amazing recipes, Priscilla and Lewis finally published a beautiful cookbook that takes you through their creations on a month-by-month basis. The secrets are out.

This book is a great way to not only eat well but it could also become the start similar traditions in your own part of the world. Open your own door and serve food that tastes great and treats your body to a healthy, balanced future.

For more information on The Great Life Cookbook, click here. For more information on Friday Dinner and to RSVP, please click here. Hope to see you there and, as always …

Go vegan.

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Meanwhile, Back at Babycakes: Vegan, Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Last weekend I made the Vanilla Cupcakes, this week it’s all about the Chocolate Chip Cookies. Having received both mixes in a recent shipment to the Meaty Vegan headquarters, I knew I had to stagger preparing these sweets for the sake of my belt. I made it roughly two days between cupcakes and cookies. A new personal best.

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What I really love about the Babycakes mixes is that they require few extra ingredients (think “apple sauce” instead of eggs) and can be prepared with a bowl and a whisk. Later this quarter, I am planning on releasing my gluten-free, vegan bread mix (after testing it next month) and would love to be able to mix the batter with a whisk (as opposed to a huge piece of kitchen equipment). More on the release of my first product soon!

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The chocolate chip cookie mix blended easily with a whisk and spatula and within minutes I was ready to drop balls of goodness onto my parchment paper (for those of you zooming into these photos, yes, I did add more vegan chocolate chunks to the recipe … because I am a grown up and I can do whatever the hell I want).

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The cookies baked for about 20 minutes (rotating them once mid-way) and came out hot and moist and delicious. Since I added more chips, it actually yielded three sheet pans (as opposed to the two mentioned on the box) and, as you can imagine, that made me happy. Very.

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We always make chocolate chunk cookies and this Babycakes mix makes making them that much easier. We store the extras in the freezer and can grab a cookie when needed. Yes, needed.

I love Babycakes. Want you to try Babycakes. And, think that Babycakes is the sweetest reason to …

Go vegan.

As far as eating is concerned … [#Vegan #GoVegan #MikeAnderson #Eating]

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“As far as eating is concerned, humans are the most stupid animals on the planet. We kill billions of wild animals to protect the animals that we eat. We are destroying our environment to feed to the animals we eat. We spend more time, money and resources fattening up the animals that we eat than we do feeding humans who are dying of hunger. The greatest irony is that after all the expenses of raising these animals, we eat them; and they kill us slowly. And rather than recognize this madness, we torture and murder millions of other animals trying to find cures to diseases caused by eating animals in the first place.”

~ Mike Anderson

A Taste of a Lower East Side Bakery in Ithaca: Bringing Babycakes Home

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The advantages of living in Ithaca are that you can enjoy the lake, the gorges, the wineries, the hippies, the downtown Commons and still be exactly four hours from New York City. Perhaps the greatest city in the world for vegans.

Growing up, I used to go to the city at least once a month with my high school art class (I lived in Binghamton at the time, so it was only three hours). Of course, once we got there we would immediately head downtown to Soho and walk the streets in the rain (visiting all the hip record stores and art galleries and smoke cigarettes and wear scarves). At that time I wasn’t vegan and, at that time, Babycakes didn’t exist.

Today, we make it to NYC whenever possible and whenever we go … we stop at Babycakes. The only vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free (mostly sugar free) bakery that matters. It’s as much a destination as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. It is a requirement. Last time I was in NYC, I spent almost two hours at Babycakes drinking coffee (they serve Stumptown but should serve Gimme!) and ordered donuts and cupcakes until I couldn’t move. The bakery is tiny, so that once you own that little corner by the window … never leave.

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This past week I was delighted to find in my mail a sweet package from Babycakes that included the Vanilla Cupcake (or cake) Mix and the Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. Of course, I couldn’t wait to start baking.

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We own both of the Babycakes cookbooks and Erin McKenna’s recipes are pretty intense. To cook really good gluten-free and vegan pastries and desserts takes some effort but I was delighted to find out that the Vanilla Cupcake Mix was a breeze.

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Had to add some oil, agave nectar (for sweetness) and apple sauce (as a binder), a little vanilla and water and whisked it into a smooth batter in no time. A batter so good, I licked the whisk afterwards.

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The box made exactly 12 cupcakes and they turned out perfect … delicious. The next day, Jen whipped up a batch of her famous frosting (BTW, at the bakery they sell shots of frosting for $1.50) and we topped each one and transformed them into the delectable cupcakes we can usually only get in New York City. Arguably, the birthplace of the cupcake.

IMG_5126Jen has been a lifelong follower of Babycakes (since she has been gluten-free for 11 years). In fact, one of our cookbooks is signed by Erin McKenna to Jen.

As luck would have it, we already have a trip planned for February to the city and you can bet that Babycakes is on our must-do list (as is MooShoes which, as if it were planned, is right around the corner).

New York City … the best place to …

Go vegan.

Not near New York? Babycakes also has locations in Los Angeles and Orlando. Get there … or order some for home!

NEXT UP: Gluten-free/vegan chocolate chip cookies … only from Babycakes!

Brad’s Raw Foods Big Box of Hot Love

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IMG_5075This weekend I was pleasantly surprised when a shipment of four Brad’s Raw Foods products arrived at the Meaty Vegan headquarters: Vampire Killer raw crunchy kale chips, Nasty Hot raw crunchy kale chips, Raw Sweet Potato crackers and Raw Cheddar snack crackers. Organic. Gluten-free. Non-GMO. Kosher. Not Baked. Not Fried.

And vegan.

Raw food is food that, as its name implies, is uncooked. Technically, it’s food that is uncooked or cooked at temperatures below 118°. Your food dehydrator is a very slow oven for raw foods.

When I think of raw foodism, I usually equate it to veganism because other than some fish and carpaccio, meats need to be cooked. I also like to think of it as a Level 11 vegan diet (sans any meat or fish). The raw foodists I know eat a 100% plant-based diet and seem to thrive. Raw foods are higher in nutritional value since all the nutritional value isn’t “cooked out.”

I can only imagine that having products from Brad’s Raw Foods must truly make being raw that much more pleasurable.

Jen makes kale chips in our dehydrator from time to time. One Ranch-flavored and one Cheese. Both vegan and both delicious. Brad’s has done an incredible job of capturing everything great about kale chips, kicking it up a notch and packaging it in such a way that you can buy it at your grocery whenever you’re in the mood.

I first tried the Vampire Killer flavor. The kale chips exploded in my mouth (as it should) and left garlic shrapnel on my taste buds. Every crunchy leaf was coated in flavor and, as with any kale chip recipe, you are always trying to find the biggest piece amongst the broken bits since they have the greatest coverage.

After enjoying some Vampire Killer, I ventured into the Nasty Hot package. I’ve become a big fan of hot (started with my friend Ralph’s Sweet Hot Sauce) and feel like eating something with a kick can be half the fun of food.

Nasty Hot has a kick.

At first I stuffed a few of the larger pieces in my mouth and immediately swallowed. Seemed tasty enough but not hot. Then, from out of nowhere it hit. Heat. Hot heat. Tasty, zesty, feisty heat. In the back of my throat heat.

I loved it. Dove back in for more and piled the spicy kale chips on the esophageal fire. If you like hot, want a healthy snack with a tongue-tingling smack, get some of these.

The other two bags sent were the Sweet Potato Chips and Cheddar Chips, both more like crackers. These are delicious and nice to have on hand to snack on or to lay down some Treeline cheese on top of.

The story behind Brad’s is an inspiring one of a man, Brad, who, like me, took control of his life in his later years by switching his diet. Proving once again that it’s never too late to undo all the damage done from decades of meat, egg, and dairy.

In fact, you can adopt Brad’s life-changing program in his new book “Brad’s Raw Made Easy.” An inspired and inspiring way that you can turn your life around through diet. Available now at Amazon.

With people like Brad and companies like Brad’s Raw Foods, it’s even easier to …

Go vegan. And raw.

Do humans need more giraffe #milk in their diet?

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“The human body has no more need for cows’ milk than it does for dogs’ milk, horses’ milk, or giraffes’ milk.”

~ Michael Klaper, M.D.

Treeline Cheese: Setting a New Standard for Gourmet Vegan Cheese

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Aged. Artisanal. French-style Treenut Cheese.

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Every so often a vegan product comes on the market that changes the playing field. Something so spectacular and of such high quality that it raises the bar that others must follow. Most of the reviews I do on this blog showcase these excellent products.

The finest vegan merchandise from around the world.

My Chelsea Boots by Vegetarian Shoes from the UK, Beyond Meat from California, Babycakes from New York City, VioLife from Greece and now Treeline French Style Cheese. I can say, with no hesitation, that this is the finest gourmet vegan cheese on the market and, oh mon dieu, it’s made right here in the state of New York.

Last year I literally travelled to Paris in search of a rich, textured, pungent gourmet vegan cheese and all the while it was being produced in Kingston, New York.

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The first time I had Treeline Cheese was at work. My boss brought the soft-style scallion cheese and I tried it on some gluten-free crackers. It spread like cheese, smelled like cheese and tasted like cheese but not just any cheese. Gourmet cheese.

IMG_5029This week I was fortunate enough to also sample the Garlic Herb spreadable and, for the first time, two of the hard cheese flavors: Cracked Pepper and Classic. The hard cheeses are a solid, serious bite of flavor hidden neatly in a folded paper package and sealed with a classy flavor name sticker. Kind of like a wax seal on a very important love letter. Very sexy packaging for a very sexy line of cheeses.

All of the cheeses are made from cashews and all of them are lactose free, cholesterol free, gluten free, non-dairy and non-gmo. Cheese that is good for you? Being vegan is so delicious!

As if the wide array of flavors is not enough to fall in love with Treeline, spend some time on their website and see where their values lie. This is a serious company that is set to be a leader in the industry and proves that cheese doesn’t need dairy to be delectable.

Get your hands on this cheese. Bring any if these flavors to your next vegan potluck or omnivore dinner party. I guarantee the reviews will be as favorable as this one.

Treeline Gourmet Cheeses … one more reason to …

Go vegan.

Find them on Facebook and Twitter.

How Would Butch Cassidy and Sundance Get Away Without Horses?

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One of my all-time favorite films is “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” I have loved it ever since I was a kid and the only other movie that toggles for the top position of my favorite movie of all time is “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Both films rely heavily on animal actors. Whether it’s horses, monkeys, or snakes. “Why did it have to be snakes?”

Also in my top ten favorite list is the Terry Gilliam masterpiece “Twelve Monkeys,” which also makes obvious use of animal actors. It seems as though, other than “Harold and Maude,” most movies I love feature roles for animals.

What does an ethical vegan do when it comes to animals in the entertainment business?

My path toward being a full-on ethical vegan started as a dietary challenge and, some 18-months later, I finally made the “connection.” In a million years I will never again eat meat. I look at any meat and all I see is the animal that was tortured and murdered. Set aside how unhealthy meat, dairy, and eggs are … animals should not have to endure the path toward death to feed humans.

But what about animals in movies? I can say, without a doubt, that zoos, circuses and SeaWorld (and the like) are obvious to me. I won’t support any of these as I can clearly tell when animals are being abused or caged against their will. They deserve to be free and in their natural environment.

But what about animals in movies?

I have mixed feelings and don’t know what to say or how to feel. Maybe I am being ignorant in thinking that these talented animals are being well-fed and well-treated. And that, somehow, they “enjoy” being in the entertainment industry? I know … I am kidding myself.

Was that Jack Russell terrier on Frasier beaten and caged between takes or was he as happy as he appeared on screen?

What does an ethical vegan do? Never see a movie that features animals in supporting or leading roles? Black list every western ever made or to be made? Not see the Coen Brothers’ new movie “Inside Llewyn Davis” because the supporting actor role is played by a cat?

Ethical vegans, please help … what do you do?

Go vegan.

Violife: The World’s Greatest Vegan Cheese

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VioLifeI blogged about it in the past but this time I have new reason to blog about it. “It” being the world’s greatest vegan cheese: VioLife.

I first discovered VioLife while in London last year at VeganX. Purchased it on a whim and ate the entire package on the street. Never before, or since, had I tasted such an authentic vegan cheese.

But, alas, since VioLife is made in Greece, distribution in America has yet to happen. I am hoping this will someday change (and, in the meantime, if VioLife wants to send me some cheese for future reviews, please message me and I will happily send you my mailing address).

But, all this didn’t stop me from having VioLife delivered here in New York this past weekend.

You see, my sister (her blog is here) visited England during the holidays and made arrangements to have VioLife waiting for her at the cottage where she was staying. And, lucky for me, she didn’t eat it all there and was daring enough to smuggle some back home and past the cheese-sniffing dogs at Heathrow. Because of her, it happened: VioLife made it to my kitchen.

So, in order to fully appreciate this epic moment, I needed to make gluten-free, vegan bread for an award-winning grilled cheese sandwich. A cheese this special needed to be part of a culinary event.

IMG_4865You can find the recipe for this bread on my recipe link but basically it is a scientific balance of ingredients introduced into my KitchenAid mixer.

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I love my KitchenAid mixer. It’s like a Porsche that sits quietly on my countertop until I fire it up.

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The blend of flours, salt, sugar, and yeast are slowly mixed until the warm water is added.

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And then the olive oil. The result is a very thick cake batter.

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That is poured into a floured 4 X 9 bread loaf pan.

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Spread out and allow the batter to rise in a warmed oven. I let this rise for 40 minutes and then take it out, pre-heat the oven back up to 400°, and put the loaf back in.

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Bake for just 15 minutes uncovered and then tent the top with aluminum foil to avoid the top overcooking. Total cooking time is 45 minutes or until the center reads 205° with a thermometer.

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The result is a crunchy, delicious loaf of gluten-free, vegan bread that is ready for slicing (that first slice needs to be tested with a smear of vegan butter … just to be sure it’s delicious … it is).

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After the bread cools, it easily cuts into slices with a bread knife and then you’re ready to make your grilled cheese sandwiches.

IMG_4925Melt 2-3 T. of vegan butter in your frying pan and place two slices into the bubbling butter. Add a slice of each Original and Cheddar Violife Cheese, lower the heat and cover until the cheese starts to melt. Put the sandwich together in the pan and cook until golden brown.

Slice diagonally. Every sandwich should be sliced diagonally. Enjoy with a cup of tomato soup (or, if you are always looking for a way to get organic ketchup in your mouth … this is another vehicle for doing so).

VioLife did not disappoint. It is as wonderful as I remember and, get this: dairy-free, lactose-free, soy-free, palm oil-free, and gluten-free. Really, the only downside of this cheese is that I am going to run out! Maybe VioLife will take me up on their offer and send me more samples to review? Hint, hint … cheese, please …

Go Violife, and …

Go vegan.


PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Gillian Lindstrom