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Habitant Garden Style Vegetable Soup Review

In keeping with the cold-outside/winter is coming weather, I decided I’d go ahead and do a review of a classic cold weather food: soup!

If you saw my Surprising Vegan Soup collage, then you’ll hopefully have stocked up on some delicious soup to keep you going long after the holidays are over.

This is also going to be the last Product Review of 2018! (They will continue to go up on the 13th of every month)

Okay, without further ado, here’s the Habitant Garden Style Vegetable soup review.

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The first thing I want to address is how f*cking big of a can of soup this is. Seriously. They’re 796ml – that’s easily enough for two bowls of soup. (Maybe even three) Why does Habitant only make such giant cans of soup? They’re usually located on the bottom-er shelves in the soup aisle because they’re so friggin’ big. I don’t know why exactly they make cans of soup for giants, but I’m 100% here for it. I like that this can offers a lot of soup, especially because it’s pretty cheap. You get a lot of soup-per-dollar.

One thing I don’t like about this soup isn’t even related to taste – it’s that there’s no tab on the top to open it. Look, I understand that not every can needs a pull open tab, but (especially because the can is so big) having the tab on the top would make it much easier to open without taking the entire top off, so you can close the lid back down and save it for later, instead of having to pour it out into a container. It’s not that big of a deal – I remember back before those easy-open tabs weren’t even a thing – it’s just something to keep in mind.

In terms of cooking, it’s really easy. Just open, heat on a stove (or in the microwave if you do that sort of thing) and serve. Very simple process. Even people who can’t cook can do it. This also bodes well if you’re really sick and would like something easy and fast to make, so… two birds?

Now, for the actual taste, it’s… soup. If you read my Amy’s Alphabet soup review, you’ll know that I’m not really that big of a fan of soup – I don’t know what it is, I just prefer my meals to be solid.

I don’t hate soup, I just would rather eat say… a sandwich instead. Soup is weird though, you’ve gotta admit that. It’s closer to a beverage then a meal. They should start selling soups in juice containers. That would also make it easier to save some of them for later, so there you go. Take note Soup World.

I don’t want to knock this soup – especially because it’s one of the few that aren’t marketed as being vegan that we can eat – but there’s honestly not too much to it. It tastes exactly how you would expect it to: like vegetables in some broth. It’s not overly salty like I’ve had in some other soups, and it doesn’t taste too watery either. It’s well balanced in terms of it’s flavours, and it has little grains of I think rice (or really tiny pasta shapes) in it as well. That helps fill you up better then soups that don’t have pasta/rice in them, in my opinion.

Other then that, I don’t really have too much to say about this product. It has vegetables in it (so it’s good for you!), is very easy to make, and comes in one of the biggest cans of soup I’ve ever seen. It’s a triple threat!

All in all, I’d recommend you check out/try this product. It won’t exactly blow you away with how amazing it is, but it doesn’t suck. And, especially if you have a hard time finding specifically labelled vegan products where you are, this can I’ve seen pretty much in every store I’ve been in. So it should also be easy to find.


Need help finding more products to stock up with in the winter? Check out my Surviving Canadian Winters post.

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Ben and Jerry’s PB and Cookies Ice-cream Review

Alright, now that it’s summer, I figured it’s time to start getting into some summer-y products. First up, this amazing ice-cream.

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This is one of those products I love a lot and it’s hard to tell if I love it just because it’s amazing, or because (of my allergies) I had to go years without it. (Or eating sh*tty versions) This ice-cream though is like heaven in your mouth, I swear. If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you even doing with your life?

If you’ve ever seen my Instagram page, you know how much I love this stuff. I buy it more then I probably should. It’s amazing.

It’s got peanut butter, and cookie bits in it. What’s not to love? It’s also versatile. While I often just eat it straight out of the tub with a spoon, it’s also great for banana splits, in a cone, this thing:

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Product Reviews - Ben and Jerry's PB and Cookies Icecream w/ Fudgee-O's and Icing - Vegan - Food Review

And pretty much anything else you’d need/want ice-cream for.

The only downside to this ice-cream is that it’s so rich you can’t eat the whole tub. (… Well, you can but you won’t feel so hot after) It’s the perfect example of how too much of a good thing can go bad. You’ll love every second of it, until about an hour after you’ve polished off the tub, then, well, you might regret it a little. (But you’ll probably do it again anyway).

There’s not too much else to say about this ice-cream, it’s smooth and crunchy, and hits the spot after a long day in the heat. Or, after any day, really. Also, if you’re still not convinced, just look at it:

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Product Reviews - Ben and Jerry's PB and Cookies Icecream Close Up - Vegan - Food Review

How could you look at that and think, ‘nah’.

I’d also like to take a moment to thank the Ice Cream Gods that Ben and Jerry’s decided to make some vegan ice-cream. I’m one very happy consumer knowing this product exists.

It’s hands down the best ice-cream I’ve ever had. So, y’know… go try it for yourself.


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VeganEgg Review

This is a somewhat newer product, I believe it only came out a couple years ago, but man is it GOOD.

There was a lot of hype surrounding the release of the VeganEgg, and perhaps it’s because I hadn’t been vegan that long, so I don’t have any stories from ‘back in my day we only had a block of tofu and half a hope’ or what have you, but I wasn’t THAT excited.

I mean, I was still excited, because I was just discovering this whole new world of food I’d never known existed, so my mind was already exploding from the shear awesomeness of it all – but it wasn’t especially being blown by the VeganEgg. Does that make sense?

I’m not trying to down-play this product or anything, it’s really REALLY good, (and that’s coming from someone who wasn’t a big egg fan to begin with) but it wasn’t that hype worthy.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but a lot of new products that are coming out now, I just feel like they’re being over-hyped. And again, maybe it’s because I wasn’t vegan before all these new products came out, and while I can admit it’s really cool the things they’re coming out with, I feel like they’re over-selling them.

But that’s enough of that, on to the review.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Product Review - VeganEgg, Vegan Food

So, I’ll start by saying that the first time I got this product, I was mildly disappointed that it didn’t come in those fake plastic egg shells (like the ones you see everywhere for Easter). Don’t get me wrong, I knew that it was powder, I had read articles explaining that, but I mean… it comes in a little tiny egg carton, they could’ve went the whole nine, y’know? (I might just start doing that, actually. That way you could get even MORE of the ‘original experience’ back [or if nothing else, then you won’t have to measure out the exact amount every time you make one])

Okay, so after that disappointment, I cut the bag of powder open and was surprised to find that it actually smelled like eggs. I discovered later on that this was the work of the amazing kala namak or black salt. This stuff you use pretty much like any other spice, with one exception: it smells like eggs. I recommend adding it to stir-frys or anything else that traditionally has that subtle egg undertone but it is strong, so don’t dump a giant handful into the dish. (Unless you like things tasting super eggy)

While that’s a whole other article, I was pleasantly surprised to know that the fake egg smelled like, well, eggs. I don’t want to be mean, but there are a few faux products out there that say they’re one thing but smell completely different (or worse, say they’re one thing and smell/taste like plastic). Suffice it to say, I was happy it seemed to be living up to the name.

I will say though that it seemed to take a bit longer to solidify then I thought it would. Maybe it’s because I had it on medium (I didn’t want to burn it) or maybe I was just really hungry but it seemed like it took a little too long to get that desired scrambled egg consistency. That’d be my only complaint though.

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Once it was done, I did my usual ‘lone test’ – taste it by itself before mixing/adding it to anything. If it tastes good by itself, it’s always a winner. This was really good by itself. It was also good when I added it to Avocado Toast (albeit a bit too much mush in one mouthful). It tasted egg-y, and the consistency (once cooked, despite my impatience) was close enough to my memory of what scrambled eggs were.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Product Review - Avocado Toast - VeganEgg - Vegan Food

I was happy with the way the product tasted, looked and smelled. My one problem would be the price. I’m not sure if it’s available elsewhere (I’ve yet to find it) but the local vegan store I’ve found it in has it for $10. I know they’re a small/local business and have to make money, but I personally think $10 is a bit too high for this product. I’d love to buy it more, but that’s a bit ridiculous to spend on one product each week/every two weeks. If it was say, $6 or even $8, I’d get it more often. As it stands, it’s a ‘special’ item I only buy as a treat only. The actual product itself though is good.

All in all, I recommend trying VeganEgg for yourself. It tastes great and is a great addition to a vegan Sunday breakfast.

So, VeganEgg: have you tried it? Did you like it? Do you agree with my views on price? Let me know in the comments below!


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Road’s End Savoury Herb Gravy Review

Hands down my favourite vegan gravy. This stuff? If they sold it in juice containers, I would drink it. I’m not even kidding, it’s that good.

Road’s End makes two other gravy flavours, Shiitake Mushroom and Delicious Golden, but the Savoury Herb is the best. They also make mac n cheese, but that is not good. I don’t want to be mean, but it tasted…. I don’t know, cardboard-y? Maybe they put too much nooch in it or something, it’s just bad. Their thing is definitely not mac n cheese.

But that’s okay, because this gravy makes up for it. Moral of that little bit is, don’t buy their mac n cheese. (Sorry if you like it)

This gravy, man, I don’t even know where to start.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Roads End Savoury Herb Gravy Product Review

The herbs offer that nice refreshing taste herbs do when you eat it, and it doesn’t taste ‘heavy’ like other gravies, it’s pretty light but is delicious too. You could use a whole pack, to say, make some poutine, and you wouldn’t feel bad because it doesn’t give you that gross too full feeling.

I honestly don’t even have the words to describe how good it is. It’s hard to describe because I just want to keep saying ‘it’s good’ but that’s not really a review.

Almost like when I reviewed the Famous Burger in my Vegan Festival Review – too good for words to properly explain if you haven’t tasted it.

Just – go out and get some.

Vegan Food and Drink Festival Review

As you may of heard, there was a vegan food and drink festival Aug. 19th this year in Toronto, and I was lucky enough to be able to go. It was my first ever vegan festival, and I was definitely blown away. I’m already working on my game plan for next year’s event.

One of my favourite things: Getting to order whatever I wanted from any vendor. That alone was enough to make me want to go back.

I don’t know how many of you have allergies, but being allergic to dairy, (whey) there is a hell of a lot of food in this world I can’t eat. And deciding to go vegan didn’t exactly broaden my food spectrum. So, being able to go to a public event without having to research/bring my own/call ahead/ask what was in every dish before ordering was absolutely fantastic. I swear, I was like a kid in a candy store. I wanted to try everything there just because I could. That itself blew my mind. It was so… I don’t know – nice, I guess would be the word – to not have to worry about what I could/couldn’t eat. The only ‘worrying’ I did about the food was whether or not I’d have enough time to try everything.

 

On top of that, I was amazed to see just how many people showed up! I mean, I know probably not every single person there was vegan, but it was still amazing to see. There were so many people! There were some lines that were so long they were impossible to get around. I loved seeing how many turned out, even though it meant waiting in giant lines.

Alright, now onto what you all came here for: the food.

Globally Local’s Famous Burger

This is supposed to be a vegan Big Mac. Now, I’ve never had a real Big Mac, so I can’t compare the two. All I can say about this is: Oh. My. God.

There aren’t enough words in the English language for me to describe to you how incredible this burger was. Hands down the best thing I tried at the festival. The patties themselves were actually pretty underwhelming – they were super thin and I feel like the only thing they added to the burger was texture. Not to be mean, but it seemed like they use those really terrible thin, cardboard-y vegan frozen burgers you used to buy before you discovered there was better options.

But the sauce!

Again, never having the real Big Mac sauce, I can’t tell you if it was close to the real thing or not. The sauce to me, tasted similar to warm ranch dressing. I loved it. If they sold the sauce in a bottle like salad dressing, I’d probably drink it. (Yes, it’s that good)

This burger was also messy. And, while I tend to stay away from eating foods that are too messy (I hate getting my hands all goopy with sauces), I didn’t really mind licking this off my fingers. I had the sauce smeared on my face and dripping out of my palms and I did not care at all. It was pure indulgence and I couldn’t have been happier.

My only regret is not getting two.

Sweet Teeth’s Cookie Monster Ice-Cream

The best dessert I tried. No contest.

Before the ice-cream melted enough to spoon out of the container, the spoon slipped and cookie crumbs went flying, since the cookie dough wasn’t soft. I believe it was their vanilla ice-cream that was dyed blue, but I’m not sure. (I can’t remember)

The worst part about this ice-cream was the size of the pint. It’s the same size as the Ben and Jerry’s vegan ice-creams – waaaay too small. (But considering I ate the whole thing, perhaps they do that on purpose)

I got to their booth later on (closer to when the festival was over at 7pm), they were sold out of almost everything else, but boy am I glad I got some of this.

I already miss it.

Rescue Dog’s Fat Mac

This. Just… this.

Like the Big Mac, there aren’t enough words. If it wasn’t swamped with so many onions, I would’ve liked it better, but it was still good. (Most of the onions fell off when I picked it up anyway)

This not-dog is made out of flax. Yeah, you read that right: flax. I don’t know how they do it, but boy am I glad they do. It has a great texture; it’s closer to a sausage texture than a hot dog, in that it has that nice hard bite/shell and then the squishy, juicy inside. And the sauce – same as the Famous Burger – it is amazing. It actually tastes similar to the burgers, I think they might even use the same one. (Though I can’t say for sure)

Either way, I’m not complaining. Best not-dog I’ve had, ever.

Also, apparently Good Rebel sells their dogs in packs of 6, so there may be a homemade replica of this in the future.

V Eats Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

This was the first thing I tried at the festival, and man am I glad I picked it. It’s amazing.

These guys came all the way up from Dallas, Texas. The ‘chicken’ they used was actually oyster mushrooms. This was the first oyster mushroom dish I’ve ever had, and it was good. To me, it didn’t taste like chicken – didn’t have that distinctive ‘chicken’ taste, like it does when I make seitan, but it didn’t need to. The sandwich was good all on its own. They could’ve said this was a buffalo mushroom sandwich, and I would’ve been just as happy to eat it. It was also a bit spicy, I feel like if they used a bit more lettuce or something to cut through the spice it would’ve been better.

This one was also messy, but worth it. They filled it with so much stuff that when you took a bite, it would squish out the back. Totally something you need to eat with napkins, but it’s definitely worth getting. If you’re in Dallas, or see these guys at another festival, I highly recommend getting this sandwich.

Bald Baker’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie and Brownie Bite

The cookie was super thick and really soft. It also has peanuts in it that help give it a crunch. The brownie was super soft too and was just amazing. And… it was the last one they had. (Sorry!) I didn’t even try the free sample first, I just saw it was the last one and bought it.

Once again, my only disappointment was that it was the only one they had.

Sweet Olenka’s Cookies N Cream Bar

This was good.

Chocolate, cookies and ice-cream, what more could you want?

It was super frozen though – I’m guessing because it was so hot, they had their freezer cranked up so they didn’t melt, I couldn’t bite into it, it was so hard. I didn’t mind waiting for it to soften though, I ate all the cookie crumbs off from the chocolate shell.

And then, when I got down to the end of it, the whole bottom of my chocolate shell fell off. Luckily, it landed on a napkin, and not on the ground.

This again, wasn’t really anything special: vanilla ice cream and chocolate, but on a hot day it definitely hit the spot.

Flying Colours Food’s Chocolate Hazelnut and Walnut Caramel Spread

The chocolate hazelnut spread was my favourite between the two. I’d assume it tastes close to Nutella, but I’ve never had real Nutella, so I can’t say for sure. I didn’t really like the walnut one, I’m not sure why. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t… I don’t know, special, I guess. I think I might’ve just been more excited to try other foods, so this one was kind of ‘meh’.

I’ll definitely be looking for the chocolate one in stores though.

Panago’s Mediterranean Pizza

This one, I’m sorry to say was nothing special. It just tastes like take-out pizza with Daiya on it. If you’ve ever had Pizza Nova or PizzaPizza pizza, you know what this tastes like.

I am proud to say though, this pizza had black olives on it (I hate olives), but they actually weren’t too bad with the other flavours. I’m not committing to anything, but I wouldn’t mind getting this pizza again.

I checked out their website, and I’m glad to report they are very accommodating to vegans. All their crusts are vegan, and they say you can sub out any cheese on any other pizza with Daiya, and do the same with their meatless pepperoni. I’m definitely going to try some of their other pizzas.

The Spicy Ethiopian’s Tikel Goman

This reminded me of stew. It was good, for sure, but if I had a choice between this and the Famous Burger, well…

The dough-y bread (sorry, I don’t know what to call it, it’s like a very thin pancake) was very squishy. I didn’t like the texture of it in my hand, especially having to pick up the stew (more squish) with it and then put it in my mouth. I probably would’ve liked it better if I ate it with a fork.

Again, not bad, but not the  greatest. It was essentially potatoes, carrots and bread. Nothing I’ve never had before. This was probably my least favourite dish.

I also tried two cheeses that I didn’t get a picture of. The first was from this new place, West Junction. This was my first ever cashew-based cheese, and I was pleasantly surprised.

I don’t know why, but I’ve been putting off trying nut-based cheeses for some reason, but I’m definitely glad I tried West Junction’s. They had cut their mozzarella up into cubes and I tried it in what I believe they said was their salad dressing. It was covered in oil, some spices and had an olive on the side. It was good, definitely milder than Daiya (I’m starting to think that they’re the most… potent vegan cheese), and the consistency kind of reminded me of tofu. I think the oil on it gave it a weird, slippery texture, but I’ll definitely buy this when it becomes available for purchase to do a proper review of it. (Not covered in oil)

The other was my second nut-based cheese from Main Vegan Deli. They were selling cheese and deli slice items (like grilled cheese and other sandwich types), but I got there after they were packing up, so I didn’t get to try anything off the menu. They were nice enough to let me try a cube of what I think was their cheddar (it was orange) cheese. This one and the West Junction one tasted pretty similar, this one was less slippery, but still that soft, tofu consistency. I guess that’s just the texture of nut cheeses? Again, it was good, but I’ll definitely have to track them down to try it again, perhaps in a dish.

If you missed this one, there is another festival coming up Sept.8th-10th, VegFest. This one has more vendors, and some of the same ones, so if you missed getting to try anyone from this event, you’ll get a second chance to check them out. VegFest is free admission, but you’ll still need to buy food and drinks from the vendors. I haven’t decided yet if I’m gonna go to this one, I might just save up for next year’s Food and Drink festival.

 

All in all, this festival was a lot of fun. I definitely enjoyed trying all the different types of food, and seeing all the people who showed up. If you’re able to, I definitely suggest checking it out. I can’t wait until next year’s!