Tag Archives: winter

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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Dandies All Natural Marshmallows Review




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These are on the harder side, in terms of mellow texture. They’re not like, rocks or anything, it’s just enough that if you eat regular mellows and then switch, you’ll definitely notice the difference. If you’ve ever had gummies from Squish, they’re like that – hard gummy consistency. But, if you throw them in a mug of hot chocolate, (perhaps, my favourite hot chocolate?) they’re just as squishy and gooey as you’d expect.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t made s’mores or baked with them, so I’m not sure on how they hold up in an oven, but the way they melt in a hot chocolate, I’d guess you wouldn’t have a problem with them.

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Also, have you seen the minis? So cute! And the mascot? He looks like a Qbee!

Seriously, what’s not to love? The only two problems I’d say I have with this product is 1. They make a pumpkin flavoured one (gross!) and 2. Finding somewhere close to my house that sells them. They’re amazing, but if I had to go half-way across the city in -40 weather just to get some mellows? Sorry, Dandies, I’m not that addicted. (Now, if we were talking about Daiya blocks…)

Once you get used to the slight texture change (seriously, by your third one, you won’t even notice/remember), you’ll be glad you tried them. While I wouldn’t go so far to say they should be a Staple, they are definitely nice to have in the winter with some hot chocolate. One of those little pleasures that make winter less blah, y’know?

If you’re gonna use mellows for something, I definitely recommend getting these ones.

They’re little vanilla (slightly hard) pillows of heaven, in my book.

So, Dandies mellows: have you tried them? Do you like them? Do you have a different favourite brand of mellows? Let me know in the comments below!


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Amy’s Kitchen Organic Alphabet Soup Review




I’d like to start this review off by saying that I’m not really that big of a soup fan. It’s weird to me: it’s a food, right? So why do we drink it? Who wants to drink their food? I can do that when I’m a hundred and my teeth are all gone. I want to chew my food. Stew is better, it’s chunky and chewable.

That being said, this soup is one of the few I actually like. Before going vegan, the only soup I’d eat was that Hearty Chicken can. And, while I don’t want to tell you to go out and try it, if you’re not vegan and are pondering soup choices…

Okay, anyway, on to Amy’s.

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Amy’s Kitchen is not a fully vegan brand, so if you check them out, keep that in mind. I recommend checking out their website, they have these little sticker things that tell you if it’s vegan, gluten-free, low fat, etc. This soup is luckily vegan and is very good. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about food looking like non-food shapes (letters, animals, smiley fries, little triangle-shaped sandwiches, etc.) that makes it taste better. I don’t know, maybe it’s the kid in me, but I love food that looks like non-food. Who doesn’t love spelling things in their soup?

I will say, it’s not all that remarkable, it’s tomato soup with some pasta. Honestly, if you’ve ever had Alphaghetti you know what this tastes like. I recommend this product though because it’s vegan alphaghetti! I love finding vegan foods that are similar to the foods I used to eat before going vegan. I’m not trying to diss this soup or anything – it’s good, albeit having a smidge of an acidic taste (but given that it’s tomato soup, that shouldn’t be surprising)

The only two ‘problems’ with this product?

  1. It comes in a can, which means if they go on sale/you want to stock up for winter, it’ll be heavy to carry back to your house.
  2. There’s no real earth-shattering ‘holy sh*t’ moment when eating it. It won’t blow you away and make you double check the ingredients to make sure it’s vegan, it’s just kinda… soup.

It’s not really on par with VeganEgg or Field Roast Burgers, because it’s just soup in a can, y’know? It’s kinda hard to give that kind of product a glowing review. I mean, chances are if you like any soup in a can and/or tomatoes, you’ll like this. Not exactly one of those super-star vegan products that’s out now, but just because it’s not getting hyped to the moon doesn’t mean it isn’t good. I can’t just review all the hyped products – you need some staple-y foods too, right?

Bottom line, I like this. It’s great to have in the winter, is ridiculously easy to make, and it might just bring back some of those simpler childhood memories.

So, Amy’s Alphabet Soup, have you tried it? What did you think? Like it? Hate it? Let me know! And, if you have any suggestions for future vegan products you’d like to see me review, leave it in a comment!


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Surviving Canadian Winters




I decided to write this article because in my first year of going vegan, I Googled this very topic and guess what came up? Nothing. Well, not nothing nothing – there were some articles that were about ‘surviving winter’ but they didn’t do anything. Apparently, no vegans in Canada wanted to pass this oh-so-important wisdom down so I was basically on my own.

You may be wondering: why such worry about making it to the store? That’s a good question. Having to rely on public transit is not always the easiest during winter. Between the closures/detours due to weather and some routes not being driven altogether, you don’t really want to go through that on top of the freezing weather.

My top two suggestions for making these stock-up trips:

  1. Stretch multiple trips out over the fall months (Sept.-Nov.) and try to remember this has to last you until you’re able to walk outside again (around/after Feb.)
  2. Get these before it’s too cold to leave your house. Trust me, you really don’t want to go out in the middle of December when it’s -40C because you forgot bread.

So, for my fellow Canadian-vegans, when the snow banks are 4ft. tall and your door locks are frozen shut, fear not! I’m here to make those last trips to the store easier for you.

Obviously, you don’t need to get everything on this list. This is just a list of foods you may want to stock up on for the colder months. If nothing else, these should (hopefully) lessen your worry about getting through winter, even if they’re not exactly ‘essentials’. Also, who wants to get a hot chocolate craving only to find they’re out?

I recommend checking out my Vegan Staples list first, since that lists all the food essentials*, then come back here to see what else from this list you might want to stock up on.

Pantry

  • Hot Chocolate (I like Castle Kitchen’s Classic Caramel)
  • Marshmallows (Dandies)
  • Mr. Noodles (Mushroom and Vegetable)
  • Daiya Mac N Cheese (Alfredo Style, Cheddar, White Cheddar with Veggies)
  • Gravy (I like Road’s End Savoury Herb)
  • Mashed Potato Flakes (if you don’t/can’t lug a whole bag of potatoes home)
  • Kraft Peanut Butter with Chocolate (yes, it’s vegan, and it’s amazing)
  • Hummus/Salad Dressing/Some type of spread so you don’t eat dry sandwiches all winter
  • Shake N Bake/Bread Crumbs
  • VeganEgg
  • Winter Holiday baking supplies (cocoa powder, flour, sugar, egg replacer/applesauce, etc.)

Cans: (Check out my Surprising Vegan Soup post for more!)

  • Amy’s Alphabet Soup (my favourite!)
  • Amy’s Organic Vegetable Barley
  • Amy’s Fire Roasted Southerwestern Vegetable
  • Amy’s Black Bean Vegetable
  • Habitant Garden Style Vegetable Soup
  • Hunt’s Manwich Original Sloppy Joe

Snacks:

  • Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Crackers (Triscuits, Vegetable Thins, Ritz, Premium Plus)
  • Cookies
  • Popcorn Kernels (and ketchup powder!) or Skinny Pop
  • Chocolate (chips, bars)
  • Licorice (Twizzlers as a stir-stick in hot chocolate = amazing)

Freezer

  • Butter/Margrine 6 months
  • Seitan 1yr
  • Tofu** (can give it a ‘chewier’ texture, drain and place in Ziplock) 3-5 months
  • Daiya Products (cheese blocks/pizza) 6 months
  • Tofurky Products (sausages/deli slices/pizza/pizza pockets) 1yr
  • Gardein Products (7 Grain Crispy Tenders, Mandarin Orange Chick’N, Pizza Pockets, etc.) 6 months
  • Field Roast Products (burgers, sausages, deli slices, etc.) 1yr
  • Yves Products (pepperoni, deli slices, ground round) 1-3 months
  • Fries (smiley/crinkle/straight-cut)
  • Hash Browns
  • Taquitos (Starlight Beef are good)
  • Burritos (Amy’s Black Bean Vegetable and Bean and Rice are good)
  • Perogies
  • Tortillas (place parchment in between to prevent tearing) 6-8 months
  • Ice-cream (I know it’s gonna be cold, but some days…)

*I don’t yet have a non-food essentials list, but I’m working on it! I’ll be posting it hopefully sometime next year, but I’m hoping you don’t really need me to tell you to stock up on non-food essentials (toilet paper).

**Tofu may change from white to a yellow or amber colour. Don’t freak out, it’s still perfectly safe to eat. Let it thaw and cook as usual.

Keep in mind, that some of these items are heavy, so you might want to buy one of those shopping carts on wheels, or bring a luggage that has wheels on it with you and fill that up – instead of making eighty-seven little trips to the store. (But hey, if that’s your thing, you go right ahead).

As stated above, this isn’t really an essentials list, so don’t feel like you have to buy everything on here. This list isn’t a be-all, end-all of winter stock up foods. These are just (hopefully) enough to get you thinking in terms of, ‘What will I be craving three months from now when I’ve been stuck inside all day?’

Also, keep in mind that winter not only brings cold, but also holidays. So, you may need to add some holiday specific items to your list as well. Usually, I try to plan in advanced what I’ll be making, but I know that’s not always plausible.

If all else fails, you can always get groceries delivered.