Tag Archives: gardein

Vegan Stop Online Grocer Review

Vegan Stop is a new online fully vegan grocer for Canada who had reached out ‘to some of Toronto’s vegan leaders’ via Instagram on Feb. 1st to let me know they had just opened their online store veganstop.ca.

I was very pleasantly surprised to find this message because a) they think I’m a vegan leader in Toronto? That’s so cool! And b) they actively sought me out and wanted me to check them out? Double cool!

I was also excited to try out a vegan grocer specific for Toronto ever since V Word Market closed. Vegan Supply is a bit too far for me to order from.

Needless to say, I did check them out, and I’m here to share my experience with you guys.

*Disclaimer: this post is in no way sponsored by Vegan Stop*

I checked out their website that same day, and found it very easy to navigate. They even have a Search by Brand option which is a very handy addition. That first day, I went for some ‘classic’ premade vegan food brands: Daiya, Tofurky, Gardein and Earth Balance. (I had just been searching for Earth Balances Cheese Square crackers the previous week and really wanted to find them)

As expected, since it was the first day they launched, they didn’t have very many products for each brand, and they didn’t have Tofurky products at all.

I asked them about it, and they told me that they were expected to get the Tofurky products in over the weekend. I decided to wait to place my order until after that. I also gave them a few suggestions for the website, and as a thank-you they gave me my own special discount code, for which I’m very grateful!

I checked out their FAQ’s, and was again pleasantly surprised to see that they said that they aimed to have mostt orders out same day, or within 24 hours. Again, this was a huge plus for me, as other vegan online places took anywhere from a few days to 1-2 weeks to deliver. I also loved that they are strictly Canadian (for now, at least).

About a week or so later, I went back to the site, and again used the Search by Brand option. (I really love being able to search a store this way) I immediately scrolled down and found Tofurky, eager to see which products they had. To my disappointment, they only had deli slices, no sausages. (Not hating, I just wanted the sausages)

I went over to Daiya and saw that while they didn’t have the Monterey Jack Block (my favourite block of Daiya, and hardly anyone has them anymore!) they did have the Alfredo sauce! I was sold as soon as I saw that and decided to get some stuff to make alfredo pasta. I headed over to Gardein and got some Beefless Tips, figuring I could probably use them in place of the Tofurky sausages for the pasta.

I also got Gardein 7 Grain Crispy Tenders and Amy’s Kitchen Alphabet Soup (another one of my fav products). I didn’t want to get too many things in the first order until I saw what the shipping would be, and how long the order would take.

I went to the Check Out page and again was happy to see they accepted Paypal. (You wouldn’t believe how many places I can’t order from because they don’t accept Paypal)

The Check Out process was very easy to navigate – on par with the rest of the site – and I was glad to see that shipping was only $9!

Their prices are cheaper then I’ve found at other places as well. For example, the Gardein Beefless Tips and 7 Grain Tenders are $4.49 each, compared to $5.99 at Vegan Supply.

The Alfredo Sauce is $8.49, compared to $9.49 at Vegan Supply as well.

And, perhaps the best price difference: Daiya pizzas are $8.99, which is a whole dollar off from other places I’ve seen them for $9.99, or even $10.99!

Altogether, using the discount code, my order was $20.51, which, is a much smaller bill then it would’ve been elsewhere. And, that was the total including the shipping price.

Buying the exact same items at Vegan Supply, the same bill came to $23.17, not including shipping. Their cheapest shipping option was $16.83. That would’ve made my grand total $39.80 for the same order, and Vegan Supply didn’t even have the Amy’s soup! They also require you to purchase cold packs for refrigerated/frozen items, which are $1.50 each.

That’s a $19.29 difference for the same food, and, it would’ve been slower delivery.

That’s crazy!

I strongly urge you to check Vegan Stop out. They’re still new, so there may still be a few bumps in the road, but for that price difference? It’s definitely worth it.

I am very happy to have this new online grocer, and am looking forward to becoming a regular customer.


Like this review? Check out more here!

Liking the site? Consider signing up for my Patreon, so I can continue bringing you the content you love!

3 Year Veganversary

I can’t believe it’s already been another full year! It feels like just yesterday I was writing my 2nd Year Veganversary article – and now I’m already writing the next one? It’s crazy!

Again, it’s hard to know what to say in these posts – do I encourage you to go vegan with me? Do I talk about some of the hardships of going vegan?

Wait, I know. How about a quick food montage? Back before I was vegan, I basically ate the same three things over and over. But since I’ve been vegan? I’ve tried so many different kinds of foods, and even discovered some foods that I didn’t know existed before! (Like Nooch, seitan, oyster mushrooms and black salt)

I not only have expanded my taste buds by trying premade vegan products (like Daiya, Gardein and Tofurky), I also learned how to cook, and I’ve gotta say, I can make some pretty kick-ass things in the kitchen now, compared to the not knowing how to boil hot-dogs before.

Check out all the cool, new shit I learned how to make:

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - PETA SolFood Vegan's Spicy Fried Chicken Burger - seitan, vegan food, cooking adventures

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Seitan Bites - vegan food, cooking adventures

This is literally wheat gluten, water (or vegetable broth) and spices. It’s magic! And tastes awesome. I love getting to spice the food right from it’s conception – it gives it so much more flavour, instead of starting with a whole, plain slab of meat and then only putting the seasoning on the outside.

Also, you can turn this into any meat you want – the way you spice it gives it it’s flavour. And, because you’re hand shaping, you can also make it look like whatever you want.

Need some chick’n ‘breasts’? No problem.

AterImber.com - Seitan Chick'N Vegan Recipe

Sausages? Sure thing!

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Spicy Seitan Sausages - vegan food, cooking adventures

Need some wings? Got that too.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Buffalo Seitan Wings - vegan food, cooking adventures

What about burgers?

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - PETAs SolFood Vegans Spicy Fried Chicken - seitan, vegan food, cooking adventures

Yep! Still not a problem. These were actually the first time I made seitan, and was taken from PETA’s SolFood Vegan’s Spicy Fried Chicken recipe.

You could even just leave it together and make a roast out of it, if you really wanted.

The possibilities with seitan are damn near endless.

And it’s got 62g of protein/1C. So, y’know you don’t have to worry about dying from protein deficiency.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Meatball-less Sub w/ Taquitos - Vegan food, cooking adventures

Taquitos? I didn’t even know these were a thing before I discovered them at Good Rebel, and then learned how to make a homemade version.

Side note, if you live in Toronto, you should definitely check Good Rebel out. They’re small, but it’s like a vegan wonderland in there, they have so many products! Also, their egg and sausage breakfast sandwich is amazing.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - The Vegan Zombie Mozzeralla Cheese Sticks - vegan food, cooking adventures

Mozzarella sticks is something I never had before going vegan, let alone know how to make. This recipe I actually got from The Vegan Zombie.

There are a lot of different foods I never tried until I went vegan. Not even just ‘typical’ vegan foods – like seitan, or durian (which admittedly I still haven’t had) – but ‘normal’ foods, like garlic bread, poutine, milkshakes – pretty much anything that had milk in it, I never tried.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Cooking Adventures - Sushi - vegan food

Uhm, hand-rolling sushi with no fish? Oh yeah, I did that, too. It was fun! And apparently because of my small hands, I was naturally good at rolling them.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - HotforFood - HotforFood's Cookbook: 101 Recipes to Feed Your Face - Cauliflower Wings and Ranch dip - vegan food

These I made from my favourite vegan Youtuber, HotforFood. Lauren makes amazing vegan food videos, and makes a lot of ‘regular’ foods (ie burgers, wings, etc.) and not just salads. I highly, highly recommend you check out her channel, and that you buy her cookbook 101 Recipes to Feed Your Face. I was lucky enough to get her to sign it at this past years’ Vegandale festival and have made only a few things out of the book, (one of my favs is her Ranch dip) but am very excited to continue trying out more of her recipes.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmellows and Chocolate Drizzle - vegan food, vegan cupcakes, vegan desserts

I learned how to make chocolate cupcakes from scratch, and was pleasantly surprised that my vegan egg substitute of applesauce for eggs worked! The last time I had tried this switch, I was making brownies, and it didn’t exactly work out.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vanilla Cherry Pie Cupcakes - Vegan Food - vegan desserts

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Chocolate Cherry Pie Cupcakes - Vegan Food - vegan desserts

I also invented my own Cherry-Pie Cupcakes after learning how to make the cupcakes above. I’ve made these the past 2 years for my dads’ birthday and he absolutely loves them. (These pictures are a bit ‘foggy’ because I had icing on the camera)

It’s not even just the foods I’ve learned how to make, there’s also a whole world of restaurants and pre-made foods I never would’ve discovered had I not got into veganism!

Pochiche Poutine - AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2018

Poutine! It’s always a win. Look at that deliciousness!

Globally Local Crispy Chickn Burger - AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2018

Globally Local I’m a fan of – and they’re not even available in Toronto yet! I had the great fortune of trying them at the festival both years, and neither was disappointing. (With the exception that they aren’t in Toronto!)

AterImber - The Veg Life - Hogtown Vegan - Unchick'N Ceasar Wrap - Vegan food

Hogtown Vegan is in Toronto, and this thing is amazing, too. It’s giant, delicious, and was actually the first time I ever tried seitan – and that was even before I went vegan! It’s since become my ‘regular’ order when I go there. Some of my other favourites of theirs is their poutine, mac n cheese and chick’n burger. I highly recommend you check them out as well, if you’re ever in the neighbourhood.

These guys I only tried once, but again, was blown away. The sandwich was awesome, and it saddens me that they’re all the way in Texas. Also, those were oyster mushrooms? Whaaat?

Kellys Bakeshop Salted Caramel Cupcake - AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2018

Salted Caramel cupcakes are a must! I loved these so much and was very upset I was only able to buy one.

I won’t give you the total play-by-play, I’ll leave my food adventures on my Instagram. Also, if you want to check out the reviews I did of the above restaurant foods, you can find them here.

With all the awesome vegan restaurants opening, and all the new products that are becoming available, it’s becoming so easy to go vegan.

Also, if the food wasn’t enough to convince you, maybe this will:

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - 3 Year Veganversary - Vegan Calculations: animals, water, and forest saved

Whether you’re thinking about going vegan for the animals, your health, or the environment, you can’t argue with numbers like these. 1,000+ animals saved in the 3 years I’ve been vegan by doing nothing else but changing my diet? Can I get a hell yeah?

Being vegan is one of the most passive ways to help save the planet and animals that I can think of. You don’t have to go out and protest, you don’t have to talk about it. You can be a quiet activist and vote with your dollar.

With so many great options available, and so many stats outlining the dangers of not going vegan, I’m truly baffled that some people haven’t gotten on board yet. I mean, I haven’t been vegan forever, but I don’t think I ever tried debating that animal agriculture was good for the environment, or that murdering innocent beings was right.

Seriously, how are there still people who think veganism isn’t the answer?


Want to check out how much YOU save by being vegan? Do so here!

Want to learn more about veganism? Check out more tips here!

Liking the site? Consider signing up for my Patreon, so I can continue bringing you the content you love!

Gardein Turk’y Cutlets and Gravy Review

Apparently American Thanksgiving is coming up (Nov. 22nd – two days after First Try comes out!) so I thought this month, I might as well review a Thanksgiving related food. Enter: Gardein Turk’y Cutlets.

I’d like to start this review out with a sort of disclaimer: as I’ve said in other posts, before going vegan, I was pollotarian, which means the only meat I ate was poultry (chicken, turkey, etc.). I’ll admit, I like the taste of chicken the most out of meats. So, during these reviews, most of the products I try will most likely be faux poultry, or, if they seem skewed in that if/when I do review faux beef/pork/etc. product, I might not like that as much as some of the faux poultries, take my opinion not as gospel.

Okay? Okay. So, let’s get started.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Product Reviews - Gardein Turk'y Cutlets - vegan food

I’m not gonna lie, these cutlets taste like their Mandarin Orange Chick’n Nuggets and their 7 Grain Crispy Tenders – pretty plain tofu/seitan with breading. I find that – out of the Gardein faux meats I’ve tried – all the faux poultry kinda just tastes the same, with an exception to different breading. Which is fine – I like that taste, so it’s all good.

But the gravy… it tastes like turkey. Not like, ‘oh, it’s sage’ – no. This gravy tastes straight up like turkey. My meat-eater friend confirmed – this tastes like they used real turkey drippings to make the gravy. If this gravy didn’t come out of a Gardein pack, and was just sitting on the table/otherwise handed to me by somebody else, I’d assumed they made a mistake and gave me non-vegan gravy.

And, while I understand wanting to make vegan food that tastes like meat, to me, I just… I don’t know how to feel about this. It tastes a lot like meat gravy, so much so, I got that wretch in the pit of my stomach, because that smell is associated so much with the dead body of a turkey. It was a bit off-putting, to say the least.

I’m one of those vegans, who is okay with eating plants that taste like plants – if it’s close in taste, I’m all for it. When I get skeptical/uneasy, is when it tastes exactly the same. Give me a mushroom burger that tastes like mushrooms, I’m happy. I actually like the taste of plants, so that doesn’t matter to me. (I touched on this more in my Beyond Burger review)

Obviously, if you’re someone who enjoys vegan food tasting near identical to the real thing, I’d say go for it. I’m not going to not recommend something just because it tastes too ‘real’. Also, it’s not even that – this product is good, the chick’n itself tastes like their nuggets, so you could even just use the cutlets without the gravy packet, if that’s something that would freak you out.

I’d say, if you are going to try the gravy, do so more then once – after getting over the initial shock of how close it tastes your brain calms down and it really does start to taste like sage.

All in all, I’d recommend this product, with probably just a word of caution about the gravy. It can throw you if you’re not expecting it, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from trying an otherwise good product. I know I, myself will definitely buy this product again in the future, (just as I did with the Beyond Burger), but I would do so with the expectation of knowing what I’m getting. I think that would help your first taste-test go well, too.


Like this review? Check out more here!

Liking the site? Consider signing up for my Patreon, so I can continue bringing you the content you love!

Store Crawl #1: Zehr’s

I’ve wanted to do these Store Crawls for a while, but there was always something more important/immediate that had to get done.

I’ve finally decided to stop putting it off, so welcome to the first Store Crawl!

Store Crawls are going to be articles where I take you through/list all the vegan offerings available at a non-vegan grocery store (No Frills, Loblaws, Metro, Sobeys, etc.), in the hopes it helps you out should you need to buy something. Now, since these aren’t vegan-centric grocers, I’ll only be listing the premade stuff, that’s available more in a grab and go style, like the deli meats, cheeses, etc. Hopefully, this will help you should you ever find yourself away from your preferred grocery store so you aren’t scrambling for something, also this may help you with your day-to-day shopping.

Okay, so, without further ado, here’s the first Store Crawl:

I know Zehr’s is not in Toronto (I’ve yet to find one, anyway), so if you live outside of Toronto (say, New Market, or Barrie), this might be of more help to you. I’ll be posting other Store Crawls for stores that are actually in the city soon, so keep your eye out!

I’m starting with Zehr’s because I was just there this past weekend and figured, why not start with the one that’s fresh in my mind?

Here’s what I found:

Apparently, Zehr’s is owned by Loblaws, so they have a lot of vegan options, thankfully. They pretty much had all this stuff in one aisle, (I believe it was labelled the ‘Natural Foods’ aisle) which was super convenient for me, I didn’t have to run around the entire store!

Deli Section: (Next to the meat counter)

  • Yves Lunch Meats (Turk’y, Ham, Bologne, and pepperoni)
  • Yves Not-dogs
  • Daiya Shreds (Mozzerella and Cheddar, no slices or blocks)

Natural Foods Aisle

Fridge/Freezer:

  • Silk (I didn’t see Silk Almond, just the Soy, also didn’t see the Chocolate one, just Plain and Vanilla)
  • Earth Balance Butter
  • Veganaise
  • Daiya Yogurt
  • Daiya Pizza
  • Gardein Nuggets (7 Grain Crispy Tenders, Mandarin Orange Chick’N nuggets and the Fishless Filets)
  • Hilary’s Burgers (green box [which I believe is their original?], and I think there was a purple box [Spicy Thai] too)
  • Sol Burgers (Quinoa)
  • Nature’s Path Organic Buckwheat Blueberry Waffles (Gluten Free!)
  • Amy’s Kitchen Black Bean Vegetable Burrito (the green and blue wrapper one)
  • So Good Ice-cream (chocolate)

Shelf:

  • Almond Breeze
  • Rice Dream
  • Coconut Oil
  • Amy’s Kitchen Cans (Organic Alphabet Soup [my favourite!], Organic Lentil, Vegetable Soup, Organic Fire Roasted Southwestern Vegetable soup, and they had a black can, I’m not too sure which kind that one was)
  • Daiya Mac (Deluxe Cheddar and Deluxe Alfredo – they were $4.49!)
  • Nuts To You Organic Tahini Paste (and almond and other nut butters)
  • Skinny Pop White Cheddar Popcorn
  • Veggie Sticks
  • Love Beauty and Planet Shampoo (never seen/heard of this brand before, I bought a bottle, keep an eye out for the review!)

And there you have it! Most, if not all the vegan finds available at Zehr’s.

I did my best to keep all the proper brand names/flavours, as I felt it’d be more comprehensive to list the ‘official’ flavours, instead of just listing (as example) ‘Gardein nuggets’. I’m sure some of you would still understand what I meant if I did it in short-hand, but I thought it might just make it easier, especially if you’re wanting to find a certain product for the first time, or requesting it.

I hope you found this list helpful, and I look forward to doing more of them in the future.


Like this article? Check out more vegan related posts on my The Veg Life page!

Liking the site? Consider signing up for my Patreon, so I can continue bringing you the content you love!