Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pastariso Mac Uncheddar: vegan, gluten-free mac and cheese for the masses

I've been on a bit of a mac and cheese binge lately, so when Pastariso (a division of Maplegrove Gluten Free Foods) offered to send me a sample of their new, gluten-free, Vegan Mac Uncheddar, I did not hesitate to say, "Yes, please!"

Non-GMO and certified gluten-free, Pastariso describes their lactose free/ dairy free/ gluten free/ soy free product as "authentically cheesy, without the cheese!"

As an ethical vegan, I don't make it a habit of reading nutritional labels. But even after all of these years I still can't stop myself from reading ingredients listings on products I already know to be vegan. In the Mac Uncheddar is something called "fructooligosaccharides," which I couldn't help but to Google. I can't possibly paraphrase, so I'll at least save you the trouble by linking you to this and this. Kinda cool!

The noodle was identifiably gluten-free in that it's texture mimicked al dente semolina. The cheese flavor was mild and I was pleasantly surprised by the significant creaminess of the finished product. It was as rich as any mac, so paired well with my side of vegetables and hot sauce.

Even this gluttonous (not to be confused with glutenous, but that too) nerd was a fan of the whole shebang.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Passover and Easter Festivities Abound

This was another of those whirlwind, interfaith, holiday weekends of fun, frolic, and- let's face it, snacking for me and 89.

In advance of the holidays, I secured some Gone Pie goodies for myself and my co-workers. Behold the elusive peanut butter caramel bunny: resplendent in its vegan, gluten-free, fair-trade glory...complete with a whole peanut in each ear!

Karma rewarded me for my generosity; I received a holiday package that contained a bonus bunny...


and my new favorite Gone Pie item: the cookie cup (not to be confused with Nosy Miss Cookie), which is one of their famous tahini cookies encased in thick, luscious, dark chocolate.

As if I wasn't already off to a great start, a cup of Vegan Treats' incredible speculoos soft serve was delivered to my door: generously coated with chocolate chips.


It may or may not have been (hint: it was) accompanied by one of their soft-baked speculoos cookies: partially coated in speculoos and dipped in chocolate

And then the holidays were upon us.
Passover came first this year.

89 got her own seat at the table, of course. But, while she did partake in matzoh balls* & carrots, it was not at the table.

The festive meal consisted of roasted brussels sprouts, potatoes and onions with horseradish, and the last piece of my Celebration Roast*.

On the first night, I helped 89 find the afikomen. We made a great team because she was much more interested in the matzoh than the money!

Check out these non-vegan macaroons I found at my parents' house trying to be cute. Sorry, macaroons; consuming animal products is NOT cute!


Sweet and Sara's cruelty-free, toasted coconut marshmallows, on the other hand, are extremely cute and delicious. They're a staple at our sedars.


And then we shifted gears for Easter.
89 received a basket full of fruits and vegetables!

Nothing terribly special for breakfast, but 89 expertly handled the pre-rinse of the cream cheese spreader per usual.

This was shortly before she demonstrated why chicks don't make good Easter "gifts;" good thing this one was faux.

A carbstrong Italian meal for Easter dinner.

More Easter-themed presents for 89 bunny.

More Easter-themed presents for me! Vegan Treats candy haul including the coveted betterfinger bar, speculoos bunnys, twin cookie sticks, and chocolate bunny lollipops.

And then 89 decided she was over it all.

Except for her flowery mini-89.

Until next holiday!

* not Kosher for Passover!