Monday, June 4, 2007

Testing, Testing...

I haven’t abandoned my blog...just been very busy with moving stuff. Things are going well and we don’t have that much left to do now...hurrah!! I will hopefully have a little more time this week to catch up with everyone else’s blogs as I have missed reading them lately.

For some reason lately we’ve tried quite a few new foody things...well new to us at least. Here’s how we got on.
These are Sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichokes). I simply roasted them with a little salt and pepper as per Madhur Jaffrey’s advice in World Vegetarian. She says that they taste similar to parsnips which I love, but I was quite disappointed to find that they tasted more like white turnips...the only veggie my Mum had to force me to eat when I was a kid (yes Mum I am still moaning about it!). So they're not going to become a favourite in this household!
These are brown rice tortillas from Trader Joe’s. According to the packet you can use them any way you can use a wheat tortilla. I started off making burritos but the tortillas were so dry I couldn’t do anything more than roll them. I figured I would make them into enchiladas instead so that I could add sauce to keep them from drying out any further. However while I set about making sauce, the tortillas dried up so much they ended up like this...
Oh dear. I won’t be buying these again...they ended up in the bin.
These are Wee G’s new favourite thing. They are creamy orange “ice cream” bars from So Delicious and they are really good! They are just as they say on the box...orangey and creamy...and only 80 calories each! We have four boxes in the freezer right now so that Wee G can OD on them before we leave and he will probably never get them again...aaaw. Visit here for some money off coupons.

More riceness...in the form of crackers this time. These are MY new favourite thing! They are super crunchy and a little salty and a great wee snack! I just eat them as they are, but I guess you could put stuff on them if you liked. My favourites are the Tamari ones, but I’ve also tried the Sesame ones and they are really good too.

I got this raw vegan cheesecake free in WholeFoods one day. I didn’t really expect it to be all that good, but it was rich, creamy and without the “clawy” texture of regular cheesecake. It was sweeter than I expected and I loved the coconut base. I would definitely eat it again if I was given it for free, but I’m not sure I would part with seven bucks for it...:)
A while back we visited Garden Wok Chinese restaurant and for dessert I got cherry choc chip ice cream. Wee G was pretty impressed with it and when he spotted this Double Rainbow ice cream in Trader Joe’s he was really hoping it was the same one. Well, we took it home and tested it out and it certainly seems to be the same one...yay! There are tons of cherries (many whole ones) in this and a generous amount of choc chips too...yum!
This is a pack of Guava Paste Rolls, something I had never heard of till I saw them in Trader Joe’s. These are basically sugar with a bit of a guava taste to them. They are very, very sweet. I couldn’t eat more than three packets at once... only kidding! One (roll, not packet) is enough and they are tiny! Here’s a close up of the sparkly sugariness...
This is Pinjur sauce I bought in Trader Joe’s (pictured on some fritatta). It’s a Macedonian sauce made from roasted eggplants (aubergines), pepper, onions and spices. It tasted quite similar to a smoky salsa and didn’t seem to have much eggplant in it even though it’s supposed to be the main ingredient. We ate it as a condiment on some veggie burgers, but it can be used in sauces too.
And lastly these are some atulfo mangoes which I bought because I thought they were a slightly cooler shape than regular mangoes. There was definitely more stone than flesh in these, but they were more fragrant and delicious than any mango I’ve eaten before. I added some to a tempeh stir fry and the rest were eaten with pancakes...mmmmm!!!

Have a great week!

26 comments:

laura jesser said...

What a lot of interesting finds! I'm sorry that the Jerusalem artichokes didn't work out for you... I understand, I'm not big on turnips either. And the brown rice tortillas--that has happened to me before, too! The cheesecake and the cherry chocolate chip ice cream both look fabulous. Hmm, I've never noticed that brand of ice cream before but I'd love to try it! I hope moving continues to go smoothly, and I know you'll be back to blogging regularly when you can! Take care!

Okra Mary said...

I've had bad luck with the TJ's tortillas and wraps. I've found my favorite to be sun dried tomato...but I tried a whole grain one last time and it ended up in the trash. It was too dry to even fold.

Johanna said...

wow that is impressive list of foods for someone packing up home! Not a speck of dust or cardboard boxes in sight (which are the horrors moving house conjures up for me). Love the look of the chocolate cheesecake and the icecream! Hope the moving is going well and that you get your fill of interesting LA foods before you leave town.

urban vegan said...

I'm going shopping with you next time--you find the nost inique things.

Let me know when you're a bona-fide Scottish vegan again, and I'll put up a link to your blog under European Vegans.

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

the cap'n and i just picked up one of those mangoes tonight at the grocery store.

i was already excited to try it out and test out the difference, but now i can't wait til morning! ;)

best of luck with the move. may it be smooth-going and stress-free (i loathe moving, m'self)

Carrie™ said...

Wow, what a full post. The cheesecake really caught my eye (big surprise). I don't think I'd pay $7 either, but how on earth did you get it for free? I've never had sunchokes and from your description, I doubt I'll be running out to get some anytime soon. Same with those tortillas. What a waste & they seemed to hold such promise. I'm going to look for that ice cream. Sometimes I have a very hard time finding things in Canada, but you do have that brand, so I'm hoping.

Carrie™ said...

I didn't proof-read. I meant WE have that brand in Canada. I'll check it out for sure. Cherry chocolate chip sounds frickin' amazing!

springsandwells said...

Oooh what a fun post - full of neat new goodies. I love product reviews! Those Brown Rice tortillas look like a real drag. I'm glad you suffered through that for all of us.

I always buy the Traders Joes Homemade Tortillas & I LOVE them. I've never had any trouble with them.

I'm planning a Non-Dairy Ice Cream Sunday event for the end of July, and hopefully we'll have the Double Rainbow Soy Cream flavors there. That cherry chocolate sounds good!

Brooke said...

Okay, I am totally going to TJ's today to find some of your new goodies! And I definitely plan on staying away from the brown rice wraps. I do like their regular handmade flour tortillas, though, but I think they have honey in them. Boo! :-(

Vegyogini said...

I'm a Trader Joe's devotee and I recognized a lot of items from this post! After my first bag of their brown rice tortillas, I decided I'd never buy them again, but...then they started to grow on me. Granted, I have never tried to use them in a traditional tortilla way. I usually just eat them plain with some fruit or cubed baked tofu. Oh, and sticking them in the microwave for 30 seconds helps, too. The soy cherry chocolate chip ice cream is one of my favorites...yum! The soy ice cream bars are really good, too. :) I'll miss your L.A. posts, but I'm looking forward to the Scottish ones! Happy and safe moving!

scottishvegan said...

laura, I’d never noticed that ice cream either...I think Wee G has an eagle eye for that sort of thing!

Okra Mary, I’ve never seen sun dried tomato ones in TJ’s...they sound good!

Johanna, all the photos are close ups so that you can’t see the chaos going on roundabout!!

urban vegan, I will be a proper Scottish vegan in only 2 weeks!!! Wooot!

don’t get mad get vegan, I hope you liked the mango and I didn’t make it sound too amazing and you end up disappointed...

Carrie, one of the staff started talking to me and I told him I am a vegan so he told me about the cheesecake and said it was really yummy. Then he said I could try it for free, so how could I refuse?!!

springsandwells, A Non-Dairy Ice Cream Sunday event sounds awesome...I want to go to one!!

Brooke, hope you picked up some yummy stuff at TJ’s...definitely keep away from the brown rice tortillas!!

Vegyogini, I have become a bit of a Trader Joe’s devotee since moving here too and I will definitely miss it! I will be taking home my reusable TJ’s bags though so I can reminisce while I am shopping in Scotland! I still have some leftover tortillas in the freezer, but I got rid of my microwave already so I can’t try heating them up in that...ah well.

aTxVegn said...

How exciting that your moving day is nearing! I had an enchilada crackup like that the last time I made them. It's so disappointing.
I've tried those rice crackers and I love them too. As much as I love Whole Foods, I would die for a TJ's!

KleoPatra said...

Oh wow, does that all look scrumptious. Even the dried out tortillas...

i buy those So Delicious "ice cream" bars and LOVE them. They remind me of the "Creamsicles" or "Dreamsicles" i had when i was a kid. Very much like "the real thing" but no animals were harmed or harrassed in the making of THESE. Thank goodness for Trader Joe's, with these!

Hello! Your Jerusalem Artichokes are lookin' good. i have never had 'em...

It's so funny to read your "clawy" description of cheezcake 'cause that's exactly why i was never a fan of 'em as a kid and still have a weird "relationship" with them even now. i might have to try this one tho... it's soundin' pretty fabulous.

Mangoes with pancakes, 'eh? What a super idea!!!

Kati said...

hehehe "nude foods" - that cheesecake looks excellent! Alas, prepared raw foods like that are pretty expensive. I've had the same issue with brown rice tortillas - they always seem to be very dry. My favorite tortillas are called "Fat Flush" and they're made with sprouted grains. Very delicious.

Good luck with packing and moving! I will be engaged in the same activities in a few short months (ugh)...

scottishvegan said...

atxvegn, I am going to miss TJ’s so much when I move! Maybe one day they will expand and open one in Scotland...!!

kleopatra, I think Wee G likes the So Delicious bars because they are like creamsicles too! Perhaps you would like the cheesecake too...I was never much of a fan of the regular one either and I really liked this one.

kati, I’ve never heard of fat flush tortillas...what a funny name! I hope your move goes well too...I am glad ours will be over quite soon!

bazu said...

I'm glad your packing is going well! Thanks also for all the food reviews- I'm ashamed to say I haven't tried any of those things! Even though I don't love the taste of cooked turnips, I'm still willing to give sunchokes a try, though... maybe cooked differently? Oh, and those orangecicles looks so good right now. Perfect for summer

Vivacious Vegan said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! You're killing me here with the TJ's finds. I miss TJ's so much. We were able to stock up on a couple of favorites during our visit to CA recently but it's just not enough and not the same.

I'm going to look for that ice cream the next time I'm at Wild Oats. Better yet, I'm going to try to make it in the ice cream maker I just ordered from ebay.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Those artichokes look wonderful, but based on your review I am not sure they will be our home either. My mom use to do the same thing to me. EAT YOUR TURNIPS! To this day I really don't care for them.

Bummer about your tortillas. Maybe you have to keep a damp towel over them like you do with filo dough.

Those soy delicious bars are heavenly. I love 50 50 bars and now I can have dairy free ones!

Boy that cheesecake is making my mouth water. I might have to think about getting one of those. :o)

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

wow, you found some cool stuff. I really like Jerusalem artichokes, and haven't had them for a while. I'd LOVE to find some of those orange cream bars...

KathyF said...

Seven dollars?!!!

Doesn't sound so bad when converted to pounds. I'd happily pay £3.50 for such a treat, but the chances of finding anything like that here are nil.

Jackie said...

Thought you would like to know another Scottish Vegan just popped in to my blog and I gave her your blog address. Judith has a brand new blog and is from the Isle of Skye.
http://veganspirit.blogspot.com/

Judith MacCaellich-Young said...

Jerusalem artichokes only taste like parsnips or neeps when they are young, after that, well yes, white turnips if you are lucky...
They are very common here in France, and make a nice change once in a while!
Your pictures of easily found veg*n food is making my mouth water here in the heart of meat eating France!
JudyMac

Kumudha said...

I love shopping at TJ's and whole foods market...

They have great vegan products.

It is so easy to be a vegan in United States...

Gaia said...

I'm a bit jealous of all the cool stuff you get to try and taste... lucky you ! LOL

vko said...

Happy Packing & Moving!! You must be so tired & excited at the same time.

Well, looks like those Soy Delicious bars will get you through it. I just found Soy Delicious Chocolate & Peanut Butter- I love it more than Purely Decadent or any other vegan ice cream.

Will be exciting to read you when you are home in Scotland. Looking forward to it!

laura jesser said...

I know you're super busy... I hope the move is going well! Blessings!