Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Best Thing I Ate This Month That Wasn't A Veggie Burger...

Were these vegan cheeses from the new Dr. Cow VEGAN CHEESE SHOP in Brooklyn
(This is why I love NYC - where else would you find an entire shop devoted to selling vegan cheese???)


I'd tried one or two of these cheeses before, purchased at a natural foods store in the city - but this was my first time visiting the shop, which I had been dying to do since I heard about it earlier this month. It was so exciting to see the case full of all these nut-based cheeses! Since I decided a couple years ago to try avoiding dairy for health reasons, I have missed cheese more than anything else. Non-dairy ice cream is easy to find these days, but a whole spread of different cheeses like this is not... The shop also had some other snacks and desserts for sale, but I was focused on the cheeses.

They're a bit pricey, but I picked two small chunks to take home and enjoy: cashew-tomato, and smoked-tea-cashew. I tried samples of a couple others in the store, including one with blue-algae which was intriguing.


The cashew-tomato was smooth, like a mild cheddar, while the smoked-tea was a stronger, sharper flavor. I loved them both - plain or on crackers. The only problem was they disappeared too quickly, so I will have to save up my money to go back for more...

Dr. Cow
93 South 6th street
Brooklyn, NY 11249

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Help the Cinnamon Snail Food Truck keep serving mind-blowingly delicous vegan food!

Fellow veggie burger lovers, here is your chance to do some good and show the Cinnamon Snail Food Truck how much you appreciate their friendly faces and fantastic food.


The Cinnamon Snail has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to purchase a new truck, since their trusty old truck has been plagued by mechanical difficulties that prevent the Snail from being out on the streets serving their award-winning food as often as they should. They need to raise a lot of money for this, and they only have one week left to do so.

If you've ever eaten any of the Cinnamon Snail's food before, you know how fortunate we are to have a food truck like this in NYC! If you haven't had the chance to try their amazing menu yet, let me tell you that they offer one of my favorite veggie burgers which I reviewed HERE.


In addition to a second veggie burger, rotating specials that often include even more veggie burgers, and a number of equally stunning vegan sandwiches.

And did I mention the donuts?


The most creative, delicious donuts you will ever eat - whether you are a vegan or not! They have so many inventive flavors - including my personal favorite, a bourbon creme brulee donut, which is nothing short of orgasmic!

Please check out their Kickstarter page HERE and consider helping them out! The world really is a better place with food trucks like the Cinnamon Snail in it, and they do so much good for the NY/NJ area (including donating food to victims of Hurricane Sandy after that tragedy). If you still need an extra incentive to donate, check out the list of rewards they are offering for different donation levels!

But please consider returning the love that the Snail has shown our community, and help them keep cooking such amazing vegan food!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Cookbook Giveaway! Fillet of Soul: Afro Vegan

Sometimes my YumVeggieBurger inbox is full of junk mail and spam.  Sometimes I get cool letters from people who like the blog and want to recommend a new veggie burger for me to try (thank you!).  And one time, I got an email asking if I would be interested in doing a giveaway on my blog for a new vegan cookbook.

Why not?
So here's a chance for one of my lovely readers to win a copy of Wheeler Del Torro's new book Fillet of Soul: AfroVegan.  Because Wheeler Del Torro is generous, and you guys are awesome.

Although it doesn't include a veggie burger, this is a pretty impressive collection of recipes and stories ranging from French to African (two cuisines I am not very familiar with at all! So it was exciting to look through all the recipes for new but delicious-sounding dishes).

I tried the recipe for Peanut Soup because I'd had a peanut soup from a restaurant in NYC a few months ago, and have been meaning to learn how to make it ever since.  I was a little bit nervous at first at the amount of peanut butter and cayenne pepper this recipe calls for - but it all came together and created one incredibly rich, creamy soup with a nice spicy kick that was not too overpowering (that said, I like spicy foods - so consider reducing the cayenne to 1 tsp if you prefer things milder!).  The sweet potatoes add a nice earthiness to the flavor as well.

peanut soup

So if you want to win a FREE copy of this cookbook for yourself (who wouldn't, honestly?), you can enter by using the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

EDIT: The giveaway has now ended, congrats to Janet, the randomly-selected winner!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


You know how sometimes you come across something that’s so cool you just want to eagerly share it with everyone? That’s how I feel about neat. I had already heard Bianca of Vegan Crunk rave about neat after her visit to the Seattle VegFest– so I was super excited to try this new nut and grain-based “healthy replacement for meat” when neat sent me a few packs to try out!

First of all, just admire how clever this product is: It’s a mix in a bag – all you have to do is add water and eggs (or vegan egg replacements), and voilĂ  – dinner! (or lunch, actually, in my case). It’s soy-free, gluten-free, and vegan if you cook it with vegan egg replancements.


I halved the recipe, since 4 burgers is a bit much for one person! I used a regular egg, since I’m a vegetarian – but I’m going to have to get my hands on some vegan egg-replacements to see how well it works with those too.


I was nervous about how liquid the mixture seemed after I mixed it all together – the instructions said to form into patties, but instead, I just scraped the batter into the frying pan as if I was making thick pancakes.


The instructions didn’t mention whether to fry it in oil or not – so I tried one patty with oil, and one without (both on non-stick pans). Both worked fine.


They cook quickly, so keep an eye on them! And the egg makes them expand, so don’t worry if they look small to start. Still feeling like I was making pancakes, I flipped the patty over to cook the other side.


Mine didn’t look exactly like the photo on the package, but it smelled good, so I was excited to taste it. I had some whole wheat rolls on hand, so I did a simple burger with just mayo and tomatoes for toppings.


And how did it taste? Great! I was surprised at how much delicious flavor was packed into that mix. neat is made from pecans, garbanzo beans, gluten-free whole grain oats, and cornmeal. And although it looks like a fine powder when you start mixing it, once it cooks up in the frying pan, it actually gets a really nice texture – very much like a crumbly, ground meat!


I felt like I had just done a magic trick, making a tasty burger like this from a powdered mix in a bag! And I love how versatile it is – you could add any seasonings you like, and cook it in any shape or form you desire. neat also sent me samples of their Italian and Mexican seasoned mixes, so I’m excited to try it out for meatballs and tacos next.


With how easy it is to make, and how quickly it cooks, I think this would be an awesome product to bring on camping trips! While you couldn’t cook the burger patties on a grill (too soft), neat would fry up really well in a pan over a campfire. And with four servings per bag, this 5.5 oz package would hardly add any weight to your backpack. I will definitely report back once the weather is warm enough for some backpacking trips this summer!

You can order neat online – but I was pleased to see that there are some local stores in NYC and my own neighborhood of Astoria that also carry this product: Natural Frontier Market in Manhattan, and Broadway Natural in Astoria (neat’s representative told me they recommend calling ahead to make sure neat is in stock though).

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
neat - a healthy replacement for meat
price: As previously stated, I received a complimentary sample of these from neat. On their website, a package of neat (4 servings per package) sells for $4.99.

YumVeggieBurger review #129

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pure Food and Wine

I’ve wanted to try Pure Food and Wine’s veggie burger for awhile, so I was delighted to finally have a chance to stop in for lunch one day (Note: The veggie burger is only on the lunch menu, not the dinner menu!).

The restaurant has a beautiful, relaxing interior that’s fancy but not pretentious. It looks like they have a garden seating area out back, which would be lovely when the weather gets a bit warmer!


While most of the food here is raw cuisine, the portabella and hemp seed burger is served on sprouted manna bread, which the menu points out is “neither raw nor gluten-free”. So I realized I was not getting the full raw food experience by ordering the burger, but I was still looking forward to something healthy and delicious.

I hate to say it, but that side salad was probably one of the worst I've ever had - I swear it was dressed with nothing but oil, no other seasonings at all. So literally just oily lettuce with some cilantro. Sad.

My first thought was that the burger looked smaller than I had expected – it appears to be stacked quite tall, but it’s not very wide. The bun was very thick and dense, full of grains and maybe seeds, with a nice nutty flavor – but it was hard to even wrap my mouth around it, it was so thick! And it was even too tough to cut with a knife.


The patty was dark and earthy – I’m not a mushroom fan, but I sometimes make an exception for portabellas. Luckily, this patty was not too strongly mushroom-flavored; I could tell the portabella was blended in there somewhere, but there were other flavors too. It was rather mushy. I could not decide if I actually liked the overall flavor or not – it was certainly unlike any other burger I have eaten, even though I have eaten several other raw burgers over the past few years.

Now you get a sense of scale!

The toppings were the best part. The soft lapsang souchong tea smoked cashew cheese was nice and sharp, and went well with the caraway kraut, pickled pink onions, and mustard. Very creative!

Overall though, the bun and the patty were not as stellar as I had hoped for, given Pure Food and Wine’s reputation (many people have raved about the food here!), and the price of the burger ($15). Maybe I should come back and try something other than the veggie burger, since I’ve apparently been spoiled by too many amazing veggie burgers at this point!

Cost: $15
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Burger patty: 3       Bun: 3      Toppings: 4

Pure Food and Wine
54 Irving Pl
between 18th & 17th Street
New York, NY 10003
Takeout also available from One Lucky Duck – 125 ½ E 17th Street

YumVeggieBurger review #128

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Veggie Burgers in the News: Engineering Students Create Perfect Veggie Burger

Wow, this is cool:
Engineering Students Have Dedicated Their Brainpower To Creating The Perfect Veggie Burger  (via

It's got yellow beets in it, which is something I have not seen in a veggie burger before - and it's vegan!

These are students at a university in Sweden, but we can always hope they'll bring their creation over the Atlantic so us Americans can try it too! (or maybe MIT students here will decide to compete with them, and make their own "perfect" veggie burger? An epic engineering battle of the veggie burgers??? yes please!)