Archive for the ‘Artisana’ Category

I’m not an overly dramatic person (must be the residual effects of my tomboy youth…) but I have to say, the lack of candied ginger in ALL the local Whole Foods stores has me freaking out.  I am officially out.  Like Kyle’s chapstick stash, I had back-ups upon back-ups, but they are all depleted now.  Yikes.  Hoarding fail.


It gets worse!  The above photo is the last of my carob chip stash too.  Folks, this is a state of national emergency. 


My pre-packed work eats will just have to do without my beloved ginge. 

More leftover Surprisingly Vegan waffles with frozen bloobs (they thaw by the time I eat/heat it the next day). 


Plus, some Artisana raw cacao bliss nut butter.  For the record, this flavor needs mega kneading before it’s ready to squeeze, but it’s worth the hand exercise.  Mmmmm…


Cherries, apple, dried fruit, yadda yadda. 

Not the best snacks for eating on the go, but the weekends are generally slower paced on the weekends so I pack fewer bars and more fresh fare.


I did have one of my favorite desserts though…easy enough to eat whenever and/or wherever.  Nana’s Oatmeal Raisin cookies are a gift to vegans. 


My salad is admittedly hideous, so for the record, please ignore it’s appearance.  It has huge amounts of avocado and leftover tofu stir-fry on mixed greens


Happy weekend all!  Who else is working?  Who is lounging in the sun for me?


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The art of packing food is my specialty.  Much like making my daily work eats (tutorials here), packing food for traveling is a bit of a craft.  Some may find it easier to buy meals at the airport rather than go through the hassle of taking extra baggage through security.  Personally, I’m not one of those people.  I don’t care if it adds 25 pounds of dead weight that I have to schlep by plane, train, and automobile, for me it’s SO worth the energy.  The cost to benefit analysis probably differs depending on your diet and distance, but knowing I won’t have to pay exorbitant prices for crappy food (with limited vegan options) is worth it.  Peace of mind for a peaceful stomach. 


  • BYOB (tea bags and empty water bottles) – The way I get around the liquid law is filling up my klean kanteen at the fountain (for free) once I’ve made it through airport security.  Also most places will give you free hot water (some charge 25-50 cents).
  • Skip the salt – Flying causes bloating and there’s no reason to add to that.  I don’t know about everyone else, but I already feel gross within a second of boarding a flight.  So I generally try and ditch the pretzels and salted nuts and drink plenty of fluids.  And get an aisle seat 😉
  • Pack way more than you think you’ll need – This is the same as how I pack for work.  If I have too much stuff, fine, it’s not like I have to eat it all in transit.  Having extra bars and snacks is hardly a disaster.  Being hungry and unprepared, on the other hand, is totally miserable and leads to bad choices due to less than stellar options. 
  • Produce produce produce – Is there anything more portable than fruit?  No.  Apples, bananas, etc. are all naturally ready to bring on the go. 
  • Nibble mindfully – Because of time changes, my body never really knows what’s going on and I end up doing more snacking than eating full meals.  Rather than snack the whole trip long, I make sure I am truly hungry and not just bored.  [In other words, bring lots of magazines, books, movies, crosswords, etc. to keep your mind preoccupied so you aren’t using your mouth instead]


Veggies, hummus, bread, nuts, dried fruit, cereal, apples, orange, oat bakes, dark chocolate squares.


Snack central.  Seriously, I have no editing skills.  Just wait ‘til you see everything hidden in that bag:


Probars, Corazona’s, Larabars, Clif bars, Luna bar, KIND bar, Artisana cashew squeeze pack, Attune bar, Love Grown granola, Udi’s granola, dried fruit

And my latest raw obsession too…


kaia foods makes really yummy raw foods including sweet things like granolas, as well as savory things like these sprouted pumpkin seeds


The good news is that I will have plenty of bars leftover to throw in my bag.  So when I’m struggling in Paris, I will have backup options and then some. 


Hummus and dip-ables (carrots, celery, bread).


Produce in zoom.  The salad is pretty much just romaine, carrots, corn, and avocado…with Trader Joe’s faux chicken on top. 


I’ve had these before and they are pretty good.  They remind me of the same “chik’n” that The Veggie Grill makes. 


It’s soy based with vital wheat gluten too.  It comes with some seasoning on it, which lends itself to a Mexican flavored meal.  Hence the Chipotle-salad-esque meal.  


I only kept the soy meat separate for commute purposes…it will be added on top once it’s time to dig into the greens. 

Now about those “oat bakes”…


I decided microwaved “bakes” were a smart portable option instead of oatmeal.  So I turned to Ashley, the queen of breakfast bakes.

The first one I made was a spin on her ba-nilla bake


I have to say, almond extract is quite an interesting ingredient!  I’m going to have to get some of my own soon (my mom shocked me by having it in her cupboard, but I should have known she’d have it).


Where my recipe differs from hers is my grain and milk choices.  I opted for oats instead of buckwheat.  I also skipped the almonds and replaced the almond milk with soy.  Since there was almond extract in the bake already, I decided on soy milk.  I also threw in golden raisins and dried cherries because I think tart dried fruit goes so well with vanilla.  Otherwise, it was pretty much the same recipe.


Mixity mix. 

Ba-nilla Oat Breakfast Bake [serves 1]

*adapted from this recipe

  • 1/4 cup whole rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1T chia seeds or 1 flax egg [1T ground flax meal + 2.5T warm water, whisked] or 1 egg white
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 cup soymilk
  • 1T maple syrup
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1.5 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t almond extract
  • 1/4 t baking powder


Here it is after just 2 minutes in the microwave.


This photo steamed up the camera lens, but you can still see how it’s like a baked good as opposed to a bowl of oats. 


The ease of this is so mind blowing.  Now, I haven’t tasted it yet, but I did lick the spoon, so I am pretty sure it’s going to rock. 

The second “oat bake” I made was my own recipe using up the second half of the banana and whatever I could find in my parents’ kitchen.


Frozen blackberries?  Sure, why not! 


Nuts & Berries Breakfast Oat Bake [serves 1]

  • 1/4 cup whole rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup instant oats
  • 1/4 cup soymilk
  • 1T chia seeds or 1 flax egg [1T ground flax meal + 2.5T warm water, whisked] or 1 egg white
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 T crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1.5 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t baking powder


Once they had cooled I packed them up in tinfoil. 

I’m pretty sure I’m covered in the food department.  Now, hopefully I won’t get to Spain and realize I am missing my toothbrush or something. 


Adios amigos! 

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Imagine a Whole Foods the size of 15 football fields…now imagine browsing it’s aisles for two days straight…now imagine representatives from every product giving your samples of their latest and greatest to try (for free!)…and THAT, my friends, is EXPO WEST.


In other words, hippie heaven.


Friday started bright and early as Kyle and I made our way to Anaheim to register and all that jazz.  And before we knew it, the doors pearly gates opened and BAM!

Instantly we were slammed with people pushing samples at us…nibbles and bites of savory, creamy, sweet, smooth, crunchy, and everything in between.  Nothing like making a breakfast of mini-spoons of peanut butter followed by burritos, naan, soy yogurt, noodle stir fry, and vegan cream cheese!  To be honest, my stomach wasn’t happy (but how could I say no to all these wonderful treats!).


Food for Life had a HUGE booth but I never saw a single representative.  I didn’t see any new products out to display, so I’m assuming their presence was mostly for buyers/customers that didn’t yet have their standard lines.


Of all their products, their sprouted breads and english muffins are my favorite.  The faux chik’n nuggets and veggie burgers aren’t the best.  I still have yet to try their granola or pasta though.


Mary’s Gone Crackers will soon have COOKIES on the shelves.


N’Oatmeal Raisin (without oats) was out for people to try.  Mmmm.

The thing I noticed very quickly about the show was how huge the role of allergies were in all the new product lines.  Gluten free was DEFINTELY this years hot trend.  There were wheat-free options at every turn, and even the most obviously non gluten items (ie pulled pork) had the GF label proudly displayed on every part of their packaging.

While I love this trend of awareness for the gluten free community and those suffering from food allergies, I am leery about the motives behind some of the companies.  It seems that several of them had no idea WHY there was a need for this kind of food in the market.  Rather than research the rationale, they simply went with the buzz word of the moment to get attention on their product.  I suspect these are the companies that won’t have the longest shelf life and come 2012 they will be absent from Expo West.  By contrast, the more responsible companies (ie Enjoy Life Foods) with actual knowledge supporting their motives will continue to thrive.




Chocolate Chip Brownie, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Carrot Cake, and Blueberry Muffin




Of course I had to stop by and say hi to my beloved Alvarado Street Bakery.


Their new line of breads are bigger (as in wider) and look especially fluffy for sprouted breads.  Can’t wait for them to hit the shelves!


Navitas Naturals superfoods


New from Clif Bar…drumroll please…


Coconut Chocolate Chip!!!!




Eat your heart out.


Medjools stuffed with coconut butter and peanut butter.


I’ll take the whole tray thanks.


Artisana repping their delicious, unique, raw nut butter creations!


If I worked for this company I’d be so obese.  Cashini is one of my desert island foods for sure.


Luna and Larry’s organic Coconut Bliss


They are debuting new flavors in 2011, including lunaberry swirl, chocolate walnut brownie, ginger cookie caramel, and mocha maca crunch.  I think it differs for Canadians, but as usual, the entire line of ice cream is non dairy, soy free, gluten free, and vegan.  Holler.


Steaz (I was so obsessed with these back in NYC but then I moved to CA and completely forgot about them!)


They were kind enough to hook me up with a four pack, but accidentally gave me the regular kind as opposed to the zero calorie ones I requested.  Oh well.


Alexia had the grillers on full blast.


Sweet potatoes anyone?


So Delicious was pushing their coconut milk products full blast – coconut ice cream, coconut milk, coconut yogurt, coconut creamer, etc.  And who was there to pimp out the goodies on Saturday???


My fave hard a$$ trainer Jillian Michaels!

Pacific Natural Foods was another company with a display the size of a small country…

Much more than boxed soups!


Look at all those non-dairy options!  Oat, hemp, 7 grain, almond…and the latest to hit the shelves is a CHOCOLATE flavored hemp milk.  Sweet!


Everybody loves Nature’s Path.  I never knew how many different products they had though!  This was a mere fraction of their display.


I only wish Stonyfield had more dairy free items.




Zico debuted the world’s 1st chocolate coconut water.  Uh, blech.


Mrs. May’s is not only a Costco staple (Trio bar love!), but they are the perfect snack for anyone with a food allergy.


Rounds are their new product coming out soon with fruit and nut fillings wrapped in chocolate love.


Baby balls


Had to say hi to my ooey gooey cheesy Daiya friends 🙂  They have a new flavor (Pepper Jack) coming soon!  They were grilling up sammies on one side of the booth…


While offering up vegan mac ‘n cheese and “cheese” pizza on the other end.


Bob’s Red Mill had a rather massive area on the show floor…did you know they have over 400 products!?


Oh and guess what?  I met Bob!!!


While Nana’s isn’t offering any new flavors, they did have Curious George on staff to get kids (and me) excited about their cookie bars.




Justin’s nut butters





Dear Justin, You officially have my heart and soul (and taste buds).

New Gardein goodies!


According to their rep, frozen meals are their best sellers.  I like that their products come in re-sealable bags so you can choose your own portion based on what you are doing with it (salad topping, entree, whatever).  This is especially useful in the packaging of their frozen veggie burger patties, which never seem to avoid frostbite in my experience (I’m looking at you Boca).


I sampled the Mandarin Orange Crispy Chik’n made fresh on the skillet one frozen bag at a time.


Oh ma (faux) chik-a-dees was this good.  Vegan or not, add this to your grocery list stat.

Ozery Baking Inc.


Time for Morning Rounds!


This Canadian company wins the award for cutest product name.


Sunland Peanut Butter



Nasoya’s Super Hummus is basically like the tofummus I made way back when (but far thicker).  They also make a spinach garlic flavor.  I don’t really buy into the whole mega protein thing, but it tasted good, so that’s all that matters.



Given the small percentage of photos I took, and the even smaller percentage I am showing you now, you can imagine the magnitude of the day.  There were THOUSANDS of companies present.  I was in vegan foodie heaven.  I came home with some major loot, which I have already started to make my way through.

Like trick or treating in a Whole Foods – could you fathom anything better?

All in all, the weekend was a huge success – I saw new items that I am thrilled to see hit the shelves and I met people who are changing the way the nation eats.  Vegans have much to look forward to, but then, so do non-vegans as well.  I truly can’t wait for the average market to catch up with the natural foods market, because what I saw at Expo West was more than an explosion of fabulous flavors, companies have the consumer’s health in mind.

What’s your favorite healthy/natural foods company?

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