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Category Archive: Product Review

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  1. Ladies, Gentlemen, Mammals of all orders,

    I have a secret to spill:

    GoVeggie! or as I like to call it, Go Veggie Exclamation Point (GVEP), formerly known as Galaxy Nutritional Foods (which never had astronomical imagery as part of its branding, nor was it made on the moon), a switch I wrote about earlier, are the makers of the new vegan cheese products available at Trader Joe’s (a store that is so very good to us). Their new and improved shreds are their shreds, and their new and improved cream cheese is their Not Your Average Tub Of Cream Cheese (which I think should be called Above Average Cream Cheese). How did I find this out? I never kiss and tell! Wait. Yes, I do: some good ol’ fashioned sleuthin’ and um, this blog post.

    To celebrate all the cheesy goodness, GVEP threw a rager last night that was hosted, and when I say hosted, I mean “Hi, how are you, thanks so much for coming, I’m Heather, let me feed your face!” HOSTED by the effervescent energy balls (but pretty), the Spork Sisters, Jenny and Heather. There were people; like Rory Freedman, who has given up cursing (oh, the irony for a Skinny Bitch!) and has a new book called Beg: A Radical New Way Of Regarding Animals coming out on April 23rd. Television’s Jason Wrobel who is waiting to hear if the pilot episode of his Cooking Channel show How To Live To 100 did well enough to get picked-up and in the interim told us all about the importance of Vitamin K2 (which sounds like Scrubbing Bubbles for your heart). And my friend The Insufferable Vegan and I both masquerading as QuarryGirl.

    There was Sporktastic food:

    Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 12.02.34 PM

    Cream Cheese and Olive Tapenade Layered Dip, Mini Mediterranean Pita Pizza Bites, Saffron Scented Arancini with Mushrooms

    There was drink:

    frey wine

    Courtesy Frey Wines— America’s First Organic Winery

    And there was a cooking demo, where I learned pepper is now just called ‘pep’ and a Vita-Mix is a ‘Vity’:


    Heather & Jenny make basil oil!

    And best of all, for one lucky SuperVegan reader (that could be you!) there’s a copy of Spork-Fed, the cookbook any vegan who wants to make Strawberry Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast must own, the cookbook I personally had signed by both sisters just for you, PLUS a coupon for one free GVEP product!

    To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment (make sure to leave an e-mail address!) telling us about the best or worst vegan cheese dish you’ve ever eaten, by Monday at noon, PT. Good luck!

  2. Top to bottom: Renée French, Hazel Newlevant, Ben Snakepit, Liz Prince, and Sam Henderson, a few of the 55 contributors. Buy Digestate here and use code SUPERVEGAN12 for expedited shipping.

    Top to bottom: Renée French, Hazel Newlevant, Ben Snakepit, Liz Prince, and Sam Henderson, a few of the 55 contributors. Buy Digestate here and use code SUPERVEGAN12 for expedited shipping.

    If you’re looking for a great holiday gift, or your books-of-the-year list is a little thin, or if you just like thinking about food and you like to read (which probably covers anyone seeing this blog post!) then Digestate: A Food & Eating Themed Anthology is for you.

    While Digestate is available in some comic book shops, it’s not sold through the big online book stores like Amazon. The best place to buy it is directly from Birdcage Bottom Books. Usually they ship media mail only, but between now and December 25, use the coupon code SUPERVEGAN12 to get it shipped first class for the same price! (I promoted Digestate‘s Kickstarter campaign here back in June; I got my copy for supporting that.)

    Digestate is an anthology featuring 55 comics authors and illustrators. At nearly 300 pages, this is a big book, but quality doesn’t suffer on account of quantity. While the range is wide (fiction and nonfiction, comedy and tragedy; some stories are personal, some more documentary, and some outright surreal), the storytelling and illustration are excellent throughout. Clearly the contributors were genuinely inspired and excited by the concept here. And clearly editor J.T. Yost chose his contributors well!

    If you don’t like a huge portion of what’s in here, you’re probably one of those idiotic ingrates who doesn’t deserve books at all. Or food.

    Yost is a vegan himself, and while there are several other vegan contributors, plenty more are not. Some of the pieces are even defences of eating animal products. But don’t let that put you off, vegan reader. The honesty of the authors (even when they’re ethically misguided) coupled with the high level of the work, gives this book signifiant intellectual and emotional weight which would be missing from a compilation of vegan propaganda and cheerleading. Digestate‘s diversity of perspectives is it’s biggest strength. This book doesn’t try to convert anyone, nor does it preach to the choir—because of its bredth and inclusiveness, it can’t.

    Also, by not having a unified pro-vegan message, this book is going to appeal to a lot more people. Anyone reading it will be forced to think about where our (and other peoples’) food comes from, and that’s never a bad thing. The focus is overwhelmingly on the emotional and ethical aspects of food, how it makes us feel in the mind and soul, and who else is impacted by our food choices.

    In a clever touch, Digestate‘s index indicates the dietary preference of each author: “vegan”, “vegetarian”, “omnivore”, “carnivore”, and some more specific: Ayun Halliday is a “lapsed aquariumatarian, current omnivore”, Dan Piraro is an “ethical vegan (as opposed to ‘health vegan’)”, John Kerschbaum is a “pretzel-enthusiast, etc.”, Lisa Rosalie Eisenberg is an “omnivore who loves soy jerky”.

    A lot of my favorite pieces in here are endorsements of non-vegan eating. And I suppose that’s how it should be: we share the world with non-vegans, and some of them are great storytellers. James Kochalka and K. Thor Jensen and (“omnivore”s alike) both contribute excellent and rather sweet stories about why they eat meat even though they know it’s wrong. “Successful Slaughter!” by Marek Bennet (“temperate woodland omnivore”) was just great storytelling and great comics; you’d have to hate reading to dislike it. And “How to Eat Chicken” by Sophia Weideman (“om-nom-nom-nivore”) is the least vegan thing in the world, but its themes of family, memory, responsibility, care, and love still make it totally affecting. Continue Reading…

  3. Over in our bi-coastal SuperVegan Test Kitchens, we recently tried Galaxy Vegan Shreds, in two “flavors”, Mexican and mozzarella. So here is our Point, Counter Point style review:

    Melting Point, Jason:

    Do these shreds melt? Oh yes. They get good and molten, so feel free to enjoy recreating Mount Doom in your toaster oven like I did:

    In addition to the pizza in that video, I also tried the shreds rolled up in Pillsbury crescent rolls, in mac and cheese, and on cheeseburgers. Worked dandy for all of them. it never got gooey in that way that I think a lot of people like their melted cheese to be. If you want gooey, shop elsewhere.

    Counter Point, Andrea:

    First, that’s not pizza. That is toast with ketchup and cheeese. That’s “pizza,” in a raw-menu-style co-opted way.

    After first, this stuff melts, yes, but it’s 67% Daiya stretchy melt and 33% Tofutti slice oily melt.

    Here’s a still photo of my actual, honest-to-goodness pizza with Trader Joe’s pizza dough, marinara sauce, Galaxy Mozzarella, a bunch of spices (list upon request) and marinated artichoke hearts. I also topped it with some Parmela. It was delicious.

    Match Point, Jason:

    Like when a new computer tablet comes out, the first thing everyone wants to know is how it compares to the iPad. So, how do Galaxy Vegan Shreds compare to Daiya? Well, they’re different. And that’s a good thing!

    Galaxy shreds don’t have much taste. But if you’re as sick as I am of that distinctive aroma-de-Daiya, Galaxy shreds offer a welcome neutral. I couldn’t taste a significant difference between the Mexican and mozzarella; choose Mexican if you want white and orange. Choose mozzarella if you want white.

    The package is resealable, which is a blessing. However, it took me a few weeks after opening it to notice its says to use it within 7 days. It still seemed fine. It’s a lot of cheese to eat in a week. But don’t blame me if you get sick.

    The shreds are cornstarch-based, and soy-free, non-GMO, and hydrogynated-oil-free. And there’s no saturated fat (compared to Daiya’s significant 2g per 1/4 cup serving). Playing amateur food scientist, I’ll assume that this cornstarch is the reason these shreds are so, well, chalky before you melt them. To the point where they’re hard to work with and scatter all over the kitchen counter. The last ingredient is powdered cellulose, “added to prevent caking”. When do you need to worry about cheese caking? When it’s made of cornstarch, apparently! (Or when you’re making cheesecake, haw haw.) Anyway, not a problem when melted, but these are no good uncooked. But who eats uncooked shredded cheese?

    (Galaxy also makes sliced and blocked cheeses, but those are soy based)

    Counter Point, Andrea:

    I already started making the Daiya comparison, jeez, it’s like you’re not even reading this, Jason.

    But I will concede the following points: Galaxy shreds’ cup does not runneth over with flavor(s), the re-sealable packaging is an integral part of a more-than-single-use product lest the company support plastic waste, they last a lot longer than one weeks time (probably thanks to said re-sealableness), I also don’t want to be blamed for any sickness, and they are chalky like my 3rd grade teacher.

    I disagree, however, that not having taste is a positive. This is a bad quality in both food and people. I could discern a slight difference in the two flavors, but I wish it was more than slight. A touch even. And I’m all for labeling flavors by colors, as seen by Slurpee’s “Blue” and/or “Red,” but those color-flavors have totally distinct tastes. And while white and yellow might not be that different on the color spectrum, they are on the cheese map. Cheeses are like people, each one has their specialty– things they should or should not be used for. I think the good people of Mexico would take umbrage with the monicker. And sick of Daiya or not, that is one thing they definitely have going for them– their newer flavors have their own flavor profiles; from the pepperjack to all the different wedge cheeses. And that’s what we want, right? Simulacrums of the things Regs eat? Unless you didn’t even like cheese in your pre-Vegan days, in which case all your arguments are moot. Awwww, snap.

    In conclusion, we both agree that this new Galaxy line is leaps and bounds above their previous ones, a great option, and that you should try it for yourselves. To help, and in honor of Vegan Pizza Day this Saturday, the fine folks at Galaxy are giving away product coupons to three lucky readers! All you have to do is leave a comment (make sure you enter an email address so we can contact you if you win!) below and tell us what you’re gonna do with your bag of cheeese! Winners will be chosen on Friday and the rest of you can print coupons HERE.

  4. Like a cute piece of jewelry or if you’re a hipster, a fedora, but for your food and tasty!

    I’m talking about a new and exciting product called Parmela. It is a glass bottle (yes, that’s right, I said glass!) full of Vegan parmesan cheeese! It is good. So good that I’ve dumped it by the truckload on two meals in one day. I’ve tried it on pasta (YUM), I’ve tried it on garlic bread (YUM) and I’ve tried it on soup (YUM) and it was YUM to the third power.

    It’s also the mouth-child of a couple of lovely locals that I can’t say enough nice things about, so I won’t say any.
    Made from almonds, cashews, nutritional yeast, fermented soybean, soy sauce and veg. lactic acid, this stuff is leaps and bounds above a dash of nutritional yeast on it’s own or that stuff I used to use in the cardboard tube. It’s got a depth of flavor that previous subs have lacked. When the bottle is empty, which, at this rate, might be as early as tomorrow, I will wash and refill it with my salty salty tears.

    Try it and let me know what you think, K? I especially want to hear about some creative, non-obvious uses. Request it at your local Whole Foods, and in the meantime, here’s a list of all the stores that carry Parmela.

    In Southern California:
    Figueroa Produce Market in Los Angeles
    Locali in Hollywood
    Viva La Vegan in Rancho Cucamonga
    Grassroots Natural Market in South Pasadena
    Pacific Coast Greens in Malibu
    Beach Health Tree Natural Foods in Long Beach
    Irvine Ranch Market in Costa Mesa
    Follow Your Heart in Canoga Park -coming soon

    In Northern California:
    Never Felt Better in Sacramento, CA

    New Frontiers Natural Marketplace in Prescott, AZ
    Four Seasons Natural Foods in Saratoga, NY
    Sidecar For Pigs Peace in Seattle, WA
    Central Coop in Seattle, WA
    Nooch Vegan Market Denver, CO
    Eco-licious in Charlotte, NC – coming soon
    Foodtown in Cedar Grove, NJ
    Foodtown in North Haledon, NJ
    Basil Bandwagon in Flemington, NJ
    Food Fight! Grocery in Portland, OR
    Vegan Freak in Denton, TX online store

    PS- According to The Flavor Bible, my new favorite book, here’s a list of things that go with parmesan (meats excluded): basil, fava beans, dates, fennel, figs, stone fruits, garlic, grapes, melon, mushrooms, olive oil, pasta, pears, pizza, risottos, thyme, balsamic vinegar, and walnuts

  5. Are your eyes as tired from reading all these posts as my body was from canvassing probably 50% of The Expo? Well, we’re almost there. Just gotta tie up all the loose odds & ends, in this, the final chapter– MISCELLANEOUS YUMS.


    Earth Balance Coconut Spread

    I was not going to try this stuff, cause really, when you’re in Candyland, who needs a piece of toast with butter? I also had it in my head, for unknown reasons, that it would be sweet, so it was just pure gluttony that landed this sample in my mouth. What a pleasant surprise! Perhaps it’s because it had been out instead of in the fridge like I keep my marg, but it was super spready, extra extra salty, and not really coconutey at all. It was high on yums. I feel compelled to hunt down a tub as soon as the one I’m currently working my way through runs dry. It also says it’s great for baking and cooking, and I like to eat baked and cooked foods, so, bonus!


    Vegenaise is not new, you balk! No, it’s not, but their new line of flavored mayos and sauces are and holy wows were they good. New products include: Horseradish Sauce, Tartar Sauce, Roasted Garlic Vegenaise, Barbecue Vegenaise, Chipotle Vegenaise and Pesto Vegenaise. The chipotle and the pesto were particularly awesome and I love anything horseradish. Figure out something to make with these and get some immediately. Or, just put stop at your local Pommes Frite shoppe on your way home and slather ’em up.

    Food For Lovers

    So in Chapter One, I told you about the Quesos and hinted at more to come. Here is the more: Country Gravy (which they were not sampling) and Chipotle Mayo (which they were)! Last year the lovers had one product and this year they had four! They’ve been busy and I’d like to thank them for it. The mayo was great and I’m dying to try the gravy. I mean, it’s white. Where I come from, gravy is brown, so I’m going to have to look into this. They say these two should be available soon, and most likely in all the same places the Queso is already in. I just looked at my calendar for “soon” and I didn’t find it. Could it be tomorrow please?

    Green Garbanzo Hummus

    I’d like to apologize in advance for my lack of information about this product. All I can say is that I was in a food coma by the time I got to here– where ever here was. I thought I grabbed some literature on it, but I guess I didn’t. And my internet search results for ‘Pure Nature Green Garbanzo Hummus’ came up with squat. But I swear, this stuff was real, as witnessed by the photo I took of it. Granted that tub was empty, but I swear I had like three samples, It was that good. So if you see it, and you trust me even though I’m totally failing you right now, I’d say buy it. I mean, life is an adventure and we like green things.

    Nordic Naturals

    The first two rooms of the Expo are dedicated to supplements. I usually high-tail it through to the foods. But this year, someone pointed out to me while zooming past the Nordic Naturals booth, that they had a Vegan Omega-3. Apparently a few companies do, but I only paused at this one (long enough to get a free bottle). Everybody’s always going on and on about Omega-3s and their Fish Oil. Blech. I’m not a fan of supplements, as I think they are too potent for your body to be able to absorb much of it, you pee most of it out, and your kidneys don’t appreciate it. But if they’re going out of their way to make a Vegan version AND they’re handing me a free bottle (a $49.95 value!) — what the heck (see above re: adventure). Unfortunately, I got the liquid form as they didn’t have any of the soft gels, but freebies can’t be choosers. Made from micro-algae, it claims it’s supposed to support normal vision, heart health, positive mood, immunity, and the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response but I only started taking it yesterday so, so far all I can report is this: the suggested dosage is 1.5ml, but the dropper only goes up to 1ml, so you have to do one full plunge and then figure out how to get a half of one. Annoying. Also, it doesn’t taste like any lemon I’ve ever had.

    And then they lived happily ever after. THE END.