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Tofurky Italian Sausage

Written by Rogue Valley Vegans on .

Tofurky-Sweet-Italian-Sausage

The leaps forward in vegan cuisine in the last decade have been astounding. So many options are available now, that even the most steadfast omnivore can get a meal they would find delicious, and half the time wouldn't know was vegan unless they were told. Even at parties I am able to bring some killer munchies that often disappear before everything else. However, veganism's toughest battle won't be fought in a restaurant, grocery store, or company party, but in a place that has woven itself into the fabric of our culture: the barbecue.

That's right, the barbecue. Most other places I can almost pass for human, but here I may as well have fallen to earth in a meteor. Tell me if this sounds familiar: hot dogs, burgers, chicken, steak, wings, but more appropriately, cows, pigs and birds skinned and dismembered and laying on the grill. Potato salad with eggs and mayonnaise, pasta salad with salami and parmesan, jello salad with flaccid looking chunks of canned fruit floating in it. The list goes on. If you don't come to the event you're antisocial, and if you do and don't eat anything you're a freak. Up until about 7 years ago, the hot dog and hamburger substitutes were minimal and had room for improvement.

That is until our good friends at Turtle Island invented Tofurkey sausages. Look the hell out. These things are unbelievable. 3 different flavors are currently in the line up including Beer Brats (made with Full Sail Ale), Keilbasa Sausage and Sweet Italian Sausage, my personal favorite. They've got weight, they've got girth (sorry), they grill up nicely, taste great and really fill out a bun. And to reward you for making a healthy, compassionate vegan choice, each dog is organic and has 29 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, compared to 8 grams of protein and 0 grams of fiber in a Jimmy Dean sausage, not to mention the cholesterol, sodium, msg, preservatives, hormones and antibiotics that are along for the ride.

So check these out if you haven't already, and bring some to the next barbeque you're invited to. Guaranteed you'll get some takers, and save a life in the process.

Learn more: Tofurky

Uncle Eddies Vegan Cookies

Written by Rogue Valley Vegans on .

Uncle-Eddies-Trail-Mix-CookieUncle Eddies is a vegan cookie you can brag to your meat and dairy eating friends about! They're soft. They're chewy. They're organic. They come in Chocolate Chip with Walnut, Oatmeal Raisin, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter, Cocoa Spice, Molasses and my personal favorite, Trail Mix. They are so damn good that I have run into my buddy a half dozen times in the store buying them, and he remarked that someone was going to have to do an intervention on him. Plus they have 3 grams of protein per cookie, and I have even used that as an excuse to eat them for breakfast after the gym. I wonder what my mom would say about that...

Not only are these cookies a shining example of vegan deserts, they are of cookies in general. In fact, take them out of the bag at the next party you go to, and when people begin lavishing you with complements on your cookies, you can tell them that they are vegan and that  nobody had to get hurt to make them. Pretty sweet. However, you may want to hoard a few because you know how it is. You bring vegan food to the party and everyone eats it and then there's nothing for you to eat. I guess you better stock up...

Learn more: Uncle Eddies Vegan Cookies

Rainbow Light Vegan Protein Powder

Written by Rogue Valley Vegans on .

RainbowLightProteinPowderAll protein powders are not created equal. Trust me, I’ve tried them all. Whey protein powder is out of the question, not just because it isn’t vegan, but because it is foul. All of the very worst things about milk – pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics – concentrated into a powder. If you are vegetarian, I would seriously rethink this stuff. It is easy to be lured in by it since it has a higher amount of protein per serving, but at what cost? You feed the dairy industry and stomp on your own health at the same time.

Moving on to soy protein. Soy powder is also pretty high in protein content, but also high in phytoestrogens, so its good not to eat it too often. Additionally, it can be difficult to digest, leaving you with a windy backside. So no soy protein. Or “Yo no soy”, as I like to say when I’m feeling multicultural. If you simply must have it, you can mitigate the side effects somewhat with fermented soy protein, just try and stay away from isolates, they’re bad.

Hemp protein, while packed with Omega 3’s and 6’s, is not as high in protein, and doesn’t taste that great. Hazelnut/Brazil nut protein is killer, but expensive. Pea protein rivals whey in protein content, but is often made as an isolate, and has an “acquired taste”. All of these protein powders are great in a smoothie, but if you are looking for something you can slam in a cup and chug you have to look elsewhere.

Rainbow Light to the rescue. Rainbow Light’s Vanilla Protein Energizer gives you 30 grams of rice protein in 2 medium sized scoops, and is packed full of herbs, herbal extracts and vegetable powders (kale, spinach, dandelion, beet). It also contains organic spirulina, is high in fiber, low in fat and flavored with stevia powder to keep the sugar calories down. It dissolves easily, and tastes good. Give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed.

Dave's Killer Bread

Written by Rogue Valley Vegans on .

DavesKillerBread

I was in my local Co-Op grocery store a few years ago and ran across a tiny display with some really stout looking bread, with a logo of a cartoon muscle-bound stoner looking dude playing a guitar. "Dave's Killer Bread" it was called. Far out. I grabbed a loaf, flipped it over, and read the story of Dave Dahl, an ex-con who had done 15 years behind drugs and drug related crimes, and who now had turned his life around and was baking bread. Dave spoke of using his time to exercise, play guitar and really get in touch with himself, and he spoke of the ability of suffering to propel us into awareness. He even had a Gandhi quote on the label: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

I wanted to buy a loaf just to support this guy. I was a former addict and "Denizen of the State" myself, and I remember the hopelessness and desperation of that lifestyle. I also remember the lousy rot-gut food they served in there, and am surprised that everyone doesn't become bakers and chefs when they get out. But what I remember more than anything, is the sense of clarity and liberation I felt when I surrendered. As Dave puts it, life didn't become easy, but it became worth living.

But what really sealed the deal for me was when I read the ingredient list. Not only was Dave's Killer Bread vegan, it was organic and made with sprouted grains and a host of seeds and nuts. Plus it was loaded with protein, which (probably like Dave) I am borderline obsessed with. And of course we are forgetting one important point:

IT TASTES FREAKIN KILLER.
SinDawg
Hence, "Dave's Killer Bread". Dave has 12 varieties of bread when I counted last, in a variety of seed and grain combinations, plus hamburger (veggie burger) buns, a baguette called the "Peace Bomb" and something called the "Sin Dawg" which is quite possibly the greatest cinnamon roll I have tasted in my whole life. Dave supports sustainability, and donates to many charity organizations. 

Rock on, Dave.

Learn More: Dave's Killer Bread

Sunshine Burger - BBQ

Written by Rogue Valley Vegans on .

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In my humble opinion, these are the best vegan burgers available. I love all the flavors, but BBQ is my fav.  Not only are these burgers tasty as hell, they are made of the highest quality ingredients.  No protein isolates, gluten free and delicious!

Ingredients: Organic Barbecue Sunshine Burger: organic cooked brown rice, organic ground raw sunflower kernels, organic pinto beans, organic brown rice syrup, organic onion, organic garlic, organic paprika, organic black pepper, natural smoke flavor, sea salt.

Learn more: Sunshine Burger

Vegan Nutritionist - Brenda Davis

Written by Rogue Valley Vegans on .

BrendaDavis
Brenda Davis is a leading vegan nutritionist.  Not only is she incredibly well versed on vegan nutrition, she went vegan because of her compassion for animals!  Brenda is a well renowned author and her books on the vegetarian, vegan and raw food diet are accessible, informative and a must have for anyone journeying into this lifestyle.  She is an amazing resource as well.  I have been vegan for a long time so I have a good handle on nutrition.  However, I wanted to check in with a professional.  Brenda lives in Canada, but offers long distance consulting.  She sent me a questionnaire to fill out, which was very thorough and targeted issues I was concerned about.  It also included a 3 day food record for her to access my eating habits.  She thoughtfully and carefully read my submission and prepared her findings and evaluation before our phone appointment. She skillfully honed in on what adjustments needed to be made to ensure I was meeting my nutritional requirements based on my caloric intake.  Only small changes needed to be made, but they made all the difference in the world!  Brenda is a joy to talk with.  She is genuine and caring and we are so lucky to have her as a resource!!!

Learn more: Brenda Davis