Tag Archives: chocolate

My Raw Vegan Pilgrimage to Pure Food and Wine

Pure Food and Wine
Pure Food and Wine
Pure Food and Wine
Pure Food and Wine

I’ve been a fan of One Lucky Duck and Pure Food and Wine for years, ever since I discovered raw food-ism. There is a high-end, gourmet feel to their brand, and I think it’s well deserved. I’ve ordered from the site and visited the takeout bar a bunch of times, but I finally made it to PF&W this past weekend.

I always had an excuse for not going, it was too expensive or I didn’t plan well enough to make a reservation in time, but after their brief hiatus earlier this year, I made it a point to get there ASAP.

Pure Food and Wine Garden
Pure Food and Wine Garden

It was a bit chilly when I got there, but I asked if I could sit in the garden. The hostess was super nice and said of course, and gave me a choice of seats. It was just after 2pm and there were a few tables of people, but it was very quiet and peaceful.

Pure Food and Wine Corner Seat
My Corner Seat

The garden area was beautiful. The plants and trees were a nice little oasis in the city and I can only imagine how gorgeous it must be at night with the lighting they have.

Pure Food and Wine
Pure Food and Wine

I was glad it wasn’t crowded because I had the opportunity to take pictures without disturbing anyone and really got to enjoy the atmosphere. The wait staff were really helpful and attentive. Right away my server asked if I had any questions about the food.  I asked for tea mid-meal and they brought me a menu and tea within minutes. I also added some to-go items which my server helped pick.

Tea - Indian White
Tea – Indian White
Spicy Sesame Salad
Spicy Sesame Salad

I ordered the Spicy Sesame Salad (shredded cabbage, beets, jicama, daikon, cashew, sesame crunch, wasabi aioli), Mint Sundae
(chocolate, fresh mint, and mint chip ice creams, mint chocolate cookies, chocolate sauce, vanilla cream), a pot of Indian White tea, and a Mallomar (chocolate coated pecan cookie with vanilla cream) and Moon Pie (chocolate brownie vanilla cream sandwich) to go.

Honestly, I came for the mint sundae. Pictures don’t do it justice. I almost didn’t order it because I read a yelp review that said it wasn’t that great, but I’m glad I didn’t listen. It was amazing.

Mint Sundae
Mint Sundae

The spicy sesame salad was also really good. I got a salad because I was pretty hungry and I knew how filling the salads were. I was afraid if I got one of the smaller entrees I’d still be hungry, but now I’m kind of regretting not trying something more fun. I did like the Mediterranean Salad (arugula, kale, kalamata olives, tomatoes, pumpkin seed macadamia parmesan, balsamic vinaigrette) that I got another time at the take out bar a little bit better than the Spicy Sesame because of the kalamata olives and the parmesan, but both were huge and really filling.

Mediterranean Salad
Mediterranean Salad

I ordered a Mallomar to go because they are incredible, but I should’ve just eaten it while I was there because it was crushed by the time I got on the train. I still ate every single drop. To be fair, the server recommended the Chocolate Caramel Bar (chocolate dipped pecan caramel bar) because it would hold up better, bit I’m a sucker for the Mallomar. The Moon Pie held up perfectly. I got it for my mom and she raved about it. They look pretty small, but they’re really rich and it is the perfect amount.

Smushed Mallomar
Smushed Mallomar
Mallomar
Mallomar Not Smushed
Moon Pie
Moon Pie
Moon Pie
Moon Pie
Chocolate Caramel Bar
Chocolate Caramel Bar
Pure Food and Wine Garden
Pure Food and Wine Garden

I can’t wait to go back!

NuZest Vegan Protein {Review}

NuZest Clean Lean Protein
I’m a bit of a sucker for vegan protein powders. I started with whey (yuck) before I was vegan because I thought I needed more protein and kind of fell for the “healthy” marketing. Now, I realize that I get enough protein in my regular diet, but I like to make shakes for breakfast because they’re delicious and keep me full for a while. I also like to add a few scoops of protein powder to homemade pancakes and waffles to bump up the protein we eat at breakfast. And of course it makes me feel like I’m being healthier when I make a mug cake and use protein in place of regular flour.

My usual go to protein was always Sun Warrior, but I’ve also branched out to Vega, Orgain Organic (gotta make sure you get the plant based one because they also have whey ones), and other hemp and soy powders that I don’t remember the brand names of.

I recently got a few free samples of NuZest, a new (to the US) soy free, dairy free, GMO free, and gluten free protein powder. I was really excited to try these, and I wanted to try them in the different ways I usually use protein powder.

strawberry

Texture

I mixed the strawberry and cappuccino in a shaker cup (on two different days, not together), and they are by far the smoothest powders I’ve ever had. Actually, I’ve never had a protein powder that I could just shake and drink, usually I shake it and then whisk it to get the clumps out. This was totally smooth. I made the chocolate in a blender with peanut butter and frozen bananas and obviously had no issues with clumping or it being gritty.

I used the vanilla in a mug cake and it wasn’t gritty at all. It fluffed up just like normal flour would.

mugCakeIngredients


mugCake1mugCake

Taste

The strawberry tasted like strawberry milk but without the overly sweet, fake strawberry flavor. I was both nervous and excited for that one and purposely tried it with just almond milk in a shaker. I was pleasantly surprised.

I was really looking forward to the cappuccino one because I haven’t had coffee at all this year, and I kind of miss the flavor. It was good but not as strong as I was hoping for. I did dilute it more than the directions said though, so that was probably my own fault. I used 16oz of cashew milk instead of 12oz.

The vanilla was also good. It kind of had a super sweet vanilla flavor (but not bad) similar to other vanilla protein powders. It was awesome in a mug cake with chocolate chips.

I made the chocolate in a blender with peanut butter and frozen bananas. Somehow I missed taking a picture (probably because it was so good and I just wanted to drink it all), and it was delicious.

Ingredients and Nutrition

The ingredients are probably the most important part (along with taste) and they all seem to check out. There aren’t any weird ingredients, artificial colors, or flavors. There’s barely any measured sugar (0g in the plain, and 0.17g in the chocolate).and it gets it’s sweetness from Thaumatin, a protein from an African fruit. (I only looked it up because they were definitely sweet, but no sugar is listed in the ingredients anywhere.)

nutrition

There are between 90-100 calories in a serving and between 20-22 grams of protein, which is pretty good for a vegan protein. There are less than 2 carbs in a serving, and a very small amount of  fat less than .5g. Sodium is a little higher than similar proteins, but nothing too crazy.

amino profile

I don’t know a lot about Amino Acid profiles, but I know that it can be difficult to make sure you get the right combination. This protein has all 9 Essential Amino Acids , plus 9 others.

Price

It’s definitely one of the higher end vegan protein powders available, but it’s about the same price ($45 for 500g) that  I started buying Sun Warrior when I first found it. Hopefully, after it’s been out for a while, the price will come down a bit. It’s definitely a good buy for the ingredients (and lack of crappy ingredients), the taste, and the texture.

Weekend Update: Birthday Edition

Saturday was my birthday and yesterday was my government birthday*. The celebrations started on Thursday with a trip to Vegan Treats in Bethlehem, about 2 hours away.

Vegan Treats display case
Vegan Treats display case

We got a chocolate encased chocolate chip cheesecake on a stick, a soft serve ice cream cone, 2 cannolis to take home, and a cannoli cake for Saturday. The cheesecake was good, it was very rich and a bit too sweet for me…not that it stopped me from eating it.

Chocolate Encased Chocolate Chip Cheesecake (on a stick)
Chocolate Encased Chocolate Chip Cheesecake (on a stick)

The soft serve was blueberry cheesecake swirl and it was AMAZING. It was probably the best soft serve (dairy or non) that I’ve ever had. I kept saying “this is SO good!” despite all of my husband’s massive eye rolls.

Blueberry Cheese Cake Swirl
Blueberry Cheese Cake Swirl

We ate the cannolis later that night (yes we gorged on sugar that day), and they reminded me of getting pizza and cannolis on Saturday nights from this Italian restauant as a kid. We’d stop every night after dance class, and while we wouldn’t *always* get cannolis, it was probably my favorite part. I like the plain ones better as opposed to the chocolate dipped ones, but they were both to die for. I think I actually started eating healthier when I became vegan because the sheer amount of crap wasn’t as easily available. I’m pretty glad Vegan Treats is 2 hours away, otherwise I’d probably be 20 lbs heavier, and a lot poorer.

Cannolis
Cannolis

My parents came down for the weekend to visit. I made mock lobster rolls for dinner on Friday, and my mom’s favorite enchilladas on Saturday. (Speaking of my mother, the 27th marked her 1 year vegan anniversary! She had blood work done from WellnessFX, and her cholesterol levels are now awesome!) We had the cannoli cake for dessert and it was great. I was a little nervous at first because I used to fall for all the pretty cakes in the glass display at the local diner, but they never had any flavor, they just tasted like sugar.

Cannoli Cake from Vegan Treats
Cannoli Cake from Vegan Treats

This one was pretty and it was tasty. The chocolate was moist and rich, and the cannoli cream was slightly tart. It probably could’ve had a little less frosting on the outside, but once again, I ate it with no complaints.

Cannoli Cake from Vegan Treats
Cannoli Cake from Vegan Treats

My husband ordered me chocolates from premiumchocolatiers.com, and I have love/hate feelings about it. He got me 3 packs of No-No’s (both plain and “peanot butter”), 6 chocolate bars (2 dark, 2 milk(less), 2 white), and 3 packs of peanot butter cups. Everything is delicious (yes, I’ve tried a little bit of everything), but the peanot butter cups taste almost identical to Reeses cups, except more flavorful. I love the taste, but oh my goodness I have zero self control. Just knowing the stuff is in the fridge is torture.

Vegan Candy
Vegan Candy

Oh a slightly healthier note, I did Jillian Michael’s Yoga Inferno level 1 this past week, and thought it was pretty good. Not going to lie, I kind of skipped the cardio parts, and just went into a deeper stretch, but I was sore for the next few days, which is always a good thing.

I’m also thinking about starting the Whole30 in a few weeks. I generally eat pretty healthy, but I need to kick this newly found sugar habit. If anyone has any tips, especially for vegan meals, I’d love to hear them. I think my plan is to find a few basic meals and repeat them 4 times or so.

(*The day I was actually born on is not the same day the SSA/IRS says I was born on, and they refuse to change it. So two birthdays for me!!!)