Saturday, February 6, 2016

In My Cart Reviews: The Vegetarian Edition

Sooo I'm going to try to do more In My Cart reviews in 2016. Once a month (hopefully) I'll have a handful of non-book items that I've tried out to share with yall. And for February it's the....Vegetarian Edition!

I've been a vegetarian for like 18 years now. I'm not a crazy strict one (I do have jello now and again for example) but as the years have passed I've tried to become a more conscientious vegetarian. There are a lot of products many just wouldn't realize aren't really vegetarian friendly. Thankfully for me as the years have gone by more and more companies have started making alternative products for those who want to be a little more diligent.

For those that aren't totally familiar with vegetarianism in general we don't eat products where an animal has been killed to produce it. But eggs, dairy, honey are okay. You have to be careful though. Not all cheese are actually vegetarian friendly. Same goes for sugar and foods containing gelatin and some dressings. Which can really make things difficult. So a few items I wanted to share today. :D

Product: Dandies Marshmallows

Why it's needed: Traditional marshmallows contain gelatin which is made from animal by-product.

Where To Buy: Website | Store Locator

What I thought: 

Well. First. They were very easy to find. There were 13 stores in my area that sold them. I headed to Whole Foods. And found them on sale. Score! And the packaging is freaking adorable. I'm a sucker for cute and that would get me even if I wasn't a vegetarian. lol Now. How were they? Well. I used them to make s'mores dip for my book club Christmas party. I used THIS recipe. They're pretty tasty! They're dense and have a nice flavor. They really seems just like regular marshmallows. They didn't melt exactly like the originals but they're doable. I do wish they had the mini ones in our area so I could try those out. They just have large ones here unfortunately.

Product: Cabot Block Cheese

Why it's needed: Many cheeses contain animal rennet. Cabot uses rennet from plants.

Where To Buy: Website | Store Locator

What I thought: 

I love Cabot Cheese. It comes in a number of varieties. Cheddar (mostly) as well as Mozzarella and Colby, Monterey Jack, Muenster and a few others. The bar cheese are pretty easy to find though the shredded versions aren't available in my area. For the bar form I get mine at Harris Teeter but have also found it at Walmart, Publix and I believe Kroger as well. It's a little pricier than store brands or large cheese retailers but for me it's worth it. I tend to wait for sales and get two for $5 and store it up. It's actually a really great company. It's all small family farms, the animals are treated well (they even have a staff that just do surprise farm inspections) and they really seem to care about what they do. Their cheeses and factories are also Kosher which is nice. Most are also gluten free. I've been pretty pleased. On occasion the cheese is a little crumbly but from what I've read that isn't too big of a deal and it doesn't affect the cooking or taste. Two thumbs up from me. 

Product: Horizon Organic Cheese

Why it's needed: Many cheeses contain animal rennet. Horizon uses rennet from plants.

Where To Buy: Website | Store Locator

What I thought: 

Like the Cabot I love Horizon Cheese. While I buy Cabot for it's block cheese Horizon provides the other forms of cheese I like. Shredded, Slices and Sticks. I've really liked both the shreds and slices. They're fairly easy to find--Harris Teeter, Kroger--and have a nice variety of flavors as well. They're a little expensive. $3.99 (on sale) to $5.99 per bag. But it's tasty and worth the cost for me. The company uses family farms and is entirely organic. I've been pleased so far. The sticks aren't quite my thing. For some reason the flavor on those for me isn't quite right but the shreds and slices...noms. Oh and they do some fun snack shape ones. Squares and triangles and such to go on crackers. Love those. They do a lot of nice products, actually. Their milk and sour cream is all tasty (though I drink mostly soy or nut based milk these days). 

Product: Annie's Worcestershire Sauce

Why it's needed: Traditional Worcestershire Sauce contains anchovies

Where To Buy: Website | Store Locator

What I thought:  

I've eaten Annie's Mac & Cheese for ages (and yum!) but had no idea about their Worcestershire Sauce until just recently. In my mission to be a more ethical vegetarian I've been trying to find alternatives to some of the products I've let slide by over the years and this was one of them. I was pretty excited to see this because one of my favorite dishes contains Worcestershire Sauce but, you know, little fishes. This was a bit more difficult to find. Only one store in my area sells it (Publix) and it's pretty dang expensive. For a small bottle it was $5.99. So expensive but do-able if it's important to you. Actual use? Couldn't tell any difference between this an regular sauce. I made my favorite Green Bean Casserole with it this last time and it was perfect. Definitely recommended. 
Have you tried any of these products?
Any vegetarians out there? Do you have favorite alternative products? Tell me about em!


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