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back roads and mason jars

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carolina bbq

I Triple-Dog Dare You.

Have you ever bought something because it intrigued you so much, but kind of creeped you out and you were scared to try it?  Maybe if someone dared me – that would be my excuse.  Well, I bought a pack of vegan jerky.   Yes, you read that right – VEGAN jerky.  I didn’t even know there was such a thing!  Now I’ve had the occasional beef jerky, buffalo chicken jerky and even venison from friends, but could a vegan jerky be made with the same texture?  That is the #1 thing that I’m suspect about – not that I’m fond of jerky texture or taste even when I did eat meat.  There’s only one way to know – we are triple-dog-daring ourselves to try it!

Let’s talk about the product itself.  I opted for a brand that had pretty decent reviews already – Louisville Vegan Jerky Co.  It does come in a variety of flavors – Smokey Carolina BBQ, Siracha Maple, Smoked Black Pepper, and Smoked Chipotle.  My personal preference for BBQ is Carolina style with lots of vinegar and mustard so naturally that’s the flavor I chose to experiment with in this review.  In reading the history on the creation of vegan jerky, it appears that it was a mistake (a delicious one they claim) when the creator over cooked his tofu in the oven.  The positives are that the bag is a great source of on-the-go plant protein, only 80 calories per serving, non-gmo, gluten free, and they are still made in small batches with lots of care.

 

So what does it really taste like?  Can soy really taste like beef?  For this review, I had to include my husband who regularly eats jerky since he’s on the road traveling a lot for work.  I haven’t had any in probably 3 years or so.  First off, the storage is a little different.  The product has to be refrigerated after opened, but the package is small so you’d probably eat it in a sitting anyway if you were in a snacky mood.  The jerky isn’t as dry as the traditional counterpart and the evidence of the bold seasoning is left behind on your fingers.  The seasoning was very flavorful and I loved the punch of the vinegar/mustard combo.  My husband felt the texture was pretty close to the traditional, but wasn’t crazy about the flavor.  Maybe a spicier variety would have suited him a little better.  Overall, I think I would purchase this again especially to try other varieties.

Omnivore Rating: 6/10  ~  Wannabe Vegan: 8/10

Bye y’all!

“I had a barbecue stain on my white t-shirt…”

Summer means taking family vacations.  It means spending time with friends and family over food and an ice cold beer.  It means Saturday morning trips to your local farmer’s market.  It means singing your lungs out at an outdoor concert to your favorite artists.  Whether it is with a pool party, lazy beach days or outdoor barbecues, summer is sure to bring out your family, friends and your favorite foods.  This summer I was fortunate enough to discover a brand new product from a friend that inspires me to be a better vegan.

 

During her event, I tasted one of the best vegan products I’ve tried to date.  That product was Morning Star Farms Veggie Pulled Pork.  As soon as I got home from the trip, I immediately started looking at store locations that sold this product.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t available in my small town, but my husband was able to finally find them at our closest Wegman’s.  This is probably one of the easiest products to cook as well.

 

Place your frozen Morning Star Veggie Pulled Pork in your Crock-Pot with a jar of your favorite BBQ sauce.  It really is that simple.  I recommend cooking it on high for about 4 hours.  I used a Carolina style sauce with a punch of vinegar and spice.  You could serve this with all the BBQ sides like baked beans, cole slaw, etc.  We decided to keep dinner simple this night and just serve it alongside some baked Alexia Onion Rings.

Bye y’all!

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