back roads and mason jars

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follow your heart

a vegan breakfast

One of my favorite breakfast items is quiche especially one with broccoli and cheese.  Yum!  Since I eliminated eggs from my diet sometime in the summer, I have missed this weekend treat more than I realized.  Thankfully Follow Your Heart understood my dilemma and actually created VEGAN EGGS!  I received a sample of this new product at a vegetarian festival, but I have seen them available in a few grocery stores like Wegman’s, Kroger and Whole Foods as well as online at Vegan Essentials or Amazon.  Since I didn’t have enough vegan eggs to make a quiche, I chose to keep it simple with this vegan breakfast.

So before I review the vegan egg, let’s compare to the traditional counterpart.  As you can see below, Follow Your Heart has created a healthier alternative that is 100% cruelty free.  Now keep in mind that this is not an egg replacer for baking – it is made to replace actual eggs.

Egg Vegan Egg
Calories 78 40
Fat 5 g 1.5 g
Cholesterol 187 mg 0 mg
Total Carbs .6 g 4 g
Fiber 0 g 4 g
Sugar .6 g 0 g
Protein 6 g 1 g


To make vegan scrambled eggs, simply add 1/2 a cup of ice cold water to 2 tablespoons of the eggs-watermarkvegan egg and whisk thoroughly.  The instructions stated that you could make fluffier eggs by mixing in a blender, but I just opted for a whisk this time.  I was very skeptical of this vegan egg concept but I tried to remain optimistic as I started scrambling.  The vegan egg took longer to cook than the traditional egg and I was a little unsure of when they were actually fully cooked.  The eggs were strangely realistic and definitely tasted like eggs.  As they cooled, they did harden into one large scrambled egg so eat it up fast!  I will be purchasing these again and making a quiche very soon!

Wannabe Vegan: 8/10  |  Omnivore: 7/10

bacon-watermarkBreakfast wouldn’t be complete without bacon!  I have tried 2 other vegan bacon alternatives and haven’t been blown away yet.  You can’t really replicate bacon – can you?  I heard positive reviews on Sweet Earth’s Benevolent Bacon so we decided to give it a try.  This product also wasn’t frozen like the other products I’ve tried.  My house quickly filled with the aroma of bacon as soon as the bacon hit the pan.  The bacon didn’t get crispy like some other products I have tried and I’m on the crunchy bacon team.  That was the first strike.  Strike two was that the product seemed to be extra greasy unnecessarily.  Strike three was the taste.  It was far from bacon.  We were not too impressed with the texture or flavor.  Below is a comparison to traditional bacon.

Bacon Benevolent Bacon
Calories 90 90
Fat 6.6 g 3.5 g
Cholesterol 18 mg 0 mg
Total Carbs .1 g 6 g
Fiber 0 g 1 g
Sugar 0 g 1 g
Protein 6 g 10 g

Wannabe Vegan: 2/10  |  Omnivore: 2/10

Bye y’all!

are you scared? part 6

What’s stopping you from being vegetarian or vegan?

This week is the last post in this mini-series and it’s a doozy!  Check out the previous posts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.

But cheese! How can I live without cheese?!

As I am writing this post, I am still consuming cheese a few meals a week.  I am limiting my cheese intake and working on eliminating it from my diet completely.  This is usually the one factor that keeps vegetarians from converting to veganism.  It is the one factor stopping me as well.  Even limiting my cheese has been a drastic change.  I was the person that could have only cheese and a few crackers for dinner and be completely satisfied.  I love a cheese plate.  I stopped eating meat relatively painlessly but cheese has been tricky.  There aren’t many products that you can create or purchase that truly replicate cheese 100%.  However, after some extensive research, regrettable purchases and some ah-ha! moments, I have found some not only suitable replacements for cheese, but some amazing cheese!  Below I will talk about the different cheese products available on the market to save you the heartache.

Daiya Cheddar and Jalapeno Havarti

Daiya – Daiya is a Canadian based company that provides vegan cheese products in the form of shreds, blocks, slices, cream cheese, pizza, mac and cheese and even cheesecake!  The shreds are available in Classic, Mozzarella, Cheddar and Pepper Jack – add on top of tacos or pizza.  Slices are sold in flavors like Cheddar, Provolone, and Swiss – great for any sandwich. The cream cheese comes in Plain, Strawberry and Onion and Chive – delicious on toasted bagel.  Cheese blocks are available in Jalapeno Havarti, Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Smoked Gouda – perfect for any cheese plate.  The cream cheese and blocks are my favorite items by Daiya that I have tried.  I am able to find these products in the Natural section of most grocery stores.  Daiya also has several options for frozen pizza, cheesecake, yogurt and mac and cheese.

Tofutti Cream Cheese & Sour Cream/Daiya Strawberry Cream Cheese

Tofutti – Tofutti offers a limited selection of products, but don’t let that fool you!  They do offer Ricotta, cream cheese, sour cream and sliced cheese.  Sour cream was also a frequent condiment that I used so Tofutti saved me with their product.  It is very affordable and I can even find it in my small town.  Cream cheese is available in Plain, Herbs & Chive, French Onion and Garlic & Herb.  Traditional plastic wrapped cheese is available in American and Mozzarella to satisfy that classic grilled cheese fix.

Kite Hill Truffle Dill & Chive

Kite Hill – This is an almond milk based cheese that is cultured in a similar way as traditional cheese.  Kite Hill is a Whole Foods exclusive product as of right now.  I am telling you from experience that it is worth the drive or trip just for their products.  They offer artisinal cheeses, yogurts, cream cheese and ravioli.  Their cheese spreads are flavorful and can rival any traditional cheese spread.  The spreads are available in Original, Truffle Dill  & Chive, Soft Ripened (like Brie) and Ricotta.  They also offer cream cheese in Plain and Chive.  There are two flavor options for ravioli as well – Mushroom Ricotta and Spinach Ricotta.


Chao Creamy Original, Tomato Cayenne and Coconut Herb/Follow Your Heart Provolone and Pepper Jack

Chao by Field Roast – Field Roast is a gold standard in their meat as well as their cheese slices.  In my opinion, they are by far the best cheese slice product that I have tried thus far.  They are currently available in three flavors – Creamy Original, Coconut Herb and Tomato Cayenne.  All three flavors are perfect raw on top of crackers or melted in a grilled cheese and a bowl tomato soup.


Follow Your Heart Shredded Parmesan/Go Veggie Grated Parmesan

Follow Your Heart – Follow Your Heart was formed in 1970 in California as a grocery store and restaurant with an extensive product line including salad dressing, mayonnaise and cheese.  Their slices and blocks are available in Pepper Jack, Smoked Gouda, Garden Herb, Mozzarella, Provolone,  and American.  Shredded cheese is available on Pizzeria, Cheddar, Mozzarella and Fiesta Blend.  The coolest product that they have is Parmesan – available grated and shredded.  This is the perfect accompaniment to pizza, pasta or our house favorite – Mushroom Fries (Sliced mushrooms sprinkled with Parmesan and baked until crispy).

Trader Joe’s Mozzarella Shreds

There are plenty more brands of vegan cheese products on the market including Go Veggie and even store brands like Trader Joe’s.  While vegan cheese products can be quite expensive especially for the really good ones, there are alternatives that are affordable.  While I have been able to find some of these products in stores, you can also order them and have them shipped directly to your door!  I recommend Vegan Essentials since it provides so many vegan products all in one place and affordable pricing.

Bye y’all!

i dip. you dip. we dip.

Since I have never had a sweet tooth, I crave salty snacks like chips, pretzels and of course, the dips that go with them.  There are so many dips that you probably enjoy now that are naturally vegan like salsa, bean dip and – oh my! – guacamole!  It is so easy to make almost any dip vegan by just making a few substitutions.  Today I will share my take on a super easy and fast recipe that has quickly become my favorite.

  Vegan Spinach & Artichoke Dip


10 oz bag of frozen spinach (thawed – yields approximately 1 cup)

12 oz jar of quartered artichokes in water, drained

8 oz of Tofutti plain cream cheese

1/4 cup of Tofutti sour cream

1/4 cup of Just Mayo

1/3 cup of Go Veggie Grated Parmesan

1/4 tsp of Salt

1/4 tsp of Pepper

1/2 tsp of Garlic Powder

1/4 cup of Follow Your Heart Shredded Parmesan (optional)


  1. Thaw the spinach.  While that is thawing, go ahead and prep the rest of the ingredients.  Drain the artichokes and chop into smaller pieces.
  2. Put the thawed spinach and chopped artichokes into a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the cream cheese in the microwave for about 15 seconds at a time while stirring in between cooking intervals.  Once melted completely, add the sour cream, mayo, grated Parmesan, salt, pepper and garlic.  Stir until combined.
  4. Drain your cooked spinach and artichokes and add them to your cream cheese mixture.  Mix until fully combined.

Your dip is done!  I like to serve mine with tortilla chips, carrot sticks and sugar snap peas.


If you want to take it up a notch, place your finished dip from above in a baking dish.  Top with Follow Your Heart Shredded Parmesan and broil until brown and bubbly!


Now you are ready for a quick dip to take to your next event whether it is a work potluck or tailgating at your favorite stadium!  To keep it warm, just put the dip in a small crock pot to serve with little effort.

Bye y’all!

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