darkoshi: (Default)
Silk finally came out with a nutmilk that tastes as good to me as their soymilk - their "Protein Nutmilk". It has added pea protein. It also has added high oleic sunflower oil, giving it 8g of fat per 8oz serving, and which I suspect is what makes it taste better than their other nutmilks, which have 2.5g or less of fat.

The plain version which I tried has, per 8oz:
140 calories
8g fat
6g of sugar
10g of protein
220mg sodium
80mg potassium
45% RDA calcium
25% RDA vitamin D
8% RDA iron

They also have a low-sugar version which has 2g sugar. I haven't tried that one yet.

Normally I buy Silk's organic unsweetened soymilk, which has:
80 calories
4g fat
1g sugar
7g protein
75mg sodium
350mg potassium
30% RDA calcium
30% RDA vitamin D
6% RDA iron
50% RDA vitamin B12
and more of various other vitamins

Given that they both taste about the same good to me, it looks like the soymilk still has overall better numbers.

The flavor and consistency of the protein nutmilk reminds me of the Vitasoy brand soymilk which used to be my favorite until they stopped selling it over here.

Hah!... Vitasoy has had a factory in Ayer, MA since 1998!
So why haven't I seen their American-branded soymilk for sale in like, 10 years? I've only seen their Chinese-brand soymilk that comes in metal cans; the one time I tried that, it didn't taste as good as the previous "American" kind.

Hmmm. This article, Home / Articles / 2005 / New Food Products: Vitasoy Complete
New Food Products: Vitasoy Complete
: says "But faced with a U.S. market that appears to be leaning toward refrigerated products, Vitasoy and also Hain announced in December 2004 they were exiting the U.S. refrigerated soymilk market."

Now that I think about it, maybe I have seen their non-refrigerated product for sale in some places. Or was that Silk's non-refrigerated boxes? Now I'm not sure of my memories. Maybe after Vitasoy hadn't been available for a while, I switched over to Silk, and then even if I saw Vitasoy again, I didn't buy it because the aseptic boxes which don't need refrigeration aren't recyclable here like the refrigerated soymilk boxes are.

Update, 2017/04/16-18:
I've now also tasted the lower-sugar version of Silk's "Protein Nutmilk". It tastes as good to me as the first one did (apparently the first one was also vanilla-flavored, though I didn't really notice). But I have noticed that both of them do have an unusual flavor when drinking them straight, which some people might not like. It's sort of a chalky flavor, maybe from the added calcium or the pea protein. Maybe it is even more pronounced in the lower-sugar version.

But they taste quite good to me mixed with other things, like in a milkshake. And over preserved cherries - the nutmilk curdles into a lovely texture.

I must say, the package labeling on them is confusing. One is labelled "Vanilla" and says "HALF THE SUGAR of dairy milk". The other is labelled "2g sugar per serving". Now based on that, how are you supposed to know which one is the lower sugar one? In the store, I had to check and compare the numbers on the Nutrition Facts labels, to figure it out.


Monday, August 18th, 2014 08:37 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Qiao and I drove to Massachusetts to visit family last week.

The HappyCow App was very useful in helping me find nearby vegan/vegetarian restaurants to stop at for lunch&dinner on the way there and back. I'd highly recommend the app and website for other traveling vegans. (However, the app starts automatically in the background when I turn on my phone, and apparently tries to connect to the internet right away. Why? I don't know. In case you don't like it doing that, you may want to search via the happycow.net website instead of installing the app.)

One highway rest area, in Virgina I believe, had a nice big building. One of the vending machines had oranges in it!

You know how the motels have little soaps and bottles of shampoo and such? One motel also had a packet labeled "Deluxe Vanity Kit". Curious, I opened it. It contained 2 cotton swabs, a cotton ball, and a tiny emery board. Deluxe, indeed.

Another motel had a cute rubber ducky in the bathroom to greet us.

Lately, I've acquired a taste for this "Synergy" line of kombucha drinks. They have a slightly sour flavor like apple cider vinegar, but are also slightly sweet, and naturally effervescent!

tasty things

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013 05:11 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Sweet Riot 70% Dark Chocolate bar with Kickin' Coconut - a nice smooth chocolate bar, not very sweet yet not bitter. I don't generally care much for chocolate-covered coconut bars, but this one has the coconut mixed in with the chocolate, and surprisingly, what I like best is the texture of the coconut in it. Especially good when eaten chilled.

World Market Limoncellino Sorrento-style Soda - refreshingly lemony, with 12% lemon juice. It reminds me of the Bitter-Lemon Schweppes I enjoyed drinking while on vacation when I was a kid. The ingredients don't include quinine, though. (Ingredients: carbonated water, lemon juice from concentrate, cane sugar, natural lemon flavor, citric acid, lemon peel extract, glycerol ester of wood rosin, vitamin C. Distributed by Cost Plus, Inc. Product of Italy.) Oddly, there's no mention of it on the World Market website.

Raw Vegan Blackberry Lemon Lavender Cheesecake (recipe and photos) - unfortunately I haven't had the opportunity to taste this. But it looks SO GOOD! It even has little puffs of frosting/cream on the top! If this were for sale in a store, I'd surely buy it.
darkoshi: (Default)
A few months ago, I came across some tasty-looking recipes for Mohnschnecken, which are similar to cinnamon rolls, but with a poppy-seed filling rather than cinnamon. I remember having eaten them a few times in Germany, and was inspired to make some vegan ones for myself. So I bought 2 cans of ready-made poppy seed filling from the grocery store.

Since then, I haven't felt up to the task of making the rolls, until today. One of the recipes I looked at today mentioned something new to me: a Tangzhong / Water Roux starter. It's simple to make, and is supposed to make the bread/rolls stay moist and fresh longer. I will try it out.

Interestingly, one of my favorite brownie recipes includes something similar to the water roux starter, but it is made with rice flour rather than wheat flour. Those brownies always turn out very chewy and moist.
darkoshi: (Default)
In the past, I've had yummy chocolate-covered oreo-type cookies. I've only come across them (at least vegan ones) on a few occasions. Therefore I was pleased to come across these Oreo Fudge Cremes while grocery shopping. But either my taste has changed, or these are nothing like the ones I had in the past. These are so sweet that I can hardly stand to eat more than one, and they taste more like sugar than chocolate to me. Perhaps that is the difference between being chocolate-covered and being "fudge"-covered. I don't plan to buy these again.

On the other hand, I also came across a new kind of cookie called Newtons Fruit Thins, and on a whim* bought the Cranberry Citrus Oat ones, and the Chocolate Raspberry ones. In spite of these being thin and crispy cookies, which I don't usually care much for, I really like them. They have a heartiness to them, in spite of being crispy. And they aren't too sweet for me.

* I seemed to be under a Cookie Monster spell. I ended up with 10 packages of various kinds of cookies in my shopping cart.


Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 08:33 am
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I was doing the search on persimmon leaf tea, as it was one of several boxes of tea that Forestfen gifted us with. That tea tasted all right, and I was curious as to any medicinal properties of the tea.

One of the other teas she gave us was cerasee tea from Jamaica - cerasee being another name for bitter melon. Now, Qiao can normally stomach just about anything. He drinks extra spicy V-8 juice, and likes super hot sauce on his meals. There are only a couple of food/drink items which he actively dislikes. This tea is now one of them. It is very bitter. Amusingly, the box states "Not only taste Good, it's Good for you". Taste good? When I looked up information on it, every source of information I came across said that cerasee was one of the foulest-tasting concoctions available! The tea made from fresh leaves is supposed to be even more bitter than the packaged dry tea. Myself, I'm able to drink it (having been exposed to other supposedly healthful bitter-tasting teas in my youth), but I agree with Qiao that it doesn't taste good at all.

Cerasee tea is claimed to be good for a lot of conditions including diabetes - but diabetics need to watch out as this tea can also mask blood sugars. I was intrigued by claims of it being used for birth control. It may have been coincidence, but on the couple of times I've drunk the tea now, I've had menstrual spotting soon afterwards.

money, money

Sunday, January 16th, 2011 12:46 pm
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In between 5 different stores, I spent $250 while grocery shopping yesterday! Thankfully, I can afford to spend that much, but the amount still shocks me. When I was a teenager, and my parent's total at the cash register came up to $100, I thought *that* was a lot.

Included were 2 containers of detergent (~$20), 24 rolls of toilet paper (~$20), and a bottle of B12 vitamins ($10). But that still leaves about $200 that I spent on food; food that will last me maybe 3 to 4 weeks, although some items last longer and some shorter.

If I were short on money, there are many items I would have not gotten, or gotten cheaper substitutes for.

However, I now have 2 magnificent mangos, 2 lovely lemons, 2 awesome avocadoes, colorful rainbow chard, green collards, a large cauliflower, a beautiful butternut squash, the makings for pizza, dark-chocolate covered pistachio nuts, cinnamon-vanilla almonds, and other good stuff.

Out of sheer curiosity, I got a bottle of coconut aminos, which is made from the sap of coconut tree blossoms, and is somewhat similar to soy sauce.

Last time I was grocery shopping, I bought some raw cacao butter. I'm going to try to melt it and make vegan white chocolate from it. I'm not aware of any stores here which sell vegan white chocolate.

The snow from last week still hasn't all melted yet.

Money, Money, Money - by patriciaet colette

darkoshi: (Default)
Today, I made a pumpkin-pie cake and some chocolate-chip pumpkin muffins. Now I'm making a spiced pumpkin/corn/bean/peanut stew with tomato sauce, and a beet/pumpkin stir-fry with garlic, ginger, pineapple, and seasoned wheat gluten.

I gave Forestfen 4 cups of pureed pumpkin, and still have 2 cups left over. There's also still a good-sized chunk of fresh pumpkin left.
darkoshi: (Default)
The strand of solar-charged purple Halloween lights I've had since last year haven't been glowing for quite some time, so I took it down from the tree to check it out. After fiddling with it, it does still work, so maybe it just wasn't getting enough sunlight. But several of the bulbs are dead, and the wire connections at the bulbs are very rusty, in spite of them having been covered in some kind of plastic shrink wrap. Those things are not weather-proof.


I had bought a can of "boiled white nuts" at an Oriental grocery. Turns out they are ginkgo nuts. They didn't taste so great straight from the can, but I fried them up with some walnuts, chickpeas, and spices, and the dish is quite good.


Oh, and...! Yay, it's raining! We haven't had but trace amounts of rain in over a month, and my yard was all dried out.


Thursday, August 5th, 2010 09:47 am
darkoshi: (Default)
These are a couple of interesting articles about the history of the sweetener stevia, and how the natural (pure leaf) form is (still?) only approved to be sold in the U.S. as a "dietary (or herbal) supplement" and not as a sweetener, whereas one of the extracts is allowed to be marketed as a sweetener.


darkoshi: (Default)
I didn't know this...

Look for the labels (stickers) stuck on your fruits and veggies (or on the bag):

* A four-digit number means it's conventionally grown.
* A five-digit number beginning with 9 means it's organic.
* A five-digit number beginning with 8 means it's GM.

From here.

2010/02/26: Out of 4 produce items I've looked at, 2 have had the PLU number on them, and 2 haven't. So now I wonder, is it ever required for the PLU number to be shown, or is it optional? More on the PLU numbers here.
darkoshi: (Default)
I've been having difficulty at restaurants lately, even at restaurants at which I haven't had difficulties in the past. Once in a while I order something like a rice or noodle dish, not even considering that they might put egg in it, and then I'm unpleasantly surprised.

Several times lately, at different restaurants, I've ordered a dish which by its description seemed completely vegetarian. But when I tasted it, it tasted like beef fat... perhaps they fried it in the same pan after having made a meat dish, without cleaning the pan out. Or perhaps they used meat on purpose for flavoring. Today I ordered a chinese dish of sauteed greens, which turned out to be baby bok choi... but it smelled and tasted strongly of beef fat. I only ate a few bites, before deciding I didn't want to force myself to eat any more of it. I'm wondering if I'm getting paranoid, or if it really is meat that I'm tasting. Sometimes I've even found bits of meat in my dish.

Even when I get a vegetarian dish, I'm never sure if it's actually vegan. At Indian restaurants, I can avoid the dishes that mention cream or paneer, but for the rest, I don't know if they are cooked with ghee or not. With the last Indian dish I ordered, I asked if it could be made without butter, and they said yes they would do that. But when I got it, it looked likely that it had been made with ghee after all... perhaps Indians don't consider ghee to be butter? When we order breads like naan, maybe those are made with dairy... I never know. I'm afraid to ask, because then there might be hardly anything at all on the menu which I could eat.

When I order vegetable sushi, it usually comes with a mound of wasabi paste. I like wasabi. But the wasabi paste I've seen for sale in stores always has lactose in it; does that mean the stuff in the restaurants which I've been eating isn't vegan either?

Sometimes I order something, and it comes with some kind of creamy looking sauce drizzled over it. Am I really vegan, when I end up eating these kinds of things?

I don't want to have to declare to the waiters at each restaurant I go to, that I'm vegan, and what do they have which I can eat? I don't even expect people to know what "vegan" means, so I'd have to explain what I did and did not eat. But I don't want to have to say or explain anything. I want to be able to just order sauteed greens or lemongrass tofu curry or vegetable fried rice from the menu without having to ask what the ingredients are, and without having to specifically request that the cook clean the pan before cooking my food.

What's the likelihood that someone who orders a vegetable entree is *not* vegetarian? It seems quite unlikely to me. So why would a chef cook a vegetable entree in beef fat or with meat as a flavoring?

nifty things

Sunday, January 10th, 2010 09:06 pm
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I'm tasting a bottle of Swedish "Christmas Soda", Julmust, which I bought at World Market. The flavor is interesting - it tastes a bit like red wine to me (I don't like wine), but pleasant - slightly sweet and spicy instead of sour, slightly bitter, and without an alcoholic taste. It is less sweet than regular soda. The label says it has only 9g sugars per 8 fluid ounces, but 22g carbohydrates. Can that be true? What would the non-sugar carbohydrates be? The ingredients are: carbonated water, sugar, natural color (caramel), natural hops flavours, natural malt flavours (produced from barley), citric acid, flavours (natural and artificial), preservatives (sodium benzoate).
I like cola better, but this is quite drinkable too.

Oh! And it foams like beer when you pour it in a glass!


Another drink I got at World Market is "Glögg". You're supposed to mix it half and half with either water, or water and vodka, rum, or red wine, and heat it. I mixed it with hot water. It tastes like the German Glühwein to me. Unfortunatly, one of the evenings I was drinking it, my throat started feeling scratchy and I ended up coming down with a sore throat and then a cold. So now my mind correlates the drink with unpleasantness, even though the drink most likely had nothing to do with it.


I bought myself a Flossgrip floss holder, as I was getting bothered by having floss wrapped around my fingers, cutting into my skin and fingernails whenever I flossed. The flossgrip is great! You can use your own floss with it, and it reduces the amount of floss you need. You can floss with one hand!


At Halloween-time, I bought a short string of purple solar-powered LED mini-lights at Target (similar to these). I've got them wrapped around a tree branch near my house door, with the solar panel/battery in a nearby hanging basket.

I also bought a crackled glass ball on a spike, with solar-powered LEDs in the glass ball (similar to this). It has multiple colors and cycles through them. It starts shining when it gets dark in the evening and stays lit for a few hours - it only has a double-AA size rechargeable battery in it, charged by a small solar panel. The purple lights have a larger battery and solar panel and stay lit for longer. They are both very pretty and neat.

(no subject)

Thursday, September 17th, 2009 10:01 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
You know how sometimes you'll have some food item sitting in your cupboards or your fridge, and it doesn't seem appetizing for the longest time, and you wonder when you'll ever finally get rid of it... then finally you decide to eat it, and it tastes so good that you think "I should buy some more of this"...?

I had a can of pineapple in my cupboard for a long time. Then I put it in the fridge, thinking that maybe it would be more appealing cold. It was in the fridge a long time. Today I finally felt like eating it. I put it in my pea soup. It tastes good! (Both with and without the soup.) And according to the can, just 2 slices of the pineapple have a whole 25% of the RDA of Vitamin C!

fava beans

Sunday, April 12th, 2009 10:21 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I guess the fresh fava beans I bought must be baby ones. After having shelled the beans, it seemed a waste to discard the pods, so I cut the pods into small pieces and stir-fried them with garlic. They taste good. I didn't need to remove the "waxy" outer shell from the beans either, like several of the cooking sites say to do. I cooked the beans up with some orzo, corn, and coconut milk.

Now I've got 5 minutes to finish eating, exercise, and get ready for bed, in order to be in bed on time. It generally takes about 30 minutes to get ready for bed. What is more important, sleep or exercise?
darkoshi: (Default)
Good vegan chocolates (somewhat expensive, but delicious):


Some Asian/Oriental markets sell various kinds of "mochi" sweets. Mochi is a chewy substance made out of rice flour. The regular mochi sweets - flavored, and with various fillings - are ok, but I discovered one brand (Royal Family) which has chocolate-covered ones. The kind I bought includes chopped almonds and a sesame filling, and they are yummy! They are like chocolate-covered marshmallow confections. Vegan marshmallows are hard to find, and I haven't yet come across any vegan chocolate marshmallow confections, so this is a kind of treat I haven't had since becoming vegan. The mochi texture is thicker and less sweet than marshmallow, but similar enough to do the trick. I covered some other mochi sweets I had bought (with a taro filling) which were just so-so on their own, in chocolate, and they are now yummy too!


I thought I was going to have to buy new shoelaces, as some of my shoes' shoelaces are made out of slippery synthetic fibers which come undone too easily and which don't stay tied. But then I found a simple way of tying the shoelaces differently so that they stay tied better, and they can still be opened just by pulling on the ends like normal.

(no subject)

Monday, February 16th, 2009 12:25 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Sometimes writing things in LJ makes me feel better, as I've gotten whatever it was I wanted to say out of my system. Other times, it results in me feeling anxiety, worrying about how other people may react to what I've written and how they may view me in a negative light as a result of it.

I have a Clif Builder bar and a Clif Mojo bar, which I found out yesterday are part of a voluntary recall due to the peanut thing. I suppose I should throw them away to be on the safe side, but I haven't brought myself to do it yet.

Note to self: Do not cook brown rice with sugar. In fact, don't buy brown rice again. It never ends up tasting very good to me. Or if so, try the long-grain type for a change, even though with the white rice I prefer the short-grain.
darkoshi: (Default)
Finally, good vegan fudgesicles! "So Delicious" brand non-dairy "Kidz" fudge-pops taste like fudgesicles are supposed to taste! Unlike the same company's "fudge bars" which just taste like their (not-so-good) ice cream on a stick, and unlike the others which contain artificial sweeteners. For some reason, So Delicious does not list this product on their website, and the only photo I found of the product was here - amusingly, the reviewer on that page has the opposite opinion from me, of what a fudgsicle should taste like.