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I wanted to send a quick update with some exciting new vegan products at Whole Foods! I can’t wait to try all of these!
Have you tried them? Leave me a review my email or in the comments and I might feature it on the blog!
Daiya Vegan Pizzas!
I heard the new Daiya pizzas come in three styles, but my Whole Foods only had one in stock. They’re gluten and soy-free. I haven’t tried them yet!
Daiya Cheese Slices
These new cheese slices come in 3 varieties: swiss, provolone, and cheddar. If they’re anything like Daiya’s other cheeses, I’m sure they are fantastic!
Chicken strips that taste very much like real chicken! Three varieties were available at my Whole Foods: lightly seasoned, grilled, and southwest style.
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Bon has been my favorite restaurant experience of all time. I’ll explain my experience, then let my pictures show you how amazing this place is. I made reservations (they’re required since the food takes a few days to prepare) using my Visa Signature free concierge service, since I don’t speak Japanese (yet!).
The restaurant is located on a side street, that is a little difficult to get to using their directions. Google has the correct address, so be prepared with directions before heading off.
Address: Japan, Tokyo, Taito, Ryusen, １丁目２−１１
The great thing about Bon is that you get your own private room for dinner. The floor has heated mats for comfort as well. The restaurant is traditional so you must take off your shoes upon entry. We were the only customers this night and we had a beautiful room with a view of the garden.
The food was so tasty and was the best food I’ve ever eaten in my life. The food is a type of shojin ryori with Chinese influence. You order your set meal while making your reservation. The owners were dressed in kimonos and really gave us an experience we will never forget. The price of the dinner can be considered expensive for some, but it was well worth the experience!
Check out the menu on Bon’s website:
Our private room:
Our menu for the evening:
Pictures of the food courses in no particular order:
Pictures outside of our room:
And, the best part of all was that I proposed to Elton at Bon! The meal and experience was amazing, and after the meal I had a fiancé! I cannot wait to go back to Bon next time I’m in Tokyo!
Make sure you subscribe to see more of my experiences in Japan!
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Traveling to Japan? Scared you won’t be able to find vegan food? Japan is full of convenience stores that have a lot of vegan options. Chances are that your hotel will be within walking distance of a few!
Some of the top chains are:
There are many vegan food items in these convenience stores. Since you probably can’t read Japanese, just look for these foods:
Mochi with Soy Sauce Glaze on Stick – So yummy! Sweet and Savory
There’s plenty of other things you can find in these convenience stores, like rice, mochi, miso soup, potato chips, tofu, udon, etc. Besides finding some cheap sake and whiskey, these stores have soda, beer, and some very good cold teas.
If you have other suggestions, let me know in the comments and I’ll list them here!
In the frozen section of your local Trader Joe’s you’ve probably come across the vegan “Meatless Meatballs.” They cost under $4 and are a great addition to pasta and have a variety of other uses, like meatball sandwiches or a topping for pizza.
The first time I tried these, I assumed they would hold together well and put them right into the sauce. That is not advisable! They fell apart and I had a meat sauce instead! Make sure you pan fry them or bake them so they stay together. I’ve probably never had them come out with same toughness as a meatball should but I think they hold up okay. The main reason I buy them is because they taste really good.
If you have some suggestions for how you cook these so they’re a bit tougher, let me know in the comments!
Here are a few pictures of the different ways I’ve used Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs:
Nasoya has recently come out with a reformulation of their mayonnaise vegan alternative, Nayonaise. I liked the original Nayonaise and was excited to try out the newly formulated version of the product.
The first difference you notice is the packaging. It looks fresh and now includes the word “vegan,” which is good to see. There are two versions: a regular Nayonaise and a new Nayowhipped. So, you’re probably wondering which one should you try.
I choose Nayonaise over Vegenaise due to the calories. Nayowhipped comes in at 40 calories per tbsp compared with 90 calories per tbsp in Vegenaise. This reformulated version of Nayonaise has 5 calories more than it used to have, but isn’t a big difference.
I can definitely taste the different between Nayonaise and Nayowhipped. The taste of Nayowhipped is about the same as it was before but the texture is lighter because it’s whipped. The new Nayonaise has more of a natural flavor whereas the whipped has the same tang that I think Nayonaise is known for. I like both, but I think the new Nayonaise is better.
Another reason I like Nayonaise is that it’s great for salad dressings. I’ve made a few of my own dressings, but Nasoya also has a few salad dressing recipes on their website. One that I’d like to try is the Creamy Italian Dressing, found here: link.
Overall, I think the product is an improvement and I will continue to buy Nayonaise. I think I’ll go with the original over the whipped.
Nasoya and Vegetarian Times are doing a promotion right now where you can win some nice prizes by telling them about your “vegiversary,” the day you went vegan. Check it out here:
Let me know if you’ve tried the newly formulated Nayonaise and what you thought about it in the comments!
Loving Hut – Tokyo
Website in English and Japanese:
I’ve been to many Loving Hut Locations, NYC, Paris, and Toronto to name a few, so I was excited to try the Loving Hut in Tokyo. I was unsure what to expect since some Loving Huts are pretty small, like in NYC, or larger and more full service, like in Toronto.
This Loving Hut location is pretty small, so don’t plan on coming here for a romantic dinner. It’s a very clean restaurant that is great for a quick lunch or a cheap dinner. The staff is friendly. I’m pretty sure there was one person there who spoke English and I think it’s cash only. I liked this Loving Hut a lot.
Be careful when trying to go here, since their hours might be difficult to find on their website. They are open for lunch Monday-Friday 11am-3pm Wednesday-Friday and Sunday for dinner from 5pm-9pm.
The restaurant is on the second floor, so make sure you look up when turing the corner. You can see if from the main road.
If you’re lucky, you’ll see their lunch box delivery truck!
I went to Loving Hut on two separate occasions for lunch. The lunch is very affordable and they give great portions. See the pictures above! The lunch boxes are prepared before hand and if you’re interested in eating in, they will heat them up for you. The dinning area is small, so there’s a small chance you might need to wait for a table. We were able to sit both times with no issues. The box contained a seitan or soy based chicken, on both occasions, and some other sides. I was happy to see that the box changed based on the day and what they had available. It was very good!
Above are pictures of the menu. I wanted to try everything, but this was my last night in Tokyo so I wasn’t able to try them all!
Loving Hut does not serve alcohol, but there are some good non-alcoholic items on the menu. After seeing the desserts on this menu, I had to try one!
Above is the vegan ramen and was new on Loving Hut menu. I have to admit, I think it was on par or maybe even better than T T Tan’s in Tokyo Station!
Above are pictures of the fish sandwich platter. I liked that it came with a variety of items, but the sandwich was a bit small. There was a small dessert dish that was tofu based and very good. This platter was satisfying, but I loved the ramen much more!
Last, was dessert. This was to die for! I highly recommend the chocolate cheesecake!
I didn’t know Supreme Master had authored books. They’re pretty outdated and sort of funny to read while enjoying lunch.
I’d definitely suggest Loving Hut for both lunch and dinner. I thought the food was satisfying and the service was great. I will definitely be back once I return to Tokyo!
Make sure to check out my other restaurant reviews and subscribe to see my other posts about great vegan food in Japan!
Vegan cheese company, Daiya, has announced on Facebook that their line of vegan cheeses will be growing. They haven’t told customers about their plans but posted the above picture on their timeline. Daiya is sampling at the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York this week and I had a chance to talk to them to find out what new products they will be releasing. I was told the new product will be a line of vegan pizza, cream cheese, and cheese slices.
Vegans are sure to be pleased at the new lineup of products!
Update: Daiya announces new cheese slices
Update 2: Daiya announces Cream Cheese Style Spreads
Update 3: Daiya Announces Pizzas!
Daiya also said they expect these new products to be in stores sometime this spring. No word on pricing just yet. I can’t wait to try them!
The 6th annual NYC Veggie Pride Parade will take place in Greenwich Village/Union Square, on Sunday, March 24, 2013. I’ve been to this event every year and always have a really good time!
Parade participants are encouraged to dress up in costumes and wear sign boards announcing their pride in their vegan lifestyle. Local restaurants, veg groups, and veg everything will be represented with banners and chants. The parade will include animal-rights activists, environmentalists, and people simply concerned with their health. On March 24, 2013, all will come together with one voice, one expression, of veggie pride.
The procession will begin at 12 Noon, sharp, in the Old Meat Packing District (where 9th Ave. & Gansevoort St. intersect). It will culminate in a festival for all to enjoy at the north end of Union Square Park. There, revelers of all persuasions will hear well-known vegan speakers and music by vegan artists. They’ll all partake in free vegan food and explore a wide variety of exhibitor presentations. At 2 p.m., a costume contest will take place.
Throughout the day, individuals will be encouraged to speak their mind at the Soapbox Testimonial Station. Other activists will beckon passersby to receive a dollar in return for watching a pro-veg video.
Organizer Pamela Rice feels confident that this year’s parade will be the best ever. Ms. Rice said, “I’m hoping that at this event people will see vegans and vegetarians come out of the shadows, once and for all.”
Visit www.veggieprideparade.org for more information about every aspect of the event.
You can also invite your friends to the event by sharing this page or using the Facebook Event Page here.
Some Flickr photos from people who have attended in the past:
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Much has happened since I’ve been away and I hope to cover much of what has happened in the past month with all of you. I had an amazing time in Japan and I look forward to sharing some of my experiences with you. Before I do that, I want to cover some thrilling vegan news that’s happened.
Something very exciting, Vaute Couture became the first all-vegan fashion label to show at New York’s Fashion Week! On February 6th Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart took her designs to the runway and has been been the talk of some major news publications since her show. As you know, I own a Vaute Couture coat and love it!
Check out the CNN segment here:
Earth Balance has been coming out with a variety of new products lately. While I think their vegan butters are great, I don’t tend to use them very often. Earth Balance has set out to make the snack industry more vegan friendly by offering Vegan Aged White Cheddar Puffs, Vegan Buttery Flavored Popcorn, P.B. Popps, and Vegan Aged White Cheddar Popcorn. Now this is a product I can get into! I haven’t seen them in my local store yet, but I can’t wait to try these.
Follow Your Heart
Follow Your Heart, who created the amazing spread, Vegenaise, has also come out with a variety of new products. From diversifying their hit Vegenaise with new spreads like Pesto and Tartar Sauce, to new salad dressings and marinades. I haven’t tried these yet but if they’re anything like Vegenaise, they are sure to please me!
Go to their website to check out their complete line of products: followyourheart.com
I will share some of my experiences traveling in Japan in my next post(s), so be sure to subscribe!
If you’ve tried any of the products mentioned in my post, be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you thought!