Tuesday 2Go: Product Review

Desperate for a quick on-the-go dinner, I ran to Safeway with hopes they had something healthy and cheap that would hold me over for my evening class. I first spotted the cooler by the prepared foods but had no luck there. Every single prepared salad bowl was made with either chicken, turkey, or fish. Disappointed but not yet defeated, I scurried over to the produce section thinking I could grab a few veggies and make my own salad when something caught my eye.

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Earthbound Farm Organics Powermeals! I noticed three different varieties—and each was suitable for veg*ns. I had heard about these but never found one in store until my run to Safeway. It was as if Earthbound had heard my pleas for help.

The three available options were: Asian Noodle, Southwest, and Spinach Quinoa. They each came with a $0.55 off coupon. As veg*ns we are hardly privy to choices and it took me a while to decide which one to try first. I ended up getting the Spinach Quinoa bowl to satisfy a spinach craving I had earlier.

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My immediate concern with these bowls was that each only contains around 200 calories. While perfect for a quick in-between meal or snack, I knew that I needed a few more calories to keep me going and so I grabbed a can of garbanzo beans to toss in with the bowl.

The contents of the salad were packaged well—each item was individually wrapped to presumably allow us to mix in toppings to our liking. I also read on the package that the dressing contained cheese and was high in sodium, so I decided to toss it aside. If you don’t eat dairy and are watching sodium, you probably know to read labels, but just wanted to make it a point.

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The quinoa was stuck together in clumps when it came out of the package, but after tossing it around with the spinach and the other toppings of sunflower seeds and dried blueberries, it broke up a little more. I mixed in a serving of garbanzo beans at the end for some extra protein (not pictured).

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I really enjoyed the flavors of this salad and am grateful Earthbound had the idea to create these bowls. They are perfect for on-the-go eating and you can’t beat the price for an organic, ready to eat salad. My only suggestion is that perhaps Earthbound could include a larger serving of protein for those of us who intend to eat these salads as a main meal. It’s easy to supplement though, with a can of your favorite beans. I’m looking forward to trying the other two bowls and sharing my thoughts with you.

I purchased this product on my own and did not receive any compensation from Earthbound for this review. All opinions are always my own.

Native Foods Cafe: My Trip to an All-Vegan Restaurant

After spending a few days at a beautiful vacation spot that lacked variety in veg*n food options, I was so excited to return back to my home in DC where I had a fantastic opportunity to try out a new (less than a year old!) restaurant called Native Foods Cafe, located just south of Dupont Circle.

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Native Foods Cafe is fast-casual, all-vegan cafe that was founded in California and has now expanded to many cities across the U.S. Their menu is 100% plant-based and they prepare everything fresh, each and every day.

Broccoli family!

Broccoli family!

Tracy and Jack, my gracious hosts, welcomed myself and my best friend (a fellow vegetarian!) to the restaurant and gave us cups to fill with their homemade juice while we deliberated over the menu. We both went for the Watermelon Fresca, which was made with fresh watermelon and mint. So refreshing! There were so many juices to taste from and I can’t wait to try them all!

So many juices, how to pick just one!?

So many juices, how to pick just one!?

I had a chance to check out the super sweet art work all over walls in downstairs area, where more seating was available. It was all so cheery and put a big smile on my face. I loved the broccoli family especially. Here are some more cute plants:

Beet of the Drums!

Beet of the Drums!

Our mouths were watering when Jack brought us our meal. I ordered the Twister Wrap, with a side of Lemongrass Broccoli and my friend ordered the Chicken, Bacon & Avo Club with a side of Crispy Sweet Potato Fries. Oh my gosh! We were blown away by how good it all tasted. We just couldn’t get over the fact that everything was 100% vegan–the “chicken” in our meals was so soft and moist, we could hardly believe it wasn’t the real thing. My Twister Wrap was full of yummy veggies, Native chicken, and a creamy ranch sauce. The broccoli had the perfect amount of lemongrass and just enough heat to give it a little zing. My friend loved her club sandwich and her sweet potato fries were perfect (I definitely grabbed a few from her plate!). With just a touch of cinnamon and sugar, they were the best complement to her meal.

Twister Wrap and Lemongrass Broccoli

Twister Wrap and Lemongrass Broccoli

Chicken, Bacon & Avo Club with Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

Chicken, Bacon & Avo Club with Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

By the time we got to dessert we were so full–but Jack insisted we try their delicious, dairy-free desserts. I am a sucker for carrot cake, so when I saw the Carrot Caramel Cupcake, I couldn’t resist. My friend went with the Peanut Butter Parfait and we nibbled on our desserts outside. We really couldn’t get over the fact that my cupcake was made without eggs–it practically melted in my mouth. So yummy!

Peanut Butter Parfait

Peanut Butter Parfait

Carrot Carmel Cupcake

Carrot Caramel Cupcake

Jack and Tracy made sure my trip to Native Foods Cafe was exceptional. I feel so lucky to have an eco-friendly, plant-based restaurant with a wide range of choices so close to where I live. When you’re in DC or anywhere near a Native Foods Cafe, I absolutely recommend you check it out. Native Foods will equally impress your vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore friends.

Full Disclosure: Native Foods Cafe provided me this meal in exchange for my unbiased review here at greenmindvegheart.wordpress.com. I did not receive financial compensation for this post.