#MomsMeet: LightLife Plant-Based Burgers #Review #Sponsored

​​I received these product(s) free of charge from LightLife and MomsMeet. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

As many of us have seen an uptick on plant based meats, many companies have hit the market with their version of the burger.  Some have failed miserably in the past, rather others just keep adding more and more selections to their meatless options to broaden your weekly menu.  I am okay with a veggie burger as long as it tries not to pretend it is meat, so to me it is a veggie patty per say.  Now, when a company claims a burger substitute that is as good as the moo-ing thing, I definitely change my expectations.

In comes LightLife, with their new plant-based burger.  They start with 20 grams of protein per serving.  No fillers and it is 100% plant based.  This means no soy, gluten free, no GMOs, zero artificial flavors, and is even qualified to be a Kosher product.  You also get zero cholesterol and the saturated fat is just 2.5 grams in a 1/4 pound patty.  Lots of zeros where we want them but does that also go for taste?

LightLife was founded in 1979, so they have been part of the plant based foods before it became the “trending” thing to do.  I felt that was a good start and worth the leap to try and see for myself if LightLife burgers can actually deliver a good tasting burger that is not just okay for pretending.  We opted to treat the burgers like we would our predecessors, so we grilled it.  Let us give it the chance from the get go and I am not going to give this patty any special treatment.  The patty grilled and held up with zero issues.  Again, another zero that lands in the right category.   No sticking, did not fall apart and did not overly shrink up either.  I went with just a simple salt and pepper seasoning because I wanted to taste the patty as close to how it is.  LightLife burgers are seasoned and the pea protein gets mixed with coconut oil, sea salt, beet and garlic powder.  I went light on the salt but because I like a nice crust on my burger, I did give it a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper.  Went it came to dressing up my burger, I went with a smoked cheddar, which is thinly sliced and just a smidgen of mayonnaise and some pickles.  I even had my salad on the side, so no lettuce to drown my burger flavor.

Verdict:
Smells good and “burgery”.  Nice grill marks and it looks appetizing.  When making my burger, the patty was not flimsy or like cardboard, just like a regular beef patty.  It even has a meaty smell to it that quickly makes your mind think, “grilled beef…..mmmmmmm.”  First bite has a nice chew and I do not taste peas or anything vegetable like at all.  This patty does not taste 100% beef if we are using that as the marker (makes sense right), but it tastes like a patty that is mixed with beef and pork.  I kind of like that because I add pork to meatloaf and other applications, even when beef is the majority in the mix.  I actually see myself buying LightLife and making it part of my weekly meals.  Yeah, I liked it that much.  It may not taste 100% cow but that is what drew me in the most.  They definitely hit the mark in the meat notes and if you want a plant based patty (hard to believe with how good it tastes) that does not taste or have an odd and off texture, I seriously recommend you give LightLife a try.  My only complaint is that finding the burger patty is a bit hard as it sells out and I tried two Sprout’s and a Albertsons, but call ahead and ask and most stores are kind enough to hold how many containers you want.  I did try the “ground beef” and made that into a taco salad because hey, I enjoy LightLife and wanted to see how the texture was if I was cooking it like I do ground beef.  Again, it succeeded but I recommend a nonstick surface, as it allows the plant based mince to get a crust and brown like you expect beef to do so.  I did use a stainless steel pan the first time but found I needed more oils/fats to get the desired texture.  A ceramic coated cast iron or a nonstick pan gave me the results in the same amount of time (about 6 to 8 minutes) to get the browning I was looking for.

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100% Natural Just Fruit Bars are all right with me!

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I can vividly remember walking with my parents through many a supermarket’s produce sections, and seeing the fruit rolls cleverly merchandised there along side the fruit from whence it came. And while those rolled, pressed fruit pancakes were yummy, they were quickly replaced by processed, preservative laden junk they scarcely resembled the natural fruity goodness of roll-ups gone past.

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Enter Gorge Delights, Inc.’s 100% Natural Just Fruit bars. The first thing you notice is the ingredient list. Fruit and fruit juice concentrate. That’s it. No binders, fillers, caking agents, or science experiments that make my google spit out complex molecular formulas describing what should resemble and taste like food. Even if it really doesn’t anymore.

 

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Gorge Delight changed the landscape here going back to nature with these tasty treats. So many flavors, flavor combinations and treats, it’s hard to pick only one as my favorite, let alone just review one bar at a time. See, I was kinda a bad girl, and nibbled each bar. Hubby took great big hubby-sized chunks out that he called “bites’. They are good, good for you, natural, look yummy, and be baked with 😉 So I’ll do one big Über-review.

It’s also nice that the fruit claimed in the front is the fruit listed on the reverse. Far too often I had fallen prey to labels shouting out “Berries!” “Pomegranate!” “Tropical fruits!” and the turn it around to see apple juice, pear juice and white grape juice making up the bulk of the product, with a token spritz of whatever they claimed on the front. Not so with Gorge Delight. You see Apple-Blueberry on the front, you see apple and blueberry listed on the back. No more bait-n-switch, and I love that. Cranberries, cherries, blueberries, strawberries raspberries, pears and apples. That’s it. How nice is that? And each one tastes better than the last. No oily fingers, no cellophane, just fruity goodness free of added sugars, wheat, dairy, nuts, gluten or added salts. No preservatives, gmo-free, fat free, soy free and made the USA. There’s nothing to not like. Each 40 gram bar is only 140 calories to boot. Almost to good to be true, but thankfully very true. I don’t even crave the old fruit rolls any more. How ’bout them apples (and pears, and blueberries, and raspberries, and cranberries, and cherries…)?

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Connect with Gorge Delights

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Gorge Delights, Inc..  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

 

 

Almondina: Delicious Cookie without the Guilt Review & Giveaway

Last week, I shared the Valentine’s Day Almondina ice cream hearts recipe and today I wanted to not only recap some of the flavors, but also have a giveaway 🙂  Yes, one lucky winner will receive the same assortment I did courtesy of the wonderful people at the Almondina brand.

You can visit here to get the Valentine’s Day Almondina recipe to make a treat that is delicious all-year-round-

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https://samplesandfreebiesgallery.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/almondina-cookies-no-bake-valentines-day-gelato-sorbet-and-ice-cream-heart-treats/

It was difficult to choose a favorite among all because they were all delicious.  This is the type of cookie that when I shop at Trader Joe’s, if they did not have my first selection…..it does not matter. I will pick-up the flavor they have in stock.  Yup, not passing it up!  I love to pair the thin cookie mostly with ice cream because it’s like having a treat after dinner but I don’t pay for it a day later at the scale!  It tastes good, maybe so good that you forget that each sweet cookie is just around 30 to 35 calories.  The selection is bountiful and you can choose from chocolate based cookies to just the Original.  No added fat, salt and a cholesterol free product…..so, your heart will thank you as much as your taste buds.

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AlmonDuo:

I love pistachio nuts, so this one really was the perfect little cookie for me.  Almondinas are thin, but do not mistake that for being dry because they are not.  They are crisp and light and the cookie is just studded with with perfect slivers of almonds and pistachios.  It’s a happy cookie that will make anyone smile!  Dip in chocolate ganache and you may even get the giggles 🙂

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Chocolate Cherry:

This cookie has a rich chocolate base that is deep in flavor.  You have a great combination of plump dried cherries that just complement the cocoa perfectly but also almonds.  I enjoy having this cookie with ice cream because in my eyes it’s almost a sundae with the fudge, nuts and even cherry on top!  Also, you can have your chocolate and enjoy it too with 4 cookies only at 132 calories.

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Cinnaroma:

I love cinnamon but tend to avoid it in products because manufacturers forgot the words, “a touch of Cinnamon”,  Almondina thankfully has not.  You taste the spice but you will find it compliments versus just engulfing your mouth with it.  Your taste buds still enjoy the almonds, and the raisins really make me think of a loaf of cinnamon bread when I have this cookie.  You also pick up the malted barley flour, giving this cookie a distinct flavor.

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GingerSpice:

This is what I call my “breakfast cookie” because I enjoy it with a pear based yogurt I like having in the morning.  The Almondina is like the cereal that never loses it’s crunch in milk but yogurt in it’s place.  I start my morning with this healthy parfait and you get to enjoy the diced Australian ginger they used that really gives it that gingery-snap taste.  Nice to have a cookie like this available year round!

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Almondina cookies come in several varieties and flavors, you are sure to find one (or three) you will love:

  • Original – America’s all natural favorite with almonds and raisins
  • Chocolate Cherry – We combined the world’s finest dark chocolate with plump cherries to produce an irresistible, decadent treat without guilt.
  • Choconut – Rich tasting crunchy chocolate, but low in calories
  • Cinnaroma® – The original biscuit for cinnamon lovers
  • Gingerspice – Trend setting, with chunks of Australian ginger
  • AlmonDuo® – Double-nut wonder with almonds and pistachios
  • AnniversaryT – Award winning delight with a touch of anise
  • BranTreats® – Made with oat bran and the finest cinnamon “Cookies For Breakfast”
  • Sesame – Irresistible, exotic, flavorful
  • Seasonal Pumpkin Spice – A seasonal attraction with a delightful touch of fall spices combined with the highest quality almonds and pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

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Try Almondina’s Newest Products:

  • Chocolate Dipped – the Original® dipped in the finest, pure, rich dark chocolate was previously offered only certain times of the year is now available year round
  • Delights – The Original® Almondina totally encased in Milk chocolate
  • Yogurt Dipped – Brantreats® dipped on one side with a layer of all natural yogurt

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Stop by and thank Almondina for sharing with us their Grandmother Dina’s cookie, a delight since 1929:

**Now for the Giveaway**

Very easy to participate and have a chance at becoming the winner of the same selection of goodies I received from Almondina.  All you have to do is-

  1. Like Almondina on Facebook
  2. Please Follow them on Twitter
  3. Then please leave a comment on this review……that is all 🙂

I will announce the winner on March 3rd!

I received the above product free of charge from Almondina. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Beanfields Bean & Rice Chips in Nacho, Pico de Gallo, Sea Salt, Unsalted, and Salt N’ Pepper

Let me preface this by saying that mine is not a “Chip” household. We don’t buy a lot of potato chips, corn chips, tortilla chips, or cheese puffs. It’s just not our preference. So to fall so much in love with Beanfields Bean & Rice Chip’s floored my husband and I both. The taste, the texture, the quality…I could go on for days. So instead I’ll just highlight the best of the brand, and hope I do justice to this wonderful food.

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I got my introduction to this brand through the “Love with Food” box I got in February. Included was a little sample bag of Beanfields Bean & Rice “Pico de Gallo” flavored chips. I kind of passed them over at first, because, hey, chips are chips, right? Big mistake. Hubby and I dove in like 2 staving people after the first taste. The flavor dust had barely been wiped from our lips when I decided I should contact Beanfields and see what else they had to offer and where I could get more! A wonderful person from Beanfields replied and said they’d be sending me a variety to sample and review for my blog! Zounds and gadzooks!! What an awesome company! When the package arrived it was like Christmas in March, and oh, the presents we did get!

A few asides about Beanfields before we dive in. This is a family-owned, farmed and made in the USA company. All natural, Non-GMO Project Verified, vegan, low-sodium, gluten free, corn free, dairy free, soy free, no fillers, no binders, no artificial colors or flavors, no trans fats, no cholesterol, high fiber, high protein snack. Wow. All that’s left for Beanfields is cold fusion.   Take the time to check them out because your taste buds will thank you!

Facebook – www.facebook.com/beanfields
Website- www.beanfieldssnacks.com
Twitter-  www.twitter.com/beanfieldssnack

So, without further ado, let me introduce what will hopefully become a pantry staple for every person who reads this blog: the multiple-award winning Beanfields Bean & Rice Chips, in 5 mouthwatering varieties!!

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Up first, and our favorite, Salt N’ Pepper.

Oh. My. Gosh. Out of the park, on the first swing. Great flavor, great texture. We had to stop ourselves from polishing off the entire 6 ounce bag. Strong enough to dip, tasty enough to not. The first thing that hits you when you finish is, it’s not greasy or oily in any way. Not on your fingers, not in your mouth, nowhere.  And then it hits you: these chips are made from beans! Not corn, like just about everything else in the market. The ingredients are simple, too: Beans, rice, oil, and flavorings. And lo and behold, I can pronounce everything. How’s that for awesome?

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Close up of Salt N’ Pepper Chips

Next up, Pico de Gallo.

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Another winner, and a close second. Another great flavor with an ingredient list that doesn’t read like a science experiment. Simple ingredients like onion powder, green bell pepper powder, celery powder, garlic powder, tomato powder…Hey, I’ve got all this stuff in my fridge and pantry! I don’t need a PhD in chemistry to understand what it is I’m putting in my mouth! And the best part is, you can taste that someone put a lot of thought into this chip. Not just about how to get you to buy and eat more of them, but on how to make it taste good. I appreciate that, and I think you will too.

With that we move on to the Sea Salt bag.DSCN1630

K.I.S.S. comes to mind. No, not “I Wanna Rock-n-Roll All Night”, you goofy husband. Keep ISuper Simple. It should be the mantra if every person who makes food for yourself, your family, or your job. But very few people do it, and fewer still do it well. Beanfield’s get’s it 100% right. And they’re three for three. You can taste the richness of the beans, the long grain rice. And the salt. Oh, did I mention that aside from a little oil, that’s all that’s in these chips!! Holy cow, it seems so simple, but it’s an amazing snack experience, from the first bite to the last. I can’t wait for the next flavor.DSCN1631

Close up of Sea Salt Chips

Luckily, I don’t have to, so it’s on to Unsalted!

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Do these people do anything halfway? Even with the lack of flavorings, the ingredients shine through. The perfect dip chip that goes with anything. You got salsa? Good to go. You’ve got queso? Go for it. Spinach artichoke? Bring it. This chip handles them all.  Want it on it’s own for a guilt free snack? This chip has your back. I can see how Beanfields won so many awards. Nothing but beans, rice, and a little oil, and it still taste like a million bucks.  I had a nice green Tomatillo salsa with these and it was delicious.

Now, let’s see if Beanfields goes 5 for 5 with Nacho flavor.

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Beanfields included some materials for us in the package of yum. One of them mentioned that this flavor a Best of Show award, and labeled this the Vegan answer to Doritos. It’s arguably the market leader in this category. And let me tell you, that this comparison sells Beanfields short. Because this chip leaves Doritos in the dust. Orange colored, salty fatty dust. You’ll never look at a Dorito the same way again, realizing Beanfields chumps them. Hard. While this was our least favorite of the five, it’s head and shoulders over the usual suspects you’ll find in the market. And let’s not forget it’s still a simple ingredient list populated entirely with things you know, understand and can pronounce. Beanfields is a winner, five out of five. I can’t remember a company that I loved everything they make.

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You owe it to yourself to seek Beanfields out and try them for yourself.  You’re doing yourself a disservice not doing it. You’ll wonder how you went this long without them!

I received the above products free of charge from the manufacture.  I am not obligated in providing a favorable/positive review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the products, which may differ from yours.

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