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Vegan Quorn Review + Holiday Giveaway Winner

When I heard that Quorn was finally coming out with a vegan product, my first thought was “It’s about time!” My second thought was, “I can’t wait to try it!” So naturally, when the Quorn representative asked me if I’d like to sample the new product, I said yes.  With all the strides many companies have made in producing vegan products, it always baffled me that Quorn continued to use egg whites in theirs. So it’s great news that they have produced their first vegan product: a vegan burger. (Please excuse the quality of my photo — it was taken with a flash — wintertime is not kind to food bloggers!)

The burgers come four to a box and weigh in at just over two ounces each. They are thin and cook up quite quickly, so quickly in fact, that you want to be sure not to overcook them so they don’t dry out. In my first taste test, I wanted to sample them without any adornment so I could get the full impact of their flavor and texture, so I simply sauteed them in a little olive oil with sliced mushrooms and parsley and served them for dinner as cutlets rather than burgers. And I’m glad I did.  The texture is great – very firm and dense.  The flavor fairly bold, slightly smoky, but not overpowering.  Some people may find the these burgers to be too “meaty” for their taste, while others may like them just fine.

For the second taste test, I cut the remaining two burgers into strips and sauteed them with sliced onions. I then added some hot red pepper spread and melted a little Daiya on top.  Served in rolls, these were among the best “cheesesteaks” we’ve ever had. 

Bottom line: Jon and I enjoyed them, although we felt that their taste and texture made them better suited to be used as cutlets or strips rather than “burgers.”  I prefer making my own burgers and usually defer to my homemade seitan for cutlets and strips. Still, I can see where keeping a box of these in the freezer would definitely come in handy.

A check of the Quorn website says the burgers are “making their way into stores now, so be on the lookout.” I take that to mean they’re not widely available yet, so if they interest you, you may have to ask for them to be carried.

12/26/11 UPDATE: I have recently been made aware that there is a controversy concerning Quorn and the fact that some people have had adverse digestive and allergic reactions to it. See Center for Science in the Public Interest for more info. I was not aware of this issue when I posted this review.

Now, on to the Holiday Giveaway!   I’m happy to announce that the winner of Party Vegan and 3 riotbars by sweetriot is #32:  Jessica Caneal.  Congratulations, Jessica!  Send me an e-mail with your mailing address and I’ll get your goodies right out to you.

For everyone else who entered the giveaway: I hope you’ll consider getting yourself a copy of Party Vegan.  It’s a fun read and loaded with great ideas and recipes.  And if you’re a chocolate lover, then you’ll adore the sweet riot riotBars — they’re soooo good!

Coming up next time:  my recipe for Vegan Eggnog Cupcakes.  YUM!

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Holiday Giveaway: Party Vegan + sweetriot Chocolate!

Try as I may, I’m having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit this year, so I thought maybe doing a holiday giveaway would help.

Nothing says holidays like chocolate and the nice folks at sweetriot sent me samples of their new riotBars! Make from fair trade chocolate, these delicious bars are made with actual cacao beans.  I’ll give one lucky winner three (count ’em: 3) of these amazing new riotBars, one each of pure 60% dark chocolate with crunch nibs, pure 70% dark chocolate, and pure 85% dark chocolate. And that’s not all….

I’m also giving away a copy of my cookbook, Party Vegan.  It’s a must-have book for every occasion that calls for good vegan food, including holidays, as well as potlucks, casual get-togethers, and even kid’s birthday parties.  The recipes are also great for “anytime” meals and the book includes loads of tips from my days as a professional caterer.

For a chance to win Party Vegan + 3 riotBars, leave a comment at the end of this post. If you’d like to increase your odds of winning, here are 3 more chances to win:
1. Share a link to this Giveaway on Facebook.
2. Follow me on Twitter @globalvegan and tweet about this giveaway.
3. Subscribe to my blog.
(Be sure to leave a separate comment for each that you do, telling me which ones you did!)
Enter now, because the contest closes on Sunday, 12/18 at midnight.  I’ll announce the winner on Monday 12/19.  
Guess what?  I feel more in the holiday spirit already!  

P.S. Try the Man-Sized Chocolate Chips from Party Vegan.  Recipe posted here on Facebook. (While you’re there, please “like” and “share.”)