Brief background: Hubs (Roger) and I have been completely plant-based for almost 5 years. I make ninety percent of our food from whole, unprocessed vegetables, grains, legumes, fruits…you get the idea. One more thing: I don’t cook with oil, and we limit our salt.
I promised the Sweet Earth sweeties that we would taste all the fun products they generously sent us and write about them without bias on my food blog, Edible Musings.
We were ready for this tastebud challenge and began with the Breakfast Sandwich, a hearty enough meal for me, but may not be for a bigger appetite. The tomato pesto, 2 ‘ham’ slices and chickpea patty are a really fun combination and delivered all the texture and tang I needed. I especially liked the multi-grain, oat bun it comes packed in.
Hubs used to love his traditional bacon, and many imitations just didn’t cut it for him. Curiously, we tried the Hickory and Sage Benevelont Bacon. I first noticed that it cooks up crispy and crumbles well. I wasn’t expecting the ‘real’ thing flavor, but for those of you who absolutely need your ‘porkiness’, this Benevolent Bacon is a respectable sub.
Next up was the Sweet Earth Chipotle Crumbles, a seitan based (vital wheat gluten) meat alternative. I used these in my enchiladas, and both Hubs and I were blown away by the awesome flavors and texture. This has become a regular player in our house.
The Traditional Seitan Strips are a blank palate to season how you wish. I used the Italian ‘three’ spices, sautéed the seitan in veggie broth and served over pasta with my homemade sauce. The strips themselves were a bit rubbery for my taste, but makes a good addition and filler for other dishes.
Aiming for another southwestern flavor night, I broke into the Chipotle Seitan Strips to add to an avocado sandwich. The texture of these strips were a bit rubbery. We didn’t get a true chipotle taste, and the overall flavor profile was fairly non-descript, so I added my own chipotle chili powder to amp it up.
The Tuscan Grounds are another seitan product, and this one is already seasoned with fennel, garlic, nutritional yeast and kale, which, by the way, are terrific! There is also a flavoring listed on the label called ‘natural vegan pork flavor’, which made me go “huh?” So, after questioning my buddy Bob from Sweet Earth about it, he responded quickly, and I was satisfied with his respectful answers.
I added the Tuscan Grounds over penne pasta, tomato sauce and veggies and we loved it. Check it out.
Kyoto Stir Fry meal is loaded with great flavors. It’s a lovely bowl of rice, edamame, snow peas, and tofu. Roger and I both really enjoyed this dish.
Roger ate the Curry Tiger Bowl (twice) and liked it a lot. I tasted it. The seasonings are yummy, but I’m a sucker for anything Asian-y, and this bowl didn’t disappoint with coconut, tofu, brown rice, quinoa and carrots.
The Moroccan Tagine Bowl with rice was next. The warm spices were really pronounced, and there’s a bit of ‘heat’ in there, so we added more plain brown rice to smooth it out and ‘beef’ up the quantity.
General Tso’s Tofu Bowl flavors are great. Sweet heat in this colorful 9 oz. bowl with broccoli, tofu and brown rice. Another observation is that the cooked dish didn’t resemble the photo on the box, but few packaged products do. The portion size could be a bit larger, but my biggest issue continues to be the sodium content.
Summary Thoughts: Their large variety of products, flavors and ingredients will appeal to anyone. Some products are not completely plant-based, and may contain some cheese, so read the labels carefully if you’re avoiding dairy. The only real negative is the amount of sodium used in so many of the dishes we ate. While currently the FDA recommends no more than 2,300 mg daily intake of sodium per person, some of the packages contains almost 1/3 of that full daily recommendation in one serving size, which may only be an issue if you need/want to watch your salt intake.
Roger and I had fun taste testing so many of these Sweet Earth products. They are definitely creative in their use of flavors and seasonings and we love the packaging. We believe this team of resourceful and imaginative entrepreneurs is on to something great!
Sweet Earth products can be found at Walmart and Target, and in the specific Asheville area, Earth Fare and Publix carries their goodies, too. So, go grab this $1.00 coupon from their site and try a Sweet Earth meal!