Food Review: Mama’s Fire Tibetan Hot Sauce & BBQ Sauce

Mama’s Fire Tibetan Hot Sauce and BBQ Sauce
Brought to you by The Sacred Works Project

A while back, after a teaching by Lama Migmar, I drove him back to Boston from the Cape. We hadn’t eaten yet, and when we got to his brother’s house he invited me in for dinner. We had a traditional Tibetan Soup with a light salad. He asked me if I wanted to try some Tibetan sauce (it was more of a paste) and warned me it was hot. I LOVE spicy stuff so I was down. Not only was it great, and a little burny (yeah it’s not a word, I just made it up) but I had to have more.

For months afterward I was trying to find anything that was similar and until I opened the mailbox one day and saw some Mama’s Fire Tibetan Hot Sauce in there, nothing stacked up.

MFTHS (it’s easier to abbreviate this one, lots of typing with this name) is not dead on to what I had with Lama Migmar, but it is comparable in it’s own way. It is very unique in the fact ginger seems to be one of the main ingredients, and while it does not add heat, it most definitely adds some bite. I’ve put it on just about any sort of dish I use hot sauce with. My favorite it is to use it on turkey tacos, the ground turkey absorbs a lot of the flavor and still leaves the heat. When I can, I use this stuff in every dish that calls for hot sauce.

Along with the Tibetan Hot Sauce came a bottle of BBQ Sauce. The first opportunity I had, I marinated some chicken in this stuff, grilled it up and wow, it was fantastic. Some BBQ sauces out there have to much honey, to much smoke and they just lack a good flavor. Mama’s Fire BBQ has a clean, tangy flavor without the smoky aftertaste of a lot of the store bought sauces.

My wife got a skirt steak a few weeks back and let it sit in a crock pot for 8 hours. It melted into a pulled beef heaven. But, I’m not here writing about my wife’s skill at cooking, we’re here to talk about this sauce. I’ve been huge on eating lots of proteins and stuff like that, so one day I took some of the left over skirt steak, microwaved it with some of Mama’s Fire BBQ and poured it over some brown rice. When I was finished a small tear came to my eye, because I realized there was none left. Not only was the beef gone, but so was the BBQ sauce.  :(

I am a big fan of both of these sauces as you can tell, and I think you ought to give them a try. I still have a bit of the hot sauce left, so I haven’t started shaking from the Mama’s Fire dt’s yet.

Food Review: Field Roast Apple Sage Sausage

Firstly, I’ve been looking for months for this product. I’ve been to the major supermarkets, some of the local natural food stores but ventured a bit farther than normal to one about 30 minutes away. I found the Field Roast Apple Sage Sausage at Cape Cod Natural Foods… found a whole bunch of other stuff as well, I’ll be making the trip back most definitely.

Onto the sausages…

Wow! These have to be the tastiest faux sausages I have eaten to date, hands down. Other companies have tried to match the flavor and consistency of sausage, and though a few have been close, nothing compares to these. It has to be in the ingredients, which are filtered water, wheat protein (vital gluten flour), expeller pressed, high oleic safflower oil, Yukon gold potatoes, non-sulfured Washington state dried apples, yeast extract, onion powder, barley malt extract, fresh garlic, torula yeast, natural liquid smoke flavor, black pepper, spices, rubbed sage. Don’t forget the fact each link has 26g of protein, that’s huge!

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Food Review: Quorn Classic Burger

I recently reviewed the cheeseburger by Quorn, but also wanted to review just the plain old Quorn Classic Burger (like the last post, this link brings you only to the Quorn US site, the product is not up on the US or UK site).

There was not a huge difference taste wise between the cheeseburger and this classic burger, the coloring was a little more natural looking (the cheeseburger had an orange hue to it). The cheeseburger did have a slight “cheesy” flavor to them, but if you were blindfolded and had one of each you might not know the difference.

Either way, they are both great products. Maybe the biggest difference between the two is the classic burger does have a bit more of that smoky flavor. Whether you cook it in a pan, heat it in the oven or grill it, it still tastes like it was solely cooked on the grill.

Texture is very “meaty” so if you’re a new convert, or have been a vegetarian for a while, you will think this is the real deal. Knowing it is not, will make you feel a lot better knowing where it all came from.

Like I said in the last review again, the Quorn brand of burger has far exceeded in taste and flavor to my old favorite veggie burger. I’ve tried many other brands veggie burgers, by far Quorn is my favorite.

Food Review: Parma!

Up front, as most of you know, I am not a vegan. It’s something I may strive for eventually, but right now a vegetarian diet suits my lifestyle. That doesn’t mean I don’t eat, and or try, vegan products. I try to eat them as often as I can, so the transition will eventually be easier. Anyway…

When a couple samples of Parma! showed up in the mailbox I was really excited to try it out. Both the original flavor and the chipotle flavor were included, loving spicy stuff I was extremely impatient to try out the chipotle flavor.

I read the ingredients and was unsure how well they would gel but was amazed at the similarity with real parmesan cheese. To me, this tasted better, waaay better. To be perfectly honest, I hate parmesan cheese. Anytime we are having some sort of pasta dinner my kids look at me like I have three heads because I’m the only one who doesn’t really use the parmesan.

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Food Review: Quorn Cheese Burgers

Quorn has introduced two new meat alternative products, both of them being burgers. So far I’ve only tried the Quorn Cheese Burgers (was going to add the usual link to the product on the companies site but they don’t have this listed yet, so this goes to their main site). If I were to guess, the regular burger doesn’t taste that much different, but I will review that in another post.

Until now, I’ve loved, lived and sworn by the MorningStar Farms Grillers Prime Veggie Burgers, sorry my friends, you’ve been dethroned. Quorn’s new product are so similar to a regular burger it’s crazy. It’s not like a hand pattied beef burger, more like a frozen burger (that’s the idea right?).

The patty had a good smoky flavor, even when I pan fried it. In a bun with some catsup, mustard and relish even the most discriminating meat eater would be fooled. I didn’t notice a very cheesy flavor to the patty, again maybe that’ll change once I try the non-cheese patty.

I just want to add this bit, because I’ve been e-mailed by a few people about it. I’ve read the “controversy” about people getting sick, or better yet, having allergic reactions to some Quorn products. I even got into a disagreement with a co-worker about it. I understand how the product is made, I know all of it. I’ve read both sides of the argument.

I’d love to say this though, what are you allergic too? Are you allergic to peanuts? What do you do about it? You avoid them correct? Seems simple enough but some people don’t get it. If you are allergic to something, and have a reaction because of it, stay away from it. My son is allergic to shellfish and guess what? We don’t feed it to him.

Food Review: Lightlife Smart Dogs

I’ve cooked these a couple different ways, and while one way was better than the other, I was not impressed by either.

I had to check the date on the package once I opened these up, there was an odd scent in the air. The date was good, still not sure what the smell was…

I cooked them in the microwave the first go round. Popped em in a bun, added the usual catsup, mustard and relish. First bite… the flavor and texture were quite a bit “off”. The Smart Dog was a bit chewy and the flavor tasted like it went bad. This way was not the right way to cook it, the results proved that.

This afternoon I meant to put them in some mac and cheese, but put the kids hot dogs into the mac while it was cooking. So I had to eat these on a bun again. This go round I browned em up a bit in a skillet with a little butter. The flavor this time was better, but the texture was way off again. The browning seemed to create a crust of sorts, which made it very difficult to bite through.

I know the directions say to boil them, but I could never eat boiled hot dogs, so I’ve avoided cooking them that way. Maybe the next time I try them I will boil them to give them a fair enough shot.

Food Review: Quorn Cranberry & Goat Cheese Chik’n Cutlet

I’ve had these in the freezer for a few days, waiting for the perfect meal to have them with. My wife, who usually cooks, didn’t feel like it tonight so I gladly said I would. Her and the kids do eat meat, they planned on having chicken breasts, so the Quorn Cranberry & Goat Cheese Chik’n Cutlet was on the menu for me tonight.

To make their meal as close to mine as I could, we try to have similar meals that way it doesn’t feel different, I took some cranberry spread I had, reduced it down a bit and my wife requested I add some mandarin oranges to the glaze.  Anyway…

I baked the Quorn Cranberry & Goat Cheese Chik’n Cutlet as the directions on the box called for. When it was done I put it on my plate, added the veggies and butter mashed potatoes I made and off to the dinner table.

The first thing I noticed was the crunch from the breading as I cut into it. This could have been deep fried it was so crunchy, but nope, it was baked. With that said, it being so crunchy was a good thing! The goat cheese inside was gooey, not stringy, but oozed out as I cut in. The taste was absolutely amazing, almost to amazing. I had to take a second bite to confirm just how good this was and sure enough, the second was just as good as the first, if not a bit better as there was a small piece of cranberry in this bite. I love cranberries, I grew up here on Cape Cod and we are a mecca for cranberries around the country and world, so I’ve had a few.

I wish at times I had even the slightest gluttonous bone in my body, because I really wanted to eat the second cutlet, right then and there. But I did not, and will wait patiently until lunch time tomorrow when it’ll go on a roll! I can’t wait!!

Food Review: Dominex Eggplant Burgers

With all the choices out there, it’s hard to find a decent vegetarian/ vegan burger alternative. Dominex has broken the mold a bit with their Dominex Eggplant Burgers.

Combining textured soy proteins, flavorings and most importantly, fresh eggplant, these burgers are a nice flavor change. Dominex claims to use the skins and seeds of the eggplant, which is evident upon inspection of the patty. The eggplant is a strong flavor, but not so much here. You can taste it, there is no doubt about it, but it is not overpowering.

There is a nice smoky flavor to the patty as well, which after grilling it, made it taste a bit more like a real burger. But don’t be fooled, it really doesn’t taste like a real burger, it tastes like an eggplant burger.

If you are an eggplant aficionado  these burgers will be right up your alley. If not, and your taste for eggplant is iffy, it’s still worth trying. Like previously mentioned, I was never a big eggplant fan, but recently I have reintroduced it into my diet and have been pleasantly surprised at it’s likeability.

Food Review: MorningStar Farms Grillers Prime Veggie Burgers

There are a plethora of veggie burgers out there. It can be quite overwhelming actually. Years ago I tried to go vegetarian, before this current “try”, and I bought a lot of MorningStar products as they seemed to be the most readily available.

These MorningStar Farms Grillers Prime Veggie Burgers burgers are awesome, and the closest so far to real meat that I’ve tried. That may or may not be your goal, but sometimes I have the craving for something as close as possible.

The texture is great, and being a veggie burger, has none of the gristle of meat. One of the reasons I went vegetarian is because of all that gristle, it got to the point I would get sick whenever that stuff found it’s way into my mouth while eating a burger.

The flavor is good too, there’s a nice smoky flavor and no weird manufactured aftertaste I’ve found in a few veggie burgers. If you are looking for the closest to the real thing as possible, or just an overall tasty veggie burger, the Grillers Prime from MorningStar ought to satisfy the toughest palates.