VIVA LA VEESTRO! Veestro Review

Post by Megan Stulberg

Let me just start this off by saying that this post is very important for you guys to read, because Veestro low key made my life *so* much easier for a week.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Veestro, listen up. It’s a 100% plant-based, organic, non-GMO food delivery service with tons of gluten-free options. You can get individual items a la carte, meal plans for convenience, meal plans for weight loss, they even have juice cleanses. They deliver nationwide, too.

So earlier this year, the good people at Veestro sent me a care package of 5 or so items to try out, and their timing couldn’t have been better. I was slammed with work and barely had time to eat, and every time I needed to — whether it was at home or at the office — I just walked on over to the freezer.

Scroll down for details about what I liked the most.

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The enchilada casserole was unreal! I’m not one for fusion food usually (Tim Horton’s poutine donut, for example, is…unappealing to me, to put it lightly) but I do love enchiladas and I do love casseroles. This bad boy’s layered with tofu, corn tortilla, red sauce and tons of veggies. I ate it while working from home one afternoon while taking a break to read a little Jack Kerouac and recharge. 10/10 great combo, would highly recommend.

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veestro 5Veestro’s red curry with tofu was my favorite item that I tried from their menu, hands down. I ate for dinner one day at the office, which means I had meant to eat it for lunch but forgot…we all have those days. I am, without a doubt, tofu’s #1 fan — but it tastes like paper way more often than I’d like. It all depends on how it’s prepared, and I was happily relieved with how good the tofu in this dish tasted. It also means that I’m going to be ordering more tofu dishes from Veestro in the near future now that they’ve got my tofu trust and tofu attention, like their soba noodles with peanut sauce and/or their breakfast burrito. How many times can I get away with saying “tofu” in a paragraph? One more, probably. Tofu.
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With this specific order I also tried Veestro’s golden chickpea stew, chocolate cheezecake and spanish torta. All were fantastic, and I’m so happy that vegan delivery services like this exist where the food is fresh and flavorful! If you’re a busy bee like I am (I’m writing this at a coffee shop right now and this iced latte is going to count as my lunch because I’m too forgone at this point), then check out Veestro’s meal delivery options. They deliver right to your door and life could not be easier.

*Disclaimer*: This is a sponsored post for Veestro, but all views are my own. For inquiries about sponsored posts, please email vegangirlfriend@gmail.com and/or megstulberg@gmail.com.  

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Real Brewed Moments with Pure Leaf Iced Tea

Review by Megan Stulberg 

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I drank 6 bottles of Pure Leaf real brewed tea in 24 hours, and lived to tell the tale! Seriously though. I decided to start taking photos for this blog post on Sunday, and it was super humid that day so I drank them all in a row without thinking twice about it. So having all of these bottles on hand was basically a lifesaver. I stayed hydrated and realized how easily these teas can be incorporated into every day life at the same time.

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Here’s a breakdown of what my Sunday with Pure Leaf looked like.

Bottle one, 10am: I chugged a bottle of peach tea back before running off to a barre exercise class.

Bottle two and three, 1pm: Two bottles of Pure Leaf green tea with honey were chugged back with lunch (a bunch of yummy take-out avocado sushi, my favourite).

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Bottle four, 2pm: I brought an unsweetened lemon Pure Leaf tea with me on a little adventure. And by that, I mean to run errands. And by THAT, I mean going to the grocery store to buy garbage bags. Very important business but hey, that’s real life for you.

Bottle five, 4pm: Honestly, I took a 30 minute nap because I work like a maniac and needed one. Then I woke up, groggily did a bit of reading (Jack Kerouac gets me right in the feels every time) and enjoyed an unsweetened lemon Pure Leaf tea.

Bottle six, 5pm: I liked the peach tea so much that I saved the 2nd bottle of it for last. I did freelance work from about 5pm onwards until I eventually dragged my sorry butt back to bed. Having a home studio is both a curse and a blessing!

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Pure Leaf tea is the perfect addition to my daily routine! I can celebrate real moments with Pure Leaf Iced Tea because it’s real brewed tea, made from real tea leaves. No preservatives or added colour to make me sluggish or stop me from doing all the things I need to check off my to-do list.

For more details about their products, follow Pure Leaf on Instagram at @PureLeafCanada.

*Disclaimer*: This is a sponsored post for Pure Leaf, but all views are my own. For inquiries about sponsored posts, please email vegangirlfriend@gmail.com and/or megstulberg@gmail.com.  

#pureleafcanada #realbrewedmoments

Water You Really Drinking? GE’s New APF Technology

Post by Megan Stulberg (with help from Alexandra Courts and Aine Davis)

We love water! And we’re sure you do too, even if you don’t actively think about it. It keeps our skin clear, our digestive systems working and our bodies…well, alive. We rely heavily on water to make every Vegan Girlfriend recipe, whether it be cooking something on stovetop or rinsing out a blender. Personally, my favourite way to drink water is to chug an icy glass back after a long run.

A little birdie told us that according to an Associated Press survey, two in 10 Americans’ drinking water tested positive for pharmaceuticals including ibuprofen (Advil) and progesterone (found in birth control pills, WTF?). Yeah, no thanks. And then another little birdie told us that GE Appliances recently introduced Advanced Pharmaceutical Filtration Technology, which removes 15 different contaminants and 94-ish% of top 5 trace pharmaceuticals. To put it simply: GE Appliances figured out a way to make water cleaner and it’s worth the investment.

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If you’re reading along like “I thought this was a recipe blog, why should I care about water?” then think about it like this. A runner wouldn’t be able to perform to the best of their ability in worn-down sneakers. We are nothing without our relevant resources.

Having a reliable fridge is so, so important as a food blogger. I was in university when we started Vegan Girlfriend and when you’re a full-time student with a part-time job in downtown Toronto…your kitchen is going to be pretty bleak. That being said, our fridge/water situation was a disaster! We were skeptical about apartment’s water quality in the first place, so we used a filtration pitcher but could barely even fill it up in our tiny sink properly. Now that I’m a fully-formed adult with my own place and choosing a fridge is even an option…I’m definitely scoping a new GE fridge out as my next big investment.

So how does it work? GE offers the Advanced Pharmaceutical Filtration Technology (let’s call it APF for short) across its new, accessibly priced refrigeration collection. The water filters on all APF fridges remove chlorine taste and odour, cysts, lead, asbestos and other contaminants — like those pesky pharmaceuticals we mentioned earlier. Good riddance.

Alex and Aine will be posting some more about GE’s fridge perks on our Instagram feed over the next few days. In the meantime, you can learn more about GE’s APF Technology on their website here.

What would you fill your new water-friendly fridge with? Tell us in the comment section below!

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*Disclaimer*: This is a sponsored post for GE Appliances, but all views are our own. For inquiries about sponsored posts, please email vegangirlfriend@gmail.com.

Tweak your Tea: Pure Leaf Cocktail Hacks

Review by Megan Stulberg

It’s that time of the year where all I want to do is chug lemonade while window shopping or sip hard cider on a patio. Those drinks have zero nutritional value though, so why not swap for tea? Tea does a body good: it’s packed with antioxidants and is even anti-inflammatory. When Pure Leaf offered to send me their new unsweetened flavours (0 sugar, 0 calories, 0 artificial sweeteners), I got a big dumb smile on my face because I’m a sucker for anything iced in summer. It’s brewed from real tea leaves, too.

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Here are a couple of iced tea-based cocktails I whipped up. These are perfect to enjoy on your own, with a couple of girlfriends, or served to a smokin’ hot date! You can also omit the alcoholic ingredients to turn ’em into mocktails, and enjoy with breakfast or even as a rehydrating post-workout treat.

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SPIKED BLUEBERRY PEAR COCKTAIL 

Ingredients…

  • 1 cup Pure Leaf unsweetened green tea
  • 1/4 cup Absolut vodka (warning: add less if you don’t want it strong, taste as you go)
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • Handful fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 small pear, sliced into bite-size chunks
  • Pinch ginger
  • Ice cubes

Directions…

  1. Combine Pure Leaf unsweetened green tea, vodka, agave and ginger. Stir vigorously.
  2. Add fruit and ice. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 cocktail.

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LEMON LIME GINGERITA 

(My take on a margarita)

Ingredients…

  • 1 cup Pure Leaf unsweetened lemon tea
  • 1/4 cup Don Julio Blanco tequila (same warning as above)
  • 2 thin lemon slices
  • 2 thin lime slices
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • Additional lime for garnish
  • Ice cubes

Directions…

  1. Combine Pure Leaf unsweetened lemon tea, tequila and agave.
  2. Add fruit and ice. Slice halfway through a lime slice and place on side of glass accordingly for garnish.

Makes 1 cocktail.

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Pure Leaf unsweetened tea acts as an awesome cocktail alternative to juice if you’re looking to lighten up this summer without sacrificing flavour. For more recipe ideas and details about their products, follow Pure Leaf on Instagram at @PureLeafCanada.

*Disclaimer*: This is a sponsored post for Pure Leaf, but all views are my own. For inquiries about sponsored posts, please email vegangirlfriend@gmail.com and/or megstulberg@gmail.com.  

#pureleafcanada #tweakyourtea

A (Vegan) Pizza Party with Panago

Review by Megan Stulberg

Ain’t no party like a pizza party. You know that “Touch My Butt and Buy Me Pizza”phrase that’s been making its rounds (and then some) on the internet lately? It’s popular because it’s relatable. Butts are nice, pizzas are even nicer, and Panago’s pizzas are the nicest.

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Honestly…the thing I’ve missed most since going vegan is pizza. I don’t view meat as food anymore (feel free to disagree), but there’s something about the combination of pineapple, ham and bacon on a classic Hawaiian slice that still makes my mouth water. Canadian chain Panago Pizza recently launched a new vegan deluxe pepperoni pizza for spring — which is a freaking GAME CHANGER. Pepperoni! Meat-free pepperoni!

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This brand new pizza comes with Italian tomato sauce, meat-free pepperoni, black olives, green peppers, red onions and dairy-free Daiya “cheese”. Not into it? You can veganize any of their other pizzas by making substitutes, and also all of Panago’s crust options are 100% vegan friendly (pictured is the gluten-smart crust).

I paired this ‘za with two of Panago’s vegan dips: Italian Tomato & BBQ. I also tried one of their build-your-own salad options, which was basically a delicious pile of veggies, smothered in their vegan classic Italian style dressing. You could say I went “all out” on my Panago adventure and also tried two of their organic fusion juices: grapple (grape/apple) and orango (orange/mango).

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Panago’s vegan deluxe pepperoni pizza exceeded my expectations. Doubtful? Look at the photos! Still don’t believe me? Further proof: I carried all my Panago goodies home in an Uber, and the driver actually got kind of mad at me because he was really hungry and kept saying that the pizza smelled “too good”.

Panago likes to spread the vegan love every now and then, so make sure to follow them on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook because you never know when a #RandomActsOfPizza may come your way!

Want to know more about what you can and can’t eat at Panago? Check out their vegan-friendly options here.

*Disclaimer*: This is a sponsored post for Panago Pizza, but all views are my own. For inquiries about sponsored posts, please email vegangirlfriend@gmail.com and/or megstulberg@gmail.com. 

Coast to Coast Coffee Roasters Review

Post by Megan Stulberg 

It would be understatement to say that I am a big fan of coffee. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that I am such a big fan of coffee, I got a tattoo in its honour. I am a pseudo-coffee fanatic: I love its taste and thoroughly appreciate its caffeinated qualities, but am not a snob about it. I don’t understand what things like “cortado” mean and I’ve never been to a cupping. But I do know what a good cup of coffee tastes like.

Coast to Coast Coffee is Canada’s local roaster. The beans are organic, fair trade and freshly roasted in small batches.
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DISCLAIMER: This is a paid product review.
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I tried Coast to Coast’s Superior Dark Blend. It took me a long time to wean my way off of refined sugar and gradually switch to drinking my coffee black, but I’m glad I’ve crossed over to the dark side. I was pleasantly surprised by the deep, rich taste of this blend! Once you try a cup of full-bodied coffee, it’s really difficult to have anything but. I’d recommend drinking this coffee black, with a touch of maple syrup or served as a full-blown cappuccino — made with almond milk, of course.
I ground the Coast to Coast coffee beans immediately before brewing it in a french press (also known as a coffee plunger, but that sounds surprisingly gross). I like to use this technique whenever possible it keeps the coffee pure and concentrated, and its built-in filter produces less waste.
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Coast to Coast Coffee Roasters has a variety of unique and convenient ordering plans to choose from. You can order on a weekly, bi-monthly, monthly or one-time basis. All plans include free delivery to your mailbox, and same day roasting and shipping (literally the freshest coffee you could ever dream of). The plans are pay-as-you-go, and you can pause or cancel your plan at any time.
WANT A SWEET DISCOUNT? Use our code ‘vegangirlfriend5’ while ordering here for $5 off your first order when signing up for any recurring order (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) from now until the end of November! 
Coast to Coast Coffee Roasters has this killer home delivery program, which I experienced myself when they sent me samples. Coming home to a box of fragrant coffee beans? Yes please!

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PROBAR Review

By contributor Alexandra Courts

Alright folks! We’re about to introduce you to one of the tastiest nutrition bars on the market, assuming you haven’t smartened up by trying them yet.

Facts: PROBAR is one of the leading providers of vegan, organic and non-GMO energy bars that are tasty, convenient, and healthy. They have a variety of products that range from energy chews to full meal-replacements. All vegan, most gluten-free. They have a wide variety of products to suit your individual preferences perfectly, and it’s easy to purchase them in local grocery stores or order online at www.theprobar.com.

PROBAR base bars have 20 grams of plant-based protein each (!!!) and come in a variety of delicious flavours: Cookie dough, brownie crisp, mint chocolate, peanut butter chocolate, and super greens. How good do those sound?! They’re disguised as desserts while actually being packed with healthy ingredients like flax seeds. These seemed to sit fairly heavily, so we’d definitely recommend having one after a workout.

PROBAR bite bars are a great on-the-go snack option that will give you the midday pick-me-up that your body is craving. Flavours include: Peanut butter crunch, chocolate cherry cashew, coconut almond, mixed berry, super fruit and greens, and peanut butter chocolate. Additionally, bite bars are soy-free.

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We were so excited to give the PROBAR base and bite bars a try! In terms of texture: the bars were not at all dry, like some of the nutrition bars that are currently on the market. Each one left the tastebuds delighted, satisfied hunger cravings, and provided energy to the body that lasted throughout the day.

Special thanks to the kind people at PROBAR for sending these delicious treats our way to review.