In our first installation of  product battles, we are bringing you a fight fit for the summer weather and BBQ diet! Memorial day and grilling season is fast approaching and for us vegans out there, there are many options! In fact, for a full guide to vegan and green BBQs check out our earlier posts.   All these options can create one huge ball of confusion on what to serve for your guests.  This is where AP steps in and gives you are very first product battle!  In one corner, hailing from Massachusetts we have Lightlife Tofu Pups and in the other corner representing Oregon, we have Tofurkey Beer Brats! Now both these products make terrific substitutes for hot dogs or sausages but how do they compare? Let’s find out!

 

 

1) Price: Tofu Pups usually range from $2.99 to $4.00 depending on the store. However, they tend to go on sale in the major markets.  The Beer Brats are a bit more pricey. They usually run $4.99 or up. I can rarely find them for under$5!  1 Point for Tofu Pups!
 

2) Company: Lightlife was bought out by major food producer ConAgra foods and is no longer a small company. However, they give back to such groups as Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank of Western New England, and many more! While, Turtle Island Foods has a wonderful little creation story and is still family/friend owned and operated since 1980. 1 Point for Beer Brats!

3) Nutrition: Tofu Pups are the much healthier choice, containing only 60 Calories and 2.5g of Fat in each pup, while the Beer Brats are much higher in Calories and fat. In fact there are 280 Calories and 16g of Fat in each brat. Both contain plenty of sodium 300mg for the pups and 650mg for the brats. Both also contain some organic ingredients and no MSG. But due to the drastic difference in calories, we have to give this one to the Pups! 1 Point for the Tofu Pups!

4) Cook-ability: When put on the grill, the little pups cook really fast and tend to get chewy on the outside and remain soft on the inside. They also sometimes stick to the grill!  The beer brats tend to hold up on the grill and even get those beautiful lines when grilled to perfection.  And they have that sizzle just like a regular sausage without sticking or becoming chewy! 1 Point for Beer Brats!!

5) Taste: The Tofu Pups have a great traditional hot dog taste that will leave that all American ballpark  aftertaste. Despite the chewiness, they can hold up next to a regular packaged hot dog.  However, if you are looking for something with a bolder more satisfying flavor, turn to the brats! The sausage spices coupled with a hint of Full Sail Ale make for an explosion of flavor! They also go great with a summer beer! 1 Point for the Beer Brats!!

TOTALS:     2  Points  for Tofu Pups and 3 Points for Beer Brats

And the winner is…………………….Tofurkey Beer Brats!!! But really both products are great and the Tofu Pups are a perfect subsititute for the traditional hot dog, while the beer brats give off that unique and different taste. But if we had to choose we would go with the Tofurkey Beer Brat, as they grill perfectly! You can find either product at most grocery stores, Whole Foods Markets, local Co-ops, and natural food stores. So get your grill on and find out for yourself which is better!

Just as the temperatures begin to drop and our minds start to wander towards holiday gift-giving, our new organic cotton collections have arrived from Peru! Hand knit out of 100% Fair Trade-certified, organic cotton by our women’s coop in Piura, our new line of hats, scarves and fingerless gloves are soft, warm, stylish, and as always, ethical! Buy ‘em as a set, individually, or give them as the perfect gift this season.

Also make sure to stop by our Bags & Purses page to checkout 3 new styles of hand made from the same luxurious Fair Trade organic cotton. Chic, functional and beautifully-crafted, our new bags come in 3 naturally-dyed colors and include a new clutch style with a very cute wood button closure!

To officially kick off the season of giving, we’re pleased to offer you free shipping onall orders over $100! That’s right… any domestic order that subtotals over $100 gets free USPS Parcel, Priority or UPS Ground shipping completely on us. So visit us now, browse our new stuff, stock up on gifts, and save! We have many more exciting plans in the works, so happy shopping and we’ll see ya again soon!

Now that summer is upon us and the celebration of all things American arrives in just two days, our meals make their way outside. Whether you are hosting a vegan party or need to cater to a special diet guest, the following will be your guide to a vegan summer cookout.

Fake Meat

If you are looking for meat substitutes for your bbq, there are many options that can be found at most health food stores, co-ops, and even health food sections at chain grocers. For just your basic hot dogs, try Tofu Pups or Tofurkey Franks. For a German Sausage twist we suggest Tofurkey Sausages, especially the Kielbasas and Beer Brats. If you are interested in replacing the good ol’ American Hamburger, your best bet is Gardenburger’s GardenVegan or Boca Original Vegan. If Chicken patties are your thing, indulge in Gardenburger’s Chik’n Grill or Breaded Chik’n. Finally, for those of you who go for the BBQ Ribs, try Gardenburger’s BBQ Ribs.

Grilled Veggies

If substitute meats aren’t exactly your thing or would like a side dish with the “meats,” here are a few suggestions. We personally love to make and serve vegan shish kabobs! Usually we like to marinate Tofu chunks overnight in a combination of soy sauce, peanut oil, scallions, and garlic. Next chop up veggies into large chunks. A few good ideas for veggies are Green or Red Bell Peppers, Tomatoes, Onions, Mushrooms, and Pineapple. If you place the tofu, veggies, and fruit on a table with the skewers close by, it is fun and entertaining for the guests to make their own kabobs. Also, veggies straight to the grill are always a good standard, especially Corn on the Cob, Onions, Artichokes, and Asparagus. If you don’t like your veggies grilled plain, try soaking them in balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Salads and Side Dishes

A great addition to any grilled food is salad! Some American favorites are Potato Salad or Macaroni Salad. Also, a favorite salad of ours is the Simple Sweet Summer Salad. And of course you can always serve any variation of green salads using your favorite veggies and fruits. Other side dishes you might like to include would be Spinach Dip, 7 Layer Bean Dip, vegan breads, and biscuits. Or if you want more suggestions, check out all our vegan recipes!

Desserts

The easiest and possibly healthiest dessert you can serve at any cookout is fruit. The best summer fruits that won’t spoil outside too quickly are Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Pineapple, Strawberries, Blueberries, and Cherries. But if you are feeling a bit more ambitious you may want attempt cupcakes or cakes. Check out the hundreds of vegan recipes for both on VeganCupcakeRecipes.com. You’ll be sure to find something you’ll favor in that long list of choices!

We hope these vegan bbq tips will help you plan your holiday cookouts or for future use. So watch those fireworks on a full stomach and make sure you wear sunscreen!

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