For those too young to remember, “It’s New To You” was a slogan NBC used to advertise repeats of its “Must See TV Lineup” back in 1997. I was in high school at the time and my best friend and I used to crack ourselves up by using the alternate slogan, “It’s Nude To You.” Very mature, I know. So mature, in fact, that NBC actually used that slogan one week (because it works perfectly for that standard sitcom plot where someone walks in on someone else in the shower). I’m still waiting for my royalty check.
So, yes, I’m using a cultural reference that’s nearly 20 years old as the title for this post. But hear me out. “It’s New To You” is actually a totally appropriate title for this post because I’m reviewing 3 food products that are not necessarily new — but they are new to me. (See, it’s just like advertising sitcom reruns in the late 90’s).
Earth Balance White Cheddar Mac and Cheese
First, I decided to try the boxed macaroni and cheese that has the vegan blogosphere all atwitter. Earth Balance mac & cheese comes in your choice of yellow or white cheese. I went with white because of my love of Amy’s brand shells and white cheddar. Although I’m always willing to try new things, I did not have high hopes for this mac & cheese. I’ve tried most every store bought vegan cheese that I’ve been able to get my hands on and all of them have wound up in the trash. The good news is that I was pleasantly surprised by this product. Although I thought it had a sweetness to it that seemed out of place, it wasn’t bad. The reheated leftovers tasted even better, especially when jazzed up veggies. I still prefer homemade mac and cheese, but this stuff will do in a pinch.
Trader Joe’s Pecan Pumpkin Instant Oatmeal
Trader Joe’s Pecan Pumpkin Instant Oatmeal is the best instant oatmeal I’ve ever tried. Flavored with dried pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices and nice chunks of pecan, it tastes like autumn in a bowl. As a bonus, the oats stayed nice and chewy, even when I microwaved them. I’m looking forward to enjoying this oatmeal all pumpkin season long.
Thai and True Red Curry Paste
When I order my soy curls from Food Fight Grocery, I always like to throw something extra into the cart to justify the shipping charges. This time, I went with red curry paste by Thai and True, a Portland-based maker of vegan curry pastes. (Click the image above to go to Food Fight’s website). I tried the paste out by making a simple curry using a can of coconut milk, 2 tbsp. of curry paste, some lime juice, peppers, onions, green beans and soy curls. I was happy with the finished product, which had a nice curry flavor punctuated by a good spicy kick.
Trying new things is fun. (Unless you are a toddler. My son would not touch any of this stuff – not even the macaroni.)