Quinoa Qrunch

The Incas were on to something when they called quinoa a sacred grain; it's one of the most protein-rich grains we can eat. But the Incas probably weren't concerned about the convenience factor that drives many of our food choices today, which is where Qrunch comes in. Qrunch burgers provide all the nutrition of quinoa without the measuring, rinsing, and simmering time. The addition of millet to these patties provides a satisfying crispy crust, especially when sautéed in a skillet. On top of being quick, filling, and vegan, Qrunch burgers are virtually allergen free. They do not contain wheat, eggs, corn, dairy, nuts, soy, or sweeteners. All four flavors — Original, Spicy Italian, Sweet Curry, and Green Chile — taste notably different. Despite the traditional veggie burger shape, these patties aren't limited to being served on a bun. I enjoyed the Sweet Curry with pita bread and hummus, and the Green Chile wrapped in a tortilla with romaine lettuce and salsa. You can find Qrunch burgers nationwide in the gluten-free or frozen sections at Wegmans, Kroger, and Whole Foods, as well as in some local natural foods stores. Visit for more information.

Written by Samantha Gendler.

Chocolate on a Mission

With each bite of a Missionary Chocolates truffle, you can satisfy your sweet tooth and do a bit of community service all at once. Owner and Chocolatier Melissa Berry is a naturopathic doctor who is building an integrated hospital in Portland, funded in part by her handcrafted vegan treats. Missionary Chocolates are dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free, but that doesn't mean flavor-free. On the contrary, let your taste buds feast upon the bold flavors: Vanilla Salted Caramel, Meyer Lemon Explosion, Spicy Cinnamon Chipotle, and Peppermint Perfection. The presentation is part of the fun with these treats. Each truffle is topped with a tiny hint of its contents: an espresso bean, a sprinkling of salt, or a bright-green foil wrapper for peppermint. And those who need to watch their glycemic index aren't left out of the party; Berry has created a caramel-filled dark chocolate Coconut Palm Sugar Truffle with a glycemic index of only 35. Missionary Chocolates truffles are available at their retail storefront in Portland at 2712 NE Glisan St, at select shops and farmers' markets in California, Oregon, and Washington, and online at You can call (503) 961-3262 to arrange an order, carry the truffles in your store, or even to create your own custom flavor.

Written by Samantha Gendler.

A Berry Quick and Nutritious Snack

Naturipe's Berry Quick Snacks are a fantastic, convenient way to have fresh fruit on the go. The pre-washed berries are perfect for kids, coming in a durable, portable package that won't be crushed in a school lunch and can be eaten right from the pack. They are a practical solution to replace less healthy snacking options and ensure you and your family are getting a fresh, healthy serving of blueberries full of vitamins and antioxidants.

Berry Quick Snacks are being sold nationwide at grocery stores, restaurants, and some schools, becoming available in more and more places every day. Naturipe ultimately plans to expand their distribution to cafeterias, hospitals, airports, and other convenient locations where healthier snacking options are needed. Another great feature of Berry Quick Snacks is that they could be sold in vending machines. Naturipe does not yet have Berry Quick Snacks in vending machines but would like to see them there soon. If you would like to bring Berry Quick Snacks to your vending machines that provide refrigeration at 32 degrees, contact Dave Adams at If you would like to see Naturipe's Berry Quick Snacks at a grocery store near you, contact a Naturipe sales representative at

Written by Emma Malone, VRG intern.

Candle Cafe Gourmet at Home

Candle Cafe restaurant has been a prized New York vegan hot spot for almost 30 years, and now you don't have to be in the Big Apple or even dining out to enjoy their fine gourmet vegan meals. Candle Cafe now offers four new takes on classic dishes as convenient frozen entrées: Ginger Miso Stir Fry, Seitan Piccata with Lemon Caper Sauce, Macaroni and Cheese, and Tofu Spinach Ravioli. Each entrée takes less than five minutes to prepare and is both satisfying and well-portioned. The seitan dish, dressed in a zingy lemon caper sauce and delicately combined with organic brown rice with spinach, is the kind of flavorful treat you don't usually get from other frozen food selections. The Tofu Ravioli has big juicy bites of organic pasta filled with spinach and tofu and is accompanied by just the perfect amount of roasted garlic tomato sauce and melted 'cheese.' The noodles in the classic Macaroni and Cheese taste unbelievably fresh and the creamy 'cheese' sauce is a gourmet twist on a familiar favorite. The Ginger Miso Stir Fry includes tofu, zucchini, water chestnuts, peppers, carrots, and edamame, accented with a ginger miso sauce and paired with organic brown rice. Definitely try these entrées; they are hot, hearty, and sure to fill you up. For more information or to find out where Candle Cafe Frozen Entrées can be found near you, see their website at

Written by Emma Malone, VRG intern.

Lightlife Chicken Alternatives

Lightlife's new Crispy Gold'n Chik'n Patties and Crispy Gold'n Chik'n Nuggets are among the most convincing chicken alternatives I've ever tried. They are strikingly similar to the animal version; the texture and seasoning are spot-on. These crispy vegan delights are packed with 8-11 grams of protein per serving, less than 250 calories, and do not contain cholesterol or trans fats, making them the perfect entrée for kids and adults alike. The patties are good for eating plain, or on a bun dressed with your favorite sauce and toppings. The nuggets make a crunchy, juicy addition to a salad, and kids will enjoy dunking them in ketchup or mustard in traditional nugget fashion. The lightly seasoned crumb breading, packed with a tender, smooth center, leaves a lingering peppery flavor that warms the taste buds. They're also quick and easy to make. Just pop them in the oven for 12-14 minutes and you'll have a delicious vegan addition to a meal that's suitable for the whole family.

Crispy Gold'n Chik'n Patties and Nuggets retail for about $3.99 a box and are available at major grocery stores and natural foods stores. To locate a Lightlife product near you, call 1-800-SOY-EASY or visit their website at

Written by Emma Malone, VRG intern.