Beans in Pouches

Jyotifoods Natural Foods' new organic bean pouches come in four different varieties: pinto, garbanzo, dark red kidney, and black beans. Healthy and appetizing, these beans are specially packed in BPA-free pouches instead of the usual cans and have a lower sodium content than canned beans. The pouches also give the beans more space than cans, so they aren't so tightly packed that they get mashed at the bottom. My favorite is the garbanzo beans, as they have such a unique texture and flavor from the rest. They satisfied my cravings for Middle Eastern and Indian food as I was able to transform them into mouth-watering falafel and Indian curry. Any of the four varieties would be a great complement to many dishes; try them atop a salad or in your next taco. On average, these beans contain a remarkable 40-50% of your daily recommended intake of fiber per pouch. Visit to find a supermarket or natural foods store near you that carries these bean pouches.

Written by Bansari Acharya.

Comfort in a Box

I don't have high expectations for frozen entrées in general, but with the added requirements of being vegan and gluten free, I dug into Amy's newest vegetable lasagna with a healthy degree of skepticism. Twenty minutes later I was licking up the last bits of sauce. I find it difficult to get the consistency of rice pasta just right when cooking on the stovetop and keeping a watchful eye, so I was particularly impressed with the texture, consistency, and fresh taste of these lasagna noodles. The addition of zucchini, spinach, onions, and mini tofu bites added to the heartiness of the dish, while the generous dose of tomato sauce and Daiya mozzarella cheese made this meal taste like home. For a quick, comforting lunch or dinner at work, home, or anywhere with a microwave, it doesn't get much tastier than this. Look for Amy's Gluten Free Dairy Free Vegetable Lasagna in grocery and natural foods stores nationwide and in Target.

Written by Samantha Gendler.

Pizza Kits

BelloLea pizza kits offer the 'cooking from scratch' experience while keeping the actual workload to a minimum. There are four varieties of do-it-yourself pizza: Whole Wheat, Low Sodium Whole Wheat, Gluten Free, and BBQ, and all are completely vegan, as well as free of cholesterol, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Each kit includes the sauce and crust mix to make a 12-inch pizza, plus a round high-temperature cooking paper to build and cook it on that simulates a pizza stone. This makes for a low-mess experience and one less dish to wash at the end. With the addition of your favorite toppings, such as veggies, vegan mozzarella, and faux meats, you'll have a fresh, personalized pizza after baking for only 10 minutes. Kids especially will enjoy creating one-of-a-kind pies for themselves and eating the results.

BelloLea also offers fundraising opportunities for your school, sports team, or group. Rather than cookies or candy, the pizza kits offer a healthy option that is flexible for families, whether vegan, gluten-free, or watching sodium intake, that is completely customizable. To find BelloLea pizza kits near you or to inquire about fundraising opportunities, visit

Written by Samantha Gendler.

Quinoa Crunch

Quinoa Crunch by The Perfect Snaque is a wholesome snack food made with lentils, quinoa, and dried fruit. It regularly comes in 6-oz bags, but is also available in individual 1-oz pouches, perfect for lunchboxes and purses. I topped my salad with the Coconut Almond and was completely satisfied with the sweetened flavor and the lasting effect of being full. Quinoa Crunch is also tasty sprinkled over yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, or poured directly into the mouth. All three flavors — Apple Quinoa, Cinnamon Apple, and Coconut Almond — can be found at: or any participating Whole Foods Market.

Written by Devlyn Perugini, VRG Intern.