Vegan Bites & Brews at Kingma's Market

Sorry for the delay in posting this, I was extremely busy last week because my church was hosting the Midwest Parish Life Conference. So just pretend I posted this sometime last week.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Saturday was a very happy day! Mumra and I drove over to Kingma’s Market for the Vegan Bites & Brews event hosted by Vegan Grand Rapids.

2015-7-1 Kingma's O1
I was surprised to see the front of the store was packed with people waiting in line for samples of delicious vegan food. Before we hit the main row of tables, we were greeted by a woman at the door with a big chunk of an EcoTrek Fitness Whole Foods Bar. It had the definite taste of a “fitness” bar, but…it was also chocolate. I made sure to buy one.

It was hard to stop and take pictures of everything because I didn’t want to slow the line, but there were samples of Earth Balance Aged White Cheddar flavored Puffs, and their yummy P.B. Popps. There were also The Redheads brand veggie burgers, made here in Michigan.

2015-7-1 Kingma's O2
An eggless egg salad made with tofu and Follow Your Heart brand Vegenaise.

2015-7-1 Kingma's O3
But my favorite was the grilled cheese sandwich. Jon, of Vegan Grand Rapids, whipped these up with Follow Your Heart slices. And instead of buttering the bread, he used Magic Vegan Bacon Grease!

2015-7-1 Kingma's O4
Kingma’s Market is currently the only place in town selling this stuff, and about $2 cheaper than I’ve found anywhere else.

2015-7-1 Kingma's O5
Kingma’s is also one of the few places you can find these lovely vegan asparagus tamales by El Cardenal, another Michigan-based business. We actually went back for seconds 🙂 They also make a wonderful salsa. You can find the tamales in the freezer section.

We also found Qrunch Burgers, including the elusive Green Chili flavor! They had a couple flavors of Daiya Cheese, and a big selection of foods made in Michigan, and some right here in Grand Rapids.

OH! I almost forgot to mention The Brinery, based in Ann Arbor, had a table where we sampled their tempeh and sauerkraut (and they make hot sauce!). And everything we tried is available at Kingma’s.

The Qrunch Burgers are overpriced (find them at Meijer or Target for $5-something), but Daiya shreds were only $4.99. Great overall value if you know your prices.

Food Fight! Grocery in Portland

Yesterday we had the whole day to do whatever we wanted. So…we went shopping for food. This is my fourth trip to Portland, and every time I’m here I have to stop at Food Fight! Grocery. I do wish they would bring back the veggie dog carousel and the pay-by-weight nachos (complete with cheesy vegan nacho sauce you squirt from a pump!), but there are still plenty of other cool things to buy that I cannot find in Grand Rapids. But that nacho cheese pump, tho. But anyway,

IMG_4577.JPG
FOOD FIGHT!!!!!!!!!! Located at 1217 SE Stark, it is one of four businesses in an all-vegan strip mall. The others include Sweetpea Baking Co., The Herbivore Store, and Scapegoat Tattoo.

IMG_4571.JPG
Every faux food you could ever want. “Fish” fillets, corn dogs, whoopie pies…

IMG_4572.JPG
Taquitos and hot pockets!!!!!!!!!!!

IMG_4573
Super expensive artisan cheese made with cashews and other fermented nuts. I decided I would wait on these, maybe I’ll get them in the giant box of vegan food my dad gets me for Christmas every year 🙂

IMG_4574.JPG
Imagine if people had to pay $4.60 for a can of real tuna. Crazy.

IMG_4575.JPG
Tons of yummy looking sweets,

IMG_4576.JPG
and a few vegan jerkys I’d never seen before. But I did not buy any of these things.

IMG_4587.JPG
First I grabbed a drink because it was about 90 degrees out. Heh, love-flavored kombucha. I also grabbed another jar of Magic Vegan Bacon Grease because I only have half a spoonful left of the jar I bought in Austin. And some Daiya Provolone, just because. But the most exciting stuff I found…

IMG_4596.JPG
These new products from Earth Balance. The crackers are supposed to be like Cheez-its. I can’t remember the last time I ate Cheez-its, so I asked the BFF and BFF-in-law to try them and see if they’re similar. “Almost,” was the answer I got, but with a lighter cheese flavor. The puffs are interesting. They’re good, but I can’t tell if they taste cheesy for not. I’m surprised there’s no nutritional yeast in the ingredients, but maybe they were afraid they’d taste too much like Tings. The chips and Mac & Cheese I’ll have to try later and get back to you on. I’m super excited to see if the Earth Balance brand m-n-c is better than Mac n Chreese.

If you’ve been to Food Fight, what’s your favorite item to purchase there??

H-E-B grocery store (the B is for Butt!)

So, one evening Zohr took me to visit the Meijer of Texas, H-E-B,

20140521-023030-9030846.jpg
which stands for Howard E. Butt, poor guy. Sorry for laughing like an 8th grader. Anyway, it’s a nice store. One thing it has on Meijer…

20140521-023056-9056320.jpg
this refrigerator case with Daiya cheese, Vegenaise, gluten free sweets, and weird (interesting) beverages. Yeah, I bought one of the weird drinks.

20140521-023124-9084839.jpg
Never seen this brand before, unfortunately this was towards the end of my trip and I didn’t have time to eat it, so I didn’t buy it 🙁 Has anyone tried Sweet Earth?

20140521-023121-9081552.jpg
Reasonably priced supplements, and things I normally only find on Amazon.

20140521-023211-9131546.jpg
Lots of options for tomato stuff Not in a can, for those concerned with BPA. There were glass jars also.

20140521-023206-9126602.jpg
The produce section.

20140521-023322-9202051.jpg
They have these nice shelves in the front of the cart, that way…

20140521-023324-9204871.jpg
if you have two kids sitting in the back (yep, it seats two little ones!), you still have a place to keep your bread safe from getting squashed.

20140521-023357-9237221.jpg
And for $1.97 you can get a nice reusable, insulated bag. On the way back to Michigan, I used this as my purse and loaded it up (there are no pockets inside for money or cellphones, but that’s okay because my real purse was inside the bag :)).

It would be really cool if Meijer carried more vegan stuff and odd health food stuff so I could get it all in one place, and probably at a better price than what I pay at health food stores. Please, Meijer? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaase?!??!