Categories
Fast Food Plant-Based

Baja Fresh Introduces Three New Impossible Plant-Based Options

Photo: Baja Fresh

Three new Impossible Foods plant-based items are gracing Baja Fresh Mexican Grill’s menu.

Impossible Foods has been one of the leaders in the plant-based meat industry, collaborating with various fast food and fast-casual chains to help spread awareness of vegan options to a wider audience. The company’s latest partnership with Baja Fresh yields the following three new items:

  • Impossible Taco Combo: Three tacos with grilled corn tortillas filled with Impossible meat, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, Baja salsa, and Cotija cheese. Served with a side of black or pinto beans and Baja rice.
  • Fuego Impossible Burrito: Melted jack cheese, guacamole, black beans, Impossible meat, Diablo salsa, Six Chiles salsa, pico de gallo, pickled jalapeños, shredded lettuce and sour cream, all wrapped in a soft flour tortilla.
  • Impossible Bowl: Baja rice topped with roasted veggies, Impossible meat, sour cream, avocado, pico de gallo and tortilla strips.

All three of these new plant-based Impossible meat options can be found at all participating Baja Fresh locations for a limited time only.

Categories
Packaged Food Plant-Based

Crafty Counter Gears Up For Launch of Wundereggs, Billed as the First Plant-Based RTE Boiled Eggs

Photo: Crafty Corner

While the niche market of plant-based eggs already has scrambled egg applications covered via an assortment of brands, Crafty Corner will soon be entering the space with Wundereggs, a product that’s billed as the first plant-based ready to eat (RTE) boiled eggs, according to FoodNavigator-USA.

The Wundereggs are gluten free, soy free, grain free, and dairy free, and will be sold in packs of two plant-based boiled eggs. These ‘eggs’ are treated with high pressure processing (HPP), which give them a shelf life of 90-120 days. As for what they’re made up of, the egg white contains nuts and agar, while the yolk uses nuts, turmeric, and black salt.

Plant-based brand Crafty Counter, best-known for its frozen lentil- and bean-based bites – has developed these industry first ready-to-eat plant-based boiled eggs, which it hopes to launch late this year or early next year.

Further product details can be found here.

Categories
Culture Plant-Based Restaurants

This Vegan Shawarma Straight From Lebanon Is A Plant-Based Dream

“Vegan shawarma is an insult, just have a salad,” was the first comment left on this photo from @nogarlicnonions‘ Instagram account. A bit puzzling since shawarma is, for the most part, beloved, and to have it as a plant-based option for even more folks to enjoy would be an even bigger win for everyone.

So I’m pretty sure that’s what Furn El Sabaya out in Amchit, Lebanon was going for when offering their vegan shawarma on the menu. As a plant-based lifestyle keeps growing globally, so does the number of options that cater to vegans, vegetarians, and everyone else in between looking for a change of pace from meat.

And it seems a plant-based lifestyle has resonated strongly in Lebanon, where Hayek Hospital in Beirut was recently the world’s first hospital to serve a 100% vegan menu.

Categories
Packaged Food Plant-Based

Long John Silver’s Launches First Plant-Based Options With Good Catch

Plant-based options continue to widen their reach, as seafood chain Long John Silver’s has just partnered with plant-based seafood company, Good Catch, to launch two new menu items: Plant-Based Breaded Fish-Free Fillet and Plant-Based Breaded Crab-Free Cake.

For a limited time while supplies last, the below new options will be available at five locations across California and Georgia: 

  • Plant-Based Platter, which includes two Fish-Free Fillets, two Crab-Free Cakes, and two sides.
  • Two plant-based meal options featuring Fish-Free Fillets or Crab-Free Cakes, each served with two sides.
  • Fish-Free Fillets and Crab-Free Cakes as à la carte add-ons to any meal.

Customers in Georgia can visit the Newnan (52 Bullsboro Dr.) location, near Atlanta or the Albany (1805 N. Slappey Drive) location. In California, the offerings will be available in Bakersfield (3801 Ming Ave.), Sacramento (7228 Stockton Blvd), and Clovis (406 W Shaw Ave.).

Categories
Fast Food Plant-Based

Plant-Based Orange Chicken Is Coming To Panda Express Via Beyond Meat

Photos courtesy of Panda Express

There’s already a fast-growing market for plant-based American Chinese dishes like Orange Chicken and Honey Walnut Shrimp. Panda Express is taking advantage of that opportunity with a new meat-free version of their legendary Orange Chicken.

Panda teamed up with plant-based meat purveyor Beyond Meat for their new vegan option. Beyond, who just launched their own plant-based tenders, also has meat-free chicken projects ongoing with fast food giants like KFC.

Beyond Meat brought their new plant-based chicken to the collab, while Panda provided their classic Orange Sauce to give the dish its signature flavor without any of the poultry.

For those looking for plant-based side or alternative protein options, Panda recommends any of their sides (Chow Mein, White Rice, Brown Rice, or Veggies) and also has an Eggplant Tofu entree. With this new partnership with Beyond Meat, there’s also an open opportunity for the two to collab more in the future. Plant-based Ma Po Tofu, anyone?

Panda’s plant-based Orange Chicken will be available in select locations in New York and Southern California starting July 26th for a limited time. One can only hope that this will eventually scale to a nationwide, permanent menu item for plant-based or flexitarian consumers.

Categories
Entrepreneurship Fast Food Health Plant-Based

nomoo | New American Burgers: From Sacrifice to Success

Housed in the original Johnny Rockets on Melrose Ave, you’ll find nomoo | New American Burgers, the latest plant-based burger joint to hit Los Angeles. Retaining a nostalgic American diner element, as you enter you’re transported to a bygone era complete with eye-catching neon signs, vibrant interior colors and the unmistakable smell of classic deliciousness. Wrapped in the vintage aesthetic is a menu specially curated from passion and patience. 

Having been open only for a year, nomoo is the brainchild of owner George Montagu Brown. Brown was an unlikely burger joint owner. He originally ran a successful internet business in Costa Rica, which while very lucrative, failed to fill him with a sense of purpose. In thinking back on his previous business, he says, “One of the things I learned from early financial success was that money isn’t everything. The reward comes not from the profit numbers but seeing a team I built grow and work together, from guest interactions and when people love the food we created.”

As a vegan, Brown had a strong connection to the plight of farm animals. His dream had always been to raise awareness about the harrowing conditions of factory farming. Believing vegan food can (and does) change people’s perspective, he initially considered pursuing the avenue of education as a way to raise awareness. The burning question he longed to answer was, “Do we need animal products in fast food at all?” 

Ultimately deciding that experience, rather than education, was a better pathway forward, prompting Brown to create nomoo. To fulfill this mission, his idea was to offer the experience of “combining a restaurant with an ‘all day party’ vibe with plant-based products.” Brown set his mind to pursuing what he felt deeply to be his purpose and took a leap of faith. Knowing that success requires sacrifice, he shuttered his online business and invested his own money to make his dreams a reality. 

Pursuing his dream had its challenges. Without investors, he chose to move from Costa Rica, hoping to launch nomoo in Los Angeles. To further complicate the transition, he opened right before last year’s pandemic hit, forcing him to close the doors only seven days following. When nomoo finally reopened in June, it faced supply delays. Vegan products were often unavailable. Despite the setbacks, Brown managed to push through and now shares his vision with hungry Angelenos looking for post-pandemic grub.

Prepped entirely by hand, considerable emphasis is placed on quality. The nomoo burger is the house staple. Ingredients consist of the Impossible patty complimented by an in-house nomoo sauce, American cheeze, house pickles, and a tomato resting atop a bed of butter lettuce that’s secured by a freshly made brioche bun. Additional menu items include plant-based takes on American diner classics like The Hot Chik’in sandwich, handspun gourmet shakes, fries and an assortment of tasty sauces. I had the opportunity to try their most recent offering, the BBQ Facon Burger, and I can say it too delivers on all mouthwatering fronts. Additionally, the food is made fresh daily and 10% of proceeds are donated to Mercy For Animals.

Fueled by purpose, Brown can often be found at nomoo | New American Burgers on Melrose Ave. working “twice as hard for much less pay.”

Categories
Packaged Food Plant-Based

Beyond Meat Launches Beyond Chicken Tenders Nationwide

Starting today, Beyond Meat will be launching Beyond Chicken Tenders at restaurants across the country. The plant-based giant is looking to disrupt the chicken category and it’s doing so in a big way with this new product.

Made from simple, plant-based ingredients without the use of GMOs, Beyond Chicken Tenders offer 14 grams of protein per serving and 40% less saturated fat than the leading foodservice chicken tender.

This launch comes at a crucial time when consumer demand for chicken continues to put stress on the available supply nationwide and as restaurants start to re-open and recoup momentum.

Categories
Food Waste Plant-Based Sustainability Technology

Introducing The World’s First 3D-Printed Compostable Coffee Pods

Within the US, over half of the population drinks coffee. That’s 150 million people getting their caffeine fix, and typically at a three cup per day average. Additionally, single-use coffee pods have become a popular choice for caf-fiends with 41% of Americans owning a single-cup coffee maker.

Great for productivity, but not so awesome for our environment, over 50 billion paper cups are thrown away within the U.S. each year. It’s even said that discarded coffee pods, which are made of aluminum and plastic, could circle the entire globe a staggering 10 times. Despite this level of massive waste, coffee popularity shows no signs of slowing down.  

To help combat coffee consumption waste, forward-thinking company NEXE Innovations has created the world’s first compostable single-use coffee pods. Founded in 2015, NEXE Innovations uses 3D-printing to design, prototype and patent the pods, offering a sustainable option for eco-conscious coffee lovers. The idea came through a desire to replace non-biodegradable plastic. Spending six years in development, the company is now a leader in plant-based manufacturing. Their first commercial product is aptly-named the NEXEpod.

“Through continued trial and error, we have developed a pod that can consistently withstand the heat and pressure of a Keurig coffee brewing system while also being plant-based, fully compostable and still provides the freshness and great taste that our consumers expect from a good cup of coffee. To be able to provide these qualities and do so in batches of thousands of pods at a time has been a very difficult process and a definite engineering feat,” says Ash Guglani, President of NEXE Innovations.

The company currently uses 3D-printing technology to quickly design the NEXEpods, moving from design to concept in under a day. They now have most of the necessary equipment to produce over 230 million of the bamboo and corn based pods per year.

Introduced earlier this year, XOMA Superfoods is the company’s in-house coffee and superfoods brand. Created as a vehicle to deliver high quality coffee and superfoods to market, XOMA also helps to ensure NEXE adheres to their sustainability goals. The first product offered was a soluble micro-ground coffee blend fortified in MCT-oil and packaged in the NEXEpod. Since then, they’ve expanded to offer additional options like their Keto and Mushroom coffees, each of which can be ordered online

Moving forward, NEXE Innovations plans to continue expanding their proprietary coffee and superfoods lines into conscious coffee consumers. Only available on their website and Amazon currently, the company hopes to achieve Amazon Prime status soon. They’re also in talks with various other online platforms that cater to plant-based and coffee enthusiasts.