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#foodbeast Adventures Food Trends Health Plant-Based Restaurants What's New

The Makers Of The Viral Watermelon Ham Have Created A New ‘Carrot Dog’

As a vegan I’ve tried many “alternative proteins,” some decent, others horrible. I can say that over the years things have definitely improved and will continue to. Alternative meat options most often come in the form of processed plant stuff: soy, seitan, tempeh and more recently, pea protein. Recently, vegans have definitely become very resourceful. For instance, I just tried a banana peel burger. Yes, a burger that was made from banana peels. When I first heard about it I thought it was a funny vegan joke. Turns out that when cooked, banana peels have a potato-like consistency. Sounds crazy right? Crazy delicious.

Speaking of crazy, this month plant-based brand by CHLOE. launched a CARROT dog in collaboration with Harry & Ida’s Meat & Supply Co. and Guinness World Record holder for competitive eating, Takeru Kobayashi. This dog is made entirely of carrot, New York-style, with no processed plant stuff. The carrot is hand-picked, cured, smoked AND aged for five days. Let that marinate.

Samantha Wasser, founder of by CHLOE., came up with the idea following the success of their smoked watermelon ham. The smoked watermelon ham was in collaboration with Ducks Eatery, another restaurant from Harry & Ida’s owners Will & Julie Horowitz. Wasser said:

“Our goal is to offer our guests clean, yet satisfying plant-based options without any artificial flavors or foreign ingredients, and the Carrot Dog aligns perfectly with our mission. I was completely blown away by Will & Julie’s creativity and knew we needed to work together to introduce The Carrot Dog to the world!”

Each carrot is hand-picked, “perfectly-sized” and cured with salt, pepper, garlic and oregano, then smoked over local oak and maple woods. Five days later, a “natural casing” is created in what mimics the look of a traditional dog. Finally, the carrot dog is grilled. Apparently the dog took 1.5 years and 100 tries of playing with smoked vegetables to get right. 

To give the launch an additional boost, by CHLOE. is teaming with competitive eating legend, six time Guinness World Record holder, Takeru Kobayashi. Kobayashi, who lives a mostly plant-based diet between competitions said:

“As a hot dog master, I’ve seen and tried many vegetarian hot dogs, and personally hadn’t found one that I enjoy until I tried by CHLOE.’s new Carrot Dog. The smoky taste of the carrot in the bun is something really unique and different, and I love that it’s made with only carrots and no processed ingredients.”

The Carrot Dog has been available at all stateside by CHLOE. locations since July 1st, and will be offered for $6.75.

Photos: Meredith Sidman
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Entrepreneurship Plant-Based The Katchup

Beyond Meat Just Became The First Plant-Based Burger Producer To Go Public

In the past few years, we’ve seen plant-based meat go from a Silicon Valley pipedream to a revolutionary food that has already invaded mainstream fast food chains. Now, the disruptive industry is making Wall Street its next target, as Beyond Meat has become a publicly traded company.

Photo courtesy of Carl’s Jr.

Beyond Meat is now the first ever plant-based burger purveyor to ever go public, a major step forward in confirming that vegan meat substitutes are the way forward. Investors seem to think so too: Just hours after launch, the company has already more than doubled its share price, a feat only achieved by just over 20 other companies in the last two decades.

It’s clear that plant-based food has invaded the mainstream and become a core part of daily eating, whether it be as a vegan, flexitarian or just someone looking to cut down on meat consumption. Could this also be a sign that these substitutes aren’t just going to be a part of the status quo, but could one day dominate it?

That conversation merits discussion, especially with how Beyond Meat is skyrocketing up the charts today. With all of that in mind, myself, fellow Foodbeast Elie Ayrouth, and vegan chef Skyler Tanksley broke down what all of this might mean on Foodbeast’s The Katchup Podcast. Tanksley, who runs the kitchen at Orange County’s first-ever vegan diner, Munchies, had some particularly insightful thoughts into what a future where plant-based meats are the norm could be like.

Regardless of whether any of that comes true, one thing is for certain: With how Beyond Meat is already performing on the stock market, it’s only a matter of time before vegan meat becomes as commonplace as the real thing.

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Fast Food Plant-Based

Plant-Based Impossible Whoppers Are Coming To Burger King Locations Nationwide

Burger King is less than a month into testing their new plant-based Impossible Whopper. It’s gone so well, apparently, that they’ve already decided to begin revealing plans to bring the vegan meat patty to all of their locations nationwide.

Photo courtesy of Burger King

While Burger King has yet to reveal any numbers in regards to the test, they did note that the Impossible Whoppers are doing “exceedingly well” in a statement. “Burger King Restaurants in St Louis are showing encouraging results and Impossible Whopper sales are complementing traditional Whopper purchases,” it reads, confirming plans to extend the test to other markets in the near future. By the end of 2019, Burger King hopes to have completed a nationwide rollout of the plant-based meat.

This rollout would be the largest yet for Impossible Foods, who currently has its “bleeding” burger substitute available in over 5,000 locations globally. Adding Burger King’s US locations to that list effectively doubles it, as the chain has over 6,000 locations nationwide.

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Fast Food Plant-Based

Pizza Hut Addresses Rumors That It’s Adding Vegan Cheese To Its US Locations

Pizza Hut has addressed rumors about adding vegan cheese to all of its locations nationwide in a statement given to Foodbeast.

Photo courtesy of Pizza Hut

The story began with the Vegan Herald, who first reported on an apparent e-mail exchange they had with the pizza giant. They announced that Pizza Hut had stated that they plan to have vegan cheese available in all locations across the USA this summer, with a target date set for August. Following that report, plant-based news sites across the internet ran similar stories on their own pages.

It certainly would have been a monumental move for the plant-based fast food movement. While vegan cheese is already available at chains like Blaze Pizza and Pieology, Pizza Hut would have easily become the biggest ‘za chain in the country to add their own plant-based variety. Since they already have it as a permanent option in the UK, it also is in line with what the company has been doing.

However, Pizza Hut shut down those rumors in a statement, telling Foodbeast that “while we’re proud of our dedicated vegan menu in the UK, the report is inaccurate and we have no plans at this time to carry vegan cheese at our US locations.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean Pizza Hut wouldn’t consider utilizing a vegan cheese in the US sometime soon. Considering how well plant-based foods are doing for chains like Burger King and Carl’s Jr., it also makes sense for somebody like Pizza Hut to be the next to enter that space.

Either way, it’s eyes front on Pizza Hut to see if and when they will ever bring a plant-based cheese substitute to the United States.

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Fast Food Plant-Based What's New

White Castle’s Impossible Slider Is So Successful They’re Making Limited-Edition Versions Now

With Del Taco, Qdoba, Burger King, and everyone else in fast food adding plant-based meat, it’s clear that vegan substitutes are the way forward for the industry. If that wasn’t enough proof for you, take a look at what White Castle is doing.

Photo courtesy of White Castle

The slider chain has been teaming up with Impossible Foods for a while now to create a ground-breaking vegan slider. Apparently, that partnership has proven to be such a big hit that they’re making limited-time offerings that feature the Impossible meat as part of their regular lineup.

For White Castle, that first Impossible Burger LTO is a BBQ Impossible Slider, which takes the vegan meat and slathers on barbecue sauce and crispy onions. It’s a pretty simple item, sure, but to add it to a lineup of BBQ sliders as part of an LTO speaks volumes as to how well the faux meat is performing for the chain.

To put that in context, test locations that ran the slider for White Castle saw a 250% jump in sales initially. Since then, sales of the meat-free item have been 30% higher than initial expectations, according to a Restaurant Business Online report.

More importantly, it’s huge that a fast food chain isn’t just creating a single meat-free burger alternative, but multiple using the same substitute. That shows how much this Impossible Meat is resonating with consumers, and if the trends are any indication, it’ll continue to dominate all of fast food for years to come.

White Castle’s OG Impossible Slider is still on menus everywhere, but the BBQ Impossible Slider will only be around for a limited time.

Categories
Fast Food Plant-Based What's New

Qdoba Is Adding Plant-Based Impossible Meat To All Of Its Restaurants Nationwide

Following a successful test run in Michigan, Qdoba has decided to add plant-based Impossible “meat” to all of its restaurants nationwide.

Photo courtesy of Qdoba

By May 28th, customers at all of Qdoba’s stores will be able to use Impossible Meat to make any of their items. There will also be an official Impossible Bowl and Impossible Taco that you can order.

This rollout is going to start on April 23rd, when locations in Brooklyn, Denver, and Los Angeles will start selling the plant-based meat. All other 730-plus Qdoba restaurants will follow suit afterward.

Qdoba’s version of the plant-based meat consists of pre-seasoned Impossible protein made with tomatoes, garlic, chilis, smoked paprika, and red onions.

The announcement comes on the heels of Del Taco’s own announcement involving plant-based meat. They just confirmed that Beyond Meat will be available in all locations nationwide by April 25th.

That combo of both Del Taco and Qdoba adding plant-based meat means that over 1,200 fast food restaurants will add vegan meat options to their menu over the next six weeks, dramatically increasing the availability of plant-based fast food items.

Categories
Fast Food Plant-Based

An In-Depth Look At Del Taco’s Entire ‘Beyond Meat’ Menu, Launching This Month

Del Taco is gearing up to launching their groundbreaking Beyond Meat partnership nationwide, and it’s a whole lot more than just a couple of tacos.

Starting April 25th, you’ll be able to get Del Taco’s exclusive plant-based meat on just about any item on the chain’s entire menu. This includes everything from the Beyond Taco and Beyond Avocado Taco to Loaded Queso Fries and secret menu items like the Bun Taco. Swapping out something like steak or regular ground beef for the Beyond Meat, however, will come at a slight upcharge.

For those wondering on exactly how vegan the menu will be, Del Taco is taking precautions to minimize any chances of cross-contamination. Each location will have tools specific to handling the plant-based taco crumble, ensuring that anything that touches regular meat will not touch the Beyond variant. That ensures that items specifically designed for vegans, like the Beyond Avocado Taco, stay that way.

Del Taco’s nationwide partnership with Beyond Meat makes it one of the largest in fast food to have a permanent plant-based option. It also gives consumers flexibility to adapt their diet, whether it be for health or sustainability purposes, so they are able to cut meat out of their diet more often at an affordable price.

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Cravings Health Packaged Food Plant-Based Products

8 Vegan Cheeses You’ll Want To Add To Your Plant-Based Bucket List

Groundhouse’s Vegan Burger

For the majority of my life, I’ve experienced the bitter taste of lactose intolerance in my gut and in my soul. As a result, I simply avoided milk and cheese at all costs. Unfortunately, the siren song of a juicy burger with a hearty slice of cheese or a piping hot pizza straight from the oven would often haunt me.

As many coworkers have pointed out when I mention how much I miss cheese, we now live in an age where plant-based cheese alternatives are bountiful. Some are developed enough to just hit the spot, while others are so close that you actually can’t tell the difference between them or the real thing.

Check out some of the top vegan cheese brands currently in the market, each accessible through the click of a mouse or a trip to a speciality store. Going to make a bucket list to get my hands on each and every one of these. Stay tuned for a follow up with my thoughts!


Follow Your Heart

One of the more popular brands of vegan cheese slices, you’ll find Follow Your Heart on the menu of viral vegan burger chains like Monty’s Good Burger. I’ve had their cheddar on many a vegan burger, and frankly, it tastes nearly identical.

Kite Hill

 

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While Kite Hill is probably best known for their yogurts, they also produce almond milk-based cheeses such as ricotta. According to fellow Foodbeast, Constantine Spyrou, their plant-based ricotta is probably one of the best vegan cheese substitutes he’s had.

Miyoko’s Creamery

 

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The passion project of award-winning vegan chef Miyoko Schinner, Mikoyo’s Creamery is believed to be one of the first brands to bring vegan cheeses into the mainstream. Mikoyo produces high-quality cheeses from nut milks that even include artisanal vegan cheese wheels.

Violife

The first time I got to try Violife cheese, it was at a Natural Food and Products Expo. Violife makes a variety of vegan cheese options like cream cheese, parmesan, feta, smoked provolone, and cheddar. However, their take on queso was truly a mouthwatering experience.

Good Planet Foods

 

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Good Planet Foods prides themselves in a variety of tastes that tailor themselves to the consumer. What draws me to their brand of cheese is that the slices come in a bevy of unique flavors such as garlic and herb, hot pepper, and tomato basil.

Parmela Creamery

 

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Parmela Creamery draws from the subtle flavors that come from cashews. The company utilizes a slow-aging process for their nut cheeses that unlocks rich authentic flavors. Products include cheese spreads, meltable slices, cheese sauces, and meltable shredded cheese.

Wayfare

 

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A good smoked salmon bagel is something I’ll never turn down — even if the lactose gets the best of me for the rest of the day. Fortunately, Wayfare Foods specializes in dairy-free cream cheeses (with flavors like onion chive, green olive, and jalapeño) that may be the perfect solution to my bagel predicament.

Bute Island

 

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Foodbeast’s Analiese Trimber, a fellow lactose-intolerant soul who’s tried nearly every iteration of vegan cheeses, told me that Bute Islands was one of the best vegan cheeses she’s experienced.

“My favorite was the Greek style,” she said. “It was fashioned after feta cheese and their rendition was super creamy and slightly tangy, just like a good feta.”