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Fast Food

Taco Bell Unveils Vegetarian Black Bean Toasted Cheddar Chalupa

Photo courtesy of Taco Bell

Last year, Taco Bell debuted their Toasted Cheddar Chalupa. The menu item featured all the staples of a classic chalupa: lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, and customers’ choice of proteins along with a chalupa taco shell that was toasted with aged cheddar. 

The golden bells of comfort food and convenience have announced that the popular menu item will return to menus this fall and with it a new variation. 

Joining the return of the Toasted Cheddar Chalupa will be a vegetarian alternative to the popular menu item: The Black Bean Toasted Cheddar Chalupa

Certified vegetarian by the American Vegetarian Association, the chalupa features Taco Bell’s signature black beans in place of meat. The new item will join the Veggie Cravings menu, which boasts 13 existing vegetarian menu items.

Man, they already had me at anything toasted with cheddar. 

You can find the Toasted Cheddar Chalupas now at participating Taco Bell locations nationwide. 

Categories
Deals Health News Packaged Food Plant-Based What's New

Beyond Meat’s Burger Patty Priced The Lowest It’s Ever Been: $1.60

As meat prices soar, plant-based patty producer Beyond Meat is making an attempt to appeal to the masses.

The company will be releasing its Cookout Classic 10-pack, a value of their well-known plant-based burgers, which will be for sale in most Targets and Walmarts nationwide for $15.99.

“The new offering will be available through mid-August, or until supplies last, and is intended to narrow the price gap between plant-based meat and animal protein, making delicious, nutritious and sustainable plant-based meat more accessible to more people,” said the company in a statement via email. 

The release comes at a time when meat prices are the highest they’ve been since 1974, which the brand hopes will leave typical meat-eating consumers a bit more open to trying plant-based burgers. 

“This forward-looking pricing represents an important milestone along our journey to make Beyond Meat more accessible to all consumers,” said CEO Ethan Brown.

According to CNN, a secondary, less consumer centric reason is that the company has an excess amount of the patties, which were destined for restaurants pre-COVID, and hopes to get rid of the stock.

This plan is only a part of the company’s ever-expanding reach, as they’ve recently inked a deal with Yum Brand’s (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell) Chinese storefronts and tested burgers in McDonald’s Canada. A direct-to-consumer website will be released this summer, as well. 

Hounded by restaurant shutdowns or not, Beyond Meat appears to be chugging along and trying to turn a negative situation into an opportunity for expansion. 

Whatever the reason the Cookout Classic pack exists, for consumers or for the brand, it does. And, it’ll soon be available at a store near most people. For fans of the product, any sign of the company’s (understandably) premium-priced burgers getting a price slash is a good signal of things to come . 

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Brand Drinks News What's New

Java Monster’s New Oatmilk Energy Drink Is Completely Vegan

As veganism becomes increasingly more popular, so too do the options for those who choose this way of life. Plant-based meat is absolutely booming, and there seems to be a new type of milk in the supermarket every day. When it comes to energizing drinks, though, options remain limited. Luckily, Monster’s new Java Monster Farmer’s Oats combines oatmilk, coffee, and their signature energy blend to produce an energy punch fit for any vegan in need. 

Monster’s newest recipe starts with real coffee and a plant-based version of their energy blend. These are combined, and then blended with oatmilk. Oatmilk, made by soaking oats in water and subsequently straining, acts as a creamy neutralizer that evens out the robustness of the other two ingredients.

Currently, the blend is releasing in the Farmer’s Oats flavor, which has notes of cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla. It’s close to an oatmeal cookie, but minus the calories, as a whole can of the new drink is only 150 calories.

If you’ve ever had a bowl of oatmeal that was so good you wished that you could skip the spoon and drink it– now’s your time. 

If this sounds like it fits your lifestyle, Java Monster Farmer’s Oats is available nationwide beginning October 28th, 2019.


Created in partnership with Monster Energy. 

Categories
Grocery Health Packaged Food Plant-Based Sustainability

Impossible Burger Has FINALLY Arrived In Grocery Stores

Photo Courtesy of Impossible Foods

Impossible Foods has been making waves the last few years as they rapidly make themselves an imposing plant-based alternative for meat. Now, Impossible is bracing to hit another major milestone in their vegan empire.

The brand recently announced on their website and Instagram page that the Impossible Burger will be arriving to grocery stores today.

 

To be specific, the Impossible Burger will make its worldwide debut in grocery stores on September 20 at 27 outlets of Gelson’s Markets in Los Angeles, marking the first time that the general public can experience cooking the Impossible Burger in their own kitchens.

Until now, Beyond Meat has been one of the more popular plant-based meat alternatives that can be purchased in stores. Impossible Foods, however, has stayed exclusively in the restaurant scene, but is now making the jump to grocery. This is monumental because many have considered Impossible’s faux meat to be the closest replica out there to the real thing.

Categories
Fast Food Hacks The Katchup

10 of the Best Vegetarian Options at Taco Bell

A recent episode of Foodbeast’s The Katchup podcast touched on Indian American’s love for Taco Bell. Within the episode discussed the robust veggie-friendly options that are on the Taco Bell menu. And in case you haven’t heard, Taco Bell is supremely veg-friendly. Everything on the menu is customizable, making it easy for people with strict diets. Here are the top recommendations from someone who has spent two decades subbing beef with beans.

Cheesy Gordita Crunch:

 

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Hands down, my favorite item on the menu. Think a puffy, soft shell and hard shell glued together with cheese, plus more cheese, tomatoes, and Spicy Ranch inside. It comes with beef, so make sure to sub with beans instead. Pro tip: ask for nacho cheese on the side if you’re feeling extra indulgent.

Chalupa Supreme:

 

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The Chalupa has a great shell – it’s thick and sturdy but still somehow soft. And inside, you’ve got tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, cheese, and beans instead of beef.

Mexican Pizza:

 

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Two tostadas, with beans in between (instead of beef and beans together), plus tomatoes and cheese on top, and don’t forget the Mexican Pizza Sauce.

Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes:

 

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These only come without meat, and they’re deliciously seasoned potatoes with cheese and sour cream. Simple and oh so good.

Spicy Potato Soft Taco:

 

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Another vegetarian option on the menu: potatoes, cheese, chipotle sauce, and lettuce in a soft taco. Think the Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, but inside a taco. What could go wrong?

Cheesy Potato Griller:

 

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If you prefer burritos to tacos, this is the Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes in burrito form. Complete the treat with nacho cheese sauce and sour cream slathered over potatoes, all wrapped in a tortilla.

7 Layer Burrito:

 

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No substitutions needed here either. The seven layers in this burrito: beans, sour cream, tomatoes, cheese, rice, lettuce, and guacamole. A friendly reminder that Spicy Ranch, Nacho Cheese, or Creamy Jalapeños sauces make great additions.

Pintos N Cheese:

 

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You get what you ask for, and in this case you’re asking for a simple side of beans and cheese with a red sauce for extra flavor.

Nachos Bell Grande:

 

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Chips with tomatoes, nacho cheese sauce, sour cream, and beans. Just ask them to skip the beef on this one.

Crunchwrap Supreme:

 

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We’re going to go ahead and assume if you’re still reading, you’re someone who’s had a Crunchwrap before. If not, please go ahead and change that ASAP. There’s nacho cheese sauce inside the Crunchwrap, along with tomatoes, sour cream, lettuce, and you guessed it – beans instead of beef. Pro tip: ask for spicy ranch on the side and drizzle that bad boy all over.

Categories
Fast Food

Del Taco Rides A New Wave Of Success With New Beyond Meat Burritos And 2 Million Beyond Tacos Sold

Photo Courtesy of Del Taco

Last April, Del Taco shook up their brand by announcing the addition of Beyond Meat as their menu’s newest protein option. This new Beyond Menu included popular items from the existing lineup, swapping out the meat for the plant-based alternative.

Building off that momentum, Del Taco also announced the addition of two new burritos that set to debut this Thursday, packed with chunks of Beyond Meat. These are called the Beyond 8 Layer Burrito and the Epic Beyond Cali Burrito, reports NRN. According to a spokesperson for Del Taco to NRN, the new burritos are the brand’s way of letting fans know that their Beyond campaign isn’t a one-off, but rather a way to build off the Beyond brand for the future.

A little less than two months after Beyond Meat’s Del Taco debut, the company has announced that they’ve sold more than 2 million Beyond Meat tacos, reports NRN. The new tacos have become one of Del Taco’s best-selling products over such a small period of time thanks to a gangbuster collaborative campaign. Take note, Taco Bell, plant-based proteins are the next big move for the fast food industry.

As a lifelong fan of Del Taco, this new direction has me stoked. No longer will I have to avoid the drive-thru when I’m giving up meat for Lent. I now live in a time where I can enjoy a Beyond taco packed with cheese, shredded lettuce, secret sauce and all the other accoutrements of the brand… just without meat. What a time to be alive.

Full disclosure, I own a share of Beyond Meat.

Categories
Fast Food Health Plant-Based

Panda Express Changes Chow Mein And Eggplant Tofu To Be Plant-Based Friendly

To be completely honest, I was about today years old when I learned that Panda Express’s plant-based options aren’t 100% vegetarian. Turns out that in the past, their chow mein and eggplant tofu, amongst other items, have included chicken broth or chicken-based seasonings inside of them, meaning while they may look meat-free at a glance, they’re not.

Moving forward, though, that won’t be the case, as Panda Express has been making changes to their menu to ensure that those items are free from animal products.

For the past few years, according to a Panda Express representative, they’ve working to eliminate animal byproducts from several of their dishes while keeping taste and quality the same. These include the chow mein, Super Greens mixed veggies, eggplant tofu, and steamed brown and white rice. Panda has been able to scale these changes to a national level, and began rolling out the new recipes in late 2018. They’ll be in all restaurants nationwide by the end of this year.

While these dishes are suited for those who live a plant-based lifestyle, Panda Express will still avoid calling them “vegan” or “vegetarian.” Since all of the dishes are cooked on the same kitchen equipment, potential exists for leftover bits of meat and animal products to intermix with the meat-free dishes.

So, while the items are technically plant-based friendly, there is no guarantee that there won’t be meat inside them. Nonetheless, it’s a huge step forward for Panda Express to begin renovating their menu to accommodate vegetarian and vegan guests better. In the future, perhaps they will be able to prevent that cross-contamination as well.

Categories
Packaged Food Restaurants

Restaurant’s Take On Loaded ‘Animal Fries’ Is 100 Percent VEGAN

Last year, Monty’s Good Burger took Los Angeles by storm, hitting the scene as what’s essentially the vegan answer to In-N-Out. Located in Koreatown, the burger shack based their menu around plant-based ingredients and was lauded as a vegan fast food lover’s paradise.

Guests could find the meatless variation of pretty much any In-N-Out item, including burgers, fries, and floats.

Now, like every other popping fast food joint, Monty’s is also offering a secret menu item.

The Dog Pile Fries features the restaurant’s julienne fries and crispy tater tots topped with slices of Follow Your Heart Non-Dairy cheese, grilled onions, pickles, and two Impossible 2.0 burger patties topped with a bevy of savory sauces including a vegan take on Thousand Island dressing. It’s fitting with the “Vegan In-N-Out” moniker Monty’s has taken on, since this is basically a plant-based version of Animal Fries.

To unlock access to this meat-free feast, you simply have to ask for them when ordering at the register. Do so with confidence, and be prepared to tackle this massive pile of vegan goodness. You may need a small squad to brave this formidable secret menu item.