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Trader Joe’s Vegan Soy Chorizo and Daiya Vegan Cheddar Cheese Product Reviews

Posted May 31 2011 5:11pm

Hello everyone! I hope that the sun is shining where you are because it is a beautiful day here in Chicago. Summer in our apartment is a bit of a double edged sword because we don’t have air conditioning. So even though I love hot weather, there is no escaping it!

Thank you all for sharing your experiences and insight regarding more mindful eating . Every time I read your comments, I learn something new!

I had a great mid morning run despite my legs feeling a bit sluggish after yesterday’s 90 degree weather. Therefore, I kept a constant pace throughout my 5 mile loop and stopped at three water fountains to hydrate and splash some cool water on my face and neck. No strength training for me today but I will be sure to do some tomorrow!

This week I thought that it would be fun to try a few new vegan products. As you know, I love the Chicago Diner’s Vegan BBQ Bacon Cheeseburgers and am particularly impressed by the Daiya vegan cheddar cheese they use because it melts perfectly and imparts a wonderfully sharp cheddar flavor.

While shopping at Whole Foods on Saturday, I decided to pick up a bag.

daiya vegan shredded cheddar cheese

The cheese contains a few more ingredients than I would like:

Filtered water, tapioca and /or arrowroot flours, non-GMO expeller pressed canola and /or non-GMO expeller pressed safflower oil, coconut oil, pea protein, salt, inactive yeast, vegan natural flavors, vegetable glycerin, xanthan gum, citric acid (for flavor), annatto, titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral).

However, they are all natural so I was willing to give it a try. Compared with the nutritionals of regular dairy cheddar cheese, Daiya vegan cheese is a great choice because it is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol free.

(Diaya info is on the left and generic dairy cheddar cheese info on the right.)

daiya_vegan_cheddar_cheese_nutrition_facts Generic_cheddar_cheese_nutritional_info

While browsing the refrigerated section at Trader Joe’s, I noticed this vegan Soy Chorizo.

daiya vegan cheddar cheese and trader joe's vegan chorizo 2

Typically, I shy away from meat substitutes because they can be chock full of additives. This time, I was pleasantly surprised by the ingredient list

Textured soy protein, water, soy oil, distilled vinegar, salt, spices, red pepper, garlic.

Additionally, the nutritional info looked great in comparison to regular pork chorizo.

(Trader Joe’s Vegan Soy Chorizo info is on the left and generic pork chorizo info is on the right.)

Trader_Joe's_Vegan_Soy_Chorizo_Nutritional_Information Generic_Pork_Traditional_Chorizo_Sausage_nutritional_information

As you can see, although Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo is lower in calories cholesterol, total fat, and saturated fat, it is quite high in sodium. Therefore, it’s a product that is best to eat once in a while and not every day.

It didn’t take long for us to think of what to cook with the two ingredients – burritos!

To make our burritos, we started by sauteeing

  • 1 large red Italian sweet pepper (a bell pepper would be a fine substitute)
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 1 head garlic

In 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 5 minutes.

Then we removed the soy chorizo from it’s plastic casing and crumbled it into the mix.

daiya vegan cheddar cheese and trader joe's vegan chorizo cooked with bell peppers garlic and onion 2

Stirred well to combine and heat through and  it was burrito rolling time!

To build my burrito I used:

  • a Trader Joe’s Whole Grain Flour Tortilla
  • a spoonful of Greek yogurt
  • soy chorizo veggie mix
  • a handful of Daiya cheddar cheese
  • lots of crisp romaine lettuce
  • and Trader Joe’s Garlic Chipotle Salsa

daiya vegan cheddar cheese and trader joe's vegan chorizo taco burrito with lettuce greek yogurt and Trader Joe's garlic chipotle salsa

Nick made a similar burrito except he used hummus instead of Greek yogurt. The consensus – delicious! The chorizo ‘meat’ was full of flavor without being too spicy and the the creamy bite of the Daiya cheese shone through.

To further test the products, I used the leftovers to make a chorizo cheddar pizza that I heated under my oven broiler. Once again, I loved the two products and thoroughly enjoyed how well the Daiya cheese melted into ooey gooey deliciousness!

daiya vegan cheddar cheese and trader joe's vegan chorizo pizza

I give both products 4 out of 5 FHF forks. They are delicious and have very appealing textures. However, the number of ingredients in the cheese and the amount of sodium in the soy chorizo hold them back from receiving that coveted fifth fork!

FYI – both products are gluten free!

I would love to hear from you…

Do you like cheese and meat substitutes?

If so what are your favorites?

SOURCES OF NUTRITIONAL INFO: Daiya.com and Fatsecret.com

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