Asked by Anonymous
Hi! I believe I am on LinkedIn, or at least have an old profile. However, it’s definitely not very current. Why do you ask? I’m happy to answer any questions you have!
WHAT’S VEESTRO? Recently, I was lucky enough to be sent a large package of frozen meals to test out from a new all-vegan home delivery company.
What is Veestro, you ask?
I like to think that Veestro is what would happen if you took that old sepia-toned Schwan Food Delivery truck that used to roll through my neighborhood as a child and gave it a healthy, cruelty-free new kick and a 21st-century makeover.
From their website, Veestro is the outcome of a brother-sister partnership and a professional veg-chef, inspired by a trip to Costa Rica and the lack of time to cook and good existing frozen options.
First off, I was impressed by the range of their foods. All of their meals are 100% vegan, and organic and non-GMO as well. Veestro seems to have tried to cover as many different cuisines as possible. Here’s what was included in my box:
Perusing the ingredient lists, I’m very impressed with the lack of anything unpronounceable, and the fact that they’re all organic and non-GMO is even better. They’ve also got plenty of gluten-free options, which I appreciate.
PREPARATION: The one thing that I found difficult regarding the food was the cooking instructions. First, the food arrives frozen but is to be thawed for the cooking instructions, which necessitates a bit of night-before planning. The instructions themselves varied greatly from dish to dish, which is expected, but some required one part of the dish to be baked in the oven, and another to be microwaved or cooked on the stovetop. Furthermore, it seemed to me that the cooking times were all a bit too low. While I hate using a microwave, thawing something overnight, then baking it for 25-30 minutes cuts down on the convenience of frozen food. However, if that’s the price to pay for 100% vegan/organic/non-GMO food delivered to your doorstep, it’s something I can definitely live with.
THE FOOD: And now, the TASTE: As far as the food goes, I was actually very pleased. I tend to use Amy’s frozen foods as the benchmark for all things vegan and frozen, and Veestro’s compared well, with seemingly better ingredients. In all, I would say the food ranged from fair to great. The Tofu Scramble was a bit dry and unseasoned, and the Tomato Lentil soup was decent, if not terribly exciting, but I quickly forgot about that when I tasted the sauce for the Thai Chick’n Stew. Wow. That was a seriously delicious sauce - I was wishing for a second package as soon as I was done with the first.
The Lentil Meatloaf was another hit - the gravy was phenomenal, and paired with the lentil-loaf, it made for a very filling, high-protein dinner.
The Veggie Empanadas were fun, and the chimichurri sauce was tangy and tasty, if a little oily. However, VEGAN EMPANADAS!
Another surprise was the Raspberry Cheesecake. Vegan cheesecake is the ultimate hit-or-miss item, and this one was very impressive.
CAVEATS: Overall, Veestro is doing some really fantastic things as far as frozen food goes - they’re as good or better than anything you’ll find in the frozen section at Whole Foods. However, they’ve got the price to match. The per meal prices are pretty steep - most of the entrées seemed to run in the $10-$12 range, which is definitely higher than you’d pay at a supermarket. Then again, look at the ingredient lists of what you just put in your cart - it’s tough to call Veestro so expensive when you know what the sodium-packed, preservative-laden alternative is. Also, their meal plans seem to offer a pretty good discount over the a la carte prices, and the $35 shipping fee is waived. In other good news, Veestro seems to have done everything they can to reduce the obvious environmental impact of shipping food across the US by using recycled packaging.
CONCLUSION: The food was great, the ingredients were solid, and it all came from a company that seems to care about what they do. However, I was left wondering exactly who Veestro was for. I live in New York City in a less-than-400sq ft apartment with a equally-tiny kitchen, and have very limited time, but I still end up cooking for myself quite a bit. Also, with FOUR high-quality grocery stores within a four block radius (Fairway, Trader Joe’s, Citarella, and Westside Market), and TWO Whole Foods within a 20-minute walk, along with too many vegan and vegetarian restaurants and options to count, I don’t know if I’ll be needing frozen vegan home delivery. (Yes, I’m very spoiled.) However, for the suburban or small-town vegan with limited time and vegan options, or for a vegan family with two working parents, I could very well see Veestro being an absolute revelation.
I’m very happy that Veestro is there to fulfill that need.
Check them out here: http://www.veestro.com - and tell them you heard about them from @VeganTweeter!
Here goes: I was walking down to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center to search for some new audition monologues, when I noticed what looked to be a check on the sidewalk on Broadway and W 70th St. I passed it at first, but for some reason, turned around and decided to pick it up. It was for a couple hundred dollars to a guy named Philip, from the Vivian Beaumont Theatre - an incredible coincidence, since that particular theatre is AT Lincoln Center, where I was already headed.
The check had Philip’s address on it, which happened to be right on my way as well - another coincidence; I decided I’d try and return it.
It didn’t take me long to find the building. I walked through the large revolving doors, and explained myself to the doorman. He looked surprised at first, then called up to the room. “There’s a Mr. Alex here to see you. You don’t know him. He’s got a check. Should I let him up?” After a pause, he hung up and told me, “He will come meet you in the lobby.” (This Phil was obviously a smart guy - don’t let strangers with unidentified checks come up to your apartment.)
I waited in the opulent marbled lobby for a few minutes, until the elevator door gave a curt “ding” and a stocky gentleman in a t-shirt walked out, looked hesitantly at me, then to the doorman, and then finally walked over to me, hand outstretched, smiling. I told him that I was an actor, and that anyone getting paid for a theatre gig deserved whatever check had their name on it. Phil explained that he was not an actor, but a stagehand at the Vivian Beaumont, and he was thrilled to have his check back. He said that finding him and returning his check was “the most human thing”, which I thought was a little much, but New York has a tendency to more finely-tune you to random acts of minor humanity.
Anyway, he pulled a crumpled $10 bill out of his pocket, and insisted I take it. “Buy yourself lunch tomorrow, please!” he told me. I refused, but he was relentless. Eventually I gave up, and promised him I’d pass it on.
I’m now sitting at the beautiful fountain by the famous Lincoln Center Steps, writing this post and wondering what I should do.
So here’s where you come in: I’ve got this stray Hamilton - where should he go? What’s the best use of it, and how far can $10 change anything? I’m up for any suggestions you’ve got! Hit me. Let’s make it count.
How cool is this?!? So here’s the story - there’s a company that makes some REALLY awesome bags, called WaterField Bags, from San Francisco. In particular, their Muzetto bag caught my attention - it was beautiful, and I wanted one. Problem: leather, leather, and more leather. Vegan no-go. However, they’re an awesome company, and seem to really want to hear from customers, so I emailed them at their “Hey Gary!” email address on August 5th of last year. I asked politely for a vegan version, told them what a fantastic group vegans are for businesses to cater to, and even suggested two vegan non-leather materials: TPU and coated canvas!
Now, almost a year later, I checked their site, and what should I see…The New Muzetto Outback - made from COATED CANVAS! How awesome is that? - a company that listens to their customers! The bag is beautiful and I can’t wait to get one! With my pup, Olive, incurring some medical bills in the last week or two, it might have to wait, but I will be fulfilling my promise of buying one as soon as possible!
Thanks much to Gary and the rest of the awesome folks at WaterField Designs / SF Bags!
I’m feeling conflicted about the Supreme Court Decision to uphold the ACA / ObamaCare - as a person with liberal social views, I want everyone to be protected, or at least have the chance at affordable health care. However, as a vegan who spends considerable money/time ensuring that I take care of my body, I don’t particularly want to pay for the health care costs of people who choose not to take proper preventative care of themselves, and suffer the ensuing PREVENTATIVE (and the most expensive) diseases. What do you think?