The Cruelty-Free Review

A review of compassionate products, foods, and recipes

Candle Cafe Vegan

on May 16, 2013

First of all I would like to give a huge thanks to everyone who stopped by here to check out my entry for the Virtual Vegan Potluck. I welcome and appreciate your comments. I’m still making my way through all the blogs!

Living in Colorado I am fortunate to be close to many great restaurants that feature vegan food. City O’ City, Watercourse, Hops and Pie, Root Down, Linger. I could go on but I doubt these names mean anything to those living outside of CO. I don’t think any of those restaurants are known on a national level. But I’m willing to bet that every vegan knows the name Candle Café. Internationally known as one of the best vegan restaurants in the world, Candle Café features farm-to-table cuisine that is created in the most eco-friendly ways possible. I am insanely jealous of those who live in New York City and can go visit any one of their 3 locations at their leisure. I hope I get to experience it one day.

Until that day comes I can live a little vicariously through their new line of frozen entrees. Available in Mac and Cheese, Ginger Miso Stir-Fry, Tofu Spinach Ravioli, and Seitan Piccata with Lemon Caper Sauce, these meals give a small taste of the goodness that CC dishes out. I tried the Seitan Piccata as it was the only one available at Whole Foods. It was also the one I was most interested in due to the seitan. As far as I know it is the only frozen meal that features everyone’s favorite wheat meat and I was curious to see how it held up.


Before even heating it up I was a little disappointed by the amount of seitan. The seitan in the sauce contained only about four thumb-sized pieces and a bunch of much smaller peices. More than half of the dish was rice. Normally that wouldn’t bother me but the rice was seriously lacking flavor. There wasn’t enough sauce to go throughout the whole dish so it was on the dry side. However, the flavor of the sauce was great. It was distinctly lemony and though I didn’t actually see whole capers I could taste a slight brininess. The larger pieces of seitan were chewy and added just enough texture to keep the whole thing from feeling all around mushy. With 12 grams of protein it was more than enough to keep me full until dinner.

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I do hope to be able to try the other versions soon and review those; hopefully they will be a little more balanced. Unfortunately these meals aren’t cheap; at nearly 5 bucks a pop they are an occasional buy to keep around for emergency use. Candle Café does support The Humane Society of the United States and Farm Sanctuary, two organizations that work tirelessly to better the lives of animals in our world, so I can justify the cost somewhat. If you are interested in trying their frozen fare you can print a coupon off their website to help save a little on the purchase. And if anyone out there has tried any of the varieties I’d love to hear what you think!




6 responses to “Candle Cafe Vegan

  1. Well that’s disappointing! I feel like $5 is more than I want to spend on a microwave meal to begin with (I’d rather just eat leftovers, honestly)… Hopefully the other flavors are better!

    • Yeah, I don’t eat a lot of frozen dinners anymore but when I see something potentally good I definitely want to try it. You’re not gonna win everytime 😦 Still I’m incredibly happy to see vegan food choices expanding.

  2. Do I lose my veg-street cred because I haven’t heard of candle cafe? Yikes! Anyhow, I def. want to try their frozen dinners. I’m curious now!

  3. I have to be honest, I wasn’t too thrilled with the frozen Candle entrees… Especially considering the price, and in comparison to the real (fresh) thing, straight from the restaurant. Guess you’ll just have to come and check it out in NYC to get that same point of reference. 😉 Besides, until they find a way to freeze their seitan chimichurri, it’s worth going to the source at least once!

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