Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Beanitos & Food For Lovers Queso

Inside the land of 10-gallon hats and BBQ is this magical place where the sun always shines, live music is played 24 hours per day, and all the food is vegan. Okay, maybe not all of the food. But, all of the food I found was! And this magical place is known as Austin, Texas.  Lo and behold, this is also the birthplace of the world's first vegan queso made by Food for Lovers and Beanitos, the original bean chips. So, what better way to honor Austin and its great food than to pair these two together for a fantastic snack!

Food for Lovers was created out of a love for queso by two vegan lovers, Chris and Crystal. Yes, I know the names are cute. I ran into these two at the Whole Foods in Austin and they were generous enough to give me a sample of their delicious queso. Crystal is Hispanic and missed the taste of queso so they put their heads together to create a great queso using chili peppers, tomatoes, nutritional yeast, flour, vinegar, and mustard seeds. And, it really tastes like queso!

Then, I thought, what better to pair the queso with than Beanitos, also from Austin?! Beanitos founders, brothers Doug and Dave Foreman, sought out to create a corn-free, soy-free, low-glycemic snack chip that would taste great. And, I must say that they succeeded. These chips not only taste great, but are also, naturally, very high in fiber. They are made of black beans, whole grain rice, and spices. They currently come in three vegan flavors--Black Bean, Pinto Bean, and Chipotle BBQ.

I tried all three with the queso and loved them all. The queso is thick and slightly spicy with a nutritional yeast-cheesiness that will win your heart over. Pair that with the super flaky black bean chips and you have a snack made in Austin, I mean made in heaven.

The Chipotle BBQ chips are just that--BBQ chips with chipotle and are great with the queso.

I also loved the Pinto Bean chips.

The queso was so addicting that I found myself trying to put it on everything including a Tofurkey beer brat with Puckered Pickle Co. peppers. Yum!

It was truly painful to have to stop and photograph this stuff instead of just nom nom nomming.  Katie even got bored with my photo shoot and decided to take a nap...with the Beanitos bags!

Beanitos can be found on Amazon for $2.95 per bag. Food for Lover's queso can be found in Whole Foods across the country for $4.99 per jar. So, you can get a taste of Austin without even setting foot in Austin, but I'd recommend you visit anyway. Where else in Texas can you find drag queens singing their praise of vegan food?! Trust me, you'll want to see it for yourself.

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