When Elianni asked me if I’d like to do a review of their products, I admit to being intrigued. Elianni makes a variety of products: Vegan Veggie rolls, Veggie Cutlets, pate, and the very special, Mosto de Lagrima- an organic free-run grape juice. I wanted to try them all and I was fortunate enough to actually do so.

I tested the Veggie Cutlets first. The cutlets come dried and require cooking in vegetable stock to rehydrate before use, much like TVP (textured vegetable protein). I’m familiar with that process so it didn’t take me but a few minutes to whip up some stock and get the cutlets cooking. In no time at all I had rather substantial pieces of Veggie Cutlet ready to be prepared in any manner I wished. I took them and dredged them in a bit of whole wheat flour and put them in an iron skillet with a bit of coconut oil and browned them on both sides. I served them on top of cabbage and sauerkraut that had been sauteed with onions, garlic, mustard seeds, and crushed red pepper. The taste was really good. I liked the chewy, toothsome texture of the cutlet and it held it’s own when paired with hearty flavors. It’s a soy and pinto bean based product, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that it’s like all the other products on the market. These cutlets are: gluten-free, rich in fiber, low fat, no added sugar, sodium free, iron rich, no GMO’s, no artificial flavors or colors or chemicals. Plus, there’s 19 grams of protein per serving. The box contains multiple servings, I was able to serve 6 hungry vegans. That makes this a good value.

I moved on to the Vegan Veggie Rolls. Okay, I admit it. I was incredibly skeptical. The rolls are primarily made from peanuts and I had never tried something like it before. My first test consisted of eating a piece straight off of the roll. Blech! No, just, no. It was soft, whereas I was expecting a more chewy texture. It had an unexpected flavor, unlike any other product I had ever tried before. I cut a few rounds and tossed them in the iron skillet. This made them more palatable to me since it provided a light crunch on the outside. I liked it better that way. But it wasn’t until I chopped & shredded the rolls that I fell in love. All of a sudden the texture worked for me. It became small pieces of deliciousness that went perfect in casseroles, topped on salads, and as an accompaniment to pasta. I found that the vegan rolls are a great alternative to traditional vegan “replacements” out there. I really began to enjoy the fact that there is no soy to contend with, no chewy chewy texture- just a delightful smooth texture thats: organic, kosher, gluten-free, no trans fats, no artificial flavors, no preservatives and filled with fiber, niacin, oleic acid (omega-9), and linoleic acid (omega-6). Yup, I’m now a full believer.

I did not enjoy the pates. I have yet to try the zesty apple, but I wasn’t fond of the other varieties. To be fair, I’m not a pate lover anyway so I’m probably not the best judge of what makes a pate good. Each pate is: organic, kosher, gluten-free, trans fat free, no artificial flavors, and preservative free.

[I also want to comment upon something that struck me when I read that the pate contains palm oil. First, I want to clarify that I’m bringing it up as a way of addressing my own feelings about veganism. Veganism opened my eyes to animal exploitation certainly, but also to other forms of animal exploitation I hadn’t considered before- one of which is the use of palm oil. The use of palm oil could be a topic in itself so I’ll keep this brief: there are environmental and ethical issues involved in the use of palm oil. Eco-Vegan Gal rounded up an extensive collection of palm-oil information on the web that I encourage others to read. While I do not know where Elianni sources their palm oil, I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to mention the palm oil issue and encourage everyone to make themselves aware. The more knowledge we have, the better we are able to help the animals and the planet.]

My final stop on the Elianni tour was to taste the crown jewel- the Mosto de Lagrima. Just listen to it’s description:

Over 700 years of enriched culture and taste, provides this 100% Organic free-run grape juice with a uniquely rich and sophisticated flavor. The highest quality juice, that flows freely from fresh grapes crushed by the natural pressure of the grapes on top. It is a blend of grenache and tempranillo varietals. It is bottled in the winery within 24 hours after harvest, keeping intact all the properties of the grape.

And, oh, what a delightful thing this is. On the nose, berries- deep dark berries. On the palate, fruity with hints of wood. Yes, I’m describing it like wine because this is no ordinary grape juice. This is special, this is divine. This is worthy of a special occasion- a wedding, a gift, a romantic picnic, a holiday, or any day you want to be special. I can easily see this as the perfect gift for my straight-edge friends (if any of my sXe friends are reading this, spoiler alert!). It’s wine without the alcohol and it’s incredible. I want more.

You can find Elianni products on their website To Eat Well, where you can also learn more about the company and how they are changing children’s lives through their Making the Difference program. Shipping on any order is $5, orders over $49 are free.

I made a lovely linguine dish with the Mediterranean Veggie Roll. Try it, I think you like it.

Mediterrean Pasta

Mediterranean Veggie Linguine

  • 1 pound whole wheat linguine
  • 1/2 Mediterranean Veggie Roll
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 can Hearts of Palm
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Prepare pasta as normal. When done, rinse pasta and let drain completely. Meanwhile, cut 1/2 of Mediterranean Veggie Roll into small pieces and toss in a well oiled iron skillet to brown (stir frequently). When done, place inside large bowl. Chop the yellow, red, orange, and green pepper into small slices. Add to bowl with the veggie bowl. Open, drain, and cut into small pieces the hearts of palm- add to bowl with peppers and veggie roll. In a large glass measuring cup add: olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Add pasta to same bowl as the other ingredients. Dump dressing over top and gently combine until everything is coated. Let sit for a little bit to let the flavors marry, then serve.

Gratitude and thanks to Elianni for graciously sending me some of their products to review.

Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed here are those of YDV and derived from personal experience. These opinions are not influenced in any way by the receipt of goods or services. We will always notify you when a product has been given to us to review, test, use, or talk about.