Kitchens of India: Pav Bhaji (Mashed Vegetable Curry) Review

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This is one of my favorite quick lunches – just reheat and eat! Pav Bhaji is a type of mashed vegetable curry made primarily of potatoes, tomatoes, and peas blended with butter, ginger, and spices. Like many Indian vegetarian dishes, it is richly flavored and savory enough to be a hit with both vegetarians and meat eaters.

The ingredient list for Kitchens of India’s version of the dish is refreshingly short (just 10 ingredients) and doesn’t require a chemistry degree to understand, which is always a bonus in my book. I like to eat it by itself or with bread or naan for lunch, but it would also make a great side dish for an ethnic meal. If you’re on a diet, you will want to be a little careful of the serving size – this is not a low calorie food. The pouch it comes in contains approximately 2.5 servings of 210 calories each, so if, like me, you tend to eat the whole thing in one go, you’ll be consuming about 525 calories.

Kitchens of India’s Pav Bhaji is spicy, but not eye-wateringly so. I’d put it about a 2-3 on a scale of 1-10. That’s just about the right level for my taste, but of you love spicy foods, you may want to add more. Conversely, if you’re sensitive to capsicum, skip this one.

My rating: (4 / 5)

Endangered Species Chocolate Review

Endangered Species Chocolate is our family’s favorite brand of chocolate bar. The 72% dark chocolate series in particular is excellent: velvety smooth and richly flavored without being either overly bitter or excessively sweet.

I also appreciate the ethics of the company, which is what initially induced my mother to pick up our first bar years ago. The company donates 10% of net profits to wildlife conservation organizations such as the African Wildlife Foundation and The Xerces Society (a personal favorite, due to its excellent work in the under-appreciated field of insect conservation). Endangered Species Chocolate bars are also made using ethically sourced chocolate and other ingredients. They are Rainforest Alliance certified and many of their products contain USDA organic ingredients or sustainably-sourced palm oil. Endangered Species chocolate bars are also Kosher and gluten-free, and some bars are vegan.

My only complaint is that melting and resetting the bars ruins the texture of the chocolate to a greater degree than you find with cheaper chocolates like Hershey, so be extremely careful about leaving these bars in a hot car!

As a premium chocolate brand, Endangered Species Chocolate bars are pricey. I’ve seen it as high as $4 per bar! Fortunately, they seem to go on sale pretty frequently at 2 for $5 or a similar rate, and we stock up during the sales. You can also lower the price per bar by buying in bulk via Amazon or other retailers.

Here are our family’s favorite (and not so favorite) flavors:

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