Hi everyone! Guess what: it’s time for another giveaway here on Vegan Runner Eats blog! I feel extremely blessed for the opportunity to bring so many exciting giveaways to the readers of my blog in the past months, and let you know about great products made by small, family-owned businesses all over the country. Here’s what I’ve got for you today:
A few weeks ago I was contacted by a representative of a small, family-owned company that makes a meat replacement product called Neat. She offered me to sample some of their products and tell the world about my experience. At first, I wasn’t very thrilled as I’m not usually big on processed meat replacers, but after looking at the company’s website, I found out that Neat is made from all-natural ingredients like pecans, garbanzo beans, gluten-free oats, cornmeal, garlic, onion and spices, without any unpronounceable weird stuff at all. So I decided to give it a try!
So what exactly is Neat, and how do you prepare it?
Neat is a dry, powdered mix of all-natural, gluten-free and soy-free ingredients that comes in four-serving pouches – that is, one pouch is enough to make a meal for a family of four. Basically, you mix Neat with a vegan egg replacer (chia seeds + water worked great for me, but you can also use flax seed or tofu) and form it into burger patties, meatballs, or crumble it up as ground ‘meat’, and cook it for a few minutes in a skillet. If you’re vegetarian, you can also use a regular egg instead of chia seeds.
How was it invented?
Phil and Laura Lapp of Lancaster, PA, along with their daughters Morgan and Kaitlyn, decided to go vegetarian in 2011: Phil, a competitive long-distance runner, had a history of high cholesterol and heart disease in the family, and daughters Morgan and Kaitlyn were inspired to become animal rights activists after watching a TV program. At first, the family was challenged to find a good substitute for meat – the girls weren’t big fans of beans or ‘mystery vegan meats’. That’s when Laura started experimenting with various ingredients (she had a background in science), and eventually came out with the kids-approved formula for what we now know as Neat! Phil went on to lower his cholesterol by 100 points within a year, and lost 30 pounds.
Where is Neat made?
Passionate to bring their discovery to the masses, Phil and Laura Lapp went on to found Neat Foods, LLC in 2012. Today, Neat is a family-owned and managed company with a grass-roots business strategy: Neat is manufactured in Leola, PA at VisionCorps food facility where 85% of all employees are blind or vision-impaired. With the statistics showing that up to 80% of vision-impaired or blind people in the US are unemployed, VisionCorps and Neat Foods, LLC do a wonderful thing by providing jobs to those who need them most. When we buy Neat, we are doing a good thing by keeping vision-impaired people employed!
Where can I find Neat?
You can buy Neat directly through their site, look up grocery stores that carry it using their store locator, or find it online on Amazon. Also, since you’re already here on the blog, try your chance at winning 2 PACKETS of Neat in this week’s giveaway! See details below.
What did I make with Neat?
I received 2 bags of Neat – one in Original, and one in Mexican flavor. I used the Original mix to make Italian meatballs:
To make these, I first soaked 2 Tbsp of chia seeds in 1/2 cup of water, let it sit for a few minutes, then mixed the chia jelly with the contents of one bag of Neat. The resulting mixture was then formed into 12 meatballs, which I then rolled in some Italian breadcrumbs. The meatballs were cooked in a nonstick skillet lightly sprayed with oil for about 8-10 minutes. They were very tasty on top of pasta with Marinara sauce and vegetables 🙂
The Mexican mix was used to make a variation of my classic Warm Potato Salad: I used half of the bag of Neat with chia seeds to make ground beef-like crumbles, and used them instead of beans in my original recipe:
And now – the giveaway part!
Neat Foods, LLC provided me with 2 BAGS OF NEAT MIX in Original and Mexican flavors to give away as a prize to one lucky winner of today’s giveaway. To participate, you must be over 18 years of age, and reside in the USA or Canada (sorry international folks – I’m paying for the shipping out of my own pocket).
The giveaway starts today on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014, and will last until Monday, August 11th, at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. Pick whatever options apply to you in the box below – or click on the link if the box doesn’t show up:
The winner will be randomly picked and announced here on the blog and through social media within 3 days of the end of this giveaway.
Now for some fine print stuff – can’t go without it!
Disclaimer 1: In case you are allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients in Neat (see the full list on their site here), please use your discretion when consuming it. Neat Foods, LLC and Alina Zavatsky of Vegan Runner Eats cannot be held responsible for your digestive trouble.
Disclaimer 2: I, Alina Zavatsky, was not paid or compensated in any form for arranging this giveaway. Neat Foods, LLC provided me with free samples of their products for a review and this giveaway. All opinions are my own.
Disclaimer 3: This post contains a link to Amazon.com. As an affiliate of Amazon, I receive a very small commission in case you make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. The commission helps me pay for hosting and other blogging-related fees associated with running this blog. Thank you for your support!