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Candle Cafe launches vegan frozen foods

candle cafe vegan cuisine

Candle Cafe's vegan cuisine: Coming to a freezer section near you (Photo: Candle Cafe)

 

Next month, when you open the freezer door at Whole Foods, next to your favorite Amy’s burrito you’ll spot offerings from New York City’s vegan landmark—Candle Cafe .

The famous Upper East Side vegan hot spot and its sexier, upscale sister restaurant, Candle 79, are launching a line of frozen foods this June (exact dates vary by store) based on dishes served at both New York City locations.

The line, which includes Macaroni & Vegan Cheese, Seitan Piccata with Lemon Caper Sauce, Ginger Miso Stir-Fry, and Tofu Spinach Ravioli, will be sold exclusively at Whole Foods stores nationwide (for about $5.99).

Candle Cafe vegan frozen meals

Two of the new Candle Cafe vegan frozen meals

Why did the eatery decide to venture off the usual fresh-is-best path into the freezer section? “We wanted to make high-quality vegan food consisting of organic ingredients more accessible and convenient to a much larger audience,” says Mark Doskow, head of Candle’s business development.

Given the success of Fresh Direct’s Smart & Simples entrees in vending machines, there seems to be a large appetite for healthy food on the go.

So how healthy are they? Calorie counts range from 200–320 and all pack a decent serving of protein. Although some carb counts are pretty high at 48g per dish, there was nothing on the ingredient list that freaked us out.

While we’re sticking to the fresh-is-better mantra, we don’t all have food dehydrators and juicers or time to shop for seitan and cook from Alicia Silverstone’s cookbook. Candle just gave us another option with these farm-to-freezer meals. —Lisa Elaine Held

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  1. May 18th, 2011 at 9:07 am

    So excited for this. I never cook but I do want to eat vegan as often as possible, and healthy and, of course, delicious. I hope that it eventually expands to NYC health food stores like The Health Nuts, which is so close to me (no Whole Foods near me!).

  2. May 18th, 2011 at 9:30 am

    [...] –Gourmet freezer food: The Candle Cafe launches frozen vegan meals. (Well + Good NYC) [...]

  3. May 19th, 2011 at 9:43 am

    I’ll look for them. Not vegan but trying to eat fewer animals. I think a bag full of frozen vegan dinners would be a great prize for a Well+Good contest.

  4. May 19th, 2011 at 11:14 am

    As tempting as it may be to run out and fill my freezer to the brim with this new product, I always pause for thought when a small, home-made or custom item goes big. Despite the best of intentions, can quality survive the inevitable depredations of the economies of scale? Can I be sure that what I would pay $15.00 to $20.00 for in the restaurant is made with certain practices that I know are sacrosanct in the restaurant, intact? I would not expect the same quality as what I would be served in the restaurant, that would not do justice to Bart and Joy and their fine staff, and besides, I’m sure they have gone to some lengths to make it wonderful. But . . . but what about organics? Will these dinners be 100% organic? What about microwave ovens, that are to my understanding, used across the board in preparing frozen foods? Preservatives?? Can we be sure that a food service manager won’t substitute something cheaper and less organic or vegan, either to meet demand or to make a little on the side?

  5. May 19th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    48g of carbs isn’t really high if we’re talking about pasta. That’s what’s in a little over a cup of spaghetti.

  6. July 17th, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    I just had the Ginger Miso Stir-Fry today for lunch at work. It was very good. I don’t know if I can enjoy a Lean Cuisine ever again. I am going back to Whole Foods here in Omaha Nebraska to try the other entrees they are offering. I would highly recommended trying one.

  7. August 2nd, 2011 at 1:38 am

    Just had the vegan mac and cheese here in sunny San Diego and it is positively amazing! I added some veggies to it and couldn’t be a happier vegan! Thank you!

  8. August 2nd, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    [...] with Hempseed Vinaigrette recipeHemp is happening! Try this delicious summer salad recipe from Candle 79‘s executive chef, Angel Ramos, which uses hempseed oil and hemp seeds in the to-die-for [...]

  9. August 5th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    [...] • Enjoy these vegan frozen foods. (Well + Good) [...]

  10. August 8th, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Just tried your Seitan Piccata w/lemon Caper sauce….too salty. This would be a meal that I would eat again if it had half as much sodium. Maybe you can try this with less sodium???Please…I see salt listed 4 times in the ingredients was this a mistake?
    I bought the macaroni and cheese also will try that tomorrow.
    Thanks for giving us more options for lunch at work.

  11. August 11th, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I just discovered the Candle Cafe frozen meals and am very excited — they are the tastiest frozen meals ever!! Each dish I’ve tried is excellent especially the Mac n’ Cheese–added some brocolli and it was scrumptious. I wish they would open a restaurant in sunny South Florida.
    Brenda M.

  12. August 18th, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    [...] had been pretty excited when I heard that Candle Cafe was going to be launching a line of frozen entrees that would be available at every Whole Foods across the country by the end of June. Then I [...]

  13. August 20th, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    The Mac & Cheese and Tofu Ravioli are A-MAZING, and they have enough sauce that you can sneak in a cup+ of veg (I like spinach and broc for the first, and spinach and zucchini for the second), and still feel really indulgent. They are THAT good.

    I didn’t like the seitan dish at all, though, and haven’t tried the stirfry because it doesn’t appeal to me.

  14. December 8th, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I just bought the Seitan Piccata with Lemon Caper Sauce at Whole Foods. While I laud this company for developing this product I just saw it contains 920mg of sodium (38% of your daily diet). Why would they do that? I can add my own salt. If they had their website set up I would contact them- but they don’t. I just can’t eat something with that much sodium.

  15. January 19th, 2014 at 12:22 am

    I was so disappointed. I loved the tofu ravioli and went to my local whole foods to purchase more. They have no more of your products on the shelf. Please refill the Glades road store. I just love your products.

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