Friday, June 1, 2012

A Big Salad Kind of Day

Sometimes when it is 90+ degrees out you really have no choice but to have a big salad for lunch. No heat from an oven or stove, refreshing, hydrating: what could be more perfect? This monster has romaine, arugula, shredded carrots, edamame, broccoli, cukes, SoyBoy smoked tofu, and Italian dressing. A perfect summer meal!
The day was made even better by a new haircut! The old split ends were rearing their ugly heads, and it was more than time for a change. Besides, who doesn't love taking an hour or two out of a busy day to get all shiny and new? 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Love LA! Part 2

LA is so full of fabulous that one post could not contain I give you part two!

First of all, who doesn't love Native Foods? Definitely the best chain restaurant in the world, in my opinion. This is the Soul Bowl (pic stolen from with steamed greens, BBQ sauce, ranch, and fried chick'un on a bed of 'jazzman' (jasmine) rice, served with a slab o' cornbread. Yum! The fried chick'un was brilliant, and I'm a sucker for any kind of corn bread. It is also worth mentioning that my dad happily proclaimed that his Portobello-Sausage burger was "the best fake meat sort of thing" that he'd ever eaten. High praise from a self-called carnivore!

Finally, my aunt, a longtime vegetarian and sometimes vegan, treated us to dinner at her favorite place. The Spot in Hermosa Beach is allegedly the oldest vegetarian restaurant on the West Coast. I don't know how factual this is, but whether or not it's the oldest, it certainly is a hidden gem. I got pasta with the restaurant's famous savory sauce, which is sort of like a vegan alfredo. It was delicious and the tempeh on the pasta (kind of hidden in the picture) was so yummy! It was almost curried, but it went surprisingly well with the creamy sauce.

Anyway, that concludes my LA vegan eats. I'll be back tomorrow with some food closer to home :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I Love LA! Part 1

About a month ago I ventured out west to the great and magical state of California to visit family. While there, I indulged in A LOT of vegan vittles. LA is known for it vegan-friendliness, and I wanted to see if the rumors were true. Big surprise, they were. :)

First, we went to the quintessential vegan fast food joint, Veggie Grill. Actually, we went there twice, because it was really close to where we were staying and we loved it so much. The first photo is of the VG Cheeseburger with sweet potato fries, which is what I got the first time we went. I swear, it tasted like a Big Mac or something! Or maybe not, since I haven't been to McDonald's since I was like four, but it's at least what I imagine a Big Mac would taste like. Haha. The second picture is of the kids' meal I got the second time (I'm very mature). I got the Mac n' Cheez with quinoa pasta and sweet potato fries again (which were killer). I thought it was adorable how the kids' meal came with Newman-Os. May I also reminisce about the chocolate chip cookies there? Chewy and soft and heavenly good.

Next on my list was Doomie's, where we went after a long day at Universal Studios. Full disclosure, I admit that I totally stole this photo from, since Doomie's is super dark inside and I couldn't get a good picture. But this was some really, really good pot roast. Legitimately. Like, go get some now. And I also loved the faux-chicken soup I got to go along with it. So good! The atmosphere of Doomie's isn't my fave (a little dark and grungy for my taste), but they can make some darn good food! 

Anyway, check back tomorrow for Part Deux of my LA adventure! 

Back Again, Better Than Ever!

My my, have I been slacking or what? Almost four months? I am super sorry. I am back in action though, as it's summer and the burdens of school have been lifted, thank the powers that be! Anyway, ever wonder about that birthday party? Quite a cliffhanger I left you with, huh? Well, it was pretty great! Here is a pic of the cake, as promised:

Not the cutest, I know. I was in a bit of a hurry. But in case you can't tell there's a Quidditch match happening on top, so I hope that makes up for any ugliness. The food went over really well and most of my friends ate it in spite of its vegan-ness. I was very proud! Anyway, glad to be blogging again! I've got a lot to share :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Coming Up...A Very Vegan Sweet 16!

That's right, friends. I am about to embark upon an impossible mission. I am going to feed a crowd of hungry teenagers vegan food.
You might think I'm crazy, but I can assure you, there is a method to my madness. I plan to serve super simple, yummy, comfort-y things like spaghetti and meatballs, but with a vegan twist. And the birthday cake from the Spork Fed Cookbook doesn't hurt either!
Oh, and did I mention this celebration is Harry Potter themed? That's right, celebrating 16 in style! That also means veganized wizarding classics, like butterbeer, chocolate frogs, etc. (Recipes to come!)

Here's the menu as it stands:

Veggies and hummus
Pita chips and artichoke dip

Spaghetti and faux meatballs
French bread
Chopped salad

Chocolate dipped pretzel rods
Chocolate frogs and chocolate peanut butter frogs
Butterbeer floats (!)
Funfetti cake from the Spork Fed Cookbook

I can't wait to see how this goes!

Anyway, for my real birthday on Wednesday, I went out to dinner with my parents at  a super cute local hippie restaurant (review to come!). We're friends with literally everyone who works there, so I scored a free vegan sugar cookie and some gorgeous flowers along with my dinner. My boyfriend, who is vegetarian but not vegan, also baked me vegan cupcakes (how cute!) to go along with the aforementioned Spork Fed cake that my mom and I baked. I think it is safe to say I devoured upwards of twice my daily calorie RDI! Oh well, you only turn 16 once. :) Oh, and did I mention that my parents gifted me a vintage-y record player/radio and the promise of as much vinyl as I want to go along with it? You know you want my parents! My mom said I could also order whatever I want from Vegan Essentials in honor of my birthday. Any suggestions?

Well, I'm off to ice a cake. Check back soon to catch up with the success of my vegan Sweet 16!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cleveland for the Win!

Remember how I was worried I wouldn't find anything to eat in Cleveland? Well, how wrong was I! Right around the corner from my hotel was the delightful little Flaming Ice Cube Cafe. With an abundant menu of veganized cafe fare, there was a fish to suit even the most carnivorous palate. My parents, who are not vegetarian, ordered the Mediterranean panini, which they were both incredibly impressed with. They also enjoyed the special, a Russian cabbage soup, which we all shared. Our waitresses were helpful and ever so sweet and brought us out samples of their delightfully-named Bodacious Black Bean chili, which I would definitely order next time. As for me, I went with the Italian panini, with faux pepperoni, salami, turkey, and mozzarella as well as Italian dressing all pressed on ciabatta. 

My sammich!

It was, in a word, amazing-without a doubt one of the best sandwiches with 'meat' I've had since going veg about two years ago. I also enjoyed the side of the day, a potato salad with white and sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes added a really interesting flavor to the picnic standby. And, last but not least, you absolutely must not leave the Flaming Ice Cube without ordering one of their massive cupcakes. I had the Peanut Butter Cup variety while my mom indulged in Cookies and Cream, and I think she would attest that those cupcakes were akin to a religious experience. Definitely the best I've ever had, vegan or otherwise. The other element that cannot be overemphasized was the hospitality of the staff, who took the time to talk to us and make us feel welcome. From now on, a trip to Cleveland will not be complete without a visit to the Flaming Ice Cube!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bunches of Lunches

I have emerged from my cave of illness! Finally. Jeez, being sick is the worst. I'm one of those people who hates sitting around all day with nothing to do, so it's an all around bad situation. Anyway, since being back in action, I made some pretty nifty lunches! Here they are in all their glory:

Clockwise, left to right: Wheat Thins Flatbreads, applesauce w/ cinnamon, peas, kickbutt orzo salad (but seriously guys, this was a good salad. I'll post the recipe soon!)

Food Should Taste Good multigrain chips; organic strawberries; rice noodles with red peppers, hoisin sauce, and veggie broth; baby carrots

Burrito with black beans, peppers, and Daiya (I put it in foil so it wouldn't fall apart); salsa for the 'rito; organic strawberries; sweet corn; tortilla chips

Whole wheat crackers; gala apples; yellow bell pepper; English muffin pizza with Newman's Own marinara, Parma, and Yves fake pepperoni

Hiding in the shadows (I have no idea why this picture came out so dark!): Trader Joe's (vegan!) answer to Funyuns, baby carrots, strawberries, and chick'n nuggets with ketchup

Just so you guys know, I'll be kickin' it in Cleveland over the weekend with the fam, so I won't post until Tuesday. Does Cleveland have vegan restaurants? I guess we'll find out. Until then, have a great MLK weekend. :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sick :(

Hey friends!
Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I am miserable with some cold/flu thing and haven't really been making lunches or doing much of anything. I should be back in fighting form by next week though, so sit tight!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pirates and Some Caribbean

Today I had a themed lunch without meaning to, what with the Caribbean tofu and Pirate's Booty! Jack Sparrow would have been proud.

Left to right (ish): Veggie Booty; sandwich with SoyBoy Caribbean Tofu, homemade veganaise, and lettuce on an English muffin (I had no bread); cucumber salad (Balsamic vinaigrette not pictured); apple slices

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Laptop Lunch Has Arrived!

That's right, finally, after two years of cajoling, 'Santa' gave in and paid the $40 for a Laptop Lunch. I am super psyched. The first couple are a bit boring, but I'm looking forward to getting more creative as the year goes on. My goal is to never pack exactly the same thing twice. Basically they're just lunches at this point, though, so I have few witty comments. Just pretty pictures. So, without further ado, I give you Lunches, Days 1 and 2!
This little feller was a tried and true school lunch classic and the perfect way to break in the new bento: romaine lettuce with homemade vegan ranch dressing (dressing in the baby container), Newman's Organics Protein Pretzels (is that fancy or what?!), PB& J on whole wheat, baby carrots

Day 2 and going strong: Wheat Thins Tuscan Herb flatbreads; baby carrots; whole wheat rollups with roasted garlic hummus, sauteed red and yellow peppers, and romaine lettuce, and unsweetened apple sauce with cinnamon

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Magical New Year!

Remember how I said I was going to post pictures of my Christmas dinner? Well, I lied. Actually, not lied as much as my noble intentions were lost once my redonkulously delicious plate was presented to me. Although it won't make up for my lack of pictures, I can tell you that my Xmas dinner consisted of veganized cauliflower cheese, roasted rosemary potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and German-style red cabbage. Jealous?

However, I come bearing pictures of cupcakes I made for my New Year's party. I was going to cook dinner, but my mom found out that our favorite restaurant had a special New Year's menu going on, so we took advantage of that opportunity. But nom-licious cupcakes awaited once we got home. These pretty babies are chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing from The Happy Herbivore Cookbook, which is a tome of vegan epicness unlike any other. I received it for Christmas and have kept busy in the kitchen ever since. Between making my own nut butters and veganaise and baking copious cupcakes, I've had my work cut out for me!

This (very) Happy Herbivore also tried her hand at some more savory recipes. I made an entire dinner from the cookbook for my parents. It was freakin' amazing, not gonna lie. The parentals concurred. I made the cornbread (which I made into corn muffins, because they're cuter), sweet potato home fries, dijon and herb green beans, and bean cakes with Creole roasted red pepper sauce. * happy belly *

Soon to come are school lunches packed in my new * drumroll please * Laptop Lunches system!!! If you've been following my blog for any amount of time, you know I've been coveting Laptop Lunches for ages, and Santa finally caved this year and got me one. I'll share some soon. In the meantime, what are your New Year's resolutions? I'm aiming to exercise an hour a day. That may or may not be realistic, but we'll see.