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. :)