Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mobile Eats!

I thought I'd post some of my cell phone pix of food on the go... I've had some really delicious meals lately!

Mmm, spinach lasagna from Ms. Julie's Kitchen! Julie's place is an almost-vegan dining spot which is very cozy. It opened up a few months ago and Julie takes pride in her small menu of local, organic, and healthy dishes. Other meals I've had: spicy black bean burger (YUM!), greek salad, falafel sandwich, 13 bean chili with cornbread, sweet potato cake... fantastic! And right down the street from work (woo!).

Another mid-day vay-cay from work: bento from Cilantro, a Thai fusion restaurant in downtown Akron. Veggie tempura, edamame, sesame rice, seaweed salad. It doesn't look like it, but this is so much food! Easily 2 lunches. But just delicious.

Olivia had me over on Friday night to check out her lovely garden and made me a soba noodle stir fry using many fresh veggies from her backyard! Simple dish and very satisfying - she's an excellent cook. :)

*drool* VegiTerranean has started serving flatbread pizzas. This one has herbed cashew cheese, soy mozzarella, figs, caramelized onions, and pine nuts. The bread is seasoned with salt a bit too much for my palate, but otherwise this was just great.

Who says vegans can't GORGE themselves while eating out on the town? People who haven't been to Melt Bar & Grilled, that's who! This place is technically a grilled cheese restaurant with countless varieties of the sammich, but they offer both cheddar and mozzarella style FYH cheeses and for each monthly special they boast a vegan version! Here was the May special: seasoned seitan strips, garlic mashed redskin potatoes, mozzarella style cheese with a huge mound of fries and their peppery coleslaw. I ate this entire thing in one sitting and wished for death the rest of the night. BUT I'D DO IT AGAIN IN A HEARTBEAT.

In other news: I am considering trying out City Fresh, a take on a CSA which has no commitments and option for weekly payments. First pick up is this Thursday, so I think I'll check out people's hauls and maybe sign up for the next week! If I do, I'll be sure to share my pick up bloggy style.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Creamy Miso Alfredo

Yep, 2 posts in a row! Don't get used to it... and don't forget to check out my Key West post below! I figured I would take advantage of the free coffeehouse internet and post some pics from some recent meals... and a recipe! *shock* Here is my take on a creamy pasta sauce, based very loosely on VYY's Hurry Up Alfredo, but with only 5 ingredients! I attempted to submit it to a local vegan cookbook, but missed the deadline...

Creamy Miso Alfredo

Serves 1. This recipe is an adaptation from one found on a vegan food blog. Both the miso and the nutritional yeast give the dish a cheesy taste while the cashews lend their creaminess when blended smooth. This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, quadrupled! And please, experiment with adding steamed vegetables and different spices, as well as the ratio between wet and dry ingredients to control the consistency of the sauce. Enjoy!

1 serving cooked whole wheat rotini
handful steamed kale
1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews
1/2 cup unsweetened milk alternative
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 T low sodium sweet white miso
1 t dijon mustard
salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and paprika to taste

Blend all but first two ingredients in high speed blender until smooth and creamy. Fold cooked pasta into sauce. Plate steamed kale first and top with pasta. Add plenty more fresh cracked black pepper and devour!

Isa's Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes from Vegan Brunch! This is my second time making these babies and they do not disappoint. Since I do not eat much fried food they were a bit heavy after frying them in oil - I'll probably try my hand at baking them next time, even though they will not acquire that beautiful golden brown! (Last time I checked, you can find this recipe on the PPK blog!)

Nom! Chickpea salad! This stuff is bomb... and here's how I prepare it:
  • I take the time to remove all the clear hulls off of my canned chickpeas, which can take a while. But the time passes quickly if you sit your caboose in front of a movie or an episode or two of Scrubs.
  • Mash the chickpeas up with a dinner fork until no whole beans remain.
  • Mix in enough Vegenaise, sweet pickle relish, a squirt of dijon mustard, dulse flakes, fresh cracked black pepper, and paprika to make your taste buds sing and refrigerate!
  • You can try adding in minced onions, garlic powder, hot sauce, celery (ick), other chopped veggies if you'd like. I like this stuff on sammiches with tomato and spinach as well as scooped up on crackers.

So happy to find some non-Tofutti vegan ice creams at my local Acme! The Mint Carob Chip Rice Dream was very refreshing and the Praline Crunch Almond Dream was rich and satisfying. I would definitely grab both of these again if I am lucky enough to find them.

Yum - a simple soba noodle lo mein dish. Fabulous served hot or cold and with bunches of veggies sauteed in sesame oil. To dress the noodles I usually mix up a concoction of plum sauce, hoisin, ginger paste, and red chili pepper flakes.

An impromptu appetizer - baby bellas stuffed with leftover hummus, sauteed onions and spinach, Daiya, and spices. Popped in the oven on broil with some extra Italian style Daiya on top until melted and warmed through. I was very pleased with these!

French toast! My first plate of the breakfast fave since going vegan... I believe I just looked up a quick vegan french toast recipe on Google and went with it. Nothing beats a huge plate of carbs drowning in pure maple syrup as comfort food before you start a long work day.

I'll hopefully see you soon, folks!

Key West!!

Okay, so... I am really bad at posting. I have an excuse, though! My neighbors below me moved out and took their internet connection with them. :/ Since I have a super-awesome Droid I have been able to catch up on my favorite bloggers' activities, but unable to update my own.

But today I bring you glorious updates! My mom and I went to Key West last week and we visited many a vegan-friendly eatery! Along with the food we enjoyed 3 excellent drag shows, aimlessly strolling and enjoying the sunshine, some swimming, street performers, a ghost tour, some museums, the Eco-Discovery center (I recommend!), and lots and lots of unwinding. Key West, although very tourist-y, is such an amazing place to visit. Gorgeous plant and wildlife everywhere you turn, as well as a fascinating history. Do visit if you have the chance. But KT, what could a vegan eat in such an obviously seafood-filled town? Good question!

There's Green Republic, a vegetarian establishment which recently opened on the island. They boast a menu of vegetarian and easily veganizable sandwiches, wraps, salads, Indian cuisine, smoothies, etc. Also, all of their mock meats are made in-house!

Their set up is very simple. There are two rows of large bench seating against the windows with pillows for your tush, so carrying-out your meal to a shady bench might be the best option.

My mom got the dhal lentil rice bowl with vegan naan on the side. (BTW: my omnivorous mama ate 98% vegetarian during our trip! Save for a few pieces of sausage at breakfast, her meals were meat-free! And she reported feeling energized instead of deprived. I am so proud!)

After much debate I decided on a "bacon" wrap - tons of fresh veggies, fake smoky bacon and a mustard sauce. A perfect light dinner for walking around town.

Mmm, key lime sorbet on a hot day!

Hands down, our favorite restaurant on our trip. We ate at The Cafe (website is down, sorry!) 4 times!

Mostly vegetarian (save for a few seafood choices), this restaurant easily caters to a vegan diet. I literally made a list of the things I wanted to try for the inevitable following visits we were going to make!

Teriyaki "Un-Wing Dings", a side salad with orange-mango vinaigrette, and the best sweet potato fries on the planet to share! My mom also got a cup of cream of tomato soup.

The "Un-Wing Dings" were not bad. They are made with silken tofu, which I thought was a bit confusing... if they had been made with firm block tofu or with tempeh (*drooool*), they would have been much better. I would have liked to try the "hot" flavor instead, as well! Since they are usually served with a bleu cheese sauce, our waitress subbed the tahini dressing for me to dip. I must say - never would have thought teriyaki and tahini would mix so well, but I was pleasantly surprised!

Oh, god, sweet potato fries... how I love thee. These are one of my "if you were stuck on a desert island" foods. The curry lime sauced served with the fries is NOT vegan. But these babies did not even require a sprinkling of salt to please my palate!

Rice Dream mint ice cream cookie sammich! More about where I picked this bad boy up later... ;)

After a long day of strolling in 90 degree weather, I suggested we visit Help Yourself!, all natural and green eatery. Serving ominivorous fare, this carry-out restaurant served dishes for vegetarians, vegans, and raw foodists!

Raw Mexican Salad with black beans, corn, pico, guacamole, cashew sour cream, dehydrated tortilla chips and a tasty vinaigrette. Not bad!

Tempeh BLT wrap with chipotle vegan mayo! This was very good, although the marinade for the tempeh was far too salty for my tastes.

Help Yourself! also makes its own raw, vegan ice cream made primarily from coconuts and cashews. It reminded me very much of sorbet and was not too sweet.

Sugar Apple natural foods market and vegan deli! This place is a dream come true, reminding me of local favorites such as Mustard Seed Market and Krieger's back home. This is where I picked up not one, but TWO Rice Dream ice cream treats! Hey, a vegan on vacation has to indulge, too, right?!

Mmm... the Peaceful Tempeh sandwich with tahini-dressed side salad and fresh pressed carrot juice.

This is the best fuckin' tempeh sandwich I have ever eaten. Broiled tempeh, vegan mayo, cranberry sauce, avocado, lettuce, carrot, red onion on a multigrain seeded bread. I got this sammy twice!

Back to The Cafe! I also had this meal twice... their famous veggie burger on ciabatta bread! This burger is so soft and tasty, made from beans, sunflower seeds and fresh veggies - all that was on this sandwich is the burger, sprouts, tomato, and lettuce. No sauce needed! This is coming from the ketchup queen! Didn't need a single added flavor - the crunch of the ciabatta and the lettuce matched the fall-apart-in-your-mouth texture of the burger perfectly. And that marinated chickpea and kidney bean salad to the right? Out of this fucking world! So simple, so fresh, so delicious.

The Cafe had been offering a vegan key lime cheesecake the previous days we had visited but had run out on that day. No fear - I ordered the vegan chocolate mousse tart with mango puree and maple praline almonds. To die for! The omnivores agreed. :)

I'll leave you with the unintentional happy face left in our friend Tina's beer glass. Sums up our trip pretty well! Now... back to the grind. I wish I could take a vacation like this every week. I highly recommend visiting Key West and then posting food porn of your delicious vegan meals, fellow bloggers! :D