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Tag: mexican (page 1 of 4)

Eating Vegan on the Road: 500 Miles Atlanta <--> Central Virginia

Sometimes when we travel, it’s more about the food than the trip. Asheville, I’m looking at you. But sometimes we need to travel somewhere for other reasons, usually involving relatives or maybe work.

Eating vegan on the road used to be a little more challenging but with chains like Chipotle stepping up it’s become so much easier. And if you have time to veer off the highway, Happy Cow can help you find vegan friendly spots along the way.

On this recent trip to Virginia, I decided to pack a small cooler with food for the way there. A Tofurky cold cut sandwich, some chips that I got at a gas station when filling up and maybe some Oreos ended up going into my pie hole. I really wanted a Chick-O-Stick, but none of the convenience stores seemed to have them. It’s definitely less than a perfect road trip without Chick-O-Stick.

I brought Tak along. She’s a pretty good traveler but on the way there she’s so excited that she doesn’t want to lay down and sleep. Which wore her out pretty good. And that was fine.

boston terrier on a road trip

Normally when I go visit my mom, I make every effort to go into Richmond and eat all of their vegan food. But this time was more about family, so I brought some provisions and stuck close to home.

Since I was driving, I hauled the Vitamix with me so I could have smoothies every morning. I also used it to make a raw cashew cheesecake that I took to our Passover dinner. Other provisions included Soy Curls, BBQ sauce, tofu, nutritional yeast, black salt and some Earth Balance. I knew my mom would have vegetables, so this was plenty to keep me fed.

The first night, my mom and partner wanted to go out to dinner. And they didn’t want to go to Richmond. So I got on my phone and started searching around for something. A Mexican place called Don Pepe popped up and they had a vegetarian section to their menu. That’s something I can work with. By the way, this place is right off of I-95 if you’re ever passing through.

As you can see, I was a bit hungry and attacked this before I remembered to take a picture. It’s a bean burrito with rice and I got an order of guacamole as well. It was really good. The sauce on the burrito was fresh and flavorful. And the guacamole wasn’t filled with a bunch of filler like some places do.

eating vegan on the road mexican  food in chester, virginia

The next night, I made BBQ Soy Curls with sautéed kale and a couple of pieces of toast. Soy Curls make an excellent provision since they don’t require refrigeration and they’re light. As a matter of fact, I’m making a mental note right now to pack some when we head to Mexico in a couple of months. My mom was pretty adventurous this visit and tried the BBQ Soy Curls and really liked them.  Whenever I cooked something, she pretty much ate what I ate.

vegan bbq soy curls, kale, toast

For Passover, I made up a batch of tofu scramble and took a little box with me. It was packed with veggies too so it could be a full meal. There were various munchies around I could eat as well. I’m assuming you’ve seen a tofu scramble and also I forgot to take a picture, so here’s a lovely haggadah.passover

The next day, we met some family at the cemetery to visit relatives.

grave stone at Blandford Cemetery

Then headed to Old Town Petersburg to walk around. This is a good side trip from Richmond.

old bricks in petersburg virginia

old brick facade in petersburg virginia

After that, my mom and I grabbed lunch at Wabi Sabi. The menu is a mix of sushi and sandwiches. With the sushi option, I knew I could make something work. That something turned out to be veggie sushi with a side of sweet potato fries. My mom may or may not have learned an important lesson about wasabi when she accidentally scooped up the whole dollop with a piece of her sushi. Ouch!

vegan sushi

sweet potato fries

wabi sabi petersburg virginia

Finally, my last day in town, we did make it to Richmond for lunch. There was a new place I was thinking about trying, but they were closed Mondays, so we went to an old favorite, Ipanema Cafe.  It’s a vegetarian sandwich place with lots of vegan options, including a jackfruit sandwich, and more importantly vegan pie. ipanema cafe richmond virginia

My mom and I both got the tempeh reuben. Delicious and only a little messy. My mom really liked it which is pretty impressive. Tempeh can be a hard sell.

tempeh reuben at ipanema cafe richmond virginia

And pie could not be resisted. My choice was the cherry pie which I had with the soy ice cream because it was the right decision to make. It had a crumb top and shortbread crust. Yum!

vegan cherry pie from ipanema cafe in richmond virginia

After that fine dessert, coffee was necessary and Harrison Street Coffee Shop, another favorite, is right around the corner. They also have simple sandwiches and vegan breakfast items. Plus it’s one of my favorite coffee shop spaces. Oh, it’s also vegetarian. Yay!

eating vegan on the road harrison street coffee shop iced latte

On the drive back, I didn’t want to worry with packing anything. I decided I’d just wing eating vegan on the road. This time I hit the old standby, Taco Bell. I learned the lesson long ago, to always check the innards of a wrapped food before biting unless you’re in a vegan restaurant. Taco Bell is no exception. Save yourself some grief and open them up at the counter before you take off. Even though my ticket was right, both of my burritos were wrong. They put some ranch sauce in my modified 7 layer burrito that doesn’t even come on it and there was cheese on my bean burrito. No worries, just had them remade and was on my way. Why did I go to Taco Bell rather than Chipotle? Because you can hold a Taco Bell burrito in one hand while driving.

taco bell bean burrito

How do you handle eating vegan on the road? Do you carry food, research spots along the way and plan or just wing it?

BBQ Tofu Taco

It’s easy to find the full-on vegetarian or vegan restaurants, but it’s not always as easy to find out the ones with awesome veg-friendly options. Just because I’ve been stuffing my face with Elmyr‘s veggie options for a dozen plus years doesn’t mean it’s necessarily common knowledge. So, here it is.

My default order is the tofu taco with no cheese. You can get the tofu regular or BBQ. I’ll do either depending on my mood but most people go for BBQ. Now, it’s a big taco. Two tortillas, burrito length, just not burrito full. Perfect if you destroy some guacamole before hand. And you’ll want to. Because theirs is awesome. Not full of a bunch of crap to dilute the avocado goodness.

You want the full on food log? Get a burrito. They have some interesting add ins like potatoes. There’s also a vegan quesadilla called a hazeadilla. It’s packed full of veggies. In the last year or so they’ve also introduced daily specials. Usually there’s a vegan option. If you’re lucky enough to be there when they do the arepas, get them.

Downside? No vegan cheese or sour cream. The sour cream isn’t the biggest deal. But it would definitely be next level if they carried a vegan cheese. Oh, and smoking happens there. But so does alcohol so you can drink away the annoyance.

Enchilada mole casserole

Well, crap. I can’t remember why I made this. Maybe it was Lord of the Rings Risk night at Star & Simon’s. I make variations of this all the time, so I can’t remember what exactly is in it. Maybe fake chicken sautéed with bell peppers and onions with a layer of refried beans in there somewhere. Kind of like a Mexican lasagna with tortillas instead of pasta. Oh yeah, and everything is better with tater tots, right? The sauce is the Doña Maria mole sauce that I’ve written about before. Kroger is now carrying it. W00t!

Tofu chilaquiles

When you only do your grocery shopping once a week, you need a few late in the week recipes. The Tofu Chilaquiles from The Happy Herbivore works well for that. I’ve had a few versions of chilaquiles and I think I like the kind you cook up with corn tortillas better. A bit of Daiya might have found its way into these, but not a ton. Just a little sprinkle on top. All I had was some raw beet chips, so those served as the corn chips. The leftovers were really good spooned inside of steamed corn tortillas and eaten taco style.

 

 

Easy enchiladas mole

This Doña Maria ready-to-use mole sauce was a favorite to keep on hand for quick meals. It disappeared for a while but it finally showed up again at Buford Highway Farmer’s Market. Full disclosure: I have not contacted the company to check if the “natural ingredients” are indeed vegan. Maybe I should actually do that…anyway. (Update below post) Last time I posted about it, we ate it in the form of an enchilada stack. This time, I rolled up Trader Joe’s fake chicken strips fried up with onions and garlic and Daiya in flour tortillas, stuck them in a square pan, dumped the mole sauce all over then sprinkled with Daiya. Baked it for around 25 minutes at 350F and it was food. To keep all the food mud colored, we had it with a side of refried black beans, from a can all lazy like.

UPDATE: So after I posted this, I went ahead and wrote the company asking about the “natural ingredients” to make sure they were vegan. And they are! Here’s the response:

W00t!

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