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Tag: tempeh (page 1 of 3)

Vegan BLT Spring Rolls

First things first: do you get the Meatout Mondays email newsletter? If not, you should sign up. Each week they send a recipe along with some other interesting tidbits.

The week that I linked to above had a recipe in it for Vegan BLT Spring Rolls with Avocado. With cashew based ranch sauce. What? Does that not sound like perfect summer food? I thought so and left it in my inbox until I decided to make it.

vegan blt spring rolls

Dealing with rice paper can be a little tricky. But you usually get the hang of it after a roll or two. And if it tears, big deal. You can still eat it, right?

And rolling up spring rolls can be quite the production. There’s definitely a process to it. But these vegan blt spring rolls don’t have as many ingredients as most which makes it go a little faster.

Here’s a video showing you how to work with the wrapper. Bonus: you get another vegan spring roll recipe!

For the tempeh bacon, I just used my own standard smoky tempeh recipe. I guess I should post that some time. There are several commercial vegan bacon products out there like Sweet Earth Foods, Tofurky’s Smoky Maple Bacon, and Upton’s Naturals Seitan Bacon.  Make your own or choose your favorite!

For the dipping sauce, I made the zesty ranch dressing listed in the recipe. It was perfect and we had the leftover dressing on salads. If you want to get a little lazy, Hampton Creek just released their Just Ranch dressing.

vegan blt spring rolls inside shotOh, and if you’re having trouble finding rice paper in your area, you can get it on Amazon. This is one of the brands I pick up at the Asian grocery here.

This recipe made at least 8 rolls. Plenty for a hearty dinner and there were leftovers that I ate the next day for lunch.

These would be a terrific potluck food. Whenever I bring spring rolls to a summer cookout, they are gobbled up. Oh, and these can easily be gluten free!

How about you – do you ever make spring rolls? What are your favorite innards & sauces?

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?

The quickest trip to Asheville for vegan eats and nature

About eight months after the bakery opened, I had to get out of town, even if just for one night. So Sunday after we closed, we zipped home, grabbed a bag and the dog and headed to Asheville.

We were staying at the Aloft Hotel which allows dogs. Not just allows, but caters to them with treats, toys and beds. Tak, of course, slept IN the bed because that’s what she does. Here she is enjoying the view of the pool we wouldn’t be using in February:

Tak enjoying the view at the Aloft in Asheville

Sunday night, we ate at Laughing Seed Cafe and I’m embarrassed to say that I completely failed to take pictures. We were exhausted and I totally didn’t think about it. The food was delicious though, I promise.

The next morning, we had breakfast at The Green Sage downtown which was just a short walk from the hotel. First up, gotta get in that caffeine:

coffee at the green sage asheville

Then I had the vegan version of the Green Sage Plate, tofu scramble, kale, a biscuit with mushroom gravy and sweet potato home fries:

green sage plate

After we fueled up, we went to enjoy some easy trails at The North Carolina Arboretum. I like to walk by water, so we picked a trail by a creek. Tak also enjoys the water.

Tak enjoying the North Carolina Arboretum trails

After all that walking, we earned a big ol’ lunch at Rosetta’s Kitchen. Kevin has brought me back food from Rosetta’s but I hadn’t ever actually eaten there.

We started with the Tempalo Wings:

rosetta's kitchen vegan tempalo wings

Yes, they’re as good as they look. Since I’ve had the peanut butter tofu before, and actually have the recipe and make it often, I went for a tofu avocado wrap. But I think Kevin got the peanut butter tofu, because someone had to.

tofu avocado wrap at rosettal's kitchen

Did I leave room for cake? Damn straight I did! I think this is some kind of peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake. I also had a glass of Buchi, they have it on tap. I’m not sure how it escaped being photographed.

vegan cake at rosetta's kitchen

And after this, we waddled over to French Broad Chocolates and bought pretty much everything they had that was vegan, bars and made on site. Because, vegan chocolate.

Sadly, that was all we had time to do. Next time I’m definitely going to try Plant. If you ever visit Asheville, there’s plenty of vegan food. All you have to do is check Happy Cow, like we vegans do, and plan your gluttony.

A bittersweet post

holiday window at Sauced

Recently I had to replace the hard drive in my MacBook Air. After I’d already decided I was doing Vegan Mofo. I caught the early signs of a failing hard drive, so nothing catastrophic happened, everything was backed up, and thanks to the cloud it was pretty easy to get up and running again.

My iPhoto library is kind of a bloated mess, so I’m probably going to end up manually choosing photos to import. That’s going to be time consuming, so I’m not going to deal with that right now. Instead, I just imported all the photos from my phone. Any past photos I want to use for blogging are on there anyway. If not, I know where to find them.

As I’m going through the photos I’d just imported from my phone, right early on in the first few is a set from Dough‘s holiday party the first year we were open, 2012. Ria Pell kindly hosted it at her second restaurant Sauced, just down the street from us. It was a more upscale place than her signature Ria’s Bluebird, but totally cozy even in its coolness. We’d actually looked at that spot for Dough, but decided it was going to take more work than we could handle. But she made it beautiful and brought out its best features.

Sadly, just a few months after our party, Ria passed away. Ria’s Bluebird lives on, but there will never be a replacement for Ria.

Sharing this special holiday meal she created for us seems like a perfect way to kick off Vegan Mofo. Oh, and keep in mind, she was not vegan, her restaurants were not, but she always took care of us well.

holiday menu at Sauced

The arugula kiwi salad:

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Beans & Greens

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Spaghetti squash in mushroom sauce

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Eggplant Napoleon

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Tempeh bacon, spinach & mashed potatoes

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My blurry plate, one of them. I must have missed getting a picture of the brussels sprouts, but here they are!

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Spiced soy ice milk with candied hazelnuts

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Cardamom apple tart tatin

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Yes, everything was amazing as it looks. And now I’m hungry.

 

Tempeh wing sammich

You know what else is awesome about those tempeh wings I posted about earlier? Leftovers make a great sammich. I heated them up on the George Foreman, slathered the bun in Veganaise and made a garlicky kale salad for the side, using red kale this time.

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