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Tag: vegetarian (page 1 of 37)

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.

 

Big, big changes

dough bakery sign

So, I haven’t been really public about this, but since it’s about to open, maybe I should out myself. Kevin and I have been working on opening Dough Bakery for a few years now and it’s finally about to happen. Like quit my corporate job kind of happen.

While we’ve been really good and dumping money into it, bringing on Simon of Gutenfleischer’s fame on as a partner is what is making this possible. Simon has been dealing with all the agencies like a pro. Not to mention getting things organized inside and out. And Star is always there to lend a hand. Like that weekend we all spent painting the outside of the building. Or, remember when it was 105F and we striped our parking lot? Good times.

Anyway, places to watch for grand opening info: doughbakery.com | Twitter: @doughbakery | Facebook

 

Basil rolls with tofu & peanut sauce

So that peanut sauce we put on the pizza was so good we had to eat it again pretty much immediately. I cut a bunch of basil off one of my bushes and star used it in these basil rolls she whipped up.

basil rolls

Perfect summer food! Of course we slathered them with peanut sauce.

basil roll with peanut sauce

Vegan Pizza Day 2012

Vegan Pizza Day arrived June 30th and we had no plan. Sure, we actually have a few places in Atlanta where you can get vegan pizza, with vegan cheese and all. But none of them does it 100% right. We’re spoiled by all the pizza parties we’ve had. Simon & Star had the makings for peanut sauce, so we picked up a couple of dough balls from Savage Pizza (psst, you can buy dough balls from Savage Pizza), grabbed more ingredients from Sevananda, and headed over to their place to build up some pizzas.

thai tofu pizza

thai tofu pizza slices

Delicious! What’s for dessert? Pizza! Cinnamon apple pizza with tofutti cheese slices on top.

apple pizza

apple pizza slice

Not a shabby Vegan Pizza Day representation.

 

Smoothie boost

vega smoothie

So all at once I got a bunch of products to try, and I’m slowly trying to get caught up. I like smoothies for breakfast, especially if I’m riding my bike. It just doesn’t seem as lumpy in my tummy as cereal. My standard is a banana, some blueberries, non-dairy milk, chia seeds and a little of whatever Vega product we had lying around. If I want it a little heftier, I’ll toss in a little nut butter. So to test my first batch of the Vega energizing smoothie, I didn’t really deviate much from that. This is the Bodacious Berry with a small banana, some frozen blueberries and flax milk.

bodacious berry vega smoothie

Tasty! A nice way to cover your nutritional bases. The next one I tried was the Choc-o-lot. Again, I whirred it up with a banana and some flax milk. It was actually more chocolaty tasting than I was expecting. Very nice.

The next packet I tried got me through a preview day at the bakery. So after about a 15-hour-day of baking and prepping on a Saturday, I was up by 6am to bake and prep more so we could be open 9-4pm. Whew! I grabbed the natural packet and took it with me. So instead of getting into some baked goods when I started feeling hungry, I whirred up a smoothie with the natural packet, a banana, frozen strawberries and soy milk. It really seemed to be able to keep me going until lunch.

Now, I’m an asshole and didn’t try the product just mixed with water. Kevin likes the Vega products that way. I like to add them to some other things. Hey, it works both ways! The vanilla and mango packets were given to others to try so I don’t have any thoughts on those.

 

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.

Citrus spare ribs

This time, I followed directions. The second product I picked up with the coupons VegeUSA sent me was the Citrus Sparerib Cutlets. And I just followed the easy microwave directions. Combine with rice and steamed broccoli and Boom! dinner! Oh, and I sprinkled mine with gomashio because I do that.

The sweet, chewy nuggets are mostly soy based which is nice if you have issues with eating a ton of wheat gluten. The texture was fine microwaved, but I’ve also had these pan fried in the past and you can get a little crispy edge to them when you do that, but you also sacrifice some of the sauce.

The package ambitiously says there are 2.5 servings inside, but not in this house. It was a solid two servings for us though. The main downside to these is the price. At around $7, it’s more than I would normally pay for a fake meat for 2, but it’s still cheaper than ordering out. And I know there are a ton of people out there that don’t cook like I do and rely on prepared foods or eating out. So you might find this handy. In Atlanta, I found these and the pepper steak at Whole Foods on Ponce.

Just another thali…

Just another thali from Chat Patti. The last part of our vacation we were stuck in a resort with crap vegan options so we were craving some delicious variety. So good.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta

In May, we picked up a few herbs and planted them outside the kitchen door: cinnamon basil, regular basil, lavender and stevia. And we already had mint plants going. The basil has really taken off and they were little bushes when we got back from vacation. They have already paid for themselves and are still going strong. Gee, it’s so much easier to take care of plants when it actually rains every once in a while.

So, time to use up some basil. How about Broccoli Pesto Pasta from The Happy Herbivore? I used whole wheat pasta and a mix between the regular and cinnamon basil. I might’ve added a little bit of olive oil because pesto doesn’t seem quite right without it. But only like a tablespoon for the whole batch. So it’s not like I totally fatted it up. The silken tofu seemed to make it really filling. This is easy and pretty quick to make. Would be a great recipe to recommend to new cooks and new veg*ns.

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