Raw & Cooked at Healthful Essence

If Healthful Essence was more convenient, we’d definitely eat there more often. It’s kind of like a healthier version of Soul Vegetarian. Here’s what we got last trip.

Kevin had the raw lasagna. It was good but could have used some fresh basil and maybe garlic.

Lacking originality, I got rice & peas, collards and BBQ tofu. With a couple of bonus slices of plantain on top.

This time, they had patties, callaloo patties!

Is it wrong that I like mine better? I make the callaloo a little spicy. These are still good though and didn’t require any work on my part.


Banh Mi and spring rolls

Time for a little lunch at Lee’s Bakery. We hadn’t tried their spring rolls yet, so got an order of them. Tofu, noodles and fresh basil wrapped in rice paper with a peanut dipping sauce. They could’ve used a little more fresh herb inside the rolls but I forgot about that once I shoved it into the bowl of sauce.

Their soup is good, but I was really craving a banh mi, and needed a whole one, not half. We didn’t bring vegan mayo with us this time, so it was lacking that, but it really didn’t make a huge difference. Still tasty.

ATL Vegan Drinks at Urban pL8

April’s ATL Vegan Drinks was at Urban pL8 and Kevin made it back in town just in time for us to bust it over there. Since we didn’t make a reservation, I didn’t want to steal slots at the allotted table, so we sat separately with the Gunns.

It’s Friday, let’s start of with a Manhattan.

They had a special menu for ATL Vegan Drinks and they also have a couple of vegan or veganizable items on their regular menu. I had the roasted beet sandwich because I like them and Kevin doesn’t so I don’t cook them much at home.

It was a very nice sandwich, but the real star was the Sunflower Seed Crusted Tofu on a squash purée. It totally needs to be on the regular menu.

We also got a side of kale and shared it. They also have kale chips.

Of course I saved room for dessert. This is what they call a paleo chocolate cake. I didn’t pay attention to what was in it but it seemed like dates, nut flour and coconut were involved. It was almost like a raw dessert. Keep that in mind if you ever see it on the menu. Just so you’re not expecting a regular cake. But don’t discount it. It was really good.


Bibim Bap

Our last visit to Hankook Taqueria, I was craving more vegetables than the tofu tacos were going to provide, so I got the Bibim Bap instead. Fried tofu and various veggie piles over steamed rice with spicy sauce all over. I wasn’t feeling mushrooms that day, but downed everything else. And through some miracle of self restraint, I only pilfered a couple of Kevin’s sesame fries.

Almost tofu jerky

Is a Tofu Xpress totally necessary for pressing tofu? No. But it does make the job easier. And you don’t risk cans falling off your counter when the tofu doesn’t press evenly, which always happens to me.

So I pressed some tofu, and marinated it with one of the recipes in Vegan Vittles. Except instead of orange juice, I used a packet of True Orange that Dr. Joe Esposito gave me at the office.  And it worked pretty well. I’ve also successfully used it in salad dressing.

So, when I baked the tofu, I got distracted, probably by the internet, and forgot about it. When I caught it, it was well on its way to becoming tofu jerky. But it didn’t burn and wasn’t too chewy. It actually turned out to be just fine, and an excellent salad topper. Maybe next time I’ll cook it a little long on purpose.