Archive for veganmofo

Vegan MoFo – Day 30 – Christmas Wish List

Each year my family asks for our wish lists. We’ve always done it this way, and personally I like it. I knwo whatever I get the others in my family will be something they want/need and will enjoy. I sometimes don’t like the whole “gift card” thing, unless in cases where the gift card(s) will be added up and used to purchase something large or something to be determined (like fabric stores gift cards). I’ve done the asking for gift cards for that very reason before (I needed new pots and pans!) and this way everyone got to chip in without having to all buy expensive dishes for me. Anway, this year my list was a little bit different and below is the condensed e-mail I sent The Fam.

Donations Farm Sanctuary, The Anti-Cruelty Society, Pigs Peace Sanctuary, or Vegan Action would be rad, since I don’t actually need anything. But for those who want to actually buy me something, here’s some things I like:

Yoga Mat, Accessories (Block, Strap, DVDs)

Electric Kettle (So I can have tea at my desk)

A Tea Cup – this is a cute one too

Donut Baking Pan (because who doesn’t want donuts? both regular AND mini!)

And here’s a bunch of random cool stuff:

Magnets for my fridge
Tofu Express
I like kitchen gadgets for cooking
I could use a good rolling pin
Cookie Cutters are fun
So my list went all over the place, but I’m personally hoping for a few things on the list…mostly at the very very top! I hope everyone else has a very vegan Christmas season! Thanks for Vegan MoFo-ing along with me!

 

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Vegan MoFo – Day 29 – Chicago Diner

Brunch is a fantastic meal. it’s that wonderful time of day, when you get to sleep in and eat breakfast…later…and fancier than normal (read: no smoothie or cereal for me!). Since The BF was in town for the Thanksgiving Day holiday, we opted for relaxed Sunday. After church we headed to The Chicago Diner, for brunch.

We opted for one season item and two regular menu items.

Cinnamon Apple French Toast

This was a great fall dish and plenty for myself to eat, but The BF has quite the appetite…so he was hoping for at least 5 more slices (I think)> Price: $7.99

Vegan Cinnamon Roll

We split the cinnamon roll…all I have to say (and all I ever have to say about the cinnamon roll) it’s awesome, totally fantastic. Price: $2.99

The Breakfast Bowl

This bowl was huge, totally worth the $9.99. It was breakfast potatoes, scrambled tofu, sausage, biscuit, and then topped off with gravy. It rocked and I could only manage to eat half, so The BF scored the rest. We both loved it.

I love the diner and as I tend to say, you need to go!

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Vegan MoFo – Day 28 – Amitabul

After desperately wanting to go to Amitabul, we finally made it. It was wonderful!

We started out with the Mandoo Vegan Dumplings

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These were amazing, very light and delicate, but full of flavor. The cabbage was a nice touch too. Price $7.95

The BF ordered the Sweet Noodle Curry
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The sauce in the dish was really amazing. Sweet and savory, with apples & pears used as flavoring, it really created many different flavor levels. Another bonus was the dish was huge. I mean massive, totally enough for two people to eat or to take home some leftovers. The BF managed to eat 3/4 of it, he’s a hungry man. But it was definitely worth the $11.95

I opted for the Tempeh Veggie Stir (medium spicy)
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It rocked, there were huge mushrooms in it, all the veggies were cooked perfectly, nothing over done and the curry had a lot of depth to it. Spicy, in a great way. I’m tempted to order my next dish there as spicy! I like spicy food and I might try it out. Another plus for this dish was how large it was. I only managed to eat half, so I had leftovers (score!). It was also well worth the $11.95

If you have time, definitely stop by Amitabul. They’re only open Tuesday to Saturday so plan accordingly (not like what we kept doing in the past, wanting to go on Sundays).

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Vegan MoFo – Day 27 – Ste Martaen – Vegan Food Truck pt2

Friday we were lucky enough to get another visit from Ste Martaen’s Vegan Food Truck. This time, myself, The Dad, & The BF trekked out in the cold to meet the truck. We made a great score and we were all really pleased with the options.

To share we got a side of Mac’n Cheese (last one!) and the Sweet & Savory Tofu with Fried Rice

 

We all loved the Mac’n Cheese, while it’s somewhat amazing that we shared the side, we all got a sample and really wished we had more. The Sweet & Savory Tofu with Fried Rice was really amazing too. I loved the sauce and all the flavors blended well with each other. It was The Dad’s idea to get this as well (smart man!).

Both The BF & The Dad got the Chicago BBQ Beef Pita and they thought the sandwich was great. I tried a bite and I really loved the sauce, I like my BBQ a bit more on the sweet side and this hit the spot. I also liked how the peppers were more mellow than over powering. I find a lot of dishes that include peppers tend to taste just like peppers and nothing else. This was a great sandwich.

I opted for the Panini which came with Pomegranate glazed tofu, muenster cheese on fresh baked jalapeno focaccia bread. It was awesome. The focaccia was great, nice texture and not too dry either. Very tasty. I loved the pomegranate tofu, that was amazing. Again, a great sandwich.

Price: Mac’n Cheese side $5, Fried Rice $8, Chicago BBQ Beef $7, Panini $8.

Overall Rating: Again, 4.5 piggies. Totally awesome and I am so lucky to live in a city with our very own vegan food truck! Thanks again!

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Vegan MoFo – Day 26 – Thanksgiving Day – The Meal

Thanksgiving. A time for friends, family, fun, and food. We had all of that. I invited a few friends over and to my surprise, two came! One for the full on dinner experience, one for snacks and fun since she had a lunch time extravaganza which left her quite full. In another surprise twist The Dad flew in from Connecticut too. The day started with a quick morning freak out (by me) because I forgot the sweet potatoes…so I rode my bike to the store asap to secure the most important item on the menu! Once I returned The BF & I enjoying some of the Pumpkin Oatmeal Bread topped with Earth Balance.

Then I did some online t-day shopping/browsing. The Dad arrived in time for lunch (snobby joes!)

After lunch we got to the real fun, prepping all the dishes. On Wednesday I shared the plan…here’s what actually happened:

Appetizer: Hummus & Olive Tapenade (Homemade by my friend Liz), Pita Bread from Garden of Eatin’, Pita Chips from Kangaroo, Crackers from Doctor Kracker, Lentil & Rice Salad from Casbah, carrots.

I don’t know how much the store bought pita bread, chips, and crackers cost but they all went well with the appetizers we had. They all get a solid 3.5 piggies.

Side Dishes: Roasted Brussels Sprouts – recipe is here.

Carrots & Red Potatoes –  cooked with the Tofurky!

Candied Yams – recipe is here.

French Rolls – I cheated and did store bought, frozen rolls from Alexia.

Price: $3.99

Overall Rating: 3.5 piggies – it’s good, homemade is better, but this is a great time saver and everyone seemed to like them!

Main Dish: Tofurky – mega on sale, I couldn’t say no. I thawed it and made the marinade/basting broth that is on the package. Added Potatoes, Onions, & Carrots to the roasting pan too.

Price: $9.99

Overall Rating: 4 piggies. Easy, convent, tastes good, crowd pleaser. This is a great dish for those new to vegan or serving your omni friends/fam on the holiday. It’s flavor is similar to turkey and its texture is pretty great too. I was planning to do something different for Thanksgiving this year…but this baby was 1/2 off, so I went for it.

Along with dinner we had gravy, again taking an easy way out I found a packet of gravy from Road’s End Organics. This was quick and easy and had good flavor too. Everyone enjoyed it. It cooked quickly and then as soon as I turned the heat off that gravy thickened up super fast. It was good.

Price: $0.99/packet each packet makes 1 cup.

Overall rating: 3 piggies

MY plate was quite full…

Dessert: Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Glaze (From Vegan On The Cheap) served with ice cream or pumpkin spice cream, depending on your mood. Yes, I tried it both ways.

Adult Beverage: Our Daily Red (vegan wine) I love this wine, great flavor and affordable. I can drink and entire bottle myself. We also had Orleans Hill wine, which I didn’t care for at all. I can’t really explain exactly why I didn’t like the wine, I don’t know much about wine tastings or various aspects of wine, I just know I really like Our Daily Red…it’s good with food, it’s good alone.

Our Daily Red: Price: $8.99 (reg, on sale it’s usually $7.99)

Overall Rating 4 piggies

Orleans Hill: I honestly don’t remember the price and I really didn’t like the wine, so that’s the extent of my rating.

So the meal was great and I’m very much looking forward to my leftovers for lunch and eating more cake when I get home!

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Vegan MoFo – Day 25 – Ste Martaen Food Truck

I consider myself somewhat blessed to be in a city that offers a large amount of vegan eateries. Even more so, with our very own Vegan Food Truck from Ste Martaen. On the day before Thanksgiving, I tweeted Ste Martaen to request a stop by my house. Lucky for me, they said yes. I bought myself dinner and even one for The BF (who was driving down from MKE for the holiday).

So I wondered out in the cold rainy weather to get my visit to the vegan food truck. So excited…

I opted for the Ste Martaen Dinner: Eggplant Mostaccoli with Roasted Cauliflower

The dish tasted great, wonderful sauce and the sausage was amazing in it with great texture and taste. The roasted cauliflower was a nice touch too…I’d never had cauliflower that way (honestly, I prefer it raw, but roasted was pretty fab too!). Noodles were not over cooked and again, the sauce was really good. No overwhelming seasoning and it all blended really well together. The meal was a good size too. For $8 it was well worth it.

For The BF I bought the Soul Veg dish: Roast, green beans, and Mac’n Cheese.

The dish looked and smelled great. We’ve both had the Mac’n Cheese before at Vegan Mania. So sure, I cheated, I knew he’d like it. The rest of the dish was fairly basic. He said I reheated it too much, and it was way to hot (my bad, I haven’t nailed down the exact amount of time to reheat everything to the perfect temp). And other than that the mac’n cheese was great, green beans don’t reheat well…but the flavor and seasoning were good. All he had to say abo0ut the roast was he couldn’t see himself eating much more than what was in the dish…it is left to be said that The BF does not review food. It was a $10 meal and it was pretty much worth it too.

Overall Rating: 4.5 piggies. Convenient, yummy, great vegan food. So thank you so much for coming out to my neck of the woods so that The BF & myself could enjoy your wonderful food & service. Totally going to eat at the food truck again & hopefully soon!

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Vegan MoFo – Day 24 – Thanksgiving Day Menu

The plan for thanksgiving is the following:

Appetizer: Hummus, Pita/Pita Chips; Lentil & Rice Salad

Side Dishes: Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Carrots & Red Potatoes, Candied Yams, French Rolls

Main Dish: Tofurky & Gravy

Dessert: Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Glaze, served with ice cream or pumpkin spice cream

Adult Beverage: Our Daily Red (vegan wine)

I’m getting excited….are you? You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see it all….

But, here’s what I made today in for breakfast tomorrow. Pumpkin Oatmeal Bread. I licked the bowl, it tasted pretty awesome.

 

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Vegan MoFo – Day 23 – I have a Cookbook Problem

I love cookbooks. I’m not huge on making up my own recipes, but I love others…I love reading cookbooks, planning meals, thinking up various occasions to cook for people. As of today, these are all the cookbooks I have.

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I love them all. Each one has a purpose. Here’s my thoughts:

Tofu Cookery (TC): dude, it’s pictures alone are hysterical. Plus Isa says the “meat”balls in this book are fab. I will make them…soon!

Vegan Planet (VP): Variety of recipes from all over the world. I love the Flax Berry pancake recipe in here. Lots of choices to please any plate and also for various dinner party themes!

Veganomicon (V’Con): I like this one for “fancy” meals. Trying to impress those Omni friends & fam, you’re sure to find recipes to please in here. I cooked up Easter dinner from this baby!

The Kind Diet (KD): I just bought this, everyone says it’s awesome…I still need o find out.

My Sweet Vegan (MSV): Also, I just bought this. I’ve flipped through it, I have a list of things I want to make…yum!

Viva le Vegan (Vive): This book is great. It offers many ways of making recipes gluten-free and also has an entire index on raising vegan children. This is my go to book for my fudgy brownies too. My secret revealed!

Joy Of Vegan Baking (JoVB): This book is amazing. I have made several recipes from here. Everything has been wonderful!

30 Minute Meals (30minV): Originally for The BF, but he hates cooking, so I took it. I’ve made a few, this is nice form quick weekday/night meals – as long as you plan ahead and have your ingredients.

Vegan Brunch (VB): My go to cookbook for all things breakfast. Seriously amazing book. I love the Chocolate Beer Waffles..actually, I love everything.

Vegan with a Vengeance (VwaV): My first vegan cookbook. Great for newbies, all around amazing. I heart Isa!

Vegan on the Cheap (VOTC): My current obsession and part of my Cooking My Way Through project I’m just getting underway. So far, everything is easy and affordable. Love it!

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar (VCIYCJ): I just bought this, got Isa autograph and everything. Cannot wait to start making cookies!

The Chicago Diner (CD): I couldn’t say no to the Diners book…but I can’t remember if I’ve actually made anything from it yet. I just had to have it!

Please Don’t Feed The Bears (PDFTB): Given to me by a friend (thanks Mark!). This book is amazing for weird combination’s and variety of recipes. They have one that involves a slow-cooker, tator tots…need I say more? It’s awesome!

The (Almost) NoFat Cookbook (ANF): Given to me by a friend, I have yet to make anything, but much like Tofu Cookery…the pictures are just too funny!

Vegan A Go-Go (VGG): I got this book for when I travel and it has come in handy to help me eat when on the road in the lesser vegan friendly areas of the country.

Thrive: Great for vegan athletes, easy recipes and just in general great information!

The Face On Your Plate: Truly inspiring. I’m serious, the detail behind it is amazing, references for everything, and it provides an unbiased explanation on everything in the meat industry (At one point he even say’s he doesn’t want to convince you to be vegan, but rather provide you with information to make your own choice). It makes me want to be a animal rights advocate. In some chapters I was in tears. Great book.

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Vegan MoFo – Day 21 – Travel – The Coffeehouse

I went to Bloomington-Normal, IL this past weekend with The Aunt. She had a red hat luncheon that I tagged along to (I’ll post about it tomorrow!) But on Sunday before I headed back to CHI on Amtrak we went to breakfast at the Coffeehouse & Deli. We arrived and I was a little confused about where to sit/order, etc. For any future travelers to The Coffeehouse, the menus are in the front, in a basket to the left of the cash register. You order everything at the front. Then you get a number and take it to your table, they’ll bring the food out.

I went a little overboard and ordered several items from the menu. A vegan pancake, tofu scramble, soy sausage, and tofu bacon.

The pancake was awesome. It had great flavor and texture. Very good! If you go a recommend a huge pile of them. You can order them individually too!

imageThen I ordered the tofu scramble. It was underwhleming at best. It was largely potatoes with a lot of peppers, onuions, and soy sauage, with a bit of tofu and tomatoes in the mix. Sorry, but when I think of scramble I think of lots of tofu, then some, onion, peppers, tomatoes, spinach…and then potatoes on the side. There was no additional seasoning to the scramble either, I think some added herbs would have been nice, but the only available spices I could add myself was salt and pepper. If you like your scramble with lots of potatoes, onions, & peppers…this scramble is for you! It was alright, just not what I was expecting.
imageThen, so The Aunt could try it out we got a side of soy sausage and the tofu bacon. The sausage had great texture, but it was really spicy. That’s saying a lot since I love spicy food. The tofu bacon didn’t have a lot of flavor, so the sausage won out of the too. I bet the sausage would be great on some toast w/ vegan butter. Next time maybe (although they don’t have vegan butter, that I could see or find).
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Another nice thing about The Coffeehouse was that you could get a pitcher of coffee (about 3 cups worth) so that freaking rocked! Overall the experience was good and it was a great find in a small(er) city that had plentiful vegan options…I saw vegan chocolate cake in the case too!

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Vegan MoFo – Day 20 – Product Review – Chocolove

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I love chocolate (um, I don’t know many people who don’t so…there you go). I’m also a huge fan of Chocolove. They have a massive amount of flavors that are also conveniently vegan! Although not everything is vegan a large amount are. See my last post…3 different kinds in the vegan swap! This seemed interesting to me, the sweetness of chocolate with a hint of salt. Yeah, it was great. Made even more fantastic by chowing down on it with Dandies too. NO joke, I was sitting on the couch, bowl of chocolate and dandies…watching a movie with The BF!

Price: $4.99

Overall Rating: 4.5 piggies (I really like the orange…)

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