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Vegan pinto beans at Chipotle! :)

22 Sep

Apologies for my MoFo absence! I’ve been a bit sick and fell off the MoFo wagon. 

Yesterday I went out with Mr. HVC for lunch at Chipotle and saw a sign announcing “Beans for Everyone!” That’s right, bacon has left the building and their pinto beans are now 100% vegan. Woohoo! I celebrated by getting sofritas, with guac, and 50-50 black pinto beans. Damn tasty.

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I’m in the SF Bay Area, so we’re lucky to get these goodies before the east coasters but I hope it makes it to everyone else really soon!

Vegan shaved ice at Honeyberry

9 Apr

So apparently not all shaved ice syrup is vegan? On a recent dessert run with Mr. HVC and friends, we ended up at Honeyberry, an Asian roti bun/ice cream shop that I directed us to because of their non-dairy options for me. Turns out only the berry and pomegranate syrups are vegan! Booooooo! I’ve had the green tea shaved ice in the past, not knowing there were milk products in it, and it was the bomb diggity. In any case, the vegan options are still delicious and you get a huuuuge bowl of shaved ice (“snow bowl”) piled high with fruit and mochi. When will “western” dessert shops catch up and start serving some dairy-free options?

PPK meetup: Veggie Grill

9 Apr

Man, I love this place. Some of the sandwiches are just ok, but what they do right they do really well!

Here are some of my PPK buds (including Amey and Carrie) at our recent meetup. I love these peeps!

HAPPY VEGANS!

And here’s some food porn :)

My dinner – the buffalo bomber sandwich with sweet potato fries

Mr. HVC’s plate – Santa Fe crispy chickin’ sandwich with mac & cheese (OMG!)

We also got chocolate mousse and carrot cake for dessert. I think the cake tasted a little like baking soda but the mousse was fantastic!!

Walk for Farm Animals and veg tourism

6 Nov

A while ago I posted about a vegan bake sale I participated in to raise funds for the SF Walk for Farm Animals, which benefits Farm Sanctuary. Our team raised $792 and some of that is going to be matched by one teammate’s company, so I think we did pretty well! If you want to make a donation to Farm Sanctuary, you can use this link to do so until Nov 12! Today was actual walk, which was held in Golden Gate Park. We were blessed with great weather!

After the walk was over, we engaged in a little veg tourism in Berkeley. We grabbed some lunch at Cha-Ya, an all-vegan Japanese restaurant. I ordered a sushi/inari lunch plate, miso soup, and gen-mai cha. It was pretty freakin’ delicious.

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That last picture is the sukiyake that one of my vegan buddies ordered. It looked amazing.

After a tasty lunch, we checked out Berkeley Bowl. It’s got a reputation for having a beautiful and extensive produce section. I was impressed by the selection (lots of stuff I’d never seen before!) but I think Rainbow Grocery is still my favorite SF market.

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MoFo #22: Halloween!

31 Oct

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday of the year so I always try to do something special. This year we did a bunch of new stuff, which included checking out a new haunted house, trunk or treating, and seeing a special Halloween concert in SF.

Trunk or Treat is basically a way for parents to provide a safe space for their kids to celebrate Halloween. A lot of churches do it because it’s an alternative for parents who don’t want to send their kids out to strangers’ houses on Halloween plus they can control how spooky everything is. The parents line up their cars and sit in their Halloween-bedazzled trunks, handing out candy. Since everyone knows each other, you can totally make homemade sweeties to hand out instead of pre-packaged candy! I’m usually stuck buying the “boring” (i.e., non-chocolate) candy for Halloween, since the cheap chocolate is full of dairy (and slavery!) and the fair-trade/vegan stuff is way too expensive.

I didn’t have a lot of time to make stuff so I opted for chocolate-covered pretzel logs (with vegan Halloween sprinkles!) and caramel popcorn balls.

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They came out great! I put the pretzel logs in special bagse you can find at any craft store. I also had Sour Patch Kids and Swedish fish, but the homemade stuff was the first to disappear! In fact, I think the pretzels were gone in the first 10 minutes :)

The next day we went into San Francisco to go see a Halloween performance of The Phantom of the Opera. Of course, if we were in the city we had to check out a new vegan restaurant!

There’s been some buzz on the PPK about a new vegetarian Thai restaurant, Thai Idea. There’s also a good review of the place in SF Weekly.

Here’s what we ordered:

Thai iced tea
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Firecracker balls – they are deep-fried, panko-crusted and nori-wrapped veggie tuna balls.
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Massaman curry with tofu
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Pad Thai with veggie chicken
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Everything was good! The restaurant was super cute and all the entrees were under $10. The service was really attentive, too. I recommend the firecracker balls. They tasted a little fishy from the nori and they were served with a delicious sweet chili sauce. The Massaman curry was one of the best I’ve ever had (and I’ve had a lot!). The Pad Thai was just ok…it needed more zip but I’m also really picky about my Pad Thai. We were hoping they’d have mango sticky rice for dessert, but instead they offered deep fried bananas with coconut ice cream. As good as that sounded, I was only in the mood for mango so we passed.

Yay for a great new Thai restaurant (sans fish sauce!) and yay for Halloween!

MoFo #18: Sprout Cafe, Lake Tahoe

23 Oct

On Saturday we took a trip to Apple Hill (we picked apples…stay tuned for apple posts this week!) and Lake Tahoe.  Of course, I had to try out the local veg restaurants!

There are a few places for vegans in Tahoe but they can be pretty expensive.  Sprout Cafe is pretty reasonable and had  good reviews on Yelp so we decided to check it out.  It’s a mostly vegetarian cafe that relies pretty heavily on cheese but almost everything can be made vegan (there is no vegan cheese though).

I ordered the tempeh burger, which had to be served on a plain bagel rather than a bun.  Apparently the bun contains dairy.  The burger “patty” was a big slab of tempeh that tasted like it had been marinated in teriyaki sauce.  So I guess this was more of a sandwich than a burger!  It was also loaded with veggies – carrots, cabbage, sprouts, onion, tomato, and avocado.  The bread was slathered with a tasty sweet mustard dressing that was full of whole mustard seeds.  Thinking back, it may have been a honey mustard dressing…I’m not sure and didn’t think to ask.

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I was also happy to see that all their soups are vegan, made with a water base. On the day we visited they had a sesame noodle soup and a pesto veggie soup. Intrigued, I decided to try a cup of the pesto soup. It was really good, basically just a normal vegetable soup with pesto mixed into the broth. I really liked it and will probably try this out in my own soups.

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They also had a juice bar but I was way too full to try it! The staff were young, friendly, and courteous and were knowledgeable about what vegans eat – always a plus.

MoFo #13: Green Bites

15 Oct

This morning we checked out a new restaurant in the South Bay, Green Bites Cafe.

Green Bites is a casual little cafe in San Jose that offers a variety of vegan-friendly salads, sandwiches, soups, and crepes. I was really excited to see they offered a vegan crepe, called the “veganista”!!

The crepe was made of whole wheat flour, sprinkled with vegan cheese, and filled with roasted red peppers, mushroom, zucchini, cubes of tofu, and a drizzle of pesto. It was pretty good! I would have preferred more pesto and I needed to add quite a bit of salt to bring out all the flavors. I also ordered a latte, which was made with almond milk.

My partner had the breakfast burrito, which did contain egg and cheese but also the choice of vegan sausage or soyrizo. I bet they would sub tofu and vegan cheese! He enjoyed the burrito but wished it would have been heated in a press to melt the cheese.

I also noticed some vegan baked goods and there are some gluten free options. The prices are reasonable and the owners are very friendly. Check it out if you’re ever in San Jose!

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