Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vegan MoFo: Local Apple Cuppie!

My Vegan MoFo Day 28 entry is a bit overdue! For last week's Iron Chef Vegan Challenge, the secret ingredients were apples and peanut butter....two of my absolute favorites!! The entry was due on Sunday, but I got wrapped up with the whole restaurant thing and totally forgot. woops!

So it's better late than never, right?! I made Local Apple Cuppies with a Peanut Butter Shortbread Crust. A little piece of heaven! A cuppie-- mini like a cupcake, but it's a mini pie--is something I kind of just made up one day, but I'm sure it's been done before. Either way, they're pretty cool and mess-free and tasty!
Aren't they adorable?!Gotta fill the insides super full of local cinnamony apples, of course!Slice it in half and share it with a friend...or just take a pretty picture and eat it all yourself!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vegan MoFo: Sustainability Sunday!

Welcome to Day 27 of Vegan MoFo (month of food)!! The KC Vegan Crawl, aka Sustainability Sundays, was hoppin again this past weekend! Lots of great peeps came out to support sustainable, delicious vegan foooooood!

At my supper club, it was Oktoberfest 2009!! All German food all the time!

For the meal: Homemade Vegan Brats with Braised Local Cabbage and German Potato Salad (all local veggies, too!). Of course, there was lots of Organic Kraut to be had!!

For dessert: Apfelkuchen! For all the English speakers, that's German Apple Cake! I got my recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking and it turned out soooo great! I am in LOVE with this warm, cinnamon-y, moist cake. Love.See, Dane loves the German-ness...And Anna reeeealllly loves the German-ness!!And for the second leg of the vegan crawl, at Dane's place....more local food gooooodness!
Spaghetti Squash Saute: local sketti squash with onions, garlic, mushrooms, zucchini, and olive oil. So many good things all at once!!Lima Beans in Tomato Sauce: lima beans. simmered in tomato sauce. what more could you ask for?! yum!Pomegranate Tart: pomegranates, blackberry jam, and pineapple in a dense, buttery tart crust. I think it actually might be a pan-dowdy due to how it's made and such, but whatever. Just words.Then we all carved ourselves some local pumpkins!! Perfect ending to a lovely, autumnal Sustainability Sunday! Here was my creation....totally fitting to my personality. ha.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Vegan MoFo: Denver, Part III

It's Day 26 of Vegan MoFo aaaaand it's the last post about Denver! You know you had a lot of good food on a trip when you need three posts to talk about it! Let's do it!
From the Watercourse Bakery, the all-vegan bakery in Denver:

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls! Can you believe it?! I must recreate this pastry!The Scout Cookie! Caramel-Coconut-Pecan Cookie drizzled in Dark Chocolate. Just like the Girl Scout Samoa Cookies you know and loved. Perfection.

Then, for our last lunch in Denver, we obviously had to eat at Watercourse Foods!

I had the Juan Wrap...sliced seitan (subbed for the usual cheese), cilantro pistachio pesto, grilled sweet potatoes, and sauteed mushrooms and onions. Out of this world good. Pesto!!! For my sides, I got the Southwest Quinoa Salad and Mixed Greens with Miso Tahini Dressing. I was elated. But sad this would be my last meal here for a while.
My dessert was the HoHo Cupcake, a take on the classic by Hostess! Rich chocolate cake with vanilla cream filling, vanilla icing, chocolate ganache, and some chocolate chips!! One of the best cupcakes I've ever ever ever had!!! Sarah got the BBQ Seitan Sandwich...sliced seitan, bbq sauce, and coleslaw on those awesome homemade buns...with sides of Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and Steamed Kale. Holy cow so good! Sarah's dessert was the Apple Pie! So cinnamon-y and juicy. Flaky, buttery crust. Love.
Our friend, Wendy, got the Chocolate Layer Cake a la mode with Cherry Ice Cream! Chocolate and cherry are soooo perfect together!! What more could you want?!
I'm sad to have to wrap up my posts about Denver, since the food was so fantastic. But there are more places to visit and foods to eat/love/crave/write about. Let's go get 'em!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Vegan MoFo: Denver, Part II

Hey! It's back to food on Vegan MoFo, Day 24! I am going to post the second of my three-part series on eating vegan in Denver, Colorado! I cannot emphasize enough how much delicious food there was!! I ate a. lot. in Denver. Totally worth it!

First off, I went with my friend and fellow dietitian, Sarah. She is awesome and went to all the vegan spots with me! She's an omni, but it's a slow conversion process :) But this girl knows good food, which I guess is why she hangs out with me! haha

Here we are at a local Denver bar, getting our dance on. We don't really drink, so dancing is what we do at bars! There were some awesome local musicians playing and really funny Denver natives dancing with us. Too much fun! I'm the one with the glasses, btdubs. And here we are at the American Dietetic Association Conference. The (kind of) reason we went to Denver in the first place. Besides to eat at good places and see cool stuff. But I guess we wanted to learn about nutrition and stuff, too!
Now for some foooooood! One night, I went with another friend named Sarah, who lives in Denver and is a baker there (woo hoo!), to go play bingo at a bar named Sputnik. Her boyfriend came with us, too. He's a sweetheart. Anyway, it was an adorable little dive hipster place with TONS of vegan options on their menu! The late-night special was their awesome Sweet Potato Fries and choice of dipping sauce...we got the Vegan Wasabi Mayo! Yuuuuum! Spicy in my nose and yummy in my mouth. All at the same time.
Another night, the Vegetarian Resource Group-- which promotes all things veganism and is awesome-- had a vegan dinner at the Mercury Cafe, a beautifully decorated and gorgeously "crunchy" natural foods restaurant. It had really dim, romantic-y lighting, so pics were tough to get. The food was delish, though! A must for dining vegan in Denver!!

The entree: Linguine tossed with Olive Oil, Local Spinach, Tomatoes, and lots of Garlic!
The dessert: Chocolate Cake with a Chocolate Ganache Frosting. Kind of vegan-y tasting (I know they don't all taste that way of course! hello!) but I loved it! Mmmmmm.
On yet another night, Sarah (the one from Denver) and I ate at City O' City. It's a hip/casual/cafe/bar atmosphere, and is owned by the same people as Watercourse Foods. The food is more bar-style, and very amazing!!
We shared the Spinach Salad, which had candied walnuts, apples, miso tahini dressing, and our addition of tempeh bacon bits. zomg. I love this salad!
For our main dish, we split a pizza. Because pizza is just awesomely awesome! We got the La Michelle Pizza, made up of their tasty homemade crust, fig sauce (!), fresh rosemary, sundried tomatoes, capers, and our vegan option of cashew ricotta. Probably one of the best pizzas I've ever had. Very gourmet and very good! If you go here, get this pizza, ya'll!For dessert, we got a nosh from the attached Watercourse Bakery! How convenient! We got the Apple Crisp Bar. Mouth-watering apples combined with tons of cinnamon and a crispy, dense, buttery crust. Love.

One afternoon, Sarah, Carrie (another dietitian from MO) and I had high tea at the Brown Palace Hotel. Very fancy schmancy hotel, very fancy high tea. I got Vanilla Rooibos tea and it was just delightful! I felt like a princess, I must admit. They did too...

There are still more Denver pics to come! Be prepared!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Vegan MoFo: Fun Food Stuff

I am currently having issues with my camera. aka it's broken!'s some good clean food fun to satisfy all your Vegan MoFo needs in the meantime! Enjoy!

Favorite Food Movies:
Supersize Me
Food, Inc.
Soul Food
--For more food-related movies, check out this site.

Favorite Food Songs:
Come On-A My House, by Rosemary Clooney
Peaches, by the Presidents of the United States of America
Free Cake, by Dadbot
Hey, Good Lookin', by Hank Williams, Sr.
Eat It, by Weird Al Yankovic
--For other good food songs, check out this site.

Favorite Food Holidays:
National Cupcake Day, October 18
National Blueberry Pancake Day, January 28
National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, April 2
National Hot Fudge Sunday Day, July 25
National Sandwich Day, November 3
(Doesn't include World Vegetarian Day, of course!!)
-- For all the food-related holidays, seriously go here!

What are some of your favorites?? Lemme hear 'em!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vegan MoFo: Denver Part I

Welcome to Day 21 of Vegan MoFo!! Sorry for the hiatus....I've been on a trip in Denver! The American Dietetic Association had their annual conference there this year, so I got to go and learn about current research and hot topics in nutrition with other dietitians from around the country. It was lots of fun!! My friends, Sarah and Wendy, who are also dietitians, came to Denver, too! They were champs and went to all the veg restaurants with me :)
The best part was the awesome food I got to eat while I was in Denver! There are a lot of pics to show, so I'm going to post them in two's part I!

Watercourse Foods!!! This was by far the best place I ate in Denver. Everything on the menu was vegan or could be made vegan! So hard to find! Everything was delicious beyond belief, there was great service, and the prices were very reasonable. I got addicted. And ate there a lot. Here's some of the meals there!! Banana Bread French Toast...topped with Candied Walnuts,
Sliced Bananas and Strawberries, and Real Maple Syrup. Good gracious. This was sweet, but not overpowering, and the banana flavors rocked my socks off!

A side of Tempeh Chorizo...So spicy and flavorful!

Sarah got the Tempeh Burger...with grilled onions and BBQ sauce! So goooooood. She got a side of coleslaw and a side of sweet potatoes, too. Yum!

One night of our trip, we took an adventure to Boulder! I hadn't been there before, so we had to check it out. For dinner, we went to Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant. It was more upscale than the casual Watercourse, and it was awesome. The other girls got non-vegan entrees, so I'll just show you what I had.
Our complimentary homemade bread, with olive oil-balsamic vinegar for dipping. Loved it.

Our starter: Raw Collard Wrap, with Sunflower Seed Ricotta and Basil Pesto. This was so refreshing and delicious!

The insides. mmmm.

The entree: Jamaican Jerk Tempeh with Forbidden Black Rice and Sauteed Chard. This beautiful dish was garnished with a coconut-plantain sauce, balsamic reduction, a tart berry relish, and a crispy fried plantain strip. So many awesome flavors and textures came together to make this dish truly delicious. I was disappointed with how mild it was, since I love spicy food, especially with Jamaican food. But maybe that was just me.

The next day, it was back to Watercourse Foods! Yes, I became a bit obsessed :)
Biscuits and Gravy! Seriously the best biscuits and gravy I've ever had. Vegan or not. I could have eaten about a dozen of these!!

The biscuits had shredded carrots and zucchini INSIDE them! That gave them a really nice sweet flavor and moist texture. Looks like I will have to try that at home!

To go with the B&G, a side of scrambled tofu. Very, very good tofu. And it came with their homemade salsa....bonus!

On yet another trip to Watercourse (hey, it was close to our hotel!), I got my favorite thing I had there: the Buffalo Tofu Sandwich! It was a BIG block of fried tofu that was coated in a buffalo sauce and topped with coleslaw, all on a homemade bun!! It was awwwesome! I got sides of steamed kale and grilled sweet potatoes. Heavenly.

Look at this bite! The homemade buns had either sweet potato or pumpkin in them, not sure which, but it gave them a sweetness and color that was amazing. So soft and pillowy.

Dessert was a Maple-Pecan Cupcake. I loved it! It was almost too sweet and had TONS of frosting on it, but the maple and pecan flavors were really nice. I guess there's no such thing as too sweet when you're on vacation!

And I just can't have dessert without coffee! I got an Americano, and it was amazing! Really rich and smooth flavor that was a perfect compliment to the sweet dessert.

There will be more to come! As you can tell, Denver has some awesomely delicious vegan food!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vegan MoFo: Lemon Ginger Scones!

It's Vegan MoFo Day 15 and it's time for this week's Vegan Iron Chef Challenge! The ingredients this week were lemon and ginger. I just happen to love both of these things a lot!
As soon as I learned what the secret ingredients would be, I instantly knew what I would make: Lemon Ginger Scones! It just sounded delicious and I adore scone-making. I just winged the recipe and it turned out great! You should definitely try this one on a cloudy afternoon, and it will surely brighten your day. It did for me!

Vegan Lemon Ginger Scones (makes 8 big scones)
4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 Tbs baking powder
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp ginger powder
Zest of two lemons
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
3/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, such as Earth Balance or Spectrum Spread
1/2 cup soymilk
Juice of two big lemons--approx. 1/2 cup
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, diced small
Lightly grease a cookie sheet. In a mixing cup, whisk together the lemon juice and soymilk, and set aside to let curdle a bit.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, and ginger. Stir to mix well. Cut in the shortening and margarine, until they are in pea-sized pieces or the mixture looks crumbly. Slowly pour in the soymilk mixture and stir until just combined, being sure to not over-mix. Fold in the lemon zest and chopped ginger until fully incorporated.
Chill this mixture for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 375 F. When dough is ready, turn out onto the baking sheet and form it into one large circle. Using a very sharp knife, cut the dough into 8 triangles, as if cutting a pie or pizza. Make sure each scone is separate from one another enough so they won't cook together completely. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, slice along the already-made cuts, and place back in the oven for 15 more minutes. Scones will be ready when golden brown on top and firm to the touch. These are fairly dense, crunchy scones, so they will continue to firm up after baking. Allow to cool for 10 more minutes on the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling or serve immediately. These are really great slathered with Earth Balance and drizzled with agave nectar!! Even better with a nice cup of Earl Grey tea!