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Scramble it up with The Vegg
Feb05

Scramble it up with The Vegg

I’ve been hearing about The Vegg for a while now. Although there are plenty of easy alternatives to eggs, I’m always interested in what’s new. The Vegg is all-vegan, which is great news for the more than 250 million egg-laying hens in the US, most of whom spend their lives intensively confined inside barren wire cages. And since it’s made using 100% plant-based ingredients, it a cholesterol-free alternative — great news for humans, too. I’ve seen a few different pictures of what looks like a whole fried egg — a perfect yolk surrounded by white. Any vegan surely will appreciate the magnitude of this feat. I’m not exactly a morning person, though, so I decided to keep it simple for breakfast; rather than attempting a sunny-side up, I created a tofu scramble for two. This Scrambled Tofu recipe, featured on The Vegg web site, comes from The Vegetarian Recipe Club in the UK: Ingredients:  2- 4 tsp of Vegg flakes/powder 1 cup water olive oil (I used olive oil spray) 8 oz firm tofu 2 onions, finely chopped salt & pepper to taste Directions:  Blend together The Vegg flakes/power with the water and set aside. Spray a hot frying pan with olive oil spray, or use a tiny amount of oil or vegan margarine instead, then crumble in the tofu and add the onion. Cook it for about 5 minutes, stirring, so it starts to turn lightly golden. Mix in the cup of Vegg and cook it in with the scrambled tofu until it reaches a consistency you like. The longer you cook it, the firmer it will become. Serve on toast. Extra Goodness! Compassion Over Killing receives 10% of all profits from The Vegg — another reason to give it a try....

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Field Roast Sausages & Frankfurters
Jan23

Field Roast Sausages & Frankfurters

Most of the time, my vegan diet consists of whole foods — fruits, vegetables, and grains. Protein comes from quinoa, nuts, and legumes. Mock meats are reserved for special occasions, and I seldom go for the soy-based alternatives. But how about a sausage-and-peppers sandwich like the ones at the San Gennaro Festival? Or a hot dog when we’re watching a ball game? Field Roast sausages and frankfurters make it possible to enjoy some traditional food without any animals having to suffer for it. The grain meat sausages are soy-free (yay!), comprised of fresh vegetables like eggplant, gold potatoes, onions, and garlic. As with any sausage, however, it all comes down to the spices and seasoning — and Field Roast gets it right. The sausages come in three flavors: Italian: features fresh eggplant seasoned with fennel, red wine, garlic and sweet peppers Mexican Chipotle: smoked Chipotle peppers, Chili de Arbol peppers, fresh chopped garlic, sweet onions seasoned with cumin seed and oregano Smoked Apple Sage: savory blend of apples and sage; gold potatoes with a hint of hickory smoke And for baseball season? Field Roast Frankfurters are by far the best vegan dogs I’ve had. Whether you’re a mustard and sauerkraut girl like me, or prefer relish or jalapenos (my husband’s favorite fixin’), these hot dogs are my fave. I buy our Field Roast at the local Whole Foods and Sprouts markets, but you can enter your zip code on the Field Roast web site to find where to buy. * * * * * * * * * * * * That’s Italian! Sausage, Potatoes, Peppers & Onions Last night, I treated us to a veganized version of a quick but delicious dinner my mom used to make. Enjoy! Ingredients: 4 Italian Field Roast sausages 4-5 gold potatoes 1-2 green peppers 1 medium yellow onion 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice potatoes into quarters and place in a large pot with water. Bring to a boil, and boil for only about 3 minutes (don’t let the potatoes get too soft!) Slice peppers & onions and place in a oven-safe deep dish. Add potatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and toss mixture. Place on middle rack of oven, uncovered, and bake for 40-45 minutes. When the mix in the oven is almost done, cook the Field Roast sausages on the stove top according to directions. We use a little olive oil in a skillet, moving the sausages around so they don’t burn. Browning the sausages will take 3-4 minutes. Once done, slice the sausages into small discs. Actually, I cut up the sausages using...

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“A Very Vegan Christmas” at Tucson’s Hilton El Conquistador Resort
Dec28

“A Very Vegan Christmas” at Tucson’s Hilton El Conquistador Resort

This year, our family decided to celebrate Christmas at the nearby Hilton El Conquistador Resort. Christmas Eve is a very late night for us; not having to host on Christmas Day means getting to sleep in, and then just relaxing around the tree and opening presents without having to rush into the the kitchen to get things going. The tricky part was that the dinner buffet — like many resort buffet events — tends to focus on having multiple “carving stations” and extravagant seafood dishes. And, looking over the El Conquistador’s holiday menu, even the honey-glazed carrots weren’t going to work for us. However, a quick call to the hotel resulted in a nice conversation with the chef, Vincent Renteria. I was hoping the kitchen would be willing to put together a vegan entree plate for my husband and me — not wanting to make too much of a fuss, but also not wanting to be grazing on lettuce leaves and tomatoes for our holiday dinner. Similar to my experiences in the past, my simple request was met with great enthusiasm. Culinary experts seem to welcome an opportunity to get extra creative in the kitchen. Kudos to Chef Vincent for creating this special “A Very Vegan Christmas” menu for us:   Winter Greens Arizona candied pecans, dried cranberry, herb vinaigrette Charred Vegetable & White Bean Stew asparagus, peppers, tomato, crispy onions Herb Popped Tomatoes portobello ragout, pine nuts, chef’s garden basil Grilled and Smothered Cauliflower mesquite gravy, sweet onion jam Cinnamon Scented Quinoa caramelized shallot, vanilla roasted pasnip Agave Baked Butternut sage,hazelnut, brown sugar Bruleed Banana Pudding pumpkin spiced crisp Not only did Chef Vincent go above and beyond with all these amazing dishes, but he also offered to serve the food family-style at our table so that we could share with other family members. Our canine family members, Otis and Galileo, also were very happy about the leftovers we brought back home. I cannot thank Chef Vincent and the Hilton El Conquistador enough for making our last Christmas Day here in Tucson with family (our move back to NYC coming soon!) such a wonderful time. I’d love to see some (or all) of these delicious culinary creations added to next year’s Christmas buffet for everyone attending to enjoy.    ...

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Farm to Table Dinner, hosted by Whole Foods
Dec14

Farm to Table Dinner, hosted by Whole Foods

Last night, my husband Seth and I got to attend an amazing sit-down dinner party hosted by Whole Foods. While forty of us were treated to an incredible meal, Whole Foods team members spoke about new initiatives in Tucson and new locations; more specifically, the night was all about Whole Foods’ use of local sources — which can be a real challenge when you’re in the middle of the desert! Buying veganically-grown produce from Sunizona Family Farms (Willcox, Arizona) is just one example of the good things happening here in Tucson thanks to Whole Foods. While the entire menu was not vegan, quite a bit of it was, starting with the vegan-friendly local wine and selections at the appetizer table such as crostini with white bean paste and vegetables, a warmed assortment of olives, and fresh melon. Dinner was family style; the atmosphere was festive as we passed around the platters and chatted with other community members — some familiar faces and some we were meeting for the first time. Try not to salivate when you see the delectables prepared for us last night. I spoke with chef Nathan Hirsch afterwards, and we’ll be having a tray of the eggplant cannelloni at the New Years Day brunch we’re hosting. Too delicious not to share! Thanks again to everyone at Whole Foods for bringing so much wonderful food into our neighborhood, and for inviting us to be a part of this fantastic evening. Great food, great company. And extra kudos to Whole Foods for doing such a great job with its own 365 Organic brand of offering so many quality products at reasonable prices, making good food accessible even for families on a tighter budget. It seems the 365 brand has expanded, too: I just discovered this week (!) in the market’s frozen food section an array of vegan products like Meatless Meatballs (which I’m mixing in with our pasta this coming Sunday) and the individual-sized Roasted Vegetable Pizza. It’s great to have a few of these quick-meal options handy in the freezer at home; it’s also a great way of introducing a variety of vegan alternatives to non-vegan shoppers.  ...

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Native Foods Cafe in Portland
Nov16

Native Foods Cafe in Portland

The last time I wrote about Eating in Los Angeles, one of our Cruelty-Free Faves Facebook friends suggested I try Native Foods — one of her faves. Lucky me, I didn’t have to wait until my next trip to L.A. While I was back in Portland for the annual Animal Law Conference, my friend Jennie and I made it to the Native Foods in Tigard — just a short drive from downtown. The menu has all kinds of  burgers, sandwiches, and salads. The atmosphere is causal, though there’s the option for a glass of wine if you’re in the mood. Here’s what we had: Portland has so many vegan-friendly restaurants and bakeries to explore! Checkout my previous posts, Good Eats in Portland and Good Sweets in Portland, for more of my faves. Also, add Veggie Grill to the list! Whenever in Los Angeles, VG is always on my list of places to grab a bite, and now it’s come to downtown Portland. The All Hail Kale Salad (with blackened tempeh) calls to...

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Houston’s Green Seed Vegan Cafe
Oct17

Houston’s Green Seed Vegan Cafe

This past weekend, I was back in Houston for Rice University’s Homecoming and Centennial Celebration — and my 20th Class Reunion. Good times! In the midst of all the celebrating and catching up with old friends, my husband Seth and I discovered a little place not too far from campus that became our favorite lunch place. Green Seed Vegan started as a food truck before it found its home at 4320 Almeda (at Wheeler) about two years ago. Everything on the menu sounds so mouth-watering good that it warranted repeated visits just so we could try new things each time. I love that the focus is on whole foods; instead of using mock meats, the staff here uses vegetables and spices creatively, turning sandwiches, burgers, and salads into delectables that surely will keep customers coming back for more. If I still lived in town, Green Seed quickly would become a regular haunt. Sandwiches & Panini On our first visit, Seth went for the Illy Cheesesteak: on a french wheat baguette, you’ll get a heap of portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions, and melted vegan cheddar. Fresh pressed panini include the Tosh (Seth’s official fave here): maple jerk garbanzo tempeh with grilled plantains, spinach, and jerk aioli. He also tried the PB&P— caramelized plantains topped wit spinach and nut butter spread. Meanwhile, the man at the table next to ours that day was having the Garden Fresh panini, seasonal vegetables and roasted red peppers in a balsamic glaze topped with spinach and melted nondairy cheese. Burgers While Seth went for the panini, I went the burger route. My first visit, I decided on the Cali Burger, actually a large slice of cauliflower breaded and fried; top this off with arugula, onions, pickles, tomato with spicy aioli on a whole wheat bun, and you’ve got one tasty lunch. But I also enjoyed two variations of GS’s buckwheat burger, which has a softer consistency than the usual veggie burger but is still very flavorful and satisfying. I loved the Fungus Amongous, which piled on mushrooms, cheese, caramelized onions, tomato mayo and mustard; my next lunch there, I went with for the Big Tex (when in Texas…). Topping off the buckwheat patty on the whole wheat bun, a few zucchini “bacon” slices, avocado, cheese, onions, tomato, and mayo (I had them hold the jalapenos). You also might want to try the Dirty Burque, which was awarded this year’s “Best Veggie Burger” status by the Houston Press. Sides at GS include fries, dill sweet potato fries, battered and fried cauliflower florets, and — for something a little healthier — a small kale salad. Smoothies & Salads And...

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