food pix

All posts in the food pix category

Vegan Beef Pot Pies & a Derbyfull Christmas

Published December 27, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
This entire meal was made on rollerskates. Seriously.

This entire meal was made on rollerskates. Yah, seriously.

This is two posts in one. A recipe from this past weekend, and me showing off my awesome derby presents!

So Thomas had a craving for vegan pot pie Saturday night. Unfortunately for him, it was much too late, and I just didn’t have the energy to be baking something for the 1st time in the middle of the night, but I did offer to make it as Sunday’s dinner meal. Gardein beefless tips was our original intent, but we ended up with Boca Burger crumbles since the regular grocer didn’t have them, so that’s what we used here. It worked really well!

I’m really lacking in the pie crust making department, so I googled a bunch of different recipes to come up with this one. I ended up using the Crisco crust recipe (easily found online) with some whole wheat flour and earth balance shortening, and got a sub par result. More on that below, but first…

Trying to gain Midna's approval...

Happy Christmas to me!

I had also been anxiously waiting for a phone call from the skate shop where my skates were getting mounted to my awesome Christmas present plates, and finally called Sunday morning, and found out they were ready. Of course as soon as I got home I had to play with them, and get them all setup again. These are the lovely Crazy Venus plates in a fantastic metallic purple finish. I also spent a lot of time with the hairdryer trying to stretch the toe box on my boots, with some success. Getting my toe stops in just the right spot is tricky without actually being able to do some crossovers, but I think I got them in a pretty good spot, so at least I can walk/skip/run on them easier now. Maybe. We’ll see when I can actually skate again. No practice this Thursday because: Christmas, but hopefully some rink time.

Then somewhere in the middle of this, we got really hungry…

Vegan Beef Pot Pies

Olive oil for misting pot

1 med onion, cut into half moons
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large russet potato, chopped finely
3 carrots, chopped
1 c. green beans, trimmed and chopped into bite size pieces

1 package of frozen Boca Burger crumbles, sautéed Gardein, or prepared TVP beef (recipe here)
1 c. frozen corn
2 c. filtered water + bouillon cube (or veggie broth)
1 bay leaf
1.5 tsp. thyme
Pinch of rosemary
Pinch of sage
2 tbs. tamari (or red sodium soy sauce / shoyu / Bragg’s)
1 tbsp. vegan Worcestershire
~1Tsp. fine sea salt (or regular), to taste
ground fresh pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne, optional

1 c. non-dairy milk
2 tbsp. cornstarch

1 recipe for single/double pie crust, as desired

OR  1 thawed package of filo dough, OR you can try topping with 1 recipe for biscuits (Here’s mine! Try the cheezy or herb variations) which is what I’ll do next time.

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 425*F. Mist medium pot with olive oil and cook onions until almost translucent. Add all fresh veggies and sautee for an additional 5-7 minutes.

2. Add all remaining ingredients, except for milk & cornstarch, and bring up to a boil. Drop heat to low-med, and simmer uncovered. In a separate cup, whisk cornstarch into the milk and then stir into pot. Cook until veggies are mostly cooked and sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes, stirring often.

3. Depending on what you’ve chosen for the dough, either line a 3 quart baking dish with dough, fill and then top with smaller of the double pie crust OR cover with a single pie crust / filo dough and seal edges, OR try topping with biscuits and baking up that way. The bake on the pie crust version was 30 minutes, but you can adjust as necessary since the filling’s already done.

I will just say this makes much more filling than you need for a deep pie plate, and that I didn’t really love the way my pie crust came out. I think I was supposed to add more water, and didn’t. It was very dry. I will definitely try the filo (easy!) or biscuits (time tested!) next time and report back. But that filling was mighty tasty.

Filling

Filling

I could've probably fit it all in this dish, but I did the pie plate first. This one came out better!

I could’ve probably fit it all in this dish, but I did the pie plate first. This one came out better!

The only way I could get the dough to stick together and get on the filling!

The only way I could get the dough to stick together and get on the filling! Also, that Star Wars water bottle was my rolling pin.

Sealed and slits

Sealed and slits

I went for a theme!

I went for a theme!

And even though that was probably more than enough for one post, I wanted to share the derby stuff that I got myself for Christmas, and also some VERY IMPORTANT NEWS! I finally came up with a name, and ordered a few things to debut it!

Tank with name and number and decals for my helmet!

Tank with name and number and decals for my helmet!

I found Represent Art Co. on Etsy, and had them make me a tank and some decals for my helmet. They did a great job, and even got it to me before Christmas, which I wasn’t expecting. So that’s what I did today. Got my helmet all done up! I love how everything turned out!

wpid-IMG_20131225_183808.jpgThe number was just a little big for my helmet, so I trimmed it down and was able to get some bats and blood drops to decorate with the excess! I LOVE my helmet, and can’t wait to get out to the rink tomorrow to try out all my new goodies.

*** EDIT ***

Yah, that's my mouthguard smile.

Yah, that’s my mouthguard smile.

MY NEW SKATE SETUP IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!! So, so, light and so, so fast! And the stretching I did worked really well too. First time I’ve been able to wear regular socks with them and be comfortable. Toe stops seem to be in the perfect position now, as well. YAY! Thanks Santa! 🙂

Advertisements

Christmas Eve 2013

Published December 26, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Photo stolen from Helen of Vegtastic.net!

Photo stolen from Helen of Vegtastic.net!

Hello! I hope you had a merry little Christmas! We sure did over here at the Mendez/Mitchell/Pitlick Christmas Eve party. We combined forces and had a “family” gathering made up of three houses. Sadly I don’t have any family here (for now?! I’m still hoping they’ll move!), but Thomas and Helen were both able to convince their siblings to move to Seattle this year, so we did have a collection of family members present.

It was nice to have some extra help cooking for this one, with Helen making a wonderful kale and brussel sprout salad, a fennel, parsnip and yam gratin, and Carl baked up an apple pie. I made Field Roast celebration loaves, my herb stuffing, and mashed potatoes with caramelized onions and roasted garlic. I also made peppermint crunch oreo cupcakes by Lyndsey’s request.

It had been a pretty long time since I’d made any cupcakes, and proof of that was the fact that I completely forgot to buy powdered sugar!

DIY powdered sugar

DIY powdered sugar

I followed Isa’s advice from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (my cupcake guru), and put granulated sugar into the food processor with 1 tsp. cornstarch per cup. It did make a lot of it powdery, but definitely not all. I could’ve tried the vitamix at this point, but I honestly didn’t want to dirty something else. (I was already doing a juggling act to have enough counter space!) But it ended up working out since I was using pulverized Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe-Joes in the frosting, so you couldn’t really tell. It was also really nice to break out my Kitchen-Aid mixer for the 1st time in a long time. Priscilla did double duty on cupcakes and mashed potatoes!

Hooray!

Hooray!

The rest of our night was really fun, and I even got to dance a little salsa after dinner. Which for Cuban me, makes it a real Christmas Eve party! 😉

Ready to dance!

Ready to dance!

Hope you had a wonderful time with your friends & family!

Skatecation in Florida: 2 Orlando & South Florida

Published December 18, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Hers and His skates

My gear, Thomas’ dismantled inlines, and my vegan Dansko mary janes

Well, my 2 weeks of vacation finally came to an end yesterday. I was planning on going back to work on Friday, but they were slow and I was still in vacation mode, so when they called my Thursday, I figured, What the heck?! (I’ve never had a 2 week vacation from work before. It was pretty nice.) So since I’m all back and rested, I might as well tell you about the rest of our trip.

Last night in Florida!

Last night in Florida!

First, I didn’t end up skating in South Florida after all. I would really have liked to, but their practice was the last night we were there, and we ended up going out one last time with our friends and having a blast. I figured my own practice was only 2 more days, so I’d make it. I still think that it was worth lugging my gear to Florida to be able to skate the previous week though. One week off skates is fine. 2 weeks makes a tremendous difference!

Before we left Orlando, we did get a nice lunch at Dandelion CommuniTea Cafe in. Thomas and I had eaten there before but my parents hadn’t, and I was also after some of Raphsodic Bakery‘s good’s, which they happen to carry.

Caramel Pistacio?

Caramel Pistachio?

I shared the above cupcake with the table as an appetizer, and it was crumbly (I think gluten-free), but totally delicious. (I couldn’t remember the name very certainly.) For lunch I had what Thomas had last time we were there, the Sweet Potato Burrito $9.50. Funny enough, I seem to have forgotten to take a picture of my own food. But hey, it looked like a burrito, came stuffed with (you guessed it!) sweet potato, quinoa, sweet onions, corn & sweet ginger cilantro sauce, with a yummy side of black bean dip. Definitely recommend.

Side Sampler $8

Side Sampler $8

Mom got the side sampler, and enjoyed it until she hit something spicy. She’s pretty sensitive to heat, where the rest of us douse things in hot sauce, so I went ahead and took the queso off of her hands. It came with black bean dip, sassy salsa, whirled peas guacamole, and the “subtly spicy” vegan queso.

Black Bean Quesadilla, $9

Black Bean Quesadilla, $9

Dad had the black bean quesadilla. Even though he was supposed to be avoiding spicy foods and this was filled with black beans, tomatoes, corn, red onions, peppers, cilantro, spices and some of that same vegan queso, this man eats the hottest peppers and sauces in the world with no problem, and this was pretty mild. He liked it, and I ate some of the leftovers later. They were pretty darn good.

Sunday holiday dinner!

Sunday holiday dinner!

The next day Thomas and I headed to the grocery store to get things for a little holiday dinner with my parents, sister and niece and nephew. Since I could only get the week after Thanksgiving off this year, I made a point for us to have a little make-up holiday dinner together. I made two Field Roast celebration roasts, (which everyone loved!) fresh roasted brussel sprouts and acorn squash, and finally LEARNED THE SECRET OF MY FATHER’S BLACK BEANS!

My father makes the best black beans I’ve ever had anywhere, and it’s not just because he’s my dad. They’re really that good. In college he used to freeze them so I could take them back to school with me. A couple of years ago I had him try to tell me the recipe so I could write it down, and that did not work at all. This time I made him actually show me what to do in the kitchen with SUCCESS! I already made a huge double batch two days after I got back. Half for my derby Christmas Party, and half for us. This is truly one of the best presents he’s ever given me! I LOVE YOU, DAD! The only thing I can tell you is, everything they tell you  in books about cooking black beans is wrong.

Most importantly of all, my father is doing GREAT! It’s going to take some time for him to get back up to speed, but his surgery was successful and he’s recovering well so far. The best Christmas present of all! 🙂

And just for good measure, here’s a picture of Midna, who was extremely happy to see her parents after 9 days apart:

Me and my princess!

Me and my princess!

Skatecation in Florida: 1 Central Florida

Published December 6, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Here's me and my new bangs enjoying the balmy weather without enduring tanning, from the safety of our balcony.

Here’s me and my new bangs enjoying the balmy weather without enduring tanning, from the safety of our balcony.

Hello from Celebration, Florida!

I’m happy to report that my dad is recovering very well from his surgery on Monday, which is actually the reason we’re currently in Celebration. It’s also about halfway between downtown Orlando, and Thomas’ hometown of Winter Haven, so it worked out pretty nicely.

Right before we left Seattle, I did my first attempt at 27 in 5 (27 laps in 5 minutes is one of WFTDA’s minimum skills) and got a very respectable [for a 1st try] 24. Having had a week break due to Thanksgiving between my last two practices, I knew I didn’t really care for such a big gap between sessions, so I googled leagues in central Florida right before we left Seattle for our 9 day trip. (I brought my gear backpack & helmet with me on the flights as my personal item with no issues.) Orlando Area Derby Revolution got back to me first, but unfortunately none of their practices coincided with my days here. Then I was lucky enough to get ahold of the Lakeland Derby Dames, who were willing to let me drop in on Wednesday night.

But before that, we went to check out Ethos Vegan Kitchen at their new location…

wpid-CAM00830.jpg

wpid-CAM00833.jpg

The new place is HUGE! They’ve lost some of the greener, homier touches of the old place like the Dr. Bronner’s soap in the bathrooms and a patio area (from what I could tell), but it’s a really nice space with an impressively long full bar to boot (not pictured).

wpid-CAM00832.jpg

Thomas went for the All American Burger $8.95, right away. He got his with the chips and mango salsa. He said it was all good, and that the burger tasted like Gardein, but we didn’t get conirmation on that.

wpid-CAM00831.jpg

After some deliberation, I settled on the Coconut Curry Wrap $8.95, made gluten-free with a brown rice wrap, and upgraded for a side of black beans and [white] rice. I really liked the flavor of the black beans, even before the Tabasco & Sriracha, but did wish it’d come with the less authentic brown rice instead. The wrap was more like a soft taco, and a little diificult to manage without a fork, but I’m thinking it was just the way the brown rice wrap worked out. It was just a little salty for me, but the raisins and walnuts helped to give it some contrast. I liked it more the longer I ate, and ended up eating the whole thing instead of taking half home, like I’d originally thought.

My mom actually got excited to see me in my getup, and snapped this photo of us heading out to Lakeland! :)

My mom actually got excited to see me in my getup, and snapped this photo of us heading out to Lakeland! 🙂

When it came time to leave for practice I was still pretty full. I got a little nap in on the way to Lakeland since Thomas drove, and cars make me nearly narcoleptic. Once it was time to go in, I didn’t give it much thought again until about halfway through. The girls were all really great and friendly, and I was super thankful for the awesome endurance practice they gave me. About halfway through I did feel a bit nauseated, so I’m not sure if it was the overeating or all the vegenaise or nerves, or all of the above! 😉 I did make it through their whole practice though, which I was super proud of since I’m not on a competetive team yet, and just a week shy of three months in.

If you want to check out their team, the Rockabilly Rebels, watch their quick video, here’s the link on Vimeo! Like it if you can, because they’re trying to win a contest! And if you’re interested in joining them, they have a recruitment night coming up on Monday!

As always, thanks for reading! We’ll be heading down to South Florida on Saturday, so stay tuned for part 2! 🙂

Still haven't been in the pool yet, believe it or not! Last chance today!

Still haven’t been in the pool yet, believe it or not! Last chance today!

365 Pumpkin a little off?

Published November 26, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

wpid-IMG_20131126_204536.jpg

Just a heads up!

I made a couple of pies (my recipe here) tonight and discovered two things:

1. My new oven runs a bit hot.
2. The [Whole Foods] 365 pumpkin is a little weird this year.

As soon as I opened the can I noticed it was a really deep orange that seemed a little unfamiliar. The baked result had a little tang to it? In the past I thought the 365 brand was tastiest, but I’d urge you to skip it this year if you haven’t done your shopping yet. We’re heading to the store now to pick up some extra items, and some different pumpkin.

Good luck and happy baking! 🙂

Post Derby Brunch: Spinach Tofu Scramble & Vegan Steak Hash

Published October 17, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

wpid-CAM00768.jpg

Once a month, PFM brings in Coach Alex DeLarge to give us a killer on and off skates work out with tons of squats, drills, and running to build our strength and endurance. The rest of the week it also reminds us of how many muscles it takes to get in and out of a chair or go upstairs! Though I fared much better this past Sunday than last month, my body has not quite yet forgotten it completely. It’s Wednesday. 🙂

Driving home from practice I was famished, and all I could think about was tofu scramble and toast. Thomas had been out for a bike ride while I was gone, and felt equally eager for food. I knew we had a pack of sprouted tofu in the fridge and some onions that needed using, so I quickly came up with this protein packed menu as I gobbled down some [untoasted] bread with the last of a container of hummus. I also made us both a brunch cocktail to sip on as I went to work…

Mmm!

Mmm! Just enough Jack for two brunch cocktails!

I decided to make a spinach tofu scramble, and a vegan steak hash with some fingerling potatoes and some Gardein Beefless tips. I got the latter ready first so it could bake while the scramble came together.

Vegan Steak Hash

olive oil for misting
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, sliced into thin half moons
~2 c. fingerling potatoes, somewhat peeled and chopped
1 package Gardein Beefless Tips salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400. Prepare a roasting pan or cookie sheet with a mist of olive oil. Spread out onions, garlic, and potatoes and mist with olive oil, grind some fresh pepper and salt on top and toss with hands to coat. Add Gardein and disperse evenly.

2. Bake for 20 minutes. Stir. Bake for another 20 minutes. Done!

wpid-CAM00760.jpg

wpid-CAM00761.jpg

wpid-CAM00767.jpg

Spinach Tofu Scramble

olive oil for misting
1 yellow onion, sliced into thin half moons
4 cloves of garlic, minced
~8 oz. frozen chopped spinach (half a bag)
1 package of firm or extra-firm tofu, silken or regular will work
1-2 tbsp. tamari (or red sodium soy sauce/braggs/shoyu)
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. dried thyme
cayenne pepper to taste, optional
salt & pepper

~1/4 c. nutritional yeast

Directions:

1. Spray a skillet with olive oil, and raise to medium heat. Add onions and cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add spinach and lightly season with freshly ground salt and pepper. Cook until all the frost is off, about 5 minutes.

2. Crumble in tofu, and all other ingredients except nutritional yeast. Stir until well combined and heated through, about 5 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and stir in nutritional yeast.

wpid-CAM00762.jpg

I had to chop my tofu to help the crumbling because it was the extra firm, sprouted kind.

I had to chop my tofu to help the crumbling because it was the extra firm, sprouted kind.

wpid-CAM00765.jpg

wpid-CAM00766.jpg

A purrfect post derby meal!

A purrfect post derby meal!

Curried Black Bean & Kabocha Squash Soup

Published October 4, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

wpid-IMG_20131003_204304.jpg

Thomas finally came down with the cold his body had been fighting today, and needed some culinary medicine. I decided that black beans and the kabocha squash sitting on my counter would be a great base, and I threw in a package of sprouted tofu because he loves tofu the most of any human I know! I also love to give my crazy Seattle bicyclist super protein packed meals whenever I can.

Curried Black Bean & Kabocha Soup

olive oil, for misting pot

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 kabocha squash, scrubbed, mostly peeled and cubed small

7 c. filtered water
3-4 bouillon cubes
2 cans black beans, drained & rinsed well
1 package extra firm tofu, cubed small

2-3 tbsp. curry powder
1+ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cumin
+/- 2 tsp. salt
pinch of all spice
a few grinds of black pepper
cayenne pepper to taste, optional

Directions:

1. Mist a large pot with olive oil and set to low/medium heat. Add onions and cover. Keep chopping pepper, garlic, squash, stirring them in as you go, replacing cover after each, about 10 minutes.

2. Add water, bouillon, black beans, tofu, and spices. Raise heat to high, and bring to a boil.

3. Drop heat, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Stir and taste for seasoning. Simmer partially covered for 15 more minutes.

You’re done. Yum!

wpid-CAM00723.jpg

Vegan MoFo 2013:14 Seattle Week of Food

Published September 30, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
From the Queen Anne lookout point.

From the Queen Anne lookout point.

My parents were here this last week, and boy did we eat! We had a fantastic time, and the days just flew by. So even though I was hoping to beat my number of MoFo posts from last year, I’m not the least bit sorry. Also, congratulations to Sara, who won the Barnana giveaway! I hope you enjoy your snacks, Sara!

And now as I squeeze in my last MoFo post, with less than 2 hours to spare, I’m going to take you on a crash course of Seattle vegan food! Here we go…

wpid-CAM00696.jpg

We started off their trip with a drive up to Greenlake to pick up Thomas, and headed straight to our fave place for Mexican, El Chupacabra, located in Phinney Ridge. This is the perfect place to take anyone who loves Mexican food (and even those who don’t!). They can make just about anything on the menu vegan, and everything is marked clearly. They have Gardein chicken & steak, as well as Morningstar meat for vegetarians, and plenty of other choices for omni diners. This is my taco salad w/o cheese, and with vegan steak. Delicious!

wpid-CAM00698.jpg

My mom has just been getting into good beer, and was dying to check out a brewery for dinner, so naturally we took her to Elysian in Capitol Hill. We were still a bit full from lunch, so I just helped Thomas eat his VEGAN BURGER $11 – Field Roast vegan patty charbroiled on toasted ciabatta with sauteed peppers & onions, tomato jam and organic bibb lettuce. I had been there a couple of times before, but never to eat, and was surprised to see that they had a few awesome sounding choices that were clearly marked vegan. This sandwich was just as good as it sounds. Tomato jam? YES. My parents LOVED this place.

photo (4)

Tuesday was my dad’s birthday, and my day off, so we went down to stroll by the waterside and to check out Pike Place Market. This is how they found out about the lie that is Seattle weather. This was supposed to be a “really crappy day”.

After a brisk start through Pioneer Square, the clouds cleared, the sun came out, and so did my umbrella. (Though the atypical storm we had the last couple of days sort of made up for it, I guess!)

Mom & I in Pioneer Square

Mom & I in Pioneer Square

We ended up in Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, where we were fascinated by their resident mummies… (for more weird attractions in Seattle, click here)

wpid-CAM00699.jpg

And where I stumbled onto this antique Vampire Killer Kit (Eep!) containing a bible, a crucifix, holy water, a stake and a mallet. (Why does everyone want to kill us?!)

wpid-CAM00700.jpg

After all this strolling it was snack time, so we headed to Pike Place Bar & Grill. I got the hummus and veggies with pita.

wpid-CAM00701.jpg

We had drinks at the hotel, and then headed down to West Seattle’s Elliot Bay Brewing Company for dinner where my mom got the flight of beer she’d been after. After having some excellent bourbon with my pops earlier, I opted to try the root beer that they have on draft, which was terrific. They have vegetarian items clearly marked, and I got the Quinoa Garbanzo Salad $8.95 sans cheese. Mine was pretty good, except I thought the house made pickles they served along side were a bit too acidic. Thomas had the Pan Seared Tofu sandwich (not pictured), which sounded vegan except for the side of lemon mint aioli. (PS-Menu says all breads are buttered except the spent grain buns!) My parents really like this place too.

Sorry for the lighting on this one!

Sorry for the lighting on this one!

I got out of work at noon on Wednesday, so I was able to meet up with my parents for lunch. I took Britt’s recommendation for an omni/veggie sandwich shop, the Honey Hole in Cap Hill. We had passed it many times, but never checked it out. They veganized the Bellisimo $8 for me by holding the cheese and subbing Vegenaise for the red pepper mayo.  Smoked Tomato Field Roast, roma tomatoes, sauteed onions, banana peppers, fresh basil, vegenaise, and a splash of red wine vinegar on a demi baugette. OH MY YUM. I will definitely be back here so Thomas can check it out.

Mighty-Os from another day

Mighty-Os from another day

I thought they might enjoy a trip to Mighty-O Donuts in Wallingford after this, so we headed north. They must’ve had a busy day, because they were pretty low on donuts when we got there, but luckily, you can’t go wrong with Mighty-O. We got some apple spice mini donuts, a chocolate glazed, french toast and lemon poppy seed. So good. My dad said if he lived here, he’d be there all the time.

After a drive out to Golden Gardens Park to watch the sailboats, we drove over to pick up Thomas, and stopped in at Chuck’s Hop Shop in Greenwood for happy hour with their incredible selection of beer. (No pictures, sorry!)

WP_20130925_003

We tried to find a place in the International District for dinner, but my mom didn’t have the recommendations list on her, and we were too late, so we headed back to my mom’s new favorite place: Elysian. I had this FANTASTIC dish, TOFU SALAD $13 – Sweet chili sauce marinated tofu slices, baked on banana leaf and served over rice vermicelli, shredded Savoy cabbage and fresh grape tomatoes; with pickled daikon and carrot ribbons and Thai basil-lemongrass vinaigrette. Garnished with hoisin sauce, fried shallots, crushed peanuts and lime wedges. That’s 2 for 2 Elysian. AND they have some of the best tasting pumpkin beers out right now? Yeah, this might be one of my new faves too. Everyone loved their beer and food all over again.

Mom & Dad :)

Mom & Dad 🙂

For dinner Thursday, we went to a chinese restaurant in the International District recommended by a member of their hotel’s staff. It was Zagat rated and had a Seattle’s Best sticker on the door from a few years ago. Unfortunately it also had a bad smell in the foyer, and was a  HORRIBLE experience. They barely had any veggie choices at all, if you can believe it. (Even the tofu dishes weren’t vegetarian! WHAT?) We got 3 plates of nearly identical Budda’s Delight variants that were ugly as sin, and sadly, completely foul. Basically, we couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Then we got to chatting in the car about restaurant choices…

Ironically, my parents had been eating vegetarian since they watched Forks over Knives up until recently. (My mom’s not a tremendous meat eater and has been on and off vegetarian her whole adult life.) Somehow on Monday at Chupa, Thomas & I got the impression that my father didn’t want to go to any vegan places, so we’d been trying really hard to find other options than the ones we knew. Apparently they’d pretty much planned on eating vegan during their trip here with us! This made the rest of their stay a lot easier, and we got to laugh off the disgusting meal. After this there were no more dining mishaps, and we even went out for ice cream to celebrate to put that horrendous meal behind us!

Ice cream makes everything better.

Ice cream makes everything better.

I could’ve sworn I took a picture of my ice cream, but I guess I didn’t so the pic above is from the beginning of the summer, on a hot day at Blue Bird Creamery, which is where we went. That’s me holding a split scoop sugar cone of their two vegan flavors, Coconut Milk Chocolate Chip & Horchata. The horchata is to-die-for, and was a favorite at our table.

wpid-CAM00705.jpg

Friday night we went to one of faves, Georgetown Liquor Company. Their motto is: STRONG ENOUGH FOR A CARNIVORE, MADE FOR A HERBIVORE! It’s a vegetarian bar that can make almost everything vegan. Not only do they have killer food and craft beer, they also have art, pinball and old school video game setups. I got a few rounds of NES Tetris in after I finished up my cider and this FRAC $9.77 : Lentil-sage Field Roast, Apricot Chutney, (W/O Primrose brie), fresh arugula and roma tomatoes toasted on ciabatta.

Large Southwestern

Large Southwestern

By Saturday I was really craving pizza, so we headed to Pizza Pi, an all vegan pizzeria located in the vegan strip of the University District. We usually don’t even look at a menu, we often just order what they’ve got on special, but this day, we all took our time making our selections. Ours was divine; the Southwestern has chipotle ranch sauce, chicken, green peppers, grilled onions, and bacon. So, so good. My parents go the ever-so-green St. Patrick’s Revenge, which has spinach and artichoke sauce, green peppers, broccoli, spinach, fresh basil, and they added chicken to it.

wpid-CAM00707.jpg

We totally pigged out and ended up going back to the hotel to drink, hangout and watch bad tv & movies. We had a GREAT night, and Thomas and my dad made a run for some late night munchies including a Taco Bell fresco bean burrito for me. 😉

All Hail Kale with grilled tempeh.

All Hail Kale with grilled tempeh.

Sunday was their last day, and we started out with a flat tire that needed to be plugged. Luckily they got us in right away, and Thomas remembered that the Lake Union Veggie Grill was right around the corner, so we had a feast at this all vegan chain. I ordered the All Hail Kale salad (above) that is delicious on its own, and really needs no dressing. I’ll give you the quick run down below.

VG Rollers for the app. Two of them were picked up, and then replace for the picture taking! Hahah.

VG Rollers for the app. Two of them were picked up, and then replace for the picture taking! Hahah.

The Buffalo Bomber with chili.

The Buffalo Bomber with chili.

The Savory Kale Caeser with dressing on the side!

The Savory Kale Caeser with dressing on the side!

The Baja Wrap with Chili.

The Baja Wrap with Chili.

They really LOVED Veggie Grill too. They’re hoping that they get down to Florida one day, but I told them if they just move here, they can have it whenever they want!

photo (6)

We did a little bit of bowling at the Garage, quickly checked out an apartment (Thomas & I found a place, and are moving at the end of October!) and then headed to Capitol Cider for our last happy hour of the trip.

This was actually from Thomas' birthday dinner, but they're the exact same no matter what Chupa you get them at!

This was actually from Thomas’ birthday dinner, but they’re the exact same no matter what Chupa you get them at!

My dad wanted to make sure he got one more meal in at El Chupacabra before he left, so we hit the Alki Beach location where I got the veggie tacos with black refried beans instead of pintos (no cheese). He was crazy about their chips & salsa, and happy with their selection of sauces. He said they were some of the best tacos he ever ate, which is a huge compliment from my father!

It was SO WONDERFUL to have my parents here. I hadn’t seen them for 6 months! Which is the longest I had ever gone without seeing them. We’ll be hitting South Florida in December though, so we don’t plan on letting it go that long again.

I hope you all had a great MoFo! Thanks for reading, and welcome to all the new followers!!!

400x84_g2

Vegan MoFo 2013: 13 Barnana Review & Giveaway!

Published September 25, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

wpid-CAM00666.jpg

Hello everyone!

I have something really great to share with you… a review & a chance for you to win a sample of your very own! I was recently contacted by VeganCuts & Barnana to check out these banana bites that will be soon be shipping out in your September VeganCuts snack boxes.

Ingredients for the chocolate. Not vegan.

Ingredients for the chocolate. Food glaze, not vegan.

Co-founder, Nik, got a hold of me prior to my receiving the shipment to let me know that only the Original product is vegan: “the Original product is 100% Vegan, however the chocolate covered one has natural glaze (like honey) so it’s not 100% vegan“. He did assure me, however, in a second email that the “chocolate is vegetarian“, so I can only comment on the former, as the latter will be going to Thomas. Though I’m still not really sure what the non-vegan “like honey” mystery ingredient is in the chocolate, the original only has one ingredient… and I’m betting you can guess what it is! The original is also organic, raw, and gluten-free.

wpid-CAM00668.jpg

Barnana is the “original chewy banana bite”, and to me, is really like banana jerky. Sure we’ve all had those dehydrated banana chips before, but these are different. Dense and chewy, as well as dark and rich, like you’d expect a very ripe banana to be. I’m generally the type of person who likes to eat bananas fairly close to green. I’ll eat them with just a little bit of spottiness, but anything beyond that, and they’re peeled, halved, and frozen for green smoothies. So you’ll understand that it took me two tastings to decided if I really liked them or not. Turns out that I did.

I’m really big into dried fruit. If you are what you eat, then I’m probably a third raisins. Other faves of mine include figs, apricots, prunes, and occasionally some cranberries or cherries, so I really enjoyed the texture. The flavor, at first, was a little too much ripe banana for me. I put them away in the cabinet for a few days, and decided to give them the second run. Well, I really liked them the second time! Maybe I was hungrier, or I was just more ready for the unique taste. Either way, I gobbled up the rest of the bag while thinking of different ways to use them…

I decided that these would be great chopped up and thrown into the home made trail mix combos I’m fond of carrying everywhere in old salsa jars. I also thought these might be a good addition to banana bread or muffins if chopped up finely, kind of like candied ginger pieces are in similar baked goods. Or sprinkled on ice cream. Or with raw banana ice cream!

I really did enjoy them straight out of the bag though, and hope that they don’t have a crazy price point so I can pick some up again. The only really bummer about them was that the chocolate ones have the annoying non-vegan food glaze. (I’m sure they would be fantastic, and really, there’s got to be a way to ditch it, right?)

Midna & Ganon are always ready to get involved in the review process.

Midna & Ganon are always ready to get involved in the review process.

Those of you who get the VeganCuts snack box will be getting to try these for yourselves soon enough, but if you don’t, here’s your chance to grab some gratis!

Just follow this link a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter for your chance to win! Don’t forget to comment below and share this post for extra chances to win. Please note that the samples you will receive will be the same as the ones above, that being 1 vegan pack, and 1 non-vegan pack of Barnana treats. Raffle ends Sunday night, at midnight pacific time, and the Rafflecopter selected winner will be contacted promptly thereafter.

Happy last [full] week of Mofo!

400x84_g2

Vegan MoFo 2013:12 Maple Dijon Tofu Chops (w/ Trader Joe’s sprouted tofu) & Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Published September 23, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

wpid-PhotoGrid_1378877775121.jpg

So here’s a dinner that was going SO WELL, until I made a terrible mistake, and ruined the whole pot of beans. I thought it was a perfect meal for the new cooler weather: Apple Baked Beans, Maple Dijon Tofu Chops & Roasted Brussel Sprouts. Thankfully I was also trying out a delicious recipe from More Peas and Thank you for the tofu, and using my favorite way to cook the brussel sprouts, this baking method, so we still had a really nice dinner. But even after going so long without a kitchen mishap, it happened to me. We ate dinner whilst attempting to air out burned bean smell from the apartment.

wpid-CAM00646.jpg

These were the super promising beans from The Great Vegan Bean Book in the works. They were full of all kinds of yummy things, and smelled great.

wpid-CAM00647.jpg

Then came the fatal mistake… they were supposed to simmer for 1.5 hours, and I forgot to drop the heat. Yah… I was interrupted by a phone call, and simply glossed over the lowering. I think they made it a good 50 minutes before we smelled something burning. At this point I thought it was the brussel sprouts, which were already in the oven, but they looked good. Then I happened to check the beans, just to see how they were doing…

wpid-CAM00652.jpg

F A I L !

wpid-CAM00648.jpg

After the beans were put on to “simmer” I got the tofu ready so it could marinate for a while. I used two packages of Trader Joe’s sprouted tofu. The texture on the tofu was fantastic! I love sprouted tofu because it’s extra firm, and you don’t have to press it. It can be a bit spendy at Whole Foods (like what isn’t?) but it’s very reasonably priced at TJ’s (like everything else!). I cut each package in half widthwise & lengthwise to make 4 nice sized “chops”.

wpid-CAM00654.jpg

I decided to use my baking method for tofu rather than the broiling method in the original recipe, since I made my chops so thick.

wpid-CAM00655.jpg

These came out perfectly!

wpid-CAM00650.jpg

I used about 2 cups of whole brussel sprouts, but 3 would’ve been better!

wpid-CAM00651.jpg

Prepped them by cutting them in half, placing them face down, and misting with olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt & pepper.

wpid-IMG_20130910_223544.jpg

Still a stellar dinner, despite the beans set back. I served the chops with applesauce, as directed by the recipe, and it was a lovely symphony of flavors. The sweet applesauce contrasted nicely with the smoky, [purposefully] singed brussel sprouts, and the tofu had wonderful flavor and texture. There were NO LEFTOVERS. At the end, Thomas was just standing over the sink, holding the last of the tofu chops in hand! (This is why I double the tofu for ANY recipe. There is always more than enough marinade, and Thomas is a Tofu Monster.)

So that’s another win for More Peas and Thank You. Great book. And it’s another non-win for the bean book. Though this one was totally my fault! The last recipe from it was under seasoned, so I was hoping for a win this time, but sadly, I think I will just buy a can of baked beans in the future like I originally told myself. We’ll see. The fate of that pot is still questionable.

How is your MoFo going? My parents get here tomorrow, YAY!!!!!!!!!!!! But I will try to get a couple of posts up this week. It’s their first time visiting the Pacific Northwest and we’re all very excited about their visit!

400x84_g3

%d bloggers like this: