vegansaurus!

03/06/2014

Recipe review: Vegan Hollandaise from the Comforting Vegan!  »

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I am living in a place where I don’t think vegan brunches are served; probably not the vegan-friendly ones I’m accustomed to. I don’t think granola and a fruit plate is much fun, but I do get a kick out of making food at home! Breakfast is served!* 

I love breakfast food, it is my favorite kind of meal! It has always felt special to me to go out to breakfast with friends or prepare an elegant one at home (move over, fancy dinners, breakfast is back). I have come to really enjoy going out to brunch because that’s when restaurants make the most splendid of morning food! The array of beverages is fantastic: juices, coffee and sometimes bubbly! I, however, am my father’s child in that I’ll do anything to avoid a crowd, and sadly, weekend brunches on the town are no exception. That’s okay though, because thanks to both The Vegg, and a new-to-me hollandaise sauce from The Comforting Vegan, breakfast at home is now both chill and exciting! Friends, we’re doing brunch at my place this weekend! 

The hollandaise sauce calls for The Vegg, which we’ve discussed here before, but I hadn’t tried myself until very recently. I’m super stoked by it. I had forgotten how much I loved the taste of “yolks” and ketchup together! The Vegg atop fried tofu is delicious, but I was feeling adventurous in the kitchen. I’ve been curious about vegan hollandaise, yet unsure about how it could be pulled off. This in turn lead to concerns about complete and utter disappointment as home cooking experiments failing to meet personal expectations can be so frustrating! Now, I’m going to admit to you that I was at first resistant to this recipe, possibly because I initially judge recipes by the amount of ingredients they call for. I was hesitant about the Vegenaise factor, yet something kept bringing me back. It was the comments section! How could I not give it a shot when everyone had great things to say and I, for once, had everything on hand? 

The result? HOT DANG! My parents used to make hollandaise sauce once a year, on Christmas day for the family, and this recipe brought me right back there! I don’t think Amy could’ve picked a better name for her blog

I can’t wait to make more of The Comforting Vegan’s recipes. She knows her flavors and textures! Plus she sells vegan Toaster’s Strudels on Etsy. Basically, she’s my new internet hero. 

You can get The Vegg shipped to you on Vegan CutsVegan Essentials and their website (I bought mine at Viva La Vegan in Rancho Cucamonga). 

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The most important meal of the day! 

*Pro-tip: Hollandaise and Daiya together is a bit much, so you can totally nix the vegan cheese! I think vegan bacon (in whatever form: bits, seitan, coconut) and sautéed spinach go together splendidly; believe me when I say that it is an absolute dream pairing with this recipe! 

01/27/2014

From the Garden Greenhouse Brunches in Berkeley!  »

The first Sunday of January, I had the honor of being invited to and attending a Greenhouse Brunch in Berkeley, hosted by Kyle and Ashley Knies of From the Garden. It was incredible! The food was divine, the atmosphere was lovely, the company was fun, and the presentation of everything, from the table settings to the food to the greenhouse itself was just spectacular. Believe me when I say I could go on and on and on, so let’s just cut to the chase and get to the visual part of the presentation. Thank goodness for the phenomenal natural lighting (photography is not my forte); everything tasted even more delectable than it looks! 

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The brunches take place in Ashley and Kyle’s beautiful greenhouse in Berkeley. Every detail is catered to—just look at this gorgeous table setting! Coffee and tea are available before the courses are served, as well as throughout the meal. 

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Greenhouse Mary with sake and a breakfast biscuit sandwich! Non-alcoholic cocktails are available upon pre-arranged request. 

The very first course was a Greenhouse Mary, made with sake, fresh celery juice, parsley, black pepper and sage. Ashley explained that the intent (besides being super tasty) of serving it first was to wake up our palates! I DO NOT LIKE Bloody Mary’s, and before you tell me I just haven’t had the right one, please rest assured that I’ve had them all. I’m team Mimosa over here and I couldn’t be happier about it. However, there’s a new brunch drink in town, so thank you Ashely and Kyle, my Sunday breakfast beverage preference isn’t quite so cut and dry anymore. 

The next course was a biscuit breakfast sandwich, featuring a flaky roasted garlic biscuit (best I’ve ever had), yuba “bacon”, grilled onions and fuerte avocado. Brunch was off to a fantastic start! 

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Grilled jerk tofu over a variety of greens, baby carrots and  beets and a blood orange mimosa. 

Next up we had a bergamot-lavender soda, which I unfortunately did not take a get a picture of. It was nice to have refreshment course between meal courses, to talk and digest a little bit. Truth be told, I did scurry off to Santa Cruz on a whim the night before, and then walked about a trillion steps before 11:30 am, so I mostly just listened and digested. We were then served a flavorful second course salad with radicchio baby roots, carrots, beets and spicy grilled jerk tofu. The spiciness of the tofu paired excellently with the bitterness radicchio and sweetness of the baby carrots and beets. Kyle and Ashley brought out an additional habanero sauce, but I did not find myself needing to take part in that kind of additional spice. The third refreshment course consisted of a blood orange and tangerine mimosa! I’ve already told you how I feel about mimosas, and this one was no exception (PHENOMENAL) so without further ado, let’s move on to the main course and dessert! 

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This is everything.  

The final savory course consisted of mac’n cheez, steamed purple kale and smokey, black-eyed peas topped with celery root. I love to scarf down my food as quickly as possible (a very attractive trait), but I ate painstakingly slow as to savor every single bite. Somehow I still managed to finished before everyone else. I overheard Ashely telling a brunch companion that the mac’n cheese recipe could be found on their blog, so I pulled that baby up as soon as I got home. After the brunch, Kyle told me that he made black-eyed peas for this occasion to bring good luck to the new year, which was another detail of the meal I very much admired!  

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The final frontier.

By the time dessert came out, I was stuffed. However, there’s always room for dessert, isn’t there? We were served a peanut butter pie with banana ice cream, peanut butter brittle and chocolate ganache. Kyle and Ashley are flavor and texture geniuses. There are no words, my mind was blown. 

Now that we’ve gone over the January 5th brunch, I’m sure you’re wondering how you can get in on this action. Kyle and Ashley present their Greenhouse Brunch (I heard in summer they have dinners!) once a month, and you have to RSVP by email for a space and payment information (they ask for a $40 donation). You can follow their blog, Facebook, and Twitter for up-to-date information about these gatherings, and also know that they are available for catering and personal chef needs within the San Francisco Bay Area! Kyle and Ashley are so talented, and such incredible people, I just cannot wait to see where From the Garden takes them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: keep your eye on this powerhouse couple!

12/10/2013

Meet Kyle and Ashley Knies of From the Garden!   »

I am so excited to present you with the Bay Area’s newest vegan food venture: From The Garden, brought to you by newlyweds and all-around-awesome couple, Kyle and Ashley Knies! Their meal delivery boxes were mentioned in our SF Bay Area Thanksgiving write-up, now let’s get to know them a little bit better. Kyle is a professionally trained and incredibly talented chef while Ashley is a holistic health counselor — talk about a power couple right there! Their Berkeley-based company, From the Garden, is available to the Bay Area for a variety of services including: personal chef needs, cooking classes, catering events, food delivery and beautiful, monthly, greenhouse brunches. Curious? Just take a look at these sample menus

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Be sure to keep an eye out for this up-and-coming vegan powerhouse duo — I know I will be! Follow them on Instagram at @itsfromthegarden, Twitter at @chefkyleknies, and Facebook here, for upcoming events and fabulous food photos. Their blog offers a plethora of delectable looking recipes, while their website is a wealth of information about what they can do for you! You can also email them at chefkyleknies@gmail.com with any questions, or to reserve their services.

{Wedding photo via Kyle Knies} 

10/28/2013

Champs in Brooklyn opens new location, still makes the best vegan brunch!  »

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Hey guys! I totes went to Champs this weekend for brunch and it was the best ever. I almost got biscuits and gravy like I always do because vegan biscuits and gravy is the greatest meal in the history of everything, but I ended up getting the fresh toast slam instead. But I added a biscuit for posterity! Now, admire its beauty pictured above. 

The french toast was delicious. Maybe not as moist or whatever like I remember non-vegan french toast being but it was still extra yummy. And I love their tofu scramble! I’m so over all the spicy and curried tofu scrambles every where else. This is more like real scrambled eggs—though not gross eggy. The soysage rules and I love the biscuits! I could do without the fake bacon but it’s not terrible. Oh and I had the best almond milk latte! But then I was so full, I couldn’t eat cupcakes or any of their other pretty baked goods. Next time I will bring them home. I should also mention the wait for a table was 1.5 hours! But we got there on Saturday at 12:30 so that’s prob the worst planning ever. 

But wait, there’s more! They JUST opened a second location! Champs Junior! I haven’t been yet but it’s on Manhattan Ave, between Nassau and Driggs. Why can’t they open one in my neck of the woods?! Please!

I’m expecting a review from A Soy Bean any day now as I’ve seen she’s been stalking the new location on Instagram. Stalk on! The people want to know!

05/02/2013

San Francisco, you lucky city, you. This weekend you get to celebrate a Hella Vegan Eats Espectacular! First on Saturday, do brunch right with a glorious menu that includes chicken and waffles, chilaquiles rancheros, and Velvet Elvis french toast. Then on Sunday, make your dinner Cinco de Mayo-style with May Day fries and (my favorite!) fishy tacos. You can’t go wrong! Well, you could go wrong if you missed one or both of these pop-up events, so don’t do that.

The Hella Vegan Eats pop-up brunch runs from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 4; dinner happens Sunday, May 5, from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Both are at Dear Mom, at 2700 16th Street on the corner of Folsom in the Mission. Viva Hella Vegan Eats!

07/13/2012

Vegan waffle party in the mission on Sunday! Let’s EAT!  »

Word on the street is as follows:

Just heard that the newly opened The Way Out Cafe at 3188 Mission at Valencia is doing a Vegan Waffle Party this Sunday. 

They opened a few weeks ago and want to have lots of vegan options. Maybe Vegansaurus wants to write about the Waffle Party? I’m guessing there’s a few non vegan toppings, but I’m not sure. The waffles are vegan though! I’ll be checking it out.

Anyone know what time it starts? I don’t have my phone to call today and I’m no journalist so if someone does my job for me, let us know and FINALLY: Let’s all go!!


01/17/2012

Sneak preview: The Vegg!!!  »


I don’t even know where to start with this, but I need it. I miss fried eggs, for real—the way I could mop up the still-liquid part of the yolk with my toast and cover the whites with pepper. Sorry for grossing you out.

For the past six years I’ve been hurting for a fried egg substitute. I’m gonna give you more info as soon as I get it, but the world needs to know about this sooner rather than later. You should sign up and like that shit on Facebook and donate (at press time, they had only raised $2,080 of an $8,000 goal toward the Vegg’s patent) in order to convince the Vegg people to move it along now.

I will serve this shit up with the vegan waffles I made today and some freakin’ smoky tempeh strips, or perhaps make Veggs-in-a-frame and start a vegan brunch cafe and have the most friends ever. What do you think?

[Photo credit: Vegg’s Facebook page]

12/02/2011

Menu for this weekend’s B12: Bomb Vegan Brunch! Oh, hell yes.  »

Just heard from one of the ladies behind B12: Bomb Vegan Brunch and it’s NOT the Beats ‘n’ Brunch crew! But they are hoping to recreate the magic of B ‘n’ B with a very delightful menu! Smart and generous ladies; I am in love with them and how smart and generous they are. Check it out below and we’ll see you this weekend, because whatever time you’re there this weekend, we will also be there. #FATVEGAN4LYFE
xoxo,
Gossip Girl

Tempeh Rueben
Grilled and marinated tempeh, rye bread, sauerkraut, thousand-island dressing
Portobello Mushroom
Grilled and marinated, sprouted roll, cilantro almond pesto, grilled onions
Spicy Chili
Black and white beans, red and green peppers, coconut corn bread
Waffle
Whole grain, real maple syrup, cashew cream
Açai Bowl
Açai, coconut milk, homemade granola, fruit salad, hemp seeds Break Fast Cereal
Mixed multi-grains, coconut milk, cashew cream, fruit salad, cacao nibs, hemp seeds

Sides
Cole slaw: Cabbage, carrots, ginger, cilantro
Kale salad: Kale, red onions, pumpkin seeds, lemon-soy dressing
Potatoes: Roasted, garlic, fresh herbs, olive oil
Winter fruit salad: Apple, pomegranate, persimmon, lime, mint
Coconut cornbread: ‘Nuff said
Toast: Choice of local jam, local honey, or homemade vegan nutella, sprouted bread

Dessert
Apple crisp
, $5
Apples, oats and brown sugar, topped with cashew cream
Vanilla coconut milkshake
, $6
Coconut milkshake blended with almond butter, dates, and agave
Toasted nutella and banana sandwich
Simple as that

Drinks
Hibiscus tea, $3
Chai, $3
French press coffee, $6
Bottomless mimosa, $10

Entree a la carte, $9
Sides, $4
All items plus choice of side, $12

11/30/2011

B12: Bomb Vegan Brunch happening this weekend! Don’t miss San Francisco’s best vegan brunch since Beats ‘n’ Brunch  »

It looks like the same crew as our beloved Beats ‘n’ Brunch (maybe? Someone say shit if we’re wrong!) and it’s at Little Baobab in the Mission and so yeah, I’m calling it: Beats ‘n’ Brunch is back Update: Awesome people who loved Beats ‘n’ Brunch are putting this on, though they aren’t associated with B ‘n’ B.

They’re calling it B12: Bomb Vegan Brunch, and it appears to be one weekend only, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3 and 4! You should get up on it! The menu is TK but it’ll most likely be delicious, and here are the details from their Facebook event:

Somebody set us up the bomb!

We are extra-excited about this go-round of weekend brunch at Little Baobab with an all-vegan extravaganza by guest chefs Katherine Rae and Julia Russotti and delicious beats from DJs Manitous and Matt Haze. 

Saturday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bring an appetite for this one - this menu is hearty, satisfying and diverse as brunch should be!

Consider yourself warned! Be there or be sad at home eating some kind of oatmeal that you’ve convinced yourself tastes like delicious dessert—it does not.

Now, let us stare at some delicious Korean pancakes from a previous Beats ‘n’ Brunch:

10/05/2011

Eat these: Gluten-free, soy-free, vegan pancakes at Source!  »


That’s right, this delicious platter is a new brunch item at Source in San Francisco. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. I know the baker and she really likes it when you come say hi and tell her how much you like the desserts and pancakes.

See you there!

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