vegansaurus!

01/28/2014

Product review: Magic curry paste!  »

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Magic Curry Pastes, by Magic Curry Kart, are vegan and naturally gluten-free Thai pastes available in the San Francisco Bay Area. They recently asked me if I wanted to review their pastes, which I very much did, and I was impressed! The pastes, when mixed with coconut milk, are comparable to a curry sauce from your favorite Thai restaurant! This is fantastic news; now we can get delicious restaurant-style food for a fraction of the cost and no delivery fees! You, know the important things in life. 

I made three different entrees, each featuring a different paste, which I will now show off to you. 

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First I made a vegetable stir-fry with fried tofu, using the Mellow Yellow curry paste. It was delicious! I followed the instructions on the jar for making the sauce, and used a 14 ounce can of coconut milk mixed with two tablespoons of paste. I did find myself adding a little salt and pepper, though it’s nice that the pre-made sauce does not come too salty for those sensitive to sodium. The description does not lie, the yellow paste was definitely the mellowest of the three! My favorite aspect of this paste was the fresh ginger taste. If stir-fry isn’t your thing, the Magic Pumpkin Curry soup recipe on their website looks phenom! 

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Next up I used the spicy red curry paste and tried to get all Zante’s by making a pizza with it! I was pleased with the results, but in the future, if i’m going to try and make a gluten-free pizza, I’m nixing the idea of making a crust from scratch and going with my tried-and-true Vicolo’s pre-made crust. (Gluten-free or regular, it’s the best pre-made pizza crust around!) I liked the spiciness of this particular paste; it had a bit of a kick, so if spicy curry is your thing I definitely recommend the Fresh Red Thai paste. Again, to make the sauce I mixed a 14 ounce can of coconut milk with two tablespoons of paste. 

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The third dish I made, using the Fresh Green Thai paste, was a stir-fry featuring vegan “shrimp”. This was my favorite paste for a variety of reasons! First, I nixed the instructions and made the curry sauce with 3/4 of a can of coconut milk and 3/4 of a jar of paste. (You can use the remainder of the coconut milk to make ganache. No waste around here!) Vegan shrimp is also one of the loves of my life, so I’m sure that had something to do with this particular paste being my favorite. I am a fan of spicy and tangy foods, and so the green curry had it all for me. 

My verdict is that these pastes are awesome! They are so easy to use, and you can experiment with the flavor of the sauces to your unique palate by adjusting the coconut to paste ratio. As of right now they are only available in the Bay Area (I always see them at Whole Foods, four ounces for about $6.00, or you can get them wholesale through BFF) and must be refrigerated. May I suggest you pick some up today so you can continue to quantity-watch your favorite Netflix series, with restaurant-style curry sans delivery fee at home? I am a fan of that luxurious life! Don’t forget to check out the Magic Curry Kart website for creative recipes, updates, and backstory

12/24/2012

Need last minute gifts? Check out Buyer’s Best Friend in the Upper Haight!  »

imageThough in the past San Franciso’s Upper Haight may not have been a mecca for vegans, I can assure you that it is most definitely becoming one! Thanks to Whole Foods, I can get my fix of Food For Lovers vegan queso anytime I fancy; Sunrise Deli just opened up and man, they KILL IT with their avocado falafel sandwich; Escape From New York offers Daiya cheese; Picnic Bakery is coming soon; and we also boast one of the cutest specialty boutiques in the city—Buyer’s Best Friend!

Buyer’s Best Friend has been open for a little while now. I think they may have had their grand opening party over the summer. Every time I go in they have new and interesting products, and because they buy straight from the companies, they are able to sample out all their artisan food products! This is incredible news because most of their specialty food items are vegan, even raw! Buyer’s Best Friend also carries housewares, bath and beauty supplies, and cold-pressed Stumptown coffee!

Of course I took some pictures — let’s check it out!


All kinds of interesting, locally made, and beautifully crafted soaps, with creative names to boot!


The sales representatives were most excited to have me try this VEGAN bacon-flavored hot sauce. It was delicious, and completely cruelty-free!


Their shelves are stocked with all kinds of artisan oils, sauces, mustards, and glazes!


VEGAN CARAMEL SAUCE!


Pickled vegetables galore via Emmy’s!


Get yo’ hipster cold-pressed coffee ON.


Or you can get some beans to brew at home.


Raw vegan delights by Just Pure Foods!


Truffle oils and flour!


Before Buyer’s Best Friend opened, I had never had Cocomel’s coconut-milk based caramels. These caramels are definitely one of my most favorite things, ever!


Most of these chocolate delectables are vegan! Some are even raw!

Buyer’s Best Friend is located at 1740 Haight St. in San Francisco, between Cole and Shrader in the Upper Haight!

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