vegansaurus!

06/26/2012

Three days left to help fund the first vegan restaurant in Harlem!  »


Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!

Guys! Time is running out to help Seasoned Vegan become the first full-service vegan restaurant in Harlem, New York! Go to Kickstarter right now and put some money down—the gifts for the pledges are pretty awesome. All you non-New Yorkers should pledge enough to get the entrees and then when you come visit the big city, you can have a nice meal! Hey, you can pledge to get the two entrees and then take me with you! Yay, vegan date!

Another way to help is easy and free: 

We found a grant for $250,000. It’s perfect for us but we need your help to qualify. All and we need is for you all to go to MissionSmallBusiness.com, click “Log In & Support” on the homepage, search Seasoned Vegan and vote for us! We can only qualify for the grant if we have at least 250 people click support so please spread the word!

I WANT ORGANIC VEGAN COMFORT FOOD SO PLEDGE AND VOTE!

02/22/2011

Guest review: Homeroom in Oakland!  »

After hiding inside for hours, the boyf and I decided that we couldn’t think of anything more appropriate for a gray and shitty day like today than a hot bowl of mac ‘n cheese. So we used it as an excuse to try out the brand spankin’ new Homeroom mac ‘n cheese restaurant in North Oakland.

We first noticed a line down the block. While debating whether we should try it out after the opening weekend crowd, an adorable old lady came out and told us to go in and make sure to try the vegan plate. “It’s actually delicious!” Actually nothing lady, now I’m getting into that damn restaurant come hell or high gutter water. We perused the menu in the forty minutes we waited for a table and noticed that Homeroom offers a wine and micro-brew suggested pairing for every type of mac n’ cheese, which I think is awesome (In case you were wondering, Rasputin Imperial Stout is evidently best for vegan mac.)

We finally got a table and everyone at our table ordered the homemade root beer, which ended up tasting way more like cream soda, or maybe a melted Coca-Cola Icee. After waiting quite some time for our server and then even more time for our food, we were getting a little cranky. A few 127 Hours jokes later, the food showed up and we barely let the bowls of steaming mac n’cheese touch the table before we started digging in like a rusty pocket knife into a femur.

Boyf and I both got the one vegan option, while our dining companions opted for the Trailer Mac (hot dogs, mac, and chips, eww) and the Egg and Bacon Mac (super-eww). Ours definitely looked the best, with thick nooch-based sauce (heavy on the salt and dijon) topped with chopped walnuts in lieu of bread crumbs. I had no complaints about the food. It was creamy, salty and nutty, just like a vegan mac should be and the portion size was more than enough for me. However, the entire experience really went downhill when we got our check. For four root beers and four plates of mac, the total ended up almost $60 after tip. This seemed pretty steep for a food that I can make with both my eyes closed and one hand firmly gripped around a bottle of Jameson. Homeroom does offer a frequent dining card, but you have to eat 10 bowls of mac before you’ve earned a free one.

This probably means that I’m going to treat this Homeroom like I’ve treated all my other homerooms” I’m glad I showed up for the first day, but I probably won’t be back very often.

Courtney Flynn lives in Oakland and spends way too much time inventing vegan recipes, reading science fiction and crocheting hats for her dog Blender. She sometimes remembers to update her blog where she likes to write about food, restaurants and products that don’t suck.

02/09/2011

Homeroom, a new mac ‘n’ cheese restaurant in Oakland, serving up a VEGAN MAC ‘N’ CHEESE!  »

Oh hellllll yeah. Finally some vegan mac and cheese action up in this joint! I know of only two other places serving vegan mac and cheese in the entire Bay Area: Souley Vegan (some people love it, some people leave it) and Herbivore (If you held a gun to my head and forced me to eat either Herbivore mac and cheese or Hazel’s dog shit, I’d think reallllllly hard. And then I’d eat the mac and cheese but GOOD GOD, it’s the funk). If you know of others, please let a fat vegan know. And further, THANKS FOR HOLDING OUT, BITCH.* Anyway, Homeroom (adorable name) is opening on 40th street in Oakland on Tuesday, Feb. 15 and HOLY SHIT:

I said goddamn, GODDAMN! My only regret in life is that I’m on a fucking CLEANSE FROM HELL** until Feb. 21 and so I can’t partake in this deliciousness on opening day. Oh well; I’ll be there on the 22 with a bib and a dump truck. Let’s do this, Homeroom.

To learn more about this little mac ‘n’ cheese restaurant that could (it’s a good story) and to see their full menu (maybe more vegan stuff soon? oooh… like cookies and almond milk! or maybe a partnership with Scream Sorbet? It’s right down the street!), check out the lovely Carolyn’s reporting over at Eater SF

*I meant thanks for NOTHING, if that wasn’t clear. Also, cleanses make me feisty!
**More on this later but right now I need to finish eating my MASSAGED KALE SALAD. Later in the evening, I’m gonna beg Jonas to shoot me in the face until I’m dead.

[Hat-tip Gina, who also sent us this delightful video of a dog swimming with a dolphin!]

12/15/2009

Vegan Sausage and Butter Bean Winter Cocottes   »

This recipe is my current favorite cold weather comfort recipe, and it came together by accident. It started with a sale on Le Creuset* mini cocottes, loosely translated as “tiny and adorable cast iron baking pot”. “Cocotte” is also an old-timey word for “high-class prostitute”, and when these pots come out of the oven, you’ll feel like a cooking pimp. They just make everything fancier and more pleasing to look at. And even though you don’t really NEED the cocottes for this recipe (your usual Pyrex casserole dish will do nicely) sometimes mixing up your cookware can inspire you to try out new things.

So here goes. It’s actually not that complicated. You’re basically making some fresh tomato sauce, boiling potatoes, slicing it all up, then baking it together. Easy-peasy.

Ingredients

  • 2 chipotle Field Roast brand sausages
  • 3 big tomatoes, or about a pound and a half.
  • Half a bunch of dino kale, or about a half dozen leaves.
  • 5 smallish fingerling potatoes, or about 3/4 pound.
  • 8 oz jarred or canned butter beans, rinsed. Cannellini are fine too. Annalisa is my brand of choice, available at Rainbow.
  • Shallot, one medium clove.
  • 1 Tbsp Earth Balance.
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or to taste.
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or to taste.
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds or to taste.
  • 1 tsp adobo sauce (or chipotle sauce) or a bit less to tone down the spices.

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F. In a small pot, boil water for potatoes and drop them in.
  2. Quarter the tomatoes, or cut them into workable chunks. Set them aside for now.
  3. Next, find a medium-sized saucepan and melt the Earth Balance on medium heat. If you have a cast-iron pan, that’s the best, because you’re going to be cooking tomatoes in here, and you already knew the vegan trick of cooking tomatoes in cast iron to get more iron in your diet, right? Well you do now!
  4. Slice up the shallot into fairly thin slices, and sauté them in the Earth Balance.
  5. Once the shallot is translucent, add the tomatoes, dried oregano and fennel seeds. Cover the saucepan and let it hang out for a bit on medium heat.
  6. How are the potatoes doing? Check them by sticking a fork in them. You want the fork to sink in but you don’t want the skins to come off. If they’re done, drain the potatoes and rinse them off.
  7. When the tomatoes have turned to a saucy mush, mix in the adobo sauce and let it all cook uncovered for another minute or so.
  8. Find a large mixing bowl. You’re about to slice everything up and throw it into the bowl.
  9. Pull off the kale leaves from the stems, bunch them all up, and cut them into thin strips. Slice the Field Roast sausages and the potatoes into half-inch-thick slices. Put everything into the mixing bowl along with the beans and the tomato sauce you just made. Mix it all together.
  10. Spoon everything into the cocottes or the casserole dish, and drizzle the olive oil over everything.
  11. Set the cocottes on a baking sheet, bake for 35 minutes, then nom the hell out of it.

*If you’ve never heard of Le Creuset, they’re the brand of cookware that everyone puts in their wedding gift registry. So if you’ve been to a lot of weddings, either you’ve bought your friends a lot of very expensive Le Creuset sauce pans, or you’re like me and you put it off until all the good gifts are gone, leaving you with a monogrammed spatula and a napkin ring to choose between. Sometimes they have sales and if you already have—how should I put this to not sound creepy—“a problem” with kitchen accessories, then sometimes the “Add to cart” button presses itself by accident and boxes show up in the mail. Whoops.

12/08/2009

It’s Freezing Out! A Comfort Food Recipe In Approximations   »

Cold weather makes me want comfort food and for me, this means brussels sprouts. These green balls of joy are just SO GOOD when not cooked in the American tradition of boiled-till-they-fall-apart!

Make this. It will warm your heart:

First, make a pot of coffee.


Second, cook quinoa using one part grain to three parts water.


Then mince A LOT of garlic.

Saute it in a medium pan with a little olive oil while you cut like, 10 Brussels in half (lengthwise). Throw those in.


Chiffonade almost a handful of basil and add it.
Also, throw in a bit of cauliflower if you’ve got some, especially if it’s purple.


When this junk get too dry, throw in half a coffee mug of white wine (or malt liquor), a splash of Braggs (or soy sauce), a little turmeric, and maybe even some cumin.

Mix everything together (not with yo’ hands!) and then toss in half a handful of nutritional yeast.


Cover the pan with something that is not plastic. It’s done when the Brussels sprouts are soft and the liquid is gone.


Serve over quinoa with fresh lime, a cup of coffee, and a cute plate.

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