Happy Thanksgiving from Laura of Bite Me, I’m Vegan! Her plate holds “mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, lentil and walnut dressing, yams stir-fried with cayenne and garlic, wine-braised mushrooms and green beans, and maple-marinated stuffed tofu cubes.” Click through for more photos and recipes!
Ubuntu revisited »
I loved Ubuntu. Despite its ridiculous name and the fact that it’s also a YOGA STUDIO, it was one of my favorite restaurants. If I’m not making fun of a restaurant for also being a YOGA STUDIO then I’m either A) dead or B) eating at Ubuntu. I loved, loved, loved it. I was so psyched about this Yogaraunt that I’d take diehard omnis to show them how great “vegetable cuisine” is. And uh, I did just that on Saturday night. What a fucking disappointment. You better hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband cause Ubuntu is raping everybody out here!
First off, the entire menu has changed. Gone are the chickpea fries, the pizzas, the amazing signature salads. They’ve been replaced with a dry salad (seriously, no dressing), $17 plates of four small potatoes covered in cucumber ash (see pic above: those aren’t giant turds, they’re a signature dish at New Ubuntu), and a soup that was basically vinegar poured over three melon balls (just like when Yoko Ono orders a single plum floating in perfume served in a man’s hat on The Simpsons! But less funny because THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING). It’s like the whole restaurant has gone anorexic on us. I am not even playing, it was straight fucked. I was so embarrassed. The omnis were like WTF IS THIS VEGAN GARBAGE and I was like WTF IS THIS VEGAN GARBAGE and the whole scene was just humiliating. I get it, Jeremy Fox has left for meatier pastures and the new chef wants to make the menu his own and I’m ALL for that, but why take away heartier fare and replace it with less food for more money? I’m sorry, when I’m paying $50 a person (without wine!) to eat at your restaurant, I don’t want the most filling item to be the free bread. We ate so much bread that they had to dedicate an oven to baking exclusively for my table. AND WE WERE STILL HUNGRY. Honestly, I wanted to head down the street to Billco’s Billiards & Darts for some french fries and a veggie dog.
I am all for new chefs and new visions, and I’d be fine with an entirely new menu that doesn’t have my favorite strawberry pizza or my beloved cucumber watermelon basil soup but dammit, make the replacements stellar and hearty, or lower your prices. You can’t have it both ways because you’re gonna lose customers. After (constructively?) talking trash on Ubuntu to several groups of friends, I found out that they too had had shitty dining experiences there recently and felt equally bummed and pissed. I dunno, I am loathe to run my mouth on a vegetarian restaurant, but I had to say something because it’s festering inside of me, eating my food-loving soul, and no amount of namastes can help. Run an’ tell that, homeboy.
No Worries! Oakland’s bringing it with the vegan Filipino cuisine! »
I don’t know what else to say but VEGAN FILIPINO CUISINE. And it’s good and it’s cheap and it’s close to 12th Street BART in Oakland and you want it. First of all, if you’re familiar with Filipino food, you know that it’s not exactly the most vegetarian-friendly, and by “not exactly the most vegetarian-friendly” I mean that the last time I had Filipino food, they put pork in the green beans YOU FEEL ME? I dated a Filipino guy and his penis was a giant pork-filled lumpia YOU DIG?* I went to a Filipino wedding and the officiant was a chicken wing OKAAAAAY??? I don’t know, ignore me. But please continue reading.
Well, no more! No Worries brings the classic Filipino food, veganized. They’ve got Lumpia, Pancit, Adobo, Mungo, Tocho, and more. My favorite thing was the Kare-Kare, which is vegan meat, eggplant, string beans, and cabbage in this delicious savory peanut sauce. Only $8.95 for a giant bowl of it and another buck for rice. A huge tasty meal for under $10—not bad. Not bad at all. The deals get even crazier at lunch, where you get two dishes for only $5.95. That’s some insane EVERYTHING MUST GO shit, right there. Buy it all. Also, the interior is absolutely adorable, with a good amount of seating and photography from local artists. You could totally bring your parents here and they would be all, “Ooooh, classy.” or you, know, not want to leave. I don’t know about you but I can’t say that about lots of the businesses that I patronize.
What’s best, No Worries started as a business proposal in high school and grew to a straight-up full-on restaurant in about 10 years. That’s called following your dreams and that’s fucking awesome. Let’s all take this as a sign to follow OUR dreams, whether that means becoming a space astronaut or simply getting out of bed in the morning. DREAMS DO COME TRUE!
*Kinda like how I dated an Italian dude and his dong was a triangular slice of pepperoni pizza. Mamma Mia! Thas-a spicy meatball! OMG GO TO BED LAURA.
When you’re done licking the screen, head to Manifest Vegan for the recipe and to enter to win an ice cream maker! Because it’s their first birthday and they’re giving US a present! That’s another reason we love Allyson (the genius behind Manifest Vegan) so much. She knows what we want and what we want is to celebrate her blogirthday by getting free shit. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!
Happy Hug a Vegetarian OR MORE IMPORTANTLY A VEGAN Day! »
According to PETA, it’s Hug a Vegetarian Day! I hope you’ll all use this as an excuse to cop a feel on the closest vegan hottie (or nottie! we don’t know what you’re into!).
We’d also like to take this time to suggest a possible, “Copulate with an Omnivore Day!” This would happen annually (or daily, we can discuss specifics later) when we would take to the streets in search of omnivores to do sex to. This is a public service, people! Once you go vegan, you never go back! Unless you’re a dumb dumb with a shitty moral fiber <— see, I’m charming the omni’s already!
My suggested first piece of propaganda (starring ME! Laura B! Can’t you see! I’ll stop!) would look something like this:
It’s good, right!*? Sex sells! Seriously, let’s rap on this idea. Leave your thoughts below and please don’t feel like you must restrict them to my cuteness, no matter how relevant it is!
In addition, because I’m good looking and overly kind, I’m offering my writing and talking services to any pathetic vegans out there who sit alone at night, not knowing the glory of the love of another stupid, stupid human being. THAT’S RIGHT: I’ll write you a personal ad! Or, I’ll talk to that cute vegan you’re interested in and let them know that you’re interested in them and we’ll do this up, middle school style! Or, I could even be your Cyrano de Bergerac. Except, please keep in mind that I am attractive and so it might put a foil in your plans when they inevitably catch a glimpse of this beautiful, beautiful wordsmith.
*please note, this was loosely based on/stolen directly from PETA’s adorable put Hug a Vegetarian photobooth thingie! Make your own!
Project Just Desserts: Veganizing Top Chef! Week one: VEGAN Dark Chocolate Mousse Torte with Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce! »
Last week Meave wrote about a super-secret project that we’re unleashing on the world, and THIS IS IT: we’re veganizing the winning dessert recipe from each week of Top Chef: Just Desserts. FOR SERIOUS. And not just us—we’re getting famous vegan chefs and bloggers to do it, too! All your favorites, making you brand-spanking-new vegan dessert recipes, inspired by television! If this isn’t the American Dream, I don’t know what is.
So, tune in (ha!) to Vegansaurus each Monday, when we present the veganized version of last week’s winning dessert, with a recipe you can all try at home! SO HOT.
Since week one is for chumps, I did it. I mean, who cares who won or got kicked off in the beginning? Nobody, that’s who. Especially when the Boy Raised Vegan was blowing edible glitter (“disco dust!!!!!!!”) all over his dessert, and one of the judges was basically one of us, except that we know that “It was like a party in my mouth!” is not something you say to people who make food, if you ever want them to take you seriously. Also, we are not 33-year-olds still in our teenage Rockabilly phase, with a website full of pictures of ourselves posing with our sexxxxxy tattoos and our shiny pompadours, all pouty and smouldering. I don’t know what says “genius pastry chef” more than a muscle tee and a wallet chain, really. But even though I’m not a for-real pastry chef, I do my fair share of at home baking shenanigans AND I am the WebMistress for VegWeb.com, so I should (I said SHOULD) know SOMETHING.
The first week’s winning dessert was a Dark Chocolate Mousse Torte with Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce. So we’re off to an easy start WHAT NO WE’RE NOT. Bravo published the original recipe online, so thankfully, I have that to start with, unlike winner Heather Hurlbert. But then, look at that recipe. HELLO CONFUSING. Damn, why are people so fancy? Why couldn’t the winning recipe be Oreo Sundae (that is simply a sundae topped with Oreos. BAM!). Oh, well…here goes!
[image courtesy bravotv.com]
VEGAN Dark Chocolate Mousse Torte with Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce! (the exclamation point means I made it!)
WHAT IT DO:
Sable Cookie Base
1 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose white flour
Dude, just shave a dark chocolate bar. No need to get crazy.
Dark Chocolate Mousse (adapted from Mori Nu recipe)
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup amaretto (liquor! yes!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 packages Silken Lite Firm Tofu
White Chocolate Mousse (straight stolen from Bitter Sweet)
3 ounces White Chocolate
1 10.14-ounce Container Whippable Soy (or Oat) Cream (divided)
3/4 teaspoon Agar Agar Powder
Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup coconut creamer (or you can use soy! whatevs!)
1 cup chocolate chips
Zest of one orange
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
HOW IT DO:
1. Make the shortbread. This is quite easy as you can use your favorite recipe. YOU’RE DONE! If you don’t have a favorite, I’ll start mine. SO: preheat your oven to 350 F, and lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. Cream margarine and powdered sugar until combined. Add vanilla and salt, then slowly fold in flour and combine until it’s a big ball of dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then roll out onto your greased baking sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, and let cool.
3. Start dark chocolate mousse. This recipe is hella easy. Melt chocolate chips in microwave oven with 2 Tbsp. of water. Thoroughly blend tofu in a blender or a food processor. Add melted chocolate, amaretto, and vanilla to the tofu and blend at high speed for 2 minutes. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.
4. Make white chocolate mousse. Since this is Bitter Sweet’s EXCELLLLLLENT recipe, I’ll make you go over there to use it. You can make the white chocolate per Hannah’s instructions, or you can buy some!
5. Make Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce: Make a dry caramel with the sugar, deglaze with the coconut creamer, pour over chocolate chips, melt that down, add zest, put in the Grand Marnier. DONE! This veganized especially well.
6. PUT THIS BITCH TOGETHER: Cut off a chunk of short bread and plate it. Put some dark chocolate mousse on top of it, then top that with some white chocolate mousse. Pour the Grand Marnier sauce over that and, if you want, shave a chocolate bar on top of that and add some orange slices. INSANITY.
This was mighty, mighty tasty. Something that would surely impress any omni-crowd, and make vegans start naming babies and buildings and cities after you. No joke. Because my plating was terrible messiness, I don’t have pictures of my creation and I KNOW that’s a huge no-no, so I will be making it again (the things I do for you people!) and adding photos later on in the week. The dessert actually wasn’t as intimidating as it seemed at first glance; it’s just two types of mousse over a shortbread cookie, with a delightful, boozy sauce. Pretty easy, and pretty impressive. I’ll make it again, at least once, as I need some damn pics. Until then, a Google drawing of my masterpiece:
Now, stay tuned (ha! again!) for next week, when a REAL FAMOUS VEGAN CHEF or BLOGGER takes the stage, ready to take on Project Just Desserts: Veganizing Top Chef! Ow!
Work at Native Foods! In San Francisco! THAT’S RIGHT NATIVE FOODS IS COMING TO SF! »
The amaaaaaazing southern California vegan chain, Native Foods, is coming to SF, and they want to hire you! In your face, Depression 2.0! I mean, at least a little bit, they can’t hire all your funemployed asses.
Man, I love Native Foods so much, and if you don’t already, you will soon love it, too. Could you even read that sentence? Moving on! It’s Herbivore (hey! it’s one of the first ever Vegansaurus reviews! A classic, if you will AND YOU WILL) taken to the next level. Chicken Run Ranch Burger, would you mind if I hollered at you?
*You know, a quality one. JOKE I KNOW I AM SO LUCKY TO HAVE HERBIVORE I SHOULD BE THANKFUL.
A little self-promo because it never hurt anyone (it only just annoyed many! and still I rise!). My band (that’s right, I said BAND, I am in a BAND because I am VERY MUSICALLY TALENTED), Dino Bike, is playing at Hemlock Tavern on NEXT Sunday, Aug. 29. We do amazing shit like medleys from Top Gun and throw vegan cupcakes into the audience. Also, there might be some stripping involved and playing of cow bell by Leanne from Vaute Couture! OH and our opening band, Red Light Circuit. Oh, they’re just OPENING FOR HANSON NEXT MONTH. That’s all.
SERIOUSLY, it’s gonna be ridic. and IN ADDITION TO THE RIDICULOUSNESS:
Every penny raised will go to help pay for TPLO surgery for my dog, Hazel, who is the most beautiful, wonderful, perfect pit bull in all the land and also, ONE EXPENSIVE BITCH! This year on self-care, I’ve spent about $5 (showers are for fools! I will not conform to society’s arbitrary* standards for hygiene!) and on Hazel-care, about $6,000. So anyway, the show is only five bucks and you’re gonna get some vegan treats out of it (uh… anyone want to bake??) and I’ll pass around donation jars and you might get to see some bazoongas. Not a bad deal, at all!
Also, Jonas from Vegansaurus is in the band, and Jordan is maybe in the band. So really, it’s a Vegansaurus spectacular! And I’m gonna write this all up in The Bold Italic so if you come and make a big enough scene, your name will be in print!
Now, please, RSVP, s’il vous plaît!