Screw everyone on your list, you need this bag!  »

Big-handbag ladies, you know who you are. *We* know who you are. Laura and I both have purses containing all of our material belongings, and possibly a dead body or two. Seriously, it takes us 20 minutes to retrieve anything out of said bags. But as big-handbag ladies know, this is the price we pay for being prepared! God forbid we should leave the house without something we may need while out in the world, like a two-year-old Olive Garden receipt. 

Anyway, peep this handbag: the Margarite from Brooklyn Industries:

This totally vegan hotness is curvy, silky smooth, and fits all your junk in the trunk. I love the sheen on the (nylon) fabric, and I love the durability and carrying capacity. 15” MacBook Pro? Sure, toss it in there with school books, notebooks, library books, multiple sets of keys, pairs of glasses, and an extra sweater. No, seriously. You can pack your entire life in this bag and move to Las Vegas to live off the grid. Except you will get many compliments on your bag, which might blow your cover. 

Anyway, Brooklyn Industries makes great quality bags, and this one is extra good-looking and all man-made.  Highly recommend picking one up asap (online for you SF suckas, but BI has stores in NYC, Chicago, Portland, and maybe some other places.)


Two Thanksgiving recipes from accidentally vegan Epicurious!  »

If you get a CSA box in the Bay Area, it’s probably currently full of potatoes, leafy greens, apples, carrots and butternut squash. Maybe tomatoes & cilantro, too. And butternut squash. Let us marvel at its beauty.

In a recent search, I turned up not one but two (2!) delicious vegan recipes utilizing almost the whole box of produce, on Epicurious, a site that could also be named “Dairycurious with a Pork Garnish.”

Let me show you it.

Wild and Brown Rice Pilaf with Butternut Squash and Dried Cranberries

  • This one used apple, carrot and lots of butternut squash. 
  • I added pepitas (recommended!)
  • The house still smells of delicious curry.
  • A++

Garbanzo Bean Soup with Saffron!

  • This one used potato, tomatoes, and squash, but I threw in bonus carrots and chard. It worked out well. 
  • The saffron flavor is amazing, I would recommend using more. Yes I know it’s like $1 per strand. Live a little.
  • The spices really elevate this soup from boring vegetable soup to exotic fragrant getaway.
  • A+

These are both perfect for Thanksgiving—the rice dish would make an excellent stuffing alternative.

And, we still have half a butternut squash, despite it being the dominant ingredient in both recipes. I never realized how much fucking squash is in one of those things.

[photo by Vancity Allie]



Behold: Mission Burger!  »

No seriously, look at it. This is the vegan Mission Burger and it is your most delicious new best friend. This blog previously speculated this might be the case, but I am here to confirm it for you. IRL I am known as someone with a tendency to say “OMFG THIS IS THE BEST EVER” but ignore all that. What I am telling you is, this is the best burger I have ever had, of any kind. SRSLY.

First and foremost: this motherfucker is huge. I sat down with it literally three different times, and ate a satisfying amount each time. I didn’t even eat dinner, because lunch was so huge/amazing/satisfying. Also I prefer to drink myself to sleep.

Secondly, this burger isn’t exactly pretty in the traditional sense, but it is beautiful like a work of art. The patty is dark and richly colored, with variable textures (the fava/chickpea patty, the whole edamame beans and the leafy kale blend together in a surprisingly harmonious way.) Also you can’t taste any of those health foods because it is fried and covered in wasabi mayonnaise (made with seaweed not eggs! unlocking some science on your ass!). The springy light slaw is the perfect amount of acid, and the chili sauce is a pop of redness that reminds your whole body that the combination of hot oil and capsaicin is like a speedball for your cells. Woooooooo!!! Really, it’s just like that.

Lastly, this burger is $7. I don’t know about you but I am rocking a paycut in Depression 2.0 and I’m just out here trying to survive, you know? In addition to refusing to give up my adherence to prissy urbane dining trends. With the vegan Mission Burger, you can survive all day AND exploit the social capital associated with eating sloppy pretend-proletarian “street” food awkwardly on a stack of potato bags outside an Asian supermarket! Man, I am so hip.

Anyway, vegan Mission Burger. Buy me one. [Ed.: I already bought you one, hooker!]

This post was 100 percent Megan Allison. Yes, we love that ho.


Recipe: Romesco Sauce!  »

If you’re vegetarian or vegan (or anyone) in San Francisco and you haven’t been to Ubuntu in Napa you are living life in 2D and you need to BE HERE NOW (aka GO THERE NOW.)

If you have been to Ubuntu, or you’re one of the million minions in the Oprah Army you’ve no doubt experienced the wonder of the chickpea fries with romesco sauce.
I have (been there, not the Oprah thing), and it’s something I’ve thought about day in and day out for months on end. DELICIOUS FRIES AND ROMESCO COME TO ME. But something else I’ve been thinking about since my last visit is, what the hell is Romesco sauce? My curiosity was again sparked by a recent encounter with it in another (unrelated) delicious dish, and I got to researching. Which is to say, I checked out Wikipedia.

Of course it’s from Catalonia in Spain, where everything delicious and awesome lives (have you ever been to Barcelona!? You will never want to come back!) Also, “Tarragona”!? What is more delicious than fresh tarragon? Practically nothing. Also it turns out Romesco is naturally vegan. Originally made by fishermen as a fish accompaniment (or so says the internet), it pairs well with a variety of things (I like it over couscous.) So I got to work making my own, and I suggest you do the same. Speaking of work, it’s kind of a big project, so settle in.

I synthesized this ingredient list from a couple different recipes, and altered it along the way. But basically you need:

  1. 1/4 cup almonds (I used the tamari-roasted ones from Rainbow; yum!)
  2. 1/4 cup hazelnuts (I couldn’t find these so I used Brazil nuts. It worked, but I’d go for the hazelnuts if you can find them.)
  3. 1 head garlic
  4. 1 slice stale bread (you can lightly toast it to approximate the staleness, if it’s not. I used a French bread; Italian loaf would work well too, like a pugliese?)
  5. 2 ripe small/medium tomatoes
  6. 1 jar roasted red peppers, drained
  7. 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar (or less, depending on your taste)
  8. 1 tsp. chili flakes
  9. 1 tsp. or so chopped fresh tarragon. No, the recipes didn’t call for it but it makes everything better, trust me. How wrong can it be if the sauce is from “Tarragona”
  10. pinch smoked paprika

YUMAlso, you need a food processor of a decent size. (What did old Spanish fishermen do without food processors, I would like to know?)
First, you need to roast the garlic. Cut off the pointy top, remove some outer skin, rub olive oil on the head (see how you are, pervert!?), and stick in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes until the inside is mushy.
While that’s happening, place both kinds of nuts (hehe nuts) (ed.: slut!) into the food processor and process until grainy (fine is okay too.)

Heat some olive oil in a pan. However much oil you want, I don’t care. Do you think the Catalonians care? They are too busy living out loud, probably bathing in olive oil. They laugh in the face of your few teaspoons!

Anyway, fry the stale bread in the olive oil for a few minutes, then put it aside. Then put the tomatoes in the same pan with the bready oil. These should be chopped up already. Sorry I forgot to tell you that. You might need to add some more oil to the pan for the tomatoes. Do it up, skinny!

Take the tomato pan off the heat before they burn. Tear up (or cut up) the fried bread and throw it in the food processor with the nuts and start it going, kinda slow. Proceed to add the tomatoes and keep it going. Then take the roasted garlic (oh shit is that still in the oven!? you need to get it out before it turns all gross and crispy!) and squeeze the mushy garlic into the processor with the other stuff. Finally, start feeding the drained roasted red peppers into the processor and puree it all together.  While it’s running, finish it off with the vinegar, spices, some salt and pepper. Probably more salt than you just put in.

Mine came out more orange than red, like a thick tikka masala sauce but with a completely different (and delicious) taste. Refrigerates and reheats well too.

Pour over chickpea fries, couscous, your body (ed.: slut!), etc. Enjoy!

Megan Allison is visiting us from Guerrilla Curatorship, where she has been too despondent to post much about urban policy miscellany given the sad state of domestic affairs, and is instead turning to food for comfort. Don’t be surprised if she expatriates to Barcelona.

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