vegansaurus!

02/25/2014

Vegan berry danishes: a love story!   »

At this point in time, February 2014, I have been vegan for almost SEVEN years. Six and half years ago, I never could have imagined I would make it this long. I went vegan straight from being an omni, and that first year definitely had its ups and downs. My boyfriend at the time was vegan and we were working as bakers at The Chicago Diner, so it made sense to try veganism out. Obviously it stuck, and I am loving this lifestyle more and more with each passing year! 

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A lot of times I talk about things I miss, because there are a lot of treats from my omni days that I sometimes wish I could still eat. Yes, physically I could still eat them, but it’s not worth it to me. I try to keep things positive and only talk about the foods I miss when I find vegan versions that remind me of the originals! It’s so exciting when that happens, like with So Delicious Coconut Milk Minis filling the spot in my heart that had been missing Eskimo Pies! I didn’t even know that void was there until I bit into the delectable treat! 

One of my very favorite breakfast foods, beside blueberry Toaster’s Strudels, used be cheese danishes. If they had berries in them, I’d probably eat two. Maybe the berry danish sugar coursing through my body, ready to be burned off, was why I always loved PE, even though I was scared of the alphas and scared of the ball.

2013 was a big year for me and the berry danishes. I had THREE! THREE BERRY DANISHES! I know that number doesn’t sound like much, but before those three, the number was zero. 

My very favorite one was from Sweet Pea Baking Company in Portland, Oregon. The reason it was my favorite was because it had not only berries in it, but CHEESE! It had a sweet vegan cream cheese in there, and I was so happy. Actually, I think ECSTATIC is the better word here. Do any other vegan bakeries make them like this? I must know!

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Sweet Pea Baking Company amongst the other stores at the vegan mini-mall in PDX. 

imageThe danish I loved and still think of fondly. Is that an apple slice I spy? Were there apple slices as well? I don’t know, all I can remember is that there were cheese and berries! 

Now, this is a little out of order, but the first danish I had last year was on my trip to the Grand Canyon, at Nami vegan bakery in Phoenix. 

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I would take another trip to Phoenix just to eat at Green vegetarian restaurant and Nami! 

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Though this particular danish didn’t have cheese in it, the flaky pastry layers and fresh blueberry filling more than made up for it! 

Unfortunately I do not have a picture of my danish from Timeless Coffee in Oakland! Sometimes I just gotta eat my food and not worry about snapping a photo, feel me? Timeless is one of my favorite Bay Area eateries, definitely in my top 5! In fact, even though I moved down to Southern California last week, I’m coming to SF for a comedy show, because a Jen Kirkman live podcast taping is a show NOT to be missed! Of course the first thing I’m going to do after landing in Oakland is hit up Timeless with my partner-in-crime, Britney! We need fuel (and probably some liquid courage) before we ask our favorite comedienne to sign everything on our person and possibly for a photo we can post all over social media. 

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Since it would be blasphemous to leave you with no pictures of Timeless treats, I present you with the best breakfast beverage of all time (iced coffee) and my second favorite breakfast pastry, the scone! Timeless makes vegan, savory, cheddar, bacon scones and they are phenomenal!

06/24/2013

Recipe: Vegan fry bread tacos!  »

Fry Bread tacos, you guys, am I right? They’re scrumptious. If you live in the Bay Area, I highly recommend that you visit Rocky at El Rio, because he will take care of you. I realize some of you don’t have that option, or are perhaps too lazy to hop on Muni (it takes like an hour to get there from the Haight), so this is for you. We’re doing a recipe here. Or rather, I’m linking you to the Food Network site, because their recipe worked out so well for me.

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Back in March I went on a trip to Phoenix and the Grand Canyon, which I loved. Upon returning from Arizona and inspired by my trip to the Heard Museum, I decided to try my hand at Navajo fry bread

I followed this recipe from the Food Network website. I was happy with the results. Now, I’m not claiming it’s like, super authentic or anything, but the fry bread was tasty and reminiscent of Rocky’s, so I was pleased. I simplified the recipe a little because I kneaded the dough right in the bowl, just until the ingredients were combined, instead of on a floured countertop. I’m also pretty sure I didn’t refrigerate the dough because it seemed unnecessary and I like to cut corners when I can. Hey, I’m a busy girl (there’s a lot available on Netflix to catch up on). 

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Let’s be real, I ate two of these guys before they even hit the paper towels. 

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I topped mine with Daiya cheese, refried beans, lettuce and homemade guacamole. 

Try ‘em out,  learn a little something about Navajo history and culture, and make a plan to go visit Rocky at El Rio sometime (isn’t it about time you booked that flight to S.F.?)

05/03/2013

Vegan road trip: Phoenix! Check out Green restaurant and make your own Big Wac!   »

What’s a girl to do when a case of winter S.A.D, holiday fatigue, and the daily grind have got her down? Go to the Grand Canyon for Spring Break! Beat the blues by visiting one of the greatest natural wonders the Earth has to offer. Cautiously stand six feet away from the ledge, watch a group of men take a picture of their friend plank on the edge (thinking that surely you are going to watch a handsome Englishman plummet to his death right before your eyes, frozen in fear and experiencing vertigo just looking at him) and forget your own emotional baggage for a couple hours.

Sick of winter and worn out from the holidays, my bestie Britney and I began planning Spring Break 2013, or SXAZ, as it seemed everyone else was in Austin at the time. What was initially envisioned as a road trip from Vegas to Santa Fe quickly became reduced once travel time and expenses became a reality. Enter PHOENIX! VegNews just profiled Tempe and Phoenix vegan hotspot Green, Air BnB rentals* are plentiful, and for the four-hour drive to the Grand Canyon, Zipcars are available.

Now, if you should for any reason, find yourself in Phoenix, it is imperative that you eat at Green restaurant. Britney and I ate at Green three of the four days on that trip, we just COULD NOT get enough. By far, for both us, the most incredible item on the menu was their Big Wac, a vegan take on the (in)famous McDonald’s burger. We loved this sandwich so much, we stopped by for the third visit on our way to airport so we could eat our Big Wacs for dinner in San Francisco. Consider us obsessed.

Upon returning home, within four days I had to make my own.  So I present you with the Big JB.

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I like my junk food with a side of sautéed kale. Or chocolate cake, whatever is available.

Ingredients
Two imitation burgers of your choice (I used Whole Foods brand)
Vegan cheese (Daiya cheddar wedge)
Romaine lettuce
Buns (whole wheat if you are healthy, white flour if you love decadence like me)
Equal parts vegan mayo and ketchup (probably about 2 tablespoons of each)
Dill pickles
2 to 3 tablespoons diced white onion

Instructions
Cook your burgers as instructed on the box. I fried mine up in vegetable oil, in a saucepan on the stove, because if I’m making glorified fast food for dinner, I’m not going the healthy route. Melt your vegan cheese atop burgers as you see fit. I like to put it on the burgers when they are almost done in the frying pan, turn off the heat, and cover the pan till the cheese melts. Smear your buns with “special sauce” (i.e. ketchup and vegan mayo), add diced onions and a couple pickles. Add your romaine lettuce as desired for nutrient value. Design burger as pictured, because you need that extra bun layer, believe me.

*We stayed in a hippie house that put Berkeley to shame. TO SHAME. No matter my minor in hippie studies from Humboldt State; I broke pretty much every rule in that house with my mere existence.

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