Happy Almost New Year: it’s the Vegansaurus best meals of 2012!  »

You didn’t think we’d let 2013 come at us without a best of list, did you? OF COURSE NOT. So for your reading pleasure, we came up with our very favorite meals of 2012. Let’s do this!

Jenny (that’s me!): My new favorite restaurant of all time is Pura Vida in Las Vegas. I ate so many wonderful meals this year, but Pura Vida topped them all. Chef Mayra is a culinary mastermind—her dishes are vibrantly colorful and packed with so much flavor! Almost every day I think about the breakfast burrito I had about eight months ago, and I cannot wait to to get back to Vegas to hit her up again! I’ve actually planned my entire wedding in Vegas (sans groom) (for now) solely based on Chef Mayra catering the elegant debauchery that will no doubt ensue.

Latin’tude breakfast burrito, I love you!

Megan: ”For me, it was the year of chickpea flour—and more specifically, the Tuscan chickpea frittata. Oh boy did we have some good times this year! I made them every which way from Sunday. So easy and so yummy! And totes versatile. It’s the best!”

Man, that was a lot of fun, when Megan was making all those frittatas! I can’t believe I never tried one myself, but I suppose that will have to be what 2013 is for!image
Vegan, gluten-free frittata; so many delicious combinations!

Laura: ”The VegNews all-cheese holiday party, catered by Miyoko Schinner was, in a word, mind blowing! Cheese, cheese, and more cheese!! Giant cheese-stuffed ravioli was maybe the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life (SORRY ABOUT THE PHOTO, I’m too pretty to be good at anything!) and fried croquettes on amazing salad, and so much more. Vegan meringue, too! Holy mother!

"Vegan cheese, you’ve come a long way since your days of gross inedibility! Buy Miyoko’s book IMMEDIATELY!”

Hot dang, that VegNews staff knows how to get down!

Vegan cheese, you HAVE come a long way!

Meave: Of course, sometimes it is impossible to pick just one, so our Meave gives the lowdown on her top five! First, comes Isa’s Maple Pecan Pie, because what holiday is complete without this delectable dessert? (Follow Meave on Instagram to see how her beautiful pie turned out—I was blown away at its loveliness!)
Maple pecan pie, before meeting the oven! 

Next up we have a filling and colorful veg bowl, to which Meave explains, “Angela Liddon, salad genius, made so many of my lunches better with her legume and veg bowls, but my favorite was her Lightened Up Protein Power Goddess Bowl. Meave is quite the salad dressing connoisseur (“I’m picky”), so if this made the list, you know it’s got to be good! Of course we can’t leave out the brunch at Donut Farm, which includes Meave’s personal faves — the winter hash, double-dipped donuts, banana fritters and potato works!
Winter hash forever! Or at least until spring!

Last but certainly not least, Sinto Gourmet kimchi, and for ogling, everything by Tofu666 (“my No. 1 source for food porn”).

Sarah: Keeping up with her title, Sarah dishes out some raw opinions, telling us her favorite dish of 2012 was “Cafe Gratitude’s I Am Whole bowl. Always”. I bet she’s missing that over on the East Coast! Hope you got your fill on your recent L.A. adventure, Sarah!

Sarah’s version of said bowl, via her personal blog

Andrew: “I’m going to have to go with our recent Mexican vegan Christmas dinner menu—homemade refried beans, Spanish rice, homemade mole with tofu, three kinds of homemade tamales (soyrizo, mushroom and mole, and green chile and cheese); margarita pizza with soyrizo (definitely NOT homemade); and horchata made from scratch, which was used for Mexican White Russians. This fed seven of us at dinner and then everyone got some to take home. And we’ve had leftovers for one meal a day since.” I did manage to get myself invited to this magnificent dinner, but alas, Long Beach was just too far away!

Check out this magnificent plate, made complete with a Tecate, of course!

That’s enough about us and our favorites—now it’s your turn to rave about your absolute faves from 2012, so the rest of us can enjoy them in 2013! Happy New Year everybody!


Product review: Korean radish kimchi by Sinto Gourmet!  »

This is the second combination product review and International Vegan MoFo entry starring local vegan kimchi!

As I said yesterdaySinto Gourmet makes three kinds of kimchi, which I sampled at the Eat Real Fest in Oakland last month. Because they are all amazing and I am not insane, I bought giant jars of the spicy napa cabbage and the spicy radish varieties on the spot.

This is a bowl of spicy radish. It is even spicier than the napa cabbage, and crunchier, because it’s mostly radish rather than thinner, leafier napa cabbage. It will still stink up your kitchen (or wherever you eat it) with its glorious aroma, and it burns all the way from lips to tum. But don’t worry, the fermentation is good for your gut, and makes the jar last forever in the fridge.

Sinto is a local company, and all their kimchi products are vegan and gluten-free (as opposed to traditional kimchi, which is often made with shrimp or fish sauce).

If you love spicy, crunchy, slightly stinky things, I strongly suggest you buy some Sinto Gourmet kimchi.


Product review: Korean napa cabbage kimchi by Sinto Gourmet!  »

This is a combination product review and International Vegan MoFo entry: local vegan kimchi! And it is tremendous!

Kimchi, my friends, is a delicious, traditional Korean dish made with spicy red pepper and vegetables, and fermented until perfection.

Sinto Gourmet makes three kinds of kimchi, which they were all sampling at last month’s Eat Real Fest in Oakland. When I saw it, I flipped, tried all the samples, and immediately bought giant jars of the spicy napa cabbage and the spicy radish varieties.

This is spicy napa cabbage. Flavorful and crunchy, with lots of heat, it stinks up the kitchen, it burns in your tummy, and the fermentation is good for your gut. Sinto’s kimchi is vegan and gluten-free, which is great, because often kimchi is made with shrimp or fish sauce.

Even better, Sinto is a local company. Chef HyunJoo has lived in San Francisco since 2007, and operated Sinto Gourmet with her husband since 2010. Tune in tomorrow for my review of the radish kimchi (hint: SO GOOD).

I have loved kimchi since I could chew food, and I’ve really missed eating it. Now we can all buy it locally and eat it forever, which I will, because it doesn’t go bad no matter how long you keep it open. You’ll eat it fast, though, because it’s goddamn delicious.

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