Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Vittles Variety Hour

The Chef: Kailey

The Menu: A corn, bean, and sweet potato medley with a heapin’ helping of chipotle rice and a sizeable dollop of spicy and smooth guacamole. Throw in some chips for shoveling it all in and add some crisp, green roughage, and you’ve got a meal to be reckoned with.

The Goods: Kailey has vowed to incorporate delicious sweet potatoes into all of her meals, and we’re not complaining. And speaking of sweet, the annual Veggie Awards survey will be launched tomorrow. That’s right, no big deal—it’s only the zenith when it comes to tracking the veg zeitgeist, that’s all. OK, it is kind of a big deal, so keep your peepers peeled for the awards!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Creative Kitchen Comforts

The Chef: Abby

The Menu:
A warm and sweet butternut-bean soup with a side of grains and greens. Abby helped clean out the kitchen and masterminded a delightful marriage of leftover chili with a pre-made butternut squash soup. To accompany the soup, she whipped up an Indian-spiced corn, pea, bell pepper, tomato, and shredded kale mixture. Soft couscous sprinkled with Parma rounded out the warm and toasty meal.

The Goods: It's the beginning of another whirlwind week here at the VNHQ, and a cozy meal made for the perfect way to ease us into the oncoming insanity. The office doesn't feel quite the same, however, as Elizabeth is at home resting and rejuvenating after having been bit by a vicious flu bug. We hope she recovers quickly and is treating herself to eats as comforting as we've enjoyed today!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Le French Toast, Round Deux

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: Oh, hello. Yep, that's a big, beautiful plate of French toast you see. Is said toast smothered in sliced strawberries and fresh blackberries? Yes, yes it is. Is it also dusted with cinnamon-cocoa and powdered sugar? Yes. We are dead with glee. Oh, and what's over on the right-hand side? Just some roasted potatoes and kabocha squash with rosemary, that's all.

The Goods: What makes an awesome lunch of brunch even better? A fabulous guest, of course. Today we had the pleasure of dining with Lisa Jervis, the co-founder of Bitch Magazine. Though Lisa's no longer with Bitch, we enjoyed a little magazine shop talk at lunch. Want to have your mind totally blown? Bitch moved from Oakland, Calif., to Portland, Ore., which is where Lyndsay will be for the Let Live Conference this weekend. Whoa!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Charlotte's Chili!

The Chef: Charlotte

The Menu: Chili, as you may have guessed. Charlotte brewed up a delicious batch of three-bean chili with corn and savory spices. The tomato base of this chili made it slightly sweet, which we all took as an invitation to pile on the Parma, which is what we do best. A lovely side salad with red cabbage, green bell peppers, and sliced cucumber added to the multicolor effect of a helping of chips.

The Goods: So, there are roughly 8,000 things going on at any give time here at the VNHQ, and today's no exception. Tonight is SF Vegan Drinks, tomorrow is Friday, this weekend is the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale, and next week we'll be launching the 2009 Veggie Awards Survey! Oof!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fancy Phyllo, Fancier Ice Cream

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: Um, sometimes you find mini phyllo-cups in the freezer and the question immediately becomes how to fill them. Sometimes, you answer that question by imagining a savory white-bean purée, only to find that in reality all you have is a can of kidney beans. Are kidney beans the same color as white beans? No. Does a caramelized-onion and kidney-bean purée look slightly strange? Yes. Anyway, that's what Elizabeth filled our phyllo cups with today, and dotted each with a caper. Alongside she served lightly sautéed summer squash and a green salad with cherry tomatoes and green olives.

The Goods: Maybe you think phyllo cups are fancy. If so, that is only because you have not yet had the pleasure of homemade ice cream courtesy of one Laura Beck. Ms. Laura, who's moderating VegWeb.com and is decidedly awesome, treated us to chocolate-peanut butter ice cream with mini-chocolate-chips and bits of freaking toffee. We are dead with glee.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Beautiful Black-Bean Burgers

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: A summery spread of homemade black-bean burgers served on marinated kale leaves, slightly spicy roasted potatoes, and a fresh green salad with halved cherry tomatoes and maple-candied walnuts from Pure Sweets. Yes, it is a genius idea to serve burgers on marinated kale. Yes, you should find yourself a recipe and make these tonight. Abby based her creation on a recipe from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, and adapted it to fit what was on-hand here at the VNHQ.

The Goods: Since her return to the office, today marks Ms. Abby's first turn in the kitchen, and we are so thrilled to have her back! Today's lunch was absolutely delicious, and the joy of dining al fresco made it all the more wonderful.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Detox Delights

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: Light, savory chickpea cutlets. These delicious cornmeal-based morsels were bursting with chickpeas, red onion, grated zucchini, garlic, and the perfect blend of spices. A beautiful salad made the ideal counterpart with Swiss chard, cabbage, and cucumber, all tossed in a homemade vinaigrette. After an obligatory dash of Parma, this tasty duo didn't stand a chance.

The Goods: After an indulgent Brunch Week (we’re not complaining), this refreshing lunch is just what the VN staff needed. Ms. Lyndsay took a culinary cue from Moira Nordholt, whose 21-day detox program kicks off this week. The lunchtime verdict? If detoxing tastes this good, sign us up. Before we can say good-bye to brunch, we must say congratulations to Humboldt Honey! Send us an email with your full name and mailing address, and we’ll send the last coveted copy of Vegan Brunch your way. Thanks to all who commented for making Brunch Week a success!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Brunch Week: Banana Rabanada

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: An astoundingly awesome brunch. Really, look at that thing. Colleen set out to end Brunch Week with a bang, which is precisely what she did. First and foremost, there's the Banana Rabanada (aka Brazilian French Toast). This is how French toast should always look: covered in strawberries and mint, and dusted with cinnamon-cocoa and powdered sugar. For the savory element, Colleen marinated and roasted both yellow and sweet potatoes, which we devoured. Finally, a refreshing slice of honeydew finished off the meal.

The Goods: Um, yes. This is what a plate of brunch should look like. Brunch Week has been amazing, and we're all stuffed to the gills. Vegan Brunch, consider your mission accomplished. There are two orders of business that need attending. First off, congratulations to Marni! Marni, send us an email with your full name and mailing address, and we'll send out your signed copy of Vegan Brunch! And second, for the very last copy of this utterly satisfying book, tell us: What should our next lunch theme be? Could be a type of food, or another cookbook from which to try recipes. Put your nominations in the comments!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Brunch Week: Tofu Omelets with Mushrooms and Spinach

The Chef: Charlotte

The Menu: The most brunch-like meal we've had all week! Charlotte combined the savory, spinach- and mushroom-stuffed omelets with sweet chunks of fresh pineapple for a lovely two-taste meal.

The Goods: First, congratulations to our brand-new chef, Charlotte! Ok, by this point in the week you probably know the drill. A huge congratulations to Allychristine, who scored herself a signed copy of Vegan Brunch! Allychristine, go ahead and send us an email with your full name and mailing address. Today is Thursday, and that means two things. One: a bunch of us are going to karaoke, and of course are heading to Ike's first! Two: we only have one more copy of Vegan Brunch left! We'll all be sorry to see Brunch Week come to an end. Le sigh. To (possibly) win one of them, answer this in the comments: What's your favorite restaurant to go to for brunch?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Brunch Week: Polenta Rancheros

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A big bowl of Polenta Rancheros and side salad with fresh corn and grated zucchini. What, exactly, is involved in Polenta Rancheros, you ask? Mostly, this dish is made of black beans simmered in a spiced tomato sauce, topped with a fluffy spoonful of polenta, which is all then topped with fresh guacamole. In short, a huge amount of awesomeness is involved! We could each have eaten about six bowls of this savory standout.

The Goods: Yes, Brunch Week is maybe our most favorite theme of all. Holy heck, every recipe we've made so far has been amazing. Congratulations to Connie, our lucky winner from yesterday's comments! Connie, send us an email with your full name and mailing address, and your copy of Vegan Brunch will be sent out asap! For today's copy of this too-good-to-be-true tome, tell us in the comments: What's your fantasy brunch dish? Yes, you have to pick just one, and of course it has to be vegan!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Brunch Week: Mom's Morning Casserole

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: The super-extra tasty Mom's Morning Casserole from Vegan Brunch! Um, holy heck. This triple-layer treat was made of roasted potatoes, seasoned tofu and tempeh, and melted non-dairy cheese. And, according to our breath right now, about 50 cloves of garlic, about which we are all very, very happy. This savory standout was an awesomely hearty midday meal, and was perfectly complemented by a fresh salad with grated beets.

The Goods: Wow! Judging from yesterday's comments, you're all eager for the chance to win a signed copy of this awesome book! Sadly, there can be only one winner per day. Congratulations to bluebue, whose multi-course ideas caught our attention. Bluebue, send us an email with your name and mailing address, and we'll send your book right out! For the chance to win today's copy, tell us in the comments: Who are your top three ideal brunch guests?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Brunch Week: Puttanesca Scramble and Chive Spelt Biscuits

The Chef: Kailey

The Menu: A delectable brunch, taken straight from the pages of Vegan Brunch! Ms. Kailey treats us to two superb, savory dishes: the Puttanesca Scramble and Chive Spelt Biscuits. Both were highly delicious, and we could have sat and chatted for hours, as you're supposed to do at brunch. Then we remembered that there's this little thing called VegNews magazine that doesn't just make itself, so we got back to work.

The Goods: Welcome to Brunch Week! We're celebrating two things in the office this week, namely the recently released Vegan Brunch, and the return of our dear Ms. Abby as a full-fledged staffer! As you might recall, Abby has a thing for brunch, so putting the two together seemed like a natural fit. So, all this week we'll be making mouth-watering brunch recipes from the book. But wait, there's more! We'll also be giving away one copy of Vegan Brunch—signed by one Isa Chandra Moskowitz—every day! To throw your hat in the ring for today's copy, tell us in the comments: What's your preferred brunch M.O., sweet or savory?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Breakout Bean Salad!

The Chef: Kailey

The Menu: A delightful trio of dishes prepared by the VNHQ's newest chef, Ms. Kailey! For her debut effort, Kailey prepared a delicious, Italian-herb-seasoned bean salad with black beans, garbanzos, celery, and corn. She also roasted sweet potato fries, and busted out a big, beautiful green salad with slices of fresh carrots. Of course, we already knew we were getting a world-class chef in Kailey, but it was a joy to get to experience her cooking first hand. Here's to many more lunches!

The Goods: It's Friday. Some of us have been singing and some of us have been scurrying to get everything done before the weekend, but all of us are thrilled because our magazine came today! That's right, we've got our hot little hands on the July+August issue, and couldn't be happier about it. Yes, if you need us, we'll be covered in cinnamon reading the magazine this weekend.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Green Curry Noodles

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: A delicious blend of brown-rice rotini, roasted eggplant, and sautéed zucchini, kale, and bell peppers, all simmered in a savory, slightly spicy green-curry sauce. Alongside, Colleen dazzled us with a marinated-greens salad with fresh tomatoes, Swiss chard, and a homemade vinaigrette. Yes, it was yummy. And yes, we might have had to temper our enthusiasm about this awesome meal in order to leave room for dessert.

The Goods: Today we had the pleasure of dining with Lyndsay's parents! The adorable duo—aka Bev and Randy—drove out from St. Louis as a 30-year anniversary trip, and has been exploring San Francisco and Northern California for the last week. Of course, no such trip would be complete without a lunch at the VNHQ, and we were thrilled to have them here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Scramble and Sticky Fingers!

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: Something sort of like brunch, and sort of like whatever was in the kitchen that could be easily thrown together. The result? A Mexican-food-inspired tofu scramble with corn, black beans, and pinto beans; a big, fresh salad with avocado and chopped cherry tomatoes; and finally home fries that were doused in Parma!

The Goods: Just in case anyone is wondering, if you only have half an hour to prepare lunch, it's probably best to go ahead and skip the roasted potatoes. While these little nuggets were the perfect vehicle for some fancy ketchups, they delayed the beginning of lunch a bit, which is never a popular move here at the VNHQ. Thankfully, the day was saved by the arrival of a surprise treat from Sticky Fingers! We'll be very happily under our desks in hyperglycemic comas if anyone needs us.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Go-to Green Curry

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: A lovely green curry, which, as you may know, is Lyndsay's signature dish. Today she combined tofu, zucchini, bok choy, red bell pepper, and green beans, and simmered the whole dish in a delicious green curry and served everything over brown rice. A side salad with carrots and avocado made the perfect accompaniment.

The Goods: It's a big day here at the VNHQ today. We're thrilled to announce that VN has officially joined forces with vegweb.com, and we couldn't be happier. We've had the pleasure of Yvette's company in the office the last couple of days, and with a delicious lunch in our bellies—topped off with leftover cake, of course—things are looking pretty darn good here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Afghani Stew!

The Chef: Joseph

The Menu: Another lunch created from the pages of The Accidental Vegan. Joseph treated us to a trio of yummy dishes, starting with a Basmati Pilaf, which featured raisins, cinnamon, and almonds, and was utterly delicious. On the bottom left of the plate you see Afghani Stew, which was a mixture of eggplant, tomatoes, spinach, carrots, and spices. It, too, was incredibly good. Finally, the Red Beans and Greens with Coconut Milk made a scrumptious side dish, and Joseph finished it off with a dusting of cilantro.

The Goods: Today was one for the record books in terms of awesome guests! First of all, today marks Ms. Charlotte's first day as an editorial assistant here at VN, and we're thrilled to have her! We were also joined by Yvette of vegweb.com and Laura of vegansaurus.com! Since yesterday was Elizabeth's birthday, Ms. Colleen made a gorgeous cake, which we have since devoured. Trust us, coconut-flake-covered strawberry shortcake is a winner!

Friday, June 5, 2009

On-Purpose Pulao

The Chef: Joseph

The Menu: A very yummy curry 'n' pulao combo! Pulao, in case you weren't aware, is a spiced rice with peas, which Joseph served alongside a big helping of curry. This was pretty much an everything-in-the-fridge curry, and featured potatoes, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, broccoflower, carrots, onions, and just a splash of coconut milk. We also had a special beverage treat: freshly made pineapple-coconut shakes! Using his beloved Vita-Mix, Joseph blended up fresh pineapple with a little coconut milk and agave. Um, yes, we could totally live on these.

The Goods: Aside from the delicious shakes, everything on the menu today came from Devra Gartenstein's book, The Accidental Vegan. While recipes are a rarity in the VNHQ kitchens, sometimes it's fun to make lunch by the book. Of course, the fact that everything we make here is vegan is definitely on purpose!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mighty Good Miso

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: An amazing Asian-food assembly! Ms. Colleen made some absolutely perfect miso soup with chunks of tofu, fresh broccolini, slivered carrots, and lacinato kale. The miso on its own would have made us so happy, but Colleen didn't stop there. She also busted out a yummy salad with a miso dressing and black sesame seeds. From one of our favorite local dumpling houses, Kingdom of Dumpling, we enjoyed freshly made scallion pancakes and soft, wonderful veggie dumplings.

The Goods: Today's lunch was a total treat! Maybe we say that every day, but, well, maybe it's true every day! It's pretty hard to argue with a delicious, vegan meal that's made on the spot. In addition to the fantastic food, we had the pleasure of sharing today's lunch with Tal Ronnen, who—in case there was any question—is awesome. Do we love guests? Yes. Do we love guests who come over and dazzle us with talk of veg restaurants around the globe even more? Yes!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Couscous and Ribs

The Chefs: Colleen and Frankie

The Menu: A perfect summer picnic! Frankie's signature barbecue ribs doused with sauce, a bright green salad with cucumber, and a simple side of couscous made a totally satisfying lunch today. Can we get enough of Frankie's ribs? No, indeed we cannot. Was the serving tray licked thoroughly clean of every molecule of her addictive barbecue sauce? Yes. Can you hardly wait until the September+October food feature, wherein you'll find the recipe for these savory masterpieces? No!

The Goods: This meal would have been perfect served al fresco, but unfortunately the weather was just a tad too inclement for us to venture out today. Here's hoping the wind dies down and the temperature warms up for tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Roasted-Eggplant Marinara

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A yummy pasta lunch, pulled together from what we had on-hand! Maybe roasted-eggplant makes the whole thing sound fancy, but in reality, Ms. Elizabeth spent about five seconds chopping eggplant, garlic, and onions, and tossing them with olive oil and salt before shoving the mixture in the oven for about 40 minutes. Elizabeth sautéed more garlic and onions, and added them to a ready-made marinara. The rest was pretty much as easy as boiling water for the whole-wheat pasta, and grating some carrots and zucchini for the salad, which also featured cubed Follow Your Heart Mozzarella. Voilà, lunch!

The Goods: It's another busy day here at the VNHQ. Thankfully, the sun's starting to peep out from behind the blanket of fog in which we've been enveloped all morning, which is always a good sign.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Couldn't-Be-Easier Curry

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu
: A delicious duo of curries! Ms. Lyndsay prepared a totally terrific two-part curry lunch for us today using a new line of organic curries from Curry Love. Lyndsay simmered corn, green beans, peas, carrots, onions, and tofu in both the Blissful Banana Ginger and Passion Red Thai flavors, and served each over hearty helpings of basmati rice. Lunch couldn't have been easier or tastier!

The Goods: Today we're a skeleton crew here at the VNHQ, but are thrilled to announce the arrival of one of our new editorial assistants, Ms. Kailey! We tend to let new staffers have the first week off from cooking duty so they can get up to speed around the office, but we're definitely looking forward to Kailey's kitchen debut!