Monday, August 31, 2009

Stupendous Tofu Scramble

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: An absolutely delicious tofu scramble. Simple, filled with veggies, and perfectly seasoned, this hearty main got our week started off right. Lyndsay included potatoes, carrots, green beans, bell peppers, onions, and lots of garlic in her scramble, and the flavors blended together perfectly. Alongside, a mixed-greens salad with avocado added an extra punch of color.

The Goods: We're back to work after the adventures of Outside Lands over the weekend (check Press Pass this week for the full update!), and one of the most gorgeous Saturdays we've ever seen. Now, the first matter of business is that we have two calendars to give out. Yes, we can count, we swear. Since Preston F. decided to gift one calendar to Tweety, that leaves the final Go Vegan! 2010 calendar. And the lucky winner from Friday's comments is: Valeriek214! Congrats! So, Tweety and Valeriek214, send us an email and we'll send your winnings right out. Thanks to everyone who commented!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The World's Saddest Burritos

The Chef: El Burrito Express

The Menu: Perfect Friday fare: black-bean burritos with whole-wheat tortillas, chips, and extra fresh guacamole.

The Goods: Why, you might ask, are these the world's saddest burritos, if they were so delicious? Well, they marked the last official lunch of Kailey and Charlotte as editorial assistants, and in order to deal with our sadness (and the surprise high-80's temperature today!), we had to drown our sorrows in burritos and ice cream. Thankfully, our freezer was packed with pints of Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Ice CreamVanilla Bean and Chocolate were big hits—and we made it through lunch without totally losing it. On a much happier note, we have a new winner to announce! Congratulations to Vegan Epicurean, whose response was chosen by our trusty random number generator, despite her anti-karaoke stance. VE, send us an email with your name and address, and the calendar is all yours! Now, for the final Go Vegan! 2010 Calendar, answer us this question in the comments: who is the person you most want to go vegan?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Celebration Roast and Cheese Biscuits

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: What felt like a fall evening's menu, with roasted vegetables, a Field Roast Celebration Roast, a light salad, and fresh, homemade cheese biscuits. Um, yes we each could have eaten our own weight in these incredible fluffy, cheesy biscuits, which Abby busted out in about ten seconds. We're not sure how she did it, and, frankly, we don't care. All that matters is that she did it. Well, OK, we're pretty sure she followed the recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking that she has memorized and added as much cheddar Daiya as she possibly could. And that's rad.

The Goods: Today we're both happy and sad. Happy, of course, because lunch was utterly incredible. And we have SF Vegan Drinks tonight, which should be tons of fun. And afterward, we have a special celebration planned involving two of our favorite things: sushi and karaoke. Now, the bad news. We're celebrating the time that Kailey and Charlotte have spent in the VNHQ, as tomorrow is their last day as editorial assistants. It's very sad, and frankly we don't like talking about it. So, on to happier subjects, congratulations to Preston Frank on winning yesterday's 2010 Go Vegan! Calendar! Preston, send us an email and we'll send your calendar right out! For today's prize, leave us a comment telling us your signature karaoke song!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Extra-Cheesy Baked Ziti

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: Cheese, and lots of it. Of course, it's non-dairy Daiya, which you may have read about once or twice on this blog before. Today's main dish had five ingredients: cheese, pasta, marinara sauce, extra garlic, and garlicky bread crumbs. Yes, those are listed in order of greatest volume. Salad? Well, we had one, but no one really cared. It might be a fact that we now just make salad in an effort to give the appearance that we eat something other than big piles of Daiya.

The Goods: Elizabeth (mistakenly) thought she had a shot at finishing off our supply of Daiya with today's ultra-cheesy baked ziti. In fact, she made a good dent, but we're not out yet. Did Ms. Laura Beck join us for lunch? Yes. Do we all have highly professional, totally appropriate, huge freaking crushes on her? Yes, yes we do. We also have a few more Go Vegan! 2010 Calendars! Congrats to Kelly G. from the hefty crop of responses yesterday! Kelly, send us an email, and we'll send your calendar right out. Now, for today's prize, leave us a comment with your favorite thing about Laura. OK, OK, since that's not entirely fair, tell us: how would you make a salad that could hold its own next to the fabulousness of super-cheesy baked ziti?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chilly Chili

The Chef: Kailey

The Menu: An absolutely delicious chili! Kailey based her three-bean wonder on a recipe from The Engine 2 Diet, which she noted was easy to follow. The results were utterly scrumptious, and we heartily topped them with cheddar-style Daiya. Alongside, Kailey served a lovely mixed-greens salad with avocado and halved cherry tomatoes, and nice thick slices of rustic bread. Did we joyously top the whole shebang with Parma!? Yes, indeed we did.

The Goods: While the weather outside today might have been slightly more chilly than we would have liked, we braved it for the experience of dining al fresco for the first time in what seems like weeks. Thankfully, the commenting was red hot on yesterday's post, and we'd like to congratulate Big Mama on winning the first of five Go Vegan! 2010 Calendars by the lovely Sarah Kramer. Big Mama, send us an email with your name and address, and we'll send out your calendar! So, how can you try and win today's calendar? Leave a comment below about your favorite vegan chili recipe!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Quinoa and Cake

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: A delicious and nutritious blend of quinoas, both red and regular, topped with Punjab Eggplant (thanks, Trader Joe's!) and tofu. A mixed-greens side salad with sliced red onions, avocado, and a light sprinkling of Daiya finished off the plates.

The Goods: As you may have already read on Press Pass, we had a little something special for dessert today, namely a yummy Almond Milk Chocolate Cake from local confectionery Violet Sweet Shoppe. Um, how can you not eat something this adorable?
We served slices of this behemoth à la mode with scoops of Coconut and Mocha Almond Fudge Purely Decadent with Coconut Milk. Sometimes, when it's Monday you need a little something sweet! To share the sugar, um, figuratively, we have a totally sweet deal! All this week, we'll be giving away Sarah Kramer's latest work, her 2010 Go Vegan! Calendar. Just leave us a comment with your favorite cake-and-ice-cream flavor combination, and we'll pick one winner each day. Go! Comment! Win!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Black-Bean Soup and Daiya Pizzas

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: An unbelievable spread of savory treats, starting off with a zesty black-bean soup filled with roasted eggplant, onions, and carrots. A healthy dose of garlic and cumin seed seasoned Colleen's signature roasted potatoes, and a little something we like to call individual Daiya pizzas made an appearance. Topped with the perfect Daiya blend—that's right, two kinds of melty, stretchy cheese—and Match Meats BBQ pork, these tasty pies didn't last long.

The Goods: Not only did we enjoy a stellar meal thanks to Colleen's culinary ingenuity, but we dined al fresco for the first time all week. Then there was this entire plate of goodies to be grateful for, including homemade chocolate fudge. Yes, fudge. And Dandies. And cookies, courtesy of Pattycake Bakery and our very own Joe Connelly. If you need us, we'll be bouncing off the walls thanks to a fantastic Friday sugar high. Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lickety-Split Pizza

The Chef: Kailey

The Menu: A perfectly simple lunch of pizza and salad. Kailey took advantage of two key items in our fridge: a couple of Kashi frozen pizzas and Daiya. Put them together, and you have hot, awesome, cheesy pizza in a snap. With a lettuce-less heirloom-tomato salad that featured garbanzo beans and red onion, today's lunch was yummy and fast, which are two qualities we like in a workday meal.

The Goods: Not only did we thoroughly plunder the contents of the fridge for lunch, but for dessert we turned to the product shelves, where we store all the goodies that come into the office. You may remember that yesterday we received a huge box of treats from Pattycake Bakery. Well, let's just say that there are fewer of these than there were this morning. Yes, we had to restrain ourselves from eating the whole box. No, we're not certain that we made the right choice.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: Spanish rice, fresh pico de gallo, and a sort of improvised calabacitas with a potato medley, squash, and onions. Oh, and then there were the Daiya-dillas. Yes, we've been obsessed with Daiya since way back in March when we fell in love at Expo West, and have basically been putting it on everything possible. Today's incarnation was pretty straightforward, but in case you're wondering about the best way to get a room full of vegans excited, it's quesadillas. No question.

The Goods: Today we also enjoyed the company of VegWeb Webmistress Laura Beck, VN columnist Jesse Miner, and Jesse's cousin Jack, an awesome vegan who is going into his freshman year of high school in a couple weeks. Jesse and Jack have been eating their way through SF, with stops at Farm Sanctuary up in Orland, and, of course, Millennium and Maggie Mudd here in the city. Jesse was kind enough to bring us some lovely brownies, which we ravenously devoured. Um, kind of like every food item that comes into this office. We're just saying.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Coconut Curry

The Chef: Charlotte

The Menu: What is quickly becoming Charlotte's signature dish: a scrumptious curry swimming in coconut milk. This super-rich dish was bursting with veggies including bell peppers, garbanzo beans, eggplant, water chestnuts, and potatoes. Served over brown basmati rice with a lovely salad of romaine and sliced tomatoes, this lunch absolutely hit the spot.

The Goods: We're never entirely sure exactly how many servings to make for lunch here at the VNHQ. While we can count heads, there are always random factors to take into account, like someone doing a fast or someone (OK, more like everyone) going back for seconds. Thankfully, meals like today's curry can easily be expanded or shrunk depending on the number of diners. What's your favorite expandable meal?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cheesy Enchilada Bake

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: A Frito-crusted, melted-cheese-topped-five layer enchilada bake, plus salad. Whoa. Lyndsay followed PETA's recipe for her main course, which she generously smothered in Daiya cheese and Fritos. In case you ever need a salty, slightly spicy dish, this one's a winner. Layers of beans, vegan meat crumbles, tortillas, cheese, and chips all blended together in a rich enchilada sauce. Following the fiesta theme, Lyndsay made a very colorful salad with sliced bell pepper, tomato, and red onion. Up top, you see a lovely gazpacho that was brought in as a suprise treat by our lunch guest, Jayne.

The Goods: Yes, we're still obsessing over the best uses for Daiya, which will likely be in every single lunch until we've completely exhausted our supply. So, tell us, what's your favorite recipe that could use a hearty dose of (vegan) cheese?

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Best Pizza Ever

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: Pizza that was so good we freaking died. Made on Indian-spiced naan, covered with melty Daiya cheese, red onions, kalamata olives, rosemary, greens, and sun-dried tomatoes, today's main course was insanely delicious. Once again, despite its own gorgeousness and garlicky dressing, our salad of greens, sliced bell peppers, tomato, and avocado played second fiddle to the incredible pizza.

The Goods: Of course, the food today was phenomenal, or, as the chef herself might have put it, "phenom." The goods didn't end there, however, since today we also had the pleasure of dining with Jennifer Fearing of The Humane Society of the United States—who brought with her some of the best homemade chocolate-chip cookies we've ever had—and Jayne Harless, aka Kailey's mom. The weather was gorgeous, the food was awesome, and the company couldn't have been better. Oh! And in case anyone didn't already know, today's Friday, which means the weekend is mere hours away. Yes, this makes us happy.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Vegan Chicken Parmigiana

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu
: Freaking vegan chicken parmigiana. Um, yes, maybe it seems initially unnecessary to say that what we ate was vegan because, as we're pretty sure you already know, we're a totally vegan office. But! Really, how often do we get to enjoy vegan chicken parm? We'll tell you how often: NEVER! Today's main dish was made with Gardein, which pretty freaking perfectly replicates chicken without that whole dead-animal thing, and Daiya, which melts. And stretches. And knocks our socks off and holy crap why isn't there more of this to eat? Oh yeah, and we had a salad, which, you know, was nice and all, but pretty much just took up room on the plate next to the main course.

The Goods: You want to know the world's worst-kept secret? Things are freaking great. There has literally never been a better, more delicious time to be vegan than right now, unless you count about four hours ago when we actually had this meal in front of us. Oh! And in case you're concerned about what to have for dessert after such a yummy lunch, we've got you covered. As many fistfulls of Dandies as you can possibly take, and the new Coconut Bliss Bars, which are highly delicious.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Homemade Vegan Tortillas

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: Yeah, you read that right. One of the many, many reasons why Abby is the world's best associate editor is that she does things like make homemade tortillas. In the office. In less than an hour. In-freaking-credible. Really, what's on top of these tortillas, delicious as it was, came in a far second place to the 'tillas themselves, but for the sake of posterity, we topped them with brown rice, black beans, sauteed zucchini and broccoli, and baked sweet potatoes. And, of course, there was a beautiful mixed-greens salad alongside, with halved cherry tomatoes and sunflower seeds.

The Goods: Um, we are dead. The September+October issue just arrived fresh from the printer, and we are just a little bit beside ourselves with glee. If anyone needs us, we'll be under our desks in fits of excitement.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sweet-Potato Falafel

The Chef: Kailey

The Menu: A delicious spread of sweet-potato falafel, inspired by FatFree Vegan Kitchen's version, baked tofu, and a great big, gorgeous salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and bell pepper. Kailey didn't exactly follow the FFVK's recipe, but worked with what we had in the kitchen, and the results were absolutely delicious. Do black sesame seeds make everything better? Yes. Are we sometimes tempted to stick our faces into bulk bins of them? Yes. What of it?

The Goods: We're still deep in the editorial trenches for the November+December issue, and there's a hot rumor going around that we might be getting the September+October issue from the printer this week. When it comes in, we will freak out. We suggest you do the same.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Match Meat Monday

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: Myriad Match meats, a line of new, plant-based meat alternatives. Lyndsay took advantage of a recent shipment of products for us to try, and served up a trio of Match Foods' latest offerings. Starting at six o'clock on the plate, you see a lovely Italian-sausage infused marinara, tossed with a brown-rice ziti. Moving clockwise, we had a savory, stuffed chicken-style entrée, then a fish-free crab-cake, and finally a gorgeous green salad.

The Goods: To balance out the savory with some sweets, we had the pleasure of dining with Yvonne Smith, aka The Traveling Vegetarian, and Michelle Taylor, creator of Vegan Break. These two lovely ladies were sweet enough themselves, but they decided to go way beyond the call of duty and spoil us with dessert, which included chocolate cupcakes from Whole Foods, cookies from Peet's, and two pints of Maggie Mudd's Mudslingers Freestyle. Yeah. About that. We might be in sugar-induced comas under our desks right now, and totally happy about it. Check out the sweet splendor below, and feel free to remind us to eat vegetables!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Beautiful Beet Salad

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: Some highly delicious avocado-topped tofu burgers, homemade fried green tomatoes, and one of the most stunning salads we've ever seen. As you can see, the salad was beautifully beet-y, and included fresh cauliflower, cucumber, and banana peppers. Oh, and did we say homemade fried green tomatoes? Yeah, we did.

The Goods: Yes, it's Friday. Yes, you can tell because the ingredients for today's meal are a tad on the random side. Colleen is the reigning queen of making the most out of crazy ingredients, and today's meal reinforced her title. Here's hoping everyone fully enjoys the weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Yellow Curry and Yummy Cupcakes

The Chef: Charlotte

The Menu: A satisfying meal of homemade yellow curry and rice. Today's plate is deceptively simple-looking: this curry was utterly rich and very flavorful. It wasn't just the curry itself that was yellow, but pretty much all the veggies kept up the flaxen theme. Yukon gold potatoes, baby corn, wax beans, and tomatoes (just for their pop of red, of course) swam in a decadent coconut-milk broth.

The Goods: As if lunch hadn't been indulgent enough, we ate the world's fanciest cupcakes for dessert. Tessa Strauss of Cookies and Candids stopped by for lunch with her charming friend Julie, and brought with her what were easily the best cupcakes we've had all year. No joke, these things were incredible, as you can see below. On the left, you see her amazing champagne cupcake with white-chocolate icing and fancy, sparkly sprinkles. On the right, um, maybe that's a chocolate-almond masterpiece topped with a layer of marzipan (eeek!), chocolate-almond frosting, and a feverish chocolate swirl for flair. Um, dead. Dead is what we are. Gosh, you say, these sweets must have certainly maxed out your capacity for eating awesome vegan things. That, friends, is where you would be wrong. Ms. Laura Beck, whom you know and love, brought in homemade caramelized-banana ice cream. Did we mention that we are dead? It's a fact. Go forth, and be sugary.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Beefless Stir-Fry

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A totally meat-free (of course) beef-and-veggies stir-fry! We had some Gardein Beef Tips in the freezer, so Elizabeth stir-fried them with carrots, bok choy, and zucchini, tossed the whole shebang over brown rice, threw some slivered scallions on top, and called it a day.

The Goods: You may notice that today's entry is going up a little late. Maybe that's because we were busy planning out our 2010 editorial calendar, or, as we lovingly refer to it in the office, "How we're going to take over the world next year." Just kidding! (OK, we are in no way kidding.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Black Beans and Sticky Rice

The Chef: Kailey

The Menu: A quick, healthy meal of red-pepper-infused black beans with sticky rice and a huge, fresh spinach salad with zucchini, wax beans, and sunflower seeds. Kailey adapted one of her favorite spicy beans recipes to fit what was on-hand in the VNHQ kitchen, which worked out just about perfectly. And in case you were wondering, if your rice is lagging for some reason, you can totally get away with serving it before it's completely done just by calling it "sticky rice." Brilliant!

The Goods: Maybe we put the requisite ten pounds of Parma! on this meal. Maybe the accepted thinking around the office is that it's totally OK to pile on as much Parma! as you like, since, you know, it's got your B-12, which we hear is important. Though this happened after lunch had officially concluded, some goods arrived in the form of a case of Dandies. Maybe some of us are dead in sugar comas right now, and couldn't be happier about it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Shiitake-Saké Scallopini

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: An utterly incredible, Asian-food-inspired meal. Last week we got in a surprise shipment of Gardein chick'n cutlets, and so Lyndsay served them scallopini-style over crispy udon cakes in a shiitake-saké sauce. Um, hell yes. Also, if your day is feeling slightly glum, just say "shiitake-saké sauce" a few times, and things are sure to start looking up. Is that some of the most gorgeous braised bok choy we've ever seen? Yes, indeed it is.

The Goods: It's a busy week here at the VNHQ, which means it's extra satisfying to start out the week with such a scrumptious meal. With the sun finally peeking through the clouds—something that always seems to happen after we finish lunch—it's back to our editorial grind getting ready for the November+December issue!