Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mega Miso Soup

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: Basically, it's miso soup, plus a few extra bits. Elizabeth tried to fend off the illness that's struck a few of our staffers by including colossal amounts of garlic in this soup, and adding rice, Napa cabbage, and green onions. For toppings we chose from black sesame seeds, sesame oil, soy sauce, and gochujang—aka Korean red pepper paste—and Sriracha. Yes, this easily counts as "fusion."

The Goods: Today was highly exciting as we again dined al fresco, and we tested the first batch of cookies from our Holiday Cookie Collection! Yes, we'll be tantalizing you with our testing tales until we're ready to launch the collection itself. Since we're not ready to spill those details yet, we hope you'll enjoy this instead:

Yes, those are dates, stuffed with Dandies, dipped in chocolate. Have we ever mentioned that we freaking love Frankie?!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Buffalo Wings and Sweet Potatoes

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A superb trio of savory goodies. Liz cooked up some spicy Gardein Buffalo Wings that we drenched in a homemade vegan ranch dressing. After tasting Liz's dressing, we decided to implement a new policy that mandates we have vats of ranch on hand at all times. She's an inspiration. She also made a delicious mash up of roasted sweet potatoes and Daiya, which was totally yummy, and for a salad she busted us out of our green salad routine with a Mexican twist—aka, black beans, corn, and salsa.

The Goods: Yes, we ate extremely well today, and we even got to dine al fresco, which is always a treat. Now, it's back to the super-awesome grind of planning our first-ever Holiday Cookie Collection! More details to come!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chick'n and Marinara

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: A mixture of marinaras, including the new Gardein Chick'n Good Stuff Marinara, onto which Lyndsay melted a little extra Daiya, and a lovely pasta tossed with marinara. For something which contained zero tomato sauce, Lyndsay made a fantastic, fresh salad with romaine, avocado, tomatoes, and herbs.

The Goods: We've had a whirlwind weekend, which included a big book sale, the BlogHer Food '09 conference, and a sneak peek at a new location of The Veggie Grill! Make sure to check Press Pass throughout the week for full reports, and in the meantime we'll get back to that thing called "work."

Friday, September 25, 2009


The Chef: Underdog

The Menu: A perfect picnic triptych of savory goodies. Veggie dogs—of the Polish, Smoked Apple Sage, Italian, and Mexican Chipotle varieties—smothered in relish, onions, ketchup, sauerkraut, and two kinds of mustard were served alongside tater tots and potato salad.

The Goods: We dined al fresco today, as we went on a little lunchtime adventure. To get the full details, make sure to check out our editorial assistant Sara's first Press Pass entry ever! In the meantime, go make yourself a nice big veggie dog and go nuts with condiments—it'll be just like you had lunch with us! If you happen to be in the SF Bay Area, come see Elizabeth on the Politics of Food panel at the BlogHer Food '09 conference tomorrow!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Super-Protein Burritos

The Chefs: Joseph and Abby

The Menu: Big, bold, beany burritos. Joseph whipped up a blend of black, pinto, and kidney beans, which he mixed with corn, red peppers, tofu, Daiya, and one secret ingredient that he likes to sneak into any meal possible. Curious? The answer is veggie bacon bits, which are not just for your baked potato anymore! Joseph served this mighty mixture over brown rice on rice tortillas, and topped it with vegan sour cream, chopped tomatoes, and salsa. Abby contributed a highly delicious salad that featured kale, green olives, tomatoes, and chopped onions.

The Goods: Today we edited the proofs of our November+December issue, aka The Veggie Awards issue. That's right, the winners are all set in print, and we're pretty freaking thrilled with them. Usually on proof day we order in burritos, since there isn't generally time to make a fantastic lunch with the intense editing demands of the day. This time, though, Joseph and Abby split up the cooking duty, and the results were totally delicious.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Beefless Stew and Mashed Potatoes

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A savory beef stew—except, of course, without the beef. Instead, Elizabeth used yet another item from our Gardein stash, this time the Beefless Tips. Red wine, carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, and tomatoes made a homey sauce for the tips, and the whole shebang was served over mashed potatoes. A side salad with romaine, tomatoes, chopped zucchini, and yellow squash added some color to the plate.

The Goods: Can you tell that it's cold here at the VNHQ? The thermometer says it's 65 degrees, but it definitely feels closer to 45 with the thick blanket of fog in which we've been shrouded all morning. On days like today, the only thing to do is stew! We got to share the meal with Matt Flanzer, who's one of our contributors. Guests make any meal more fun, and today's was no exception!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Soup, Salad, and Scallopini

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A totally delicious tomato soup that Liz expertly adapted from Vegan Yum Yum to fit the ingredients we had on-hand, which included fresh tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and a slightly spicy blend of seasonings. She also whipped up a lovely and hearty kale salad with big chunks of avocado, and prepared Gardein Chick'n Scallopini topped with melted Daiya. Yes, this meal pretty much combined everything we like about food.

The Goods: Lunch was awesome, and, sometimes, you have to follow an awesome lunch with something really, really exciting. Thankfully, Ms. Laura Beck came through for us with a surprise delivery of Ronald's doughnuts from Las Vegas! She personally transported the too-good treats back from Sin City for us, and we couldn't be more thankful. Um, that box is currently empty. A day of doughnuts, Daiya, Gardein, and kale? We're freaking spoiled.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gardein and Roasted Veggies

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: Today's meal featured two of our absolute favorite things: roasted veggies and Gardein. Lyndsay roasted carrots, potatoes, zucchini, and yellow squash with tons of herbs, and prepared some Chick'n Scallopini and Crispy Tenders. Um, yum. That cute little dollop on the side? That would be Caesar salad dressing, which served as a slightly mustardy dipping sauce for our tenders.

The Goods: First, for some old business from last week, congratulations to Andréa N.! She has officially won our very last copy of Vegan Yum Yum. Andréa N., send us an email with your full name and mailing address, and we'll send your book right out. Now, for the new business. You might just be seeing a few more meals with Gardein this week, as we have a bunch of their new products in the office to try out. The two we tried today were totally delicious, and we look forward to tomorrow's tasting!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Corn Fritters and Caesar Salad

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: Crispy corn fritters—featuring fresh corn—dolloped with ketchup and vegan sour cream, a lovely Caesar salad with big, crunchy croutons, and fresh strawberries on the side. Yes, Colleen is a fancy chef and spiralized the carrots for the salad. Yes, we like that about her.

The Goods: It's been quite the week of eating here at the VNHQ, and today marks our very last copy of Vegan Yum Yum to give away. First, congrats to Carll from yesterday's comments! We love Danielle Konya too! Carll, send us an email with your name and mailing address, and we'll send your book right out. Now, for the last copy of our Vegan Yum Yum giveaway, here's another blog-related question. Tell us in the comments: What's your favorite weekend adventure? You can check out a few of ours over on Press Pass!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hurry Up Alfredo

The Chef: Sara

The Menu: A cashew-based alfredo sauce, which Sara served over pasta and tossed with broccoli. If you're looking for a more in-depth discussion of this dish—and the recipe for it—check out! Sara also made a delicious salad, featuring grated carrots, halved tomatoes, romaine, spinach, and Swiss chard.

The Goods: First, congratulations to Sara on her first turn in the VN kitchen! She made a fine chef, and we're looking forward to more of her meals. Next, hooray for liandxp, who won yesterday's copy of Vegan Yum Yum! Liandxp, send us an email, and we'll send your book right out. Finally, for today's copy tell us in the comments: Who's your favorite chef?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mission Burger and Super Salad

The Chefs: Abby, Laura, and Mission Burger

The Menu: Um, some of the biggest, most awesome veggie burgers we've ever had. Laura was kind enough to bring us all these fantastic treats from her neighborhood. The burgers themselves are an incredibly yummy mix of mushrooms, soy beans, sweet potatoes, and other bits and bobs, served on delicious bread with a wasabi aioli and avocado. Did she also bring crispy, salty fries? Yes, yes she did. Abby, representing the Vegan Yum Yum recipe quotient for today, made a gorgeous salad complete with Swiss chard, grated carrots, red quinoa, and the Smoky Miso Tofu and Sweet Miso Dressing from the book.

The Goods: We have a new winner! Congratulations to Lorena from yesterday's comments. Lorena, send us an email and we'll send your copy right out! For today's copy, we're going back to our roots. Well, kinda. Since Vegan Yum Yum was a blog before it was a book, and, you know, this here is a blog, tell us in the comments your (non-Café VegNews, of course) favorite blog.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lime Peanut Noodles

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: Lime Peanut Noodles with (Seitan), Kale, and Carrots. Yes, those words are capitalized because this is an actual recipe from the about-to-be-released Vegan Yum Yum cookbook. And yes the seitan is in parentheses because we didn't have any. Liz made a fantastic substitution of tofu, which we eagerly devoured. Of course, no meal at the VNHQ would be complete without a green salad to go along, and Liz came through wth a yummy mix of greens and avocado.

The Goods: First, congrats to Liz on her first turn in the VN kitchen! Today's lunch totally rocked! Next, we just happen to have a couple copies of the book in the office, and we'll be giving one away every day this week! Thanks to everyone who commented yesterday, though sadly there can be only one winner. That winner is Jennidy! Jennidy, send us an email with your name and mailing address, and we'll send your book right out. For today's copy, tell us in the comments: what's the strangest substitution you've ever made, and did it turn out to be a delicious discovery or despicable disaster?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Meat(less) Loaf and Potatoes

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: A yummy, meat-free meatloaf, courtesy of Field Roast Grain Meat Company, which Lyndsay topped with the traditional ketchup and then slathered in a homemade gravy. Where did she find a recipe for gravy? That would be over on, of course! Her green salad was lovely as ever, and you might have noticed some seriously thick-cut potatoes up towards the top of the plate. Those would be the Three Spice Potatoes from the new VeganYumYum cookbook!

The Goods: So, it would probably be really mean of us to tell you that we just happen to have five copies of this long-awaited cookbook here in the office, and not give them away, right? Good news! We're totally giving them away! We'll do one each day this week, and we'll be featuring a recipe from the book every day at lunch. For today's copy, tell us in the comments: What vegan cookbook can you absolutely not live without?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Roasted-Eggplant Puttanesca

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: A perfectly seasoned puttanesca with roasted eggplant, tons of garlic, and salty capers, tossed with fresh spaghetti. Did Colleen also make some of the most amazing garlic bread on the planet, which featured tons of both garlic and Parma!? Yes, yes she did. Finally, a lovely green salad with big chunks of fresh avocado finished off the plates.

The Goods: After yesterday's slightly longer-than-usual, adventure-filled lunch, this meal was a comforting return to the VNHQ. We also had the pleasure of dining with Amy and Olga, friends of Joseph and Colleen, who were visiting this weekend from New Mexico. Not only were both ladies very nice, but they humored Elizabeth by talking about green chile sauce, with which she is obsessed. And so ends another week. Happy weekend to everyone!

Birthday Thai Food!

The Chef: Vanida Thai Kitchen

The Menu: A stellar array of awesome Thai food. Curries, eggplant, tofu with garlic, sweet-and-sour vegetables, and tom ka soup were some of the yummy dishes we devoured.

The Goods: As you can see, we are not at the VNHQ in this photo. In fact, we took a leisurely, off-campus lunch in honor of Joseph's birthday. Maybe there will be a Press Pass entry up about it soon. Maybe go-karts were involved, and maybe we now have enough pictures of ourselves in racing suits to blackmail anyone who was there. Happy Birthday to Joe!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Barbecue Sandwiches!

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: Some extra-delicious barbecue sandwiches! Lyndsay toasted up a few big, fluffy buns and smothered them with a mixture of Match Meats Ground Pork, tempeh, and Frankie's Barbecue Sauce. Yes, we flipping love Frankie's sauce, and are totally thrilled that you can get the recipe for it in our current issue! Oh, also, we had salad and fries. They were good, but not barbecue-sandwich-level good.

The Goods: Today we had the pleasure of dining with a charming guest, Kathryn. Lo and behold, in the course of conversation, it came up that tomorrow is her birthday. We ate ice cream and whoopie pies as appropriate, but the crazy thing is that tomorrow is also the birthday of our very own Joseph Connelly! Whoa! Stay tuned for the full report on our surprise, off-campus celebration lunch!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Breakfast Bounty

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: A barrage of breakfast! Ms. Abby is never a one-dish chef, but today she totally outdid herself with these savory goodies. Kamut pancakes, maple-soy-glazed tofu, roasted potatoes, and extra-garlicky greens made a splendid spread.

The Goods: Abby used a recipe from VeganYumYum for her tofu glaze, which we have to say, was pretty freaking tasty. Since it's a short week here at the VNHQ, we're having a short entry today too! Hope everyone had a lovely weekend, and is happily back to work!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tofu Stir-fry and Gyoza

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: Cabbage-tofu stir-fry, pan-fried vegetable gyoza, and a simple side salad. While it may not be the most photogenic of one-pot meals, this stir-fry was a light and satisfying way to kick off lunch. Abby created the main course with Napa cabbage, red and green peppers, broccoli, and baked tofu, all cooked in a tangy mustard-maple sauce. Trader Joe's provided the tasty veggie-filled gyoza, and a fresh salad of mixed greens, strawberries, kidney beans, and sunflower seeds finished off the Friday fare.

The Goods: It's a bit of a ghost town here at the VNHQ today, with most of our staff out of the office. While they were dearly missed during our cherished lunchtime banter, an extra-cozy meal was the perfect Friday treat. Now if the sun would just come out in time for the long Labor Day weekend, we'd be set. Today also concludes our two fresh-faced editorial assistants' first week. Congratulations, Sara and Liz!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Marvelous Mac 'n' Cheese

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: Mac 'n' cheese. Um, hell yes. It's been way too long. We missed the incredibly cheesy, bread-crumb-topped, perfectly garnished, ultra-rich fabulousness that is this dish. Oh, and Colleen made a salad. Whatever.

The Goods: We had the goods trifecta today: amazing food, excellent company, and outstanding weather. We thoroughly enjoyed the mac 'n' cheese, of course, but Colleen also treated us to a special dessert: Neapolitan bars. Make these. Now. And with whom did we share these fine foods? None other than the very wonderful Kris Carr and her husband, Brian Fassett, who are just about as cute as two awesome vegan activists can be. Want proof? See below. Also, it was a gorgeous, sunny day. Yeah, things are pretty stinking good.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Rice Noodles, Peanut Sauce, and Pizza

The Chef: Joseph

The Menu: A delicious duo of savory dishes. We thoroughly enjoyed our "appetizer" of Trader Joe's Roasted Vegetable Pizza doused with Daiya cheese, which Joseph served alongside a heaping portion of rice noodles with peanut sauce, green beans, and bell peppers. The noodle dish was based on a recipe from Lorna Sass' Short-Cut Vegan. Were we complaining about our full plates and bellies? Heck no.

The Goods: Sadly not pictured are the yummy cookies Joseph brought in for dessert, which had just about everything cookies could possibly have. Oats? Check. Chocolate chips? Yes. Rice Krispies, walnuts, cinnamon, and shredded coconut? You bet your buns. Speaking of buns, it's possible that some of us had to move slowly and stuffedly away from the feast today.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Carrot Stew and Garlic Bread

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A welcoming stew of blended carrots and potatoes. When we say "carrots and potatoes" what we really mean is "garlic." In case there wasn't enough in the main dish, Elizabeth served halved ciabatta rolls with garlic alongside, leaving only the fresh tomato, caper, avocado, and cucumber salad garlic-free.

The Goods: Today is pretty stinking exciting here at the VNHQ. We are thrilled to welcome our two new editorial assistants, Liz and Sara, for their first day in the office! Nothing starts off a working relationship like a massive case of garlic breath, and today's lunch certainly set that tone.