Thursday, April 29, 2010

Quinoa Salad and Black Bean Soup

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: Soup and salad, the perfect combination. Colleen makes this black bean soup for us every once in a while, and it's stellar. Rich, tasty, and filling, it was a lovely complement to her veggie-filled quinoa salad. Zucchini, spinach, carrots, red onions, and kalamata olives all starred in this "souper" side dish. See that? See what we did there? The salad was served as a side to the soup!

The Goods: OK, back in reality we are gearing up for SF Vegan Drinks, which will feature a hot dog time machine! Well, fine. We're not 100-percent sure that the hot dog machine at Martuni's doubles as a time machine, but we are sure that there will be hot dogs, and they will be vegan. And, of course, all the usual fun you've come to expect at Vegan Drinks!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mexican Meets Pie

The Chef: Colleen and Bike Basket Pies

The Menu: Oh boy. A mouthwatering feast of Mexican burrito fixins' including homemade guacamole, diced tomatoes, slow-cooked black beans, and fragrant, flavored basmati rice mixed with spinach and tomatoes all served with perfectly cooked crispy, crunchy corn tortillas. In addition to Colleen's superb burrito spread we were also treated to a savory, expertly crafted pie filled with Daiya cheese, roasted potato slices, and chard which VegWebmisstress Laura Beck had delivered from Bike Basket Pies. We rounded out the meal with a healthful, fresh romaine and cucumber salad—that balances out the second helping of pie, right?

The Goods: So, it would be an understatement to say that we were pretty much floored by this pie. The light, soft puff pastry crust and the gooey, melted, cheesy filling made us long for the hearty potpie's of our youth—hence the second helpings. Seriously, anyone living in the San Francisco Bay Area should probably order one—or six—of these pies immediately. In addition to bringing us half of lunch, Laura also picked up dessert from another local business, Wholesome Bakery. The sweet shop opened in SF last week, and well, lets just say that to taste these baked treats is to know how good they are.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tri-Color Pasta

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: A perfectly prepared pasta meal. Whole-wheat penne with diced tomatoes, garlic, spinach, and garbanzo beans. If there's anything better than a simple pasta lunch, we pretty much don't want to know about it. Colleen did improve on her hearty main with a lovely green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette.

The Goods: Colleen is one of the nicest people on the planet, in case you didn't know that. After her two-week trip to New York City, she generously offered to take over cooking for this whole week! Just another reason why we love her. Oh, and did we mention that she and Joseph brought back the biggest box of Sweet & Sara goodies we've ever seen? We're up to our eyeballs in marshmallows, s'mores, and biscotti! Yes, things are pretty good here at the VNHQ.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Savory Medallions, Mashed Potatoes

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: A classic meal of savory seitan medallions doused in barbecue sauce, mashed potatoes with tons of vegan margarine, salad, and biscuits. Yes, the medallions are another of Frankie's fantastic creations, and yes, we thoroughly enjoyed them. In most parts of the country, this meal would likely be called "dinner," which is just how we like our lunches: hearty.

The Goods: It's a bittersweet day here at the VNHQ. Our publishers have returned from their sojourn in New York City, and we're thrilled to have them back. Sadly, today is Ms. Kristen's last day, and we'll certainly miss her. Other than the comings and goings, we're hard at work on our 10th anniversary issue! Highly exciting stuff. Hope everyone had a great weekend and wonderful start to the week!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Italian Overload

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A ton of tasty Italian treats! Liz was ready to feed an army today, and we thoroughly enjoyed her efforts. First up, Liz prepared Caesar's gnocchi with Lucini marinara, which was a delicious pairing. Then an Amy's Roasted Vegetable Pizza came into play, along with some roasted potatoes and carrots with rosemary. Finally, a huge romaine salad with avocado, celery, and cherry tomatoes finished off the plate.

The Goods: Yes, this was a lot of food, and that's just what we needed to power us through the last day of this week. Here's hoping that everyone has enjoyed our publishers' virtual tour of vegan New York City on Facebook as they'll be back in boring ol' SF next week. Oh wait, we mean totally awesome SF!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Carrot Soup, Crunchy Salad

The Chef: Abigail

The Menu: A bright, blended, chilled soup that had pretty much every vegetable in our kitchen in it. Abigail used tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and even a little bread pudding leftover from yesterday. For her super-crunchy lettuce-less salad, Abigail combined chopped broccoli, orange bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and apple.

The Goods: Happy Earth Day, everyone! Our lunch today was extra green, since it was vegan (as always) involved zero cooking (Abigail just whipped the soup together in the Vita-Mix), and used leftovers so that they didn't go to waste. Huzzah for the planet! Oh, in case you haven't been following us on Twitter today, we are doing a HUGE Earth Day giveaway. You only have a few hours left to enter, and trust us, you want to enter. Can you say huge gift basket full of goodies from Sweet & Sara?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Savory Bread Pudding

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A tomato-soaked savory bread pudding, a green chile-laced tofu scramble, and, of course, a salad. Sometimes, you eat a bunch of dishes that don't necessarily make sense together. Today might have been one of those times, but each dish was filling and flavorful, and that pretty much makes us happy.

The Goods: THE MAGAZINE ARRIVED!! OK, we are not normally the types to employ the caps lock, but we get pretty effing excited when a new issue comes in. The May+June edition is here at the office, and will be shipping to subscribers soon. We're totally thrilled. Need to order yourself an advance copy because you just can't wait one more minute to see this incredible issue? We understand that.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Very Vegetable Curry

The Chef: Kristen

The Menu: Seasoned veggies and tofu marinated in a spicy, homemade curry sauce and served over fragrant jasmine rice comprised the majority of our hearty lunchtime feast. Kristen also whipped up a splendid, simple salad including halved cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and crisp mixed greens. Although not pictured, we also dined on Creamy Coconut Curry, courtesy of So-Yah! from House Foods.

The Goods: This savory, satisfying meal was exactly what we needed to perk up what was otherwise a quiet, rainy Tuesday morning. Luckily, the rain abated long enough for an al fresco lunch, which we happily took advantage of. Curious about why it's so quiet here at the VNHQ? It's because our publishers are still out of town, taking in all the sights and vegan delights of New York City. We'd be green with envy if we weren't already brimming with excitement over the possibility of soon receiving our May+June issue. Yes, we're just a little bit excited.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fajitas with Homemade Tortillas

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: Flat-out fabulous fajitas with homemade, vegan tortillas. Yes, you can do anything you set your mind to, including making a meal this delicious in less than an hour from scratch. Abby is a genius when it comes to altering her biscuit recipe to fit her needs, as she did today to make the tortillas. Then, she topped the floury goodies with black beans, garlicky baked tofu, and delicious bell peppers.

The Goods: Have we got some goods for you! First of all, you know that Earth Day is later this week, right? And you probably know a bunch of people who care about the environment, but who haven't gone veg yet. Here's a solution: buy them tickets to Lyman vs. Niman, the definitive debate on whether or not you can be a meat-eating environmentalist! Once you have tickets for that, kick back with our publishers' tour of vegan NYC over on Facebook. And then when you've had your virtual fill, grab an advanced copy of our May+June issue, complete with a feature interview with the gorgeous Ginnifer Goodwin, our 10th wedding spectacular, and lots, lots more.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fast, Vegan Frittata

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: Remember the frittata mix we got in yesterday on This Just In? Well, in case you need clarification about how things work around here, when food comes in, we eat it. Today Abby whipped up a yummy frittata, with broccoli, bell peppers, and carrots, which she topped with salsa. What also goes with salsa? Chips, especially the Lime flavor Food Should Taste Good chips. Abby also made her signature biscuits, and a lovely salad with broccoli, chickpeas, chips, and salsa. Yes, chips and salsa are great salad ingredients, thanks for asking.

The Goods: Today we eagerly await the beginning of the weekend. We're travel weary just from looking at all the awesome photos of our publishers' trip to NYC (where they'll be next week too, more photo fun to come!), tuckered out from the excitement of our editorial schedule (May+June should be here early next week and July+August is going gangbusters!), and tired from the constant excitement of our upcoming event! Didn't hear that we're having one? Well, guess what? We are! Don't miss the humane-meat debate of a lifetime: Fourth-generation cattle rancher-turned-vegan Howard Lyman versus Niman Ranch co-founder, Nicolette Niman, in a provocative and and lively conversation you won't want to miss. Tickets will sell out quickly, so reserve your spot today! With so much going on, we're looking forward to a little R&R this weekend before it all starts up again next week!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Detox Soup, Daiya Biscuits

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A delectable detoxifying soup. Liz created this hearty stew from our Coconut Red Lentil Curry recipe, courtesy of Alex Jamieson. Our bowls were brimming with flavorful, filling stew, and our plates boasted a lovely salad and some freshly made whole-wheat biscuits with Daiya. Cheesy vegan biscuits hot out of the oven? Yes, please!

The Goods: This soup was just what the doctor ordered to go with our abundant sunshine. Do we highly enjoy dining al fresco? Indeed we do. Do we enjoy it even more when our prayers for biscuits are answered? Why yes! Today's entry is a rarity here at Café VegNews, as there are recipes (linked!) for everything except the salad, which contained spinach, mixed greens, avocado, sliced mushrooms, and orange bell pepper. There you have it, recipes for everything! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hot Pizza, Cold Soup

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: Definitely not the exact same menu as what she made last week! Oh no, this time Elizabeth used a couple Amy's Single Serve Rice Crust Roasted Vegetable Pizzas with melted Teese on top, to complement her extremely garlicky gazpacho. This meal could basically not be any more different from last week's offering. And, as always, we had salad.

The Goods: Hey, did you know that taxes are due tomorrow? Yep, they sure are. If maybe you need a little stress release from, oh, say, we don't know, filing more forms that any human should have to, here are a few of our favorite freak-out fire extinguishers.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spicy Peant Kale Pasta

The Chef: Kristen

The Menu: This delicious medley is Kristen's signature dish, and we love it. A simple pasta with tomato sauce, peanut butter, kale, and garlic. Yes, it's fantastic and we could eat it every day. Today Kristen topped her dish with crushed cashews for an extra crunch. As always, a lovely side salad balanced the plate.

The Goods: So far it's been a fairly quiet week here since our publishers are enjoying their yearly jaunt to New York City. Yes, we'll have their photos loaded on Facebook for your perusal, and until then we're working like mad on our July+August 10th Anniversary Issue! Eeeeeek!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mac 'n' Three Cheeses

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: Oh, that would be a little macaroni and a ton of cheese! Lyndsay deviated from our regular VN Mac 'n' Cheese recipe and created this delicious dish with a blend of cheddar Teese, Daiya, and We Can't Say It's Cheese. Yes, all three of our favorite vegan cheeses together in one dish. Yes, it was epic. Yes, there was also salad, but you really make friends with vegan mac 'n' cheese.

The Goods: Since today is the first official Meat-Free Monday in San Francisco, we thought we'd have something highly delicious for lunch. This dish totally fit the bill, and we couldn't have celebrated in higher style.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A simple take on the classic lunch combo, grilled cheese and tomato soup. Armed with only 15 minutes, a broiler, and a Vita-Mix, Elizabeth made open-faced grilled cheese sandwiches (yes, they certainly are pretty close to pizza) using Judy's Breadsticks and both mozzarella and cheddar Daiya. For the soup she blended diced tomatoes with a head of garlic, a splash of olive oil, salt, and cayenne, then garnished the individual servings with chopped cucumber. Yes, those are all of the ingredients, and yes, this cool soup was literally ready in five minutes. And, of course, a big salad with avocado, kidney beans, pinto beans, and caramelized pecans finished off the meal.

The Goods: This meal came together incredibly quickly, which was a boon since our team is a bit scattered today. Joseph and Colleen are setting up our booth for the Green Festival here in San Francisco this weekend before they head to Los Angeles tomorrow for PCRM's Art of Compassion Gala. Just to keep the rest of us sane, as we're going to press on our May+June issue today, Abby whipped up a batch of her famous biscuits with cheddar Daiya. Oh, and it's sunny and Friday. Yes, lots going on here at the VNHQ. Hope we get to see some of you at our Green Festival booth this weekend, and say hi to our publishers if you see them all dressed up at the gala. Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Seaside Sandwiches

The Chef: Java Beach

The Menu: Sandwiches! Some of the ciabatta variety, some of the bagel variety. All had hummus, avocado, and veggies.

The Goods: Today was what we call in the biz "proof day." Proof day is when we read the proofs of the magazine from the printer, and scrutinize them to the nth degree to catch any last-minute edits. It can be what therapists refer to as "stressful." Actually, this round went extremely well, though we didn't quite have enough time to make ourselves lunch. So, we hightailed it to our local café, Java Beach. They made us lunch, we paid them, the end.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Vegan Sausage, Biscuits, and Gravy

The Chefs: Abby and Liz

The Menu: Um, hello. A delicious smorgasbord of breakfasty goodies. First of all Liz busted out an incredible batch of rich cashew gravy, which we slathered on breakfast sausages (Liz whipped these up from a mix) and biscuits alike. Yes, those would be Abby's famous biscuits, of which we wish we had a permanent supply. Abby also made a lovely salad. You know, because vegetarians supposedly enjoy eating vegetables. Whatever. Oh, and the very bright cauliflower behind the salad? That would be Frankie's latest foray into pickling. Let's just say that she brought a few jars of various pickled goodies for us to try, and they are now empty.

The Goods: Today we shared lunch with VegWebmistress Laura Beck, whom, as you might know, we adore. We also enjoyed the company of Zac Taylor, our local Honest Tea rep. Zac was kind enough to bring us over a ton of tea, some of which he kept cool for us in this nifty container. Yes, we were thrilled. Thanks to Zac and all of today's chefs!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Falafel and Pita

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A delectable mezze platter of treats. Veggie Patch recently veganized its falafel, so we ate a few, paired with two flavors of Tribe hummus, an assortment of veggies, and a lovely salad that boasted homemade feta. Oh, and the large, circular item at the top of the plate? That would be a freshly made pita! Yes, Liz dazzled us by busting out homemade whole-wheat pita in just less than an hour. Le yum.

The Goods: It might be possible that today's fantastic meal was a special treat for everyone in the office, which we needed since we're all nursing the heartache of Chas' departure. Le sigh. Thanks to Liz for the distractingly good lunch. On a brighter note, are we going to see you at the Green Festival in San Francisco this weekend? Come by our booth and say hello!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Toodaloo Tofu and Vegan Mashed Potatoes

The Chef: Chas

The Menu: An incredible meal of breaded tofu, mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, and a super salad. Yes, this was Chas' best work to date. The tofu was perfectly cooked and flavored, the mashed potatoes had in incredible consistency, and we would have consumed a vat of the mushroom gravy.

The Goods: Very sadly, this was also our last Chas meal for a while, as our guest has returned home to Florida. We, collectively, sigh. Going back to fending for ourselves in the kitchen and making our own coffee (not to mention sharing our own stories at lunch, which are almost certainly less entertaining than Chas') is a little bit of a downer. But! Thankfully, there's talk of Chas returning in May, for which we are basically counting the days.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lotsa Lasagna

The Chef: Chas

The Menu: Another incredible meal, compliments of Chas. This time? Oh, just a homemade lasagna with tofu ricotta and some perfectly melty Teese. Yes, this was delicious and no, none of us stopped at one serving. With a gorgeous side salad—stocked with garbanzo beans, red bell pepper, zucchini, tomato, and grated carrot—and a few slices of baguette, this meal was the perfect way to end the week.

The Goods: We are getting good and spoiled having Chas around. Not only does he bust out hugely satisfying meals, but he's also kind enough to make us coffee when our brains are tired, has cleaned out our refrigerator, and replaced a leaky faucet in our sink. Basically, we'll be absolutely lost when he leaves next week.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Soup, Salad, and Coconut Rice

The Chef: Chas

The Menu: A terrific trio of dishes, all of which were scrumptious. Hello, ginormous gorgeous salad. This salad by itself would have been a satisfying meal, but Chas busted out his famous Coconut Rice with Crusty Tofu and an all-kinds-of-vegetables soup that filled us up too.

The Goods: We might never let Chas leave. His food is fantastic, and his company is even better. They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but that's definitely also the way to an editorial team's stomachs! In non-Chas news, there is a brand-spankin' new entry over on Savvy Abby, as there will be every Tuesday and Thursday from here on out. Enjoy!