Friday, July 30, 2010

Vegan Deep Dish

The Chef: Paxti's Chicago Pizza and Colleen

The Menu: Gooey, stretchy Chicago-style deep-dish vegan pizza from Paxti's Chicago Pizza. This intensely stacked pie boasts robust, spicy sauce, melty Daiya cheese, and a mountain of doughy, chewy crust. In addition to our sizable slices of pizza, we dined on a lovely side salad of kale, cabbage, greens, and cucumber courtesy of Ms. Colleen.

The Goods: Vegan deep-dish pizza! Truth be told, today's lunch was recycled leftovers from last evening. Following our fun evening at SF Vegan Drinks, the VN staff celebrated Brooke's first month on staff by chasing our martinis with delicious deep-dish pizza. We're not proud to admit that there were leftovers, but in our defense, we ordered a ridiculous amount of pizza. For the entire SF Vegan Drinks scoop, be sure to read Brooke's full write-up on Press Pass. Ready to weigh in on your favorite vegan eats and drinks? Be sure to vote in VN's 2010 Reader Poll, launching Sunday, August 1, at 12pm PST!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Stick-To-Your-Ribs Chili

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: A creative, stick-to-your-ribs chili made of savory, spicy ingredients including collard greens, diced tomatoes, zucchini, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, and pieces of Frankie's famous, saucy vegan spare ribs. Abby paired our hearty main course with a light and fruity salad made of spinach, orange slices, tomato, and mango.

The Goods: If you thought our day couldn't get any better than rib-filled chili, you were sadly mistaken. After enjoying this lovely lunch we indulged in a decadent dessert: Banana Split Ice Cream Cake from Maggie Mudd courtesy of Sweet & Sara founder Sara Sohn. Sara sent us the congratulatory cake in honor of VN's 10-year anniversary, and let's just say that we're not complaining. This rich, flavorful cake tasted exactly like a trip to the ice cream shoppe—with frosting on top. Now coasting on an unparalleled sugar high, we're anticipating the end of the work day for a very specific reason: SF Vegan Drinks! We can't wait to mix, mingle, and sip Orange Creamsicle Martinis with other fabulous vegans tonight at Martuni's. Okay, maybe we're a little excited for veggie dogs too. Be sure to swing by on your way home for work for a much-needed, end-of-the-week drink!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baked Ziti, Great Greens

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A healthy, hearty take on baked ziti using gluten-free pasta, tomato sauce, and a tasty tofu ricotta. Elizabeth chose an all-green theme for today's lovely leafy salad, including romaine, green olives, cucumber, avocado, and grated zucchini.

The Goods: Is it just us, or is this week rapidly whizzing by? We can't believe tomorrow is already Thursday, which marks a celebratory occasion: SF Vegan Drinks! With the weather finally turning sunny, we can't wait to trek over to Martuni's, San Francisco's most happening piano bar, and throw back a few $5 vegan Orange Creamsicle Martinis (this month's special!) at our favorite monthly meet-up. In addition to enjoying a few drinks, we're also pumped to nosh on veggie dogs and vegan popcorn—yeah, it's pretty much the perfect trifecta of summertime treats. If you're local, stop by to meet the VN staff, make new friends, and down a few stellar sippers.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Potato Curry & Super Salad

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: A delicious, hearty Thai curry including sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, chickpeas, bell pepper, and mushrooms all mixed in a lovely almond milk-curry sauce. Lyndsay balanced this rich dish with a simple side salad of arugula, romaine, and red cabbage.

The Goods: Lyndsay has a knack for preparing tangy, tasty curries, and we love when she busts out one of her signature veggie-filled feasts. In addition to her lunch talents, Lyndsay also has a knack for sparking scintillating conversation in the VegNews Book Club. This week, Mad Cowboy author Howard Lyman will be answering reader questions about his meat-free manifesto, so inquiring minds should submit their burning questions today—yes, like pretty much right now. Happy dialoguing!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lentil Soup, Saucy Salad

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A super satisfying soup filled with red and green lentils, sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and spices including cayenne, curry powder, and Italian seasonings. Liz also whipped up a mighty appetizing side salad using spinach, arugula, tomato, mushroom, green olives, red cabbage, and cucumber, tossed in a lovely white almond-cashew dressing. Did slices of slightly warm bread round out the meal? In fact they did.

The Goods: We have no idea how it's officially the last week in July, but as it's a fun-filled, jam-packed week, we hardly have time to ask how or why. In addition to sending our September+October issue to press, we'll be indulging in cruelty-free cocktails at SF Vegan Drinks on Thursday, and working hard (read: eating a lot) at the SF Vegan Bakesale on Saturday. In short, yes, it's a busy week, and no, we still have no idea how it's almost August.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wraps, Collards, & Kale Salad

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: Half wraps! Abby baked Mediterranean Couscous wraps and Veggie Curry wraps by Evol Foods and served half of each with a comforting side of sautéed collards mixed with mushroom and onion. Abby finished off this perfect Friday feast with a crunchy kale salad complete with carrot, cabbage, and avocado.

The Goods: We're big fans of these flaky, splendidly seasoned wraps that boast big, creative flavor and healthy, mostly organic ingredients. These tasty vegan wraps also pack a powerful nutritional punch, with both clocking in at more than 10 grams of protein a piece. Yep, lets just say that the next time we hear that tired old question, "Where do vegans get their protein?" we'll be answering, "Evol wraps. Duh."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Coconut Curry, Spinach Salad

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: A superbly seasoned Thai curry including potato, carrot, mushroom, eggplant, tomatoes, light coconut milk, and spices matched with a crisp spinach, avocado, and tomato side salad tossed with a lovely sesame-oil dressing. Colleen also prepared a pot of fragrant, filling brown basmati rice to round out our meal.

The Goods: Colleen's terrific Thai-inspired lunch was exactly what we needed to heat up our chilly San Francisco morning. For those not in the know, July is one of the coldest months of the year in SF, meaning that while the rest of the country tries to stay cool during hot spells, we're bundling up in our City by the Bay. While we're not exactly complaining—there are worse things than year-round mild temperatures—we're pretty sure we're also the only Americans ravenous for warming comfort foods.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Salad & Southwest Hash

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A spicy, savory Southwestern hash filled with potatoes, black beans, pinto beans, garlic, onion, bell pepper and spices including cinnamon and cayenne. Elizabeth paired this mega main course with a crunchy salad of mixed greens, carrots, and cherry tomatoes and finished the whole thing off with guacamole-covered garlic bread.

The Goods: This hearty lunch was exactly what we needed after a morning spent working on design for our September+October issue. With less than a week before we go to press, we're pretty much dying with excitement to share our fantastic Food Issue, full of the very best of all things veg. As we wrap up production on this issue, we're also gearing up to begin work on our November+December issue: And we need your help! Be sure to make your opinions heard by voting in the 2010 Veggie Award polls, the world's largest survey of vegetarian people, places, and products, running from August 1 to August 31. Get ready for it!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Perfect Pasta Salad

The Chef: Brooke

The Menu: A perfectly cooked pasta salad filled with whole-wheat rigatoni pasta and crisp veggies including raw broccoli, bell pepper, carrot, and cherry tomatoes all marinated in a lovely oil vinaigrette. In addition to this light, healthy main, Brooke whipped up a batch of her dad's signature, superb "cheese" bread by baking Earth Balance and Parma inside a fluffy French baguette.

The Goods: It's here! Today marks one of VN's most important milestones of the year: the very first 2010 Veggie Awards brainstorming meeting! That's right, today kicks off the beginning of the process, as we mull over the many, many worthy vegan companies, products, and personalities that are making a difference in 2010. It's an exciting, impossibly difficult list to prepare, but luckily we have cake to get us through it. Ready to pick your own award-winners? Don't miss the chance to vote in the 2010 Veggie Award polls, the world's largest survey of vegetarian people, places, and products, running from August 1 to August 31.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Caesar Salad, Creative Croutons

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: Today Liz took a page from Alicia Silverstone's book The Kind Diet by preparing us Alicia's signature Caesar salad. This rich, tangy salad combines romaine lettuce with homemade Caesar dressing made of almonds, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, Dijon mustard, and water, and freshly baked croutons. Since the VN kitchen is fresh out of bread, Liz improvised by popping seasoned and slightly warmed tortilla squares into the mix and finished off the meal with roasted eggplant, carrot, bell pepper, and tomato.

The Goods: We're big fans of this Caesar salad recipe, which calls for clean, whole ingredients that leave us feeling completely full and satisfied. The only thing more fun than cooking by the book might be the opportunity to look through a new book, and if your summer reading list is as sorely neglected as ours, we recommend you check out the fabulous, brand new VegNews Book Club. Whether you love discussing literature or simply need a new veg-friendly book to devour, the VN Book Club is the place to be. Currently, readers are hotly debating Mad Cowboy by Howard Lyman. Have some opinions about this bestseller? Join the conversation today!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cinnaholic Opening!

The Chef: Cinnaholic!

The Menu: Tons and tons of rich, decadent vegan cinnamon rolls, including almond mocha, peanut butter and jelly, and piña colada.

The Goods: Yay! Today marked the day before Cinnaholic bakery celebrates its grand opening celebration, also known as pre-opening press party day. If ever an event warranted a midday field trip, this was surely it. The entire VN staff trekked across the Bay to Berkeley, Calif., for the VIP shindig, and boy were we impressed—trust us, it's not the sugar comas talking. For all the sugary details, read VN Editorial Assistant Brooke Still's write up on Press Pass. Then, get thy to Cinnaholic!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Breakfast Plus Salad

The Chef: Brooke

The Menu: Rich, hearty vegan Ham & Cheese Breakfast Turnovers courtesy of Veggie Brothers served alongside with crispy, meat-free breakfast sausage a la Harmony Valley Foods. Brooke balanced our breakfast-for-lunch meal with a refreshing simple green salad of romaine and garbanzo beans.

The Goods: Today marked Ms. Brooke's first turn in the VN kitchen, and lets just say that our happy and sufficiently satiated staff isn't complaining about it. We're pretty big fans of breakfast foods no matter the time of day, and we were particularly enthralled by Veggie Brothers' vegan take on ham and cheese turnovers. These buttery bites are reminiscent of another popular turnover product famous for its microwavable breakfast and lunch pastries, except without all the animal products and terrible commercials.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Saucy Ribs, Recycled Salad

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: Superbly saucy, savory Vegan Spare Ribs baked to perfection and coated in tasty, tangy Barbecue Sauce. Elizabeth paired these meat-free beauties with leftover salad from yesterday's lunch and added kidney beans and garbanzo beans to the already veggie-filled mix.

The Goods: Dining on a batch of Frankie's signature, legendary vegan ribs is always a treat, and today's meal was made even more exciting as Frankie delivered this batch of fresh, hot-out-of-the-oven ribs right before Elizabeth began preparing lunch. In addition to our hearty lunchtime fare, we noshed on pickled carrots and cauliflower also courtesy of Frankie. Basically, we're not sure what we'd do without Frankie, and we're not willing to ever find out.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Soup, Salad, & Spelt

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A rich, silky soup including roasted butternut squash, carrot, red lentils, green lentils, onion, garlic, potato, and spices paired with a mixed green salad brimming with mushroom, tomato, avocado, celery, green olives, and chickpeas. Liz also toasted slices of Spelt Right's Whole Grain Spelt Bread, which we promptly smeared with Earth Balance and devoured.

The Goods: For most of America, July means high temperatures, and for a lot of the country that goes hand-in-hand with humidity and heat waves. Well, not in San Francisco. We can't say we're mad about the mild in our City by the Bay, but we can say we're happy that today warmed up enough for a refreshing al fresco lunch. Yes, today we happily dined outside and discussed something else we're also currently loving: The upcoming grand opening day of the Bay Area's first all-vegan sweet shop, Cinnaholic! If an entirely vegan, totally rad cinnamon roll bakery sounds like something you need in your life—and trust us, it is—then don't miss the grand opening celebration this Saturday, July 17. Meet Cinnaholic's fantastic vegan staff, eat vegan cinnamon rolls to your hearts content, and laugh at the sugar coma-induced VN staff.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Vegan Steak Au Jus

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: Savory, saucy Grilled Vegetarian Flank Steak Au Jus courtesy of Veggie Brothers paired with a fantastic, veggie-filled romaine salad including cabbage, onion, avocado, tomato, mushroom, and mixed greens.

The Goods: It's true: Super tasty vegan steak exists! We loved the taste and texture of these new meat-free mains, and spent most of our lunch hour discussing how to potentially include them in future meals: sandwiches, cheesesteaks, or served simply grilled and crispy, we're thinking there's no shortage of ways to enjoy vegan steak. In addition to loving their deliciousness, we also love the simple, clean ingredients used to make these healthful, protein-packed steaks.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Big Time Burritos

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: What a feast we enjoyed this Friday! Colleen made us huge burritos with seasoned rice, black beans, mashed avocado, chopped tomatoes, green olives, and chutney. Did you ever wonder how many things you could fit into the confines of a tortilla? Today we tested the outer limits. Oh, and we had salad. Of course.

The Goods: It's Friday, which is very good. Here's to a fantastic weekend for everyone!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Frittata, Sausage, and Biscuits

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: Um, perhaps the most amazing smorgasbord of brunchy treats this side of Sunday. Ms. Abby whipped up her signature fresh biscuits, breakfast sausage patties, mini herbed frittatas, and a huge, gorgeous kale, quinoa, lettuce, kidney bean, and tomato salad. Oooof. We are pretty well slain with delight over here.

The Goods: It's possible that we made a few major announcements today in the form of the July VegNewsletter. Foremost among them are our second VegNews Great Adventure to India, the fast and furious discussion taking place in our brand new Book Club, and the VN Publisher's Circle. Yes indeed, there's plenty going on over here at the VNHQ, so it's a good thing we had this awesome lunch to help us power through!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Great Green Curry

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A tasty, tangy Thai green curry of broccoli, bell pepper, and Swiss chard cooked in a rich marinate of green curry sauce and coconut milk. Elizabeth served this snappy curry over fluffy white basmati rice, and rounded out this satisfying meal with a crunchy green salad filled with mixed greens, romaine, tomato, and green olives.

The Goods: This warming, stick-to-your-ribs meal was exactly what we needed to liven up our foggy San Francisco morning, and lets just say that the inclusion of olives in the salad made at least one VN staffer's day. The only thing better than happily devouring Thai green curry at the VNHQ might be happily devouring naan and curry on the VegNews Great Adventure to India in Rajasthan, India. Yes, that's right, our second co-sponsored trip with VegVoyages is happening February 6 to 18, so be sure to sign up today and reserve your spot on this dream vegetarian vacation!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pesto Pasta, Perfect Potatoes

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A hearty helping of rich, silky, gluten-free Avocado Pesto Pasta paired with roasted potatoes perfectly seasoned with rosemary, garlic, and olive oil. Liz rounded out this lunch of champions with a bright green kale salad filled with diced tomatoes and sliced mushroom.

The Goods: It's a pretty exciting day here at the VNHQ. After a relaxing, long holiday weekend—happy belated birthday, America—we're thrilled to get back in the swing of things and welcome Brooke, our new editorial assistant, on her first day at the office! To celebrate Brooke's arrival, we prepared a lunch featuring our favorite food groups: kale and carbs. Okay, maybe that's playing a little fast and loose with the vegan food pyramid, but something about "greens and grains" just doesn't sound as mouthwatering.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Soup, Rice, and Salad

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: Fragrant, seasoned white basmati rice served with a perfectly cooked, crunchy veggie-filled salad complete with carrot, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, spinach, and bell pepper. Colleen paired this balanced main with a lovely side of savory sweet potato soup.

The Goods: Today is an exciting day at the VNHQ, as it marks our first design meeting for VN's Sept+Oct issue. We always love design meetings—mostly because VN Art Director Sutton Long is sort of the best ever. Also, after working hard to put together VN's July+August Anniversary issue—our largest issue ever—putting together the next issue feels kind of like a cakewalk. Speaking of cake, as we so often do, we'll be noshing on some delicious, dairy-free treats courtesy of The Vegan Divas during our design meeting. As you might know, baskets of bite-size vegan baked goods don't stick around these here offices for very long.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Vegan Spare Ribs

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: Frankie's classic, tasty, baked Vegan Spare Ribs slathered in homemade Barbecue Sauce and topped with chopped onion. Abby also prepared a greens-and-grain side salad brimming with perfectly cooked quinoa, onion, grated carrot, cucumber, avocado, spinach, and kale, and rounded out the meal with toasted bread topped with olive oil and garlic.

The Goods: This light, fresh lunch was exactly what we needed to celebrate a monumental day at the VNHQ: Today is officially VN's 10 year anniversary! In addition to our special July+August Anniversary issue—our biggest edition ever—VN is commemorating this special occasion by giving away 30 brand-new VegNews tote bags! For your chance to win, enter by 5pm (PST)! Good luck!