Thursday, September 30, 2010

PB&J Thursday

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A classic peanut butter and jam sandwich on whole-wheat bread.

The Goods: To clarify, I didn't eat three-fourths of a sandwich for lunch. No, I had in fact already begun eating my sandwich when I remembered I needed to document my meal. This truly stacked sandwich will fuel me for a few hours, until mid-afternoon snack time, when a bag of fresh, crunchy carrots will tide me over until dinner. Before dinner, however, I'll be sipping on Sake Pomegranate Lemonade martinis at SF Vegan Drinks! If you live in the Bay Area, be sure to join us for a drink or two or 12 tonight at Martuni's, the perfect place to celebrate cocktail hour.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hearty Kale Salad

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A huge, delicious kale salad with a tangy lemon vinaigrette, chopped onions, halved cherry tomatoes, avocado, cucumber and grilled soy chicken.

The Goods: If there's one food I love in this world, it's kale salad. I could eat it every single day for the rest of my life, and, in fact, probably will if I'm lucky! There's just something so wonderfully hearty and healthy about a huge bunch of greens tossed in a yummy dressing with enormous chunks of avocado and a few other add-ins. I scored this particularly satisfying version from Herbivore, which is literally located around the corner from VN's new office. I've been going to the Valencia location since I was a teenager, and, as soon as I found out where the new office would be, planned to have my first blog day lunch there. Success! We hope to have as much success seeing you all at SF Vegan Drinks tomorrow night!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jay's Cheesesteak

The Chef: Gabrielle and Jay's Cheesesteak

The Menu: A scrumptious sandwich stuffed with seitan, veggies, garlic spread, and hot peppers, all on a fresh baguette, and washed down with a refreshing raspberry kombucha.

The Goods: Today marks the first ever Café VegNews from our new offices in San Francisco's Mission district, so I thought it only right to continue the celebration that began this morning with mimosas and a fruit platter. Before I get on to the food, can I just say how unbelievably psyched we are to be in our gorgeous new space? Our spacious and sunny offices are stunning, and the Mission district is an appropriately vegan-friendly haven full of delicious food offerings. Since office manager Lyndsay Orwig and I both have boyfriends name Jay (though, fortunately not the same one), we headed to Jay's Cheesesteak for insanely delicious seitan sandwiches. I honestly don't know how I'll be able to get through every day without visiting Jay's, but at least I'll have a visit with my own Jay this weekend when he comes to help out at the VegNews booth at the 11th Annual San Francisco World Veg Festival weekend. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tomato Soup, Fluffy Bread

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A hearty bowl of Campbell's Select Harvest Tomato Basil soup sprinkled with fresh black pepper and spinach leafs. To accompany my bowl of soup toasted two slices of whole-grain Dave's Killer Bread—perfect for dipping.

The Goods: This is my favorite accidentally-vegan soup ever, as unlike many Campbell's soups, it uses clean ingredients and steers clear of unpronounceable preservatives. This satisfying soup offered a nice lunchtime break from an otherwise chaotic day here at the VNHQ—moving day! Yes, that's right, as of Monday, September 27, the VN staff will be working out of our new offices in San Francisco's Mission District. We're totally excited for the big move, and in the spirit of cleaning house beforehand, we'll be closing the office tomorrow, and hosting our first-ever Great Big Vegan Garage Sale this weekend. Stop by, meet the staff, and pick up a piece of VegNews history!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quinoa Salmon Salad

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A hearty salad with quinoa, heirloom tomatoes, English cucumber, cashews, mixed greens, and shredded fish-free salmon, all tossed in a rich dressing of Vegenaise and mustard.

The Goods: Every once in a while, I get this craving for either tuna salad sandwiches or some other faux-fishy dish, and this lunch was definitely a response to one such craving. I pretty much eat salad at every possible opportunity, and it's nice to vary up my regular kale-avocado-green onion routine with something a little bit more diverse. This satisfying meal was scrumptuous to scarf down before rushing back to work. We're busy putting the final touches on our November+December Veggie Awards issue, which is pretty stinking thrilling. Which Veggie Award category are you most excited about?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hello, Healthy Eating!

The Chef: Brooke

The Menu
: A heaping pile of Brussels sprouts, a Granny Smith apple, toast, and almond butter. That's a mouthful! (Pun intended.)

The Goods: I probably should be on the cover of the 2010 January+February "Hello Healthy!" issue of VegNews, because that's how good I feel after this lunch. We recently received a giant shipment of Wilderness Poets nut butters, and I was looking for an excuse to try the Roasted Almond Butter variety. That's where my Granny Smith apple came in handy—apples and nut butter is a match made in heaven. I also sampled some Dave's Killer Bread that our fearless leader Colleen Holland brought back from the Portland Veg Fest this weekend, and at just 75 calories a slice, it was amazing! I moved onto some steamed Brussels sprouts, a treat that I loved as a child with plenty of vinegar, just like my dad, and then enjoyed this surprisingly hot Tuesday with a little stroll by the beach. Got to get that vitamin D.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Queso Veggie Sandwich

The Chef: Gabrielle and Java Beach Café

The Menu
: A huge veggie sandwich featuring cucumber, tomato, avocado, sprouts, and mustard in a fresh baguette slathered with some warm and spicy Nacho Mom's Vegan Queso.

The Goods: Tired of lusting over our delicious Java Beach sandwiches? Well, I'm not tired of eating them, though I will be able to mix it up a bit when we move to our amazing new office in San Francisco's Mission district, an area known for excellent vegan offerings like at the fully-vegan Gracias Madre and Cha-Ya Vegetarian Japanese restaurant. Today's sandwich was one of those meals you think about for the rest of the day, due mainly to the delicious Nacho Mom's Vegan Queso I slathered all over it. Accompanying the sandwich is an essential pick-me-up in the form of GT's Synergy Kombucha. Though I usually make my own, sadly I had to leave my scobies back in Canada, so it's GT's to the rescue since this vegan doesn't buy into the controversy surrounding kombucha's alcohol content. Will there be brownies from Allison's Gourmet during my afternoon snack-fest? Um, probably!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Enchilada Bake

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu
: A Mexican-inspired casserole with a black bean, pinto bean, and salsa mixture sandwiched between flour tortillas and more salsa, and topped with a homemade cheese sauce. Yes, it was as delicious as it sounds. On the side, I had a salad with Goddess Dressing.

The Goods: These are my yummy leftovers of the Deconstructed Enchilada Bake from Robin Robertson's Vegan on the Cheap—my cookbook of choice. I cook at least one recipe from this awesome book each week, and sometimes even more. Earlier this week I made the Almost-Instant Chickpea-Tomato Soup, which was also completely amazing. All I'm saying is that if you don't own at least one of Robertson's many cookbooks, go buy one now. You won't regret it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tortilla Soup, Kale Salad

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A spicy, zesty bowl of Dr. McDougall's Tortilla Soup complete with baked tortilla chips, corn, brown rice, garlic, pinto beans, and carrots served alongside a fresh kale salad.

The Goods: Nothing perks up an overcast, foggy San Francisco day more than a classic soup-and-salad combo. Today's pairing was especially satisfying, as it included my favorite leafy green: kale! Usually I prefer my kale dressed with a mixture or Braggs Amino Acids and nutritional yeast, but with none on-hand I improvised with reduced-sodium soy sauce and black pepper, which seemed to do the trick.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Vegan Ricotta Marinara

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A little pasta, a little marinara, and a little vegan ricotta, all tossed together rather hurriedly with a few green olives into a large bowl, then devoured.

The Goods: Sometimes you need food, fast. This was the case today, and thankfully while making coffee in our soon-to-be-vacated kitchen this morning, I noticed that we still had a shelf full of sundries, including pasta and jarred sauce. Put them together and what do you get? The meal pictured above. For the ricotta, I blended tofu in a food processor with a little olive oil, soy sauce, and sugar (if there had been any nutritional yeast or cashews, I'd have added those as well), and then folded the mixture into the pasta. Presto, pasta!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kale Salad and a Burrito

The Chef: Gabrielle

The Menu: Delicious sesame-scented kale and arame salad complimented by an Evol Spinach & Tofu Burrito.

The Goods: You may have noticed that we're kind of nuts for Evol Burritos! While I had grand plans to bring in a serving of the delicious gazpacho I was planning to make from the gorgeous heirloom tomatoes and peppers I scored at the Farmers' Market this past weekend, a plumbing incident in my kitchen meant that the roommate and I were stuck with salad and toast for dinner. Luckily, the salad was my favorite (kale), and even more fortuitously, Evol Burritos have been staking out prime real estate in the VegNews freezer for a while now. The whole thing was doused in Sriracha post-picture.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Sandwich

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: Roasted portobello mushrooms, eggplant, and zucchini on a toasted seeded sourdough roll with red leaf lettuce and garlic aioli.

The Goods: I love a good sandwich, and in an effort to make lunch as efficient as possible, I roasted up a batch of vegetables this weekend in orange juice, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Now a delicious sandwich can be had in minutes after toasting up good bread and slathering on the aioli. I also sliced up a nectarine for dessert, but it turned out to be too pithy to eat. I hate when that happens! Happy lunches to all.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thai Pumpkin Curry

The Chef: Colleen + Vanida Thai Kitchen

The Menu: A delicious Thai pumpkin curry with tofu, broccoli, carrots, and red bell pepper, all over steamed Jasmine rice. Heaven!

The Goods:
There's nothing like handy restaurant leftovers to satisfy a Friday lunch. Our local favorite Thai eatery, Vanida Thai Kitchen, offers dozens of vegan options, but it's hard to beat its sumptuous pumpkin curry. Plus, the servings are so large that leftovers are always part of the deal. Speaking of Thai cuisine, have you signed up for the VegNews Food Lover's Tour to Thailand? We just received word that there are just a few spots remaining, so if you're interested in joining us, sign up! We'll be experiencing incredible Thai cuisine, visiting the world-famous Phuket Vegetarian Festival, taking cooking classes, getting Thai massage, hiking, snorkeling, and so much more. We hope everyone has a terrific weekend, and Café VegNews will be back next week with delicious vegan eats!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rice, Beans, and Burrito

The Chef: Brooke

The Menu: A hearty serving of grains and kidney beans and an evol fajita burrito stuffed with sauteed peppers and onions, Spanish-style rice, black beans, and tomato and corn salsa, all wrapped up in a whole-wheat tortilla. Amazing.

The Goods: Here's the thing: I woke up at 8:20 this morning and made it to work by 9:06. This sadly left me without my favorite meal of the day: breakfast. Naturally, by 12:30 pm I was STARVING. Enter short-grain brown rice, kidney beans, and burrito. The combination of the beans and rice filled me up, but just to compensate for missing my beloved cereal and soymilk, I treated myself to the savory, delicious burrito, courtesy of one of our favorite burrito suppliers, evol. Luckily our offices are seconds away from the beach, making it easy to tell myself: walk it off.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Veggie Sandwich Extreme

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A mighty fine veggie sandwich courtesy of Java Beach, chock-full of tomatoes, pepperoncini, romaine, avocado, red onion, hummus, mustard, and—most importantly—pickles. Stacked on fluffy Dutch crunch bread, which has been my favorite bread since childhood, these sandwich fillings hit the spot, as did my second course: an apple.

The Goods: So basically, there are two kinds of veggie sandwiches: the kind that suck and the kind that don't. How do you know which variety is in your lunchbox? It's easy: if your sandwich boasts avocado, pickles, hummus, and pepperoncini, you've a lunch that doesn't suck. The heartbreak of sucky veggie sandwiches is painfully familiar to most vegans, but thankfully, so is the joy of stellar cuisine. If you happen to be a Thai-food fanatic, we have some great news! VegNews is going to Thailand for a two-week food tour, and you're coming!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

PB&J, Crunchy Carrots

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: Liz's favorite school-lunch standard, a fluffy PB&J made with whole-wheat bread, all-natural peanut butter, and homemade plum jam. With protein, carbs, and natural sugars all accounted for, Liz balanced out her meal with a serving of crunchy carrot sticks.

The Goods: It's a short week here at the VNHQ, but after our sunny holiday weekends, we're refreshed and ready for the days ahead. If you didn't get to enjoy the long weekend, or just already miss the numbered days of summer, sign up for a warm-weather getaway with VegNews! That's right, we've just announced two more VegNews Vacations for 2011! First, embark on a fantastic adventure with our Exotic Getaway to Laos in May, and then explore vegan-friendly Thai eats with a Food Lover's Tour to Thailand in September. Reserve your spot now, as spaces will go fast!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Vietnamese Feast

The Chef: Colleen + Banh Wich

The Menu: A freshly made, toasted Vietnamese sandwich filled with baked tofu, shredded carrot, cucumber, and cilantro; sumptuous spring rolls with crisp greens, rice noodles, tofu, and mint leaves with a plum dipping sauce; and an organic green salad with avocado, tomato, and red onion tossed in a garlic-lemon vinaigrette.

The Goods: Today was a quintessential day at Café VegNews. The entire staff lingered over a lovely Vietnamese feast (see photo below) by local eatery, Banh Wich, and we got to enjoy the wonderful company of one of our columnists, Gena Hamshaw of "Raw Done Right." Although we didn't get to dine al fresco as originally planned (the sunshine just wouldn't cooperate), we still had a superb staff lunch with delicious food. We're working hard on preparing our new office for the big move (October 1!), and you can count on all sorts of fabulous culinary jaunts around San Francisco's Mission district in the coming months. Until then, have a relaxing holiday weekend, and we'll be back next week with more vegan eats. Oh, and a VERY big announcement that may have something to do with VegNews Vacations. Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Peanut Butter & Jam

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A classic lunch combo including a PB&J made with whole-wheat bread, peanut butter, and homemade plum jam paired alongside a serving of crunchy carrot sticks and a ripe, red apple.

The Goods: Thanks to VN volunteer extraordinaire Frankie McGee, my favorite childhood sandwich got an all-natural upgrade with homemade plum jam. In addition to gifting the VN staff with this PB&J-approved plum jam, Frankie regularly brings in homemade jellies, jams, veggie spreads, preserves, pickles, bread, and desserts—vegan chocolate mousse with amaretto, anyone? Because yes, Frankie kindly whips up all of those tasty treats for the VN staff. I enjoyed my satisfying sandwich al fresco today, and finished off my midday meal with a refreshing ice tea from Java Beach.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chickpea Salad

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: An enormous salad of romaine, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, and chickpeas. Topped with Goddess dressing, this hearty meal could not have been more simple to make, nor more delicious.

The Goods: If there's anything better than a fantastic salad with really, really flavorful tomatoes on a hot day, I don't even want to know what it is. This lunch was somewhat inspired by What's Cooking over on, and the lettuce and tomatoes both came from my local farmers' market. Ok, you're saying, a farmers' market is great and all, but is it really that exciting? BUT! Consider that I purchased these gorgeous veggies exactly a week ago, and the lettuce was still crisp and perky, and the tomatoes were incredibly delicious. Since store-bought produce typically takes all of four seconds to wilt in my fridge, this salad was nothing short if thrilling. And really, if you're not thrilled by a standout salad, what joy can you hope for in life?