Thursday, June 30, 2011

Herbivore Lunch to the Rescue

The Chefs: Jennifer and Herbivore

The Menu: The chicken shawarma—a wrap with soy chicken, potatoes, pickles, hummus, avocado, harissa, and magic—plus kale salad with soy chicken and avocado.

The Goods: Sometimes, you need lunch—stat. With tonight's Twitter Chat and Vegan Drinks to contend with after work, I ran to Herbivore to procure lunch for myself and our Managing Editor Elizabeth Castoria. You know what happens when coworkers share lunch? It means that two people both get to eat two awesome things, in this case, a shawarma and a kale salad. Here's hoping it's enough to power us through the rest of the day!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vietnamese Crêpe on the Run

The Chef: Colleen and Sunflower

The Menu: A crispy Vietnamese crêpe—filled with tofu, mushrooms, and bean sprouts, all wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves with mint, shredded carrots, and sliced cucumbers and a sweet soy dipping sauce

The Goods: VegNews Publisher Joseph and I had to run a few errands for the office during lunch, and then squeezed in a quick meal at Mission staple Sunflower Authentic Vietnamese Restaurant. Thankfully, they have lunch specials that are turned around fast, and I was able to indulge in one of my all-time favorite Vietnamese dishes, the Vietnamese crêpe. Made with rice flour (so it's gluten-free!), turmeric is added to the batter to give it an egg-like appearance, and then it is filled with tofu, mushrooms, and bean sprouts. To serve, you slice off a piece of the crêpe, place it into a lettuce leaf; sprinkle with carrots, fresh mint, and cucumber; and then drizzle on a spoonful of soy dipping sauce. It's a refreshing, healthy lunch that always satisfies. And Joseph's meal was just as delicious (see below). He had the curried vegetables with rice lunch special, which was quickly devoured so we could get back to the VNHQ. Speaking of the VNHQ, we have lots of exciting things happening today! First, we announced our VegNews Sizzling Summer Giveaway, where readers have a chance to win vegan burgers and ice cream for a month. Check it out! Second, we're gearing up to announce our 2012 VegNews Vacations next Tuesday, so if you're not a subscriber and haven't seen where we're going yet, get ready. Finally, I just received word that VN staffers are meeting at 4pm for a very important task: to make vegan s'mores. I have no complaints. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Joseph's colorful curried vegetables with steamed rice at Sunflower in San Francisco's Mission district.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tofu, Stir Fry, and Cookies

The Chef: Anna and Lynsday

The Menu: Baked tofu, mixed vegetables in a tamari-peanut sauce, a peach, and chocolate chip cookies

The Goods: After almost two weeks of nothing but sunshine and skirts, it's raining and chilly here in San Francisco. Major bummer, to say the least. To cheer myself up, I packed one of my favorite meals for lunch: my own recipe for baked tofu plus veggies and a just-perfect peach. After lunch, Managing Editor Elizabeth, Associate Editor Jennifer, Publisher Joseph, and I played a few spirited and competitive rounds of office favorite Bananagrams. To top it off, Office Manager Lyndsay brought in homemade chocolate chip cookies to cheer us all up. Okay, so maybe my mood was lifted a bit! Check out Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Vegan with a Vengeance to make Lyndsay's cookies yourself. Can't get enough of Isa? Make sure to watch for our September+October issue ... it's to pie for!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Falafel Feast

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: A tremendous lunch consisting of falafel from Le Petit Marchet, the Everyday Quinoa and Chickpea salad from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, some Kettle Chips, a bright red tomato from my Farm Fresh To You produce box, and some homemade vegan sour cream.

The Goods: I realize that this is a huge lunch, and my eyes were definitely too big for my stomach, because I was unable to finish it all. What I did finish was delicious, and I still have another falafel half to feast on tomorrow. Unfortunately, my salad—one of my favorites from Isa's wonderful book—was nearing its end, due to the fact that I made it early last week, but it was still tasty. We can't believe it's already July in just a few days, but we're excited about SF Vegan Drinks this coming Thursday. Speaking of which, this great event received some coverage from the San Francisco Bay Guardian—be sure to check it out!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Vegans Love Salad

The Chef: Jennifer and Herbivore

The Menu: Marinated kale salad with cucumber, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and crispy soy chicken. For dessert, a deliciously sweet Saturn peach.

The Goods: It's almost six months ago that I started working at VegNews and these are three things that have changed about my life (besides, the killer job). 1. I freaking love raw kale salads, hence the lunch today. 2. I actually enjoy green juice and seek it out. 3. I now own a juicer. VN Managing Editor Elizabeth Castoria always tops her Herbivore kale salad with avocado and soy chicken and it's the best thing I've ever had. Am I losing my New Yorker cred by admitting that I love San Francisco just as much as kale salad? Don't make me choose. If you're visiting SF this weekend for Pride Weekend or planning a visit in the near future, you've got to use our Local Vegan Guide to San Francisco. If not just for the food recommendations (deep-dish pizza, mochi, burritos!), it's a perfect list for a perfect city. I still love you New York!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Guess What? It's Salad

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A big ol' salad! This one has mixed greens, Parma!, Organicville Non-Dairy Caesar dressing, sliced Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage sausages, and grilled vegetables including carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, and jalapeños.

The Goods: Whenever I eat a big salad for lunch (which is pretty much every day that I don't either go crazy with pizza or have Bachelor Soup), I feel like a very stereotypical vegan. Yes, I'm vegan and I like to eat vegetables—that's just how it is! I'm not saying that I'd turn down a platter of fish-free crab cakes—because that would make me an idiot—but during a hectic workday, a big colorful salad really hits the spot.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mediterranean Salad

The Chef: Colleen and Valencia Whole Foods

The Menu: A robust salad full of organic greens, shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, and Mediterranean specialties like fava beans, marinated mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and a chickpea medley

The Goods: Thank god for Valencia Whole Foods, who has what may be the best salad bar in the city—just a block away from the VNHQ. Not only is the bar loaded with organic vegetables, but there's always a bevy of specialty pasta, bean, and tofu salads made fresh that morning. Add to that a full-fledged dressing and condiment bar, and you can create one amazing salad. They also carry loads of vegan cookies and chocolate, and make warm vegan sausage and roasted vegetable sandwiches on focaccia bread. And we love that they're called Whole Foods but are 100-percent indie! This corner store is definitely a favorite of the VegNews staff.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pizza and Macaroni 'n' Cheese

The Chef: Anna and Rossini's

The Menu: Two slices of frozen cheese pizza and a smattering of leftover VegNews Macaroni and Cheese. I know. I can't believe there were leftovers either.

The Goods: I don't know what came over me today. I was all set to run to the corner store and grab a salad to go with my bit of mac 'n' cheese, but then something strange came over me and all of a sudden I'm emailing the office to see how many frozen pizzas I should heat up (get your own at Vegan Essentials). And you know what? I'm not complaining. My ridiculously unhealthy and super cheesy lunch was totally delicious. The pizza crust was perfectly flaky, the mac had the perfect amount of breadcrumbs ... it just couldn't get any better. I'll just have some green juice as my snack. They'll cancel each other out, right?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Picnic Party

The Chef: Lyndsay, with the help of Jennifer and Frankie

The Menu: Frankie's homemade ribs, with a side of roasted potatoes and beets (per Jennifer), and Abby's Biscuits, which I had the pleasure of baking this morning.

The Goods: So it's officially summer in San Francisco—at least for the time being—and when I say summer, I mean hot! San Franciscans are actually not used to this type of heat, and even though it may be a little much for me, most of the VN staff are enjoying it. We received some of Frankie's fantastic vegan ribs earlier last week, and we couldn't wait to bust them out. VegNews Associate Editor Jennifer Chen had the wonderful idea of doing a picnic, so we all pitched in with the goods, and made our way to Dolores Park to eat, and to enjoy the sun for at least a little while. We finished our lunch with some cold, fresh-fruit popsicles from Power of Fruit, and they definitely helped to stave off the heat. We're looking forward to a gorgeous week!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Meyer Lemon Pasta, Calamari, & Strawberries

The Chef: Jennifer

The Menu: Vegan Meyer lemon pasta with rainbow chard and vegan fried calamari and a side of sweet strawberries.

The Goods: I mentioned on Savvy Vegan that I made this meal from shopping at my farmers' market, but I got the crispy calamari from my local Whole Foods, which sells Sophie's Kitchen vegan seafood. I topped the pasta with some roasted garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. The organic strawberries I picked up near the VNHQ at a local market for $1.39 a carton. Seriously. As a kid, my mom would buy me roadside strawberries and I thought they were the best thing in the world. I still do. This weekend, there are not one but two vegan bake sales in the Bay Area (Oakland and San Francisco) so I might indulge in my second favorite thing from when I was a kid—sweets!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Superb Salad

The Chefs: Elizabeth and Valencia Whole Foods

The Menu: A huge, splendid salad! Mixed greens, peas, carrots, and sunflower seeds plus scoops of hummus and a prepared bean salad of kidney beans, yellow and red tomatoes, cucumber, and red onions, all topped with a balsamic dressing and a chopped Gardein Beefless Burger (burger not pictured).

The Goods: One of the things that I love most about my standby salad bar is that it's always packed with bright, colorful veggies. It's like a game for me to try and get as many different colors in one salad as possible—without creating something disgusting, of course. Today might be one of my all-time bests! I'm pretty sure this enormosity will be enough to tide me over until tonight's Vegan Pizza Fest at Patxi's, about which I couldn't be more excited!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Simple Salad on a Busy Wednesday

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: An organic Red Leaf and Butter Lettuce salad with Jasmine rice, Kalamata olives, and red onion

The Dish: It may not be the most gorgeous lunch of my life, but it was simple and delicious. I was in Santa Cruz this past weekend visiting family, and my mom's neighbor's son owns an organic produce farm. We bumped into them at the farmers' market, and they gave us several bunches of kale, Swiss chard, and Red Leaf and Butter lettuce. I couldn't have been more excited (fresh + free organic greens!), and have been eating them all week. Today, I tossed the lettuce with steamed rice, olives, onion, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar—and loved every bite. Today's an exciting day 'round here at VegNews. First, our July+August summer issue ships to subscribers, and inside we announce our 2012 VegNews Vacations (get ready!). Second, it's the deadline for the brand-new VegNews Street Team! Thank you to all the incredible people who have applied so far. And, third, I spent the morning talking all things vegan with DC radio host Kojo Nnamdi (check out what we chatted about here). Have a great night!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gracias Madre, Ole!

The Chef: Anna and Gracias Madre

The Menu: An heirloom masa tamal filled with zucchini and onions, plus black beans and some spicy pickled vegetables

The Dish: Okay, so the picture is not what I ordered. But hang with me for a second! My friend, who is currently on her summer vacation (teachers have all the luck, no?) came to the Mission to dine with me. Since it's just really fun to blow people's non-vegan socks off (though I must admit, her socks are vegetarian), I took her to Gracias Madre. I decided on the tamal and my friend ordered the tacos, very similar to those pictured above (I forgot the camera, I'm sorry!). As always, everything was delicious. My friend was particularly impressed by her taco filled with collards and corn that had been stewed in a chile verde sauce. I think there's only one way to respond to that: truth.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cauliflower Tagine and Salad

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: Cauliflower Tagine and a salad with green leaf lettuce, red radish, green sweet pepper, heirloom tomato, and non-dairy Caesar dressing from Organicville.

The Goods: I was ultra-satisfied with my lunch today, which was made up of leftovers from last week. The Cauliflower Tagine is from The Urban Vegan cookbook by Dynise Balcavage, and hit all of the right notes with its Moroccan-inspired ingredients. The salad is made up of vegetables from my Farm Fresh To You produce box, which has been a lifesaver this past month. To make my lunch even better, I relaxed with a great book, The Book Thief, in which I totally recommend to anyone and everyone. For another great read, check out this week's discussion of Fear of the Animal Planet over at the VegNews Book Club!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Vegan Pizza Taste Test

The Chef: Jennifer 

The Menu: Five vegan cheese pizzas and kale and green salads from Herbivore.

The Goods: It's not a bad day in the office when you get to feast on five different pizzas for our VN Taste Test, and also square off with your co-workers in Apples to Apples. Today, our office was filled with the smell of baking pizzas as we were anticipating this taste test like no other. Continuing our tradition of games at lunch, Managing Editor Elizabeth Castoria brought in her copy of Apples to Apples (which she suspiciously won!). Making the day even better, we had not one, but four pups in the office who joined us on our sunny deck as we played. This taste test will be featured in the issue we're working on right this very minute—September+October. But until then, check out an extra special sneak peek at our hot-off-the-presses July+August issue on This Just In.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Exceptional Women in Publishing Luncheon

The Chef: Elizabeth and Blu Restaurant

The Menu: A light spring vegetable risotto, with green beans, cherry tomatoes, corn, and pea shoots, aka the vegan option at a lunch power-hour conference.

The Goods: You might notice that this is not our typical huge green salad nor a meal from Gracias Madre. Shocking, I know! Today, Associate Editor Jennifer Chen and I headed downtown to take part in a luncheon. Yes, we are officially ladies who lunch. Why did we leave our beloved Mission neighborhood? Because one Colleen Holland, our associate publisher extraordinaire, delivered a rousing speech about social media! The event was put on by WFMA and EWIP, and we always relish the opportunity to converge with other publishing professionals. We basically ran back to the office after the lovely lunch, knowing that a huge box of Sticky Fingers goodies awaited us!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Vegan Pizza Buffet

The Chef: Colleen and Patxi's Chicago Pizza

The Menu: Chicago deep-dish style pizza with spinach, fresh garlic, olives, and Daiya cheese from Patxi's, along with a thin-crusted pizza with olives and Daiya, a Greek salad, and a spinach salad

The Goods: We are officially in love with Patxi's Chicago Pizza. None of us may be from Chicago, but this is the best deep-dish vegan pizza we've ever had. And they're in San Francisco. And they deliver. And they kindly offered to cater our lunch today. At 12:30 on the dot, two huge pizzas arrived, both covered in vegan cheese on a super thick crust with a delicious homemade sauce and fresh toppings. VegWebMistress Laura was in the office today to help celebrate our two-year anniversary with VegWeb (congratulations, Laura!), and we're all coming off of a cake-Champagne-karaoke high from Managing Editor Elizabeth's birthday yesterday. With lots of reasons to celebrate, we're not complaining. Thank you, Patxi's! P.S. And heads up! In our summer issue, which ships June 15, Allison Rivers Samson veganizes deep-dish pizza in her food column, and it's amazing. 

Our lunchtime spread from Patxi's Chicago Pizza

A closer look at the too-good-for-words deep-dish vegan pizza

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Huge Green Salad

The Chef: Anna and the Noe Valley Whole Foods Market

The Menu: A huge salad of romaine, mixed greens, and spinach, topped with cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, red cabbage, water chestnuts, green peas, marinated tomatoes, spaghetti squash, beets, my homemade baked tofu, homemade hummus, and balsamic vinaigrette.

The Goods: If I'm not getting my essential nutrients with this bad boy, I'm giving up and eating vegan cupcakes for the rest of my days. All of the fresh, crunchy veggies, combined with my favorite tofu and hummus-dressing combo, made for the best last lunch of Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet cleanse ever. Tomorrow, I'll most likely be eating VegNews Mac 'n' Cheese topped with Paxti's vegan deep-dish pizza and a side of defrosted birthday cake. For breakfast.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pizza and Quinoa Salad

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: Homemade pizza topped with green pepper, jalapeño, Tofurky sausage,  and Daiya cheese, and a quinoa salad on the side from La Cascada.

The Goods: The VN staff were lucky enough to score a ton of Daiya at Natural Products Expo West last March, and I was fortunate to be able to take a whole 5-pound bag of the mozzarella home. Sadly, this pizza has the last of my supply on top of it, but it's one good pizza. Although, I felt like I needed something a little more. Fortunately, I was already making a quick trip to Rainbow Grocery to purchase some henna hair dye, so I also picked up this delicious-looking salad to pair with my pizza. It was a good choice, I must say. Before I close, I want to remind you guys of the recently announced VegNews Street Team, which I will be managing. We are now accepting applications, and would love to see yours!

Friday, June 3, 2011

VN Mac 'n' Cheese, Salad, & Bananagrams

The Chef: Jennifer

The Menu: The VegNews signature mac 'n' cheese, an apple, and a salad with cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, carrots, and spinach.

The Goods: It shouldn't be too surprising that a bunch of editors like nerdy word games like Bananagrams. On this gray Friday, I brought in my beloved Scrabble-esque game to play over lunch. I shared my mac 'n' cheese leftovers with VN Managing Editor Elizabeth Castoria in exchange for this gorgeous salad and apple. A great trade, if you ask me, because those cherry tomatoes tasted like candy. If you haven't played Bananagrams, it's all about creating as many words as quickly as possible. I'm not gonna lie. It got a little intense. VN Editorial Assistant Anna Peraino even yelled, "All I have are consonants!" That's what happens when you put three editors and a bunch of letter tiles in a room. Need even more games in your life? Check out our article on Veg-Friendly Video Games. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sweet Potato and Salad

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A big ol' salad with kale, romaine, Field Roast sausage, and red, orange, and yellow bell peppers, plus a baked sweet potato slathered with Earth Balance.

The Goods: Yes, this is a pretty enormous lunch, and yes, it was fantastic. My love for salad is well documented on this blog, but today I wanted a little something extra to go along with it. Enter, the sweet potato. I think that if I hadn't been a lazy chump today and had added avocado to this salad, that I could eat this meal for the rest of my life, wherever that ends up being. My life is currently (no surprise!) in San Francisco, which happens to be a great town to play tourist in, even if you already live here. Check out a San Francisco staycation over on Press Pass.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Organic Rice Bowl

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: Rice bowl with organic greens, pea shoots, cherry tomatoes, avocado, red onion, and yellow bell pepper—all tossed with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and sea salt

The Dish: What you see above is my favorite meal to make at home. Just as I have had a smoothie every morning for the last 15 years, my go-to work-week dinner is warm rice (it has to be warm!) topped with a medley of fresh vegetables (avocado is key) and then seasoned with either sesame oil and Bragg or olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt. You have to try it—seriously. This week, our good friend and VegNews Technology Director, Paul Russell, is in town from England (he used to live locally), and he brought along his incredibly smart/adorable/lifelong vegan son, Thomas. I have been making lunch for Mr. T every day (as we so affectionately call him), but, frankly, I have no idea what kids eat. He seems to be enjoying all the fresh veggies, but he may really be craving pizza, pasta, and faux chicken wings (is that what veggie kids eat?). If I need more lunchtime inspiration, I know where to get it: We gave a great story on Easy Vegan Meals over on this week, and it's packed with super simple ideas for every meal of the day. And, hello, check out this gorgeous (not-so-simple but totally gourmet) Quinoa, Avocado, and Sweet Potato Timbale recipe we just posted from vegan chef Tal Ronnen. Who says vegans don't eat well?!?