Friday, July 29, 2011

Bagel, Tofutti, and Tomato

The Chefs: Lyndsay and Javalencia

The Menu: A classic BTT—sesame seed bagel, Tofutti, and Tomato.
The Goods: It's been a crazy day, and unfortunately, I forgot to eat breakfast, which I never do. So by lunch time I was completely famished, so I picked up this satisfying sandwich from our local café, Javalencia. A smaller lunch than I'm usually used to, but definitely tasty. We at the VNHQ are very happy to see the weekend arrive, and we hope everyone has a good one. Monday will be a crazy day as well when we launch the 2011 Veggie Awards Survey—make sure to vote!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vegan Chicken Caesar Salad

The Chefs: Jennifer and Valencia Whole Foods

The Menu: Organic kale, organic purple cabbage, Gardein Crispy Tenders, pumpkin seeds, dressed in Organicville Non-Dairy Organic Caesar, and an organic white peach for dessert.

The Goods: It's been a busy week at VNHQ and at home, so it's left me little time for grocery shopping. Luckily, Valencia Whole Foods, our local market, has just about everything a gal could need for lunch. I was originally going to go for the outstanding salad bar, but I saw that organic kale was on sale for $1.79 a bunch. I grabbed some purple cabbage and some pumpkin seeds for a lush salad. I had brought the Gardein faux chicken strips from home for the perfect Veggie Grill-inspired lunch. And I love fresh fruit so this white peach is a great end to a summer-fresh meal. In full journalistic disclosure, this healthy meal is a preemptive measure for tonight's SF Vegan Drinks when I'll be stuffing my face with 10 bowls of vegan popcorn. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Speedy Sketti

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: Brown rice spaghetti with my dad's marinara sauce, plus a green salad topped with Goddess dressing.

The Goods: This week the VNHQ is in even more of a whirlwind than usual. Not only are we wrapping up the highly awesome (yeah, I said it!) September+October Food Issue, but we're also jumping into the November+December Veggie Awards Issue! Speaking of the Veggie Awards, aka the world's largest survey of vegan people, places, and products, our readers' poll opens Monday, August 1. Get ready to vote! With so many exciting things happening all at once, I rushed home at lunch for a quick plate of leftover spaghetti, aka sketti. See? It takes even less time to say "sketti" than it does "spaghetti." Magic! This particular dish marked a fairly significant moment in my life, as it's the first time that I've ever made an even remotely similar version of my dad's signature family sauce. Maybe it took 30 years, but the pride of actually making the family sauce was worth the wait.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Masala Dosa

The Chefs: Joni and Udupi Palace

The Menu: Crispy masala dosa filled with spiced potatoes and onions, steamy sambar (lentil-onion soup), and three kinds of chutney—savory coconut, seasoned tomato, and zesty ginger.

The Goods: Nothing inspires fantasies of travel to exotic, sunny locations more than grey San Francisco mornings. Since the vacation had to fit within my hour-long lunch, travel to India via feasting on a masala dosa at Udupi Palace was the next best thing! Besides, with such a busy and exciting week here at the VNHQ as we finish up the September+October issue of VegNews, not even lousy weather could tempt me to actually leave town. We’ve also got a Twitter chat with four amazing farm sanctuaries tonight at 9PM ET/ 6PM PT. But at the VNHQ, when we work hard, we play harder, and I can’t wait for summery cocktails at this month’s Vegan Drinks Night at Martuni’s this Thursday at 6PM. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Heirloom Tomato Salad and Savory Gnocchi

The Chef: Hilary

The Menu: Savory whole-wheat gnocchi with vegan bolognese sauce, Daiya, and mushrooms; a refreshing heirloom tomato salad with basil, silken tofu, avocado, and balsamic vinaigrette. 

The Goods: I decided to come prepared with a lunch suitable for rain or shine, given San Francisco's schizophrenic weather, so I packed both light and rich options today. Most of the staff was gone this weekend on an action-paced foray to the Animal Rights Conference in Los Angeles, so much of the morning was spent sharing stories about the trip's inspiring speakers and amazing screening of Vegucated, as well as the staff's enthusiastic sampling of The Veggie Grill secret menu. My stomach was grumbling with envy, but thankfully I had prepared an heirloom tomato salad and some rich, satisfying gnocchi. The Italian-inspired combo served as a great pick-me-up for a Monday afternoon (much needed as jackhammers deafeningly ravage the sidewalk outside), and the sunshine came out just in time for a rooftop picnic.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

On the Road: Veggie Grill

The Chefs: Jennifer and Veggie Grill

The Menu: Buffalo faux chicken wings, mac and cheese made with quinoa pasta, All Hail Kale salad, sweet potato fries, Sante Fe Chickin' sandwich, Bayou Chickin' sandwich, and for dessert, carrot cake and chocolate pudding.

The Goods: Today, I bring you Café VegNews on the go! I'm with a few members of the VN staff—Publisher Joseph Connelly, Associate Publisher Colleen Holland, and Office Manager Lyndsay Orwig—in sunny Los Angeles for the Animal Rights Conference 2011. Mere moments after we landed, we rushed to Veggie Grill to dine on some of our favorite eats. Lyndsay and I made the best decision possible by ordering the Sante Fe Chickin' and Bayou Chickin' sandwiches and sharing halves of our avocado and spicy mayo-topped faux chicken. The buffalo "chicken" wings were quickly devoured (complete with ranch dressing) before I indulged in the All Hail Kale salad (a favorite of July+August cover gal Portia de Rossi). Veggie Grill Co-founder Kevin Boylan joined us, and it was great to talk with him about how everything on the menu is made on the premises, including the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Let's just say that plant-based eating never looked and tasted so good. We'll be in LA until Sunday, so here's hoping we can make another trip to Veggie Grill. And if you're headed to the conference, drop by our booth to say hello!
Our Veggie Grill feast was just as amazing as it looks.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Salad & Bagel

The Chefs: Elizabeth and Valencia Whole Foods

The Menu: A spinach salad with roasted red peppers, garbanzo beans, cherry tomatoes, and artichoke hearts, and a whole-wheat bagel topped with vegan cream cheese, capers, red onion, and tomato.

The Goods: After a truly exquisite meal at the home of Associate Editor Jennifer Chen last night—she made an all-star lineup of VN recipes, all of which were phenomenal—it was really tough to decide what to have for lunch today. Nothing, it seemed, would compare, and indeed, this salad-and-bagel combo, while delicious, just couldn't stand up to the memory of Beer-Battered Tempeh Fish with Tangy Tartar Sauce, Hot Chocolate Ice Cream, and Mac 'n' Cheese. Until we meet again, tartar sauce...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Media Lunch over Burritos

The Chef: Colleen and Taqueria Cancun

The Menu: Grilled burritos filled with rice, black beans, onions, tomatoes, and guacamole—plus chips, two kinds of salsa, and melon agua fresca

The Dish: This week couldn't be busier here at the VNHQ, but we love it! Today, VN Publisher Joseph and I dined with friends/media colleagues Mike, Thea, and Maire from Next Steps Marketing. They hadn't been to our new digs, so we finally had them over for the grand tour plus lunch from our favorite Mexican taqueria. If you're ever in San Francisco's Mission district and need good food fast (and cheap), Taqueria Cancun is the place to make it happen. So tasty, so fresh, and always a hit. It's a gorgeous day in the city, but I am still dreaming of my vegan weekend in Salt Lake City—the veg scene there is off the hook! Check out our just-posted Vegan Food Tour of Salt Lake City for all the evidence you'll need (think vegan quesadillas, chocolate-dipped vegan soft-serve, and two vegan bakeries). Plus, several members of the VN staff will be in Los Angeles this weekend for the Animal Rights Conference. If you're going, be sure to stop by and say hello!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pizza with Fiona Ma

The Chef: Anna and Patxi's Chicago Pizza

The Menu: Patxi's deep-dish vegan pizza, filled with spinach, red onion, chopped garlic, and quite a bit of Daiya mozzarella cheese

The Dish: Today I and the rest of the VegNews staff received a double treat: Patxi's deep-dish vegan pizza delivered by none other than California Assemblymember Fiona Ma! We all had a tasty and thought-provoking lunch, discussing topics such as the pros and cons of ballot initiatives, the use of social media in politics, and whether or not there is a better slice of vegan deep-dish out there (the consensus was no). For dessert, I'm already dreaming about the popsicles on this week's VegNews TV. Orange creamsicle? Yes please.

The VegNews staff with Assemblymember Ma!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dining at Radish

The Chef: Lyndsay and Radish

The Menu: A tofu sandwich with avocado, shredded carrot, and vegan spread on sourdough bread, with a side of root chips

The Goods
: We had a long meeting discussing the upcoming 2011 Veggie Awards, and once done, we were famished. Luckily, it was lunchtime, so we decided to venture to a newer restaurant in the area, Radish—we heard that they had some good vegan options. I decided to get this sandwich because it sounded tasty, and I like tofu, so I thought it was a good bet. I was not disappointed—the sandwich was delish, and I ate it up in record time. We also dined on some complimentary gazpacho and amazing hash browns. All in all, it was a satisfying lunch, and a good way to end the work week. We hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Spaghetti & Vegan Meatballs

The Chef: Jennifer

The Menu: Spinach and whole-wheat pasta topped with Nate's Meatless Meatballs, tomatoes, spinach, and a hefty sprinkling of Parma!

The Goods: Leftovers are a working girl's friend, especially my tried-and-true spaghetti and meatballs. It's a quick dinner to make after work and even better as lunch the next day. This meal was a special request from my husband who loves when I make spaghetti and meatballs since I veganized one of his favorite meals growing up. That old saying that a way to a man's heart is through his stomach is true, my friends. Heck, I think a way to everyone's heart is a good meal, so that's why I'm so excited for our September+October issue. Why? It's our Food Issue!  Today is the last day to subscribe so you can get our annual ode to "food, glorious food." 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Spring Rolls and Vegan Pesto

 The Chefs: Elizabeth and Valencia Whole Foods

The Menu: Two ready-made dishes, fresh from the cold case. Spring rolls with carrots, romaine, cucumbers, avocado, and a ridiculously delicious dipping sauce, plus a side of Savvy Savories pesto pasta, topped with some of the company's Italian sausage.

The Goods: Sometimes you want to eat delicious things but a) don't have the time to whip something up yourself, b) need to also sneak in a quick run at lunch, in addition to procuring and devouring said delicious thing, and c) happen to have a really great grocery store right around the corner from your office. All three of these qualifications were true for me today, and thankfully Valencia Whole Foods totally came through. Do pesto and spring rolls usually go together? Maybe not, but I tell you what—they should! You know what else should go together? You and me! I'm thrilled to be going on VegNews Vegan Yoga Retreat to Mexico, and you could be too! Check out our VegNews Vacation lineup for 2012 here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sandwich and Salad

The Chef: Anna and Valencia Whole Foods

The Menu: A yummy salad of mixed greens, corn, carrots, roasted red bell peppers, raisins, sunflower seeds, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing, plus a seriously delightful foccacia sandwich filled with seitan, hummus, and big slices of fresh avocado.

The Goods: No, it's not déjà vu you're feeling. Today I decided to take a page out of VN Managing Editor Elizabeth's book and recreate her delicious Valencia Whole Foods sandwich and salad lunch. I really cannot say enough good things about that place, and this sandwich in particular. I would be perfectly happy subsisting solely on this seitan staple for the rest of my days. Speaking of days, the last day to subscribe in time to get our food-tastic September+October issue is fast-approaching, so get online and order before Thursday!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Kale Salad, Shawarma, & Peanut Butter Bars

The Chef: Colleen and Herbivore

The Menu: A marinated kale salad with fresh tomatoes and cucumber, and a grilled shawarma with soy chicken, eggplant, avocado, potatoes, seasoned onions, pickles, tahini, and hot sauce.

The GoodsTwo of the dishes Herbivore always nails is its kale salad and shawarma. And today I ordered both. Well, I shared both with Assistant Editor Anna Peraino, and they were absolutely delicious. Today our staff celebrated the start date of our Fall internship program and welcomed brand-new editorial assistants Hilary Pollack and Joni Sweet. Per VegNews tradition, we took our new staffers out to lunch to toast their first day and ended up with several kale salads and shawarmas around the table. They're that good! We then returned to the VNHQ and dove into a platter of vegan goodies from Salt Lake City's City Cakes & Cafe—everything from peanut butter bars, mocha cookies, and fudge brownies. Happy Monday!

Several VN staffers enjoyed Herbivore's signature shawarma—eggplant, potatoes, soy chicken, and hot sauce in a grilled tortilla.

VN Publishers Joseph Connelly and Colleen Holland brought back desserts for VegNews staffers from City Cakes & Café in Salt Lake City.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Salad and Pizza

The Chef: Anna, Rossini's Gourmet, and Valencia Whole Foods

The Menu: A vegan cheese pizza topped with roasted red peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, and vegan Italian sausage, plus a salad topped with cherry tomatoes, avocado, fava beans, green peas, corn, sunflower seeds, and carrots.

The GoodsManaging Editor Elizabeth, Associate Editor Jennifer, and I were left to our own devices for lunch today, and not to toot our own horns or anything, but I think we did just fine. It is well documented that we are salad, pizza, and Valencia Whole Foods lovers, and with this meal we were able to combine the three. Think this spread looks like too much for three people? Well, then you probably haven't met us. A pizza- and salad-filled weekend to all and to all a good slice. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Seitan Sandwich and Salad

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A delicious spinach salad with grated carrots, cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds, roasted red peppers, and Organicville Vegan Caesar Dressing, plus a delectable sandwich of seitan, hummus, and avocado, all smushed between two pieces of fluffy rosemary foccacia.

The Goods: As is already well-established, I love Valencia Whole Foods' stellar salad bar. I pretty much go there every single day, sometimes more than once. Imagine, then, my surprise when I discovered that I could save time (and cash!) by hitting up the store once, buying a huge salad, and then eating it over the course of two days. I don't want to brag, but I definitely felt like a Savvy Vegan at this discovery (also like a bit of a dope for not realizing this sooner!).

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mexican Lunch with VegNews Staffers

The Chef: Colleen and Gracias Madre

The Menu: A delicious Mexican lunch of Quelites con Pan (fresh, local micro greens stewed in a chili and vegetable broth, served with a garlic crouton) and an Ensalada de Higos (organic lettuce tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette topped with toasted hazelnuts and grilled figs, served with vegan queso blanco on warm bread). 

The Goods: Another amazing meal at our local favorite vegan eatery, Gracias Madre. Seriously, this place just nails it every single time, and we count our blessings that it's a mere two blocks away. Today, we had reason to celebrate, as several staffers have been on vacation recently, and it was high time for us to get together over lunch. VN Assistant Editor Anna Peraino just returned from a long weekend on the beach in South Carolina, Editor-at-Large Laura Beck is back from two fabulous weeks in Greece (with a stopover in Russia!), and Publisher Joseph Connelly enjoyed his first vacation in a very long time in Laos. If you're dying to get away, and haven't checked out our just-announced 2012 VegNews Vacations, don't miss your chance to see the world, vegan style, before all spots are taken. Hope to see you in India, Bali, Thailand, or Mexico!

The very tasty Ensalada de Higos, made with organic greens from Gracias Madre's own Be Love Farm

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Beer-Marinated Seitan Fajitas

The Chef: Jennifer

The Menu: Homemade seitan marinated in Lagunitas IPA and red onions served up on a tortilla topped with homemade vegan sour cream, and a bowl of peaches.

The Goods: I think it's safe to say that I am in love with VN Columnist Robin Robertson's cookbooks. I always make her recipe for homemade seitan—it's so dang easy, trust me—and then my husband marinated it in some locally brewed Lagunitas IPA for some seriously juicy fajitas this past July 4th weekend. Both recipes came from 1,000 Vegan Recipes. VN Office Manager Lyndsay Orwig kindly offered me her leftover vegan sour cream (recipe in Vegan on the Cheap by my above favorite cookbook author) to top these savory leftovers. The sweet peaches are fresh from Monterey Market where stone fruit is abundant. In fact, I think I'll be moving on to our cover story, Summer Recipe Spectacular, to make this week's Strawberry Ricotta French Toast with Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup while daydreaming about going to Bali on the VegNews Vacations (just announced!). If that's not enough excitement for you, we're giving away the perfect summer giveaway on Facebook (a dozen Gardein beefless burgers, two jars of Vegenaise, and a month's supply of So Delicious ice cream). Isn't summer awesome?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dharma's Delight

The Chefs: Elizabeth, Colleen, and Dharma's

The Menu: A smorgasbord of yummy brunch! Breakfast burritos filled with tofu scramble, homestyle potatoes, beans, and guacamole, plus sides of salad, tempeh bacon, freshly squeezed orange juice, salsa, and enormous raspberry jam cookies.

The Goods: Colleen stayed the night in Santa Cruz last night, and is the nicest person on the planet. These two facts combined to create the incredible lunch you see here, as Colleen stopped at Dharma's on her way into the office, and picked up a bountiful brunch for all of us. Yes, we are totally spoiled. Yes, we devoured everything. This lovely treat was the perfect way to celebrate our 11th anniversary, which happens to be today. The extra-rad surprises didn't stop there today; for those of you on Twitter, you might have noticed that one Ellen DeGeneres, wife of our gorgeous July+August covergal Portia de Rossi, tweeted about the issue!