Monday, October 31, 2011

Whole Foods Halloween

The Chef: Anna and Valencia Whole Foods

The Menu: A salad of carrots, tomatoes, beets, sweet corn, peas, fava beans, and hummus, topped with Bragg's Liquid Aminos and balsamic vinegar

The Dish: After a decadent Halloween weekend in Vegas, I arrived home last night with some extra money in my pocket (craps! sports betting! more craps!) and a stomach full of junk food. Needless to say, I was in need of a clean, whole-foods meal to get myself back to healthy—well, until tonight, when I'll be stuffing my face with Halloween candy! Print out our handy guide to vegan Halloween candy to make sure the goodies you're giving (and getting!) are cruelty-free and ready for noshing. Happy Halloween to all!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Lemongrass Tofu Lunch Special

The Chefs: Lyndsay and Sunflower Restaurant

The Dish: The  lemongrass tofu lunch special, which included Vietnamese hot and sour soup, a vegetarian imperial roll, and a salad.
The Goods: Editorial Assistant Joni Sweet and I wanted a lot of food for cheap when it came to be lunchtime, so I suggested Sunflower, which is one of my favorites. As you can see, there's a whole lot of food on this plate, and it cost us less than $10 each. That's a total success, in my book. It's a beautiful Friday, and we're looking forward to a fun-filled Halloween weekend. Just in case you're not stocked up on candy for this festive holiday, be sure to pick up a bag of Dandies, which are on sale at the VN Store. Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Veggie Sausage Sandwich & Salad

The Chefs: Jennifer and Valencia Whole Foods

The Dish: Veggie sausage sandwich with avocado and hummus and a side salad of kale, broccoli, tofu, chickpeas, and falafel
The Goods: I woke up on the early side this morning since an earthquake hit Berkeley around 5:30am so I wanted a hearty lunch to carry me from 5:30am to 5:30pm when I head over to SF Vegan Drinks tonight. It's our last gathering for 2011 so it's a must-attend event. I love the veggie sausage sandwich at Valencia Whole Foods. And since it's a beautiful sunny day, I ate my lunch outside with the rest of the VN staff as we discussed Halloween costumes. If you're joining us tonight at Vegan Drinks, we'll be handing out vegan Halloween candy and sipping Trick-or-Treat martinis. Boo!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tofu Scramble

The Chef: Joni and Boogaloos

The Dish: Tofu scramble with peanut-ginger sauce, crispy home fries, sourdough toast, and orange juice
The Goods: Office Manager Lyndsay Orwig and I headed over to Boogaloos for brunch. This little diner reminded me of my hometown of Saugerties, NY, where 24-hour diners are sometimes the only place to hang out with friends late at night. I’ll be heading back to upstate NY for the holidays to visit my family. Can you believe the holiday season is coming up so quickly? In fact, Halloween is Monday! Get the inside scoop on all the best vegan Halloween candy via the handy VegNews guide.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


The Chef: Hilary and Ike's Place

The Menu: A vegan version of the "Not Tonight Honey, I Have a Headache" sandwich: vegan chicken, fakin' bacon, soy cheese, "dirty sauce," lettuce, tomato, pickles, mustard, and barbecue sauce. 

The Dish: Earlier today, a total frenzy broke out at the VNHQ when we found out that one of our favorite sandwich joints, Ike's Place, was giving away free sandwiches today to tweet-happy fans (namely, us!). After what seemed like hours of salivating over the ample options from the online menu, Office Manager Lyndsay Orwig, Editorial Assistant Joni Sweet, and I headed over to pick up our decadent order. We were greeted by Ike himself!
 We waited until we got back to the office to wolf down our sammies like banshees. Hopefully our appetites will recover in time for the post-Vegucated dessert reception—come join us tonight for Obsessive Confection Disorder treats, So Delicious ice cream, and Honest Tea refreshments! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Surprise! It's Kale!

The Chef: Anna and Trader Joe's

The Menu: A kale salad topped with tomatoes, edamame, slivered almonds, dried cranberries, and some of Dharma's lemon-tahini dressing

The Dish: After a weekend of parties, late-night vegan cheesteaks, and the most decadent brunch I've ever attended (check Press Pass on Thursday to find out more), a kale salad was the only thing I could possibly think of eating. And it's going to be a very short respite from decadent eating. Tomorrow night, the VNHQ will play host to the after-party for the San Francisco premiere of Vegucated, a charming and funny documentary about three New Yorkers who go vegan for six weeks. Post film (and Q&A session!), we'll all be noshing on treats from Obsessive Confection Disorder, So Delicious, Earth Balance, and Honest Tea. While I'm pretty darn excited to taste (OK fine, devour) these treats, for now, I'll stick to the kale. Want to join us tomorrow night? Buy a ticket today!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pre-Party Kale Salad

The Chefs: Lyndsay and Herbivore

The Menu: A kale salad with grilled tofu and avocado

The Goods: We've been screaming it from the rooftops for the past month now, and it's finally here—the VegNews Book Bash with Spork Foods! The event is now sold out, and we are just bustling around the VNHQ to get everything done before the fun begins. Hence, the salad, which I ate within five minutes—I literally scarfed it down. And later, I will be scarfing down appetizers inspired by the Spork sisters' new Spork-Fed cookbook, as well as mini cinnamon rolls from Cinnaholic. It shall be a delicious and fun time!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dharma's Brunch!

The Chefs: Jennifer and Dharma's Restaurant

The Menu: A huge Greek tofu scramble topped with kalamata olives, spinach, green onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and a side of grilled red potatoes

The Goods: Tofu scramble is the perfect meal, day or night. I love every iteration of this brunch staple. So when our gracious Associate Publisher Colleen Holland offered to bring us breakfast from Dharma's Restaurant in Santa Cruz, I choose this Greek Tofu Scramble over the Tofu Rancheros. Did I make the right choice? Yes! I love olives and spinach. Also, as Assistant Editor Anna Peraino asks, how do they make the tofu scramble so good? It's a mystery to me. You know what would make a good accompaniment to my lunch? An apple pie milkshake. The lovely ladies who wrote the recently released Spork-Fed cookbook are the genises behind said drink. If you're one of the lucky ones who will be joining us tomorrow at our sold-out book bash with Spork Foods to celebrate their book, I'll be the one covered in Cinnaholic frosting. See you there!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Joy Frittatable

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: As always, a big salad of romaine, tomato, and avocado, plus a heaping helping of frittata made with leftover pasta, kalamata olives, capers, fresh basil, and tons of garlic.

The Goods: You know what is really amazing? Tofu. Last night after a long workout, I got home wanting something hearty for dinner, but the leftover pasta in my fridge was just not super appealing. The solution? Whirring half a block of tofu in a food processor with a little olive oil, veggie broth, and nutritional yeast until it was totally smooth, then putting the whole works under the broiler for a few minutes. So simple, so yummy. The workout-frittata combo was good, but the evening I really can't wait for this week is Friday, when we party with the lovely gals from Spork Foods. Champagne, delicious appetizers, and two of the cutest cookbook authors on the planet? That's heaven. See you there!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Broccoli and Coconut Rice

The Chef: Joni

The Dish: Steamed broccoli over coconut rice with soy sauce and sesame oil

The Goods: I spent this past weekend in Los Angeles to participate in the Urban Food Crawl. After spending Saturday afternoon sampling creative vegan food from six restaurants, I thought I’d be stuffed for days. Being the bottomless pit that I am, I still couldn’t help but pull over at The Whole Enchilada on my drive back to San Francisco. This produce stand was incredible, satisfying both my appetite and my wallet with 10 artichokes for $1, five avocados for $2, three pints of fresh strawberries for $5, and other amazing deals. This pit stop made dinner easy at 10pm, hence the leftovers you see here today. As if that wasn’t enough, today our caterer brought in samples of hors d’oeuvres to be served at the VegNews Book Bash. Seriously, these little bites were so delicious, you’d be crazy not get your ticket before they’re sold out. The party is happening this Friday and we can't wait to see you then!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mexican Torta & Garlic Chard

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: A Mexican-inspired torta sabrosa—a toasted tortilla wrap filled with potatoes, onions, eggplant, and spices—plus sautéed organic Swiss chard with sliced garlic

The Goods: A local company, Las Cascada, sells these sabrosas at my neighborhood market, and they make great lunch fare at the office. I also brought in a head of chard, sautéed it up in our handy electric wok, and voila: Lunch is served. I find it hard to eat any meal without a fresh salad or cooked greens, as both give me the balance I want during a meal. Too bad the pound of chard resulted in a tablespoon of greens! It's going to be a busy week here at the VNHQ, as we've got our Isa/Terry Twitter Chat tomorrow night, our big Spork Foods party Friday night, our November+December Veggie Award issue arriving to subscribers everywhere, and lots of design and editorial meetings in between. We hope you'll join us somewhere along the way!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Spork Foods Book Bash Taste Test!

The Chefs: Hilary and vegan personal chef/caterer Rebecca Dienner

The Menu: Barbecue tempeh mini-pizzas, Lilliputian black bean burgers, twice-baked pearl potatoes, chickpea cakes with truffled sauce, and corn cakes with smoked-paprika spread. (Pictured: not even the tip of the iceberg. Good things come to those who attend!)

The Goods: Oh happy day! This afternoon we got to to taste-test some nifty little appetizers that may or may not be making their way to the tables of our eagerly anticipated Book Bash with Spork Foods next Friday. Vegan chef Rebecca Dienner whipped up a variety of Spork-inspired bites for us to sink our teeth into and appraise the noshability of—it was a hard job, but someone had to do it. Between the smoky mini-pizzas, cheesy twice-baked pearl potatoes, and perfectly fluffy corn cakes, to name just a few of the contenders, it was a tough call, but we narrowed our options down to three perfect bites that are sure to make a splash. Buy your tickets today for a chance to experience the culinary magic of our final selections. Spork on! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lentil Soup Win

The Chef: Joni
The Menu: A bowl of homemade lentil soup, made of brown lentils, veggie broth, carrot, onion, mushroom, ginger, garlic, sage, rosemary, oregano, basil, and fresh kale, and scented with a sprig of fresh rosemary
The Goods: No shame—this is literally about the fifth bowl of lentil soup I’ve eaten this week. I regret nothing, as this soup is ridiculously amazing. I spent all day on Sunday cooking up a soup storm because the weather forecast predicted cold, damp grossness. Fortunately for me, those consistently incorrect forecasters were true to form and now I have my favorite soup and my favorite weather—a huge win. Speaking of wins, have you seen the beautiful cover of the Veggie Awards issue of VegNews? It’s only the prettiest thing that will ever sparkle on the newsstands. But you don’t have to wait for that; advance copies are available for pre-order right now. Today is a day full of victories, so perhaps I should challenge my office-mates to some Bananagrams in hope that the trend continues… 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Post-Workout Salad

The Chefs: Elizabeth and Herbivore

The Menu: A big, hefty salad containing quinoa, Napa cabbage, grilled tofu, romaine, shredded beets, cherry tomatoes, grilled vegetables, cucumber, and avocado, all topped with a delicious Dijon dressing.

The Goods: You know how sometimes you bring a simple Napa cabbage and quinoa salad to work, and then by the time lunch rolls around you just know that it won't be enough? This tends to happen to me specifically on Wednesdays, aka the day after my big workout for the week (a 90-minute cycling class + 90-minute boxing class = one hungry editor). Thankfully, Herbivore came to the rescue with a highly customizeable salad (adding grilled tofu and veggies is always a good idea). You know what else is a good idea? Partying. We could not be more excited about the VN Book Bash with Spork Foods, which is just nine days away!! All we're saying is that a) the Spork gals are just about the two cutest humans on the planet, b) the finger-food menu looks totally incredible, and c) there will be both a Cinnaholic cinnamon roll bar and a photobooth. Any of those would be reason enough to come celebrate with us, but the all three together are the perfect party trifecta.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Back to Basics

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: Organic brown rice bowl with raw kale, avocado, julienned carrot, and green onions—all drizzled with toasted sesame oil and sea salt

The Dish: After two weeks in Thailand eating incredible food on the VegNews Food Lover's Tour of Thailand, it's time to get back to basics. And by basics I mean brown rice, raw veggies, and avocado (how I missed you!). I love this simple rice bowl, and it always provides great nourishment and balance to my day (read: we have a chocolate bark taste test scheduled for 4pm today). We're gearing up for the holidays here at VegNews, and our November+December Veggie Award/Holiday edition ships today! Subscribers, you'll have it in the next 10 days, and newsstand readers can pick it up at their favorite store after November 1. It's a great one, so don't miss it!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Soup and Salad

The Chef: Anna and Noe Valley Whole Foods Market

The Menu: Homemade butternut squash soup and salad topped with fava beans, carrots, cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers, water chestnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette

The Dish: You know what's great when autumn showers descend upon Monday like VN staffers on a birthday cake? Soup, that's what. This tasty bowl of butternut-y goodness is blended up with some local apples that were freshly picked by my roommate yesterday—I was watching the Raiders beat the Texans while she was out, so I was only able to be present for the eating, as opposed to picking, portion of the meal. I'm very excited, however, to be present for the VegNews Book Bash with Spork Foods taking place at the VNHQ October 21. Want to join us for Champagne, hors d'oeuvres, a cinnamon bun bar, and more? Buy your ticket today!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Veggie Pizza

The Chefs: Lyndsay

The Menu: A slice of pizza topped with red onion, olives, mushroom, green pepper, and Daiya, with a side salad made with romaine lettuce, slow-cooked beets, and Parma—actually, there's Parma on everything.

The Goods: After having some issues with a recipe last night, my partner and I had to make a decision, and that decision was pizza. An hour later, our local pizzeria delivered our cheeseless pie, which I quickly topped with my own supply of Daiya. Sometimes you do what you gotta do, I say. I also say that you should hurry and purchase your tickets to the VegNews Book Bash with Spork Foods before they sell out. Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thai Curry With a Side of Bananagrams

The Chef: Joni and Osha Thai restaurant
The Menu: I ordered a side salad, samosa, and yellow Thai curry with onions, potatoes, tofu, and red peppers.

The Goods: Thai food: the can’t-get-enough-of-it, punched with coconut-curry flavor, best-leftovers-ever cuisine. Seriously, Asian food is probably the best stuff on this earth and I would love nothing more than to have masala dosa, ginger-garlic stiry-fry, and Burmese veggies in my life every single day. While some of our staff are getting to dine on authentic Thai cuisine on the VegNews Vacation in Thailand right now, the rest of us are finalizing the details of the articles to appear in our January+February issue. But, not until we duke it out in a mid-lunch Bananagrams competition. Editors playing word games—that should count as work, right?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Secret Feast at Weird Fish

The Chef: Hilary and Weird Fish

The Menu: A formidable feast for two, with fried pickles, seitan buffalo wings with vegan ranch dip, a farm-fresh salad enlivened with orange and white carrots and Chioggia beets, and a deconstructed "Caprese" with heirloom tomatoes, crispy basil, and seasoned tofu. 

The Goods: A mere two blocks from the VNHQ lies Weird Fish, a tiny eatery that has been a longtime favorite of local vegans for its impressive array of meat-free options. A friend of mine, Mark Amezquita, recently became its head chef, and treated me and my friend Jackson to a few favorites—and off-the-menu creations—during my Wednesday lunch hour. We started with the requisite "buffalo girls" and "YoYos", made with spicy seitan and crispy super-dill pickles, respectively. 
Next, we were presented with the aforementioned gorgeous—and very colorful—salad, overflowing with tasty beets and carrots, fresh from Roshambo Farms, followed by the refreshing but hearty tomato-basil-tofu creation pictured above. It pays to have friends in high places. Want to rub elbows with some of your favorite chefs? Pick up a ticket to the VegNews Book Bash with Spork Foods, where you can celebrate the launch of Spork-Fed with the authors themselves on the VNHQ's very own rooftop deck. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Spring Rolls and Salad

The Chefs: Elizabeth and Valencia Whole Foods

The Menu: A pretty standard sampling of veggie-filled spring rolls and spinach salad with cherry tomatoes, fava beans, grated carrots, and hummus.

The Goods: Though the weather outside is dreary and bleary, I opted for this combination of mostly raw delights from our trusty corner deli for lunch today. Perhaps the recent infusions of bread, chocolate, and pumpkin pie had something to do with my desire for fresh veggies, but it's hard to say for sure. One thing of which I am completely, 100-percent, totally, and unflappably certain is that days like today make me even more excited about our Vegan Yoga Retreat to Mexico. I can't wait to stretch out on the beach in November!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sushi Galore

The Chef: Anna and We Be Sushi

The Menu: Three sushi rolls: grilled tofu, vegetable tempura, and spinach with toasted sesame seeds.

The Dish: You know what I love? A good Groupon. And sushi. And when the two combine it's nothing short of magical. I met one of my roommates for lunch today and we gorged ourselves on a tableful of tasty sushi, seaweed salad, and veggie tempura for half off! All I can say is this: If gorging yourself on delicious food for half off is wrong, then I don't want to be right. The VN staff has also been throughly enjoying* This Week's Must Have—Dave's Killer Bread's Sin Dawg cinnamon roll bread. I will obviously have my eyes peeled for any Groupons regarding that delectable loaf.

*I didn't think I should use "gorging" a third time even though it's totally appropriate.