Friday, March 30, 2012

Vegan Burger and Pickles

The Chef: Jennifer

The Menu: A veggie burger from Hilary's Eat Well, topped with Daiya's jack cheese, Wildbrine miso horseradish kimchi and red beet and cabbage sauerkraut

The Dish: We eat a fair amount of veggie burgers here at VNHQ (for example, yesterday's beet burger that will be in the July+August Veganize It! column) so you know it has be pretty delicious for us to eat it during lunch. I also like that you can literally pop this veggie burger in the toaster to cook it. Healthy fast food indeed! We picked Wildbrine's line of pickled veggies as a Best of Show award winner and I can't get enough of its kimchi. (Don't tell my co-workers, but I think I ate most of the jar in our fridge.) Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Vegan Pasta Day!

The Chef: Anna, Colleen, and Lyndsay (really just Colleen and Lyndsay) 

The Menu: Pasta day! Fresh spaghetti from Mama Sue's Gourmet Pasta covered with sauce from Victoria Fine Foods, salad, garlic bread, and a wedge of beet burger

The Dish: I am happy to be reporting from the front lines—of deliciousness, that is! (Yes, cold medicine will make you say things like that.) The VN staff decided to start cooking up a weekly pasta day, and I must say, it's one of our best ideas yet. But what's that beet burger doing in there, you might wonder? Wonder no more! Office Manager Lyndsay Orwig is testing recipes for our upcoming July+August issue, and that ridiculously tasty patty is one of them! Want to make sure you get the recipe (plus our latest vegan city showdown, vegan weddings 2012, and more)? Subscribe today!

The delicious lunchtime spread! Hello, garlic bread. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

No-Oil Hummus Wrap and Mushroom Barley Soup

The Chefs: Hilary and Whole Foods Market

The Menu: A no-oil hummus wrap filled with carrots, tomato, lettuce, and avocado, and a comforting bowl of mushroom-barley soup. 

The Goods: While I've oft heard healthy-eating buffs such as the Esselstyns extol the virtues of a no-oil diet, I never had the incentive to give it a shot for myself (I've noticed that things that are bad for you taste good! Weird!). But, whilst idly shopping at Whole Foods today, I saw that they had prepackaged wraps of the oil-free persuasion and decided to go for it—but paired with a rich soup just in case. It tasted like health, which I suppose is a good thing. I'll be ditching the coat in favor of cutoffs next month for Coachella Music Festival (as will Online Editor Anna Peraino) and I can't wait to swelter in the desert heat. Will you also be in attendance? Check out our guide to a Weekend Getaway to Palm Springs for the scoop on the best food and fun under the Mojave sun. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Portabello-Tofu Sandwich

The Chefs: Rashida and Duc Loi Supermarket

The Menu: A humungous tofu-portabello sandwich with tomatoes, lettuce, stewed onions, and a generous helping of avocado

The Goods: A couple weeks ago, one of our local produce markets, Duc Loi, premiered its new sandwich menu—complete with a sizable veggie sando (hold the mayo) that I've been eager to try. In venturing out to grab this handheld feast, I risked being victim to the grey clouds looming overhead, but one bite of the sandwich, with its slabs of juicy portabello and marinaded tofu, would have been worth every soggy step in the event of a downpour. Luckily, I only felt a few drops, but if your weekly forecast is looking gloomy, soak up some culture (while staying dry) at the movies. Check out 7 Can't-Miss Films of 2012 for ideas!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pesto and Peas

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A pasta salad of sorts with pesto, tempeh, garbanzo beans, peas, and bell peppers

The Goods: After an extremely fun weekend of scooting down to LA for the Humane Society's Genesis Awards on Saturday, my dinner when I got home last night was decidedly of the "throw together whatever's in the fridge" variety. So, with some on-hand cashews, garlic, frozen spinach, and one bunch of fresh basil, this impropmtu pesto came to be. Back at the VNHQ the excitement continues, as tomorrow we'll be talking veganism and manliness in our Twitter Chat, and Thursday we're headed out for SF Vegan Drinks! Whew!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Pasta Party

The Chef: Colleen & Jenn

The Menu: Brown rice penne pasta with Victoria Vegan's Vodka Sauce, along with organic greens, avocado, and tomatoes tossed with Petrini's Classic Italian Dressing plus homemade herb-slabbed garlic bread

The Dish: Ladies and gentlemen, we love Fridays around here. Not only are we just hours from the weekend, we often celebrate by ordering in food or having a staff potluck. When a slew of pasta sauces arrived recently from Victoria Vegan, VN Editorial Assistant Rashida Harmon suggested we have a pasta party, and today it came to life. It's a gorgeous day here in San Francisco, we lingered on our rooftop deck while listening to 80s music, and enjoyed a homemade lunch prepared by our very own Colleen Holland and Jennifer Chen. And to finish it off, VN Publisher Joseph Connelly surprised everyone with gingersnap nutella s'mores (vegan nutella, that is). It's good to be vegan. Have a wonderful weekend!

Homemade s'mores with gingersnap cookies, hazelnut nutella, and Dandies' marshmallows. Yum.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Big Ol' Veggie Burger

The Chef: Rashida

The Menu: An adzuki-bean burger with green chili from Hilary's Eat Well, topped with lettuce, tomato, avocado, Wild Brine pickles, and Chipotle and Tartar Sauce Vegenaise, and a Fentimans Victorian Lemonade.

The Dish: When your office's fridge is packed full of vegan burger patties, pickles a-plenty, and condiments of all shapes and sizes, you definitely can't take it for granted. With that in mind, I scoured through our supply of gourmet goodies at lunchtime and whipped up a sandwich featuring what I'm now certain is the holy trifecta of burger toppings: chipotle mayo, tartar sauce, and dill pickles. My burgers will never be the same! Grilled pineapple and avocado mash more your burger-topping style? Check out our guide to Southern California's Top 3 Veggie Burgers and start salivating!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Seitan Sandwich Sampler

The Chef: Anna and Upton's Naturals

The Menu: An assortment of seitan wraps and sandwiches with a side of blue potato chips. Yum!

The Dish: We knew it was going to be a good day today. Not only were these yummy sandwiches delivered to our doorstep, but we also received a big ol' dose of sunshine after weeks of rain and clouds! The staff celebrated with a sandwich sampler on the VN rooftop deck, followed by a rancorous game of Scattergories. Want to check out the full spread and find out about more behind-the-scenes goings on at the VNHQ? Be sure to follow us on Instagram!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Kimchi Quesadilla and Kale Salad

The Chefs: Hilary and Associate Editor Jennifer Chen

The Menu: Quesadillas made with Galaxy Foods Vegan Mexican-Style Shreds and Wildbrine's miso-horseradish kimchi and fresh organic kale with lemon, olive oil, avocado, and dill-garlic sauerkraut. 

The Goods: Having just completed our May+June cover, the VN staff almost remembers what it feels like to be sane. Between the eatstravaganza of Expo West and the hubbub of wrapping up our late-spring issue, I had almost forgotten the joy of making one's own lunch instead of scarfing whatever was fast, pre-made, and readily available. Associate Editor Jennifer Chen and I got wild by whipping up the above creations with awesome fermented products from Wildbrine, one of our 2012 Best of Show Winners. And now that some of the stress has melted away, I look forward to celebrating at a vegan-friendly bar—happy hour is just around the corner. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mango Quinoa Salad & Taro Lau Lau

The Chefs: Jennifer and VN columnist Jesse Miner

The Menu: A mango quinoa black bean salad and a taro lau lau, a veg take on a Hawaiian dish, filled with sweet potatoes, taro, and collard greens

The Goods: After our Expo West eating extravaganza, I turned to Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Quinoa Salad Black Beans & Mango for a nutritious, delicious dish. It's so simple to make and after downing as many samples of So Delicious' new almond milk mocha bars as I could find—this healthy salad is much needed. The banana leaf-wrapped treat you see behind my main lunch is a sneak peek of our July+August food feature on taro. This is chef Jesse Miner's take on a traditional Hawaiian meal using taro, sweet potatoes, and collard greens as the filling. I can't wait to share all of his exciting recipes and his wife Erin's vast knowledge of Hawaiian history and culture with you.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Vegan Pizza Forever!

The Chefs: Rashida and Paxti's Chicago Pizza

The Menu: Vegan deep-dish pizza with spinach, red onions, and melted Daiya cheese, topped with crushed garlic.

The Goods: There are few things better than a steaming-hot vegan pizza delivered to your doorstep, especially when the view outside your office looks like this and all you want to do is have a dance party to '70s hits indoors, where it's dry and warm (true story—this just happened). I promised myself that I would abstain from anything but salad and greens for at least a week following our trip to Expo West, at which I definitely overstuffed myself sampling our Best of Show contenders … but one mention of Patxi’s gooey, cheesy, spinach-and-onion-loaded pizza had me abandoning my ascetic intentions faster than you can say “juice cleanse.” Health shmealth, pass me another slice!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Vegan Sausage Sandwich

The Chefs: Elizabeth and Valencia Whole Foods

The Menu: The highly addictive vegan sausage sandwich with marinara, hummus, and avocado on foccacia, served with a big jumble of a salad including pasta salad, lentils, grated carrots, tomatoes, and greens.

The Goods: Holy moly! Still fresh from the insane-o excitement that was Expo West, we are now right up against our deadline for the May+June issue! That's right, we're putting the finishing touches on our spring issue, which seems appropriate as the heaves have decided to open and douse us with a very springy amount of rain. Yes, friends, it's crazy times in crazy town here at the VNHQ, which means that it's the absolute perfect time for a solid lunch of trusty, standby dishes. VWF doesn't disappoint!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vegan Taco Time!

The Chef: Anna and Taqueria Cancun

The Menu: Rice and bean tacos topped with pico de gallo and avocado.

The Dish: It's Taco Tuesday! On Wednesday! Really, every day is Taco Tuesday for me. San Francisco is getting its April showers a few weeks early, and rainy days always mean comfort food in my book. Enter: cheap, tasty tacos. If you're ready for springtime eats, check out the five delectable (and gluten-free!) dishes in our new food feature—every one of them features the best of springtime produce!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Daily Kale-y

The Chefs: Hilary and Herbivore

The Menu: Crunchy, nutritious kale mixed with savory chunks of soy chicken, avocado, and lemon olive-oil dressing. 

The Goods: It's our first day back at the office from the glorious insanity of Expo West and in spite of the plethora of goodies that we got to bring back to the office, I had to pay a visit to my much-missed old friend kale salad. It was a long and awesome weekend of strenuous (awesome) judging of the best new vegan products, and we've rounded up the 12 best and crowned them our 2012 Best of Show Winners. Be sure to check out our Instagram account for the full visual rundown of all the sights and sounds of this year's action-packed event, from the most mouthwatering foods to the staff hijinx. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Exceptional Women in Publishing Luncheon

The Chefs: Jennifer and Parc 55

The Menu: Layers of potato and eggplant on top of a bed of red quinoa and mushrooms.

The Goods: It's a busy but amazing week for the VN team. Five of us—Associate Publisher Colleen Holland, Managing Editor Elizabeth Castoria, Online Editor Anna Peraino, myself, and Art Director Sutton Long attended the Exceptional Women in Publishing Conference. It was a wonderful day of learning, networking, and connecting with other professional women leaders in the publishing and media world. I went to some fantastic panels such as Publishing for Women by Women and Content Execution from Pioneers in the Field (with our very own Associate Publisher on the panel). During the lunch, which honored Dwell President Michela O'Connor Abrams with an award, the VN team dined on an eggplant and potato stack over red quinoa. Tomorrow, the five of us and the rest of the VN team are flying down to Anaheim for the Natural Products Expo West. We'll be back in the office on Tuesday, March 13 and Café VegNews will resume to its regular schedule then. In the mean time, follow our Instagram account for all the latest new vegan products from Expo West! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Vegan Meatball Sub and Chicken Caesar Salad

The Chefs: Elizabeth and Herbivore

The Menu: A delicious meatball sub and side of chicken Caesar salad.

The Goods: We are running full-court press this week, as tomorrow most of our staff will attend the Exceptional Women in Publishing Conference, and then on Thursday we all head down to Anaheim for Natural Products Expo West. Oh, and we're in the last week of design for our May+June issue, and we just launched a little something called our Instagram account. While there might not be much in the way of sleep or sanity this week, there will definitely be tons of awesome new vegan products, yummy meals (like this one!), and inspiration!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Paella Monday

The Chefs: Colleen and Peter

The Menu: A sumptuous Spanish paella with artichoke hearts, Italian bell peppers, pepperoncinis, olives, celery, and broccoli

The Dish: Our dear friend, Peter Ryan, dropped by today with a freshly made skillet of vegan paella that we obliterated in what seemed like minutes. But it was so good! Peter, a talented chef whom I predict will one day have a very successful vegan restaurant, is always whipping up delicious food for VN staffers, and since he lives just a few blocks away, we see his friendly face often, which is wonderful! It's a gorgeous day here in San Francisco, and enjoying this perfectly seasoned dish immediately transported us to the coast of Spain. In other news, our entire team is heading to Anaheim this week for the annual Natural Products Expo West (hello, new products GALORE!), and a few of us will be at the Exceptional Women in Publishing conference on Wednesday where I'll be speaking. Happy Monday, everyone!

The gorgeous skillet-baked paella before we dug in on our sunny rooftop deck.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Taco Friday

The Chefs: Jennifer, Colleen, and Hilary

The Menu: A taco bar with freshly made guacamole, green chile tortillas, salsa fresca, black beans, cilantro, and chopped tomatoes and lettuce. Bonus bar: nachos topped with Galaxy Mexican shreds, tomatoes, and black beans and quesadillas filled with Galaxy Mexican shreds and Daiya Jack and Cheddar Cheese.

The Dish: Editorial Assistant Rashida Harmon is a genius. She came up with the idea of combining the Galaxy Mexican shredded cheese with the black beans we got in with the EZ Bean Cooker. And that's how Taco Friday was born. Combined with a beautiful day on the deck, it was the best way to celebrate not one, but two different types of vegan cheeses (Daiya's new wedges and Galaxy's new shreds) that both melt and taste great. I'm also impressed that the EZ Bean Cooker made a batch of black beans in 50 minutes (no pre-soaking required!). It doesn't get better than this, friends. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Soup, Soul, and Salad

The Chef: Hilary and Gracias Madre, Souley Vegan, and Herbivore

The Menu: Mexican-style cream of butternut squash soup from Gracias Madre, macaroni and cheese and yams from Souley Vegan, and leftover kale salad from Herbivore.  

The Dish: As we near the end of the week, leftovers are plentiful. As you may have seen in Rashida's delectable post from yesterday, Souley Vegan hath bestowed plentiful bounty upon our grateful office, and even post-ginormous feast there was still much to be enjoyed. I also had some remnants of one of my many, many, many Herbivore-derived kale salads, and then I had to throw in the soup for good measure because it's raining. The key to a successful lunch is balance, so check out 7 Steps to Becoming a Healthier Vegan for tips on how to maximize your meals. Or, you could always go the opposite route and stock up on vegan Samoas, Thin Mints, and Tagalongs. Tis the season!