Monday, April 23, 2012

Gone To Tumblr!

The Chefs: Elizabeth and Taqueria Cancun

The Menu: Two veggie tacos with rice, black beans, avocado, and salsa.

The Goods: Friends, it's with a mixed bag of emotions that we bid adieu to Café VegNews. Since October 29, 2007, we've blogged about lunch here at the VNHQ every single day. Café VegNews was our first foray into blogging, which seemed like the height of media savvy five years ago. (Remember pre-Pinterest era?) More than 1,000 posts later, we've hosted an amazing roster of guests, eaten our own weight in kale salads many times over, and watched as new technologies made way for newer (and, in many cases, better) opportunities to share our world with our readers. On that note, we couldn't be more thrilled to debut VegNews on Tumblr! We'll meld behind-the-scenes scoop such as what's for lunch and the newest products arriving at the office with our favorite content from around the web, event photos, and more. It's a bit bittersweet to say so long to the blogs we've worked so hard to build, but, well, they're just so five years ago. As always, thank you for reading. Here's to what's next!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Summer Salad and Pesto Pasta

The Chef: Jennifer

The Menu: Spinach salad with fresh tomatoes and a brown rice pasta tossed with cilantro pesto and artichoke hearts

The Dish: It's 80 degrees, sunny, and Friday. Life is pretty grand, my friends. I whipped up the pasta dish with some cilantro pesto from Bolani, a local company that makes Afghan vegan sauces and dips. I swear by the spinach, pumpkin, or potato bolanis (a thin savory wraps filled with veggies). It's the first really hot day in San Francisco so I dined on the deck with my fellow VN staffers today. If you're in the Bay Area, be sure to stop by the SF Vegan Bake Sale on Sunday, April 22 from 12pm to 4pm, right here in front of the VNHQ headquarters. I'm baking a bundt cake for the occasion so come and get a slice!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Copycat Kale

The Chefs: Rashida and Herbivore

The Menu: Kale salad with avocado, cucumber, cherry tomatos, onions, and faux chicken

The Dish: Well, friends, I finally caved. After three months of hearing fellow VN staffers gush about Herbivore's kale salad—made extra awesome with the addition of chicken chunks—I finally decided to give it a shot. What took me so long? This salad of refreshing greens, rich avocado, and savory mock meat was an ideal warm-weather dish, perfect for devouring while soaking up rays on our gorgeous deck. Sunshine is awesome, but global warming is not. Check out 5 Ways Being Vegan Saves the Planet, and have an eco-friendly Earth Day this Sunday!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Indian Pancake with Coconut Chutney

The Chef: Colleen and Udupi Palace

The Menu: Mixed vegetable uthappam with a trio of chutneys (coconut, ginger, and tomato) and sambar soup

The Dish: Today, we had a business meeting scheduled during lunch, and our acquaintance had a hankering for Indian food. So off we went to the all-vegetarian Udupi Palace just two blocks away, taking us back to the VegNews Great Adventure to India. Those were the days! I had a delicious vegetable uthappam (Indian pancake) with dipping sauces that really hit the spot. Speaking of travel adventures, we just announced the 2012 VegNews Vegan Yoga Retreat to Mexico, and are so excited to be returning to the Mexican coast for amazing vegan food, top-notch yoga, breathtaking scenery, and wonderful camaraderie. We hope you'll join us!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Kitchen Sink Salad

The Chef: Anna and Valencia Whole Foods

The Menu: Pesto pasta with sun-dried tomatoes atop a salad of corn, carrots, fava beans, hummus, dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, and some other stuff I can't remember.

The Dish: I wasn't really hungry when lunchtime rolled around today, so I figured I might as well try to get some greens in there. Sure, pesto pasta isn't necessarily the "green" I went to the store with the intention of buying, but at least I got some of the leafy stuff in, right? My stomach was mostly filled with taro fries that we taste tested earlier in the day, and just so happens to be one of the seven delicious, taro-based recipes in our July+August feature. Want to get your hands on a copy before it hits store shelves? Order a subscription today!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pre-Coachella Kale

The Chefs: Hilary and Herbivore

The Menu: Knock, knock! Who's there? Kale! Kale who? Kale with soy chicken, cherry tomatoes, carrots, avocado, and onions! (I'm looking for new and inventive ways to describe the contents of this kale salad.) 

The Goods: It's an action-packed week, so I'm packing my brain with superfoods in preparation. In addition to our super-awesome Twitter chat this Wednesday with vegan parents (including one of my favorite interview subjects ever, Mayim Bialik), I will be heading to weekend two of Coachella in a mere 72 hours. At the top of my to-see list: vegan freak-folk maestro Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, who apparently stole the show last weekend and who is one of my perennial musical idols. Looking for your next travel adventure? Check out the 5 Vegan-Friendly Towns on our Radar, all of which offer as many plentiful plant-based eats as they do enthralling activities. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Super-Sized Salad

The Chefs: Elizabeth and Valencia Whole Foods

The Menu: An enormous salad of mixed greens, spinach, chickpeas, grated carrots, kale, avocado, tofu, and a Health is Wealth Mushroom and Onion Sprout Burger.

The Goods: It's Friday, and that's pretty good. Whether you're already at Coachella (like one of our lucky editors!), heading to a cabin for a weekend of city-living detoxing, or just enjoying a break from the rain, there's something we're sure you'll enjoy: and Anderson Cooper giggle fit.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Salsa Master's Delight

The Chefs: Hilary and Papalote Mexican Grill

The Menu: A ridiculously tasty burrito stuffed with black beans, rice, guacamole, potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms, and generously doused in Papalote's unbeatable salsa. 

The Dish: Thursday is the new Friday. Online Editor Anna Peraino is abuzz with her imminent departure to Coachella Music Festival (which I will follow her to, but next weekend) and we're hungover from our sugar-heavy ice-cream bar taste test from yesterday afternoon. (Keep an eye on our Instagram account for potential sneak peeks from Coachella!) Plus, it's burrito day! Papalote is one of our go-to taquerias, but for info on where to find the best vegan Mexican fare in your hometown, try Yelp's new veg-friendly filters. Also, Friday is not the new Saturday, so we'll see you next Friday, aka tomorrow. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cheesy Vegan Pasta with Homemade Garlic Bread

The Chefs: Rashida, Hilary, and Colleen

The Menu: Mama Sue's Gourmet Pasta topped with a mixture of Victoria Fine Foods' bean and mushroom marinara sauces and Café Indigo's vegan seitan cheesesteak, with a side of Colleen's homemade garlic bread

The Dish: We here at VNHQ are a resourceful bunch, as evidenced by Editorial Assistant Hilary Pollack's genius idea to take the various odds and ends in our kitchen and transform them into a cheesy, seitan-y Italian feast. Add Associate Publisher Colleen Holland's incredibly addictive garlic bread into that equation and you've got one full (and very happy) staff. Want to know what goes on behind the scenes at VNHQ? Add us on Instagram for the full scoop!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lunch on the Cheap

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: Baked potato with roasted red pepper hummus, Pesto Vegenaise, and ribbons of spinach

The Dish: Okay, I'll admit it. All I brought to eat at work today was a potato. My fridge at home is running on empty, and this morning on my way out, I discovered one lone Russet potato lurking amongst the root-growing garlic and onion in my pathetic produce basket. So thank the heavens for random condiments in the VegNews fridge! At 11:30am, I popped the potato into our convection oven, and one hour later I topped it off with Cedar's new fat-free roasted red pepper hummus, a dollop of Pesto Vegenaise, and some chiffonaded spinach leaves. It just goes to show that a healthy lunch doesn't need to be expensive or complex. That said, would I rather be on a food tour of one our five under-the-radar great vegan cities? Absolutely. Until then, I'll be eating potatoes in preparation for what I am sure would be excellent vegan eats.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Surprise! It's Kale Salad.

The Chef: Anna and Herbivore

The Menu: Kale salad with cherry tomatoes, carrots, onion, and avocado. 

The Dish: You might think, what with the frequency with which we ingest this kale salad, that it's our absolute, hands-down, 100-percent favorite. Well, it is—in San Francisco. But when we're lucky enough to be within a 50-mile radius of the Veggie Grill, we're sure to nosh on the All Hail Kale Salad, which is, by far, the most spectacular kale salad in existence. Seriously—we dare you to prove us wrong. (Really! We'd love to know!) Want to get a behind-the-scenes look at Veggie Grill, including an interview with the chain's CEO? Check out our newest video on VegNews TV

Friday, April 6, 2012

Vegan Mexican-Style Corn Cakes

The Chefs: Rashida and Herbivore

The Menu: Grilled corn cakes with black beans and potatoes, topped with chipotle salsa, vegan sour cream, and guacamole

The Goods: I've been fighting a nasty sinus infection/allergy attack/mystery affliction all week, so spicy soup may have been a wiser choice. But the thought of these corn fritters and their equally delicious brethren (by which I mean delicately spiced beans and Herbivore's house potatoes) had me abandoning my soup-y intentions and my hope of ever breathing through my nose again. Besides being tasty, this meal was entirely gluten-free, which is a word we've been hearing a lot around these parts lately, with everything from lasagna to cookbooks ditching the stuff. Want to give gluten-free cooking a shot? Check out these 5 Spring-Friendly Gluten-Free Recipes from VN contributor Allyson Kramer!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fresh and Fresher

The Chefs: Hilary and Valencia Whole Foods

The Menu: Nourishing, veggie-packed spring rolls with goddess dressing, and a side salad of mixed greens, tofu, and white beans.  

The Goods: Yesterday's meatball-phoria could not be topped, no matter what I set my sights on for lunch today. Destined for a downgrade, I decided upon good old veggie rolls and salad, mainstays that never leave me feeling groggily overstuffed. Besides, should I require a late-afternoon snack, our fridge is still packed with the spoils of Expo West, including some of our Best Of Show picks. I can't wait to nosh on Hodo Soy's Egg-less Egg Salad for lunches to come! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Vegan Italian Meal Dreams Are Made Of

 The Chefs: Jennifer and Louie Castoria

The Menu: Big, delicious, glorious vegan meatballs covered in an authentic Italian sauce over Mama Sue's Gourmet Pasta and stuffed in a baguette from Bread Workshop with Galaxy mozzarella cheese, and a side salad.

The Goods: When I was a kid, I wanted to marry an Italian guy because I love Italian food. I didn't end up marrying an Italian, but I can live my dreams through Managing Editor Elizabeth Castoria's dad's cooking. I kid you not when I say that these vegan meatballs are the best on the planet. I fact checked it. Also, that sauce. I would write a sonnet about that sauce, if Shakespeare hasn't already. If my day couldn't get any better, Luna & Larry, the makers of Coconut Bliss, sent over ice cream bars and pints for our July+August Taste Test! I must be dreaming. Or full of deliciousness.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Quick Vegan Mac 'n' Cheese

The Chefs: Elizabeth and Peter

The Menu: A highly delicious, gluten-free, and sunflower seed-based mac 'n' cheese, plus the best salad of all time. The salad included kale, romaine, artichoke hearts, cucumbers, avocado, hearts of palm, grated carrots, and red cabbage.

The Goods: Today we were rich in great food and guests! To be totally accurate, Peter cooked all the food, and we were so grateful that he did! In addition to our hero chef, we were joined by the lovely Whitney of Eco-Vegan Gal, and three members of the Pollack family: Hilary (OK, fine, she's here all the time), her mother Polly, and Reggie, who was easily the fluffiest guest. If there's anything better than enjoying a fantastic meal with wonderful people outside in the warm sunshine, we don't want to know about it. (Because it's obviously a lie, there's nothing better than that!)

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!