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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

MoFo: Snacktime!

Last week, I had a few friends over for a Harry Potter marathon to get us ready to go see the new one in IMAX. We only made it through 4 movies, but only because we devoted so much time to cooking tasty treats! We wanted snack food, but wanted to keep it semi-healthy, so we decided on minestrone soup, jalapeno poppers that we baked rather than fried, and pigs in a blanket. We didn't use recipes for anything, but I'll explain the basics.

For the soup, we started with a mirepoix of onions, celery, and carrots with potatoes and minced garlic. After those softened, we added four cups of water and a couple couillion cubes. We used one Edward and Sons Not-Beef cupe and one Rapunzel Sea Salt and Herb cube. Then we added a can of fire-roasted tomatoes and a bunch of seasonings (from the Penzy's trip I talked about earlier!) and let everything simmer for about 45 minutes while we made the rest of our snacks. A few minutes before we were ready to eat the soup, we added some mini pasta shells we had boiled earlier and some chopped zucchini. It actually ended up being super (soup-er! ha!) delicious! We probably should have added more water, because it was more a stew than a soup, and we also all wished we had thrown some cabbage in, but all-in-all extremely satisfying.                                                             For the jalapeno poppers, we made a filling out of Tofutti cream cheese, minced onions and garlic, salt, and chili powder. We cut one of the walls of each pepper completely off, stuffed the pepper, and "glued" the panel back on with the filling. We then dipped each pepper in a rice milk/flour/nooch combo before coating it in a panko/nooch/salt/pepper mixture. We baked them at about 375 degrees until they were golden brown and the pepper was softened. We were pretty happy with these, especially considering they were baked instead of fried. Next time we would blanch the peppers for a few minutes first. They would probably be a little trickier to stuff once blanched, but it would shorten the cooking time.

Coated pre-oven.

About to be in my belly.
The pigs in a blanket were so easy there's not really instructions, just ingredients. We got a package of Apple Sage and a package of Chipotle sausages from Field Roast. We found some crescent rolls that are vegan. Ours were just some cheap store brand with the same ingredients as Pillsbury Original Crescent Rolls which are also vegan. Rolled out the dough, wrapped a piece of dough around 1/3 of a sausage, baked according to the temp and time on the dough package, wham-bam done. Oh I lied. We also fried the sausages for a couple minutes before wrapping them in dough just to get them all browned and crispy. So good and so easy. Next time we are making the ultimate snack and stuffing a jalapeno with sausage and cheese then wrapping the whole thing in dough. NOM. 

***These awesome snacks were brought to you by Harry Potter, mimosas, and organic wine in a box.

The Chrissy, Vegan style @ Shakabrah Java: I'm not gonna bore you with times and location and all that, it's on their facebook page......but they do a delicious breakfast and will substitute tofu for any of their scrambles, and seem to have a pretty clear idea of what vegan consists of (i.e. Don't have to explain that they need to leave off the cheese when you order your scramble vegan) So yes, I appreciate them. And while they are right across the street from Caffe Dei, which creates some conflict, this is the perfect place to go when you and your carniwhore friends need a little breakfast fix, but don't want to drive to Seattle, and you don't have to order just hashbrowns and dry toast. Amen to that!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mofo: Pizza Roll Madness 2! Ok, not gonna lie, the first batch turned out better. One of the mysteries of life I guess....I was a little disappointed which is why I didn't post anything yesterday. The filling was delicious on it's own, but a little dryer than the first sauce. And the dough was dryer also, although that's because I had the epiphany almost 24 hours after first making it, that I had forgotten the olive oil......Dumb!! *sigh* I'll come up with something cool this weekend to makeup for the intense buildup I created around my pizzarolls. I was going to today, but started reading The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams, and can't put it down! Maybe something breakfasty this weekend, hmmmm.........

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mofo: Pizza Roll Madness!!

So I was scouring the internets last week for some new pizza recipes, because perfecting my own pizza dough has become a little big of an obsession of mine lately.  The You Wont't Believe It's Vegan! has a pretty good one that i've been using, and it's worked well for me many a time, but I wanted to shop around a bit before I commit wholely to this one pizza dough....Anyway, I end up on the Vegan Dad blog, and I gotta say, that guy really knows his stuff.  I lust after his food and his mind, you gotta check it out if you haven't.  So what do I find, but a recipe for vegan pizza rolls.  After my initial rage that I had to get this idea from someone else instead of coming up with it myself, I immediately started making them!!  I used the reposted pizza dough recipe he had up from Vegan With a Vengeance, I'm not sure how it's possible that I don't own this cookbook, but somehow I dont.  Weird.  I liked this recipe more, although to be honest my pizza dough turns out differently enough each time I make it and the two recipes were similar enough, that I suspect the difference was more user error that the actual recipe.  Either way, bygones.....
 They turned out sooooo GOOD!! And they were pretty easy too, I have to say.  You basically take the pizza dough and roll it out into a big square, slather it with sauce/toppings, and roll up.  Very similar to a

cinnamon roll.  It actually makes me want to attempt cinnamon rolls again, so that may be a later  post.  Anyway, I'm not gonna go into too much detail because while I was super stoked about these bad boys there were a couple things I wanted to do differently, which is why I had my dear friend, Caitlin (formerly a carniwhore, but probably not anymore due to a nasty run in w/ some salmonella), over last night.  We were going to reinvent the pizza roll, yet again, this time with a mexi-twist! So we went grocery shopping, got some wine, got some super top secret ingredients, bought nothing for a side dish because my smart self thought I had brussel sproats in the fridge that were still good (first time ever in the history of the world that I've had to throw out brussels), go back to my apartment, make some dough, make some filling, turn on season 4 of The Office, put our feet up, and WHAMMO!!!! Electricity goes out! First time since I've moved in, and of course I have no flashlights, candles seemed dangerous as we had already finished the bottle of wine, I do have a fireplace but nothing to burn, and it didn't seem like the ideal time to operate the fireplace for the first time ever, and I don't have a fire extinguisher, and honestly, for how much I cook, I should really buy one.

Epic Pizza Roll Fail!  We'd also thrown together some pineapple, red onion, brown sugar, and spicey bits to roast in the oven and they were almost done, but unfortunately abandoned in our pursuit of Light and more wine.  Completely forgot about them til I woke up this morning and pulled them out of the oven. Sad, sad day.  But all the pizza roll necessities are in my fridge waiting for me, and I will be posting pictures and a recipe for my new and improved pizza roll success, so hold tight!  Either later tonight or tomorrow, although if I do post it later tonight I'm totally going to change the date on this post and pretend I did it yesterday;) shhh, don't tell! 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Oh by the way...

Last night I got off work at 3am and knew I should blog when I got home. But I was being a lazypants so   I procrastinated by hanging out with the good ol' interwebs for a few hours then started another blog. Because that makes so much sense. Sigh. But it's about fashion! And shoes! And stuff I should not be putting on my credit card when I have real bills to pay off! Here you go.....Hot Piece of Class.

Hemp shoes will NOT be featured. : )
Unless they are amazing. Or really awful.

MoFo: Gateway to India aka Bring Your Fat Pants

I ate this. And more.
I love Indian food and the best bet in Tacoma for vegans is the lovely Gateway to India on 6th Ave. There are definitely other Indian places in town, some of which I heavily frequented before I was vegan, but Gateway labels vegan items and options right on the menu. If I have a choice between asking a million questions and just ordering, I'm gonna stick with ordering. Sorry other Indian places that probably have vegan potential but I'm too lazy to find out. So I have been to Gateway countless time and always knew in the back of my head there was a lunch buffet, but, cynic that I am, I guess I just assumed there would only be like one vegan thing on the buffet if I was lucky and what's the point of a buffet if you don't get lots of options. Luckily I recently discovered I was oh so very wrong. While dining one evening, I guess I overcame my laziness just long enough to ask about the buffet and its veganness. I was told there are always at least 3 or 4 vegan dishes and just that very afternoon the whole buffet had been vegan! This got my attention.
The delicious chutney.
The first time I went to the buffet I think there were 4 vegan items, not too shabby. But when I returned with Becca a few days ago, there were 8 vegan options! We had vegetable biryani (veggie rice), eggplanta bharta, basmati rice, pappadum (crispy cracker wafer things), green salad (skip the dressing), kabuli channa (garbanzo bean curry), daal maharani (lentils), and curried zucchini and potatoes. THE NAAN IS NOT VEGAN. We also ordered a side of the vegan cilantro chutney off the dinner menu. There is usually cream added to the chutney, but 90% of the time they have some that has not yet been adulterated by dairy. The buffet is only $8.99 and the vegetarian items on the menu are $10.50 and up, so it really is a super deal. Also if you have more self control than I and don't eat until your body starts to shut itself down into a food coma, Caffe Dei is right next door for a sweet treat to end your lunch!
I would totally recommend going here for dinner as well, but the price of the buffet just can't be beat and it's a great way to get some of everything.

NOTE: I usually hate buffets. This isn't a vegan thing, I have always hated them. That said, if there is a buffet with excellent vegan options and the restaurant and fellow customers look classy and clean, I will gladly partake. I'm far from a germaphobe, i regularly eat off my floor if something jumps off the counter, buffets are just one of those things for me.

Gateway to India
(253) 552-5022
2603 6th Ave
Tacoma, WA98406

Monday thru Friday: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Saturday: 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Closed Monday

Tuesday thru Thursday: 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Friday: 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Saturday: 4:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Sunday: 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Closed Monday


Saturday, November 13, 2010

MoFo: Strapping the feed bags on in Portland

Soooooo we missed a couple days because Blogger may have deleted my whole post when I pressed preview and it made me MAD and I needed to remove myself from it til I cooled down for the sake of the relationship. Moving on...
This box is only part of our haul.
I recently went to Portland just for the day to see Tim Kasher (AKA secret boyfriend. Secret because he may not be entirely aware of the relationship.) at the Doug Fir so obviously I needed sustenance while down there. I wanted to go to Portobello because my friend Caitlin who was with me had never been, but unfortunately it's closed on Sundays. So, although my feeding times are usually planned out to the minute when visiting Portland, we just decided to wing it. We started our day at Penzeys Spices where we spent approximately one bazillion dollars. Seriously, if you love to cook, get yourself to one of their locations. Or website. This place is epic. The staff was super friendly and helpful and even gave us some free goodies since we cleared out our bank accounts there. They also spent the time to look over our order and give us any promotions or bulk discounts that were available. I will definitely be back. By the time we were done huffing spices, we were absolutely starving so we headed over to the area the show was going to be and busted out my iPhone to see what was nearby.
Enchilada Plate with Soycurls
Turns out Los Gorditos, which I had been wanting to try, was right by there. Any restaurant that translates to "the fatties" is fine by us. Los Gorditos has a whole separate vegan menu with the option of choosing soy curls, tofu or soyrizo as the protein in the meal. They also offer vegan cheese ( pretty sure it's Follow Your Heart which I actually really like. I know some aren't fond of it.) and vegan sour cream. Just so you know, Los Gorditos is a whole order at the counter, get a number, CASH ONLY kind of place. Luckily, I am a baller (or bartender, whatever) so I had cash. Caitlin didn't, so she got to starve and see what survival of the fittest is all about. I kid. We decided on empanadas with soyrizo and enchiladas with soy curls from the "Plates" part of the menu which means both are full meals that come with rice and beans. After taking a number and finding a table, we inquired about the veganocity of the hot sauce bar and found out that they are all vegan. YES. I love spicy and prefer to be in physical pain while eating a meal. We (by we I mean Caitlin, I kept my lazy ass at the table) brought red, green, and white sauces back to the table. The green was not very spicy but delicious. I'm partial to tomatillo sauces though, so take that for what you will. The red was good and spicer than the green. The white was HOT. As in we both immediately reached for our water, hot. I mean this in a good way; I went on to pour all three sauces all over my food. The white sauce made me a happy camper and even more excited for my food. Usually, when places say something is hot they are lying and it is barely spicy at all.
Empanada Plate with Soyrizo
When the food arrived, we saw that the portions were huge! I definitely need to bring my boyfriend here (real boyfriend, not secret) because he likes to shovel mexican food in his mouthhole two hands at a time. It is quite horrifying to witness. Horrifying, yet fascinating. The enchiladas were of the standard tortilla, sauce, soycurl variety. The empanadas, on the other hand, weren't quite what I was expecting. They were really flat and only the cheese was inside them, the soyrizo was on top. I'm sure this is just because the empanadas are premade and they don't want to stuff them ahead of time with every protein option available in case some don't sell as often. This is fine by me because mexican food becomes a unified slop pretty quickly anyway, it was just not what I was expecting. Everything was delicious with one small exception. The beans were flavorless and really thin and watery. They were good mixed in with everything, but a bite of them on their own was just a boring, soupy mess. I would have preferred thick refried beans or just plain black beans. After dinner, we stopped at Food Fight because I will do slightly less damage there if I have a full belly. SLIGHTLY. My cupboard told me it needed to be filled with vegan cheese and jerky before I left.
I will definitely be back to try their other options next time I'm in town! They also had breakfast listed on a specials board which look amazing. I would be at Los Gorditos constantly if it was in my hood! Side note: the concert was amazing. Go see Tim Kasher, the Good Life, or Cursive (his other bands) if they are in your area.

Los Gorditos

1212 SE Division
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 445-6289

Mon-Sat 8 to 9
Sun  8 to 3

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

MoFo: Corina Bakery

Corina Bakery is the best, if not only place to get freshly made vegan baked goodies in Tacoma. It is not a vegan bakery, but there are always a couple vegan options and I've been there on days that there were like 4 or 5 different kinds of vegan cakes or cupcakes! They offer a wide selection of teas from local Mad Hat Tea Company, coffee, sweet and savory bakery items, and custom order cakes with a ton of vegan choices. As for the ready to eat items featured daily, they have a specialty menu they rotate through and do cupcakes or cakes with those flavors.
My absolute favorite thing I've tried there has to be The Aztec in mini-cupcake so I don't stuff my face til I'm sick. The Aztec is a "chocolate cake infused with cinnamon, cayenne and ginger with chocolate buttercream and garnished with dried chilli peppers." As I've mentioned before, this is my favorite flavor combination because it is the best flavor combination and I have superb taste. The staff will warn you not to eat the dried chili garnishes because they are so spicy, but I did anyway because I am badass and it is food. Becca's favorite cake is german chocolate, so on her birthday I ordered her one reading "Happy Birthday, You're Not Special," which elicited strange looks from the staff but only because they didn't realize that it is a lyric from the best NOFX birthday song ever! The most recent time we were there, we really enjoyed a mini-pumpkin loaf (my skinny jeans and I really appreciate all the mini items here, I try to only bust out my fat pants and strap on the feed bags for special occasions) which was perfectly moist and spiced. There is always a vegan quinoa cookie on display which intrigues me, but then I see cake and I'm like screw you semi-healthy options I need frosting!
German Chocolate
Pumpkin Loaf

This is an amazing bakery with a delightful staff and I really appreciate how they can veganize nearly anything they offer for custom order. Some of the cakes I've seen pop out of that kitchen are truly works of art; there was recently a tiered cake in the window covered with adorable animals and it was spectacular. The only thing I wish they would offer is rice or hemp milk for coffee, because soy milk makes my throat get all itchy and close up and I think I'm going to die a horrible death. Good thing I love americanos. Also, vegan croissants are a magical unicorn that don't really exist, so I would love for them to make one because I'm too lazy to try.

The Lovely Liz
Corina Bakery

510 6th Avenue
Tacoma WA, 98402

Mon-Fri 8am to 7pm
Sat 8am to 6pm
Sun 9am to 3pm

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mofo: Noms

Vegan Food Update!!: Caffe Dei rolled out a new breakfast sammy! Tempeh over Tacoma, definitely tasty, in my humble opinion it needed somethin' spicy added to it, but the tofu was really well seasoned, and the tempeh was tender and tasted like somebody had given it a little TLC. 

I also had the picante mocha today which is the spicy one that we didn't have a picture of last time, and like always, it rocked my world. Super amazing. 

W/ soy, extra shot, cuz I need it;) 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Vegan Mofo: Day 5

My mom and the cousin! Aren't they cute!

So my Italian cousin came to visit Washington this summer, and that resulted in a ton of family time and multiple barbeques.  They weren't intended to be potlucks but I take every opportunity to stuff my food down people's throats.  What started with the homemade barbeque sauce from Veganomicon,  turned into a two month obsession with barbeque sauce, pineapple, and tempeh.  It was actually kind of sick....and it's still going on.  But seriously, the Backyard BBQ Sauce is really good, and it actually got better after I froze it and later dethawed it, and let it sit for a minute! 

The first thing I used it on was some ribz from Yeah, That "Vegan" Shit.  I know she got the recipe from a couple difference sources, but I ended up just following the recipe that was reposted on her website, and I used almond butter for the nut butter, because I have a jar that will just not go away!!!  Those turned out beautifully and the bbq sauce got all dark and  sexaay.
Along with ribz I made the Zippity Do Da Coleslaw from The Gluten Free Vegan Cookbook, and yes it's got a goofy name, but it also had pineapple in it, and I'm a very easy sell.  It turned out good!  It's been a long time since I've had coleslaw to be honest, and I used to hate it before I went vegan...maybe because mayonaise is disgusting, but yeah, I liked it.  I think I like coleslaw now....
After my two week hiatus while my cousin was visiting, I had to go back to work....Yes, insert deep depression here.  I did have BBQ sauce left tho, so I brought it with me and went Iron Chef! 

BBQ Tempeh
1 package tempeh, cubed, and boil for 15 min
1/2 cup Backyard BBQ Sauce from the Veganomicon
1 clove chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped shallots
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup cubed pineapple
2 green onions, chopped, for garnish
red pepper flakes to taste

*My measurements, like usual, are probably a bit off, b/c I work at a restaurant so everything was prechopped and waiting for me to throw into a's so convenient! 

Anyway, I sauteed the shallots and garlic in the olive oil, let cook down a little, and added tempeh, browned that up, and added the pineapple and the bbq sauce, let it cook down a little, and garnished with the green onion.  It was super delicious.  My prep cook liked it, my cocktailer liked it, and it was the brainchild for the bbq, tempeh pizza I made the next week! 

I definitely do not have a recipe for that badboy, but I pretty much did the BBQ Tempeh recipe, threw it on top of a pizza crust I made using the You Won't Believe It's Vegan! recipe and then did a kinda improv cheezy topping using Follow Your Heart mozzarella, nooch, spices, and Earth Balance.  My carniwhore friend that I cooked dinner for LOVED it!

So that's basically my month of August.  Tempeh, BBQ, pineapple, repeat....nom nom noms.  This was actually the kickoff to my homemade pizza addiction, fueled by Daiya.  And now I know, BBQ sauce is a gateway drug, dammit all!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 4: Chickpea Cutlets and Butternut Squash

Last night we made a bombass dinner with our friend Caitlin who is not vegan, but should be because she eats vegan with us ALL the freaking time anyway (hint, hint). : ) Anyway, we did a double batch of the famous Veganomicon chickpea cutlets. We accidentally added an extra can of garbanzo beans, but they were delicious as usual, so if you're trying to sneak some extra protein in go right ahead. The patties still hold together just fine and dandy. Becca's going to post the recipe for the amaaazing shiitake mushroom gravy she whipped up to go on the cutlets later tonight. We were literally hovering over the stove eating spoonfuls of gravy. And I have no shame admitting that. Because it was that good.

As a side, we made the Roasted Butternut Squash with Caramelized Onion, Garlic, and Fennel from 500 Vegan Recipes. It's a simple, yet super delicious recipe. We couldn't find any fresh fennel, so we just used seeds and added some broccolini to the mix. This dinner was so, so satisfying. I ate all my leftovers today and am sad it's gone!

On an entirely different note, after we finished stuffing our faces and having a few glasses of wine, we went to a local bar that hosts a free BINGO night. The prizes are a mix of gag type gifts, random household staples, and free drink tickets. We managed to win multiple times each thanks to a little good luck idea we snagged from BINGO loving grannies everywhere. Troll dolls. BUT no troll dolls could be found at Value Village, so we got My Little Ponies instead. Which is obviously infinitely better. My BINGO prowess got me a ceramic snail figurine and Ragtime and Pearl Harbor on VHS. Caitlin got a Tom Jones album, and Becca won a My Fair Lady album. Although it's hard, please try not to be too jealous of our treasures.

So, adding a little word on gravy....I luvs it! And I will own it, as well as all its secrets someday... which in reality is a long way off.  Honestly, in the past I've had the hardest, more frustrating time with gravy and had, for a time, resorted to store bought packets.  I'm not proud of it, but it happened...The last couple times I've attempted it however, it has worked!! And it tasted good!! And it was nom noms.  For the most part, I think what has changed is that I've made it for ladies' nights.  The moral support as well as all the fresh, delicious ingredients already on hand have made my gravy much more successful.  So, keeping in mind that I didn't follow a recipe and I pretty much threw part of my spice cabinet/cupboard into the pot, I'll give a quick synopsis of how shiitake mushroom gravy came to be.

Shiitake Mushroom Gravy
1/2 white onion minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup of dried shiitakes, rehydrated, reserving liquid
3 tbsp olive oil
approx 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp dried crushed rosemary
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4-1/2 c. nooch
approx 2 c. veggiebroth/mushroom broth * (you'll add it to consistency)
1/4-1/2 c. red wine (i used pinot noir, cuz that's what Caitlin brought w/)

Started by heating the olive oil and sauteing the onions til they were a little brown, and translucent on a medium heat, and added the rehyrdrated shiitakes and garlic.  Let those cook for about 2 minutes and lightly dusted the whole thing w/ flour.  Probably was not the whole 1/4 cup, I just do it til all the ingredients are coated, give them a couple stirs, and when the flour is just going on the pot instead of sticking to the ingredients I stop.  I then started slowly adding my broth, stirring constantly.  I like to have lots of extra veggie broth on hand b/c I generally make the gravy, have it be at a consistency where I could serve it, and then decide it's not enough and add a little bit more broth to the mix, maybe a little more nooch to help it thicken if it needs it. 

After adding almost a cup of broth, I added the rosemary, thyme, a little white pepper (did not list that in the ingredients, oops), and the soy sauce.  Stir, added 1/2 nooch, and let simmer for awhile.  The gravy could have been done when I decided to add some wine, so again, added that, let simmer, and thicken for awhile.  At some point I added the rest of the nooch, and more of the veggie/mshrm broth mixture.  Also, about a tsp. of salt at the very end, to taste.  The broth I use is amazing, and very flavorful, but in my opinion it needed a little more salt, definitely a preference thing.

*The broth mixture I used was the reserved liquid from the rehydrated shiitake mushrooms (about 2 c.), and then 2 c. veggie broth I made w/ a Rapunzel Bouillion Cube.  I've tried a lot of veggie broths and this is by far my favorite.  It is kind of salty, although they do carry a no salt added cube, but super flavorful, and tasty enough to where I could just drink it.  I've been on no-salt kicks before where I've tried low sodium broths, and for the most part, I just don't even like the flavor.  I do keep the little, super convenient, 1-cup portioned packs in my cupboard for emergencies but especially when making makes sense to me to bust out the bouillion cubes!

Anyway, goodluck w/ the recipe! Sorry it was kind of fly by the seat of your pants.  This blogging thing definitely gives me a little more motivation to pay attention to/measure what I add to my pot.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 3: Caffe Dei

Over the month, we are going to cover places with the best vegan options in Tacoma, so we'll kick it off with the new kid in town, Caffe Dei, an all vegetarian/super vegan-friendly cafe on 6th Ave. The firstthing you notice when you walk in is that the owners, Shuanna(vegan/raw foodie) and Shane (vegetarian), and staff are super friendly! They always are full of info and sincerely open to any suggestions to make the cafe even more awesome.
Onto the noms.....The drink menu is creative and unique. Shuanna especially is a true coffee snob in the friendliest and best sense of the word. When we aren't drinking

americanos, our absolute favorite is the picante mocha, which combines cayenne and chocolate, obviously one of the best flavor combinations in the whole world. There is also a delicious lavender syrup which makes for a great latte. Soy and rice milk are available. There is also a wide selection of loose leaf teas.
The food menu has a selection of sandwiches, raw food, a soup of the day, and bagels, nearly all of which are or can be made vegan. Baked goods include selections from Macrina Bakery,
Flying Apron bakery, and Mighty O Donuts. Today we got down and dirty with the BBQ "Pulled Chicken" sandwich, a Daiya grilled cheese, and minestrone soup. Sandwiches comewith a side of chips with the option of adding soup for $2 more. Gluten-free options are available. Caffe Dei also recently expanded on their hours with plans to include beer and wine in the near future. There is a nice amount of seating, free WiFi, and art and jewelry from local artists that frequently rotates. All in all, we love to get fat here.

Caffe Dei
2607 6th Ave
Tacoma, WA 98406
(253) 572-2550

Mon 8am-10pm
Tues thru Fri 7:30am-10pm
Sat 8am-8pm
Sun 8am-pm

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First Vegan MoFo!

After realizing it has been six months since we posted, we though MoFo would be the perfect time to starts posting again and force ourselves into a routine! Over the month, we plan on posting a bunch of food porn, recipes, and cover the best vegan options in Tacoma, WA. I'll kick it off with my manicotti recipe that I entered in a Daily Candy contest and won me a beautiful Cri de Coeur bag. : ) This recipe is my biggest crowd pleaser thus far. I've served it to people before without saying it was vegan, and no one could tell the ricotta wasn't real.

First, make the ricotta. This is based on a combination of the ricotta recipes in Veganomicon. Blend the following in a food processor or blender. Blend the cashews and oil first, then add the other ingredients.
1/2 cup raw cashew pieces
1 lb firm tofu, drained and crumbled
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup lemon juice (I've used white wine before when I was out of lemons)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
a couple grinds of pepper

Put the ricotta in a bowl and mix any combination of the following ingredients in with it. Or none. The ricotta is super good plain too! I just use whatever I have lying around.
1 diced and browned Field Roast Apple Sage sausage
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped spinach or arugula
1/4 cup chopped oil-packed sun dried tomatoes

Stuff the ricotta mixture into your favorite cooked manicotti shells. If I'm lazy or in a hurry, I split the shells open and just wrap the pasta around the ricotta, using the ricotta to "paste" them back together. It will be covered in sauce anyway. Place the stuffed manicotti in a single layer in a casserole dish and top with your favorite homemade or store bought vegan marinara sauce. If I have spinach sitting around or want to pretend this meal is healthy, I'll cover the uncooked manicotti with a big layer of spinach before pouring the sauce on. Top with dollops of any leftover ricotta or top with Daiya mozzarella vegan cheese. Bake covered in foil at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes or until heated through. If you topped it with ricotta or Daiya, uncover and cook about 5 more minutes until topping is melty or beginning to brown. It helps to broil the dish for a couple minutes at the end of cooking. Serve on a bed of fresh spinach or arugula. Enjoy! The pictures may not be the prettiest, but I promise this is delicious : )

Artichoke croquettes: my entree at Cafe Flora for my birthday dinner. The lemongrass coconut sauce was to die for!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

VegFest 2010!!!

So we went to the amazing and wonderful stuff-your-face-fest on April 11th at the Seattle Center and these are just a few of the highlights.....

Us nomming on one of the many ice cream samples....
Our first stop was Harbor Creek Farms which has a delicious mushroom strudel and a cranberry horserasdish relish/chutney/spread that we really liked. This was a brand we hadn't seen anywhere before, but hopefully becomes available soon!

The most epic of Vegfest booths, Field Roast. They used their meatloaf to make sloppy joes, tacos, and sliders depending on what time you stopped at the stand.

The lovely volunteers who dished us up our Field Roast. Field Roast is seriously amazing and our favorite store-bought "meat" product out there. Try the chipotle sausages if you haven't already!

Native Kjalli's sauces were amazing. We especially liked the Roasted Mole sauce. The Coconut Ginger and Peanut Sauces were good as well, but a little too similar to homemade versions we already make.

Two Leaves and a Bud Tea Company. Not only was this lady super friendly, but her tea was super delicious. We are both tea drinkers and were very impressed. Tea-rrific if you will.

Dave's Killer Bread. Becca finally got to try the SinDawg bread which is basically a giant cinnamon roll with seeds on the outside. Which means it's healthy. That's Dave there with his back to us with the flowing silver locks. Their bread is seriously the shit. And every kind is vegan!

The Sea Salt Superstore in Lynnwood was here with every flavor of salt you could think of and a bunch you would never think of.

Mighty O Donuts. The holy grail of VegFest. We missed this the first walk through and began to panic. Fortunately, we eventually found it because those sneaky donut devils were hiding right in the very front. Which we missed when we walked in because we may have still been a little drunk from the night before. Oops. Anyway, long story short we heart Mighty O mucho. Thanks for letting us take way more than our share of samples. By us I mean Becca.

Viana, a German company, is going to start popping up in the US.  We tried chicken nuggets, chicken filets, cowgirl steaks, and a few other things. It seemed like a really good product that you could season yourself and use in lots of different recipes.

Us getting excited about our awesome goody bags that we got by renewing our Vegetarians of Washington memberships. For only $20 you get a years subscription to Vegetarian times, a buttload of coupons, and this giant bag filled with nomnoms. I'm talking two loaves of bread, tofu, kombucha, tea, and a bunch of other snacks that were worth more than twenty bucks on their own. My bag had double of everything on accident so double win for me, suckers. We also got Lucy's cookies which neither of us had tried yet. We got the sugar cookies and oatmeal cookies and they were both delicious. Lucy's cookies are all vegan and I think gluten-free too and are available at Starbuck's!

So we tried this almond, rice, agave ice cream made by Heaven Sent and it was really good. BUT their logo and label is the biggest hippiefest pastel rainbow gay pride parade ridiculousness ever. I think it's also a christian brand or something too, which adds to the weirdness. SO. Good ice cream, but we had to make fun of it obviously. As you can see, the sunflowers had moustaches. Because I always associate my vegan desserts with sunflowers and moustaches.

So that was VegFest in a nutshell. I'll go ahead and list some of the other products we really liked that we didn't manage to get pictures of. This year I just brought a notebook to write down all of our favorites in so I didn't end up with a zillion little business cards and fliers.

Punjab Snacks
Caravel Gourmet-salts and spices (at Sea Salt Superstore)
Sheffa snack mixes
Marilyn's nut butters (the pistachio with fennel was especially good)
Alter Eco quinoa chocolate bars
Viovi blood orange juice
Truitt Brothers vegan chili
Moo Moo's vegetarian cuisine

So all in all, a super fun day. Although we were totally disappointed with the lack of vegan cheese. No Sheese, Cheezly, Daiya, or Teese. WTF. We were really hoping for the new Tofurky Daiya frozen pizza. There seemed to be overkill on drinks and snack mixes. So next year I propose VegancheeseFest unless VegFest decides to step up their game.