Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Birthday Halloween Bonanza

The Chef: Colleen (we usually only cook once per week each, but today was an exception, see below)

The Menu: It's scary sometimes just how good lunch can be. Today we were treated to cumin- and rosemary-roasted sweet potato fries, perfectly cooked veggie dogs with all the fixin's, and the salad that is fast becoming our signature—mixed greens, pear, apple, and bleu cheese. (FYI, fixin's in this case translates to: baked beans, avocado, dijon mustard, garlic and/or chili flavored mayo, and, of course, ketchup. Yum!)

The Goods: We happened to be celebrating two of our favorite Scorpios, Aurelia d'Andrea and Jen Pickens, two indispensible members of our editorial team. Not to mention the best holiday ever, All Hallow's Eve, which we've chosen to represent here with an emblematic pumpkin. In honor of the birthdays, our intern extraordinaire Katie made, get this, two cakes. That's right, two. One was a two-layer chocolate raspberry extravaganza, the other was a cinnamon, pumpkin, and chocolate-chip cake with cinnamon vanilla icing. We would show pictures, but that would mean removing our faces from said cakes, which will not be happening any time soon. Happy birthdays to our ladies, and Happy Halloween to all!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Comfort Me!

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: Oh let's see. It looks like maybe some fall tomato bisque, some little bites of crostini with roasted red pepper and broccoli spreads, and oh, why look, it's an absolutely phenomenal mac 'n' cheese. Seriously, this is the best thing you'll put in your mouth this year. Creamy, savory, and crispy—thanks to some freshly made bread crumbs—this mac is wonderful for all the things it is, but the secret of its success lies in what it isn't. Curious? Don't fret, the recipe is in our January+February issue, but you'll have to wait until then.

The Goods: It's been getting steadily colder here in SF. Short of wrapping ourselves in afghans and calling in sick, this warm, hearty meal was the best way to feel cozy and comforted. Of course, a lunch of this caliber wouldn't have been complete without a delicious drink in a supporting role, and thankfully we are testing out Silk's new Pumpkin Spice flavor. Check out the November edition of the VegNewsletter for a full review!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Inaugural Post: Mexican Medley

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Hello! By which we of course mean, hello, look at that food. Welcome to the very first post of Café VegNews, the very first blog by VegNews Magazine. Everyone here is so excited to share our daily staff lunches with the world, just like the proud food-parents we are!

Ok, we'll try and limit the gratuitous exclamation points, but really, this is thrilling. Here at the VNHQ we all sit down to lunch together every day, and enjoy phenomenal meals prepared right here in the office by a designated staffer. Of course, everything we serve here is vegan, because that's how we do lunch in these parts. And so, without further ado, to the food!

The Chefs: Colleen and Elizabeth

The Menu: Holy moly Mexican food (though today we went sin molé). Sure, sometimes tossing a can of diced tomatoes into the rice cooker will get the job done for Spanish rice, but not when Colleen's cooking. Diced orange bell peppers, sautéed onions, paprika, garlic, cumin, and just a touch of red pepper flakes made this a savory specialty. Moving clockwise around the plate you'll see a superb sauté of summer squash, black beans, and tomatoes. Totally traditional? No. Completely eaten within minutes? Yes. For toppings we scooped on the roasted corn dip (or "corndiment" as its creator, Chef Ben Adams, would say) and finished off with just a dab of vegan garlic mayo. Toasty corn tortillas and a fresh, decidedly non-Mexican salad of mixed baby greens, yellow bell peppers, baby tomatoes, and soy bleu cheese in a basalmic vinaigrette rounded out this feast.

The Goods: Colleen just returned from a few days in Mexico. If lunches like this are what she brings back from vacation, we'll be shipping her around the world shortly.