Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oh My, Thai!

The Chef: Stacy

The Menu: A terrific, two-course Thai treat! This may well be the most colorful lunch ever to be featured on this blog, and it was as delicious as it was vibrant. Ms. Stacy busted out a totally wonderful Thai-food-inspired coconut soup with sweet potato, fennel, spinach, green onions, and carrots. Alongside was an equally attractive rice-noodle salad with a few of the same ingredients, plus basil and thin slices of bright-red pickled ginger, which was tossed in a light, lovely vinaigrette.

The Goods: There's nothing to brighten up a slightly dreary day like a super-colorful lunch and some special-guest-type company. Today we had the pleasure of dining with Justin Lucke, one of our favorite local veg chefs and Organic Athletes. Oh, any maybe there's a hidden message in today's headline. We're just saying, it pretty clearly says "my thai," and what event is happening tonight? Oh, that would be a little something we like to call SF Vegan Drinks. Yes, subtlety has always been our strongpoint. Now come see us at Martuni's!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rockin' Rice and Beans

The Chef: Aurelia

The Menu: A totally rockin' array of Mexican-food-inspired goodies. Aurelia spiced up the rice and black beans with diced green chiles, which made both dishes extra delicious. Alongside she served fresh guacamole and a lovely spinach salad with red onions, red bell pepper, and French dressing. We used two different kinds of chips for scooping up the main courses, a lime flavor from Food Should Taste good and organic tortilla chips from Salba Smart. We also tasted a trio of salsas, all from Organicville. You really can't go wrong with a base of rice and beans, but it's always nice to have a variety of toppings like we did today.

The Goods: Yeah, if anyone needs us, we'll be at our desks, rubbing our incredibly full bellies this afternoon. Oh, and in case anybody out there needs a little piece of good news, we've got something for you: VegNews just won Best Digital Design in the 2009 Nichee Awards! This may certainly go down in VN history as the most award-filled week ever.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Scrumptious Spring Risotto

The Chef: Melissa

The Menu: An elegant, Italian-inspired spring vegetable risotto and crispy side salad. Café VegNews went gourmet today as we were treated to this fine cuisine, compliments of Ms. Melissa. Equipped with a plentiful supply of produce, a freshly spring-cleaned fridge, and her own stellar kitchen skills, Melissa livened up her risotto with a variety of garden-fresh veggies, including onions, snap peas, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, and red pepper, all seasoned with rosemary, thyme, oregano, and fresh basil. The matching side salad consisted of carrots, peas, red pepper, fresh basil, and perfectly ripe avocado. 

The Goods: Still on a post-Maggie Award-winning high, the menu matched the mood—and the weather—today as we dined outdoors, enjoying the soothing San Franciscan sun.  To sooth some of the VN staff's risotto-making fears, Melissa detailed her strategy for whipping this high-class dish out lickety-split. While she recommends using whatever veggies you might have on hand, one of her favorites is a kabocha pumpkin-based version. Do you have a favorite spring vegetable?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Stupendous Celebration Brunch

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: An absolutely stellar brunch! It's difficult to decide where to begin when describing the awesomeness that is the plate you see before you, since everything was outrageously delicious. Up at the top there, we had an out-of-this-world tofu scramble, with cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, spinach, and a special blend of spices. Moving clockwise, we gobbled up garlic-roasted white and purple potatoes, which were crisp on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside. Even today's salad boasted something special, with slices of strawberries drizzled in a homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Finally, oven-fresh blueberry scones finished off our heaving plates. Oh, and was there sparkling white wine and orange juice for mimosas and toasting? Yes, yes there was.

The Goods: So, as we're sure you all know already because you follow us on Twitter, VegNews is officially the recipient of not only Best Lifestyle Magazine in the 2009 Maggie Awards, but also of Best Website!! Yes, we're utterly freaking thrilled. To help us celebrate, Aimee and Allison of Vertebrae, the design firm that did our major website redesign in October last year, joined us for today's special lunch. And, just because she happened to be in town on this celebratory day, Yvonne Smith, aka The Traveling Vegetarian, also shared in the fun. And by fun we mean food and booze. And yes, we could totally deal with every Monday going exactly like this. Want to help us keep the celebration going? Then don't miss SF Vegan Drinks this Thursday!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Super Stir-Fry

The Chef: Stacy

The Menu: A simply superb stir-fry. Ms. Stacy was on a veggie-using mission today when she stirred up this delectable blend of snow peas, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, onions, leeks, and garlic, all served over rice. Stacy's favorite spice is cinnamon, so she took the Asian-cuisine-inspired opportunity to include some five-spice in her savory concoction.

The Goods: We're on pins and freaking needles here at the VNHQ today, as our publishers are in Los Angeles as we speak getting ready for the Maggie Awards ceremony. Maybe they went for lunch at one of our favorite places on the planet, The Veggie Grill. Maybe this is what they ate. Maybe it's a good thing we have leftover ice-cream cake, not only to console ourselves from missing out on the trip south, but also to get us properly amped up on sugar while we await the awards announcements tonight!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Birthday Bliss

The Chef: Vanida and MaggieMudd

The Menu: A beautiful birthday bash of Thai food and ice-cream cake! Yeah, today is basically the best lunch day ever, just in case you were wondering. From our favorite local Thai place, Vanida, we served up some deliciously garlicky eggplant and tofu, a spicy yellow curry with zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and red bell pepper, and a lovely, light papaya salad with tomatoes and ground peanuts. Oh, and maybe there was a cake. Maybe it was an ice-cream cake that featured Toasted Coconut and Mint Chocolate Chip ice creams, set atop a brownie crust and covered in whipped-cream frosting. Oh, did we mention (or did we even really have to?) that this whole B-Day smorgasbord was vegan? Yeah, it was.

The Goods: We had not one but two birthdays in the office this week, those of Ms. Colleen and Ms. Stacy. If there was ever a time to order up a big, beautiful birthday cake, today was the day. A very happy birthday to both lovely ladies, one of whom you can see below with the sweet treat. Continuing the tradition of studly adornments, this year's cake featured one of our favorite vegans. Can you tell who it is?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Casserole

The Chef: Aurelia

The Menu: An extra-delicious casserole, in honor of Earth Day! Basically, Aurelia incorporated anything you'd ever want to eat into this savory, spectacular casserole. Ingredients included potatoes, kale, red bell peppers, zucchini, garlic, onions, and cheddar-style Teese, all topped with Frankie's barbecue sauce. Tomatoey, a little spicy, and full of flavor, this was a marvelous main course. Continuing the multicolored theme, our salad today had grated carrots, bell peppers, and mixed greens.

The Goods: So just how exactly is this casserole Earth-Day related, you ask? Well, since everyone knows that going veg is one of the most significant changes you can make to help the environment, and everyone also knows that eating incredibly delicious food is one of our favorite parts of the veg lifestyle, it seems only natural that a meal as yummy as today's would be in honor of our awesome little planet. Happy Earth Day, all! (Yes, by "Happy Earth Day," we mean, go win great stuff!)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Savory Pancakes, Sweet Party

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A pile of savory pancakes! We've got about 8 gajillion green onions in the fridge these days, so in an effort to use up these springtime staples, Elizabeth threw together some pre-fab pancake batter, grated carrots and zucchini, and sautéed several tons of green onions, and presto—a plentitude of pancakes. Topped with veg hoisin sauce and homemade, extra-garlicky aioli, these were sort of the like super-delicious okonomiyaki we had not too long ago, though today's meal was decidedly less fun to say. A salad of mixed greens, kidney beans, Blue-style Sheese, and pumpkin seeds added to the savory sensation.

The Goods: You know what makes a great balance to a hearty, savory meal? A super-sweet party! We're totally freaking thrilled to announce the VegNews Urban Dessert Soirée, celebrating the launch of Ani Phyo's incredible new book, Ani's Raw Food Desserts. You definitely won't want to miss this elegant evening of fun, a five-course dessert menu, the adorable CandyBar ambience, and, of course, Ani. So, you know, don't miss it! Tickets are available now!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Mezze

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: A delicious Mediterranean treat! Ms. Lyndsay busted out a light and lovely couscous, some pimento-stuffed and kalamata olives, a fresh pinto-bean dip, a mixed green salad with homemade lemon dressing, and triangles of whole-wheat tortillas and pita, with which we scooped everything up. Eff yes to finger food!

The Goods: Today's lunch matched the absolutely gorgeous sunshine that's blasting down on us here in SF. We could just as easily have been dining al fresco alongside the sparkling Mediterranean as we were today here in the city. With a new magazine in our hot little hands, it's the start of an exciting, heat-wave week here at the VNHQ.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Curry in a Hurry

The Chef: Stacy

The Menu:
A spice-infused, stick-to-your-ribs substantial, sickness-be-gone curry. Contrary to the title of this post, Stacy most certainly did not cook our meal in haste, but we have to admit that this colorful and creative quinoa, black-bean, and parsnip-studded star was certainly consumed in, well, a hurry. We just couldn't quit serving ourselves spoonfuls scooped up with whole-wheat naan and heaped with Sriracha hot sauce and Parma for extra pizazz.

The Goods:
It's a beautiful Friday afternoon, which means we're pretty much automatically in a good mood at the VNHQ. There's also the fact that, oh, a little thing we like to call our May+June issue arrived in the office today. Let's just hope that no dogs were nearby when we emitted our high-pitched shrieks of delight. Now that the initial excitement has faded a bit, we've settled back down to work, and dogs in the vicinity appear to be unscathed, we have an über-important question for you: Which part of your May+June VegNews are you extra excited about reading?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ribs! Rawr!

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: Really, really, really good ribs. As you know, we love ribs (meatless, as if we even need to say so) here at the VNHQ. Today's were no exception, drenched in barbecue sauce and served alongside mashed sweet potatoes with cumin and cinnamon. Of course, no meal would be complete without a scrumptious salad, and Colleen dressed today's romaine-and-carrot combo with a garlicky homemade vinaigrette.

The Goods: We are all freaking beside ourselves with anticipation as rumor has it that our May+June issue might be arriving in the office today. Eeek! Yes, when we're excited we revert to using monosyllabic exclamations like rawr! and eeek!, what of it?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Stellar Stir-Fry

The Chef: Aurelia

The Menu: An absolutely stellar stir-fry served atop perfectly fluffy basmati rice. Aurelia made the most of the veggies in the fridge, including bok choy, red bell pepper, ginger, garlic, green onions, and walnuts in her savory main dish. We also got a taste of veggie shrimp, procured from our local Asian grocery, which added an, um, unexpected element to the meal that some of us really enjoyed, others not so much. Aurelia also made a delicious spinach salad with cucumber and grated carrot, which we doused with organic French dressing from Organicville. Yum!

The Goods: Fittingly, we followed up this fab feast by brainstorming our upcoming September+October Food Issue, about which we're all pretty stinking excited. Since pretty much everything on the plate today was of a savory persuation, we'd like to remind everyone to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Perfect Parsnip Pie

The Chef: Melissa

The Menu: A healthy, hearty helping of root-vegetable-inspired vegan Shepherd's Pie. Eager to tame the elusive parsnip, Melissa whipped out her own version of this traditional casserole, complete with a mashed-parsnip crust. Short a couple of said carrot-relatives, which were later discovered deep within the cavernous VN fridge, she added a couple good ol' potatoes to the mix. Underneath, she combined caramelized onions, peas, zucchini, and textured vegetable protein in a savory blend of spices, which had us going back for more until, well, sadly, there wasn't any more. A spinach side-salad adorned with carrots, zucchini, and walnuts made a perfect complement to the main dish.

The Goods: One of our favorite topics of conversation managed to find its way into today's lunch: food. We discussed edible delights from every corner of the globe, from Djibouti to Ethiopia to Haight Street. As inspired as we were to jump on the next flight to South India, we were pretty darn pleased with the plates right in front of our faces. But just to take the edge off of our international appetites, we savored the sweet taste of vegan Soy Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles for dessert, compliments of our one and only neighbor to the north.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Munchable Brunch

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu:
A tasty blend of sweet and savory items. Lyndsay told us this morning she was hankering after some hot cakes, so she started off by mixing up a batch of light and fluffy pancakes, which we topped with chopped banana and walnuts, almond butter, and agave nectar. For the savory side of the plate, she mixed up some black bean "sausages." Now, you may be looking at this plate and thinking, "Hey, I don't see any sausages!" and you would not be the first person to say as much. Some of our dining companions thought they were just another variety of pancake, but luckily found out that these were a savory item before piling on the jam and agave. We didn't mind the confusion, though, since they were tasty as all get-out, especially served in tandem with the usual suspects in our lunchtime line-up: Parma and fancy flavored ketchup. Lyndsay also rustled up some excellent sautéed potatoes with onions and garlic, just for fun.

The Goods:
It's pretty quiet around the VNHQ today with Elizabeth and Colleen out of the office, but we still had a lively lunch, featuring a heated discussion about run-ins with the law. Luckily, most of us have managed to stay out of trouble, although Lyndsay and Melissa did consume more than their legal limit of ice cream yesterday at MaggieMudd in Bernal Heights. Keep your eyes peeled to Press Pass for the whole scoop.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Miso Happy!

The Chef: Melissa

The Menu: A trio of treats! First, yes, Melissa made us all so happy with an absolutely delicious miso soup featuring leeks, sweet potatoes, and green onions, all served in a perfectly salty broth. Next, a stellar serving of fried brown rice with bok choy, zucchini, onions, garlic, ginger, and spices made an excellent main course. And finally, a simple spinach salad with chopped almonds finished off the plate.

The Goods: Um, it's Friday. Everything is good. Delicious food, excellent company, and the promise of fun weekend times means that we're pretty darn stoked around the VNHQ today. Here's hoping everyone is just as excited!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Burritos Muy Buenos

The Chef: Stacy

The Menu: Burritos! You know we're big burrito fans here at the VNHQ, and homemade versions are always appreciated. Stacy started with hemp and whole-wheat tortillas, added brown rice, black beans and Soy Ground, grated carrots, guacamole, and sautéed kale, red onions, and bell peppers. Yes, the word you're looking for is "yum."

The Goods: Today's lunchtime discussion was just a little bit livelier than usual. While we always have fun munching and chatting, today we were getting a little bit fired up about, well, veganism. This probably doesn't come as a huge shock to anyone out there, but the veg lifestyle is something we care about pretty passionately around here. Somehow, the conversation segued from what would happen if everyone on the planet went veg tomorrow (eeep!) to the songs that get stuck in our heads. Oh yes, Joseph busted out his laptop and treated us all to a little lunchtime rock, inspired by the song that has, inexplicably, been in Elizabeth's head for the last few weeks. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Yummy Mélange

The Chef: Aurelia

The Menu: A little of this, a little of that was the motto at lunch today. Aurelia perfectly prepared some brown basmati rice, which we heaped with helpings of Moo Moo's Sweet 'n' Spicy Curry Tofu and Poblano Chickpea Patties. Next, we got garlicky. As you might have read on Twitter, a motherlode of Vegenaise arrived today, so Aurelia made a lovely aioli which we slathered on garlic fries. Finally, a bright beautiful salad with sliced mushrooms, shaved beets, red-leaf lettuce, and grated carrots—with a homemade lemon-garlic dressing, of course—finished off the plate.

The Goods: If there's anything better than a super dose of garlic at lunch, we don't even want to know about it. Can you really go wrong with garlic fries? No, indeed you cannot. Something else that's guaranteed awesome is our sale! Right now, in honor of Earth Day—which happens later this month, for anyone who's reading this from the comfort of a cave—we're offering our TreeFree edition for just $15. Trust us, once you try out this super-sleek, clickable, searchable, printable gem, you'll be hooked.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Potage du Potato

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: Soup! It's raining and blah outside, so soup was definitely in order. Thankfully, we had an abundance of onions, potatoes, and parsnips, which all got blended together to make today's chunky soup. A simple salad with spinach, red-leaf lettuce, grated beets, and croutons made a satisfying side. Oh, and that lovely edible flower on the side? That would be a nasturtium which Frankie brought in and filled with guacamole. Trust us, if you haven't experienced the spicy delicious kick that nasturtiums provide, you might want to go ahead and do that—asap.

The Goods: Today is a pretty big stinking day here at the VNHQ. We have an announcement: officially, we are doing that thing that all the kids these days are doing. Yes, we've joined Twitter. Wonder what we'll tweet about? Oh, maybe something along the lines of our cover contest, maybe something about our current giveaway, and, of course, what we're eating for lunch!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Sandwiches

The Chefs: Stacy and Melissa

The Menu: A smorgasbord of sandwiches! Our chefs today used just about everything they could from the fridge, and the results were as delicious as they were varied. Melissa whipped up a lovely tofu salad with almonds, raisins, celery, and a touch of curry powder, which we slathered on toasted bread and topped with Tofurky slices, baby spinach, grated carrots, and more condiments than we could count. Some of Aurelia's awesome millet salad got reinvented with the addition of grated beets and carrots, sliced zucchini, and chopped green onions. We also doused carrot sticks, baby white carrots, and chips with Roasted Mole sauce, garlic dips, and spiced ketchups.

The Goods: Usually Fridays serve as our clean-out-the-fridge days, but today our chef tag-team pulled out all the stops. It's amazing just how many different condiments one magazine staff can fit into a standard-size refrigerator. Sandwiches are pretty much made for loading up with savory extras, which means that today's meal was pretty much perfect.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Gaga for Greens

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: An absolutely amazing Asian-food-inspired meal! Colleen was intent on using all the greens in the fridge before the weekend, and we think she might actually have done it. Her scrumptious stir-fry included Swiss chard, zucchini, cucumber, leeks, green and white onions, and gobs of garlic. Served over perfectly fluffy basmati rice and topped with toasted sesame seeds, this meal was the perfect end to another hectic week here at the VNHQ.

The Goods: Today's lunch was the ideal combination of great food, plenty of sunshine, and the general glee that tends to overtake us on Fridays. If there's anything better than eating something delicious in the company of fun people while simultaneously absorbing your vitamin D, we don't even want to know about it. Just to add to the aforementioned general glee, make sure to weigh in over on This Just In, where we're giving away a goodie bag from this year's Genesis Awards!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Millet Mania

The Chef: Aurelia

The Menu: A lovely combination of soup, salad, and toasted bread smothered in Parma. Do we like three-course lunches? Yes, indeed we do. The grain in today's salad was millet, which Aurelia mixed with kidney beans, chopped red onions, diced carrots, raisins, and baby spinach, onto which we all dumped slightly embarrassing amounts of Parma. Yes, we pretty much do that with everything that comes across our plates. The soup was a blend of potatoes, onions, and green chiles, which combined for a warm, flavorful effect. Multigrain bread, which we're pretty sure also contained millet, got toasted and topped with Parma, then heartily devoured.

The Goods: Today we got not only to eat a delicious lunch, but also to enjoy it with the company of a special guest. Our editorial assistant, Stacy, invited her twin sister to join us today, and it was a treat to get to host Kelly, who's recently moved to SF. Yes, you get extra points if you can tell which lovely lady below is Stacy and which one is Kelly. (Here's a hint: you can find photos of Stacy on Press Pass and on

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bueno, Burritos!

The Chef: El Burrito Express

The Menu: No surprise here: we had burritos. There was however, a surprise inside a couple of these foil-wrapped phenoms. While we are usually an exclusively black-bean-eating office, a few burritos had refried beans today, which made the refried fans in the office very happy. Melded with rice, guacamole, lettuce, and salsa in whole-wheat tortillas, it's hard to find a bean we don't like.

The Goods: We were sorely tempted to pull some sort of April Fools' Day joke here, but, well, burritos have a fairly specific size and shape. (And maybe our Recipe Club was a little saucier than usual today.) Since we're foregoing our foolings, please enjoy the works of both Ecorazzi and SuperVegan.