Friday, July 31, 2009

Nice Noodles

The Chef: Charlotte

The Menu: A savory helping of chow-mein-style noodles that Charlotte jazzed up with the addition of green beans, red onions, carrots, and water chestnuts. A bright green salad with butter lettuce, pumpkin seeds, and sliced red onion finished the plate.

The Goods: THIS IS IT, PEOPLE. We would never normally resort to the shouting effect of the caps lock, but today is no normal day. Mere hours remain for voting in the 2009 Veggie Awards Survey, and some categories are literally being won by handfuls of votes. Are our nails bitten? Yes. Palms sweaty? Yes. Does this kind of excitement really take a toll on the overall attractiveness of our staff? Yes! Basically, it comes to this: We've got a fever, and the only prescription is more votes!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Burrito Blitz

The Chef: El Burrito Express

The Menu: You guessed it: burritos! And chips, naturally. Today we enjoyed either black-bean or refried-bean burritos with salsa, guacamole, rice, and lettuce, which basically means we enjoyed the perfect meal. An element of crunch came from the chips, and the sides of salsa supplied a splash of spice.

The Goods: Today is proof day, otherwise known as our very last chance to make edits to the September+October issue. Yes, we can sometimes be a little bit more frenzied on proof day than our normal calm composure might lead you to believe. Since we were long on work and short on time, having burritos was the perfect way to feed our frenetic selves. Oh, does it just so happen that tonight is SF Vegan Drinks, and maybe we could use a martini or seven? Yes. Is tomorrow your very last chance (really, no joke) to vote in the Veggie Awards Survey? Yes. Should you go vote now, and then imbibe the aforementioned martinis? Yes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Quinoa, Curry, and Kale

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A bed of red quinoa topped with a yellow curry that featured steamed potatoes and garbanzo beans. If there's anything that can properly accompany a big, hearty curry, it's a big, hearty kale salad. Grated carrots and sliced cucumber topped today's favored green.

The Goods: Though sadly not pictured, we also enjoyed a highly delicious nectarine-blueberry pie, courtesy of Ms. Laura Beck who procured the sweet treat from Mission Pie on her way into the office. Yes, we love it when she comes in for lunch and meetings. Yes, we also ate more macaroni salad, but didn't have the heart to put it in the picture three days in a row. Speaking of numbered days, every minute brings us closer to the end of voting in the Veggie Awards Survey. So, vote now!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fried Green Tomatoes and Biscuits

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: Yes, you read the title right. We had fried green tomatoes. Were the tomatoes grown in Abby's mother's garden and mailed directly to her so that she could create this authentic, Midwest specialty? Yes, yes they were. Yes, we are spoiled. We also enjoyed freshly baked biscuits—one of Abby's signature dishes—a spruced-up version of yesterday's macaroni salad, sausage-ish breakfast patties from Sunshine Burgers, and, of course, a huge green salad.

The Goods: We not only ate a ton of fantastic things, we got to chat with some fantastic people today, too! Brendan Brazier, one of our 25 Most Fascinating Vegetarians, and his lovely lady Julie brought us some excellent conversation about the marathon they both ran over the weekend, life in LA, and other exciting tidbits. Speaking of exciting, you know that there are only four days left to vote in the 2009 Veggie Awards Survey, right? Eeeeek!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Veggie Burgers and Vegenaise

The Chefs: Joseph, Frankie, and Kassie

The Menu: A picnic! Yes, we totally indulged in the world's most Vegenaise-laden picnic ever today. Not only did we enjoy some super yummy veggie hot dogs and burgers, we also had two salads (macaroni and potato) that were primarily comprised of Vegenaise. With tons of vegetable-type toppings, and even some edible flowers thanks to Frankie, we managed to add some non-'naise to the meal.

The Goods: Why a picnic when the current weather conditions are low 60's and overcast, you ask? Because our good friends over at Vegan Outreach sponsored Team Vegan—a group of super-awesome runners who competed in both half and full marathons over the weekend. Was one of those runners our own Joseph Connelly? Yes. Was there some leftover food from the post-run celebration? Yes. Does Joseph Connelly + leftover food = catered lunch for the VN staff? Indeed it does! Frankie and Kassie helped Joseph get everything ready, which was no small feat considering the often-ravenous nature of our staff. Here are the three chefs, the bounty of their toils before them.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bangin' Brunch

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: A scrumptious and healthy brunch assortment. Alongside tofu baked in Maya Kaimal's Vindaloo Coconut & Chile sauce, Abby whipped up perfectly roasted onion and garlic potatoes. No brunch is complete without a lil' something sweet, so kicked-up kamut pancakes drizzled with syrup made for a healthy dose of both sugar and grains. To cleanse the palate, a clean Swiss-chard salad topped with raw corn and cherry tomatoes did the trick.

The Goods: The mood is a bit lighter here at the VNHQ, as we're still reeling from wrapping up the September+October Big Food Issue! Oh yeah, and it happens to be Friday. Lunch was full of delicious food and tons of laughter, but it just isn't the same without Elizabeth around, who jetted off to DC for TAFA this morning. We wish her safe travels, and everyone a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chana Masala and Couscous

The Chef: Charlotte

The Menu: A delicious assortment of savory treats—all of which began with the letter "c." Coincidence, considering today's chef? We think not. Charlotte composed a plate of ready-made chana masala, chips, couscous—which she combined with broccoli and bell pepper—and a colorful salad of bell peppers, green beans, tomato, and avocado. OK, maybe "colorful salad" is a little bit of a stretch for everything starting with "c," but we're going for it.

The Goods: You may notice that today's post is coming late in the day, but we have a good reason, we swear! We've just put the finishing touches on our September+October Great Big Food issue, and we're pretty freaking stoked about it. Were we also stoked about today's lunch? Yes. Are we also excited for tomorrow's lunch, as per usual? Yes!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Super-Quick Scramble

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: Tofu scramble! Today's Italian-food-inspired meal consisted of lots of onions and garlic, tofu, eggplant, capers, fresh basil, and garbanzo beans, and a side salad with heirloom tomatoes and avocado.

The Goods: Sometimes, you only have half an hour to make lunch. Like, oh say, when you're going to press the next day and need to finalize the cover and edits, and maybe also need to get ready for Taking Action for Animals in DC this weekend, and maybe, just maybe, today is also your web deadline. On such days, throw a bunch of themed ingredients (Italian in this case) on tofu and call it a day. Well, actually, first vote in the Veggie Awards Survey—since there are only 10 days of voting left—then call it a day. Whew.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Entirely Edible Pasta

The Chef: Kailey

The Menu: A delicious, veggie-filled pasta with tomato sauce. Zucchini, summer squash, fresh tomatoes, cannellini beans, and a perfect blend of spices starred in today's sauce, which Kailey served over just al dente brown-rice pasta. A huge salad with heirloom tomatoes and pumpkin seeds completed the plate.

The Goods: Of course, today's pasta was way more than edible—it was scrumptious! Not everyone ate it, however, as a couple staffers are experimenting with cleansing, and are currently not consuming cooked food. Those of us who did gobble up this yummy lunch were very thankful for it! If there's anything better than a hearty, warm meal on a cold, yucky day, we don't want to know about it. One thing we do want to know about is whether or not you've voted in the Veggie Awards Survey yet, since time is running out!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Back-to-Work Burgers

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: A quick and hearty lunch of Sunshine Burgers' Falafel Patties, served atop lightly toasted sourdough with tons of fixin's. Frankie's barbecue sauce, gobs of avocado, sliced red onions, and a basil chiffonade made the perfect accouterments for our savory burgers. Are those Trader Joe's Organic Corn Chip Dippers you see alongside? Yes, indeed they are. Do they add the perfect element of crunch to any meal? Yes, indeed they do. Colleen also busted out a delicious, fresh salad with romaine, sliced bell peppers, halved cherry tomatoes, and fresh rosemary.

The Goods: This hearty and tasty meal was the perfect way to welcome everyone back from our adventures in Los Angeles over the weekend, where the majority of the staff attended AR 2009. Coming home to the fog is always a challenge after a weekend in the sunshine—well, OK, at least a weekend where we're pretty sure it's warm outside, even if we spent most of the time in a hotel! Here's hoping everyone's Monday is totally rad.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bagel Bite

The Chef: Java Beach Café

The Menu: A toasted everything bagel with hummus, avocado, lettuce, onion, tomato, and a hearty side of Fritos. Sometimes a simple meal is all you need.

The Goods: So, most of the team has already left for AR 2009. With no one around to cook for but herself, our remaining staffer headed for our local café to let someone else do the cooking. Yes, it's nice to have a place only a couple blocks away where we can enjoy the occasional off-campus lunch! What with the empty nest here at the VNHQ, this will be our last post for the week. Happy (early) Friday and here's hoping everyone has a great conference in LA!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: Yep, it's soup and that's it. OK, it was sort of supposed to turn out like a green chile-corn chowder, which, well, it didn't quite. But that idea sounds good, right? Since the actual meal was like a chowder, but not really thick enough, we're going with "chowd-ish," which we're pretty sure Rachael Ray is kicking herself for not thinking up yet. Elizabeth topped her creation with some lightly marinated Swiss chard. The end.

The Goods: You know, good intentions are really important in the kitchen, but something even more important is actually having groceries with which to cook! VN has recently discovered a whole new cleanse, for those of you at home who need to change up your regular eating habits. Here's our patented, fail-proof cleanse that's sure to break you out of your delicious-food-eating routine. Step one: don't buy groceries for a couple of weeks. Step two: make chow-dish with whatever's left. Presto! You're already eating less and feeling great! Tell us all about how fabulously this plan has worked for you, right after you finish filling out the Veggie Awards Survey.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Presto Punjab

The Chef: Kailey

The Menu: A deliciously doctored ready-made Indian meal. On a bed of brown rice, Kailey served up a packaged Punjab Choley to which she added some fresh tomato. Oven-roasted zucchini and yellow-squash chips made a savory side, and we thoroughly enjoyed the big, hearty salad, which featured cucumbers, red onions, and tons of Parma.

The Goods: It's a busy time here at the VNHQ, but then again that's pretty much all the time. We once again took in as much vitamin D from the sun today as we possibly could, and talked about the exciting trip to LA that the majority of our staff will be taking for AR 2009. In case you're one of those super-hip types, you can totally follow the conference's progress on Twitter!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Really Good Ribs

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: A meal befitting of the utterly gorgeous day we're currently enjoying here in San Francisco. OK, does that actually tell you what we ate? No. Does it tell you that the food must have been extra-awesome since we likened it to the pristine weather? Yes! So, for the actual food, Lyndsay whipped up some Morningstar Farms Riblets, which she then drenched in Frankie's barbecue sauce. Garlic fries, served with garlic aioli, and a multicolor salad with yellow tomatoes, green olives, and red onion completed the tasty plate.

The Goods: The mercury is currently sitting just above 80 degrees, which means that we are delirious with joy. It's also a happy day here at the VNHQ since the whole team is back in the office. We're enjoying having everyone here for the next couple of days before the majority of the office heads down to Los Angeles this weekend for AR 2009!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Couscous à la Charlotte

The Chef: Charlotte

The Menu: A tasty trio of treats. Charlotte spiced up a package of couscous and served it alongside a mixture of roasted potatoes, onions, and green bell pepper. For a pop of fresh color she whipped up a lovely side salad with sliced green olives, more bell pepper, and crunchy bites of celery.

The Goods: It's very much Friday. We're bouncing around the office, there was a surprise delivery of spectacular fruit, and if we're not mistaken that big ball of fire in the sky is called the "sun" which is currently yielding something relatively foreign to our land that we've heard referred to as "warmth." Oh, and for those of you keeping track at home, just about 12,500 people have voted in the Veggie Awards. If you haven't already, we recommend that you take this opportunity and do it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pretty Patties

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: A delightful breakfast spread. Abby busted out some savory black-bean sausage-style patties, roasted potatoes with zucchini, slices of Van's Wheat-Free French Toast Sticks, and a lovely salad with pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Did everything listed here serve as a vehicle for ketchup, maple syrup, and Parma!? Yes, indeed, as any good breakfast should.

The Goods: By now, Vegetarian Summerfest is in full swing, and we can't wait to get the full scoop from Joseph and Colleen, our reporters in the field. Here at the VNHQ, we're keeping the home fires burning, but, you know, not literally. We definitely didn't burn the building down in the absence of our publishers. Really.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rustic Rotini

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: A lovely, primavera-ish rotini with roasted eggplant, zucchini, green bell peppers, cannellini beans, red onion, and sun-dried tomatoes, all simmered in a savory tomato sauce. A mixed-greens salad in tangy lemon salad dressing completed the plate.

The Goods: Remember a couple days ago when we were griping about the hum-drum weather? Today we gripe no more! It's freaking gorgeous out, and some of us might have even gotten too much sun during lunch. Yes, you read that right, we said too much sun. Insanity. Along with the sparkling sunshine we very much enjoyed the company of Emma and Mike, friends of Elizabeth who are honeymooning their way along the California coast. Did they totally come on the most beautiful day we've had all year? Yes. Did they also bring cookies for us? Yes. Do we wish we had awesome guests every day? Yes!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lovely Curry

The Chef: Kailey

The Menu: A light, lovely yellow curry with garbanzo beans, zucchini, and carrots served atop fluffy brown rice. Kailey also roasted up some sweet-potato fries and busted out a mixed-greens salad with sun-dried tomatoes and celery. This meal was just the thing for a sort of dreary San Francisco day, and we eagerly gobbled it up.

The Goods: Aside from the overcast weather, things are pretty bright here at the VNHQ. We have nearly 10,000 votes in the Veggie Awards survey, we spent the majority of lunch talking about food—something that always makes us happy—and this weekend we'll be reporting from the SF Vegan Prom. Could we really want for anything else? Nah.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Makeshift Muffaletta

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A sandwich—of sorts—and a side salad. We didn't quite have all the ingredients for an actual muffaletta today, but we did have some olives, which Elizabeth processed into a tapenade, and some garbanzo beans that she turned into a homemade, heavy-on-the-garlic hummus. With slices of Frankie's pigless ribs, lettuce, and condiments, today's burger-bun-encased sandwiches were not so much accurate as they were yummy. The salad had fresh basil and corn, pumpkin seeds, and avocado, which basically means that it was the perfect salad.

The Goods: We're a small group in the office today, with just the editorial team holding down the fort. Want to know what everyone's doing out and about? Well, you'll just have to keep up with our extracurricular adventures on Press Pass. Oh, and did we mention that there are now more than 8,000 votes in the Veggie Awards Survey? The word for what we are is "thrilled."

Friday, July 3, 2009

Pizza Perfecta

The Chef: Charlotte

The Menu: Two totally delicious pizzas! Charlotte busted out two perfect pizza pies with the help of a couple ready-made crusts (herbed and plain) from Trader Joe's. She topped these tasty starting points with kalamata olives, caramelized onions, and sliced mushrooms. A bright side salad of butter lettuce, avocado, and olives made the perfect complement to our perfect pizza.

The Goods: It's Friday! Voting for the Veggie Awards is in full swing! We had pizza! All these things are good. Happy 4th of July to everyone tomorrow!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Breakfast Bonanza

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: A scrumptious spread of breakfast goodies! Colleen made an incredible scrambled tofu with toasted cumin seeds, slivered carrots and zucchini, and a delectable combination of herbs. Rosemary-roasted sweet potatoes, rustic bread with berry preserves, and a bright green salad completed the meal. Yes, we would eat breakfast every day if it meant we got to eat like this.

The Goods: As today's lunch was obviously a departure from our usual, hurried put-together-whatever-we-have-handy menu plan, you might be wondering about what kind of special occasion could warrant such yummy eats? Well, we'll tell you. Today we celebrated (belatedly) the birthday of one Rey Ortega, a longtime friend of VN and founder of Sun Flour Baking Company. Rey and his awesome co-workers Tiffany and Jennifer joined us, as did Ms. Laura Beck, who's also awesome, for the record. Oh, and did we mention that there are already more than 4,000 votes cast in the 2009 Veggie Awards Survey?! There are! Add yours!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Surprise Veggie Simmer

The Chef: Joseph

The Menu: In the grandest tradition of the VNHQ kitchens, Joseph bravely volunteered to make lunch today with only an hour's notice, had no idea what was in the fridge, and still managed to bust out this yummy lunch. He prepared herbed brown rice topped with a multitude of veggies—beans, tomatoes, baby corn, and zucchini, just to name a few—tofu, and a savory simmer sauce. Our salad was full of mixed greens, grated carrots, red cabbage, and fried onions. Yum.

The Goods: OK, maybe you've already heard the news, but we're so excited we can't stand it: The 2009 Veggie Awards Survey is live! You can vote right now! This is one of our most anticipated features of the year, and we can't wait to see who this year's winners are!