Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Crab Cakes

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A colorful composition of lemony crab cakes made with Match Meats and Le Grand Lemon Confit, sautéed spinach with garlic, peanut butter roll-ups with jalapeño jelly, a bright salad with red cabbage and mango, and hunks of warm bread.

The Goods: The inspiration behind this meal was clearly cleaning out the fridge before we leave for the holidays! Frankie and Kassie provided the roll-ups, and with so many ready-made ingredients on-hand, this complex-looking meal came together in just about half an hour. Oh, and there might be about 80,000 types of cookies, fudge, candy canes, and other holiday-type goodies hanging around the office, so we're all feeling pretty freakin' jolly. We're off for the holidays until the beginning of January, so we'll see you in 2010! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Celebration Soup

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A superb vegetable soup, which Liz made nice and hearty with cashew cream, blended rice, and other fresh veggies. Alongside we enjoyed a beautiful salad with kale, spinach, grated carrots, pine nuts, and black sesame seeds, and slices of toasted bread. It may well have been perfection in lunch form. Oh, and just to top it all off, we demolished the cinnamon rolls that were delivered to us this morning from Cinnaholic. Maybe they were candy cane and gingerbred flavored. Maybe they were absolutely delicious, and we are all currently in sugar comas. Consider, if you will, this these facts:
Yeah. Oh, and one of our guests, Katie, made pistachio fudge. She does that. Things are good. Speaking of which....

The Goods: Today's meal was stellar, but it was totally trumped by the company. We were joined today by our beloved Laura Beck, Aurelia d'Andrea, Katie and Dan Paul, and (from the non-human animal contingency) Cal, Khane, Fanny, Wawona, and William. Yes, Wawona is the cat Katie rescued while she interned with us ever so long ago, and William is the white rat that Joseph is holding in the photo below. Though it was a phenomenal group and a mighty good time, it was tinged with sadness as it's Miss Sara's last day in the office. Sara, you'll be missed! To abruptly change the subject so that we no longer have to contemplate her imminent departure, please note: we've compiled the Top 10 Veg Stories of the Decade. Check them out!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Brazilian Black Bean Stew

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: A super delicious sweet-and-savory stew! This was yet another recipe from 1,000 Vegan Recipes, and if only for this one alone, the book is a hit! Black beans, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cumin, mango, and banana all joined forces in this cozy stew. A light side salad with sliced mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, grated carrots, and a balsamic vinaigrette perfectly complemented the hearty main.

The Goods: Well, cookbook week has come to its close, but we still have one copy of Robin Robertson's latest work to dole out. Yes, we are totally like Santa. Minus the reindeer, semi-religious affiliation, and red suit. But otherwise, we and Santa are one in the same! Ok, so without further ado our final copy of 1,000 Vegan Recipes goes to livingroovy! Livingroovy, send us an email and we'll send your book right out.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cookbook Week: Three-Bean Chili

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: A hearty, filling bowl of three-bean chili. This super satisfying main starred white and red kidney beans, black beans, and just the right amount of chipotle peppers and green chiles for an added kick. Abby complemented the spicy dish with fluffy quinoa and a light spinach salad with carrot, red pepper, and sliced mushrooms.

The Goods: First, the good news. Today we enjoyed another one of Robin Robertson's 1,000 Vegan Recipes, the sun is shining, our Parma! cup runneth over, and it's Friday. Now the bad news: We only have one more copy of Robertson's masterpiece to give away. On a happier note, congrats to PodPiper, who is the winner of yesterday's copy! Send us an e-mail, and we'll get your book right out. Our randomly selected winner touted Daiya as a current love obsession, suggesting a sprinkle makes everything better—including chili. While we didn't have any Daiya on hand today, the VN staff did debate over the best chili toppings. From classic to crazy, what's your favorite chili add-in? Leave a comment for your chance to win the final copy of 1,000 Vegan Recipes!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cookbook Week: Pierogi with Fried Onions

The Chef: Sara

The Menu: A perfect plate of pert pierogi! These cute little dumplings were stuffed with mashed potatoes and fried onions, and they were just about as tasty as can be. Sara's spinach side salad was a stupendous supplement to the savory main.

The Goods: Whoa! Did you know that the holidays are heavily breathing their candy-cane breath down our necks? Yeah, they are. What with all the frenzied gift purchasing, it's nice to be able to give something away for free every day. Here at the VNHQ, we've so far had a bunch of great lunches from 1,000 Vegan Recipes and today's was no exception. Congratulations to yesterday's giveaway winner, Josiane! Josiane, send us an email, and we'll send your copy of the book right out.

Now, today we had the pleasure of dining with Ms. Laura Beck. This lovely lady just returned from a whirlwind trip to NYC and Chicago, and still found time to spoil us with treats. She brought a box of S'mores Bars by Sweet Fritsy, and, um, wow. Incredible. Gooey marshmallow layer on rich fudge layer, topped with graham cracker crumbs and chocolate chips. We are in love. Here's our new sweetie:
Now that you've met our latest obsession, for today's copy of 1,000 Vegan Recipes, tell us in the comments: What are you totally in love with right now?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cookbook Week: Fettuccine with Figs and Walnuts

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A highly delicious, very filling meal of whole-wheat fettuccine, doused in a cashew-cream sauce with figs and walnuts, topped with toasted breadcrumbs. A simple salad with tomato and red onion balanced out the extremely rich pasta.

The Goods: As we're sure you're aware by now, all the dishes this week are recipes in Robin Robertson's latest work, 1,000 Vegan Recipes. Robertson mentions that this recipe is one of her favorites, as it's adapted from a dish that her mother would serve every Christmas Eve. Which leads us to two points: one, congratulations to phrog from yesterday's comments! Send us an email, and we'll send your copy of the book right out. Two, for today's copy, tell us in the comments: What is your most delicious holiday tradition?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cookbook Week: Roasted Vegetable Frittata

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A bevvy of breakfast goodies from 1,000 Vegan Recipes! Liz busted out a delicious frittata with potatoes, mushrooms, red bell pepper, and onions, and accompanied the hearty main with hash browns and Match Meats Breakfast Sausage. Savory and filling, breakfast for lunch might just be one of our all-time favorites.

The Goods: The comments from yesterday told us that overwhelmingly Vegan Planet is your go-to cookbook from Robin Robertson. Thanks to our trusty random number generator that picked the winning comment, we'd like to wish congratulations to Olivia! Olivia, send us an email with your full name and mailing address, and we'll send your copy of 1,000 Vegan Recipes right out. For today's copy, let's talk holidays. Tell us in the comments: What's your favorite holiday dish?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cookbook Week: Red Bean Jamaican Stew

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: Our first attempt at making a recipe from 1,000 Vegan Recipes by our very own columnist, Robin Robertson. Lyndsay took the "Global Vegan" theme from Robin's column, and created this rich, delicious stew of coconut milk, kidney beans, sweet potatoes, and spices, which she served over brown basmati rice and artistically dotted with hot sauce.

The Goods: All this week we'll be making meals from Robin's latest work. Yes, picking five recipes out of a thousand—literally—but we managed to each find something that appealed to us. The good news? This means that there is a recipe for all the lunches we'll make this week, unlike our usual MO of throwing together whatever we have in the kitchen. The better news? We're also giving away one copy of this massive tome each day this week! To win today's copy, tell us in the comments: What is your favorite Robin Robertson cookbook?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Homemade Vegan Meatballs

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: Oh, just your basic bowl of ziti and pasta sauce—with homemade vegan meatballs!! Seriously, we are not even sure how Colleen managed to make all this in just an hour, but she did, and we are stoked. Well, OK, we do know that she used Match Meats Ground Chicken as a base, but then loaded these baked babies up with spices, and cooked them perfectly. The end, love, meatballs.

The Goods: Well, it's raining and gross here at the VNHQ today, but the inclement weather has not dampened our spirits. It's Friday, we'll be doing a giveaway next week, and for those who are into this kind of thing, it's the first night of Hanukkah. Need some vegan Hanukkah recipes? Maybe you should head over to, where we just happen to have some.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Simple Lentil Soup

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: A perfectly easy lentil soup with potatoes, carrots, tons of garlic, and a bunch of yummy Indian spices. This was just about the best thing that could have possibly come out of our kitchen today, since all we ever want to eat is soup, what with the frigid temperatures we've had recently. Abby also made a lovely side of brown rice topped with marinated Match Meats Ground Chicken that she baked to perfection.

The Goods: Yes, we could easily eat soup every day and be totally happy at lunchtime. Come next week, however, we're going to bust out of our comfort zone and delve into a sampling of Robin Robertson's latest work, 1,000 Vegan Recipes. Will we be giving away one copy each day? Why yes, yes we will. Speaking of giving things away, in case you missed our Holiday Newsletter that launched this morning, check it out here. Maybe it has tons of holiday recipes, tips, and ideas, and maybe it is also really, really cute. We're just saying.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Free-Form Fajitas

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A fairly monochromatic plate of beef-free fajitas. For the "beef" she used Match Meats Ground Beef, and then served quinoa topped with spiced zucchini, black beans, and crimini mushrooms alongside. Whole-wheat tortillas and sliced avocado make anything better, don't they?

The Goods: As you might or might not be aware, it's cold here. Like, really cold. Like, so cold that while Elizabeth was in the kitchen making lunch (which is in a part of our office that doesn't have great heating), she donned her sweater, heavy jacket, and borrowed a knit hat from Abby to keep her ears from freezing off. If anyone is interested in sending hot-cocoa reinforcements, we'd be fine with that!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lemon "Chicken" and Vegetable Soup

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A lovely, blended vegetable soup of potatoes, carrots, celery, and just a touch of something spicy, a side of brown rice, a slice of yummy ciabatta, and a sample of Match Meats Ground Chicken that Liz prepared with a Lemon Confit and Pumpkin Seed sauce. Hearty? Check. Warm? Check. Totally contrasted the near-freezing (literally!) temperatures we experienced today? Check.

The Goods: It is definitely winter. Everyone was back in the office and this slightly spicy soup was just the thing to revive our staffers who are fighting colds and to warm up the rest of us who were turning into popsicles. Really, it's very chilly.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Burgers and Fries

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: A classic burger-and-fries combo complete with homemade, oven-baked French fries and delicious, hearty veggie burgers made with tofu and red beans. To get some greens in, Lyndsay topped the meal off with a robust salad doused in a lemony vinaigrette dressing. We may or may not have washed down our lovely meal with some Candy Cane Joe-Joe's and soymilk. Hey, 'tis the season.

The Goods: Things are strangely quiet today at the VNHQ, with Ms. Elizabeth and Ms. Abby both out sick. We wish them a speedy recovery! In other news, our stick-to-your-ribs lunch was the perfect meal to satisfy our appetites on this chilly San Francisco day. We've certainly learned our lesson—whether indoors or out, bundling up during the harsh winter months is an absolute must!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Chef's Table

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: A lovely roasted butternut squash soup, Colleen's signature holiday salad, and a delicious quinoa salad with chopped bell peppers, carrots, and red onions. In case you haven't been near Colleen during the holidays, her salad consists of mixed greens, candied pecans, dried cranberries, and sliced apples.

The Goods: Today we enjoyed the excellent company of Bryant Terry and his lovely partner Jidan. The weather was slightly chilly for an al fresco lunch, but we had fun none the less. Here's a photo of the whole, freezing group:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Soup and Pasta Salad

The Chef: Sara

The Menu: A lovely, spicy tomato soup with a side of toasted tortilla triangles, and a big pesto pasta salad with fresh veggies. Sara chopped up zucchini, broccoli, red onions, carrots, and greens, and added a ready-made pesto by Maison Le Grand for our dining pleasure. Yum. We then proceeded to drown the memory of our healthy lunch in ice cream, which is just not a bad idea at all.

The Goods: We are thrilled to announce that for the first time ever, VegNews has our own, customized holiday cards on sale! They are pretty stinking cute, so you should probably go check them out. Unless you want us to be sad and drown our sorrows in Candy Cane Joe-Joe's, which we might be doing anyway.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hot Pink Soup!

The Chefs: Abby and Susy

The Menu: One of the most colorful ways of using Thanksgiving leftovers we've ever seen! Though the photo doesn't quite do it justice, this soup—which was an amalgamation of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and roasted root vegetables—was hot pink in real life, thanks to the roasted beets it contained. Susy (aka Elizabeth's mom) brought the soup makings, some stuffing, and a highly delicious cranberry-Cabernet sauce from the Castoria family Thanksgiving. Abby whipped up her signature biscuits and a big, beautiful salad.

The Goods: Today we had the pleasure of Susy's company and celebrated the birth of our beloved Frankie. OK, so technically Frankie's birthday isn't until tomorrow, but she has celebration plans that don't involve coming into the office, so we took the opportunity to whoop it up with her today. Fun ladies and great eats? We like that.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


The Chef: El Burrito Express

The Menu: Well, what's it look like? Oh, that's right, burritos! Yep, our black-bean and guacamole-filled staples served us well today, alongside their trusty chips and salsas.

The Goods: Today, we got in the proofs of the January+February 2010 issue, and since we had a breakneck editing schedule once they arrived, we thought it best to conserve precious editing energy by having lunch catered. By "catered" we mean that Joseph picked up burritos from our favorite local joint, and we demolished them. The end. Love, VN.