Friday, February 26, 2010

Black Bean and Broccoli Wraps

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: A very tasty, and beautifully presented, array of treats wrapped in tortillas, which, as you may know, is pretty much the best way to eat anything. Today we wrapped broccoli, black beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, quinoa, and salsa all up in whole-wheat tortillas. Abby also made flattened biscuits, which also seemed vaguely tortilla-esque, aka delicious. Finally, a simple salad finished off our plates.

The Goods: It's the weekend! We like that! Here's to enjoying some quality time with your non-work life. Speaking of non-work, are you in need of a vacation? Perhaps one in India? With us?! If you want to take part in our first-ever VegNews Great Adventure to India, the time to reserve your space is now. The trip is already half sold-out!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sensational Spring Rolls

The Chef: Abigail

The Menu: A delicious bounty of rice-paper rolls, soup, and salad. The rolls were stuffed with fantastic baked tofu and sesame sauce, the soup was a non-chicken base with lovely toasted nori, and the salad was our typical blend of mixed greens, grated carrots, and cherry tomatoes that was elevated to a whole new level by Abigail's amazing spicy peanut butter dresssing.

The Goods: This was one of the tastiest and most creative meals we've had in a while, and was the perfect base for the long evening ahead of us. Why the long evening, you ask? That would be because we'll be out whooping it up at a little something we like to call SF Vegan Drinks. Not in the San Francisco Bay Area but want to hang out with us? Then come to India with us!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A mish-mash of Indian-inspired dishes that pretty much involved opening a bunch of cans and tossing the contents together. Mushrooms, greens, garlic, onions, garbanzo beans, and pinto beans all got sautéed with garam marsala, cumin, and coriander. Basmati rice, diced tomatoes, and curry powder all got tossed together into the rice cooker, and then a simple salad of mixed greens, tomato, and avocado finished the plate.

The Goods: Why the Indian influence today? Well there are two answers. The simple one is that we happen to have all these ingredients on hand and Elizabeth knew that she could toss them together fairly quickly and come out with a palatable meal. The way more exciting answer is that we are going to India!! That's right, our publishers will be hosting the first-ever VegNews Adventure to India this year, and we couldn't be more thrilled about the trip. The best part? You can go too! And eat vegan food and see the Taj Mahal! Did we mention the vegan food part? Check it out!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Peanut Butter Pasta

The Chef: Kristen

The Menu: One of Kristen's signature dishes, the peanut butter and tomato pasta toss. This delicious dish is a savory treat featuring collard greens, a simple sauce of—you guessed it—PB and tomatoes. Maybe that combination strikes you as a little crazy, and maybe it is. Crazy good! Kristen also made one of the loveliest salads we've seen in a while: mixed greens, homemade croutons, avocado, grated carrots, halved cherry tomatoes, and toasted sunflower seeds. Yes, we are happily full!

The Goods: It's a rainy, vile day here in SF, but we won't let the weather dampen (aside from literally, as we all pretty much got soaked on the way into the office today) our spirits. Why not, you ask? That would be because this week we have the time-honored tradition of SF Vegan Drinks to perk us up! Come out and see us this Thursday, or we'll be forced to drink all of the drink specials before you get there.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Garlic Pasta and Greens

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: A light, flavorful pasta dressed with garlic, rosemary, and olive oil, then tossed with diced tomato and garbanzo beans. Lyndsay also transformed Frankie's delicious homemade bread into the best garlic bread we've had, and finished the meal with a simple salad of mixed greens and avocado. Yes, it was pretty much perfect.

The Goods: After a weekend of heavy rain, we were lucky enough to enjoy our plates of pasta al fresco thanks to a gorgeous, sunny day here at the VNHQ. Oh, and maybe we had Cowvin Cookies from Sticky Fingers for dessert. We also might still be thrilled about the arrival of our March+April issue, which ships to subscribers this week. All in all, we're a pretty freaking happy office!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bright Green Soup!

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A delectable, raw Spinach Thyme Soup that included loads of green veggies, herbs and spices, hemp oil, agave, meat-free chicken bouillon, and a subtle kick of garlic. Elizabeth paired this nutritious, bright green bowl of soup with a similarly hued side salad complete with mixed greens, mushrooms, tomatoes, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and diced bell peppers. Were there also slices of sunflower seed bread to dip into our soup? Indeed there were.

The Goods: In case there were any doubts, this lunch acts as proof that we are still obsessed with making soup in five minutes in our new Vita-Mix. People, it's bright green soup! In five minutes! It will never get old. This light and fresh vegetable-filled lunch was exactly what we needed after a week of over-indulging in sweets. So, in true VN style, we followed our cleansing, healthful lunch with to-die-for desserts from Sticky Fingers Bakery. Yes, our publisher's did generously order us Valentine's Day treats from Sticky Fingers, and yes, we know that they are the best.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Southern Comfort Food

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: Hello, comfort food! Spicy barbecue ribs, flaky Daiya biscuits, and savory cashew gravy made this one of the most hearty, filling meals we've ever had. Abby's to-die-for biscuits were a rich and delicious treat, especially paired with Frankie's famous ribs and barbecue sauce. Abby rounded out the meal with a fresh green salad that included green bell peppers, diced tomatoes, and avocado. 

The Goods: A lunch brimming with comfort food was exactly what we needed to brighten our very overcast Thursday. Yes, the weather outside is dreary, but things here at the VNHQ couldn't be better. Aside from researching (read: taste testing) delicious baked goods all week, we just received advanced copies of our March+April issue featuring cover gal Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart! Maybe our Thursday is going pretty well, and maybe it's partly because tomorrow is Friday. Or maybe dizzying sugar rushes and/or magazine shipments are to blame. Whatever the cause, we're not complaining!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Stew and Salad

The Chef: Kristen

The Menu: A hearty, spicy bean stew served over perfectly steamed white basmati rice. This supremely satisfying stew included black beans, red bell peppers, diced tomatoes, sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. To accompany the stew and rice, Kristen also prepared a fresh, zesty side salad replete with mixed greens, tomato, mushrooms, and garbanzo beans. She may have also warmed up slices of bread, which we may have happily devoured. 

The Goods: We're having a pretty awesome day here at the VNHQ. First, we had the pleasure of dining with company, as five of Joseph's good friends came for lunch today. Second, it's absolutely gorgeous outside—sunny, breezy weather that smells and feels like summer. Yep, it's pretty exciting. And last but certainly not least: big freaking news! Today marks the unveiling of our March+April cover gal, eco-entrepreneur Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart! Check out our exclusive web feature to learn more about Leanne, and make sure to pick up a copy of the March+April issue when it hits newsstands next month!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pesto Fusilli

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A luscious, homemade pesto served with fresh tomato chunks over brown-rice fusilli. A hearty salad with garbanzo beans, romaine, cucumber, and green onion made a delicious side, and Liz also just happened to bust out a seitan piccata. Yes, we are spoiled. Yes, we covered everything in Parma!

The Goods: After Friday's phenomenal meal, we were too scared to come in to the office to make lunch yesterday. Yes, too scared, and also too much enjoying the holiday time off. Liz brought us back to the work-week reality with this yummy lunch, but just in case any of you was hoping for more from the realm of professional chefs, we have a little recap from one of Tal Ronnen's cooking classes over on Press Pass. Let's not, you know, hasten back to reality too quickly. Here's hoping everyone is enjoying the short week!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Vegan Valentine's

The Chef: Chloe Coscarelli 

The Menu: An incredible, three-course Valentine's Day-themed feast from our star guest chef, Ms. Chloe Coscarelli. We started the meal by sipping on delicious pomegranate lemonade and dining on a delightful roasted beet and arugula salad tossed in a sweet champagne vinaigrette. Our light and fresh salad was paired perfectly with a crisp and flavorful artichoke-pesto crostini. As if we weren't already in culinary heaven, Chloe's main course was a to-die-for farfalle pasta dish complete with wild mushrooms and sundried tomatoes, served in a rich, savory almond-cream sauce. For dessert, Chloe prepared some of the best bite-sized, cream-filled cupcakes we've ever tasted, and since she's amazing like that, she also delighted us with decadent raspberry chocolate tiramisu. Yep, we are dead from excitement.

The Goods: We always love having guests here at the VNHQ, and today Chloe and her lovely mother—and assistant—Shelley Coscarelli pretty much made our day. We heard about Chloe recently after she won a panini contest in Los Angeles with her vegan mango masala panini recipe. Chloe has worked at a variety of vegan hot spots including Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco and Counter Organic Vegetarian Bistro in New York City. To say that we were floored by the food and by the company would be an understatement. Not only did Chloe serve us an awesome feast, she and Shelley brought Valentine's Day decorations for the occasion! Yes, we're officially fans of this up-and-coming vegan chef extraordinaire.  

Raspberry Chocolate Tiramisu and Cream-Filled Love Bites

Chloe, Kristen, Liz, Abigail, Lyndsay, Colleen, and Shelley

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Everything Soup!

The Chef: Abigail

The Menu: No shock here, we're sure, but today we enjoyed some yummy, blended soup! Abigail put just about everything she could find in this one, including oatmeal, carrots, chocolate, spinach, and cayenne. Did she even have to cook it? Nope! After a few minutes in the whirling Vita-Mix, our soup was steaming. A colorful side salad with kale, pine nuts, red cabbage, and cherry tomatoes made a crunchy balance to the smooth soup.

The Goods: We're not going to lie: we kind of have a ton going on today. First of all, did you see our Valentine's Day Newsletter? It's pretty freaking cute (if we dare say so ourselves) and full of excellent tips, deals, and events for this Sunday. Second, we might have made a fairly major announcement about our March+April issue cover. We're just saying.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Black Bean Soup

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: A silky, blended black bean soup, which we topped generously with Daiya. Does the bowl look a bit like it's full of chocolate pudding? Yeah, it did to us, too. But back to oh-so-savory reality. We gobbled up a side salad bursting with kale and avocado, and lovely little quesadillas, also made with Daiya.

The Goods: Yep, still going with the soup. No, we don't have the excuse of an impending blizzard for all this soup-making, but you know what? We don't really have a good excuse for covering everything we can in Daiya, either, yet that is exactly what we do. So there you have it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cream of Tomato Soup

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: As you might have guessed, another blended soup! Seriously, we are elbow deep in soup over here, and pretty freaking happy about it. This time, Elizabeth simply blended canned diced tomatoes with a sautéed onion and some cashew cream, and voila, we had soup. A marinated kale salad with avocado and freshly sliced baguette made perfect side dishes to our homey main.

The Goods: No, really, we are obsessed with making soup. Pretty much everything that can be blended is going to be blended. Soup is like the new Robitussin. Got a cough? Eat some soup. Trapped in your snowed-in home? Soup. Just about out of soup? Add some water and blend it up—more soup!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cream of Broccoli Soup

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A rich, delicious, blended cream of broccoli soup that featured potatoes, cashews, garlic, onions, carrots, and, of course, broccoli, which Liz topped with toasted breadcrumbs. A spinach salad with grated carrots and halved cherry tomatoes, toasted baguette slices, and a helping of brown basmati rice made mighty good sides to our mouthwatering main.

The Goods: As you might have read recently, the VNHQ is now home to a shiny, new Vita-Mix. We pretty much spend every spare second here talking about what foods we want to blend up, and the ideas so far have spanned from the ridiculous (burrito soup, anyone?) to the ridiculously delicious, like today's lunch. Yes, you can pretty much expect every meal this week to have some sort of soup, smoothie, or other blended item. Feel free to tell us your favorite recipes!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tempeh Curry

The Chef: Joseph

The Menu: A lovely Thai curry with sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, onions, garlic, and locally made tempeh. What's that you say? We live in the Bay Area and tempeh is a Thai tradition? Well, you're right on both counts, but this particular tempeh was made right here in the Bay Area by Philip Gelb, who's just about to launch a tempeh company, Dragon Lines. Joseph served the curry over rice with a lovely side salad. While the salad was great on its own, we couldn't help but try the Organicville Non-Dairy Ranch Dressing that just happened to be delivered right as we were sitting down to eat.

The Goods: Really? You want more good than local tempeh and vegan ranch? Demanding! Well, fine, in other good news, it's Friday! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Burrito Day!

The Chefs: El Burrito Express and Joseph

The Menu: Burr-freakin-itos. We love these. Whole-wheat tortillas wrapped around perfectly flavored rice, yummy refried beans, and tons of guacamole make these the preferred proof-day food. With a side of roasted veggies from Joseph and a hearty helping of chips and salsa, these fantastic foil-wrapped goodies made a mean meal.

The Goods: As you may have guessed, today is proof day, which means that we have the proofs of the March+April issue back from the printer, and need to exhaustively go over them to catch any last-minute edits. Consider this thing edited. Also, we might have gotten a delivery that had us jumping up and down with glee. One word: Vita-Mix.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Newleaf Entrées

The "Chef": Elizabeth

The Menu: A bright salad with red cabbage, sliced mushrooms, red bell pepper, garbanzo beans, and tomatoes, and a selection of entrées from Newleaf. We sampled the Tuscan Pesto Pasta (pictured above), Sweet Potato Gnocchi, and Java BBQ Tempeh.

The Goods: We received a ton of samples from this new line of frozen meals, and today was the perfect day to try them out, as our "chef," Elizabeth, has been feeling under the weather and wasn't really up for making a five-course feast. (Which she totally would have done, had she been feeling better. Obviously.) For a speedy meal, these all-vegan, organic, low-salt entrées worked out wonderfully, though the meal might have been a bit speedier if we'd had more than one microwave!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Veggie Stir-Fry

The Chef: Abby

The Menu: Veggies galore! Abby whipped up a vegetable-filled trifecta, starting with a main dish of stir-fried veggies and tofu, including broccoli, carrots, peas, green and red peppers, and mushrooms, served over brown rice. Garlicky homemade hummus dressed up raw carrots and broccoli, and a huge salad rounded out the plate. Complete with spinach, kale, cucumber, red pepper, and a sweet vinaigrette, our daily leafy-greens requisite added balance to its richer, savory counterparts.

The Goods: Sometimes going back to the basics of plant-based cooking can be delicious—like today. A filling, vitamin-packed meal was just what the VNHQ ordered, especially with a bout of the sniffles making its rounds again. Fighting off your own flu-like demons? Check out our top foods for feasting to keep you healthy and happy this February!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Caribbean Stew

The Chef: Lyndsay

The Menu: A hearty, healthy meal of Caribbean Stew, based on a recipe by Robin Robertson. Lyndsay served this delicious mixture of beans, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, coconut milk, and spices over perfectly fluffy couscous. A simple salad with greens and avocado made the perfect side.

The Goods: Though the torrential rain of last week seems to have cleared up for now, it's still overcast and chilly out, and this stew was the perfect mid-day warm-up. We're also all fired up about the VegWeb Recipe Showdown. Of course, you've already voted for your favorite VegWeb recipes to appear in the May+June issue of VegNews, but just in case you know anyone who's lagging, voting will stay open until midnight on Wednesday.