Friday, October 29, 2010

Vegetarian Noodle Soup

The Chef: Liz and Sunflower Restaurant

The Menu: A satisfying bowl of vegetarian noodle soup filled with mushroom, cauliflower, snap peas, broccoli, red peppers, carrot, celery, tofu, and rice noodles paired with a small order of brown rice—all of which I covered in a generous amount of soy sauce. And washed down with a Diet Coke.

The Goods: I live right across the street from Sunflower, so you could say that I'm somewhat familiar with its vegetarian noodle soup, in that I eat it all the time. On top of being a totally tasty way to warm up a very chilly Friday afternoon, this delicious meal—which, due to generous serving sizes, is easily two meals in one—was a mere $7. Does that mean I'll have some extra cash to throw at the East Bay Vegan Bakesale this weekend? You bet it does.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Avocado Salad with an Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: A huge salad bowl of organic red leaf lettuce, shredded carrots, green onions, chickpeas, and gobs of avocado—all tossed in a homemade vinaigrette made with orange juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and sea salt.

The Goods: I know this isn't the sexiest meal, but sometimes you just need a good, fresh salad for lunch. After two weeks of (delicious) Indian food on the VegNews Great Adventure to India and a few days of eating at local Mission eateries (the options are endless!), it was time for a healthy brown-bag meal. This hit the spot, and just what I need before a fun night out at San Francisco Vegan Drinks. It's our last of the year, so if you're in the area, join us for $5 Pumpkin Harvest Martinis, 97-cent soy hot dogs, and free vegan popcorn. VN Publisher Joseph Connelly and I leave tomorrow for the much-anticipated Boston Vegetarian Food Fair, so an early Happy Halloween to all!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gracias Madre Special

The Chef: Elizabeth and Gracias Madre

The Menu: GM's signature lunch special, featuring a fully loaded torta (the sandwich) with black beans, sauteed chiles, cashew cheese, avocado, pickles, and romaine on a delicious roll, a side Caesar salad, and house-made pickles. Yes, you get that all for $10. Yes, the green juice is also delicious!

The Goods: Today I had the pleasure of dining with VN columnist, vegansaur, and all-around human extradorinaire, Laura Hooper Beck. Though I've often (read: nearly every day since we moved offices) enjoyed the lunch special at GM, Laura had never had it and I was thrilled to have the excuse of introducing it to someone new to feast upon it again. You know what else is good enough to eat again and again? Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds. Once this torta settles, I'm hoping for a handful—or 10—of these.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chickpea Picatta

The Chef: Gabrielle

The Menu: Leftover chickpea picatta with shallots, capers, garlic, arugula, and lemon, simmered in white wine; served over roasted garlic mashed potatoes and paired with a simple spinach and corn salad.

The Goods: This picatta from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's upcoming book Appetite for Reduction might very well be one of the best meals I've made recently, which fairs well for the yet-to-be-released cookbook. Isa's recipes (whether authored alone, or with the superstar VegNews columnist Terry Hope Romero) comprise what are hands down my favorite cookbooks, and even my omnivorous mum agrees that Veganomicon is one of the best cookbooks out there, veg or not. Over the weekend I was searching for something delicious to make for the week ahead, and was thrilled to find that Isa had posted some sample recipes from Appetite for Reduction on her revamped Post Punk Kitchen website. I promptly made this recipe (with a tiny modification to allow garbanzos to share real estate with black eyed peas), and served mine over some decidedly not low-fat mashed potatoes that are my own recipe. That is, if you can call potatoes, garlic, a lot of earth balance, salt, and nutritional yeast a recipe, and not just delicious!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

The Chef: Lyndsay and Patxi's Chicago Pizza

The Menu: A humongous slice of leftover Patxi's Chicago deep dish pizza with Daiya cheese, mushrooms, and jalapeños. I accompanied this with a side of a spring mix salad, topped with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

The Goods: It was a rainy weekend in the SF Bay Area, and I just didn't feel like cooking last night. My solution of course was to order this delicious pizza pie, and I'm using pie in the literal sense, because this baby is huge—one slice will fill you up, and if it doesn't, you're super-human. We here at the VNHQ wish you a happy last week of October, and to kick it off, we have the ultimate vegan guide to Halloween candy over at Enjoy!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sushi Friday

The Chef: Gabrielle and We Be Sushi

The Menu: A spinach inside-out roll, accompanied by a tofu "steak" smothered in sesame sauce.

The Goods: This fine rainy Friday I had the pleasure of dining with Associate Editor Liz Miller and Office Manager Lyndsay Orwig. We'd planned for warming soup at Sunflower Restaurant, which you may remember from Brooke's Café VegNews post on Tuesday, but since Sunflower was packed with people ducking in to avoid the rain, we settled on We Be Sushi. Can I just say much much I love the rain? It reminds me of home, but it also makes me feel like I have the right to eat like a queen. And that I did, with this delicious roll and tofu. I also feasted on a complementary salad with sesame dressing that the kitchen kindly brought out to replace the non-vegan miso soup. Vegans love nothing more than to be considered, and, we're not going to lie, gifted with freebies. A fine start to the weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tomato Soup, Toasted Bread

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A bowl of Dr. McDougall's Chunky Tomato Soup and two slices of crispy, toasted whole-wheat bread, cut into triangles—the optimal shape for soup-dipping. I added some minced garlic and half of one fresh tomato to my soup to give is an extra kick of flavor.

The Goods: Cloudy, chilly autumn weather has finally come to San Francisco, and in honor of our overcast skies, I whipped up a bowl of warming tomato soup. If there's anything more comforting or fun than double-dipping fluffy bread into soup, I don't want to hear about it. Now that lunch is over—it's been a whole 20 minutes—it's time to think about dinner. When you spend your workday editing recipes and writing about food, it's inevitable that you'll come across a must-try recipe or two, or 13,000. So, tonight's meal might just have to be the Vegan Laksa Soup currently featured on I swear I had no hand in selecting it, I'm just a shameless promoter of soup by nature.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Super Salad and Pot Pie

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A gigantic salad of romaine, grated carrot, bell pepper, cucumber, and black olives tossed with Annie's Goddess Dressing. In addition to this massive pile of vegetable bounty, I also enjoyed an Amy's Kitchen Non-Dairy Vegetable Pot Pie, filled with potatoes, carrots, tofu, and a delicious white sauce all wrapped in a soft pastry shell.

The Goods: After having every intention of not buying lunch today (in an effort to curb my raging Gracias Madre addiction), I discovered two things. One: it was really cold this morning. Two: the grocery store right around the corner from the office sells Amy's Pot Pies. You know what this editor can't resist on a cold day? That's right—it starts with "pot" and ends with "pie."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vietnamese Vermicelli

The Chef: Brooke and Sunflower Restaurant

The Menu: Vegetarian Vietnamese Vermicelli. Also known as Bun Xao Chay, this noodly dish is filled with tofu, mushrooms, bean sprouts, celery, and red-leaves salad. Amazing!

The Goods: Ah, the Mission and its endless possibilities for eats. Our lunch hours are literally inundated with options. I kid you not when I say I spent the better part of 40 minutes walking up and down Valencia, checking out restaurants, reading the posted menus, and creepily trying to peek at what people had ordered. But, always a creature of habit, I went back to my favorite Vietnamese place in the city and ordered what I always do, this generous serving of noodles that will be both my lunch and my dinner. If you're like me and can never make a decision, you might be having trouble planning Halloween. Resist the stand-by cat costume and check out VN's Halloween Newsletter, which will help you with all your cruelty-free All Hallow's Eve needs.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vegan Cheesesteak Sandwiches

The Chef: Lyndsay and Jay's Cheesesteak

The Menu: A vegan cheesesteak, with seitan, sweet and hot peppers, and Vegenaise. Yes, I ate the entire thing.

The Goods: I know this isn't the prettiest picture, but that's a cheesesteak sandwich for you. What this sandwich lacked in cleanliness, it definitely made up in tastiness! It's Monday, and I was craving a delicious sandwich, so I treated myself and editorial assistant Gabrielle Pope to Jay's, which is probably becoming my favorite sandwich in the city, and it's not because my boyfriend's name is Jay. It's going to be a busy week at the VNHQ, and just to let you know, there's a giveaway this week for Manic Panic's new Creature of the Night make-up line. Be sure to enter!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Javalencia? More like Java-licious.

The Chef: Brooke and Javalencia Café

The Menu: A veggie bagel—a toasted everything bagel with hummus, sprouts, cucumber, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles, and banana peppers.

The Goods: My five conditions for lunch today: 1. Quick 2. Cheap 3.Close 4. Wifi 5. Delicious. Javalencia got five stars in all five categories. I headed out into the Mission for lunch rather than packing one because it's Friday and I deserve a treat. And because my cat kept me up all night. Thanks to the article "Cat People Are People Too," in The New York Times, I no longer have to feel weird telling you all that. Back to Javalencia: The café was adorable and the bagel was delicious, not to mention pretty dang similar to the hummus bagel we VegNewsers used to nosh on at Java Beach in the Outer Sunset. Only this one was served with a side of sunshine. TGIF!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Veggie Sandwich

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A toasted veggie sandwich layered with silky, homemade sweet potato hummus and three slices of tomato between two slices of crispy toasted whole-wheat bread.

The Goods: I love making homemade hummus with my Vita-Mix, as I can ditch the oil and prepare creative flavors all my own—sorry, roasted garlic variety, but you're total boresville. This satisfying sandwich pairs perfectly with my two afternoon snacks: carrot sticks and grapefruit wedges. Okay, not eaten at the same time, because that sounds awful. After a day spent noshing sweet potatoes and carrots, I may just round out my beta-carotene themed day with a plate of hearty Creamy Harvest Pasta served with a rich, veggie-filled sauce. If tomorrow wasn't Friday, I'd definitely call today the best day ever.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Enormous Burritos

The Chef: Elizabeth and Papalote Mexican Grill

The Menu: A really big, really delicious veggie burrito! Filled with refried beans, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, perfectly done rice, and a generous serving of guacamole, this burrito is one of my favorites on the planet. Does a handful of chips make everything better? Why yes, indeed they do.

The Goods: It's always a tough call between the veggie burrito and the soyrizo burrito at Papalote, since I love the big slices of carrot in the veggie, but soyrizo has the benefit of, well, soyrizo, which is effing delicious. Either way, a good dose of guacamole makes me a happy gal. One other thing that's making today wonderful is that our November+December Veggie Awards issue ships out today, which means the winners are going to be revealed! Can't wait to hear what everyone has to say about this year's crop of incredible winners!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Healthy Leftovers

The Chef: Gabrielle

The Menu: Spicy sautéed kale, oyster mushrooms, and braised tofu, accompanied by a scarlet runner bean and heirloom tomato salad dressed with a pumpkin seed oil vinaigrette.

The Goods: As a Canadian, I heeded my mum's request and made myself a bunch of dishes to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving this past weekend. I guess I didn't think about the fact that I was only cooking for one because my fridge is now packed with leftovers, but I'm not complaining! The bean salad was made possible by fancy organic scarlet runner beans and the highest quality pumpkin seed oil included in a recent care package I received from a friend all the way in Austria. The kale and mushrooms in the other dish are courtesy of the Inner Sunset Farmers' Market, which is my favorite place to be on a Sunday morning.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oktoberfest Sausage

The Chef: Gabrielle and Rosamunde Sausage Grill

The Menu: Apple-sage sausage with sauerkraut and hot peppers, and a pickle.

The Goods: As I’m sure you’ve noticed by our Mexican-, Mediterranean-, and Japanese-inspired lunches of late, the Mission district offers an ethnically diverse selection of eats. Since my dad is a German professor and my first name is Germanic, I took it upon myself to celebrate Oktoberfest today and get a vegan sausage at the nearby Rosamunde Sausage Grill. This place sounds about as unvegan as you can get, but Rosamunde actually does care about vegans, offering us four vegan sausage varieties. I ordered the Field Roast apple sage, with complimentary toppings sauerkraut and hot peppers to round out the flavors. I added a pickle on the side to get my veggies, because that counts, right? With free curry ketchup and spicy brown mustard, Rosamunde is definitely a place I’ll revisit. Oh, and they also offer an impressive selection of craft beers, for future post-work libations!

Friday, October 8, 2010


The Chef: Gabrielle

The Menu: Ume and shiitake sushi rolls with seaweed salad from the Mission's We Be Sushi Restaurant

The Goods: Office Manager Lyndsay Orwig and I set off in search of something tasty on this very sunny Friday. We found We Be, a very reasonably-priced sushi restaurant with lots of vegan options. We both started with a seaweed salad, and I ordered an ume plum and grilled shiitake roll for a wallet-friendly $3 each. This week has been a great one for eats, as evidenced by the luncheon Brooke and I attended yesterday, Lyndsay's wrap, Elizabeth's posole, Liz's classic sandwich, and Brooke's Mediterranean plate. Can we just say that we love our new Mission location?!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jam Sandwich

The Chef: Liz

The Menu: A jam sandwich piled high with homemade plum jelly between two pieces of lightly toasted whole-wheat bread. I paired my sandwich with a cup of Whole Soy Strawberry & Banana soy yogurt, which is unfortunately not pictured—I bought it at a local health food store on my lunch hour!

The Goods: Generally I wouldn't consider toast and jam an acceptable substitute for a sandwich, but with empty cupboards and no peanut butter on hand, I had to make due for the day. It's okay though, because today's a good day, and this evening, after I buy my local grocery store out of house and home, I'm looking forward to curling up with a book good: Animal Camp by Catskill Animal Sanctuary Founder Kathy Stevens. The entire VN staff is currently engrossed with this compassionate read, as its the latest page-turner being discussed over at the VegNews Book Club. Join in the fun by picking up a copy and entering into the conversation today!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Shawarma and Salad

The Chef: Lyndsay and Herbivore

The Menu: A delicious shawarma wrap with soy chicken, seasoned onions, tomatoes, hummus, pickles, tahini, avocado, and a small salad on the side

The Goods: So yes, this shawarma is half-eaten, and the only excuse I can make is that I forgot the camera when leaving for lunch. Editorial Assistant Gabrielle Pope and I went to Herbivore this afternoon with gift certificates in hand—let's just say that we were on the winning team at the World Vegetarian Festival Weekend for selling the most subscriptions. And let me tell you, working so hard definitely paid off with this delicious wrap, which came highly recommended from other VN staffers.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mediterranean Cravings

The Chef: Brooke and Ali Baba's Cave

The Menu: A Maza Combination Plate of baba ghanouge, dolma, falafel, and warm pita bread

The Goods: For some, "comfort food" equates to suburban classics such as mashed potatoes or PB&J. For me, comfort food is a heaping pile of baba ghanouge and grape leaves. Growing up, these Lebanese classics were staples to every celebration, and now that I'm far away from my mother's and aunts' kitchens, I every now and then crave something distinctly Mediterranean. Ali Baba's Cave hit the spot with Dolma (stuffed grape leaves), baba ghanouge (eggplant dip), falafel (friend garbanzo beans), and fluffy pita bread. Makes me feel right at home in the Mission!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Vegan Posole!

The Chef: Elizabeth and Gracias Madre

The Menu: Though this photo hardly does it justice, this is the incredible posole from Gracias Madre. It's a lovely, brothy soup with hominy, tortilla strips, and avocado, and is one of my absolute favorite meals on the planet.

The Goods: Yes, I went to Gracias Madre on Friday with Colleen, again today for lunch, and once over the weekend with friends. To say that I'm obsessed would be a heinous understatement. My dad grew up in New Mexico and he makes a fantastic posole, which is nearly impossible to find vegan at restaurants as it's usually made with non-vegan stock. The Gracias Madre version comes in at a close second to my dad's, which is pretty much the highest compliment I can give. Eating well was definitely on the agenda over the weekend, as we celebrated World Veg Festival Weekend. Read all about the adventures of the VN team on Press Pass!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday at Gracias Madre

The Chef: Colleen, Elizabeth, & Gracias Madre

The Menu: A traditional Mexican sandwich, or torta, filled with beans, avocado, grilled onions, and greens in a toasted French sandwich roll, along with a a fragrant bowl of the house Posole soup, a spicy hominy stew in an ancho-chile broth.

The Goods: It's Friday, it's World Vegetarian Day, and today marks the end of the first week in our gorgeous new office space. Life is good—so Elizabeth and I decided to venture over to the all-vegan Gracias Madre (two blocks away) for a delicious mid-day Mexican meal. And, as expected, lunch was incredible. The restaurant has a $10 lunch special, which today consisted of the torta along with a Caesar salad and marinated vegetables. It's an excellent value, especially since all the food at GM is made from scratch, organic, and GMO-free. In case you haven't noticed, we're doing HUGE giveaways over on Facebook and Twitter (one for each!) in celebration of World Vegetarian Day. Don't miss your chance to win a VeganTreats Peanut Butter Bomb Cake and a dozen creme-filled cookie sandwiches from Sticky Fingers Bakery. Good luck!

Above photo: The taco platter at Gracias Madre, courtesy of SF Weekly. The chef for today's Café VegNews post (Colleen) forgot the camera, so this is just a sampling of the delicious food!