Monday, February 28, 2011

Vegetable Curry and Salad

The Chef: Anna

The Menu: A spinach salad topped with carrot, sweet potato, and tomato; a delicious vegetable curry chock full of potatoes, cauliflower, tomato, broccoli, onion, eggplant, and green peas; and a smattering of brown rice

The Goods: Often when I look through cookbooks, I look for two things: 1. No animal products. 2. Four steps or fewer. Call me lazy, but what can I say? I like to keep things simple most of the time. This delicious veggie curry was a cinch to make (Cut vegetables. Put vegetables and spices in pot. Turn on burner.), and will last me all week long. Want some more one-pot meal ideas (along with casseroles, stews, and pasta dishes) that will get you through the week? Check out our new featurette, Cook Once all Week. Cooking at home: Pittance. Clicking the "Snooze" button two more times each morning: Priceless.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Vegan Cheesesteak

The Chef: Alexandra and Jay's Cheesesteak

The Menu: A super messy and delicious cheesesteak sandwich filled with grilled seitan, onions, spinach, pickles, lettuce, and vegan mayo. And let's not forget the fries on the side.

The Goods: It's been decided, cheesesteak sandwiches are the perfect Friday lunch meal. Hearty, comforting, and downright tasty, they're the perfect way to transition into the weekend. Editorial Assistant Anna and I filled our stomachs to the brim while debating which protein-filled meat replacement is the best, seitan, tempeh, or tofu (we decided on tofu and seitan). If that wasn't enough: we just got a giant box of baked goods in from Everyday Gourmet. Food coma, here I come. Speaking of indulgent meals, check out Associate Editor Jenn's recent Press Pass, where she takes on the sushiritto. Yes, that is a burrito-sized sushi roll.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quintissential Quesadillas

The Chefs: Lyndsay and Gracias Madre

The Menu: The Quesadillas de Calabaza, which were filled with delicious butternut squash and carmelized onions, and topped with cashew nacho cheese and pumpkin seed salsa, all with a side of black beans.

The Goods: I can't get enough of these quesadillas, which are just exquisite, and not too filling. And I always love to add a side of black beans, because I'm sorry, but Gracias Madre has the best black beans, period. Today we had a very special guest—former Editorial Assistant Gabrielle Pope came to visit since heading back to Canada last December. We were very sad to see her go, so her visit made us very excited, and we wanted to take her to her favorite lunch spot. She will also be joining us at SF Vegan Drinks tonight, which is at 6pm tonight at Martuni's. We hope to see you there, too!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vegan Burger & Mashed Sweet Potatoes

The Chef: Jennifer, Candle Cafe

The Menu: Tofu veggie burger on a wheat bun with vegan cheese, mashed sweet potatoes

The Goods: Whenever I get homesick for New York City, I cook from the Candle Cafe cookbook to make me feel like I'm back on the East Coast. The mashed sweet potatoes is a simple recipe from the cookbook that is deliciously filling and healthy. The best part of the recipe is that most of it involves just baking the sweet potatoes. The tofu veggie burger is from Trader Joe's, and while I usually love this burger on top of a bed of brown rice, it tasted just as yummy on a whole-wheat bun with a slice of vegan rice cheddar cheese. If you don't have the Candle Cafe cookbook, here's a nice Candied Sweet Potatoes recipe that is similar. Though after reading through all the delicious wedding menus from our upcoming May+June 2011 wedding issue, I really just wanted a slice of vegan wedding cake.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vegan Breakfast Casserole

The Chef: Elizabeth

The Menu: A delicious breakfasty bread-pudding casserole, with cubed bread, winter squash, a tofu cream sauce, spinach, and leeks.

The Goods: First, I apologize for the quality of this photo. Sometimes a cell phone really is actually more of a phone than a camera, especially in the case of my flip phone. Yes, I said flip phone because they do still exist and I do still have one. Internets, schminternets. Though today's photo isn't terribly exciting, we have a bunch of super-snazzy news to perk up your reading experience. First, tonight is our very first ever Twitter Chat, featuring our gorgeous cover gal Kris Carr. Could we be more excited? No. We're also starting to see responses to our Vegan Bucket List feature in the brand-spankin' new March+April issue, which is highly exciting. And, if all that wasn't enough, this week we'll be hosting SF Vegan Drinks with Vegansaurus! Do we love an excuse to drink on a weeknight? Mayhaps!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Carb-Crazy Feast

The Chef: Anna, Elizabeth, and Jennifer

The Menu: A heaping dish full of VegNews' Macaroni and Cheese, Abby's biscuits from the VN Savvy Vegan blog with honee and caramel agave on top, Alicia Silverstone's Crispy Peanut Butter Treats with Chocolate Chips, Oreos, and Nutter Butters

The Goods: I'm finished with Kris Carr's 21-day cleanse, so it's only natural that I relish in a meal made from nothing but wheat and sugar, right? Right. While I do worry that green-juice fans everywhere feel a pain in their souls today, I was so happy with this spread that I could have face-planted into the dish of mac and cheese. After finishing off my lunch with a Frankencookie (trademark Elizabeth), an Oreo sandwiched between a Nutter Butter, the office played a game of Head1Liners, which quickly digressed as a carbo-haze clouded our brains. [Insert clever quip about carb-induced comas here].

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kale Salad and Lentil Soup

The Chef:
Alexandra and Jeff (the boyfriend)

The Menu: A giant Marinated Kale Salad with Parma! sprinkled all over and a bowl of hearty lentil soup.

The Goods: With it raining so much in San Francisco I was very happy to stay indoors today with a home-cooked meal. I brought a huge kale salad that I let marinate overnight and then some, leading to the perfect texture (none of that toughness kale can have, and since it's so thick, no sogginess either). As per Managing Editor Elizabeth's advice, I also sprinkled a generous amount of Parma! all over the leafy goodness. Along with the salad I had a bowl of lentil soup—full of brown lentils, carrots, celery, onion—that Jeff made last night. Though he usually adds chicken to the recipe, he thoughtfully left it out so I could enjoy the soup as well (I personally think it's much better without!). If you're in the mood for making your own giant salad on the cheap, check out Elizabeth's Savvy Vegan post for some handy tips. Or if you're in the mood for puppies, take a look at the VNHQ dog mania going on right now!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lazy Leftover Chinese

The Chefs: Lyndsay and Family Garden Chinese & Japanese Cuisine

The Menu: Meatless Sesame chicken and brown rice.

The Goods: I'll admit that I'm a big fan of—what's not to love about delivery that you don't even have to pick up your phone to order? Unfortunately, it will put a dent in your budget if you're not too careful, which is what I have been experiencing for the past couple weeks due to my laziness. On the upside, I have found a new Chinese takeout favorite! Family Garden has a large selection of dishes with meatless chicken, which I love. And yes, this dish is void of vegetables, which wasn't by my choosing. Hey, I'll eat healthier tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Vegan Indian Soup

The Chefs: Jennifer and Amy's Kitchen

The Menu: Indian Golden Lentil Soup and a banana

The Goods: After reading Crazy Sexy Diet, I actually found myself reading my food labels more carefully. If I can't identify what the heck is in my food (hello, red dye #40!) then I put the food down. When Amy's Kitchen stopped by our office to debut some new products, I was eager to try one of their new soups, the Indian Golden Lentil. All I have to say is yum. With 13 identifiable ingredients and Indian spices, this soup warmed up the chilly day we're having in San Francisco. The banana was a nice sweet snack to replace my craving for actual sugar. While I haven't tackled the 21-day cleanse like superstar VN Editorial Assistant Anna Peraino who just finished it, Kris' book does make me think about how we treat our bodies. Speaking of Kris, if you want to chat with her live, VegNews is hosting our very first Twitter chat on Tuesday, February 22, at 6pm PST/9pm EST with @Kris_Carr as a our special guest. We'll be chatting under the Twitter hashtag #VegNewsChat. Join us!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Vegan Cheesesteak Sandwich

The Chefs: Elizabeth and Jay's Cheesesteak

The Menu: A highly delicious (and filling!) vegan cheesesteak filled with seitan, tomatoes, vegan mayo, mustard, pickles, lettuce, and onions, all served on a toasty French roll. Fries with that? Yes, please!

The Goods: Happy Valentine's Day everyone! It's drizzly and dreary here in SF today, and sometimes a stellar sandwich is just what the doctor ordered to brighten up a dull Monday. Did this enormous offering from Jay's totally hit the spot? Yes. Will I now happily return to my kale or green salad lunch routine? Definitely. Chilly weather and a full belly make me want to hibernate. In case you were doing that very thing this weekend, and missed Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cooking demo here in SF, check out her excellent interview with VN Office Manager Lyndsay Orwig.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fantastic Friday Salad

The Chefs: Elizabeth and Herbivore

The Menu: A green salad with mixed greens, bean sprouts, grated beets, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and grilled faux chicken, all tossed in a totally delicious Dijon dressing.

The Goods: This is my staple salad from Herbivore, and I could pretty much eat it every single day (especially if it didn't set me back $12 each time I get it). The greens and beets are a favorite combo of mine, and if there's anything that isn't better with Dijon dressing, I don't want to know about it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Salad and Spring Rolls

The Chef: Anna and Valenica Whole Foods

The Menu: A spinach salad with sweet potato, black beans, tomatoes, zucchini, red peppers, and balsamic vinaigrette with veggie spring rolls courtesy of Valencia Whole Foods.

The Goods: Maybe it's just me (and it is), but I want to drop-kick my salad into veggie oblivion. While I am in the homestretch of Kris Carr's 21-day cleanse, and have felt and seen the benefits of green juice, I've eaten more salads than I care to think about. With 66 hours left (but who's counting?), it's a comfort to know that soon I will be able to ingest sugar, gluten, and alcohol again. (I'm looking at you, chocolate cake and whiskey). I'm excited for my next Café VegNews post, where I will most likely be scarfing down vegan candy bars from the VegNews Store, VN office favorite Herbivore's chicken sandwich, and some Neapolitan bars (this week's What's Cooking?) all at the same time. I might have to recruit someone in the office to be my extra set of handstwo is not going to be enough.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Vegan Burgers and More

The Chef:
Alexandra, Amy's Kitchen, Fry's Vegetarian, Ashera's Gourmet, and Wholesome Chow

The Menu: A taste test lunch feast of Amy's Kitchen Vegetable Barley Soup and Sonoma Burgers, Fry's Vegetarian Veggie Burgers and Chicken-style Nuggets, Ashera's Original Vegan Burgers, and Wholesome Chow's Lemon Poppyseed Cake and Gluten-free Chocolate Chai Cake.

The Goods: I ate it all! OK, I didn't, but I probably could have. Today, the VN staff enhanced lunch with a giant taste test of veggie burgers and meats, plus some sweets. While we all had our side meals (I brought the Amy's Kitchen soup from home), the burger patties and chicken nuggets were the highlight of the day. A good veggie burger is always welcome at the VNHQ, and we loved them all! Plus, the weather's beautiful in San Francisco, so we were lucky enough to eat our lunch on the sunny deck while puppies pranced (yes, these puppies do prance) and occasionally begged for food around us. It was a post-card perfect hour, soaking up the vitamin-D and attempting to tan. Wish you were here! Speaking of, our Publisher Joseph Connelly and Associate Publisher Colleen Holland couldn't join us, because they're in India on a VegNews Vacation (check out the photos here)! Lucky ducks. Well, we got cake, so there.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Butternut-Squash Quesadillas

The Chefs: Lyndsay and Gracias Madre

The Menu
: The Quesadillas de Calabaza, topped with cashew nacho cheese and pumpkin seed salsa, and a side of black beans.

The Goods: Yes, this is the second time you're seeing Gracias Madre this week, but what can we say? We love it. I, for one, have not been to the restaurant in nearly a month, so I decided to join VN volunteer superstar Robin Cole to this fabulous place for some yummy food. We were not disappointed, and returned to the office stuffed, but satisfied—no leftovers for us! Lucky for us, it's been a beautiful week in the neighborhood, unlike most other places in the US. So to cheer the rest of you up during this cold winter, we have a great Vegan Sugar Cookie Mix giveaway going on at Be sure to enter, and be ready to bake your winter blues away!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Veggie Tacos and Black Beans

The Chefs: Jennifer and Gracias Madre

The Menu: Three corn tortilla tacos filled with seasonal greens, butternut squash, and mushrooms, topped with cashew cheese, and a side of black beans.

The Goods: When you have a bright, sunny day in the city, you take advantage of the free vitamin D and you dine outside. In this case, VN Managing Editor Elizabeth Castoria and I had lunch with cookbook author Terry Walters whose latest book is Clean Start. Walters is on her book tour and visiting from Connecticut (where it was five degrees) so she was delighted to soak up the sun and try the deliciousness that is Gracias Madre. As you know, we're a bit obsessed with this vegan Mexican organic eatery. Sometimes so obsessed, we might forget to take a picture of the actual tacos we ate. But luckily, I'm not the only one who loves the tacos (thanks, Lyndsay!). Walters is a big proponent of eating fruits and vegetables so that you have a rainbow of color on your plate. After she mentioned that, I wised up and ordered some nice butternut squash, greens, and some roasted mushrooms in my tacos. Eating well never tasted so delicious.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Green Salad and Tacos

The Chefs: Elizabeth and Herbivore

The Menu: Crispy tacos with beans, guacamole, and tofu spread, plus a huge green salad with shredded beets, avocado, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber with a Dijon dressing.

The Goods: So, you might be thinking that the picture above looks nothing like the tacos and salad I described. You might be totally right. Unfortunately, hunger got the better of me today, and I rushed out of the office sans camera. To make up for my thoughtlessness, I figured this photo of my all-time favorite Herbivore meal would suffice. That's right, the grilled faux-chicken sandwich is hands-down my favorite, and possibly my favorite sandwich ever. Why I didn't just order this today, I'm honestly not sure. Perhaps it was because I was distracted by the lovely conversation with Associate Editor Jennifer, and Editorial Assistants Anna and Alexandra, who were kind enough to share lunch with me. In case you're curious as to why Joseph and Colleen weren't on-hand at lunch, it's because they're currently en route for the thrilling second installment of VegNews Great Adventure to India!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Vegan Chinese New Year Luncheon

The Chef: Colleen and Wild Pepper

The Menu: A Chinese New Year vegan feast featuring steamed vegetable dumplings, black mushrooms with baby bok choy, Singaporean-style curried rice noodles, Hunan eggplant with tofu, string beans with faux chicken, and brown rice.

The Goods: Gong Xi Fa Cai (Cantonese) or Xin Nian Kuai Le (Mandarin)! Only a few of us speak either of these two primary Chinese languages, but we all want to wish you a very Happy Chinese New Year. To celebrate, we ordered in from local eatery Wild Pepper and enjoyed a veritable feast of sumptuous Chinese dishes. We made sure to have noodles on the menu (which symbolize long life) along with dumplings (good fortune) and green beans (parental longevity). We dined al fresco on our private deck right here in the heart of the Mission District (it's about 70 degrees today), and then Jenn surprised everyone with red envelopes filled with wads of cash (okay, $1, but we're thrilled!). Need more inspiration for your own Chinese New Year celebration? Check out our own Alexandra Chang's enlightening guide to the holiday on And speaking of future world superpowers, Joseph Connelly and I leave tomorrow for the first VegNews Vacation of 2011—to India! We'll be traveling with 25 subscribers for two weeks and enjoying the incredible sights, sounds, and food of the Indian subcontinent. Cheers!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Salad and Spaghetti Squash

The Chef: Anna

The Menu: Spaghetti squash with tomatoes, onions, and garbanzo beans and a spinach salad with broccoli, carrots, zucchini, and balsamic vinaigrette

The Goods: It's day 10 for me on Kris Carr's 21-day cleanse, and I've never been happier to eat a plate full of veggies. Why, you ask? It's mainly because I got to talk to the lovely, charismatic, and beautiful Kris herself about my cleanse at lunch yesterday. No big deal. Actually, it's a big deal. It's a hugely awesome deal. It's also a hugely awesome week for us at VNKris Carr is only the beginning. With our March+April issue at the printer and May+June in the works, not to mention the Book Club, our upcoming trip to India with VegNews Vacations, and tons of delicious goodies to taste test, our plates are full (and not just with vegetables).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Raw Lunch with Kris Carr

The Chef: Alexandra, Colleen Holland, and Kris Carr

The Menu: An entirely raw menu of green juice galore, marinated raw kale salad with avocados and mushrooms, almond paté to use in a veggie wrap with lettuce, carrots, bell peppers, and sprouts, and decadent coconut truffles.

The Goods: The entire VN staff has been looking forward to this glorious Tuesday, because today, we were graced with the lovely Kris Carr's presence. Yes, the New York Times bestselling vegan author of Crazy Sexy Diet, Kris Carr. And yes, she is as glowing, funny, and knowledgable as you'd imagine! We celebrated her visit with a massive raw feast—Managing Editor Elizabeth Castoria made a giant jug of green juice, enough to get the Crazy Sexy flowing through our pH-balanced bodies. There was also plenty of marinated kale salad and almond-based paté in lettuce wraps to go around, all courtesy of our amazing in-house chef for the day, Associate Publisher Colleen Holland. Finally, the coconut truffles for dessert had our God pods glowing, as Kris would say. I could seriously go raw for this lunch (see photos here)! Other reasons we're totally in love with today: VN is giving away boxes of Vegan Sugar Cookie Mix to a lucky winner, just in time for Valentine's Day; our Savvy Vegan blog is up with great couch potato tips; and last, but certainly not least, Oprah is airing an episode entirely dedicated to veganism, and we're partying! Watch out world—vegans are rising to the top.