Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ooey gooey

I have been craving some saucy, gooey pasta dish for a while. I have considered trying to recreate a mac and cheese, but I knew it wasn't quite what I was looking for. When I ran across a recipe from Vegan YumYum for Esme's Sauce, I knew it would be the ticket to satisfaction. I also had all of the ingredients, many of which I have been trying to incorporate in to more of my cooking, such as miso, nutritional yeast, and tahini. I used some brown rice spiral noodles that I have been wanting to try, and used spinach and Brussels sprouts for the greens.

It definitely turned out gooey. I think it was a little more pasty than I would have liked, so I will add some water next time. The Brussels sprouts were an odd accompaniment to the miso and braggs, but they added a nice texture. I topped it with toasted pine nuts and served it millet-flax seed bread, my favorite.

The quality of my pictures hasn't been that great due to the poor lighting in my room. Hopefully that problem will be solved once I get moved in to my new teany tiny efficiency!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

What a trip

I have great foodie pics to share from my trip to Austin this weekend. I love going to Austin, and I hope to live there one day. They have so much to offer to vegans, vegetarians, and just all around health and environement concious people. It's Texas' little vegan mecca, and it never fails to surprise me.
Our first stop was the Chocolate Festival. We were suprised to find that the event was being held at the Wizard Academy. We almost weren't able to find the place, since it was hidden by tall trees and winding roads. We knew that what was waiting ahead was sure to be magical..
I had no idea if I could eat any of the confections that the festival had to offer, but the thought of being surrounded by chocolate was intriguing. I decided to be brave and go out on a limb. I was surpised and relieved when the first vendor I stopped at had nothing but wonderful, natural, VEGAN chocolates. The company is called Innocent Chocolates. They are made with organic, mostly raw ingredients, and sweetened with pure agave nectar. The products are available in a few Austin stores, and can be shipped, but not in hot weather. I spent most of my sample tickets at this table, and ended up buying a few bars. There were a couple of other vendors that had some dark chocolate barks I could try, but everything else was made with cream.
Innocent Chocolates working their magic

We tried a new restaurant (new to me anyway) called Cosmic Cafe. It is a mix of Indian, Mediterranean, and Mexican inspired foods. A couple of our friends happened to be in town, so we met up with them for lunch.I got the Buddha's Delight, which had a samosa, dahl, pappadam, rice, nan, and curried spinach and chickpeas. James and I split a Grape flavored Kombucha tea. I have never tried this stuff before, and I was pleasantly suprised. This kind was from a local company. I am not sure if all of the others are as good as this was, but I am willing to try them and find out.
Even after all of the delicious food, we were able to split a slice of vegan Root Beer Float Cake. It sounded way too good to pass up, and it was!
One of our all time favorite places to go when in town is Nu Age Cafe. They have a variety of selections, from dumplings and spring rolls, to BBQ dishes with mashed potatoes and gravy. Their tea selection is long and always pleasantly surprising. My old standby is the Sizzling Soy, with chunks of soy covered in a sweet and smoky BBQ sauce, with a side of mashed sweet potatoes and steamed veggies with rice. I decided to try something new, and was sorry I did. The dish came out burned, and unpleasant. When I told them about it, they offered to take it away and bring me something else, no extra charge. I agreed, and got what I really wanted all along. Even the best places can't be great 100% of the time. James got the Spinach Soy Rolls with mashed potatoes and Portobello gravy. These are not vegan, because the filling has milk powder in it. There are only a couple of items that contain this, and most of them can be made vegan.

Our last stop was for my favorite meal of the day: Brunch. What better place to go for Sunday brunch than Mother's Cafe and Garden? They serve fresh hot vegan pancakes, a different flavor each time, and so many other items to choose from, whatever your palate- sweet, savory, salty, spicy. We split 3 Poppyseed pancakes with a hint of orange, a soysage patty, sauteed tofu, and roasted potatoes. And what better way to start brunch than with a basket of chips and hot salsa? Mmm, brunchalicious

Sadly, our visit had to come to and end. But I was not sad for long because we were on our way to see R.E.N.T! Here are me and my wives after the show, basking in our joyful, after show bliss.