December 26, 2011

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays everyone! I'm off to see my family in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Connecticut...I'll be back on January 3rd!

December 19, 2011


Patsy's Pizzeria in New York makes their thin crust pizzas in coal fired ovens. The result is delicious. They offer all kinds of toppings, meaning you won't miss the cheese. I ordered my pizza with fresh garlic, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, extra sauce and basil. No matter what you choose, you cannot go wrong with their crust.


I recently had dinner at Tartinery in Nolita and found a great vegan option on their menu. A ratatouille open faced sandwich, or tartine, on sourdough bread. It's everything you expect from ratatouille with a nice addition of crusty bread and fresh herbs. 
The restaurant has a great vibe. Glossy black pendant lights, chalkboard walls + lots of exposed brick and wood.
They also have a vegan Gazpacho and several salads that can be veganized - and fresh juices until 6pm. (Don't be late - they disassemble the juicing machine at 6 sharp).

December 18, 2011

Caravan of Dreams

I had dinner at Caravan of Dreams a couple of weeks ago and had a great experience.

I knew I would be walking to Lula's Sweet Apothecary for dessert (only a few blocks away) so I skipped the appetizers and went straight to the main course...Wild Rice and Cremini Risotto Croquettes with shiitake mushrooms, roasted red pepper puree, asparagus and french lentils. I've had some pretty dry and bland vegan risotto cakes before but I decided give these a chance. They were anything but. Seriously creamy and full of flavor. Paired with the red pepper puree, lentils and fresh asparagus, it was the perfect dinner.

Caravan also has an amazing looking brunch menu including Sourdough French Toast with housemade 'Nutella'.

December 15, 2011

Lula's Sweet Apothecary - Follow Up

I first experienced Lula's Sweet Apothecary last year and fell in love. However, I had only tried their soft serve ice cream. While its amazing, now that I've had their regular hand scooped ice cream, I can never go back.

It was freezing last week when I was in New York and still I had to have a scoop of their Mint Chip cashew cream vegan ice cream. It was absolutely divine. Better than milk based ice cream. If you've never been, add it to your must eat list.
You can see more on Lula's soft serve here.

December 12, 2011


Last week, my husband and I visited Moma in New York. We hadn't been in quite some time and I really wanted to see the Diego Rivera exhibit.
I'm so glad we went because there were so many new things since our last visit two years ago.

The first sketch of the iconic I heart NY.

Moma has a great cafe, which offers several vegetarian options.
I went for the Bruschetta - Lemon Chickpea Hummus, Micro greens and vinaigrette (ordered without the prosciutto) + Roasted Red Pepper, White Bean Puree and Fried Kale. The latter was my favorite, such great flavors and you can't beat fried kale!
They also have a daily soup, sometimes vegan, and various antipasti including Marinated Olives, Quinoa with strawberries and balsamic and Marinated Artichokes with lemon and chili. They're great snacks while exploring the museum.

Greek Style Vegan Yogurt

Last week while I was in New York, I noticed a new yogurt by So Delicious - Greek Style Cultured Coconut Milk. I used to love Greek style yogurt and I'm thrilled that now there's a non-dairy option. I tried the Blueberry, Strawberry and Raspberry - all amazingly think, creamy and rich. I returned to Chicago yesterday and checked my Whole Foods, but no signs of them. Hopefully they'll be nationwide soon!

December 9, 2011

Vegan Holiday Shop Up

Last weekend's Vegan Holiday Shop Up, as I mentioned earlier in the week, was incredible. It was held at Pine Box Rock Shop in Brooklyn - you can read more about this vegan bar here.
There were all kinds of vegan goods....t-shirts, stationary, lotions, creams, shoes, handbags...
...and tons of food. 

Chocolate truffles
Cake bites
Smoke cured coconut
Hummus, Kale Chips

Pie, Macaroons
And more chocolate.
Here are just a few of the things I picked up...

Salty Caramel Cake Bites - vegan and gluten free!
Raaka Blueberry Lavender Chocolate bars - fresh blueberries are ground and mixed in with the chocolate, the taste is incredible.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup from gone pie - this was so good!

A box of vegan truffles from Super Foxy Sweets - so many flavors, their boxes are the perfect gift.

Smoke Cured Coconut from V.S.S. - this coconut is one of the best things I've ever smelled. It would be amazing to bake with.
I was on my way to meet a friend at Foodswings, so I couldn't partake in all of the incredible vegan eats offered. The hummus from Brooklyn Hummus and chili from Skytown looked sooooo good!

You can see a complete list of vendors and learn more about Vegan Shop Up here. I highly recommend attending at least one!

December 7, 2011

Pine Box Rock Shop

Last Sunday I was lucky enough to be in New York to attend a Vegan Shop Up in Brooklyn. I'll have much more on the pop up later in the week, but Pine Box Rock Shop (the vegan bar that housed said pop up) deserves a post of its own.
Pine Box Rock Shop only serves vegan alcohol. Did you know that most alcohol contains fish bladders, ground up beetles and/or gelatin? Nasty, right? You can read more about this here.
They offer a vegan Bloody Mary and homemade Irish Cream, which you would be hard pressed to find vegan versions of anywhere else in the city!

And...did I mention they serve vegan empanadas? They day I was there they offered three different flavors: Black bean, plantain & Daiya cheese, Spicy Caribbean Jerk Seitan + Philly Cheese with onions and mushrooms. I ordered the latter, with a side of salsa, and it was beyond incredible. The crust is flaky and perfectly browned and the filling was spot on. All empanadas are supplied by V-Spot.
They also served a Mixed Olive + Pickle Plate, Beer Nuts, and vegan potato chips. What is not to love about this place?

December 4, 2011

Sacred Chow

I've been in New York the past few days, enjoying the beautiful weather and trying lots of new restaurants!

This weekend I ate at Sacred Chow for lunch. It was my first visit and I had heard so much about their Orange Blackstrap Molasses BBQ Seitan. You can order it as an appetizer or as a hero with a side of carrot and cabbage slaw and a half sour pickle. I opted for the latter. It's served with sauteed onions and steamed kale on a whole wheat baguette. The sauce is stellar and the sandwich is incredibly filling. And I love half sour pickles, they taste like salty cucumbers, still incredibly crisp and fresh.
The space is fairly small so it's best to visit during off peak hours. They also have a great tapas menu, fresh juices and a killer dessert list. Next time, I must save room for their Brownie Sundae!

December 1, 2011

Bleeding Heart Bakery

Thanksgiving weekend my family and I had brunch at Bleeding Heart Bakery in Chicago. They have some amazing vegan breakfast options...

Including Homemade Vegan Biscuits with Wild Mushroom Gravy and sauteed tofu. So savory, flavorful and filling. 
And Vegan S'mores Pancakes. Oh yeah, dark chocolate pancakes with vegan marshmallow cream and coconut ganache, topped with graham cracker crumbles.

They also offer their Plain Jane vanilla bean pancakes or waffles in a vegan version, plain or topped with seasonal fruit.
And the eggs in their Skillets can be subbed with twice baked tofu, and a side of vegan apple slaw. Seriously amazing eats for vegans at a non-vegan eatery. I love it!

November 28, 2011

Nhu Lan Bakery

The day after Thanksgiving, we had already eaten too many leftovers and didn't feel like cooking, so we ventured to Nhu Lan Bakery in Chicago for their vegetarian Banh Mis. They have four different types.

The #9 - Classic Veggie. This one normally comes with mayo, so let them know if you're vegan and they'll sub vegan pate. Marinated julienned vegetables and fresh herbs.

The #10 - Lemongrass Tofu with marinated vegetables, jalapenos and herbs.
The #11 - Ginger Tofu with marinated vegetables and herbs.
The #12 - Veggie Pate + Ham, also with marinated vegetables and herbs.
My favorite was the Veggie Pate + Ham. They also serve spring rolls, salads, smoothies and traditional Vietnamese desserts. Really good cheap eats when you're eating with a mixed crowd of veggies and omnis.

November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving was incredible this year...
First, let's start with The Greenbean Casserole. I made Isa Chandra's recipe and it rocked. Seriously, it was my favorite dish of the whole day. I also made Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish (make sure to add orange zest - it adds so much flavor).
My mom brought Corn Pudding (very similar to this recipe) and Chestnut Stuffing with Puff Pastry and gravy.
And...Mashed Potatoes with cream cheese and green onions + Cauliflower Mousseline (puree cauliflower and season just like you would mashed potatoes - vegan butter, cheese, milk and spices, top with breadcrumbs and bake).
And for dessert, Coconut Cream Pie. Mmmmmm...all vegan and insanely delicious.