October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Chocoalte Chip Muffins

In honor of World Vegan Day tomorrow (November 1st), I did a cooking show for SMTV for Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins + a Bananaberry Smoothie.

If you happen to be near your computer today, you can see it air here at 3.30PM and 9.30PM Eastern.

If you can't watch it today, here's the recipe. These muffins are divine and easy to make. These are the muffins that my parents make at Ely's To Go in Boardman Ohio...thanks Dad for lending me the recipe!

Makes 12 muffins
Muffin Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups organic unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
1 15 oz can organic pureed pumpkin
2/3 cups vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips

Streusel Ingredients:
1 cup organic all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 cup vegan butter (cold small cubes)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit and place muffin liners in your muffin pan (or oil the pan if you're not using liners). Mix the dry muffin ingredients and set aside. Combine all of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add in the wet ingredients. Mix until everything is well combined. Scoop the batter into the muffin liners (this is easiest using an ice cream scoop) 3/4 of the way full. 

For the streusel, combine all of the dry ingredients. Add in the butter cubes when everything is mixed together. You can use a pastry blender or your hands to work the butter into the dry ingredients. You want to take your time and make sure the consistency is almost like dough. It should come together into a ball. Now crumble the streusel over the muffins and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

October 28, 2011

Hampton Chutney Co.

Hampton Chutney Co. has two locations in Manhattan, one in Soho and one on the Upper West. They serve dosas, uttapams and sandwiches. The dosa is a light crepe and the uttapams is more like a pancake. Once you select which you'd prefer, you can customize your filling and dipping sauce. 

This visit I went for the Classic Masala Dosa, spicy Indian potatoes mixed with onions and herbs, with cilantro dipping sauce. For me, the crepe itself is the best part. I love the texture.
The batter is vegan and you can veganize any of their fillings.

October 27, 2011


It's been awhile since I've posted about Babycakes...if you're not familiar with it, it's a vegan bakery that offers all kinds of sweet treats free of the most common allergens. You can find cupcakes, brownies, cookies, muffins, breads, cakes and doughnuts, offered in gluten-free, spelt, unrefined sugar and agave sweetened varieties.

On my last visit, they had vegan thin mint cookies. I stopped by the Roasting Plant nearby for a soy latte and enjoyed my afternoon snack in Central Park.
And I couldn't leave without some treats to take home. Their doughnuts are incredible. They have flavors like Cinnamon Sugar, Salted Caramel, Maple Coffee Crunch, Chocolate Caramel Banana + Banana Strawberry. I've tried most of them and each one is better than the next.
I'm pretty certain that my first vegan cupcake was from Babycakes. It's one of my favorite places in New York - you can see some of my previous posts on Babycakes here and here.

October 26, 2011

Vegan Coconut Cream Pie

A couple of months ago, I tasted possibly the best vegan pie ever. Vegan Coconut Cream Pie by Karyn's Cooked in Chicago. The crust is crunchy, the filling is creamy with the perfect amount of coconut flavor and the whipped cream on top...silky, fluffy, vanilla heaven.
My husband and I frequently stop by Karyn's Cooked for their pie. They also have Lemon Meringue, Chocolate Silk and Pecan Pie. They're all incredible, but my heart belongs to the coconut.
On a similar note, have you seen Isa Chandra Moskowitz + Terry Hope Romero's new cookbook solely devoted to vegan pie?!?!?!??!

October 25, 2011

Animals in the Arts with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Last week, I attended a presentation on Animals in the Arts by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, author of The Vegan Table, The 30-Day Vegan Challenge, Color Me Vegan, The Joy of Vegan Baking and Vegan's Daily Companion. It was a beautiful presentation of how animals have played a part in film, paintings and literature throughout history. The biggest concept that I took from the evening was something I've felt for a long time - Violence towards animals fosters violence against people and the earth. It makes perfect sense, but so many of us fail to make this connection.
Signed copies of Colleen's books were available, I picked up The Vegan Table, which I've been wanting for some time now.
And of course, there was a lovely spread of vegan eats at the event. Hummus, guacamole, veggies, tortillas and crostinis. Everything was so flavorful and so fresh. I arrived early and the guacamole was nearly gone, see left bowl :)
I also got to connect with some amazing people, both vegans and non-vegans.
Colleen has a great podcast you can subscribe to, I highly recommend it!

October 24, 2011

Deep Fried Pickles

It's Meatless Monday today and I'm making Deep Fried Pickles. I know it sounds strange, but they're incredible. My husband first introduced me to them (as I've mentioned before, he's the pickle's number one fan). I like to use Claussen pickles (the ones that are refrigerated) and I use this batter recipe, the same one I used for the Tempeh 'Fish' Tacos.

Fry them in some canola or vegetable oil, it only takes a few minutes. For the ranch sauce, I use a mixture of vegan sour cream and vegan cream cheese and add in dried dill, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Fresh chives make a nice addition as well.
Note: Be careful...the pickles hold the heat really well.

October 21, 2011


Oak Park is just outside of Chicago, and happens to be the home of Frank Lloyd Wright. 

On a visit there last week, we discovered a really cute vegetarian restaurant downtown called Munch.
I was elated when I saw a Jack Fruit BBQ sandwich with coleslaw on their menu. I've heard of this sandwich on numerous blogs and couldn't wait to try it. Would it be sweet? What would the texture be like? How could fruit be good with BBQ sauce? So many questions...

It wasn't exactly sweet, but did have a hint of sweetness. The texture was almost meaty (well, faux-meaty, I haven't eaten meat since I was three). It was pretty incredible. Such great flavor and so inventive.
We left and walked around for a bit, exploring the many homes of FLW. But before we headed home, I stopped back in to get a Vegan Chocolate Milkshake for the ride home...heavenly.

October 20, 2011

Chicago Vegan Food Truck

Chicago has one amazing vegan food truck - Ste Martaen + Soul Vegetarian collaborated to bring vegan comfort food to the Chicago streets. Ste Martaen makes vegan cheeses in all kinds of flavors, from smoked gouda to muenster. And Soul Vegetarian has the best vegan mac & cheese in the city. (This food truck even travels to Milwaukee on some weekends!)

Last week, I ordered the BBQ + Cheddar wrap. They also had a Buffalo wrap and their famous mac & cheese on the menu that day. You can't go wrong here. Ste Martaen's cheeses are incredible. If you're not in the Chicago area, you can order from them directly.
Their normal truck was absent last week, but this is what you should be on the lookout for normally.
Photo courtesy of The Vegan Crew.

Here are some of their cheeses....yum!
Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Vegan Bake Sale.

October 19, 2011

Goose Island

I have long been a fan of Goose Island's Root Beer. Now that I live in Chicago, I live quite close to the actual Goose Island. So close, they have a brewery and pub nearby.

Their Ginger Beer is quite spicy and full of ginger flakes.
They have a Hummus Plate that comes with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, pickled onions and olives. Just ask them to leave off the feta.
And their Vegetarian Chili is so smoky and flavorful. They top it with chopped cilantro and red onion. Again, just ask them to leave off the sour cream and cheddar.
It's the perfect spot for a cozy fall lunch.

October 18, 2011

Chicago Airport Sushi

On our way to NYC a few weeks ago, with time to spare, my husband and I noticed a sushi restaurant in Chicago's O'Hare airport. 

Wicker Park Sushi has a Special Veggie Roll filled with seaweed, asparagus, cucumber, avocado, pickled burdock root and squash. They also have edamame and miso soup as appetizers. 
It was so nice to actually have something decent at the airport. Also can't wait for Real Food Daily to open at LAX next year! Hopefully it's hugely successful and other airports take notice.

October 17, 2011

Dose Market

Dose Market is a once-a-month Chicago event featuring some truly amazing local vendors. 

Each month you can look forward to everything from terrariums from Sprout Home,
Paper goods from Suitor,
Stereos? Yep, stereos made out of vintage suitcases that is, from Gentleman's Boombox.
Denim aprons from Winter Session (how cool are these?),
And food. Lots of food. I love these BBQ sauce bottles from Lillie's Q.
And I picked up a Caramel Apple jam from Rare Bird Preserves. The caramel is made with apple cider, not butter! It's totally vegan.
And a beautiful Thai chile and herb salad from X-Marx.
Check out all of their vendors here. And now Fritz Pastry has joined the market with their amazing vegan doughnuts. More on those doughnuts here.

October 14, 2011


Panzanella is such a versatile and easy dish to make. I recently made this recipe with tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers + red onions and it was incredible. You could use almost any vegetable, any type of bread and any dressing that you'd like. I've even seen sweet panzanella, like this strawberry version. Perfect for using up leftover veggies and day old bread.

October 13, 2011


We're getting one last taste of summer this week in Chicago, so I wanted to make lemonade one more time this year. A few months ago at The Randolph Street Market, I encountered an adorable food stand, Antique Kitchen Catering. They take every detail into account in their presentation. I love the old Coca Cola crate, the red gingham and the candy-striped string.
Their menu was completely vegetarian, with the ability to veganize several of the dishes. Note: not all of their menus are vegetarian.

The Cucumber Lemonade was so refreshing and a great combination. I found a similar recipe here. Other great variations include Watermelon Lemonade, Blueberry Lemonade + Peach Lemonade. You can find paper straws like the ones shown here on Etsy.
On another lemonade note, Organic Avenue in NYC makes my all time favorite version, Ginger Lemonade, with lemons, limes, ginger, coconut nectar and Himalayan salt.

October 12, 2011

Vegan Fish Tacos

For Meatless Monday this week, I made Vegan Fish Tacos. These were so amazing that I can't wait to make them again. I used Gwyneth Paltrow's recipe in her cookbook My Father's Daughter, subbing tempeh for the fish. 

On a side note, most of the sections in this cookbook are very veg friendly. Her daughter is vegetarian so she has all kinds of notes on making substitutions and there are a number of vegan dishes, from salads to soups to brownies.

I found a similar tempeh 'fish' taco recipe here. This recipe looks equally good and uses tofu instead of tempeh.

I topped mine with pico de gallo, guacamole, shredded cabbage, fresh lime and Vegenaise, a la Gwyneth.

October 11, 2011

Chicago Firehouse Restaurant

The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant has only one vegan entree on their menu, but it's well worth the visit.

I started with their House Salad, baby greens, green apple, spiced pecans and sherry vinaigrette (ordered without the blue cheese). They also have a Beets and Green Beans salad that can be veganized as well.
Now, onto the main course. Crispy Cauliflower with couscous, dried fruits and a hazelnut vinaigrette. The cauliflower is especially crispy and has the nicest toasted flavor. The garlicky couscous paired with figs, raisins, apricots, asparagus and carrots is the perfect complement. A truly unique dish, especially for a non-vegetarian restaurant. 
The ambiance is very rich and cozy. And in true fashion, there are even fireman's poles that still remain.

October 10, 2011

Perrenial Virant

This past weekend my husband and I were at our local farmers market and walked by Perrenial Virant in Lincoln Park. 

They have some really decent vegan friendly side dishes for brunch, including Grilled Summer Squashes with spicy tomato sauce (ask them to hold the parmesan), Spicy Kale with pickled onion and Potato Homeboys (minus the cheese curds). I'm more of a savory breakfast kind of gal, so I loved all of these savory veggie dishes.
They also have an incredible wall of pickled vegetables that I seriously envy. Must start pickling and canning soon!
They also have some great vegetable dinner options, from Roasted & Marinated Carrots with mustard vinaigrette, fried sage and asian pears to Beets with apple puree, poached plums and smoked onions.

October 7, 2011


A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I walked across Central Park to V-Note, a vegan eatery on the Upper East Side owned by the lovely people who also own Blossom, Cafe Blossom, Blossom du Jour and Cocoa V.

We shared the Seitan Schnitzel to start...breaded seitan medallions served with potato salad, cheddar crisp and a blueberry reduction. The seitan was incredible. Crunchy goodness paired with creamy potato salad and sweet blueberries, it's perfection.
We decided to go all out with the seitan and had the Seitan Scaloppini, seitan cutlets in a white wine lemon caper sauce, mashed potatoes and sauteed kale. Another chart topper, all of the ingredients worked together so well and the sauce is fantastic. 
The ambiance is cozy and intimate. Great for a fall evening.

October 6, 2011

GGA - Columbus, OH . Part I

My latest post for Girlie Girl Army is up! It features my home state of Ohio...I have much more in the coming months, this is just the 1st installment for Columbus.

October 5, 2011

Cascabel Taqueria

Cascabel Taqueria recently opened in my neighborhood on the Upper West Side in New York. My husband and I stopped by for lunch a few weeks ago. 

They have three different salsas, Roasted Tomato, Diablo + Tomatillo. The Tomatillo is my favorite, I put it on everything!
Guacamole is a must.
And their Ensalada Luchador comes with bibb lettuce, fingerling potatoes, pickled jalapenos and pumpkin seeds. (Be sure to order yours without queso fresco if you're vegan). It's a really light and refreshing salad.
Equally good, is their Avocado Pummelo Ensalada with avocados, grapefruit, grape tomatoes, cilantro, red onion and toasted coriander.
I love when Mexican food is fresh and light, not heavy and fried. Cascabel Taqueria also has a location on the Upper East Side.