January 27, 2012

Los Angeles Holiday

I'm off to the west coast for some sunshine with my family. I'm hoping to visit Real Food Daily, Veggie Grill and Millions of Milkshakes while I'm there! I'll have lots to share very soon.

See you next week!

January 25, 2012

Lula Cafe - Breakfast Edition

Recently, I had breakfast at Lula Cafe in Logan Square (Chicago) and had an amazing tofu scramble. Broccoli, spinach, onions, tofu, ginger miso sauce and black sesame. The ginger miso sauce and the chunky vegetables really set it apart from the norm. 
Lula also has some great vegetarian/vegan options for dinner...I'll have a follow up post soon!

January 23, 2012

Meatless Monday - Sizzling Pancakes

It's Meatless Monday today and if you're in need of recipe ideas, Saigon Sisters recently posted their recipe for a traditional Vietnamese dish, Sizzling Crepes, or Pancakes. These are naturally vegan, no substitutions required. 

My mom has been making these since I was little, and it's easily one of my favorite things to eat. The filling is really substantial - mung beans, mushrooms, bean sprouts and onions. Wrap the crepes in lettuce and fresh herbs and it's the perfect meal.
Happy eating!

January 18, 2012

Sushi Wabi

Sushi Wabi is a great sushi restaurant in my Chicago neighborhood. What sets it apart from other sushi joints is that substitutions are allowed, and you can create your own rolls. For a vegan or vegetarian, this is huge. So many times, rolls are vegetarian except for one ingredient and there's a clear note on the menu that states 'No Substitutions'.

Dengaku, grilled Japanese eggplant with sweet miso and sesame is a great place to start. They also have an incredible salad with Fuji apples, cashews and citrus vinaigrette.
For rolls, it's very basic, but I love an Avocado Cucumber roll. So fresh and light. On my last visit, I added fried shallots, which were incredible.
This roll I created had spinach, jalapeno, cucumber, avocado, green onion and cilantro, very similar to their Ecuador roll, which can easily be veganized. They can make many of their rolls vegetarian. They even make a vegetarian eel sauce, and you can specify soy paper and/or brown rice.
And don't miss their Fresh Ginger Soda, it's really light and refreshing with a hint of spice.

Note: The owners of Sushi Wabi also own Mana Food Bar, an all vegetarian eatery. You can see my post on Mana here.

January 16, 2012

Buckwheat + Flaxseed Waffle Recipe

It's Meatless Monday today and I have a great recipe to share... 

Buckwheat + Flaxseed Waffles, courtesy of Ely (my mom) of Ely's To Go. The beauty of this waffle is that it can be made sweet or savory. The waffle is your base. You can add anything you'd like to make it dinner, dessert or breakfast.
Buckwheat and Flaxseed Waffle

1 c organic unbleached all purpose flour
1 T organic unbleached sugar
1 1/2 T baking powder
1/4 c organic buckwheat flour
1 T organic flaxseed meal
pinch of salt
1 c organic coconut milk
1 T vegetable oil
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice

Mix all dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. Mix all of the liquid ingredients in a liquid measuring cup. Slowly pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients mixture. Stir with a whisk or wooden spoon until smooth. You may need to add more coconut milk to thin the batter - it all depends on the humidity in the air. Pour the batter into your waffle maker - it's ready when it's perfectly golden and crisp.
When I recently visited Ely's To Go, I had the Savory Waffle with BBQ Soy Chicken and Yellow Beet Coleslaw. It was amazing, especially because the bbq sauce is made in house.

They also offer the Savory Waffle topped with Sloppy Jo or Cream of Chicken, and a Sweet Waffle with Roasted Pears, Pecans and Maple Syrup.
I'm also quite proud that they feature my photography prominently on their wall :)

January 13, 2012

Canary Confectionery

I've had many a vegan truffle. Some good, some better. This year, at Chicago Vegan Mania, I bought some Chocolate Raspberry Truffles from Canary Confectionery. I took them home and could not believe how good they were. By far, the very best truffles I've ever eaten. 

Canary Confectionery recently sent me two more flavors to try...Original Chocolate + Almond Mint.

The outside is what you would imagine, a hard shell of chocolate. The inside is almost cake like. Rich, ooey gooey chocolate cake. For best results, these should be refrigerated until you're ready to eat. In my opinion, let them sit out until they're room temperature to get the full effect.

Right now, they offer mail order confections, or if you're in the Chicago area, they're offered on the Ste Martaen Vegan Food Truck. Did I mention they also make cupcakes...and offer gluten-free and raw options???

January 11, 2012

Mast Brothers Chocolate

While in Williamsburg, I stopped by Mast Brothers Chocolate. I checked several of their chocolate bars, and all of them were vegan. No milk or cream. 

They have amazing flavors like almonds and sea salt, salt + pepper and Stumptown coffee. Plus their packaging is incredible.

January 9, 2012


Foodswings...a legendary spot among vegans. My very first visit was a few weeks ago with my non-vegan friend, Bridget (of unbuttoned). I'm always a little anxious taking non-veg friends to full on vegan restaurants. I hope it'll be an amazing experience, changing how they view vegan food forever, but since I had never been to Foodswings, I wasn't quite sure what we were in for.
Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. We both started with Root Beer Floats. It's been years since I've had one and now I can't stop thinking about them! Incredible.
I ordered the Eggie + Cheese, fried tofu "egg style" with sliced soy cheese and soy bacon on toast with a side of coleslaw and pickle. Cheesy, smoky, crunchy and delicious.
Bridget ordered the Foodswing Burger with a side of coleslaw. I didn't partake but she seemed to enjoy it :)
And we shared a side of Mac and Cheese. Vegan mac and cheese can be hit or miss, but Bridget loved it. Non-vegan approved!

The desserts looked amazing, all kinds of cupcakes, shakes and floats, including Cookies and Cream, Butterfinger and Cookie Dough.

Foodswings is in a great neighborhood in Brooklyn, so if you don't live in the area, it's a great day trip. Lots of great shopping, restaurants and people watching in Williamsburg.

January 5, 2012


A few weeks ago in New York, I met a very good friend for dinner. Not a vegetarian, but she is gluten-free. She had heard amazing reviews about Risotteria and their fabulous gluten-free pizza. 

We shared a pizette to start, I don't have a picture, but I can easily say it was THE best gluten free pizza I've ever tasted. You can easily order any of their pizzas without the cheese.

I followed up with the Roasted Garlic, Oven Dried Tomato and Arugula Risotti. They have their risottos divided into sections, depending on what type of broth they use. If you're vegetarian, make sure to pick one from the vegetable stock section. And if you're vegan, just let them know to leave off the cheese and pesto. 

They also give you an herb salt to sprinkle on top - I highly recommend it.
The restaurant is small so get there early or be prepared to wait!

January 2, 2012

Hummus Place

There are four Hummus Place locations in Manhattan. They're casual eateries focused on the amazing chick pea. On my last visit to the city, I stopped in their West Village location for a quick bite.

Their menu appears to be totally vegetarian, and just about everything can be veganized. I started with the Falafel with tahini and green sauce.
And followed with the Hummus Masabacha, warm hummus with whole chick peas, olive oil and spices, served with warm pita. Everything was so flavorful and perfect on a cold afternoon.