February 29, 2012

Milwaukee Public Market

Last weekend, my husband and I made a quick stop in Milwaukee to grab a bite. We stumbled upon the Milwaukee Public Market, which offers everything from wine to chocolate to flowers and of course, all kinds of prepared foods. 
I walked through the market, exploring my options, and finally decided on the Vegetarian Combo from Aladdin - Tastes of the East/Pita Works, with hummus, falafel, pita, fresh salad and rice with fried onions and lentils. Great flavors and textures, and I love that you get to taste a bit of everything!

February 27, 2012

Pro Bar Halo

I eat a lot of granola bars. In fact, I bring one with me everywhere I go, just in case. 

Some bars are too sweet, some too protein-y. The Halo bars strike a great balance between substantial and sweet. Looking at them, you'd never think they were vegan. Yet, all four flavors are indeed vegan. The Nutty Marshmallow is my bar of choice, but they also offer Rocky Road, S'mores and Honey Graham.

February 24, 2012


My husband and I recently had brunch at Prasino in Chicago, where they offer gorgeous fresh juices. I opted for the Strawberry Blonde, made with strawberries, pineapple + orange juice. 

It tastes as good as it looks.
Then it was onto the Vegan Benedict with chorizo seitan, black beans, pico de gallo and fresh herbs on an english muffin. Full of flavor and really substantial.
I love having good vegan options for breakfast, I find it to be the most challenging meal of the day when eating out. You can definitely expect a follow up post soon, as they also offer vegan pancakes, sweet potato hash and a tofu scramble.

February 22, 2012

GGA . Columbus, OH Part II

My latest post for Girlie Girl Army is up! See Part II of my Midwest eating adventures in Columbus Ohio...from Dirty Frank's to Mellow Mushroom.
I'll be in Columbus again next month...please let me know if you have any recommendations! In the meantime, you can see Part I here.

Quesadilla La Reyna del Sur

I was recently told that I had to try the burritos at Quesadilla La Reyna del Sur in Chicago. They offer all kinds of faux meats, Daiya cheese and the biggest burritos I've ever seen.

I had no idea Chicago had its very own all vegetarian Mexican restaurant. I've eaten there twice now and everything I've had has been amazing.
Shown here is their Pollo de Soya burrito with rice, lettuce, tomatoes and Daiya cheese. With their guacamole, it's heavenly. My husband goes for the Ranchera burrito with faux steak. They also offer soy based shredded marinated chicken, soy based pork skin, soy based pork and soy based Mexican sausage, which you can have in a quesadilla, burrito, taco or torta.
The restaurant is cozy and the people are uber-nice. Awesome find!

February 20, 2012

Ste Martaen + Canary Confectionery

Did you know that the Ste Martaen vegan food truck has started carrying vegan sweets from Canary Confectionery? I had lunch there last week and got to try an amazing vegan brownie (eaten before I had a chance to photograph it) and this gorgeous vegan pumpkin cupcake. Check their website for their menu and schedule...it's not to be missed!

You can see more about the Ste Martaen food truck here and Canary Confectionery here.

February 17, 2012

King's Highway

After leaving LA, my husband and I drove two hours east to Palm Springs. We were only there a day, but it was well worth it. I've posted about the Ace Hotel + Swim Club several times, as it's our favorite place to stay when visiting. 

By the pool, you want something light and refreshing, not heavy and greasy. The Quinoa Salad is filled with garbanzo beans, tomatoes, lemon, cumin, arugula and fresh herbs. It's the perfect lunch on a hot day. You can see more of what King's Highway offers here.

February 15, 2012

Real Food Daily

I couldn't visit Santa Monica without stopping by Real Food Daily. They also have a West Hollywood location and I've heard they'll be making their way into LAX sometime this year.

My wonderful family joined me, along with some local friends. We started with a few appetizers...

The Sea Cake (my favorite!), a butternut squash, yam and sea vegetable croquette with pesto and sweet chili aioli.
The BLT Tartine with tempeh bacon, avocado, tomato, spicy Vegenaise, baby mix lettuces and balsamic vinaigrette on a sourdough baguette. 
And the Wabi Sabi Rolls filled with cabbage, cucumber, carrot, mint, cilantro and rice noodles wrapped in rice paper, served with wasabi dressing.
We followed up with the Fettucine Alfredo, spinach fettuccini, creamy alfredo sauce, roasted red peppers, broccoli and toasted pine nuts with roasted garlic bread.
The RFD Burger, a tempeh vegetable patty with melted cashew cheese, sautéed onions and peppers. Mmmmm....melted cashew cheese.
And finally, the Total Reuben with tempeh, tofu cheese spread, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing on sourdough rye bread.
It was a lovely dinner...especially with a group so I could taste a bit of everything!

After dinner, a gorgeous sunset.

February 13, 2012

Buddha's Belly

While in LA, I spent most of my time in Santa Monica. I was with my husband and several family members...two vegans, one pesceterian and three omnis. It can sometimes be pretty difficult to eat out with such a mix. However, my family is so lovely that they happily accompany me to full-on vegan restaurants, so of course, I reciprocate. 

I was in luck when we went to Buddha's Belly. It's an Asian fusion restaurant with several vegetarian options. To start, they offer edamame, plain or sweet & sour, seaweed salad and an eggplant steak with black miso sauce and fresh ginger. For entrees, they have an 8 Vegetable Fried Rice that can be veganized and Wok-Tossed Vegetables and Tofu in a garlic sauce.

Also on the menu, an Asian Chopped Salad (pictured) with romaine and leaf lettuce, yamagobo, oven-dried shiitake mushrooms, corn, fried tofu and sesame dressing. The oven-dried shiitakes add a nice touch - they get really crispy and salty. I've seen them used as a substitute for bacon in several recipes. 
Everyone loved it here, it was a great choice.

February 9, 2012

The Gentle Barn

During my recent trip to LA, my family and I drove about 45 minutes outside the city to Santa Clarita to visit The Gentle Barn. I'd been wanting to visit for a couple of years and finally made it there. Every Sunday they allow visitors from 10-2.

The thing I love most is how the animals interact with each other. The sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and llamas all live together in the same area. It's adorable.

I believe this sheep is Stanley, very friendly and very fluffy.
 A turkey, who appears to be sleeping.
This pig is not the biggest they have, but she is gigantic.
Here she is from the front. When she walks, it looks as if she's tiptoeing. It's the cutest thing to see this massive pig tiptoe around on her little hooves.
Here are more of their pigs, napping on a Sunday afternoon.
The chickens seem to really have a thing for pigs.
This one in particular.
This may have been my favorite part of the day...a little goat playing with his ball. He would kick the ball, run to catch up with it and repeat.
 A stunning peacock named Jewel.
This cow's name is Buddha and she is so sweet and gentle, and likes to be brushed. You can also give her a hug!
And of course, there's great vegan food. The hot dog cart serves vegan hot dogs, brats and sausage with all kinds of toppings - ketchup, mustard, onions, veggie bacon bits and vegan sauerkraut, to name a few.
I chose all of the above, it was uber-good.
And they have homemade vegan cupcakes, chocolate or pumpkin. I went with a chocolate pig...seriously tasty.
If you happen to be in the area, I highly recommend a visit. The animals are always there, but the hot dog cart isn't so make sure to check ahead of time for their schedule. Or if you can't visit in person, you can always donate to them. It makes a really great gift - I donated in my mom's name last year for Mother's Day!

February 6, 2012

Emmy's Macaroons

Last week, I was in Omaha for a quick stop over and found some amazing macaroons. Emmy's Macaroons are vegan, gluten-free and raw. And they are outstanding. I tried the Coconut + Vanilla -  they also have Lemon Ginger, Chai Spice, Mint Chip, Choco Orange and Choco Chili. They also make granola, chocolate sauce, trail mix, fudge and almond mylk.

You can order online or pick some up at the Omaha airport!

February 3, 2012

Virgin America

I recently flew Virgin America from Chicago to LA and got to experience two of their in flight snacks. They blow every other airline out of the water (or sky), in my opinion.

I was absolutely thrilled to see a non iceberg/ranch dressing salad on the menu. Their Asian Salad contains crisp romaine and mesclun lettuce topped with snap peas, daikon, carrots, and cashews, served with sesame vinaigrette. A stellar salad, in the sky or on the ground.
I also tried the Peanut Butter Banana Sandwich with chocolate chips and a side of vegan fruit snacks. The sandwich was incredible...I was concerned about the chocolate chips having some kind of dairy but the Virgin website confirmed they have none! (Gotta love Gogo!)
Tasty fruit snacks are absolutely delicious. I stumbled upon them a few years ago at a health food store in Miami and have yet to see them since. They're all vegan, sweetened with fruit and so much better than the processed kind most people are used to.
I will definitely fly Virgin any chance I get.