Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tidbit Tuesday: Namu

A short time ago, a new food cart pod opened up right around the corner from my house. My husband explored it a bit and was very excited to tell me there is a waffle cart with vegan options. You see, while we were in Belgium, we explored the area around the Brussels train station while we waited for our train to Munich. Just outside the station was a rundown cart serving waffles to a mass of people. The waffles came in one style only: plain. Jeff tried one and was instantly in love and it remains one of his favorite memories.

I visited Tidbit for the first time last week before work and while I didn't get a waffle, I did see a ton of other options. I decided to try out Namu, a Hawaiian-Korean fusion cart that advertised two different vegan bowls.

What caught my eye at this cart was the fact the bowl had kimchi in it! Vegans know us-friendly kimchi is hard to come by, so of course I had to try it out. The bowl also had rice, avocado, sauteed greens, cucumber, and peanut sauce. The flavors really went well together and I loved pitting the kimchi up against the peanut sauce. Their other vegan bowl contained pineapple so I will most likely never order that (pineapple is the worst) but I love seeing so many options at one cart!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Vegan MoFo, Day 1: Cobbler

Hello readers! Vegan MoFo is upon us and I am going to do my darnedest to post every day. A very rough sketch of my posting plan:

Monday: Random!

Tuesday: Tidbit Tuesday. A new food cart pod called Tidbit has opened practically on my doorstep and there is so much vegan stuff! I see this as my opportunity to become a Tidbit Expert.

Wednesday: What I ate Wednesday! Because, duh, it's easy and you can see the vast amount of food I consume on a daily basis.

Thursday: Travelogue USA. I've been to St. Louis, NYC, Ogden, Austin, and San Diego since we last spoke! Let's talk good ol' Americana food.

Friday: A Vegan in Spain.

Saturday: Cookbooks! I kinda just want to explore my silly amount of cookbooks more.

Sunday: Baking Spree!

So, let's start this random posting off right, yeah? My coworkers put together a Labor Day potluck and I was too lazy to prepare anything the day before, which was my day off. Isa Does It to the rescue! I made the peach raspberry cobbler just 90 minutes before I had to leave for work, subbing cherries for peaches and shortening for coconut oil. The plate was gone in half an hour. I have exactly one vegan coworker and she got the very first bite. Deeeeelicious.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vegan MoFo is coming! Vegan MoFo is coming!

Well, hello there! Long time no see!

A lot has happened since my last post in, ahem, OCTOBER. Some travel (ok, LOTS of travel), a bunch of work, and a lots of eating.

Vegan MoFo has always been a great writing outlet for me and this year will be no different. I don't really have a theme set, but I've started to scratch out a rough posting plan. I have a lot of travel stories to tell, including dining at a vegan anarchist cafe in Madrid, finding Match Meat on every menu in St. Louis, and embarking on a rushed bagel and tofu cream cheese run in NYC. I'm also going to be more creative with my breakfasts (the only time I get to share a meal with Jeff on days I work) and talk about my new lunchin' style.

For now, though, I leave you this. Salt & Straw, a local ice cream joint, has a coconut ice cream filled with chunks of a vegan cookie bar made by Petunia's and it is delicious. This defines summer for me.

See ya in September!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Two Girls, 655 Miles

A several weeks ago, my running friend Libby (who you have might remember from this post and others) posted a couple of race links on my FB page. The exchange went down like this:

After a flurry of "are you serious? You can't be serious. Can we do this?" emails, spreadsheets, and links, the activity culminated in this post:

And that's how these two Slow Pokes took on the challenge of running a half marathon in all 50 states.

We already have Oregon and Washington down (yes, we are including them retroactively as we've done multiples in each state!), so really, just 48 more to go! Our schedules make this challenge stretch for something like 10 years, which means by the time I am 40 I will be in the best shape of my life!

I'm so excited for this list, too. Highlights: a single full marathon on the list (the Disney World full in 2015), several women-only events, a couple small town races, and a cool one in Illinois called the Quad City Half. We've included Flying Pig, Runners World, RNR Las Vegas, RNR New Orleans (Mardi Gras!!!!) and two brewery sponsored runs. There are a couple of races that we plan to pair with our half marathons; notably, the Dogfish Dash (a 10k that takes place in the same weekend of another New England half) and a Warrior Dash the day before the Maui Half Marathon.

Our first race of this challenge? The 3M Half in Austin this January.

We were looking for a January 2014 race and had a couple options, mostly in California. However, this one popped up and it was, by far, the winner. The race is repeatedly hailed as one of the best in the US, has a net downhill course, and the goody bag is full of office supplies, something that screams to this little paper pusher's heart. It also happens to be the 20th anniversary of the race! Also, Austin is like Portland South when it comes to being awesome and vegan friendly.

I've been researching Austin and keeping tabs on the PPK thread, but I'd love to hear your tips! We plan to be there January 17th-20th and want to eat and drink our little hearts out. Well, until the day before the race. Don't wanna upset those runnin' tummies.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Vegan Mofo: The End.

Well, lookit here! I managed 7 posts during Vegan Mofo! Kindly withhold your applause; it may not be an easy feat, but it is a manageable one.

All joking aside, may I be honest here? My job is kicking my ass. As in, I get home and either stare at the wall until bedtime or take a nap and want nothing to do with dinner. Making food seems impossible! In regards to lunch at work, I have reverted to the awesome roasted veggie burrito at Sandoval's (sub avocado for the cheese, aw yeah!) or the oatmeal at Elephant's Deli (my lunch is at like 8:30am, so this is totally normal) far too many times. My dinners usually revolve around a baked potato. While I'm not necessarily eating unhealthily, it's very bland and boring. Plus, I'm a bit broke after travelling and paying our car insurance premium and signing up for a half in Austin (more on that in a bit).

So, I've decided to take on the October vegan kickstart with my running buddy Libby. At the very least, I'll be forced to raid my pantry and cook up all the veggies I just bought! I tried the plan a couple of years ago (see this post) and while it's a bit boring for an experienced vegan, it's sure gonna help an uninspired vegan!

Now, back to food of September past. For my last Mofo post, here are three photos of some recent vegan goodies:

Vegan mulita with soyrizo at Los Gorditos...a random stop on my way home from work.
Vegan pats of butter at a salad bar in my honky-tonk hometown.
Vegan burger at OMSI's new restaurant Theory.

I'm planning on checking in about the Kickstart program during October. The menu has changed and there seems to be more variety than in programs past. I would love for this to help me build meal plans and a schedule when it comes to cooking and feeding my little family of two, but only time will tell.

Lastly, that half marathon I mentioned earlier? Yeah, Libby and I are embarking on a new challenge: run half marathons in every state. What?! Our first one is the 3M Half in Austin. Check out the last year's goodie bag!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Breakfast in 'frisco (Not at Tiffany's)

While for the most part Jeff and I foraged for lunch at dinner at bars while in San Francisco, breakfast we took seriously. Well, I took it seriously.

Having been scared off of Herbivore by a friend's recent experience, I searched for other places to catch vegan breakfast. The first place to pop up? Pork Store Cafe. It is a terrible name and it has a terrible logo with a pig waiting on people. But there was tofu scramble on the menu and it came highly rated, so we ambled over 2 miles from our hotel to the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood for happy morning belly time.

Speaking of ambling, why is Portland the only place I can count on for having consistent city blocks? Thirteen blocks in Portland is something like 3 blocks in San Francisco. This is why we walked SO MUCH during our trip.

Back to the food. I ordered a vegan version of the rancheros. At first I thought "oh, this will be easy to veganize" but then the waitress kept asking about replacing this and that. I was impressed by how easily she took my order. And look at this plate!
This was my first time eating anything rancheros and I am HOOKED, dudes. That plate was full of so much delicious. Crispy tortillas, avocado, perfect tofu, soyrizo, refried beans and hashbrowns. I just about ate the whole thing, swollen belly be damned. I highly, highly recommend trying this place out!

For our second breakfast, I suggested we try Boogaloo's in the Mission District. We commence another hike (seriously, Steph, they're not PDX blocks) and hit the cafe right before the hipster hour. I ordered the Tofu Lover's Scramble (with ranchero sauce) and while it wasn't as good as the first breakfast, it was still pretty tasty! The plate was huge and the cafe was super cute.
Yay, breakfast!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Travellin' Vegan Mofo: Petaluma & Oakland

After that exciting night at Lagunitas and a consequent bedtime of 8pm (oh, what working early hours will do to one's sleep habits) Jeff and I made our way into Petaluma proper. It's such a tiny town full of cute stores and bakeries. I was peeking at menus and found a place called Food Bar that boasted a tofu scramble that could be made vegan (uh, it had eggs) and we stopped in. It was actually pretty good, if not a little plain, and the potatoes were wonderfully crispy.
After eating, we wandered around a bit. Downtown is really, really tiny and it took us all of 15 minutes to take it all in.
We then made our way to the Oakland airport because it is far cheaper to catch the Bart there and take it into San Francisco than to take it from SFO. I had been browsing the PPK thread about SF and Oakland and noticed a mention of The Olde Depot and Beer Revolution, two beer shops next door to each other that were vegan friendly! So, of course, we had to stop in. We split the vegan cheezesteak and pretzel. The menu listed the cheezesteak as having TVP as the protein, but what was actually on there was more like a chewy soy meat. No matter, it was delicious!
I really loved both places. Beer Revolution prided itself on not carrying "corporate" beers so we tried to stick with local breweries we'd never heard of. I would recommend a stop in to anyone who enjoys a sudsy pint!

Tomorrow I plan on discussing the two breakfasts we had in San Francisco. We didn't hit Herbivore or Gracias Madre or Millenium or any of the cool spots, but I think we made out just fine.