Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Trader Joe's Soy Creamy

It's organic, it's vegan, it's about $3.50 for a quart (or whatever that size is that's bigger than a pint), it goes well with fruit. I've been a big fan of the Very Cherry Chip (i don't remember the exact name ever) flavor, but had never done the plain vanilla before. I think i had intended it for something-or-another, but i had gotten a big thing of strawberries from Uncle Paul's for only 99 cents and had cut them up and thought, gee, that would go well with vanilla ice cream. And i was right. I also had gotten some cheap mangos from Uncle Paul's and that was like a party in my mouth, it was so good! The other day i didn't have any fruit and just ate the ice cream plain and it was....not the best. It was ok and it was do-able, but the flavor was definitely soy-y. Does anyone know if any of the vegan ice cream makers makes a "vanilla bean" flavor? I don't think i've seen it yet and i would think the beans would make a difference when it comes to covering up the soy taste. Turtle Mountain does have a Vanilla Bean in their coconut milk ice cream line....

I'm currently jobless, so if anyone knows of any jobs out there that i would be qualified for (i have medical clinic, restaurant, and natural food store experience),  please let me know!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Blogpost about This. And That.

Warning: long-ass post to follow....

I just noticed I have one less "follower" (yes, i am Quotation Mark Queen as of late...), who ditched me??? I demand to know! Ok, so I do pay attention to the number, but I was so proud to go from 6 to 13. I don't take much stock in those numbers since I myself have no idea how to do the Follower thing with any of the blogs I keep up on (I'm seriously RSS Feed illiterate). I like to think I have at least twice that amount that actually read my blog. But I could be totally off....

Anyways, so what's new with me since my May 4th post? Well, I've turned 29 (goodness! I'm less than a year from 30!! Less than 11 years 'til 40!!!) Many of my wonderful Portland friends came and met up with me at my favoritest bar ever, the all-vegan Bye & Bye. They may have come just to have a good reason to go there. Cute bartenders (they even have a mighty-cute girl bartender now, it's not just studs!), tasty food - BBQ Brussel Bowl, yum!, and delightful cocktails served tall. It's the only bar where I forget (and forgive) they don't serve the must-have bar food, french fries. My friends from Sweetpea, Jeff & Katie, brought me a cake:

Katie tried to make it as girly as possible, there's hearts, flowers and a butterfly. The cake was vanilla, with dark cherries in the middle layer, "buttercream" frosting. Oh, and maraschino cherries, of course! Deliciousness!

Me with Stockholm and cake
Before my birthday, I had gone to Asheville, North Carolina for a friend's wedding. I was psyched because I hadn't gone to Asheville since I lived in Chattanooga, which was about 8 years ago. I was sorta veg then, but I hadn't seeked out veg food and I had kept reading everywhere about how veg-friendly the city was and everyone talked about Rosetta's Kitchen and The Laughing Seed. I got there on a Thursday morning and an old friend from my hometown picked me up. We ended up at Rosetta's for the first meal. We both got the Tempeh Reubens, which I had been told were a must. I paired it with a PBR (from tap, fancy...)

This tempeh reuben was quite delicious. I had never had one before with red kraut and it also comes with their homemade walnut-something spread. This kraut was of the raw (you know, like Bubbies) variety and, though it was tasty, i would've liked a more soft sauerkraut. It was served with a side of tortilla chips, which you can sub out for a $1 more if you want fries. I would do that next time. To make vegan, you ask for it minus the cheese and they allow you to sub anything else for free, I chose avocado. The service at Rosetta's was friendly and helpful. On another trip there with some nonveg friends I got mashed taters and gravy and 2 different cookies- Cowgal, Cowboy, and Double Chocolate. The mashed potatoes/gravy was good and sorta healthy tasting. The two Cowpeople cookies got one skeptical friend believing that vegan cookies could taste good. They both had seeds and perhaps even nuts with dried fruit. Hearty and tasty. The chocolate one was dry and I was tempted to return it, but I am too shy to do that. I figure it's the risk of buying something.

The next day I ended up at the Laughing Seed with the friend that picked me up, who I shall call Tiffany henceforth....because that's her name. We shared pankoras, one with squash and the other with broccoli and cauliflower (surprisingly I liked the latter more) and we both had Mercury Not Rising, a fish-style seitan sandwich. I choose fries w/jalapenos and onions as my side. Tiffany got the healthy, pretty side salad. So yeah, my whole meal there was all fried stuff. The pankoras were delicious fried Indian goodness. They had a soy yogurt sauce available for vegans. The sandwich was...all right. I don't think seitan is the right faux meat for this. It's not of the same texture. It came with a dill sauce and I'm not a huge fan of dill so it was a little much for me. I ate almost all my fries before even getting to my sandwich. I had hoped that the jalapenos and the onions would be breaded, but they're just fried straight up in with the fries. Still good though! For a beverage I got the pint-sized Dark & Stormy, "Reed's Ginger Brew and Cruzan Black Strap Rum with a splash of lime." I think the "splash of lime" was just the lime they put on the glass. I could've used more. It was a bit strong for me. 

I also came across The Chocolate Fetish chocolate shop and purchased some of their dark chocolate dipped dried fruit. I got banana, red plum and cherries. My preference in that order as well. Bananas and chocolate go so well together, don't you think?

I tried to eat at the Green Sage but their kitchen was closed when I had room for it...

I did like Asheville, but I gotta say that Portland kicks it's ass when it comes to ambiance and general all around awesomeness. 

Monday, May 4, 2009

Por Que Yes!

Warning: this blog entry is kinda babbling and all over the place....

I went home to Sarasota, Florida to surprise my mom for her birthday last week and also got to surprise some friends and other relatives (it was a very last minute trip). While in Florida i don't eat the best and usually cut myself a little slack on total veganness. My family/relatives aren't very supportive of my eating habits. They don't get it and usually i hear "but plants are alive too" or some such ridiculous statement. I got to see my cousin Polly and her 18 month old Elliot, that i haven't seen since he was a month old. Apparently, he's practically vegan. He's lactose intolerant and likes veggies and fruits more than meat. I hope to influence him greatly in the future...heh...
Whenever i go home, i partake in the eating of Chick-Fil-A waffle fries and a Dr. Pepper at least once. This time was no different. 

I get Polynesian sauce, which is like sweet and sour sauce, to dip them. The fries used to have beef juice in them, but thankfully, no longer. 
Other places i ate while home: Sweet Tomatoes chain- salad buffet, Taste of Asia- overpriced Thai that was sooo not as good as Pad Thai Kitchen, Whole Foods salad bar, Granary ( i used to work at this local natural food store chain, they aren't as good as they used to be)- blackened tofu and multi grain roll from the deli, Smoothie King- Light & Fluffy. 
But now that i'm back in Portland i have more options and i'm happy to have at least one option (almost) anywhere i go with friends. Yesterday some girl friends and i went on a Pretty Dress Bike Ride. We ditched it about 20 minutes in because the weather was starting to suck and the ride just wasn't doing it for us. We were hungry so we rode on down to Por Que No (Hawthorne location), a colorful restaurant that has a back patio and a 3-6pm happy hour, during which tacos are 50 cents off and margaritas are $1.50 off. While we all enjoyed our Bryan's Bowls (well, Kathleen decided on tacos) and drinks the rain came down and the wind blew, but we were dry under the patio cover. There's not a ton of vegan selections here and no faux meats or tofu, but the Bryan's Bowl ($6.50ish), made vegan, is filling and delicious and you can sometimes make 2 meals out of it. It's rice, pinto beans, seasonal veggies, gaucamole and your choice of chips or 3 small yummy homemade tortillas. You can buy more tortillas for 25 cents a piece, which i did. The margaritas are delicious, pint-sized and $7 during happy hour. They also have 3 different flavors of juices that they sell out of those plastic see-thru barrels. (Rum can be added to any of them) 

see? yum!

This week i'm heading to Asheville, NC and i'm excited to check out the vegan food i've heard about! Tell me any suggestions you have!