Vegan Princess in an Omni Kingdom

Adventures of a vegan girl living in an omni world.

Poppy Birthday Dinner September 23, 2013

Filed under: restaurant,Seattle — bookie85 @ 11:11 AM
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This past July for my birthday, my Aunt K treated me to a wonderful birthday dinner at Poppy. Poppy is a restaurant on Capitol Hill here in Seattle that specializes in creating thalis, which are platters of food served to each guest. While Poppy doesn’t have a vegan thali on the menu, if you call ahead and tell them that you are vegan, they will create something wonderful for you. As our waiter said, they can always create something for a vegan to eat, but if you want something spectacular, you need to call ahead.

We started with drinks. This is the sort of place that has a bunch of ingredients in their cocktails that I had to Google to figure out what they were. After consulting with the waiter (and hearing him use the word bitter three times to describe the other cocktail I was considering) I ordered “lovage story.” What is lovage? Read more here. We also ordered pakoras to start, and they were really good, slightly spicy but not overwhelmingly so.

Lovage story (and pakoras).

Lovage story (and pakoras).

Next up was my custom vegan thali, the main event.

Vegan thali.

Vegan thali.

Counterclockwise from the bottom yellow dish, I had a potato and carrot stew with dill (probably my favorite), pickled radishes, a bean and cucumber salad, carrot ginger soup, potato salad, steamed peas and other veggies, and quinoa. Poppy is known for their naan, but they use dairy in it, so it isn’t vegan, so I got the quinoa instead.

Veggie stew

Veggie stew

Carrot ginger soup

Carrot ginger soup

 

This was so much food that I couldn’t finish it, but it was all very well seasoned and thought out. I loved that each dish was different, but used similar enough ingredients (potatoes and carrots throughout) and seasonings that everything harmonized, and didn’t compete with each other.

No birthday dinner is complete without dessert, and when my aunt asked the waiter to bring out their best vegan dessert (the menu didn’t have anything vegan) he said he had just the thing, and disappeared in to the kitchen for a minute.

When he re-appeared he had a fruit gummy candy, which is naturally vegan since they make them with fruit pectin. The candle was a nice touch.

Fruit squares

Fruit squares

After dinner we took a stroll through their garden in the back, where they grow some of the veggies they use in the kitchen. There was the biggest fennel plant I have ever seen in my life back there (no pictures, unfortunately). In the summer there is seating out in the garden as well.

I really enjoyed my meal with my aunt at Poppy. The food was fantastic, well thought out and beautifully presented, and the service was attentive and knowledgeable. I look forward to returning in the future.

Poppy is located at 622 Broadway East, Seattle WA 98102.

 

 

VVC 2013 Photo Essay September 2, 2013

Hello. Well, it has been a while hasn’t it? Pretty classic move for me, to attend a blogging conference (Vida Vegan Con) in May, come away completely inspired and blown away and “recommitted” to blogging, and then…. not blog until September.

Since many a re-cap has been posted by my fellow attendees at this point, I will just bring you a few photos of my favorite meals, and people that I spent time with at VVC. The memories and the network is still strong (I was just talking to my Mom about possible new cities to visit/consider moving to, and for each one I said “I know someone who lives there!”).

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There was mac and cheese at White Owl Social Club.

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There was photo booth fun.

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There was Portobello. So good. So so good.

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Sweet pea gnocchi. This was incredible. They are known for this dish for a reason. Also, a shout out to Crissie from Run Crissie Run and Megan (@veganwtsn) for sharing this evening with me.

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Raw food platter from Blossoming Lotus.

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Some of the sweet treats from the “Breakfast Showcase/Showdown.”

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“Prom pose” from before the Gala with my roommates for the weekend, (L-R: Helen, Megan, Dawn and myself).

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Isa teaches us vegans how to properly eat cheese.

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Epic swag pile.

So, there you have it. VVC 2013 in a few pictures. It was such a fun time and I look forward to many cons to come.

P.S. September is Vegan MOFO, the month where vegan bloggers all over the globe blog at least 20 times in the month about all things vegan food. I am not participating this year, but if you want to read some of the other blogs that are, hop on over Randomofo. 

 

El Borracho- Vegan Tacos! May 19, 2013

Filed under: restaurant,Seattle — bookie85 @ 8:51 PM
Tags: , , ,

Two weeks ago, I went shopping and had drinks with my friend, Liz. Afterwards we were walking towards the bus and I suddenly announced my desire to eat a lot of tacos (as you do once you have had enough champagne). I remembered that a new Mexican restaurant, El Borracho had opened a few months ago near Pike Place Market, and decided that the moment had arrived to check it out.

It was a nice day that day, so the outdoor patio was jammed, as was most of the inside, but we found a table in the back. After a short wait, a waitress arrived with the requisite chips and salsa, which I do have to note was $2 and not free like most Mexican restaurants but it was a nice mild salsa, many times the salsa is too spicy for me in Mexican restaurants, so I didn’t mind too much. We ordered guacamole to add to the chips and settled in to peruse the menu. The menu has an entire vegan section, and my friend and I both picked a burrito with soy chorizo and potatoes (and several veggies, rice and beans).

The waitress that took our orders was excited to see us order vegan food, and asked if we were vegan, and told us that she has been vegan for 21 years. She created the vegan section on the menu, and I felt a lot safer ordering vegan food from her, as sometimes in non-vegan restaurants you never know if they quite understand why you care if they put chicken stock in the rice, or lard in the beans.

The burrito was the size of my head, with nice flavor and texture, and I had plenty of leftovers for dinner the next day as well. My one tiny complaint would be that it needed some sort of sauce, possibly a salsa to give it a little kick.

Soy chorizo and potato burrito.

Soy chorizo and potato burrito.

The food was tasty, reasonably priced, the service was great, and there are many more vegan options on the menu still to try, including nachos that look fantastic, which means I will be returning for sure.

Now, the question is, did Liz like El Borracho too?

Liz about to dig in to her burrito.

Liz about to dig in to her burrito.

I think it safe to say, yes.

El Borracho is located at 1521 1st Ave (between Pike and Pine) in Seattle, WA.

 

Plum Cookbook Launch Cooking Class May 13, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — bookie85 @ 6:17 PM
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On May 2nd, 2013 I attended a small cooking class taught by Makini Howell at the book store, Book Larder to celebrate the launch of her new cookbook, Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro. It was a small class, just ten people, and Makini cooked up quite a feast for us. It was a great evening, full of great conversation and food, and many conversations about food, even beyond the food we were partaking in.

The first course was the famous Plum mac and yease (recipe not in the cookbook, although a smokey mac and cheese recipe is on page 101), which was to “entice us to come to the restaurant” as Makini said. This is my favorite dish at Plum, and it was as great as ever.

The next course was the cauliflower bisque with fresh fennel (pg 44 in the book). This soup was  creamy and flavorful, and definitely a soup that I will be re-creating on my own. The topping is smoked tofu, made crispy like bacon in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil.

Cauliflower Bisque with Fresh Fennel

Cauliflower Bisque with Fresh Fennel

The next course was a salad made of miner’s lettuce, grilled fennel, grilled plums, edible flowers, and a dressing made of plum sake (and something else, bad blogger didn’t take detailed notes). There were children present at this meal as well, so she also made a simple vinaigrette  which I am sure would make a lovely pairing, since the plum and fennel are so flavorful on their own, they don’t really need a lot of dressing. This recipe isn’t in the book, but is a good example of taking your inspiration from local, seasonally available produce, as Makini does with all the dishes at Plum.

Miner's lettuce salad with plum and fennel.

Miner’s lettuce salad with plum and fennel.

The next course was another one that isn’t in the book, but is on Plum’s current brunch menu. Vegan “crab cakes” made of mushrooms, bread crumbs, onions and I am sure something else I am forgetting. She usually makes this with an egg replacer to serve as a binding agent, but she forgot to bring them. The cakes still held together pretty well, and had a similar texture to the crab cakes I remember from my pre-vegan days. The cakes were topped with the “Savory Soy Cream” (pg 6 in the book). These went over so well that when one of the children in attendance didn’t want his there was quite the bargaining going on to get that crab cake.

Vegan crab cake topped with savory soy cream.

Vegan crab cake topped with savory soy cream.

Next up was the pizza with soy ricotta cheese, fennel, plums, miners lettuce on a sauce of pesto and olive oil. This version was made on a crust she bought at Trader Joe’s but there is a recipe in the book for a pizza crust (pg 105). This was really good but I was so stuffed at this point, I didn’t eat the whole thing, had to save room for the dessert!

Pear and fennel soy ricotta cheese pizza.

Pear and fennel soy ricotta cheese pizza.

Dessert was a rhubarb crisp in tiny crusts, with homemade soy ice cream and blood orange compote. This was the perfect amount of sweet, and a great capper to an impressive meal of so much great food.

Rhubarb crisp and soy ice cream.

Rhubarb crisp and soy ice cream.

Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro is full of wonderful recipes that give you a piece of Plum Bistro if you are unable to enjoy a meal there. If you live in Seattle or are visiting, I highly recommend eating a meal at Plum Bistro as well as getting this cookbook.

 

January 2013 Vegan Food Swap Reveal February 4, 2013

Filed under: Food Swap — bookie85 @ 9:36 PM
Tags: , ,

After a brief holiday hiatus, the Vegan Food Swap is back! I am a few days late in posting this, but here we are, better late than never at all, I say.

I sent a package to Sydney over at Alternative Vegan, you can read her post on the goodies I sent her here. I received a package from the blog-less Sarah, with a blueberry theme. She is from Michigan which is a state of blueberry bounty (a fun fact that I didn’t know before).

Soap, jam, vinaigrette and syrup

Soap, jam, vinaigrette and syrup.

I haven’t tried any of it yet, but I love all things blueberry, so I am looking forward to using them all. The soap smells really good.

Do you want to join the swapping fun for February? Head on over to The Verdant Life and sign on up!

 

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Caffe Ladro October 17, 2012

Filed under: restaurant,Seattle,Vegan Mofo 2012 — bookie85 @ 7:45 PM
Tags: , ,

The first fall after I went vegan I was so disappointed to find out that Starbucks put dairy in their pumpkin spice syrup, and thus pumpkin spice lattes were off my list of fall food options. Flash forward to this past weekend when I was standing in line at  Caffe Ladro (the Lower Queen Anne location) ready to order my usual spicy soy chai latte when this sign caught my eye:

Seasonal drink offerings at Cafe Ladro
Seasonal drink offerings at Cafe Ladro

Pumpkin sauce! This means that the fine folks at the Caffe Ladro bakery make pumpkin sauce from scratch, without all of the extra sugars and other junk that is found in typical pumpkin syrups. I ordered my first decaf pumpkin spice latte in years and it was delightful. I will be back many times during this cold, and sometimes rainy Seattle fall.

 

Anti headache diet: bringing back the avocado October 7, 2012

Filed under: Eat to Live,Vegan Mofo 2012 — bookie85 @ 7:40 PM

Today I am bringing back possibly my favorite food in the world to my diet. Avocado. I picked up this avocado salad roll at Metropolitan Market and had it for dinner. If I get a headache tonight I will try eating avocado again in a couple days and if it happens again I will cry and cry and cry because that means avocados are a trigger and I can’t eat them anymore without experiencing pain.

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