Vegan Princess in an Omni Kingdom

Adventures of a vegan girl living in an omni world.

Vegan Eats in My Hometown December 31, 2011

Filed under: restaurant — bookie85 @ 10:30 PM
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In my hometown of Longview, WA there is one health food store that also has a cafe. The last couple times I have been home (not counting the time I was getting my wisdom teeth out, that wasn’t a visit where we were on the hunt for food) my Mom has tried to take me there. We were finally successful the Friday before Christmas when I arrived in Longview via a train from Seattle, right at lunch time and completely starving.

Country Village Nutrition Shoppe and Cafe is on the border of Longview and Kelso and takes up most of the storefront space in a small strip mall. The first thing that I noticed when I sat down (besides the fact that my Mom and I knew half of the patrons in the place, love that about going home) was that they had information about vegan substitutions right at the top of the sandwich section of the menu. They have an impressive selection of sandwiches, salads, soups and juices made fresh each day. I got the “Happy Charlie San” that had a mix of raw nuts, veggies, vegan mayonaise on sprouted wheat bread. The menu said that “Charlie was happy because the tuna was still in the sea.”

I was impressed that the waitress noted that because I was getting no cheese on my sandwich and requesting vegan mayonaise I probably wouldn’t want the pasta salad that was made with non-vegan mayonaise and offered to substitute a green salad before I could even ask any questions about the ingredients in the side dishes.

Happy Charlie sandwich with a green salad

The sandwich was really good, I loved the nut mixture, it was flavorful and satisfying. I didn’t have a chance to eat any of the green salad that was on the side because I was so stuffed from eating the whole sandwich. It was a bit messy to eat, and some of the nut mixture fell out, allowing my Mom to taste some. She said that she would have to get it next time, and agreed with me that it was a creative vegan option, and much better than the salads I usually eat in restaurants in Longview.

We will definitely be back, next time I want to try one of the fresh juice options. It is nice to know that there is a nice place that my Mom and I can go to when I am home.

Country Village Nutrition Shoppe and Cafe is located 711 Vandercook Way in Longview, WA. They are open Monday-Friday from 10am-3pm

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Coworker Christmas- Vegan Potluck December 18, 2011

Filed under: Food,Holidays,work — bookie85 @ 9:29 PM
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As promised in one of the last posts, the Christmas potluck with my coworkers was entirely vegan. Unfortunately for this food blogger, it wasn’t exactly made up of the most photogenic foods, but it was all pretty tasty.

First up, we have spiced potatoes from my boss. She said it was made of potatoes, homemade tomato paste, vegetable stock and various spices. It had a little bit of heat to it, but I think she held back on the spice because she wasn’t sure if we would all be able to handle the amount of heat she usually puts in her food.

Spiced potatoes

Next up is the lentil stew that one of my coworkers made. This is made of lentils, swiss chard, onions, coriander, garam masala and possibly some other spices I am forgetting.

Lentil stew

I made a version of the Confetti Macaroni Salad that is in Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s cookbook, Color Me Vegan. I used gluten free, brown rice pasta since one of my coworkers is gluten intolerant. It was my first time cooking with brown rice pasta and I am not impressed. Even though the package said it wouldn’t get mushy, it totally did, and that was before I even mixed it in with any of the other ingredients. I also forgot to add mustard to the salad, so it was missing the tangy element I love so much about macaroni salad. Everyone said it was good though, so it is possible that I am just hard on it since it was my creation.

For dessert we had the same cherry pie that we had at our Thanksgiving potluck, but with more trees (yes, this time they are trees, not leaves) on top this time.

Cherry Pie

I also made gluten free chocolate peppermint cupcakes with chocolate peppermint frosting and candy cane pieces on top. I used a cake mix from Bob’s Red Mill and I think they turned out really well. I couldn’t tell that they were gluten free, and when I put the rest of the pan in the library for the rest of the people who work on my floor to take, I don’t think any of them knew they were gluten free either, they were just excited I baked for them again. So, way to go Bob’s Red Mill, I know that I can buy that mix again and make great cupcakes for my gluten intolerant friends.

Gluten Free Chocolate Peppermint Cupcake

We had great decorations on the tables as well. The building management put out these fake poinsettias all around the building and we borrowed one for the centerpiece of the table.

Poinsettia

One of my coworkers gave each of us a little pot of rosemary, mine (not this one, mine is in a blue pot with snowflakes on it) is currently living on the windowsill near my cubicle at work. Partially this is because I didn’t have enough room to take it home with me on Friday with the cupcake carrier and salad bowl I had to carry, but also because my office sadly gets more light than my apartment does. I lack actual windowsills in my apartment, but I think it will be just fine to have it live at work, and make my office smell like rosemary. I can always harvest it a little at a time, and take it home as I need it.

Rosemary plant

It was nice to once again share a meal with my coworkers, and it was nice of them to make it so I could enjoy everything. I have a feeling that sharing vegan food is going to be a reoccurring event now that we have two very successful, tasty events behind us.

 

Chaco Canyon Cafe December 4, 2011

Filed under: restaurant,Seattle — bookie85 @ 10:02 PM

The other day I was struck by a craving for a grain bowl with tofu, sprouts, veggies and this amazing garlic tahini sauce. I had this meal once before, at Chaco Canyon Cafe in the University District neighborhood of Seattle. It had been a while since I had been there, so I texted my friend Megan and told her of my craving, and set dinner plans for Saturday night.

Chaco Canyon Cafe is an all organic, vegetarian cafe that specializes in grain bowls, freshly prepared juices, smoothies and raw food. They recently revamped the menu to make it easier to navigate and easier to customize your order to your specifications.

I decided not to customize and ordered straight from the menu, the small hippie bowl ($6.95) Now, small is subjective, I found myself so stuffed full with about half of the bowl left, but that was fine with me as it meant I had more to eat today! The bowl had a bed of quinoa topped with shredded carrots, sprouts, baked tofu and a sprinkling of sesame seeds, with a garlic tahini sauce. It was just as delicious as I remembered and will probably start a new obsession with tahini sauce on everything I eat.

Hippie bowl

Hippie bowl

I also got a 10 oz “immune boost” juice ($5.95) that had apple, pear, carrot, celery, parsley, and ginger. It was good, but the chunks of ginger in the bottom were a bit more than I could handle, but I am not a fan of eating straight ginger.

Immune Boost Juice

Immune Boost Juice

Megan built her own bowl (about $7.00) starting with brown rice, and adding kale, zucchini, carrots, tempeh bacon, and the garlic tahini sauce.

Megan's creation

Megan's creation

Megan also had a mug of tea, something with chamomile in it, she said it was good. Each drink has a name that isn’t necessarily reflective of what is in it, so the man who took our order was nice enough to look up what was in the blend of tea she ordered to make sure it wouldn’t be too much of a caffeine boost for 7pm.

After finishing (or almost finishing in my case) our dinners we both ordered a raw chocolate brownie ($5.95) to go. I had mine today, it had a nice rich chocolatey taste to it, nicely complemented by the nuts that topped it.

Raw chocolate brownie

Raw chocolate brownie

The food at Chaco Canyon Cafe is always fresh, delicious and something you can feel good about eating. It is a little on the pricey side, but it is worth it as you know you are paying for fresh, organic produce from local farmers.

Chaco Canyon Cafe is located at (corner of 50th & 12th) 4757 12th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98105. They have a second location in West Seattle, at (corner of Alaska & 38th) 3770 SW Alaska St Seattle, WA 98126, but this review is for the University District location, as that is the only location I have been to.