Vegan Princess in an Omni Kingdom

Adventures of a vegan girl living in an omni world.

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!”).

Image

There was mac and cheese at White Owl Social Club.

Image

There was photo booth fun.

Image

There was Portobello. So good. So so good.

Image

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.

Image

Raw food platter from Blossoming Lotus.

Image

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

Image

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

Image

Isa teaches us vegans how to properly eat cheese.

Image

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.

 

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!

 

Anti-Headache Diet Days 4 and 5 October 5, 2012

Filed under: Eat to Live,Health,Vegan Mofo 2012 — bookie85 @ 7:03 PM
Tags: , ,

I think I am starting to get the hang of this and have spent the past couple days almost completely headache free, and what little headache I did get was very minor in comparison with the migraines I have been getting. Which happened just in time for my insurance to finally approve my having “just twelve pills a month” of the new migraine meds my doctor wants me to take if I feel a migraine coming on. I really hope to not have anywhere near twelve migraines a month with all the diet changes I am working on.

Speaking of diet, what fun things did I eat the last couple days? Not much, really, but here are a couple photos of my lunches from yesterday and today.

Brown rice pasta with tomato sauce and veggies.
Brown rice pasta with tomato sauce and veggies.

That dish is brown rice pasta with tomato sauce, red peppers, mushrooms and carrots. It was OK, the brown rice pasta got mushy when I reheated it and I didn’t cook the peppers long enough, but it had substance at least.

Garden vegetable soup
Garden vegetable soup

This is a bowl of the garden vegetable soup I picked up at Whole Foods. It was packed with veggies, and the ingredient label said it had soy in it, but I think it was a very little bit, and it was from soybeans, not soy protein isolate.

So, even if my meals aren’t exciting, at least this diet seems to be working.

 

September Vegan Food Swap Reveal September 30, 2012

Filed under: Food Swap,Uncategorized — bookie85 @ 9:51 AM
Tags: ,

It is that time again, time to reveal the fun items I received in this month’s food swap. I can’t believe this is the 6th time I have done this, it has been such fun. If you want to join us, there is one more swap in 2012 before we take a hiatus for the holidays, just head on over to the registration page and sign on up!

This month I sent a box to April at Beyond the Small Gate that included fancy peanut butter, candy, and veggie chips.

My box came from Amberly at The Good Life and boy did she do good. She is from Portland, OR and she went with a “made in Oregon” theme. I received NW Kale Chips, blueberry jam, Portland Ketchup Company ketchup, and chocolate coconut peanut butter. I have tried the kale chips and love them. I opened the peanut butter almost immediately, and put it on toast. I have to say, I was expecting it to taste more like chocolate, but tasting like peanut butter isn’t a bad thing at all. I haven’t tried the jam or ketchup yet, but I am sure they will be wonderful.

Image

September Swap Box Contents

Head over to The Verdant Life to see what the other people who participated in the swap received.

 

Vegan Things I Ate While in Boston September 4, 2012

Filed under: Boston,restaurant,Vacation — bookie85 @ 9:22 PM
Tags: ,

I went to grad school in Boston, and hadn’t been back since 2009 when I graduated. Since several of my friends still live there and Boston is one of my favorite places in the world, and I scored a great deal on airfare, it was a perfect time to go back this past June. Now, when I was in grad school I wasn’t vegan yet, or even vegetarian (except for in the dining hall, the veg option was often the least disgusting thing on the menu) so I had all new culinary territory to cover. I didn’t take pictures of everything I had, since I had a few cheese free pizzas and large salads, but here are a few pictures of the more notable things I ate.

On the plane on the way to Boston I read the Veg News article on vegan ice cream (can’t find a link right now, but it is in the August 2012 issue on page 63) and discovered that JP Licks had non-dairy options. So, the first order of business was to drag my friend, T, to the Harvard Square location for sorbet. It was really good, and the woman behind the counter decided to charge me for only one topping instead of two because she said I really didn’t have that much fruit, which was nice of her. From the looks of their website, they have even better vegan options right now (soy chai, yum!) so if you are near by, go and tell me how it is!

Berry sorbet with fresh fruit toppings

Berry sorbet with fresh fruit toppings

After our ice cream lunch, T and I wandered around Harvard Square for a while, then took the train back across to continue wandering around Downtown Crossing and the Boston Common. At the Common we came across one of the Clover Food Lab food trucks and decided to have a snack.

I had a chickpea fritter, rosemary french fries and some kind of lemonade (I really should write these posts in a more timely manner, then I would remember the flavor). The chickpea fritter was very flavorful and super filling, I was almost full before I even reached the chickpea part, the pita was so full of vegetables and tahini sauce. The fries were crispy and since they were tossed with fresh rosemary as we watched, the flavors were still present and the fries were still piping hot.

Lemonade being held by my friend

One handed shot of the lemonade.

Rosemary french fries and iced tea, held by my very patient friend.

Rosemary french fries and iced tea, held by my very patient friend (hanging out with a food blogger can be a bit exhausting to those not used to documenting everything they eat).

Chickpea fritter

Chickpea fritter

I had Clover Food Lab again a couple days later at the South Station location with another friend and it was just as delicious, even though they were out of tahini sauce the second time.

The next day, another friend from grad school came in to Boston from New Hampshire for the day, and we wandered the city, shopping and taking pictures and catching up on the last three years of our lives. The morning started with a quick stop at a cafe called The South End Buttery in, you guessed it, the South End near my friend’s apartment for breakfast. The menu wasn’t terribly vegan friendly, but I had them modify a berry smoothie for me, taking the yogurt out and using soy milk instead.

Slightly blurry berry smoothie

Slightly blurry berry smoothie

We ended up having lunch at the relatively new Wagamama in the Prudential Center in downtown Boston.  Wagamama had several vegan options on the menu, and several more items that could be made vegan. I started with the yasai gyoza (vegetable dumplings) and my friends had the summer rolls.

Yasai Gyoza

Yasai Gyoza

Summer rolls

Summer rolls

For my main dish I had the moyashi soba, which was basically a doctored ramen, but much better, if that makes any sense. I don’t remember what my friends had for their main, but they weren’t vegan, so no pictures.

Moyashi soba

Moyashi soba

The next day I went to the North End for yoga, and lunch. I love the North End, there are so many great little Italian restaurants and I walked up Hanover street reading menus until I found a place with no crowd and a vegan sounding pasta dish on their menu. I don’t remember the name of the place, but they made me a heap of pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil. It was so simple, but perfect, especially with the glass of Sam’s summer that I accompanied it with. This might have been my favorite meal, most likely due to the ambience, and the sunny window I was sitting in (remember, this was June and this Seattle girl hadn’t seen proper sun in months).

Pasta with tomatoes and basil

Pasta with tomatoes and basil

Overall I was pleased with my choices, but wish I had tried a few other places, but I couldn’t try everything. To see what is on my list for next time, read the posts about vegan eats in Boston by Vegan Miam, and Helen from Vegtastic.

 

Vegan Food Swap Reveal- August 2012 August 31, 2012

Filed under: Food Swap — bookie85 @ 7:27 PM
Tags: ,

I participated once again in the Vegan Food Swap that Cat at The Verdant Life has been hosting for the last 5 months. This month I was matched with Kara, who doesn’t have a blog. I told her that I liked decaf teas, dark chocolate and interesting spices.

Little did I know that Kara is quite the tea aficionado and had several kinds in her collection to share with me. I need to get a diffuser so that I can use the loose tea leaves. She also sent me a bar of one of my favorite chocolates from Trader Joe’s, some veggie quinoa mix, a can of chili, a curry from Trader Joe’s, some veggie bouillon and some black bean soup mix. She also included scans of three of her favorite recipes for me to try. I am excited to have some new recipes to make and some new kinds of tea to keep me warm in my freezing cold office in the upcoming chilly months.

August Swap Box Goodies

August Swap Box Goodies

Recipes for vegetable kebabs, stuffed tomatoes and vegetable curry

Recipes for vegetable kebabs, stuffed tomatoes and vegetable curry

Kara did a great job, don’t you think she should start a blog too?

I sent a box to Rachel, who also doesn’t have a blog. My box to her was full of my favorite items found in one of my favorite local grocery stores. I included a bean mix, candy bars, veggie chips, and chai tea among other finds. I didn’t take a picture of any of it though, my month was a bit busy with a lot of traveling to my parent’s house for family events so I simply forgot to document the box I sent in all the hustle.

Do you want to join us for the September swap? Head on over to the registration page at The Verdant Life to sign up.

 

 

 

 

Vegan Food Swap Reveal July 2012 July 30, 2012

Filed under: Food Swap — bookie85 @ 8:31 PM
Tags: , ,

I did the food swap hosted by Cat at The Verdant Life again this month. This time more non-bloggers participated, and I was assigned a non-blogger named Anne to send a box to. Since she lives more than 100 miles away from a Trader Joe’s I decided to send her a box full of my current favorite treats from TJs. I bought cookie butter, seaweed snacks, sea salt chocolate covered almonds and more. I forgot to take a picture though, so you will just have to imagine the goodness.

I was sent a box by another non-blogger named Tiana. She sent me a box full of some goodies from Trader Joe’s as well, including the seaweed snacks I had sent to Anne, funny enough.

Food swap package

She included some vegan cookies from Trader Joe’s I had never seen before, some pomegranate jelly, the aforementioned seaweed snacks, a roasted brown rice green tea that sounds interesting, a bag of cinnamon and agave sweet potato tortilla chips that sound amazing. The last item was a bag of peanut butter filled pretzels that I opened about ten seconds after opening the package. They were the perfect snack to eat while watching world class athletes complete at the Olympics.

If you want to participate in the swap next month sign up here, if you are in the United States. If you are in Canada, sign up here. If you are somewhere else in the world, start your own swap! Don’t worry if you aren’t a blogger, you can always guest post on Cat’s blog, or on the blog of the blogger you are paired with.

Thanks Tiana, I love the treats!

 

Wild Prairie Bakery July 22, 2012

I turned 27 almost two weeks ago and all I really wanted for my birthday was vegan cake. Not just any vegan cake would do, though. I wanted one that was like the (non-vegan) cake of my childhood. Every year, my Mom would get me a chocolate cake with raspberry filling and piped frosting flowers on top. To fulfill this desire, I made my way out to Wild Prairie Bakery in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.

Wild Prairie is run by a very sweet woman named Megan. She bakes an assortment of cookies, cupcakes and pain au chocolate every day, as well as baking cakes for special orders. I went out there the Saturday before my birthday to have brunch and to order my cake.

It was a very nice, sunny Seattle weekend day, so when I arrived I wasn’t completely surprised to find that I was the only person in the bakery. People were missing out though, I had a wonderful brunch of tofu scramble with fruit while I finalized my cake order decision.

Brunch menu

Brunch menu

The tofu scramble was chock full of veggies, lots of kale which is always a huge plus in my book. My only complaint would be that a side of fruit should be more than a strawberry and a slice of orange. The small amount of fruit did mean that I had room to order a pain au chocolate (which I failed to get a picture of) so it isn’t all bad.

Tofu scramble with fruit

Tofu scramble with fruit

By the time I finished eating, I had settled on a chocolate cake with vegan chocolate butter cream filling and raspberry frosting. I asked Megan to decorate it with “whatever flowers inspired her.” I returned on the day before my birthday to pick it up, and I couldn’t have been happier. It was beautiful.

Birthday cake

My beautiful birthday cake

I took it to work the next day to share with my (mostly omni) coworkers, and they loved it. I believe a happy dance was performed by one of them upon the first bite. I loved it as well, it was super rich, but not too sweet. The frosting was thick (it had been refrigerated due to the buttercream filling) but not so thick so you felt like you were eating fondant, and it tasted like fresh raspberries, because it was made from fresh local raspberries picked just days ahead of time.

Wild Prairie will be hearing from me each July, if not many times before then as well.

Wild Prairie is located at 2019 NW Market Street, Seattle WA 98107.

EDIT: Wild Prairie Bakery is now closed, the owner had to close up shop due to health issues in late 2012.

 

Chloe Coscarelli Book Signing July 1, 2012

Filed under: cookbook,Seattle,shopping,Uncategorized — bookie85 @ 3:02 PM
Tags: ,

In late May I had the fun opportunity to attend one of Chloe Coscarelli’s book signing events to promote her new book, Chloe’s Kitchen. It was held at Book Larder, a bookstore in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle that sells nothing but cookbooks. It is a small, adorable space with a full service kitchen space in the front for cooking demos. 

The store owners made Chloe’s famous Cupcake Wars winning ginger nutmeg spice cupcakes for attendees to enjoy as we lined up to get our books signed.

Image

Mini vegan ginger nutmeg spice cupcakes.

Chloe is just as lovely and sweet in person as you would expect, she signed my book as I chatted with her and her mother about the faux Hostess cupcakes (“Chloestess cupcakes” as she calls them) that I made for a bake off at work that won in the vegan category. I don’t look very thrilled to be meeting her in this photo, but it is because I am trying to teach the woman taking the photo how to use my iPhone. Trust me, I was much happier than I appear.

Image

Meeting Chef Chloe.

Chloe’s book is full of wonderful recipes, all simple and easy to make. This is the kind of food that I would make to impress my omni friends and family. I have made the yoga cookies (page 245), Chloestess cupcakes (page 205), and the stuffed shells with arrabbiata sauce (page 149). All are dishes I would make again for myself or take to a potluck.

If you haven’t already I would highly recommend adding Chloe’s Kitchen to your cookbook collection.