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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last Vegan MOFO 2010!

It's the last one and the last one for NYC! I'm both saddened (mostly because you didn't even see my other blog because stupid google beleted it), but I'm also very glad! I'm finally coming down to the wire on my NYC pictures and after this post I'm going to show you all how we MN vegans do this shit. In Minnesota. Yup.

STOGO! Ice cream! Who doesn't like this stuff? If you tell me you don't like ice cream, I'm going to call you a witch and never let you be my friend. Ever.
This place was really great, save for the tiny portions. It's always enough for me, but something a lot larger in size would really make the price you pay more worth it.
The taste though....droooool. That is all. FEAST YOUR EYES ON THIS DOOZY!

That would be chocolate chip cookie vegan ice cream and vegan chocolate sorbet. Heck yes!

The lady behind the counter was super nice and let me have an extra one of these-a raw pumpkin macaroon! She chatted with us about where we should go the next time we come to NYC. What a nice lady! This macaroon was pretty good-I'm still trying to make myself like shredded coconut, but this was okay.


I also would like to quickly write about Kate's Joint. We had some really excellent bar food at this place. It felt like I was back in Minneapolis at what I like to call "my bar", "my Cheers", etc. Where every knows my naaaaammmmeee!!!!!!!!! aka Triple Rock Social Club.
OK but seriously. Manfriend had vegan chick'n fried steak and I had an awesome vegan taco salad. They were playing Velvet Underground and had some badass (but super nice) lady serving us some very hard liquor. Like I said, it felt like home! Go if you get the chance.

We also tried Little Lads, for their vegan buffet! This was totally worth it. So much vegan food to look at and such an interesting selection! All good. I can't really tell you what all I had, because I ate a fucking shitton. But I recommend you get here not at the buttcrack of closing time like we did to ensure that you get the best food ever. Their menu looked promising too. You don't just have to get the buffet. It's also kind of confusing to get I will say this. It is in that huge skyscraper you think it's in. Yay!

159 E 10th St
New York, NY 10003

Kate's Joint
58 Avenue B
New York

Little Lads
120 Broadway
New York NY 10271

MN, we have arrived. You're next.

MN Vegan

Monday, November 29, 2010

Vegan MOFO #12: Drumroll please...

This is the one place that I hear everyone talking about when the conversation involves veganism and NYC....
And yes, this was as delicious as the rumors say it is. I got the cake batter ice cream with graham crackers on top. It was fucking fantastic. That is all. There is no other way to describe it. Just go-and if you really need further encouragement, check out their menu.


I mean it. NOW!!

Lula's Sweet Apothecary
516 E 6th St
New York, NY 10009

MN Vegan

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Vegan MOFO #11: NYC!: Cocoa V's

I knew from the get-go that we'd have to try to this place out. I wanted to try the nut cheeses, but since I could get those online, we opted for just a sampling of a couple of chocolates. The chocolate was incredibly smooth! Very good. And each flavor that we tried-key lime, chocolate peanut butter, the cocoa v truffle and chocolate hazelnut. I'm going to cut to the chase and make with the food porn!
But first, I would like to mention that the place was very fancy on the inside. Like I said, I would've liked to try more, but it was pricey and we wanted to save room for other delicious things that day. They give you a cutting board and knives to cut the pieces of chocolate. Very cool! OK seriously, food porn PRONTO.

From the left, peanut butter and key lime.

From the left, cocoa v truffle and the hazelnut truffle.


Go now!


Cocoa V's
74 Ninth Ave
New York, NY 10011

MN Vegan

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Vegan MOFO #10: NYC! Foodswings...

Holy hell. Foodswings would be my go-to for, um, ANYTHING.
The only place that we have in MN that I would compare this to is the Triple Rock Social Club, where you have the heftiest selection of vegan all-American comfort food in MN. But Foodswings...they have it beat in selection. I mean, look at the damn menu on this wall!:

Here's what we got:

From left to right, vegan Mac n Cheese (the kind with Daiya in it, "creamy"? I think), vegan Chicken Cordon Bleu and a vegan Bacon Cheeseburger. Not pictured is the shake we got, which was a vegan chocolate peanut butter shake I think. It was really delicious! I personally really enjoyed the Chicken Cordon Bleu the best. It had this creaminess I didn't expect, and I can't really tell you what it was that made it creamy, but it was fucking tasty!
Manfriend's sammy (Bacon Cheeseburger) was pretty darn good too! I'd liken this place to Veggie Bite in Chicago, IL, but with a much larger selection! Everything was pretty much excellent, though I was longing for an even creamier Mac n Cheese.
Personally, when it comes to vegan Mac n Cheese, this brand is the best I've EVER tried, bar none. Vegan Mac n Cheese in any restaurant that I've been to has not yet topped this stuff. I shop for it at Ethique Nouveau, a great vegan shop in South Mpls. Love that place!

Tasty! Fucking magic! Go to Foodswings NOW people.

295 Grand Street
New York, NY 11211

MN Vegan

A little background on Manfriend, because I've never really explained him: He and I have been together on and off for the last 5 years or so. He's my best friend at the least and he hasn't put a ring on it yet, so he's not a boyfriend, he is Manfriend. You will never know his real name unless you know me in real life or if you email me about it. Sorry.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Vegan MOFO #9: Mooshoes and Melisser's booksigning!

I know. It's ridiculous but I still have not shown you all where we went, what we did and what we ate in NYC. So let's press on shall we? I swear I'm going to finish this vegan MOFO for you in style.
Now, put me in Mooshoes and I will be sad forever because I'll buy everything. A testament to this would be that I bought 2 pairs of shoes that I was originally going to leave for "Santa" to get me on Christmas, but they were there, right in front of me. My point is I tried to resist, I promise! But the shoes are too damn cute.
They are, indeed, the most comfortable heels I have now so I'm very glad I made the purchases.
Here's the shoes!

And here's Melisser's booksigning for The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life. It was spectacular! I got to visit with her and ask her a couple of questions, which was really great. She's awesome, so keep your eye on her! She blogs about awesome stuff as The Urban Housewife and she also has a great, cruelty-free make-up site, which I check everyday. If she's ever in town when Donut Cooperative opens, I would be honored to serve her up the best donut Minneapolis has to offer.

Wait! There's more! She had Bakesalery do the catering for the event.

So really, what more is there to say? This event had it all! It captured my eye, my stomach and my mind. I read her book from cover to cover on our plane rides back to MN. It was a treat to go get her book now!

MN Vegan

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Vegan MOFO #8: Thanksgiving!

So I made a couple of treats for Thanksgiving. Bear with me because I will tell you how to find the recipe for both of these, I promise. I'm going to provide links and page numbers so this post doesn't last too long. I decided to make vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls so I used this recipe. Manfriend wanted sugar cookies last night, so I used Alicia Simpson's recipe from Vegan Comfort Food, page 214, and added a little magic to it (magic:1/4 tsp of cream of tartar and substituting pumpkin for the applesauce). I also made myself some wicked tasty pumpkin oatmeal this morning which I will post the recipe for!
First the cinnamon rolls!

Adding the wet to the dry, yadda yadda.

Rolling it up! It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I wouldn't knead this too much. You don't want the dough to be too glutenous because then your rolls will come our hard and kind of chewy. Nobody likes that.

Going into the oven annnnnddd...

Delicious! I really love how pumpkin makes every thing this beautiful bright orange color. I would definitely wait to eat these, as you would want the frosting to soak in. I poured the frosting on right out of the oven and then put a top over the pan to keep it from drying so it would soak in, making each roll ooey gooey on the inside as well as outside.

Now for the cookies! These also turned out wonderful and did not taste much of pumpkin. The pumpkin really added to the texture though-so moist! And the color of these is a wicked bright orange as well. I love it!

Doughy goodness.

The cookie! I ALWAYS add cream of tartar to my sugar cookies. I feel it gives them this undeniably delicious tang. I've also heard that vegan sour cream can make these orgasmic, though I don't know how to use it in cookie recipes quite yet.

Last but not least, my breakfast this morning: Pumpkin Oatmeal
1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Remove from heat.
2. Add 1/2 cup of oats and cover.
3. Mix in a 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree, cinnamon to your liking, 1 T of brown sugar, pinch of kosher salt and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
4. Let sit for about 5 minutes (if you can stand it) to let the flavors meld.
5. Nom the crap out of it.

Again, happy thanksgiving and tofurkey day!

MN Vegan

What I'm thankful for...

MN Vegan

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vegan MOFO #7: NYC! Part 3!

Babycakes NYC, mmhmm. You gots it going awwn, let me tell you. You are where I want to work eventually someday, all cooped up in the back of a kitchen making delicious-smelling things. I was so excited for this bakery that caters to those with food allergies. I love it. A lot of their baked goods were gluten free and all of them were vegan. If you have a mega sweet tooth like I do, I would suggest getting your ass to Babycakes NYC like NOW.
I will put both visits to Babycakes in this post. We went once the first day we were there and once before Melisser's booksigning at Mooshoes. Get ready for some deliciousness to hit you hard and fast, people.

The front counter.

The BAKERY CASE!! Holy crap that's a lot of delicious vegan treats.

The first visit. Starting from the left-pumpkin bread, lemon cupcake with raspberry frosting, cinnamon donut and a pumpkin donut. Yes! All were delicious. Also, I took away a chocolate velvet muffin top. Everything here was fucking spectacular both time we went. Keep that in mind while feasting your eyes on this!:

Our last visit consisted of a chocolate brownie, a pumpkin donut (drooool) and I think that was another lemony cupcake because Manfriend likes lemon a lot.

Overall, this place was tiny but cute. Sweet and satisfying without feeling too guilty afterward from eating the stuff. I love it! Babycakes NYC, you rock.

Babycakes NYC
248 Broome Street
New York, NY 10002

MN Vegan

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all have a great one! I'm going to be heading out of work at four and then I'm probably going to do another update today to catch you up on more of the awesome NYC trip I had.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a great holiday weekend! I'll see you on the other side of the holiday (Friday) after tonight's update.

MN Vegan

Monday, November 22, 2010

Huge survey everyone is doing.

What's your favorite spice or spice blend? Cinnamon.

You have $20 to spend on fresh groceries and produce for the whole week (with a fairly well stocked pantry of dry goods, legumes, grains, and spices). What do you buy? Green peppers, an onion, tofu. The usual.

What's your favorite way to make tofu? I've been experimenting with silken tofu in desserts and I really enjoy doing that to make healthy pudding, chocolate pudding pie, etc.

Vegan guilty pleasure? Mac n cheese or any vegan cookie.

If you could make anyone vegan, who would it be? My dad.

If you could only read one other vegan blog, what would it be? There's so many. How does one choose something like that?!

Were you always interested in cooking, or did veganism change the way you saw and interacted with food? I loved baking and have always. Being vegan put a new twist on it and made it a bigger challenge.

Excluding analogues, what new things have you tried that you probably wouldn't have as an omni? Nutritional yeast.

What is the one vegan staple that everyone seems to love, but you can't get behind? Teese grate-able cheese. Nasty.

What was your first "wow, I'm such a stereotypical vegan" moment? Last week.

First recipe you veganized? Daiya mac n cheese, even though it wasn't much of a success-it was still fun to see that stuff melt.

What would you like to veganize, but haven't yet? Boston cream pie.

Favorite kitchen utensil/appliance? My batter spatula.

Most disastrous kitchen failure? Vegan baked donut holes. They were hard as rocks!

First vegan cookbook? I honestly cannot remember.

What question about being vegan do you HATE answering? "But isn't it natural for us to eat meat?"

If you could tell the world one thing about vegans, what would it be? It really makes you feel and look better to adopt a vegan diet.

Funniest vegetable? Patty pan squash! That stuff is the shit. I always pretend they're flying sauces and start singing the X Files theme song when I see them.

What is a family recipe you have veganized? Vegan Tollhouse Cookies.

Weirdest food combination? Well, some lady at this vegan potluck I went to made that one sandwich with the two krispy kreme donuts surrounding a hamburger. But a vegan version. That was pretty interesting.

Is there something you wish you could veganize, but can't/couldn't? I would like to try to make a vegan creme brulee one of these days, but I have the sneaking suspicion that's going to be very difficult to do.

Favorite ways to prepare tofu, seitan, tempeh, any other vegan proteins? Let Manfriend make it.

Are your pets vegan? if so, what do you feed them? tell us about having vegan furbabies! Isabella is in the process of becoming vegan as we speak!

Favorite non-dairy milk? I am quite partial to almond milk.

What’s one “vegan myth” you’d like to squash? That veganism is a fad. It is not a fad. I really hope it changes the world someday.

MOFO #6: Animal Rights Coalition vegan potluck!

Yet another yummy potluck! I'm going to right ahead and show you my bowl, which was topped to the brim with delicious food.

And here's everyone enjoying the delicious food.


MN Vegan

Sunday, November 21, 2010

MOFO #5: Delicious beginnings to a great potluck!

So for the annual Animal Rights Coalition vegan potluck, I chose to actually bake something sweet this time because nobody ate my goddamn (delicious) vegan cream of mushroom soup yesterday for the CAA vegan potluck. Like literally, NO ONE. It was a sad day, because it really tastes good. Oh well. More for me, bitches!
Anyways, I made vegan pumpkin bread and I adopted the recipe from Isa's recipe.
Here is the recipe:

Serves 8

(2) 8″ x 4″ loaf pans

1 cup chopped walnuts
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup flaked coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8″ x 4″ loaf pans.
2. Spread walnuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Toast in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, white sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add the pumpkin puree, oil, and coconut milk, and mix until all of the flour is absorbed. Fold in the flaked coconut and toasted walnuts. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
4. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and cover loaves tightly with foil. Allow to steam for 10 minutes. Remove foil, and turn out onto a cooling rack. Tent loosely with the foil, and allow to cool completely.

NOW, I used regular vanilla soy milk for this used 1.5 times the amount of pumpkin to make this recipe lower fat and it STILL tasted bomb. AND I even topped it with walnuts and brown sugar. Why am I so nice to these people? I do not know.

Here's some food porn for ya.
Delicious batter!

Which should naturally lead to batter tasting. This is different from batter eating. Batter eating has a tendency to make you gain weight. Tasting the batter is totally harmless and may, in fact, prevent you from baking a big huge pile of gross. I'm a big fan of tasting it before it goes into the oven.

Here's the canned pumpkin I use. I love this stuff. It's really versatile. If you ever need a good egg replacement, pumpkin can do the trick and the pumpkin flavor is very easily masked.
And hey, did you know that a serving of this canned pumpkin offers 340% your daily vitamin A? Say hello to good vision.

Et voila! The finished product!

With melted butter, this pumpkin loaf slice was fucking magical.

ALSO, I would highly recommend not skipping the step where you roast the walnuts. It makes the house smell like savory numnums and adds so much flavor to a bite of this delicious bread. Bon appetit! And I'll be seeing you (hopefully) at the potluck later today, folks!

MN Vegan

Saturday, November 20, 2010

MOFO #4: Compassionate Action for Animals Vegan Potluck!

I am still stuffed. So much good food and tomorrow I get to do it all over again! I made vegan cream of mushroom soup, which not a lot of people ate. Usually I walk away having no food left over after this potluck every year, but apparently people don't give a damn about soup (I usually make dessert...heeee). That's cool. I got a second chance to make it all better tomorrow at Animal Rights Coalition's vegan potluck. Heck yeah!

Here are some pictures from the potluck tonight.
Jake, my good friend, was super excited, and looking quite dapper I might add.

Nobody knows how to put a potluck together like Minnesotans do. So much delicious food. Urgh. I hurt thinking about it all.

My plate. Yep. I attempted to eat all of that.

These tables were chalk full of people eating wonderful vegan foods.

Jake and I were both have serious cases of food comas, but it was so worth it! We didn't even win anything in the damn raffle, and I still thought it was worth it. Tomorrow I'm hitting up the other one. I love potluck weekends. We should do more of these damn things.

MN Vegan

Vegan MOFO: NYC! Part 3!

All right. Candle 79. Here I go.
This place is fancy schmancy and quite pricey for what I'm used to. I mean it. Don't come here if you don't want to spend at least $20 on an entree and nearly $15 if you're sticking around for dessert.

They first brought out "palette cleansers" which was a bunch of veggies (I think zucchini, mango, and some others) in a delicious creamy white sauce on a spoon. Pretty tasty. Tasted like a bunch of veggies in mayo kind of. We started out ordering a side order of onion rings with a "special sauce". The onion rings were quite bland, but the "special sauce" (they had a name for it, I just don't know what it was), was fucking amazing. Perfect. I call the sauce "special" because I liken it to the "special sauce" typically on a Big Mac.

Next came our dishes, which were exceptional. Mine was a medley of collard greens, "meat" slices, tomato sauce and onions. It had many different levels of flavor in it. I LOVED the avocado on top. Fucking delicious.

Manfriend's was just as epic. It was barbecued seitan topped with slaw and a side of sweet potato fries. The fries were not crunchy, but pretty damn tasty. I had only a bite before he wolfed this dish down, and from what I could tell, the seitan was damn addicting. You wouldn't want it to stop.

We finished off our meal with the vegan cannoli. Lordy, this dessert was perfect. I have never had a cannoli in my life, but this vegan cannoli was surrounded by a deliciously smooth chocolate sauce, sprinkled with powdered sugar and topped with a smooth ice cream. Manfriend said he, and I quote, was "going to only have one bite". Fat chance. He ate almost the whole damn thing. No wonder though, as this had a delicious vanilla cream in the center of the cannoli pastry and pastry itself, was incredibly crisp and delicious.

Candle 79 is a must-go for NYC's vegan visitors (and any visitor, really). They keep the portions small, but at the end of the meal, you are STUFFED.
This place started to get busy after 7pm, but before that, the restaurant was enjoyably quiet with dim lighting and had a very pleasurable ambience.
Hot damn.

Candle 79
154 E 79th St
New York, NY 10075

MN Vegan

Friday, November 19, 2010

Vegan MOFO: NYC! Part 2!

Yerp. Time for another blog update from yours truly. And a delicious one at that! But kind of short.
Vinnie's in Willamsburg, recommended to me by Isa for its huge fucking slices, had just that! Huge slices! OK, now people. Do NOT do what I did and try to bring back two pieces back to your sleeping manfriend on the subway. It ruins the melty deliciousness of the cheese. I think they use Teese. But anyhoo, the slices are in fact GIANT. And they have interesting flavors, like buffalo chik'n and macaroni-topped slices (pictured below).

The crust is perfect-chewy and delicious. Daiya may have been a better cheese alternative for the pizza's in my opinion, but I appreciate the Teese nonetheless. At least I got a fucking huge vegan pizza slice SOMEWHERE. We don't have this stuff in MN, let me tell you. I was pretty stoked. Also, Vinnie's of Williamburg serves the same pastries that Atlas Cafe does, which is pretty awesome! I got a chocolate donut, and it was fucking heavenly. Not grainy at all, perfectly pillowy and delicious.

Vinnie's did it for me. It can do it for you, too. Stop in soon if you're in the NYC area, mang. Very convenient to have this decent vegan junk food in one area.

Vinnie's Williamsburg
148 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

MN Vegan