I haven’t been cooking as much as I’d like to, so I figured I’d catch up with some laptop lunches.
1-6 fried quinoa & veggies, grilled bok choy, avocado
(that I didn’t eat because it was gross), truffles
1-9 pizza, salad with carrots & sesame shiitake dressing
1-12 penne with butternut squash & radicchio, raw kale salad
with oranges & pecans, cherries, piece of dark chocolate
1-13 leek & potato soup, smokey broiled tempeh,
steamed brussels, pretzels, cherries
1-14 TJ’s soy nuggets with ketchup (I really like these! Glad I finally
got to try them.), carrot & celery sticks, pretzels, cherries
1-15 black bean & tofu enchilada, carrot & celery sticks,
sample jar of amazing cashew butter, cherries
The enchilada was from a frozen meal, O Organics brand at Safeway. I picked it up totally on a whim – I wouldn’t expect a product like this from a major chain to be vegan, but it was! Marked as such right on the box. And they were downright decent enchiladas.
I’ve had visitors this month that have kept me out of the kitchen. My friend Jackie was here for six days, and my parents were here for four. This was not a bad thing, cause I got to eat out at all sorts of new places! I didn’t take pictures most of the time, but I figured I’d list the good stuff in case anyone is in these areas, googling for food options.
La Bella Italia on 150th @ E 14th. Jackie and I went there on a whim one night, starving after coming back from SF. According to the waiter, their pasta does not have eggs, and while they don’t have any vegan dishes on the menu, they are happy to change their dishes to suit nutritional needs. I had a garden salad with balsamic and pasta primavera, and it was quite tasty and filling. They are not afraid to use black pepper, and this is a good thing in my book.
Jackie wanted to go to the aquarium even though I’m terrified of sharks and water creatures in general, and I’m glad we went. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is amazing. And they have a nice little cafeteria. It looked like there might have been a few veggie options, but I went for a burrito after the burrito guy confirmed the beans and rice were vegetarian. It was far from the best burrito I’ve ever had, but it was a good lunch, and it was really nice to have some hot protein on a cold, rainy day.
On the way back from Monterey we stopped in Santa Cruz. We went to the Boardwalk, which is very cool even in the winter when nobody is there, and we ate at Saturn Cafe, a vegetarian diner that Jackie found online. They didn’t have quite as many vegan options as I would’ve hoped for, but there were a few good choices for sure. I went for a veggie burger with mushrooms and avocado, and fries. My meal was fine, but what was really super good was my dessert – a chocolate pb milkshake. Holy cow, I’ve wanted that milkshake again almost every day since then.
My mom is an excellent vacation planner, so before coming out she did a lot of research on what to do and where to eat. Since they were staying right next to Chinatown she suggested Lucky Creation, a vegan Chinese restaurant. I was hesitant, because I had gone once before and wouldn’t have suggested it. My meal was okay, but I didn’t think it was omni friendly. I ordered a bunch of meat substitutes though, so when mom suggested it again I was willing to give it a second try. Boy am I glad I did! The food was fantastic. Dad got chow mein, mom got fried rice, and I got tofu & veggies in a clay pot. And we ate off each other’s plates. So I was wrong, Lucky Creation is good (and quick and cheap), just don’t order mock meats unless you really want ’em.
Saturday morning we went to the Ferry Building Farmers Market, which is a great, great market. After wandering around we were hungry for lunch. Mom and dad ate at the Mexican place in the back of the building, and I went back to the Alive! table. Alive! does raw food, and I’ve wanted to give them a try for a while now. Their food isn’t cheap by any means, but I got a hummus wrap (in a collard) and a big side of celery root salad for $12. Everything was great, and I especially liked the salad. It was kind of like raw cole slaw. Recommended!
After trapsing around Alcatraz for hours (also recommended), we were ready for dinner. I had heard good things about Ike’s Place (possibly from bf’s brother who works there). Ike’s is a sandwich joint in the Castro, and I had heard they make the best sandwiches, so we had to check it out. We were a little surprised when we got there. It’s pretty much a hole in the wall with four tables out on the sidewalk. Not exactly the type of place you take your parents! But we were there, so with the help of the girl at the counter who was very eager to give suggestions, we placed our order. A short while later, Ike himself delivered our sandwiches to the table. And they were good. Really good. My sandwich was called the Vegan Shanghai something-or-other, and it had a ginger sauce and Chinese noodles. And tofurkey, teese, and vegennaise, I think. An odd combination maybe, but it was super tasty. Whoever had the idea to put Chinese noodles on a sandwich is a genius. Warning: There is honey in the wheat bread. The super-friendly employees should be able to help you avoid non-vegan things. Call your order in for pickup if it’s during peak eating hours, I’ve heard the wait can be really long. Did I mention each sandwich comes with a blowpop?
We also went to Millenium, but I actually took (dark, blurry) pictures, so that’ll be another post. Until then…