Yum-fest in Philly

November 8, 2011
My dear friend and fellow wagoneer "V-secker" and I had plans to hear a speaker in Philadelphia last night and decided to stay over for a mini girls getaway.  We took advantage of the opportunity to have some amazing food!  

I had read about Royal Tavern in South Philly - our stop for lunch on our way into town yesterday.  It did not disappoint.  It is not all vegan but has several great options.  We shared a seitan burrito with guacamole and a tempeh reuben.  Both came with delicious fries and we tried not to eat too many of those... The reuben had Jonny's name all over it.  I can't wait to take him there.  

For dinner, we went to a restaurant we had both been to before, but not as vegans.  I told them that we were vegan when I made the reservation and we were delighted to be presented with this menu when we were seated:

  
 


 
Zahav is an incredible Israeli restaurant, consistantly ranked among the best restaurants in Philadelphia.  We had delicious hummus and laffa (pita) bread and a selection of eight different Salatim (salads).  I can't remember them all, but there was fennel, beets, carrots, they were all great. There were only a few other dishes that we could eat from the menu and we ordered a mushroom dish that was smoky and savory.  They brought us some grilled figs and crispy eggplant as a gift from the chef that I really liked too. Suffice it to say, we had plenty to eat!  We also enjoyed a pitcher of Lemonnanas: bourbon, muddled, mint, lemon and verbena.  Very refreshing and a wonderful contrast to all the garlicky goodness of the food.  The atmosphere is festive and I highly recommend it if you want to try something different.  

We wound up our vegan culinary whirlwind this morning with a visit to Grindcore House.  You will see from the link that there is no menu or information about the food and my research on Yelp and other sites did not tell me much, other than that they have bagels, sandwiches and lots of non-dairy creamer options.

Well, our last stop was a winner as well!  Where else can you find FOUR options for your coffee or tea? Soy milk, almond milk, soy creamer and coconut creamer, if I recall correctly.  Baked goods from Vegan Treats, lots of different cream cheese flavors, including jalapeno (which I could not resist on a whole wheat everything bagel.)  They have a terrific menu of sandwiches as well, and I brought home a field roast on ciabatta with pesto, onions and arugula for The Big Sexy.  They only thing I would change is the music... apparently Grindcore is a kind of metal-angry-screaming genre that my 44-year-old ears do not find very appealing.  The three times we have been at Blackbird Pizza, they are playing the same type of music...  hmmmm.... is this a vegan thing I don't know about yet?  But the food is SO GOOD, it is worth it!

  

 

My New Love

November 3, 2011


I have always used a lot of garlic in my cooking.  I found myself constantly buying it, as the heads inevitably dried out too quickly, despite my frequent use.  Right now, there are several garlic skeletons sitting on my kitchen counter that I am too lazy to get rid of.  I stopped using them because I found something practically life-changing.... Dorot crushed garlic.  I got it at Trader Joe's, but a check on their website tells me my local Superfresh market carries it as well.  Its in the fr...
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Special Vegan Halloween Treat

October 31, 2011

Banana Split




She didn't seem to like it as much as us...

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Kid Kale Take Two

October 26, 2011

today's lunch: salad with Factoid Dave's awesome dressing*, butternut squash, hummus in ww pita and sweet kale chips


Despite yesterday's "epic fail" in the kale department, I am not willing to give up on the hallowed veg for our Mr. Charles.  I had to replenish Jonny's kale chip stock last night, so I tossed a small amount with agave and cinnamon and put it on a separate tray in the dehydrator.  This morning, I coaxed Charlie to try one.  He was turned away from me, so I couldn't see his expre...
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Charlie's Lunchbox

October 25, 2011

today's selection: brown rice with sauteed spinach and kale, baby carrots, WFM Health Starts Here pumpkin bread and grapes.

Our ten-year-old is a great eater and has really taken to our new plant-strong lifestyle, but I know I must be careful about him getting all the nutrients his growing, active body needs.  One of my concerns is calcium.  From what I've read, among the most calcium-rich sources are broccoli, bok choy, collard greens and kale.  Charlie does like broccoli and bok choy, but th...
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New to Me Banana Oat Bars

October 24, 2011


My neighbor and compatriot in healthy living, Julie, has been telling me about these Dr. Furhman banana oat bars for a while now and a couple days ago she gave me a print out of the ingredients and directions.  I had all of the necessities on hand and was delighted to find it a very quick and easy recipe (my favorite kind!)  The best part was that both Charlie AND Jonny liked them.  I know this recipe has been around for a while, but if it's new to you too, give it a try. 

BANANA OAT BARS

2 c...
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Ridiculously Easy Miso Vegetable Soup

October 19, 2011


I've always loved making soup, and this is one that I've been making for a long time.  It's especially welcome on a chilly, rainy day like we are having today.  It's also good for those nights when you just want to throw something together at the last minute.  You can use all fresh veggies, or like I just did, a frozen vegetable mix, which turns out just as good. 

Miso Vegetable Soup

1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 cup of dried bean mixture (I use Bob's Red Mill, mixed bean blend w/no seasoning...

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Killer Cookies

October 17, 2011


Everyone loves these cookies.  Seriously, they are the best cookies I've ever had, and I'm generally a pretty modest person.  I adapted the recipe from one I found on food.com, replacing the oil with applesauce and some other tweaks to make them healthier.  These are the cookies that Charlie requested for his birthday treat at school and they were a big hit.  I know you will love them too!    

Oatmeal Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 18-24 cookies

1/3 cup smooth cashew butter
2 tablespoons ap...

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Transitioning a 10-year-old

October 14, 2011


Jonny and I are all-in vegan food-wise, but what about the rest of our family?  The two older ones are away at college and not terribly interested in exploring our new way of eating.  We hope someday, they might consider it.  Adrienne was home for a couple of days so we have a few eggs, cheese sticks and a Greek yogurt remaining that I need to give away.  Charlie is another story.  If you don't know him, he is pretty enthusiastic in general.  He also really likes and is proud of being differe...
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Sweet, unsweet tea?

October 12, 2011


I do believe that people can get used to almost anything.  When we were little, my sister, Susan, and I both had terrifically ticklish feet.  The summer that I was 10 and she was five, we had a stomach virus at the same time and weren't allowed to go outside to play.  We were so bored.  We came up with an activity to make each other's feet "immune" to being ticklish.  There is actually a photograph of us doing this somewhere, but we spent hours in yellow bean bag chairs with our feet in each ...
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About Me


Amy Ostroff a/k/a A vegetarian since age 10, I made the transition to vegan after seeing "Forks Over Knives" in May, 2011. I'm still pinching myself that Jonny is doing it with me!