Friday, January 31, 2014

The Dude finally tries Green!

I've been to Green Vegetarian several times without the dude. After he returned from Austin, he said we should get together. We hadn't seen each other in a week, so it was nice to have a night to ourselves. We went for dinner at Green. It was so packed! That made me really happy, because it means it'll be a successful business and I can have access to vegan desserts that I didn't prepare. ;) We split the vegan nacho appetizer. He ordered the Gardein chick'n parmesan, but I didn't reach across the table to photograph it. I ordered the Mediterranean bowl since it looked pretty healthy. It was already vegan, since it didn't contain cheese. Nom nom nom. (And yes, I did eat at Green twice in one day.)
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Brunch at Green Vegetarian - Houston, TX

The dude was off in Austin over the protest weekend because a couple we know had their birthdays last week. I met up with some friends for brunch at Green Vegetarian on Sunday morning. I decided to order the vegan migas this time. Someone else ordered a stack of sweet potato pancakes with pecans for the table, so I got to try one. I love having a vegan breakfast place to go. I probably won't go every week, but it's nice knowing many of my vegan friends pop in weekly. I also bought a lemon ginger cupcake, but I forgot to photograph it. The guy that runs the Vegan Houston fb page was there too so he stopped by the table to say hello. So cool!
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Field of Greens - Upper Kirby, Houston, TX

I was totally carb-loaded for the protest, but I knew I should eat something for dinner before hibernating. I didn't want to wake up in the middle of the night, so I went to Field of Greens in my pajamas for dinner. The Vegan Houston fb page had a post of the BBQ sandwich there and it looked good. Dinner decision made! I actually ran into two people I know, who were nice enough to let me sit with them. They've worked for various animal rights groups and the guy has toured with his hardcore band. Really cool people. Sometimes I wish I had done something like that, some meaningful volunteer work or travel, before I committed to this career path. I thought this sandwich was pretty tasty with layers of seitan and crispy fries. I should go to this spot more often since it's pretty close.
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Friday Night Splurge

The night before the protest, my friends gathered together to make posters and eat. I ate WAY TOO MUCH. I came straight from work after another stressful week, so I dove head first into the carbs. CARBS to the millionth power. Pizza from Whole Foods, lasagna with cashew cheese, Eat Pastry cookie dough, salad, RWB vodka, and chocolate crescents. #fattyfatfat
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Monday, January 27, 2014

Bull Run Protest

Now that all of my scheduled posts are up, I have to share what I did this weekend. I organized a small protest against the Great Bull Run. This stupid event has humans running down a racetrack with bulls. Thankfully the bulls' horns are filed so no one got gored, but it's so dumb to have an event like this. The bulls don't deserve to have their horns filed just for someone to get their rocks off. I thought the event would require a permit because Animal Legal Defense Fund sent the county judge a letter about Texas Health and Safety Code section 751.003 that requires a permit for a mass gathering. The judge told me a month later that a permit was not required because less than 2500 people were expected. Um no, there were thousands of people there. The news reported 3500 people at the event. I'm disappointed that the permit hearing wasn't done and I think someone was ever deceived or willfully violating the law since the fine is pretty small. The sun was out even though the temperature wasn't very high, so I got a sunburn.
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Friday, January 24, 2014

Chickpea curry

I decided to use the Zanzibar curry spice mix to make dinner. I cooked some chickpeas in the little slow cooker, then sauteed up a ton of veggies lurking in the fridge. I used diced tomatoes, fresh green bell pepper, celery, onion, carrots, and garlic. I tasted cinnamon in the curry mix, so I added some cayenne pepper. I served it over rice. I cooked so many chickpeas, so I had this meal for 3 days. So healthy!
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Collina's - The Heights, Houston, TX

When I called ahead to ask about the pizza dough, sandwich bread, and noodle ingredients at Collina's, I was told everything has eggs. Bummer, since their pizza is supposed to be quite good. The hostess said I could bring in some noodles and they'd cook them for me and add whatever I wanted. I brought a box of wheat penne, a can of northern beans (organic with low salt, they were on sale), and asked for all the veggies they had. The mushroom appetizer we ordered was made with olive oil instead of butter and we omitted the cheese, it was OK. I ate it because we had been there forever waiting to get our dinner orders taken because we had 22 people in our party. Oh well, I won't go back to this place. I'm a bit surprised they were so tolerant of the noise our group made, including one guy shouting a very obscene word. Whoops.
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Local Foods - Rice Village, Houston, TX

I try to see my former coworker once a week, but we talk on the phone after work when we're too busy to meet up. The joys of science! We recently got together after work for dinner. She wanted to check out Local Foods. My former boss took everyone to a holiday meal at a nearby restaurant and the line at Local Foods was out the door. She read the reviews online and wanted to try it. Interestingly, the menu was marked with a little asterisk on the Bahn Mi sandwich that it would be made with tofu! Score! After ensuring there's no fish sauce, I ordered the tofu bahn mi without the aoili. I ordered the fresh cut potato chips with Old Bay seasoning and the plain kale (lemon and olive oil, not listed on the menu) for sides. This sandwich rocked! I will ask for extra sambal (chili-garlic sauce) next time, but it was good. It's great having (at least) two vegan options at this place!
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mighty O Donuts

One of my new friends works for an airline, so she gets to take some weekend trips to various cities for vegan eats. She recently went to Seattle and brought back a big box of Mighty-O Donuts to share with the group. I picked the chocolate and mint donut, of course. NOM NOM NOM. It's hard to believe how amazing my life is becoming. All the work I've put in is paying off! I've managed to find so many incredible, inspiring, passionate, and fascinating friends.
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Monday, January 20, 2014

Very Green Curry

In my xmas post, I mentioned getting the curry lovers spice box from Savory Spice. I did use the Thai green curry spice mix first. I had coconut milk in the pantry, so I thought a tofu green curry sounded like a good idea. This ended up being a very green curry since it had broccoli and green bell pepper, in addition to the green curry spice mix. I served this curry over rice. The spice mix was very flavorful. The website said you could mix the spices and oil together for a paste, but I just sprinkled the spice into the skillet as my curry was simmering.
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Sunday, January 19, 2014


OMG HOUSTON FINALLY HAS VEGAN BREAKFAST!!!!!! The new Green Vegetarian makes vegan breakfast! Again, duh, of course I had to check it out. It was mentioned at VSOP potluck, so I ended up walking in to see 8 people I know and then 2 more stopped by my table to say hi. It was awesome. Love this community. The server brought fennel biscuits for us to enjoy while my friends were having coffee with soy milk and we were scanning the menu. The little Smart Balance containers were marked 100% vegan. I got the tofu scramble rancheros with black beans, crispy fried potatoes, a couple corn tortillas, and good tofu scramble. I also ordered a single vegan pancake. It was so good! My friends ordered vegan migas and kept saying how good they were. I really need to take the dude here, since I've been on girls' night when I went. So glad to have this option in town! The only other vegan brunch is at Radical Eats and it's $18 for all-you-can-eat, so I haven't been to brunch at the new location yet.
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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Green Vegetarian Cuisine - Houston, TX

Yes, you read that right. Houston now has its own location of Green Vegetarian Cuisine, a small chain based in San Antonio. I've never been to San Antonio, but my friend raves about this place. Of course, I went on opening night with a friend. We ordred the nachos as an appetizer, requesting Daiya vegan cheese. She ordered the buffalo chick'n sandwich (made with Gardein) and I ordered the Big Nasty (homemade chickpea veggie patty with grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, and those crunchy fake bacon bits). We split the sandwiches in half so we could try both. She got the quinoa tabouli on the side and I got the mashed potatoes with gravy. The mashed potatoes are already vegan without any modifications. For dessert, we ordered peanut butter balls (like buckeyes) and I got a peanut butter cupcake as well. We took some desserts to go, because duh, vegan desserts. I took the cookies and cream cupcake and the Hostess knockoff cupcake to go, whereas my friend took another peanut butter ball and a cupcake. Interestingly, the restaurant is vegan except for dairy cheese at lunch and dinner, but they serve eggs, half & half, and honey at breakfast. The menu is also clearly marked for gluten-free items and one of the cupcakes (vanilla flax) is gluten-free.
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Friday, January 17, 2014

Local Foods - Rice Village, Houston, TX

I went to Local Foods for lunch with my labmate and his partner recently. It's nice when I can have lunch with them because his partner is a resident and she always has funny stories to share. I ordered the vegan chili, since it was clearly marked as vegan, and then I asked a few questions about the falafel dish. Yes, the falafel ball is vegan, but the bread and yogurt sauce are not. I got the falafel on salad, but there was dressing on the salad so I barely touched it. I don't care for dressing and I wasn't sure if it was vegan. The falafel ball and chili were good, the place was really pretty, and we got our food at lunch rush in a decent amount of time. Some of the sides sounded like they might be vegan, but I didn't ask about any of the sides though.
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Thursday, January 16, 2014

VSOP Potluck

Every month, VSOP holds its 2nd Saturday potluck. I brought brownies from Joy of Vegan Baking, but somehow managed to not photograph the pan. Use your imagination. ;) I tasted just a tiny bit, but I wish I had taken a square on my plate. Since they had chocolate chips, I cut them into very small squares so people wouldn't feel bad about taking a dessert in the new year. The dude was watching the Saints vs Seahawks game with friends in the afternoon, so I met up with him after the potluck. Someone even asked me where he was! Haha. There were several types of hummus, quinoa dishes, lasagna, and fruit. I went for the starchy things, of course. My favorite item was muhamara, the dip that I raved about from Fadi's (see this post).
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jenni's Noodle House - Houston, TX

Some kickball friends organized dinner at Jenni's Noodle House last weekend. It was great to see them again! I checked the Vegan Houston blog and saw that there is a vegan curry available. The menu was marked with vegan-friendly items, things that could be modified, but I just went for the Vegan Houston suggestion. It was rich and creamy, but could have used a little oomph from spice. I added a tiny bit of sriracha to my bowl. Some other things on the menu looked good. The dude ordered a pho with tofu, but I'm not sure what is in the broth. I will have to go back to check out the other vegan-friendly items.
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Aladdin's - Montrose, Houston, TX

I've been to Aladdin's before, but the dude had not. We went there for dinner the other night. We ordered falafel instead of meat. I got a lentil salad side, red pepper hummus, and a diced cucumber and veggie salad. He ordered roasted cauliflower and hummus for his sides. We had different numbers of sides because we ordered two different plates from the menu. The pita bread was nice and fluffy. I almost forgot to take a photo because I love the fluffy bread and hummus.
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Monday, January 13, 2014

Southern New Year's Meal

A Southern tradition is to eat black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Year's Day. I made the hoppin' john from Thug Kitchen this year with cornbread and collard greens. I was excited to find a cornbread recipe that called for creamed corn. It kept the cornbread moist! I made sure to get a low sodium creamed corn so the dish wouldn't taste like salt. I sauteed half of a yellow onion and some garlic, then added the greens, and let them simmer while everything else cooked. Hopefully this year is full of luck in my research and good finances (like paying off the cats' insane vet bills from last year!).
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Sunday, January 12, 2014

NYE Dinner at Radical Eats

The dude and I decided to go out for dinner on New Year's Eve. We didn't have a reservation or an idea of where to go, but at 4:30 he suggested Radical Eats. I had mixed feelings about going to the new Montrose location, since it used to be an all vegan business at the old location. Radical Eats still offers many vegan options and they price their brunches differently for the vegan, vegetarian, and meat-filled options. I decided to give the place a chance. I was pleasantly surprised. The service at the old location was pretty bad since it just took so long to get food! The new server staff seemed very knowledgable and helpful, the food came out at a reasonable speed, and the taste and quality of the food was better than the old location. I was really impressed with the fixed holiday menu. All of the appetizers and desserts were vegan, but you could choose a meat and fish entree. We obviously ordered the vegan entree. The appetizers were a cabbage purse filled with black-eyed peas and a shot of Thai coconut soup. The entree had mini peppers stuffed with hearts of palm, a mushroom potpie in a small jar with a flaky biscuit topping, and cauliflower "steak" with gravy. I have no idea what they put in the stuffed peppers or used to season the cauliflower, but they were incredible. The flavor in the potpie in a jar was amazing, but the filling could have been a little thicker. They had three dessert options - chipotle chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, and strawberry cake. I've had the chipotle chocolate cake before, so we picked the other two options. They were both tasty, but we didn't finish them because we were full. Overall, Radical Eats really impressed me and the dude was glad to find a fancier vegan spot in Houston. We will be back for sure.
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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Food Gifts

I received a couple food gifts this year for xmas. My vegetarian aunt bought me a box of spices from a local shop called Savory Spice Shop. She's big on supporting local businesses and this gift was perfect for me! They make spice blends in-house. I received the curry lover package with 4 spice blends - Zanzibar curry, Thai green curry, medium yellow curry, and Tikka masala. I'm the most intrigued by the Zanzibar curry, but I'll probably use the green curry first. The other food gift that I received is hot cocoa from my mom. I complained one day that Target was sold out of the Starbucks double chocolate cocoa, the only commercially available vegan cocoa mix I can find in Houston. She must have been listening and taking notes that day, because she bought me a set of cocoa mugs and a container of the cocoa mix.
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Friday, January 10, 2014

First Watch Daytime Cafe - Brandon, FL

When I was home, I took my grandma out to lunch. She's looking a little frail lately, so I wanted to spend some time with her without all the chaos of xmas at her house. My sister, my mom, my grandma, and I went for brunch at First Watch Daytime Cafe. My sister ordered a pancake and omelette, my mom and grandma ordered sandwiches, and I ordered a veggie wrap. I asked for avocado instead of cheese and ordered a side of potatoes (they're cooked with oil, not butter). Not bad for a veggie wrap and everyone else enjoyed their food. The cafe tries to offer "healthy" food, so there were no fries.
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Christopher's Kitchen - Palm Beach Gardens, FL

The food at Christopher's Kitchen is incredible. They used to sell only raw vegan food when I lived in PBG, but they recently added some cooked bowls. They do have honey listed on some appetizers, but otherwise everything is vegan. The dude and I stopped for lunch on our way to FTL. I ordered the Mexican bowl (quinoa, black beans, cashew cheese, avocado, veggies, and corn chips) and he ordered the RAW almond falafel wrapped in a collard leaf. I was impressed that he picked a raw vegan item! I don't think he realized it was raw vegan, but he ate half of it and said it was good. He just couldn't eat that much food. We got a peppermint patty and a caramel bar for dessert. After dropping him off at the FTL airport, I met my friend Sarah for lunch. I again ordered a new bowl, but this time it was the Indian curried chickpea bowl. Sarah ordered the raw vegan french toast. We loved going here when I lived in PBG because Sarah has a wheat allergy. We could get vegan food that wouldn't be contaminated with wheat. I was really surprised to see that the restaurant has expanded to include a wine bar and a little to-go market and juice shop next door. Way to go, CK, for bringing vegan food to the non-vegan masses of South Florida!
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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sweet Pea Cafe - Tallahassee, FL

I try to stop at the same restaurants when I go on a road trip from Houston to Tampa. Sweet Pea Cafe in Tallahassee is one of my stops. This place opened after I graduated from college, of course. I get the buffalo tofu sandwich with poutine most of the time, but on my way back to Texas I decided to try the falafel wrap with poutine. I never thought I would like fries with gravy, but poutine is awesome. We had root beer floats and a chocolate mint cookie on the way to Florida for desserts. I loved it all! I love stopping here for a bite to eat.
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Truly Free Bakery - Baton Rouge, LA

Truly Free Bakery in BR never ceases to amaze me. They don't use dairy, eggs, or wheat in any of their food, yet their bread is somehow amazing. Most gluten-free breads are awful, the not-so-terrible ones usually have eggs for structure. I don't know how Truly Free works their magic, but I like it! They are not entirely vegan, but most of the food is vegan. You can get turkey or bison meat in some of the dishes. This place opened after I moved out of BR, but I would have been there all the time! It's closer to my old house than Whole Foods so I would have spent so much money there! The dude and I stopped for lunch and got dinner to go, since hotel food in Alabama did not sound like a good idea. For lunch, I had the vegan wrap with tofu and he had the BBQ burger with the homemade veggie patty. I liked my bean chili more than his baked sweet potatoes since the potatoes were sweet instead of savory. We ordered some chocolate petit fours for dessert. We ordered two tofu teriyaki bowls to go for dinner and even two packs of cinnamon rolls for the breakfast at the hotel. On my way back to Texas, I ordered the mushroom burger with Daiya cheese and seasoned veggies for the side.
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Monday, January 6, 2014

Mellow Mushroom Addict

I loooove Mellow Mushroom. They have Daiya vegan cheese, tofu, and tempeh on the menu. I always order the Thai Dye pizza without butter or parmesan cheese on the crust, curry tofu instead of chicken, and Daiya instead of cow cheese. Nom nom nom. The dude and I picked up Mellow on our way to my mom's house. We got in late and I didn't want to cook, so we got pizza. I had Mellow two other times during my week at home, because it's just so dang good! (Spoiler alert: I also had Moe's tofu burritos while I was home, but I didn't photograph those!)
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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas Dinner

Yeah, I'm behind in blogging. I tried to enjoy the last part of my holiday break, even though I had to work some this past week. I will write and schedule a bunch of posts today so I can clear my desktop of the road trip food photos. I had one of the best holiday breaks in years this season, including a wonderful trip with my partner, seeing 6 friends in Florida, and spending some time with my family. On xmas, my great aunt approached me saying she made me vegan muffins. She makes banana bread every year and hands it out as gifts. I just celebrated my 5th vegan-versary, but this is the first year she's attempted to make anything special for me. Sadly the muffins had honey, which is not vegan, and she didn't take the news well. I left it at 3 simple sentences to explain, but she acted like I personally slighted her by not taking the muffins. She was a little rude throughout the day over that and at one point she commented on how I was "so thin and healthy." I wasn't sure if it was meant to be condescending or flattering, since she had been rude earlier in the day. I just told her it's genetic from my mom's side but it reminded me to wear a large sweater next year. I don't like when people discuss my appearance, because everyone tries to say I'm thin because I'm vegan. I'm thin because my mom was thinner than me in her 20's until she had me and I'm still larger than one of my mom's sisters! It's in the genes, people!

One of my aunts is a long-time vegetarian. She always takes care of our food, which I really appreciate. I have taken my own dinner to my grandma's a couple times, but it's nice to know my aunt will provide something for us. This year, she brought Indian-spiced chickpeas and cauliflower kuegel from Vegan with a Vengeance. I had that with some savory crackers she brought, fresh fruit, olives, and tortilla chips. This is the first year I did not bake over my holiday break, so there was no dessert. (And I lost a few pounds somehow!)
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