Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dude to the rescue!

I got stuck at work very late mid-week. The last shuttle home left an hour before I was done with my work. I knew that was going to happen, so I texted the dude earlier in the afternoon to ask if he'd be able to pick me up. I also texted a friend as a back-up plan. He agreed to pick me up at 9 PM when I was done. I just expected him to pick me up and drop me off at home. Nothing fancy. He brought me dinner, a vegan pho bowl from the Whole Foods in Sugarland. The broth was packed separately from the other ingredients, so I mixed them together to heat them in the microwave. I added the sriracha and he totally asked me if that's what I was doing in the kitchen for so long. He picked this up on his way home, so he had it ready for me whenever I finished up at work. He also picked up a copy of the new Thrive magazine and entertained the cats while I was eating. I think he spoils me too much. I wish our WF stores inside the loop had the noodle bar like the Sugarland store.
 photo 6fc091ff-c140-4e65-8934-0285729270e9_zps287ac776.jpg  photo b62350e5-c7aa-4157-b662-c035a8090610_zps082e09ba.jpg

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thai Cottage - Houston, TX

Went to Thai Cottage without even seeing a movie at the theater next door. The dude and I went to an engagement party at St. Arnold's Brewery last weekend, but we didn't eat many of the snacks served. He had a piece of non-vegan cake while I sipped on a diet coke. We stopped by Thai Cottage after the party ended. I tried something new, a flat rice noodle dish with fried tofu and veggies. He got the usual yellow curry with baked tofu. His curry was a little spicier than usual. This place always delivers great quality food!
 photo 68c4a573-851b-49fc-8b1a-d9f8e5ad9449_zpsb168737e.jpg  photo 9de1a51b-becd-4fd0-b698-ceea93fc421b_zpsaf184a37.jpg

Friday, March 21, 2014

Black Bean Burgers

When I was at Fiesta a few weeks ago, I saw these Chez Marie vegan burgers in the freezer. They're free of corn, soy, and gluten, in addition to being vegan. Great for friends with allergies! I cooked them in the oven, served them on some wheat buns, and added the usual toppings of ketchup, lettuce, and pickles. The flavor is great, but they're a little soft. I'd expect that from a burger not held together by flour, bread crumbs, or gluten. I'd definitely buy these for future quick meals.
 photo 93a46a00-1e68-490e-879c-415d816123a8_zpscdf84b02.jpg  photo 31d52911-536e-4b16-b0a5-b889ab2bd043_zps1fea34e4.jpg

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lunch from WF

I grabbed lunch from the Montrose Whole Foods last weekend, so the dude and I could have lunch before heading out to see friends. Nom nom. I got chicken-fried tofu and chipotle roasted sweet potatoes. He wanted pizza. I bought us two pieces of cashew cheesecake, but he ate fruit instead of his piece. More for me! There were tasty looking Indian foods on the hot bar, but one contained milk and one contained peanuts. Boo. I just decided to get vegan things from the deli case while the dude's pizza was in the oven.
 photo d79e79b2-73af-4e45-9e7e-5df29b6e9ebc_zpsd586191f.jpg  photo 52a29ebe-97f9-4ff5-8e3f-14f63e342644_zps009731e5.jpg

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Radical Eats - Montrose, Houston, TX

The dude and I went to Radical Eats on a regular Friday night. We've only been on holidays, so we wanted to see what the service is like on a regular ol' day. It was pretty busy in there! We thought the appetizer came out a little slow, but things went well after that. The server forgot our dessert on the check, then had to create two more checks to get it on there correctly, but we weren't in a rush. We split the fried avocado appetizer. The breading was freaking amazing and so well seasoned, they tasted almost like chick'n tenders. I ordered the mushroom enchiladas with cashew creme and he ordered the chicken-fried eggplant with mashed potatoes. They were both good entrees. We split an order of the hummingbird cake for dessert. It was so moist it fell apart at the slightest touch of the fork. The taste was good though, so I won't complain. We were happy overall with our meal so this place might make its way into our date night rotation.
 photo 174f5fd1-adb5-429b-92d8-aeb9c250dad5_zpsaf021a4e.jpg  photo b934e367-dce9-4b19-a439-7bd9fd85e8b7_zps203c70e2.jpg  photo f897829b-cf5f-4cc0-886b-b591de6ac58c_zps21731b97.jpg  photo 3fbe476f-f7f8-414c-b14d-187377db942f_zps6635080b.jpg

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Field of Greens - Upper Kirby, Houston, TX

After work last Thursday, my friend and I met for dinner. I had a doctor's appointment so I got to leave work early. Once that was done, I met up with my friend. She's from my old lab, so we got to catch up on our unpleasant work environments, science stuff, and happy life stuff. I try to see her about once a week. She's probably my closest confidant in Houston. It's great to have a friend like that. We went to Field of Greens, since it's close to her house. I ordered the pita with tofu and chick'n and carrot cake, whereas my friend ordered quinoa and veggies. As we were walking home, a cat followed us. I took the cat home and to the vet. The cat has a microchip with no registered owner and the city shelter has no record of who adopted the cat. For now, the cat is staying at the vet's office until the head vet returns from vacation when she'll hopefully agree to take the cat into the adoption program at the office.
 photo 7e3910cc-e230-4781-a609-fab9c249241a_zpsb1c263e2.jpg  photo 2dad6069-8193-4f35-a167-cf08308a13e3_zpsd2980466.jpg  photo adc96365-acbf-46c2-9f10-657ebe5c1461_zps445d16a2.jpg

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pasta & Teese Casserole

I had a bunch of produce in the fridge. I had originally planned to make a lasagna, but that sounded like a lot of work one night after work. I decided to make a pasta casserole instead. I made the spicy marinara sauce from Isa Does It, sauteed some onion, zucchini, and squash, and cooked the pasta. When each component was done, I mixed them all together, then poured them into a casserole dish, and covered it with a layer of Teese mozzarella (or buy here). I bought the Teese at Texas Veggie Fair in October, it was technically expired, but it was still fine. I tasted it raw and it was OK, but it melted well on the casserole in a 400*F degree oven for maybe 10-15 minutes. It did firm up quickly though. It was a good choice, but I still like Daiya a little bit better. After eating so many Girl Scout cookies, pizza, and dining out, it felt good to eat something homemade with lots of veggies.
 photo 96a83388-e07f-4d04-a10b-6eb86947738c_zpsb4dd26d3.jpg

Friday, March 14, 2014

VSOP Potluck

I brought a toasted coconut chocolate cream pie in a square pan. There were a lot of bean and rice dishes, but I also got some Turkish rice, cornbread, polenta casserole, tortilla chips, chick'n enchilada casserole, mango and black bean salsa, and more beans/bean-based stews and tortilla chips. I also brought the new Earth Balance chips - sour cream and onion chips and cheddar chips - to share with VSOP. I kept a bag of sour cream and onion chips for my table. They are so good! I'm glad I bought 3 bags, because I still have a bag in my pantry. :)
 photo 9bfe531f-2cdc-414d-8907-b5cd67f8e03d_zps50814a58.jpg  photo a0aefa48-b2a9-4df2-889a-d4323a8db6c9_zps8a163669.jpg

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Green Vegetarian - West Houston, TX

I went to another vegan brunch at Green with friends. We went a little later to be able to go from the restaurant to the rodeo protest. I ordered a TVP-based BBQ sandwich with Daiya cheese with fries AND a tofu scramble, chorizo, and potato breakfast burrito. NOM. I ordered too much because I couldn't decide between the two entrees and I knew we'd be outside for a long time. I loved the BBQ sandwich, so messy and delicious, but the breakfast burrito was pretty awesome too. I also ordered a strawberry cupcake with chocolate frosting.
 photo 0398025c-407b-4ec7-a40a-e62738a3a53f_zps5a7b3b0d.jpg  photo d6f0bdf6-9f34-4a87-8492-58d63c0aaed9_zps69384110.jpg  photo 4505acea-7c1a-4554-a0b9-477268d46fda_zps4fa367a4.jpg

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Aladdin's - Montrose, Houston, TX

I love Aladdin's. I got a group of friends together last Friday night for dinner. There were a few people that had never visited Aladdin's before, so they were really pleased with their food. We also found out it was BYOB when a friend's friend showed up with a bottle of wine. That was a surprise! I ordered falafel, but they're not in the photo. They cook them fresh when you order them. I got roasted potatoes, roasted cauliflower, and red pepper hummus with olive oil as my sides. I love their pita bread too. It's so fluffy. I literally had zero crumbs left on my plate. I used the pita to wipe it down. #fat We had a lot of fun chatting and then we moved over to River Oaks bar for a drink. Overall, a lovely evening after a long week at work.
 photo 216bc7d5-5820-4a2b-9f1e-b9fd7500d281_zps4e5d10e2.jpg

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Amy's Vegan Mac

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Amy's makes a vegan mac. I remember it having dairy in it when I was in college, like whey protein or casein. On a friend's recommendation, I picked up some Amy's vegan mac at the grocery store. I microwaved it and it was a delicious late-night snack. It's made with Daiya, which is why it's so delicious. However, I think it was $4. For almost the same cost, I could buy a bag of Daiya and make tons of mac.
 photo a857962b-30f9-469f-9f74-15de4738c50a_zps01935145.jpg

Sunday, March 9, 2014

WF Kirby Hot bar

The WF Kirby store stepped up its hot bar selections for vegans. The Waugh location usually has better vegan options (that's the one closer to the dude's house). I was planning to get a tofu/noodle box and spring roll thingy from the chilled section, but then I saw Indian spiced tofu and lentils with veggies on the hot bar. I don't know what compelled me to check the hot bar since it's been so lame in the past (rice, beans, steamed veg). Between cold food and hot food, I'll take the hot food, please! I got just these and no rice, because who wants to pay for rice by weight? The temperature must have dropped about 30* on Sunday, even dropping several degrees and starting to rain while I was in the store. I ate this in the WF store before finishing my other errands.
 photo 812e537d-aeee-4487-b8ae-6f87dd01e1f3_zpsb9346c88.jpg

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Fat Cat Creamery - The Heights, Houston, TX

I found out that vegan ice cream exists in Houston! Woohoo! Turns out that Fat Cat Creamery in the Heights always carries a coconut-based chai tea ice cream, but they sometimes have other flavors too. Over the weekend, I organized a trip there with some vegan friends. I ordered the chai flavor and topped it with some salted caramel sauce from Austin's Sweet Ritual. I also ordered a strawberry sorbet push-pop. They had another dairy-free push-pop, I think the flavor was raspberry-lychee. YUM. I will definitely return, especially as the summer begins. Maybe I can get an ice cream float with root beer.
 photo bdebf6fb-d1a5-42d6-9ed6-2e823e1afa66_zps8d9c8b19.jpg

Friday, March 7, 2014

Njoy Thai - Montrose, Houston, TX

Njoy Thai restaurant is right on the border of Midtown and Montrose. We split an order of the crispy veggie rolls as an appetizer. I ordered the massaman tofu without the peanuts and the dude ordered the yellow curry with tofu. I thought the food was just OK. There was too much coconut milk sauce and not enough rice served. The restaurant was quite cute and the sign said it's BYOB. I still like Thai Cottage as my favorite Thai place in town.
 photo ddb4c32d-4cfe-4d5e-bc31-c99ef2ac93b9_zps086ad2b7.jpg

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Dude Goes to the WF Hot Bar

The dude and I had a House of Cards marathon the other night. We're not done with the series yet. He picked up some food from WF for dinner. The store closer to his house is way better than the store by my house. He got us the same size boxes this time, but he didn't eat most of his. Our appetites are exact opposites - he's a grazer and I'd rather eat 3 solid meals a day. I smashed down my box. He knows that as long as it's vegan, I'll eat it with very few exceptions (raw tomatoes, anise, and fennel seed are on the NO list). There was falafel, quinoa with beans, a giant tofu slab, rice, cauliflower mash, and some Indian peas. He also bought an 85% cocoa bar for dessert. He had never tried chocolate that dark before, so he was not impressed. I warned him that dark chocolate, particularly over 60% cocoa, is an acquired taste. He nibbled on the bar over the weekend though, so maybe he'll grow to like it. It took me a while to like cocoa that dark and I still tend to buy 65% with mint or nuts mixed in.
 photo 962e21b5-f20c-4012-add1-e5c10630b2c4_zpsd93d5e9e.jpg

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Green Seed Vegan - Third Ward, Houston, TX

I went to protest the rodeo this past Saturday. If you like my shirt, I ordered it from Compassion Co. After the protest, we went to get a bite at Green Seed Vegan. I got my blackberry cheesecake first, so I got a photo of it. It tasted like basil for some reason. However, when my Big Tex burger arrived, I forgot to take a photo. The Big Tex is my favorite sandwich there, but I haven't tried everything on the menu yet. I wish the cauliflower nuggets were twice as abundant!
 photo c1241e69-aad7-4d14-ae61-dd698ec0859b_zpscfc4c7e8.jpg  photo c6d89ee0-2dee-4c41-94ed-94f5ab4d3fc6_zpsd296193d.jpg

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mardi Gras

I make the same meal for Mardi Gras every year - red beans and King Cake. I use Camellia brand red beans for authenticity. Whole Foods makes a vegan King Cake, which is quite good, but I couldn't find it in the store this past weekend. These recipes make a lot of food, so I'll be enjoying leftovers for a few days.
 photo cfadd91d-82a0-48da-84a6-af34cb2e5fec_zps6f63c586.jpg  photo 8a998738-f615-4d2a-be0a-9cfe8a9f8f59_zpse5be5938.jpg

Monday, March 3, 2014

Vegan Pizza

I had a craving for pizza. Simple enough. In Houston, there are a few places to get vegan pizza, but Whole Foods is the easiest choice. I got bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, and olives. You get 3 toppings in the $11 price, but it only cost $1 to add another topping. Honestly, they could have covered the entire surface with veggies and I'd pay for it. NOM NOM NOM.
 photo fae078d8-f1f6-446b-b9b4-a06b51cacd2e_zpsb10563b9.jpg

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lunch at Methodist Cafe

Sorry for not posting much recently. I wasn't feeling very well part of the week. Since I thought I ate something bad and that was making me feel sick, I decided to go out for lunch one day instead of packing a lunch. I walked over to the Methodist Hospital cafeteria. It's not super vegan-friendly, but there is a stir-fry station with tofu. It was worth trying and was pretty good, but I doubt I'll buy it again. The sesame oil taste is too strong, almost like it is burnt.
 photo 1d8d6542-1f8c-431d-aa12-2a21405558a8_zps3b7325f1.jpg