• September 17th, 2010quarrygirlvegan bakers

    UPDATE! we’ve randomly selected two winners! the cheesecakes go to roxanne with sweet potato pie, and sue with blueberry thrill. thanks for entering, everyone! now go buy some earth cafe cheesecakes.

    UPDATE: earth cafe just let me know that they are giving away TWO cheesecakes, instead of just one! so you now have double the chance of winning! comment away!

    who's your daddy pie: rich creamy carob Mousse cheesecake

    hey everyone, time for another giveaway from earth cafe! their cheesecakes are some of the best we’ve ever tried, and they’re completely raw, vegan, and gluten-free, with no refined sugars or hydrogenated oils. i’ve never met a person who tried an earth cafe dessert and didn’t rave about it nonstop, and now you have a chance to win an ENTIRE cheesecake just for yourself! be sure to enter!

    here’s what you need to do for a chance to win your very own earth cafe cheesecake:
    1.) you must comment on this blog post with your favorite of earth cafe’s flavors.
    2.) you must leave your real, valid email address when you submit your comment. (the public won’t see this, just me…so i can contact you if you win!)
    3.) you must live in the united states and have a valid address we can ship to.

    that’s it. super easy. the winner will be picked at random and announced on the morning of friday, september 24, 2010. they will receive one entire earth cafe cheesecake or pie in the flavor of their choosing.

    life is sweet potato pie. by earth cafe. 🙂

    and for those of you who don’t win, i highly encourage you to get over to earth cafe’s website and buy yourself a cheesecake anyways. these things are great crowd-pleasers! or, if you are just feeling like a slice, hit up earth cafe’s store locator and find out where you can get their products around los angeles.

    good luck!


    Strawberry Fields Forever Cheesecake by Earth Cafe

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  • September 6th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), norfolk

    recently on a trip to norfolk virginia, my friend and i visited a real gem of a restaurant, one i really wish was located here in los angeles: kotobuki. the ostensibly normal fish-serving sushi joint also offers an impressive vegan menu with rolls that rival any in this town. when we informed our waitress that we were vegan, her eyes lit up and she immediately began making ordering suggestions and bragging about how good their vegan sushi was.

    sapporo and a sweet potato roll

    as it was my last night in town, we decided to go out and order a ton of stuff. i started with a sapporo and a sweet potato roll, which went together quite nicely. the japanese beer was cool and refreshing, and the sushi was simple yet satisfying.

    now onto the more creative dishes…

    the hugged rolled salmon n seaweed, the peta roll, and the buddha roll

    the vegan menu at kotobuki is huge, and filled with very elaborate-sounding rolls, so we had a difficult time deciding what to order. after much debate, we settled on the “hugged rolled salmon n seaweed,” the “peta roll” and the “buddha roll”. the hugged roll, which is the top one pictured above, came stuffed with vegan salmon and avocado, all wrapped up in soy paper and topped with seaweed salad and sesame seeds. thumbs up. i really dug the seaweed salad, because it gave the roll a kind of fishy taste.

    next up was the peta roll, pictured in the center of the photo above. this roll is named after the norfolk-based animal rights organization PETA because, as the waitress explained to us, lots of staffers frequent the restaurant and order vegan sushi. the peta roll was decent, but not spectacular. it came with seaweed salad, inari, fried tofu, and steamed carrots rolled up and cut into 6 slices for $5.50. the tofu inside was tasty, albeit a little bland, so i think i will stick to the more adventurous rolls next time i visit kotobuki.

    lastly we had the buddha roll, pictured at the bottom of the photo above. we sure saved the best one for last, because this roll was madness!

    the buddha roll consisted of shiitake mushrooms, kampyo asparagus, and shiso horseradish sprouts topped with avocado and spicy vegan mayo. the vegetable blend was so inventive, and the spicy mayo was kickin’! i didn’t even miss the fake meat or tofu that is so prevalent in vegan sushi. this was by far my favorite roll, and i highly recommend it.

    after all that sushi, we were pretty stuffed, but our waitress refused to let us leave without ordering dessert. she was super proud of all their vegan options, and insisted we try the deep fried chocolate cheesecake. VEGAN DEEP FRIED CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE?! what?!?!?! i had no clue that such a wonderful thing existed. i was suddenly hungry again.

    deep fried vegan chocolate cheesecake. OMG.

    we split an order of the cheesecake, and it did not disappoint. the chunks of rich chocolate cake came covered in a thick tempura batter and fried to a crisp. genius i tell you, genius! the center was perfectly moist, creamy, and chocolatey with a tart cheesy flavor, while the outer layer was crunchy and oily. the cheesecake bites alone are reason enough to make a trip to norfolk; they’re definitely the most memorable dessert i’ve had in a while.

    overall, kotobuki gets an a+. i’ve never been to a “normal” sushi place with such an inventive vegan menu…and the food was fantastic. the service was friendly, and our waitress seemed genuinely excited that we were vegan customers. i know i’ll be back!

    721 W 21st St
    Norfolk, VA 23517
    (757) 628-1025

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  • March 30th, 2010quarrygirlother, products, vegan stuff

    UPDATED 2/6/10: hey everyone, earth cafe was generous to let us pick two winners!! chosen at random, the winners were sean with who’s your daddy cheesecake…and lauren with banana cream. enjoy your winnings, kids! thanks to everyone who entered; now go buy some earth cafe cheesecake!

    hi everyone, i’m super excited to announce that the wonderful raw/vegan/amazing company earth cafe has offered to give away an entire cheesecake to one lucky quarrygirl reader!

    who's your daddy pie: rich creamy carob Mousse cheesecake

    as you probably already know, we are HUGE FANS of earth cafe’s products. they make some of the best cheesecake i’ve ever tasted—and it just happens to be completely raw, vegan, and gluten-free, with no refined sugars or hydrogenated oils. these cakes are rich, decadent, and luscious beyond belief, even omnivores go crazy for them! so be sure to enter to win!

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • December 3rd, 2009quarrygirlproducts, stores, vegan bakers

    not long ago i wrote a very positive review of earth cafe’s raw vegan cheesecakes and pies, and in the comments section y’all agreed that they were great but bitched about the high price. well guess what, i was at whole foods today and saw that they had dropped the price by 60 cents per slice!!

    Cherry Dream Cheesecake by Earth Cafe

    Cherry Dream Cheesecake by Earth Cafe

    now you can get a slice of one of the best desserts i’ve ever had for just $5.99 at whole foods. seriously, you can’t complain about that price when you take into consideration that this stuff is all raw, vegan, gluten-free and with no refined sugars or hydrogenated oils. this stuff is actually good for you…but it sure doesn’t taste like it.

    well done, people. obviously The Man was listening to your complaints. maybe other stores will take whole foods’ lead and start dropping prices on vegan shiz as well!

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  • November 18th, 2009quarrygirlproducts

    would you believe that some of the best dessert i’ve ever eaten is available at whole foods? i probably wouldn’t have believed it either, before i tried the amazing pies and cheese cakes made by earth cafe. the entirely vegan company specializes in raw living desserts that are so decadent, you just wouldn’t believe they are animal-free, gluten-free, raw, with no refined sugars or hydrogenated oils…and they are widely available throughout los angeles!

    Strawberry Fields Forever Cheesecake by Earth Cafe

    Strawberry Fields Forever Cheesecake by Earth Cafe

    when earth cafe first offered to send me some samples of their pies and desserts, i was a tad bit skeptical because i usually associate the word “raw” with “healthy/boring tasting.” wow, i couldn’t have been more wrong. each different flavor was incredibly luscious and rich, the kind of thing i would share with my non-vegan friends in order to “convert” them.

    the first flavor i tried was the “strawberry fields forever” cheesecake (pictured above). any product named after a beatles song is gonna get extra credit in my book—just check out my site banner—but this cheesecake was AMAZING. extra thick with a moist center and the most delectable nutty topping.

    Who's Your Daddy Pie by Earth Cafe

    Who's Your Daddy Pie by Earth Cafe

    next up was the “who’s your daddy” pie, a raw vegan carob mousse. this was hands down the best dessert i’ve had in a long time. it was fluffy, rich, and packed with amazing chocolate-y flavor. i could have eaten like ten pieces of this daddy.

    i also tried the “rockin raspberry”…

    Rockin' Raspberry Cheesecake by Earth Cafe

    Rockin' Raspberry Cheesecake by Earth Cafe

    and the “cherry dream” cheesecake…

    Cherry Dream Cheesecake by Earth Cafe

    Cherry Dream Cheesecake by Earth Cafe

    both of these were incredible, with juicy bits of fruit throughout the center and thick nutty crusts.

    Peach Passion Peace Pie by Earth Cafe

    Peach Passion Peace Pie by Earth Cafe

    earth cafe also makes a peach flavored cheeesecake, called “peach passion peace pie”, which is super sweet, smooth, and silky.

    Pumpkin Spice Life Pie by Earth Cafe

    Pumpkin Spice Life Pie by Earth Cafe

    and lastly i tried the “pumpkin spice life pie”, which completely blew me away. this is some of the best pumpkin pie i’ve ever eaten, and i would definitely recommend it for a vegan thanksgiving gathering.

    i have no idea how earth cafe can make something so delicious that’s completely raw, vegan, and not full of crap. and i can’t believe this incredible food has been right under my nose for so long and i never even tried it. have you guys had this stuff? i mean, it’s pretty amazing right?

    earth cafe vegan cheesecakes and pies

    you can find earth cafe products at places all around los angeles including whole foods, erewhon, locali, and even some restaurants and ralphs locations. also, WHOLE CHEESECAKES AND PIES ARE AVAILABLE through earth cafe’s website! did you hear that?! whole vegan cheesecakes! and i don’t know who in their right mind could pass up getting one of these pumpkin pies for thanksgiving. i know that’s what i’ll be doing. oh, and they freeze well for months, so it’s time to stockpile.

    try this stuff from earth cafe and let me know what you think. i’m predicting you will be just as impressed as i was.

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  • May 4th, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, sunpower natural cafe

    hey kids, i’ve got some good news for ya. today marked the opening of los angeles’ newest vegan restaurant…and it wasn’t vegan thai. that’s right, sunpower natural cafe in studio city opened its doors to the public with organic raw and cooked offerings for the health-conscious, ranging from burgers and salads to quiches and cakes. i know what you are thinking: a 100% vegan restaurant in studio city that doesn’t serve thai food? it sounds too good to be true! fortunately though, sunpower is a reality. you gotta get over there and check them out asap.

    i hit up sunpower with my friend and fellow vegan blogger, brittany from sickoflettuce.com, and both of us are dying to go back. for a newly opened establishment, sunpower is already making some bangin good food, and i’m pretty excited to see what the future holds.

    chopped seitan salad sandwich: seitan, celery, onions, vegenaise, dill and parsley on a whole grain bun. with a side of hummus and pita. $8

    chopped seitan salad sandwich: seitan, celery, onions, vegenaise, dill and parsley on a whole grain bun. with a side of hummus and pita. $8

    tons of stuff on the menu looked delicious, but i decided to go with the less adventurous seitan salad sandwich. this was basically like an old-fashioned tuna sandwich made with seitan instead of fish, and sunpower really nailed it. the seitan was top notch, the vegenaise was creamy, and the chopped vegetables were fresh and flavorful but not overwhelming. the seitan salad itself was really exceptional. although it sounds a bit boring, it was just so perfectly mixed and the seitan was so succulent, i doubt i could replicate this at home. i’d definitely order it again.


    the sandwich came with “choice of side dish” and i went with the pita and hummus, which i loved. other options included coleslaw, cookies, vegetables with dipping sauce, and kale. the hummus turned out to be an excellent choice, because they gave me like a vat of it. 8 bucks for a load of hummus and hearty seitan sandwich? can’t beat that.

    for dessert, brittany and i split a slice of the special of the day “cacao cheesecake”. the thing was so rich and dense, it was fucking ridiculous. i loved every bite, but it was so thick that it was hard to eat with a plastic fork! this cheesecake probably could be a meal on its own, it was so decadent. however, it didn’t sit like a brick in my stomach as do many desserts. sunpower really has conquered the intersection of delicious and healthy(er).

    vegan cacao cheesecake. $6

    vegan cacao cheesecake. $6

    a few things to note about sunpower: they are a ‘take out’ restaurant officially…kinda like seed in venice. so while they have tables, your food is served in to-go containers and you pay at the counter. the service is great and the meals come out super fast. this is an excellent choice if you are in a hurry. also, the staff and ownership are pretty passionate about veganism. we really felt at home there and the people serving us showed genuine concern that our food was good. hell, they even invited us to an animal rights conference happening soon in LA! total vegan homies. oh, and they were also open to criticism…so if you eat here and don’t 100% love everything, they seem like the kinda people who would appreciate your feedback.

    so vegans, let’s welcome this new animal-free restaurant to los angeles. get your asses out to studio city and eat at sunpower natural cafe!

    sunpower natural cafe
    3711 Cahuenga Blvd
    Studio City, CA
    (818) 308-7420
    11am to 8:30pm, 7 days a week

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  • November 27th, 2008quarrygirlrecipes

    for thanksgiving this year, we here at quarrygirl.com threw a non-traditional dinner party and invited the parents. sure, my parents will still have their slaughtered carcass tomorrow…but today, their holiday feast was all vegan.

    everyone seems to be blogging about their thanksgiving menu, so i thought i may as well do the same. i’m no cook, and i didn’t spend tons of time in the kitchen. but we did manage to throw together a mix of store-bought and homemade dishes that pleased our omnivore guests. here is the rundown:

    suds: we celebrated nonturkey day this year by opening up our first bottle of homemade beer. it’s been brewing downstairs in our guest room for two weeks, and today it had finally reached a very drinkable and alcoholic point. full disclosure, we made our wort beer from a kit. we didn’t go all mad scientist, boiling hops or anything. that’s for next time. thankfully, the beer came out quite well. a strong, delicious, fruity dry-hopped lager.

    appetizers: we really, really know how to class it up for thanksgiving. that’s why for a pre-meal snack we served a bag of doritos spicy sweet chili nachos with terra potpourri potato chips, along with fritos hot bean dip and calavo guacamole. super fancy, eh? in our defense, this dish was super last minute. (duh.) we stupidly headed out to go grocery shopping on thanksgiving morning in search of horderves and ended up abandoning ralphs because the parking lot was too crowded and bristol farms because it was a fucking zoo in there. (i did see pauly shore though, and had to explain who he was to my husband, yay!) we ended up at the closest place to our house by far to purchase food, the canyon country store. i don’t know if you’ve ever been to this little hippie shack, but they don’t have much selection. hence the truck stop appetizers we ended up serving. it’s all good though. tasty as fuck, and no prep time.

    salad: mr. meaner took care of the salad this year, because he kicks ass at that. he made the previously blogged about “best salad in the world”, although this time he toasted the pine nuts and whipped up his own batch of zesty lemon balsamic vinaigrette. total hit.

    stuffing: this is actually the first year i’ve ever cooked homemade stuffing. usually i just grab a box from whole foods, add a few ingredients and call it a day. this year, i decided to try a really healthy and simple stuffing from happy herbivore’s cookbook, pudge-free holidays. she’s compiled a list of tasty-sounding holiday recipes without all the fat and calories that usually come along with this time of year. i made a batch of the traditional thanksgiving stuffing with mushrooms and vegan sausage. the only change i made was i added some garlic, because i can never have enough of that. i can tell you this is much tastier and much healthier than the store-bought box crap i’m used to making.

    sides: we outsourced the cooking of our side dishes to the awesome vegan soul food restaurant, a taste of life. i could never make food this good, so why even try? we ordered two sides of mac and cheese and two sides of kale. both were delicious and impressed the hell out of my omnivore parents. if i could cook this well, i’d never eat out. but i can’t…so i get take-out on thanksgiving day. yay.

    vegetables: mr. meaner took it upon himself to toss some thickly sliced potatoes and carrots in olive oil and oregano, then bake them to perfection. we also had some steamed broccoli and cauliflower to round it all off.

    roast: since our favorite thanksgiving centerpiece, the unturkey, is no longer available, we have been looking for a worthy replacement. we spent the last two years with the tofurky, which is good but not great. this year we opted for the very scrumptious celebration roast. field roast is a company up in seattle who makes tons of great faux meats, from sausages, to slices, to several different flavors of roasts. their products are kind of hard to find in los angeles, so if you ever see them, buy ’em up. follow your heart consistently stocks the celebration roasts, and a handful of whole foods carry the sausages. while the celebration roast is no unturkey, it’s pretty damn incredible. the body, crust and middle stuffing are all magnificent. (please note, some folks have made a website and posted a recipe for the original unturky. i’m way to much of a cooking n00b to try it, but others have. and i am jealous). the celebration roast will totally do for now.

    dessert: i actually did some baking some baking this thanksgiving! when i bake, things usually go wrong…but luckily, this holiday my shit came out pretty nice. i went through several recipes online and adapted my own from many to make a chocolate-chip vegan cheesecake. a total crowd-pleaser, this cheesecake made me so proud. plus it satisfied my sweet tooth for the day.

    here’s the recipe i “came up with,” standing on the shoulders of giants:

    vegan chocolate-chip cheesecake

    1-14 oz package firm silken tofu
    1-8 oz package tofutti better than cream cheese
    2/3 cup sugar
    splash of lemon juice
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    2 tbsp cornstarch
    about 1/2 a 12oz bag of chocolate chips
    1-9 inch vegan pie crust

    preheat oven to 350F.
    put silken tofu and tofutti better than cream cheese in the blender and blend until smooth.
    add the sugar and blend until no granules remain.
    add a splash of lemon juice, the vanilla and the corn starch, then blend until smooth.
    add 1/2 a 12oz bag of vegan chocolate chips and stir it up with a spoon.
    pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake for 40 minutes.
    refrigerate before serving for at least 4 hours.


    all around, we had an epically delicious thanksgiving. good to know we could gorge ourselves on all kinds of dishes—healthy stuff, junk food, salty appetizers, sweet deserts, salads, roasts and vegetables—all without killing any animals. what a fucking concept, right?

    here’s to hoping the rest of the world will catch on. hope you had a great thanksgiving!

    back to restaurant reviews now for quarrygirl…

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