hey guys! as you probably know, we’re following the band silver snakes around on tour, via vegan food text updates from band member alex. he’s taken us around—from other parts of california, to nevada, to idaho, and now they’re in seattle (still) for more tastiness. today was epic, just see alex’s updates below. oh, and don’t forget to check out silver snakes when they’re in a city near you. go to their show and talk them into eating with you…it may end up on this blog!
Mighty-o donuts. Seattle, WA. Naked cake and pumpkin spice donuts and a hot cocoa. Naked cake donuts are my favorite! I wish I could find them back in LA.Tags: chocolate, dessert, donuts, field report, macaroni & cheese, seattle, silver snakes
February 13th, 2011products
i looove chocolate, so naturally i jumped at the chance to receive some rawkin raw samples—vegan raw superfoods that (as i found) totally taste like candy.
Tags: chocolate, raw
manhattan is full of upscale places that charge a phenomenally high price for food in a posh, trendy environment…and now vegans can get in on the fun. cocoa v is a recently opened and entirely vegan chocolate & wine bar located in chelsea NYC that definitely offers the fancy pants experience. we hit them up last month on a snowy day for a late afternoon snack and had a very lovely, albeit very expensive time.
although cocoa v has a menu full of incredible-sounding chocolate plates (or as the pretentiously call them, “chocolat” plates), we decided to go the a la carte route and save ourselves for the cheese plate. we had a look at the display case up front an chose a couple stumptown coffee candies, as well as a serving of coffee-flavored chocolate bark. i believe each piece of chocolate was about $4, and while it was tasty, the candy itself did not justify the price. i guess you aren’t just paying for the chocolate though, you are paying for the location, the atmosphere, and the all upperclassy-ness of it all.
we also ordered a few glasses of house red wine and a cocoa v cheese plate, which came with a combo of dr. cow cheese, crackers, strawberries and vegan honey.
the cheese plate was delicious (i am a big fan of dr. cow), although it was phenomenally expensive. it came with 3 small wedges of cheese cut into thirds, and i think the whole plate was about $17. i would probably pay it again though, considering it was so tasty and the ambiance was so relaxing.
overall, i would recommend cocoa v if you want to go somewhere special and don’t mind paying what most people would consider way too much money. our bill before tip for the items pictured above was around $50…but hey, the place is beautiful and it’s a bloody upscale VEGAN chocolate bar in nyc! what do you expect? since our visit, they have posted an expanded menu online which looks pretty interesting. they’ve got stuff like english tea sandwiches, quiche, and even a nutella plate.
i definitely plan to return to cocoa v on my next visit to new york; i just better start saving up for it now.
174 Ninth Ave (20th & 21st)
New York, NY 10011
Hours:Tags: chocolate, manhattan, NYC, vegan cheese, wine
Mon: 1 PM–8 PM
Tue-Thurs: 11 AM–9 PM
Fri: 11 AM–10 PM
Sat: 10:30 AM–10 PM
Sun: 12 AM–8 PM
December 13th, 2009products
the roman bar was born in 1990 when roman starno had the idea to dip a fig newton into some chocolate and let it cool. today, almost 20 years later, a variation of that experiment is available at stores all over southern california and beyond. they come in several different flavors, and recently i had an opportunity to sample the raspberry variety. completely vegan, this treat tastes just like a fruity fig newton encased in thick chocolate. chewy and soft in the middle and perfectly sweet, the roman bar packs tons of delicious flavor. each bar is under 200 calories, so they make for a tasty and guilt-free snack any time of day.
you can find the roman bar at select whole foods locations in socal, as well as in the nature mart bulk bins, at the santa monica co-opportunity, and at follow your heart market. if you are in the mood for something fruity and chocolatey, give the roman bar a try, it won’t disappoint!
Tags: chocolate, cookie, roman bar, snack attack
October 1st, 2009vegan bakers
the fakery bakery has perfected vegan milk chocolate.
vegan milk chocolate peanut butter cups. i thought i’d never see the day. remember how much i raved about the fakery bakery’s dark chocolate cups? well these are 100000x better. these new cups are covered in creamy milk chocolate that does not taste vegan, and filled with a crumbly sugary peanut buttery filling that tastes exactly like reese’s.
these cups taste exactly like the stuff i miss from when i was a kid. it’s some of the best vegan candy i’ve ever tried. don’t miss out, these can be yours!Tags: candy, chocolate, the fakery bakery, what you sick people come here for
summer time is officially here, and that means it’s ice cream season! as the weather in los angeles heats up to apocalyptic temperatures, don’t let the fact that you’re a vegan stop you from indulging in a cool, creamy treat. head on over to carvel ice cream in west LA and pick up some of their delicious temptation vegan soft serve from none other than the folks at chicago soy dairy. that’s right, carvel is the first place in los angeles to carry this tasty and realistic non-dairy soft serve from the company that brought us teese and dandies.
i stopped by carvel recently, and when i told the girl behind the counter i was vegan, she was very friendly and accommodating. she pointed me to a selection of vegan sorbets, vegan toppings, and gave me a sample of vanilla non-dairy soft serve. that’s right, the elusive VEGAN SOFT SERVE. since it’s so hard to find in this city, of course i had to get some. i ordered a kid-size portion and topped it off with vegan chocolate chips. yum……it totally hit the spot! i wasn’t sure at the time, but later i found out that the soft serve i ate was indeed temptation, stuff i have been hearing about from vegans across the country for quite some time. i am so glad that this stuff has made it over to los angeles, because it’s so ridiculously creamy and “real” tasting.
the girl also explained that they’d be getting even more vegan soft serve flavors in by the end of the month…so that pretty much seals it, i know i will be back at carvel very soon. i have heard the chocolate temptation soft serve is THE BEST.
in addition to temptation vegan ice cream and friendly employees, carvel also has lovely balcony seating and 3 levels of free parking. it’s located on the top floor next to ralphs on pico in west LA, so don’t miss it. carvel is a great place to unwind with some old fashioned soft serve and take a break from the summer heat. i haven’t eaten ice cream like this since i was a kid…and it’s vegan!
carvel ice creamTags: chicago soy dairy, chocolate, ice cream, soft serve, temptation, west LA
9618 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
move over kids, there’s a new vegan baker in los angeles and the goods are amazing. vegan bake sale launched just a few weeks ago and specializes in beautiful and tasty cakes and cupcakes, but cheesecakes and cookies are also in the works. alix, the talented baker behind all of this, has been teasing los angeles vegans with her treats for quite awhile on her blog cute and delicious…i was so excited when she announced that she was making them available to the general public.
coincidentally, alix launched vegan bake sale just 5 days before my dad’s birthday. what better way to celebrate than to get him a huge vegan cake…right?!?! mwahahaha.
when i contacted vegan bake sale to place an order, alix wrote back and said she could make any flavor i could dream up. that sounded like quite an opportunity, but i still went with basic old double chocolate. i mean, who doesn’t love that, right? when i picked up the cake i was shocked at the size…it was much bigger than i imagined! it was also beautifully decorated with gorgeous piping around the edges. seriously, too pretty to eat. even the smell of it in the car on the way to my folks’ house was so sweet and tempting, i am shocked i made it all the way there without stealing a finger full of frosting.
i think everyone would agree the cake was a huge hit. my non-vegan parents loved it, and so did my husband who usually won’t go near sweet foods. on her blog, alix says her baked goods “aren’t the healthy, crunchy, cardboard vegan desserts you find at health food stores, they’re the decadent, delicious treats that could fool any non-vegan,” and she is absolutely right. the cake itself was sinfully tasty, and so was the rich luscious frosting.
after eating just one slice i went into an epic food coma. i left the cake with my parents and kept getting emails from my mom about how great the leftovers were. total success.
so if you are looking for a vegan birthday cake in los angeles, or a load of vegan cupcakes, definitely hit up vegan bake sale for treats that will impress. i got an amazing vegan birthday cake from real food daily last year, and i can tell you this thing topped even that…which is saying a lot! plus, alix can not only bake “any flavor you can dream up,” she’s also a total frosting artist and your cake is guaranteed to look amazing.Tags: birthday, cake, chocolate, vegan bake sale
i live in hollywood and my local whole foods is the tiny one located at santa monica and fairfax. because the parking lot is so small, the lines are so long, and the prices are so high, i normally only go to whole foods when i need something crazy for a recipe…or when i’m grabbing a quick bite from the salad bar. i would never consider whole foods a destination to go hang out, or a place to sit and eat lunch. this all changed, however when my friend dragged me all the way to the newish whole foods in venice a few weeks ago.
holy crap! i realized then that not all whole foods are lame and tiny like my local…some are huge and awesome like this new venice store. there was parking, seating, and so much vegan food i couldn’t begin wrap my mind (or mouth) around. it was like a bloody vegan disneyland! pasta, sandwiches, ice cream, mexican food, chocolate and curry…it was all there ready to be eaten at the lovely outdoor tables. we ordered a ton of food for lunch and enjoyed it right there at the store. i can’t wait to go back.
we started off with a vegan chicken salad sandwich from the sandwich counter which was made with gardein, vegetables, and vegenaise. it was absolutely delicious…the gardein chicken salad was super chunky, thick, and creamy…and the bread roll it came on was amazingly fresh. definitely a good, solid sandwich for 7 bucks. it made me wish gardein chicken was available everywhere, i absolutely love that stuff.
vegan tamale, chocolate and more after the jump.Tags: chocolate, garedein, mexican, sandwich, tamale, venice, whole foods
We’ve been contemplating a “Top 5 Vegan Restaurants in Southern California” post for a while, but with the notable fact that we’d never dined at Madeleine Bistro in Tarzana (frequently referred to as one of, if not the best vegan dining establishments on the West Coast). We couldn’t possibly start listing the wonderful restaurants we have here in SoCal, so we held off publishing this seminal piece.
Well, after a trip to Madeleine’s last weekend for brunch we can (spoiler alert!) confirm what we’ve been told for the last couple of years: Madeleine’s is without a doubt, and by a far margin, the absolute best vegan dining in Southern California. It’ll be #1 on our list, if – that is – we ever get around to writing the “Top 5” post! And, we only sampled the brunch menu — from what we’ve heard, dinner is even more astounding.
We’re talking menu composition, ingredients and food preparation waaaay beyond the norm here. After every first bite of each new dish we tried, we had instant eye contact followed by gasps and almost disbelief at what it was we were eating. For starters (although it was the dessert!) take a look at the chocolate soufflé with vanilla ice cream, this picture cannot begin to do it justice:
As my aunt could testify, a soufflé is almost impossible to cook successfully, as it has to be crispy on the top, spongy on the bottom and a smooth gradation in between – and that’s using non-vegan ingredients like eggs, cream and even GELATIN to prop up this most delicate of sweets. At Madeleine, though, the soufflé was incredible – I’m talking a perfection of texture and taste in every bite, and served at just the right temperature with cold ice cream on the side that (even on its own) would have been a completely scrumptious dessert.
Skipping back to the beginning of the meal, yet sticking (no pun intended) to sweet things, we enjoyed a donut that reminded me 100% of the French-style snack served all over Europe, yet with a lighter, purer texture that only non-dairy sweets can have. It was plump, round, slightly crispy on the outside yet perfectly fluffy on the inside and, just like the soufflé, served at exactly the right temperature, lightly dusted with crunchy sugar. It is, without a doubt the best donut I have ever eaten – vegan, vegetarian or omnivorous.
So much for the beginning and end of our meal, but the in-between was even better!
I ordered the “Bigger Maque” with a side of breakfast potatoes, and had to have it ‘splained to me that the Bigger Maque was a pun on “Big Mac”, the ubiquitous McDonald’s ‘dish’ which, by its very existence, proves beyond a doubt that billions and billions are so misguided. Looking at the cross section of the Bigger Maque which (thankfully!) comes cut in two you see the complexity of this meal – meatless patties, lettuce, ‘cheese’, onions, pickles (thankfully optional in this case!) so carefully and beautifully packed inside a bun cut into three horizontally.
I polished off the Bigger Maque in record time, and punctuated every other bite by one of the breakfast potatoes – again, predictably, perfectly cooked and seasoned (crispy on the outside, soft on the inside yada yada, etc. etc. hopefully you’re noticing a theme here?).
I only managed a bite or two of our other entree, the “Porcini-crusted Tofu Benedict” which seemed not to be of this world. Again, perfectly designed, prepared and served with tastes and textures that defy words. Just like the Bigger Maque, this baby was layer upon layer of scrumptious ingredients. On the ground floor was a perfect medley of grated, fried potatoes all scrunched up into something resembling a burger patty, right above that were thinly sliced and (presumably) sauteed porcini mushrooms, the whole thing being topped off with a soft and tasty slab of tofu all hidden under a splash of yellow, tangy hollandaise sauce and surrounded by asparagus spears.
Oh, I almost forgot that we ordered a side of Tempeh Bacon which disappeared pretty quickly. Crunch, crunch, munch munch and there was an empty plate. My only criticism of this side is that there wasn’t more of it. Like, a thousand times more of it so I could take it home and eat it forever – morning, noon and night. All night.
We also really loved the “Red Beet Tartare”, another creation of such taste and uniqueness that it’s difficult to describe in writing.
Basically, you’re looking at a succulent patty of tofu cheese under a medley of finely diced and prepared beet, pickled to perfection all sitting on top of finely sliced cucumbers. After coming down off the entrees, our expectations were somewhat schizophrenic – on the one hand, sky high with anticipation, yet on the other wondering how they could possibly better what we’d just eaten. Well, the Red Beet Tartare delivered on every level imaginable. It kinda exists as a bridge between an entree and a desert, both in appearance and taste. Every bite starts with the cooler beet at the top, followed by the warm ‘cheese’ underneath, then a crunchy slice of cold cucumber to round off this diversity of textures and flavors. I define this dish as the ultimate synergy, defined as “the working together of two or more things to produce an effect greater than the sum of each”. This, my friends is an example of the real brilliance of culinary genius.
Oh, and not being familiar with the Madeleine menu, we were not aware that this is one of the signature dishes of the restaurant – an accolade so rightfully deserved.
Anyways, enough about the food. Ambience is important, and the high standards of the menu indicate that the interior of the restaurant has to be a notch or two above what you’d expect, and it is. Even allowing for the fact that all restaurants look better at night (those candles are strategically placed on every table for a reason!), Madeleine’s was relatively calm and peaceful on a Saturday late morning. People were bustling past outside, other customers were calling for reservations and the other clientele were clearly regulars – as will we after a few more more visits!
Our server was courteous, attentive, and knowledgeable. All the food appeared magically at just the right time, and the dishes were bussed with a smile. I can usually pick fault in any service, but not this time for sure.
The location is psychologically and physically far away from the Westside and all the potential well-heeled, guilty-rich-liberal types from Santa Monica that “dine vegan” as an occasional trend rather than a lifestyle commitment. However, it has an adjacent parking lot and is less than two minutes from the 101 freeway, so from West Hollywood it takes about the same amount of time to get there as would the tony establishments of Santa Monica (which can’t hold a candle to this place).
Talking of Westside vegetarian/vegan resturants, Madeleine’s delivers striking good value for money, especially when you consider that my Bigger Maque was priced at $11, less than the (inferior, prepared by line cooks, crappy dine-in experience) M Cafe Big Macro and $6 less than Real Food Daily’s “RFD Burger with The Works” which is basically inedible. Yeah, $13 for the “Red Beet Tartare” might seem like a lot of money at first glance, but it’s an entree that you will never, ever forget.
I only regret only one thing about Madeleine’s: that it’s been nearly three days since I ate there, and I have not been back for dinner yet – a travesty I fully intend to rectify as soon as possible!Tags: beet, benedict, breakfast, brunch, burger, chocolate, dessert, donut, souffle
finally, finally, finally, there’s high end vegan dining available in los angeles. in a city with so many options, vegans are used to real food daily being a “fancy” place with its small portions and $17 burgers. now thanks to celebrity chef michael mina and restaurant group sbe, la vegans can dine amongst the affluent and enjoy a 5 star meal off an entirely animal-free menu at xiv on sunset boulevard.
xiv offers a tasting menu experience, where everyone at the table orders the same thing, and several small plates are served throughout the evening. each individual plate is $8, so the bill adds up quite rapidly. like most other upscale restaurants, the xiv menu contains unspeakable dishes such as caviar parfait, crispy pork belly and even foie gras terrine. however for herbivores, xiv offers an entirely separate 100% vegan menu with 27 courses to choose from. the vegan menu isn’t available anywhere online (until now) and they only present it upon request. i don’t know why they keep it so hush hush, because it’s absolutely amazing. as of now, i think it’s la’s best kept vegan secret.
while it’s not a habit of mine to eat at restaurants that serve the disgusting meat items mentioned above, the vegan menu at xiv is so impressive that i had to give it a try. plus, i really would like to support whole-heartedly any elitist eatery that puts such an effort towards creating an animal-free menu. my husband and i decided to hit up xiv last weekend, along with another fine couple, lex and kristin of vegan-la, who had already been to the restaurant and could show us the ropes.
after some incredible ginger beer and hendrick’s cocktails, our table of four started with the japanese mountain caviar, which looked so much like actual caviar that lex had to assure me that it was in fact vegan.
i’m still not sure exactly what japanese caviar is made of, but it’s one of the tastiest and most unique vegan dishes i’ve ever tried. it looks eerily like fish and even has a salty taste, but it’s so light and fluffy, i swear it will win you over. the plate was both delicious and well-presented and came garnished with delicate and fresh asian vegetables.
for a second course, we chose the cauliflower tempura, which really was incredible. it had a very distinct taste that none of us could put our finger on, until kristin exclaimed, “oh my god, this tastes EXACTLY like cheetos!” sure enough, she was right. that old-school cheesy flavor came rushing back to my brain and i tasted it in a whole new way. these were like fancy little fried califlower cheetos. totally insane.
next up was the salt and pepper bok choy. that maybe seemed a bit boring by the description, but i gotta tell you it was unbelievable. the baby bok choy was light, fragile and seasoned to perfection atop the thinnest and most delicious glass noodles.
the next course, and quite possibly my favorite, was the pine nut terrine. this dish consisted of a small nutty block along with crisp sheets of flatbread and a cranberry sauce. a high-class pb & j sandwich, if you will.
our next dish was supposed to be the grilled fennel with curry and sea beans. unfortunately, they were out of that but supplied us instead with a delicious broccoli sushi cake with chillies and greens. the little rice patty was incredibly tasty, and the sauteed chillies added a definite punch of heat.
we next ordered the hen of the wood mushrooms. this was absolutely divine! the mushrooms, broccoli, and fried little bits of god-know-what-were all cooked absolutely perfectly.
for our last course we had the stuffed brussels sprouts. these came with a fine mix of vegetables, and were stuffed with some truly incredible and savory insides. you can’t really see it in the picture, but the little brussels sprouts were absolutely tiny and so perfectly filled, so much skill must have gone into the preparation.
when it came time to order dessert, we really didn’t care for the options advertised on the menu. the two choices consisted of mostly fruit, and we were in the mood for something a bit more decadent. lex asked the waiter if the chef could make us something vegan and extremely chocolatey. of course xiv came up with some of the best sweet-tooth-satisfying stuff i’ve ever had.
the chocolate leather consisted of long strips of luscious confection sliced into thin and malleable sheets. this was all drizzled with creamy caramel sauce and garnished with a thick chocolate ball that burst out with flavor the moment it was crunched. seriously. one of the best fucking desserts i’ve ever tasted.
the food at xiv is absolutely mind-blowing, so naturally the prices are as well. our 8 course vegan meal along with cocktails ended up costing the four of us a whopping $360. while that may sound like a lot, i can tell you it was definitely worth it. i mean, just have a look at the menu:
to all my los angeles vegan friends, i really can’t recommend xiv highly enough. the quality and ambience are completely unmatched. such skill goes into preparing each dish, and the food is created by a truly masterful chef. the atmosphere and service are also incredible, as you would expect from an extremely high end sbe establishment.
so make a special occasion out of it, throw caution to the wind, and head to xiv for an extremely high caliber vegan tasting session. now we too can finally enjoy a 5 star dining experience like all our meat-eating friends.Tags: asian, bok choy, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, caviar, chocolate, dessert, hollywood, sbe, sushi, tasting menu
well, leda’s vegan cupcakes are kinda no more…is what i meant to say. leda’s bake shop, famous for their irresistible vegan cupcakes, has officially closed its storefront as of october 19, 2008. the modest bakery located in sherman oaks bills the shutdown as “great news” and details their “exciting new plans” on their website. according to leda’s, the bake shop can’t “divulge the specifics,” but is “undergoing some exciting changes and developing an innovative new concept to meet the growing needs of our large and loyal following.” hmmmm. i guess it’s just a coincidence that the economy is in the toilet, and this small eco-friendly bakery in the valley is closing their doors for undisclosed reasons. i don’t mean to sound cynical, don’t get me wrong, i hope leda’s is planning a huge comeback that will knock all our vegan socks off. for now though, it looks like they may be going through hard times.
upon hearing the sad news, i absolutely had to get in there on leda’s last day in business (saturday october 18) and buy as many cookies and cupcakes as me and poor, supportive omnivore parents could possibly eat.
the vegan cupcakes were absolutely to die for. of the flavors i purchased were chocoate chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, chocolate espresso, velvet and coconut. i got the miniature cupcakes so we could try as many as possible, and every flavor was absolutely divine! i didn’t even get a chance to try them all, my parents and husband were all over these little decadent devils. of the ones i tried, the chocolate espresso, and my old favorite chocolate chocolate stood out.
it’s a shame this place is gonna stop selling life-changing vegan cupcakes to passerbys like me. i’m half thinking of renewing my vows or throwing a meaningless party, so i can get leda’s to cater my event.
just because i had to, i also stocked up on some chocolate chip cookies before i left leda’s. this little bag was waaaaay too expensive at over five bucks, but i just had to indulge. i mean, what if they completely go out of business? i would spend the rest of my life in regret over these cookies, right? i wasn’t about to let that happen.
not quite as pretty, but just as delicious as the cupcakes, the cookies were gone in absolute record time. the chocolate chips were moist, and the dough was perfectly baked and greasy. i’m glad these were so small, it made me feel much better about the fact that i ate four of them.
ahhhh. leda’s bake shop has long been one of los angeles’ favorite vegan-friendly spots. everyone loves vegan cupcakes, and it’s so sad to see them scale back their service.
if you take one thing from this post….for crimony’s sake, cater your next party with leda’s. or, if you feel like squandering some cash or are super hungry, spurge for 24 cupcakes, which is leda’s new minimum order. it’s a small price to pay to keep this modest vegan staple in business. and you know i’m right.
Tags: baking, chocolate, cupcakes, dessert, veganmofo
as a vegan, i am always looking for the perfect snack. it’s easy to find ubiquitous junk food items that don’t contain animal products (i’m talking to you, oreos!), but are full of scary ingredients that are hazardous to my health. for so long, i have been looking for an indulgence item that makes me feel like i am living it up, but not eating something that is gonna kill me. enter nutty steph’s. nutty steph’s is a vermont-based company making healthy, organic granola that tastes so decadent, it can compete with any household junk food.
steph started selling her granola in 2003, when she was only 23 years old, and had no knowledge of commercial food production. what she lacked in age, however, she made up for in creativity and over the past five years her granola has gained tons of respect from buyers and chefs alike. and even more importantly, i love it! her granola is so packed with flavor, i almost don’t want to sprinkle it on top of anything. i’ve never tasted a “healthy” snack that is so perfect straight out of the bag. sweet, slightly salty, and above all, nutty, this granola is beyond delish.
and, nutty steph’s granola can be used in various recipes. steph even has a whole category dedicated on on her website to the various uses for the granola. since i am a vegan, i decided to put the granola to the ultimate test and use it a recipe from veganomicon, the ultimate vegan cookbook. i made a recipe i already knew to be delicious, the chocolate-chocolate chip-walnut cookies, and substituted nutty steph’s granola for the actual nuts. i also used nutty steph’s magic chunks for 1/3 of the chocolate chips called for in the recipe. i can tell you, these cookies have never tasted so delicious. the delicate blend of sweet sugary oats and pure nut flavoring added more to the cookies than i could have imagined. these were so much better than the cookies with walnuts.
the crunchy granola and magic chunks were the perfect compliment to the soft dough and chocolate chips. unlike when baking the cookie with actual walnuts, the oats mixed in throughout the dough making for a much more substantial and satisfying cookie. plus, there were plenty of nuts in the granola, so i still got the intended nutty taste. the granola was absolutely great to bake with, and i am sure it would make a fine substitute in many of my favorite dessert and snack recipes.
lastly, nutty steph also offers her own brand of trail mix which is out of this world. the minute you try this, it will be hard not to eat the whole bag in one sitting, because it is so damn addictive. the already irresistible granola gets thrown in with fresh batch of raisins, huge and whole crunchy nuts, and large chunks of dark chocolate to make something i can’t resist.
this is by far my favorite product of nutty steph’s. i’m sure it would be great sprinkled onto some soy ice cream, or mixed in with some cereal, but i just enjoyed the entire bag plain, on its own. the chocolate discs really bring out the nutty-ness in crispy granola, and the raisins provide a softness to all the crunch. steph really has found the perfect way to combine natural ingredients and make them taste ridiculously good.
nutty steph’s is a vegan junk food/health food dream come true. an unashamedly delicious snack containing ingredients that i can pronounce. all real food, no chemicals or fake shit is contained in nutty steph’s. let’s support this cool chick from vermont who makes the perfect vegan snack, and stick it to the big corporations!Tags: chocolate, cookies, granola, nutty steph's, snacks, trail mix, veganmofo, veganomicon
update! since the time of this post, these amazing chocolate twinkies are available for order from no whey vegan bakery. i highly suggest you get a batch! now, read on…
i absolutely love chocolate. it’s the best. if i see a chocolate dessert, it takes every bit of will power i have not to devour it. i’m pretty glad to be a vegan, meaning i can’t eat most of the tempting chocolate treats that i encounter in day to day life. because if i could, i’d be a hell of a lot fatter.
i also love vegan twinkies. so imagine how excited i was to learn last week that la’s most famous vegan twinkie baker, jenn shaggy had whipped up a special batch of her legendary treats in double chocolate flavor. yep, chocolate cake and chocolate frosting…my dream come true. i booked it to the vegan spot to pick up some of the goods as soon as i could, and while i do love everything on the vegan spot’s menu, this time i was just coming for twinkies. they were even better than i could have imagined.
i was lucky enough to be handed a box of 5 beautiful chocolate vegan twinkies by the gifted baker herself and i couldn’t help but ask how the hell she does it. she wouldn’t let me in on the secret twinkie recipe, but she did tell me that she loves experimenting with flavors making different style twinkies for all occasions. a wizard in the kitchen at only 23 years old, i’m really hoping jenn shaggy opens up her own restaurant some day. from twinkies to dorritos, she has figured out a way to make anything vegan. i highly recommend checking out her blog, where she shares a few of her recipes.
back to the twinkies. they were off the hook. they didn’t taste anything like limp, packaged twinkies from when i was a kid…instead they tasted like the most decadent chocolate cake filled up with creamy sinful frosting. they were so delicious that my husband refused to believe they were vegan, i mean they were just too incredibly rich.
the frosting was even better than the stuff in jenn’s normal vegan twinkies, which are delicious as well. but what can i say, i am obsessed with chocolate. i highly recommend that if you are lucky enough to get your hands on one of these, you have a full glass of soy milk at your side. the cake is just so moist and flavorful, each bite goes down well with a cold sip of vanilla milk.
they don’t photograph quite as well as normal twinkies, especially when cut in half because it’s brown frosting against brown cake. but trust me, what they lack in looks they more than make up for in taste! i munched down three in one sitting and then had to stop myself. a very fortunate co-worker was given a bite of my twinkie (i only had 5, it’s not like i could spare a whole one) and i didn’t tell her it was vegan until she had already raved about how awesome it was. a testament to the twinkie.
so, go to the vegan spot and get some twinkies! now! they are awesome. and be sure to try whatever flavors you can. the standard ones are delicious, but not nearly as savory as these chocolate babies. and keep track of jenn as well, who knows where her desserts will show up, and you gotta be there to try them.Tags: chocolate, dessert, twinkies
i know, i know, i know. i go to pure luck like every freakin’ day, and it’s taken me this long to finally walk across the street and try scoops…a legendary ice cream and gelato shop known for its rotating vegan selection and strange array of flavors. when i visited, the vegan flavors weren’t that weird at all, so i settled on a whopping scoop consisting of half mint-oreo and half chocolate-peanut butter. oh man oh man oh man. this ice cream lived up to the hype. i’m kinda bummed i tried it, because now i know i won’t be able to resist it ever again, even after downing a whole plate of potato pals from pure luck.
how they make this so creamy and so vegan, i have no idea. all i know is that this the best ice cream i’ve ever had. and i am someone who loves vegan ice cream. i’ve been known to go to london and stand outside of harrods in the blowing wind and pouring rain eating a frozen bowl of whatever vegan ice cream they have on deck, because i wouldn’t want to leave for home without trying it. luckily for me, though, harrods is 5,000 miles away. scoops is only like 4. that’s why i have been resisting it. ’cause i’m afraid now that i’m hooked. i mean, just look at this stuff. my sweet tooth doesn’t stand a chance.
the staff at scoops are super friendly, and will let you sample anything you want. for us vegans, that means we can try out 4 different flavors before deciding on which one to have. oh, and it’s CASH ONLY. so make sure you have enough. you can get more ice cream than you could ever eat for five bucks.
oh and while you are hanging out around hel-mel, don’t forget to stop by pure luck and get some food and beer. with scoops right across the street, i don’t think i will visit one without hitting up the other ever again.
so definitely get over to scoops as soon as you can. the portions are huge, the prices are low and the ice cream is delicious. mind you, i only got ONE scoop and what they gave me was huge and contained two flavors. we need more places like scoops, for sure.
Tags: chocolate, gelato, ice cream, oreo, peanut butter, veganmofo
last week i turned 24, and while to me getting older is a kinda depressing thought, i took it as an excuse to completely gorge myself on vegan cake.
i haven’t had a birthday cake since i was 18…back in the day when i was still a vegetarian. i used to love the gooey dribbling frosting and moist chocolate sponginess—all stuff i’ve half-way written off since becoming a vegan. luckily for me, i have the most awesome co-workers who went out of their way to surprise me with a delicious vegan cake from real food daily and 3 bottles of specialty beer. what a gesture!
the cake was out of this world. everyone in the office was going at it, and nobody had a problem with the fact it was vegan. in fact, the cake was GONE, no leftovers, in like 30 minutes. usually we order cake from sweet lady jane’s, and when we do, a few slices always get thrown out. not with the real food daily cake, uh uh. people were coming over from different departments, wishing me a happy birthday just so they could sleaze away with a slice of me cake! it was great watching omnivores enjoying the vegan dessert. and trust me, i got plenty of it to myself—two big slices that sent me into a food coma and rendered me useless for the rest of the day. mmm. chocolate-peanut-buttery goodness.
i know we at quarrygirl have had some unkind things to say about real food daily in the past (sometimes they blow), but none of those feelings spill over into my review of their cake. i don’t really know how expensive this was because it was a surprise, and i don’t know how the service was because i didn’t pick it up…but i DO know that my bday cake tasted incredible and looked beautiful. people were questioning, “how do they make it so soft and moist?”, “are you sure this doesn’t have eggs in it?”, “omg how do they make this taste just like real cake?” and then it was all gone. and everyone was full.
i highly recommend real food daily for a stellar, tasty birthday cake. i may even have to give them another shot and eat there again.
and a big shout out to the peeps who bought me this cake. if you ever read this, you rule!
Tags: birthday, cake, chocolate, dessert, peanut butter, rfd, veganmofo