Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Flashback: Southern California

We spent memorial day weekend in California for a wedding in Malibu, and to hang out and soak up some sun! Here are some of the food highlights of the trip.

Native Foods Cafe in Santa Monica -
My first time trying this vegan chain restaurant - it was super delicious! Happy to learn there is a location in Boulder too.


Mandarin Lotus near Malibu (Agoura Hills) -
This is a tiny Chinese food place located in a strip mall that you might usually just pass by... but if you are anywhere nearby you need to make a stop here for amazing food! The whole back of the menu was vegetarian and vegan, and the owners were so nice and helpful. The orange tofu, above, was delicious and they also made me some vegan hot and sour soup.


Veggie Grill in Long Beach -
Another vegan chain that I tried for the first time. I am jealous - wish we had some more places like this in Colorado! Of course I had to try the chocolate pudding. :)

Cafe Ambrosia in Long Beach -
One of our favorite meals on the trip, this cute restaurant in Long Beach is a must stop. A whole page of vegan options, gigantic portions, and delicious greek food - how can you go wrong? Our waitress was super nice too and brought me extra sauces to try out once she found out I was vegan.

Anandamide - Long Beach
We just stumbled on this place while checking out "Retro Row" on 4th street and I had to stop in for some raw vegan chocolates.

Steamed Organic Vegetarian Cuisine - Long Beach
We had a great afternoon riding bikes around to vintage shops and stopping in for tasty lunch at Steamed.


Sura Korean BBQ - Long Beach
If you've tried any of my recipes before you can probably guess I am not a fan of spicy foods. This was my first time trying Korean BBQ and although I loved that they announce their vegan-friendliness on their website and in their window, I have to say that I don't think Korean BBQ is for me. These tofu tacos look pretty though, don't they? I think they were tasty too, but I can't say for sure because my face was kind of on fire. But if that is your thing - check it out!

The Source Cafe - Hermosa Beach
Stopped in this cute cafe for a quick breakfast and grabbed some fresh iced tea and lemonade too. Their bagel with red pepper spread was really good!

I know there are TONS of places I missed out on in this area, and I will have to visit the next time I go back. Anyone have any favorites in Southern California?

For more photos from my travels, follow me on instagram.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Banana Quinoa Breakfast Pudding



I'm not sure if it's a vegan trend or just my thing, but I usually do not feel confined by the normal breakfast foods at breakfast time. I've been known to chow down on a salad, make some brown rice, grab some dinner leftovers, or really whatever sounds good at the time. Actually now that I think of it, I think I've always had that tendency (cold pizza for breakfast, anyone?) That's why I'm pretty excited about this recipe. It's quinoa - but totally hiding out as a sweet and filling dessert-like breakfast pudding. It's like a cross between rice pudding and oatmeal. I guess I don't know quite how to label it, other than being delicious.


Banana Quinoa Breakfast Pudding
makes 4 servings, adapted from weelicious

1 C quinoa
2 C almond milk (or 1 C almond milk + 1 C coconut milk)
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3 Tbsp agave
1/2 tsp cinnamon
splash of vanilla extract
almond slivers

Rinse your quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Place into a pot with the almond milk and bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Mix in the bananas, agave, cinnamon, and vanilla and stir over medium heat until thickened. Place in serving dishes and top with almond slivers. Serve warm, or chill for 1-2 hours.


This recipe is easy to make, can be served either warm or chilled, and keeps well as leftovers. I think this might just be a big hit with kids, too! You could go crazy and mix in all sorts of different flavors, fruits, or nuts. 

What is your favorite healthy breakfast?

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Artichoke & Chickpea Salad

Thank you for voting this recipe as the best side dish in the
May 2013 Virtual Vegan Potluck!

Welcome Virtual Vegan Potluckers! I hope you'll enjoy your stay here at Vegan Fling.
I am very excited to be participating in this event for the 3rd time. It's always so much fun!


I know, I know... I am in the Side Dish category but my post title says "Salad". This is not your typical salad dish though, and it works wonderfully alongside almost anything. It can be two things at once because it's just that tasty!


I loved that this dish was quick and easy to make. After spending a huge part of my day baking up a double batch of my Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies for an event this weekend, I needed something uncomplicated, fast, and filling. This dish delivers on all three!


Artichoke & Chickpea Salad
serves 4-6, adapted from vegan yum yum

1 Tbsp oil
1 15 oz can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, chopped
5-7 large artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
1/3 C sliced almonds
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

In a skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the chickpeas and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and set in a serving bowl. Add the garlic to the pan and saute for a minute, then add the sliced artichokes. Cook until slightly browned. Remove from the pan and add to the chickpeas. Toast the almonds until just slightly browned, and add them in with the chickpeas and artichokes. Add the lemon juice, salt, and parsley, and toss well. Serve warm.


I enjoyed this side dish next to some roasted cauliflower with brussels sprouts, and some simple vegetable risotto, but it would be delicious with so many different other meals and flavors. You could always change up the spices to suit your other dishes too - it's super versatile!


Thanks so much for stopping by, and don't forget to check out the rest of the Virtual Vegan Potluck!

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chocolate Chip Muffins



Sometimes the simple treats are the best. I do love interesting combinations of flavors, and fancy baked goods, but more often than not my cravings are for the classics - like these simple chocolate chip muffins. They are easy to make and last awhile, so bake up a batch on the weekend for a crowd, or keep them all to yourself!


Chocolate Chip Muffins
makes 12, adapted from my baking addiction

2 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C agave
1/3 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C vegan butter, melted and cooled

2 flax eggs (2 T flax + 6 T water)
2/3 C almond milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 C vegan chocolate chips or chunks (I use the Enjoy Life brand)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line muffin tin with 12 papers.
Combine the melted butter, flax eggs, almond milk, vanilla, and agave in a large bowl and mix well.
In another bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Mix together until combined, Fold in the chocolate chips.
Divide the batter into the muffins tins and bake for 17-20 minutes.
Let cool and enjoy!



What is your favorite classic muffin flavor?

Thanks for stopping by!

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