Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Vegan Shakshuka + Burrito Bowl + Free Ice Cream!

I made some homemade harissa paste last week for my Halloween Buddha Bowl, so I've been trying to find fun ways to use it. There's a recipe in The No Meat Athlete Cookbook (I'm trying to work my way through cooking all of the recipes!) for Harissa Baked Tofu, a veganized version of the traditional Middle Eastern shakshuka breakfast. Traditional shakshuka is made with poached eggs, tomatoes, and peppers.

This vegan version is made with tofu in place of the eggs. The recipe calls for harissa seasoning, which I'd already used to make the paste, so I just subbed harissa paste for the tomato paste and left out the seasoning. It was perfectly spiced and great with toast for sopping up the juices.

Lunch today was Butternut Squash Soup with Soy Yogurt & Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, plus LuLu's Brioche on the side. The soup was from last Sunday's Vegan Soup Swap and lovingly made by Allie. Very good!

Last Friday was World Vegan Day, and Ben & Jerry's was giving out free non-dairy scoops! I needed to go out east for shopping anyway, so I stopped there first for a yummy free Coconut Almond Chip.

I also needed to eat some dinner out east before shopping, so I stopped at Chipotle cause it's cheap, healthy, and vegan-friendly. I got a Tofu Sofritas Burrito Bowl with brown rice, black beans, corn salsa, guac, pico, and lettuce. Hit the spot! I should eat at Chipotle more often.

And finally, here's a quick lunch from last weekend. Big Ass Salad with Sundried Tomato Cashew Ranch and Avocado Toast.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Bluff City Vegan Eats: The Doghouzz

There's a new vegan-friendly restaurant in Crosstown! After months of construction, The Doghouzz is finally open! This new gourmet hot dog bar is just across the street from Crosstown Concourse in the old Metro nightclub building.

Metro was a gay bar back in the early- to mid-2000s, and we used to hang out there. So it's cool to see something fun happening in this spot again. The inside looks similar, only they've taken down the wall that used to separate the bar from the dance floor. The back patio, where we usually hung out, looks the same!

The Doghouzz serves a Vegan Braised Carrot Dog, and it can be customized in all kinds of ways. I went in for lunch today and ordered the carrot dog on a poppyseed bun with added mustard, avocado slices, and raw onions. The braised carrot was just the right texture — soft but still firm enough to be toothsome — and it was massive. So big that it barely fit into the bun!

It's cool to see a carrot dog offered rather than a plant meat dog since that's available elsewhere in Memphis. Plus, I feel better sticking with whole foods, like carrots, as much as possible.

Vegan sides include pinto beans or chips. I went with the beans and they were mind-blowingly good! Owner Steve says they're prepared with his secret recipe.

The Doghouzz is currently only open for lunch until they get their beer license and liquor license, but they'll eventually be open til 3 am!

Since the place is named The Doghouzz, there are plenty of dog-themed touches, including these adorable bathroom signs.

The Doghouzz is located at 1349 Autumn Avenue.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Vegan Souper Sunday!

I'm no fan of cold weather, but I am a fan of soup. Soup, plus the fun fall/winter holidays, are the only things that keep me sane when the temps drop below the 70s.

Lucky for me, my friend Nichelle organized a vegan soup swap on Sunday, and now I've got seven different vegan soups stocked in my deep freezer — ready to keep me warm this fall and winter! Look at all this frozen soup!

Each person who signed up was instructed to bring nine quarts of soup — eight for swapping and one for sampling at the event (one person dropped at the last minute so we ended up with one extra bag of our own soup). We met at Nichelle and Sean's place and enjoyed snacks and wine before soup tasting.

We each grabbed tiny bowls and went around the kitchen, tasting each soup. There was Nichelle's Sweet Potato Peanut Soup and Mindy's Cannellini Bean & Greens Soup.

Sean made Tortilla Soup. Allie brought Butternut Squash Soup. And Jennifer made Split Pea Soup.

Stephanie made a Black Bean Soup, and I brought Smoky Tomato Soup.

And Nichelle also made the best Kale Salad with Pecan Parm as a side dish. Definitely the best kale salad I've had! She used this recipe from Oh She Glows, and it's literally called The Best Shredded Kale Salad.

Everyone's soup was so good, and I'm so excited to have a freezer-full of lunch and dinner options! I've been eating a lot of the Smoky Tomato Soup I made over the past couple days. I used this recipe from Olives for Dinner. Perfect with vegan grilled cheese & avocado. 

Friday, November 1, 2019

Halloween Eats!

Halloween/Samhain is my second favorite holiday (right after Thanksgiving, which always wins because FOOD). I love witchery, costumes, skulls, pumpkin spice, scary movies, and any excuse to eat candy!

This year, I was Daria Morgendorffer from MTV's Daria, which was among my favorite TV shows in my high school years. Deep down, I'm a bit misanthropic and sardonic just like Daria.

I think I made a pretty decent Daria, no?

Y'all know I love a good food theme, so I had to start my morning with pumpkin! I made Pumpkin Pie Yogurt by mixing pumpkin puree with homemade soy yogurt (made by my friend Jennifer), maple, and pumpkin pie spice. Topped with coconut clustersa and rawnola. This was REALLY good!

When I got to work, my vegan co-worker Lily had made Vegan Vanilla Banana Skull Cakes! I chopped off about a third of one, and they were really good.

Lunch was more tofu stir-fry, but I wish I'd planned a Halloween-themed lunch. Snacks were popcorn and salad (with pumpkin seeds, of course!).

I snacked on candy throughout the day — Nerds, YumEarth lollipops, Bottle Caps. I also had some Biscoff cookies, which a couple co-workers were giving out as part of their pilot/airline stewardess costumes. We have an annual trick-or-treating event at Crosstown Concourse, so I stayed late to pass out candy.

And then I headed home to do my annual Feast of the Dead. Every year on Samhain, I honor my dead friends and family with a dinner. I cook a nice meal, pour some wine, and sit down to break bread with them.

This year, I made a Fall-inspired Buddha Bowl with roasted butternut squash (from the farmers market), avocado, balsamic roasted chickpeas, spinach, quinoa, and homemade harissa paste. I'll be posting that harissa recipe soon! The bowl idea was inspire by this recipe on Fit Foodie Finds.

For dessert, I had my last slice of Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake, which I'd frozen after last Sunday's potluck. This is from a recipe in the latest issue of VegNews.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Brioche! Spaghetti! Scramble!

Last Saturday, I stopped by the Lulu's booth at the CY Farmers Market on a very rainy morning and picked up this Pumpkin Spice Muffin as a pre-bootcamp snack. They're actually using butternut squash instead of pumpkin since they have a good local supplier. You couldn't tell the different at all in this moist muffin. I cannot get enough of the soft texture that pumpkin and squash adds to breads and cakes.

Don was also selling mini loaves of plain Vegan Brioche, so of course, I had to get some. I had moved my Saturday long run to Sunday since it was so rainy on Saturday (and went to bootcamp Saturday morning instead). So on Sunday, I enjoyed some Toasted Brioche with Miyoko's Cream Cheese before an 11-miler. I can't say for certain if this toast made a difference, but my run went very well. Felt strong the whole time and managed a negative split (that's when you finish faster than you start; always the goal but hard to achieve).

I had some more brioche (with avocado this time) as a side to my Monday morning Chickpea Scramble. The scramble recipe was linked on the 80/20 Plants site, but you can find the recipe here on Well and Full. Mashed chickpeas are sauteed with onions and turmeric and served over baby spinach. It's a nice change from tofu scramble.

I've been eating Tofu Veggie Stir-Fry for my work lunches this week. For this, I air-fried tofu and then sauteed that with broccoli, red pepper, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, and zucchini. The sauce is made with Bragg's, veggie broth, sriracha, and tahini and then thickened with cornstarch. Served over brown rice. I love these single-bowl lunches because they're super easy to pack and eat.

I had some leftover tofu ricotta from the stuffed mushrooms I made for Sunday's potluck, so I served it atop Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Marinara. Added some black olives for extra flavor. This has been the perfect dinner for the past couple nights since I've had early morning runs scheduled. Carbs!

And finally, here's the most delicious Smoked Pecan Mocha from Comeback Coffee. Made with vegan Ritual chocolate and oatmilk. I tend to order my coffee drinks unsweetened, but some days, you need dessert coffee. Especially on these chilly, rainy fall days we're having here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Thai Tofu Pizza! Tostada! Salad Rolls! New Hair!

Late last week, I used a recipe that I found linked on the 80/20 Plants site to make this amazing Thai Tofu Pizza! It's topped with peanut butter sauce (instead of marinara), tofu, pineapple, carrots, scallions, and cilantro. For the crust, I used a pre-made Simple Truth Organic vegan pizza crust. I love these because they're cracker thin and mega-convenient. Here's the recipe on Foxes Love Lemons.

I grabbed a quick lunch from Juice Bar in Crosstown Concourse last Thursday. You can get a meal and juice there for $10! So I got Salad Rolls (stuffed with avocado, lettuce, and some other veggies) with peanut sauce and a Ginger Greens Juice.

I know I showed y'all a tostada last week, but here's another one! I ate a lot of Bean Tostadas last week, stuffed with mashed pintos and topped with lettuce, tomato, salsa, and avocado. For this one, I also topped with Chipotle Bitchin' Sauce (an awesome find at the Truck Patch health food store in my hometown). It's an almond-based sauce that's totally addictive.

I got all my hair chopped off last week, and I got highlights! We have a new salon, Hero & Sage, at Crosstown Concourse, and since I'd not had a haircut in three years (not even a trim!), I figured it was way past time. When you arrive, they offer beer or wine (or non-alcoholic beverages if that's your thing). My appointment was at 3:30 on a Wednesday. And look what beer I found — Memphis Made's 3:30 on a Wednesday fruit ale!!

Here's the new look. I like it!! It involves more styling than I'm used to, but it's so nice to have all that weight off my head.

Monday, October 28, 2019

No Meat Meet-up Vegan Potluck #2

We had the second No Meat Meet-up Vegan Potluck at the cafe at Crosstown Arts yesterday! This new monthly vegan potluck is held at the cafe where I work. The cafe used to serve vegan/vegetarian lunch and dinner to the public, but now they only serve vegan pastries and coffee (the cafe staff still creates delicious vegan and vegetarian meals for our resident artists). To keep the space alive with vegan food, I'm organizing a monthly vegan potluck in the space.

The first one was in September, and the turnout blew me away. So many new faces! This October potluck was much smaller (as second events typically are), but we still had plenty of yummy food and great conversation. I made the event Halloween-themed and encouraged people to bring fall/Halloween foods, if possible.

I made these Bloody Eyeballs (aka Stuffed Mushrooms) from Vegan Yack Attack! They're stuffed with tofu ricotta with sundried tomatoes (for bloody veins) and black olives (for pupils).

Clarita & James brought some amazing Three Sisters Stew with winter squash. It's meals like this that get me excited about fall (and y'all know I'm a summer girl!).

Steven brought a giant skillet filled with Vegan Chili-Topped Baked Potatoes. He brought some Vegan Valley cashew cheese sauce to use as a topping. Very yummy!

Leslie and Steven (a different Steven) brought a fantastic Mock Chicken Salad with Pita. I could have eaten this entire bowl. It was SO GOOD.

Shay made Baked Ziti with a homemade tofu ricotta. Shay is a master at pizza and pasta dishes, and this was so perfect on a chilly fall day.

Shay also brought some Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. Shay often brings some sort of sweet bread to potlucks, so it's kind of her specialty. It's so soft and really hits the spot!

And I made a Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake! This was a Chloe Coscarelli recipe from the Holiday issue of VegNews, and it was AMAZING. Will definitely make this again! The batter had pumpkin puree in it, making it super-moist, and the creamy frosting is spiked with coffee. I'm so glad I have a couple slices left to enjoy this week.

Memphis folks, we're skipping the November No Meat Meet-up because some local vegans have organized a potluck at their house on the last Sunday of the month. But we'll be back in December! 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

New Vegan Items at The Liquor Store

Local vegan readers! We're having the next No Meat Meet-up Vegan Potluck this Sunday, Oct. 27 from 3-5 pm at the cafe at Crosstown Arts (inside Crosstown Concourse, suite 280). Come! And bring a vegan dish! And now onto today's post ...

The Liquor Store on Broad (yes, that's the name of the restaurant) has been vegan-friendly since they opened a couple years ago. But they're getting more and more vegan-friendly all the time! You can read my Bluff City Vegan Eats post on The Liquor Store here. We had our Memphis Vegan Drinks meet-up at there this past Tuesday, and we were so impressed with all the new options (not all are on the menu, so you have to ask)! Plus, our server and the cook were vegan, and they were very helpful.

They've added a vegan chorizo side, which you can add to any dish. I got my usual — the Cuban Platter — and added chorizo (that's it just to the right of the sauteed veggies). I love this dish so much because fried plantains are the BEST! And the chorizo really stepped this plate up.

The most popular way to order the chorizo is on the Street Tacos, which several people ordered. Not sure what the sauces are, but who doesn't love a dish that comes with sauces?! I'm definitely trying these next time.

The Liquor Store was the first place in town to offer the Impossible Burger, but back when the Great Impossible Shortage of 2019 happened (thanks, Burger King! Ha!), they switched to a different patty made by Before the Butcher. I haven't tried this yet, but everyone who ordered it loved it and said it was just as good (if not better) than Impossible. Btw, The Liquor Store offers vegan cheese too!

You can even get the Before the Butcher burger on a Patty Melt, subbing out vegan cheese. Clarita went with this option and highly recommended it.

Bonus: We all shared (as an appetizer) the Brussels Sprouts, which are roasted and then drizzled with citrus vinaigrette, toasted almonds, and dried fruit. These were amazing!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Burgers + Wraps + New Orleans Food!

I'm eating lots of whole foods these days, but some nights, you just need a burger. On Sunday night, I made these Guacamole Beyond Burgers with Spicy Sweet Potato Fries from Love & Lemons for Paul and I. Enjoyed while watching El Camino on Netflix.

The "fries" were made from fresh sweet potatoes and baked in the oven. And the burgers were topped with fresh guac!

Last Friday, I had a work lunch meeting at the Young Avenue Deli. They have a number of vegan options, but my go-to is always the Hummus Veggie Wrap with added fried tofu. Soft pita is spread with creamy hummus, plus, tomato, cucumber, and lettuce. The fried tofu makes it substantial. You can add fried tofu to any dish there.

Here are some Savory Oats from a few breakfasts ago! These have spinach, nooch, toasted pumpkin seeds, and lots of hot sauce.

My friend Susan has been on a New Orleans-style food kick, and she's gifted me some with leftovers. She said her Jambalaya with Vegan Andouille Sausage was too spicy, but she was wrong. It was perfect!

And earlier this week, she gave me some Vegan Gumbo (also with vegan sausage), which she said needed salt. Also wrong. It was expertly seasoned. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Birthday Yogurt!

I got lots of food gifts (and some liquor) for my birthday this year cause my friends know me well. I like to consume things! My friend Jennifer makes the BEST homemade unsweetened soy yogurt, so I was excited to get two jars from her. It's so hard to find totally unsweetened vegan yogurt around here, and Jennifer's is perfect. No, there's not a blue yogurt. That's just a blue jar!

I've been using Jenn's yogurt in a lot of ways lately. Of course, I've been having yogurt bowls with granola (my friend Mike gave me a bag of chocolate Love Granola, along with other snacks, for my birthday), plus berries, walnuts, and flax. By the way, my dad got me new lightbox lights for my birthday, so you'll stop seeing these poorly lit photos very soon! Thanks daddy!

Since it's unsweetened, the yogurt is also yummy in savory recipes. I mixed together some yogurt, fresh garlic, and lemon juice for this tasty Grain Green Bean Bowl with brown rice, pintos, and spinach.

And just today, I topped a Black Bean Tostada with Chao cheese, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and yogurt — a perfect stand-in for sour cream!