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.