Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Shroomlicious Shrooms, Pad See Ew, and Breakfast Sammy
Monday, March 27, 2023
Y'all, I met Tabitha Brown!!
On Sunday, I met Vegan Queen Tabitha Brown!!!
Tab was in town as the special guest for Memphis Vegan Brunch, an event organized by local vegan restaurant Plant-Based Heat. Organizer Ralph Johnson got together a team of local vegan chefs (including Chef Derek of Da Guilty Vegan and Chef Daishu of Shroomlicious) to create massive brunch buffet! There was no way I would miss this.
My friends Melissa and Nicole also bought tickets. We arrived around 12:30 p.m. to find a pretty long line waiting to get into the event. So we waited!
When we finally got in the door, there was another big line for food, so we waited some more. All in all, we stood in line for over two hours, and while some people might get impatient, we didn't mind too much. We made a run to the bar and grabbed mimosas to enjoy while we waited.
I was just glad to see SO MANY people packed into a vegan event. There had to have been 500 or more people in line. At one point, Ralph asked the audience for a show of hands from the non-vegans, and the majority of the room raised their hands. So that means a ton of non-vegans paid good money to stand in line for a chance to meet Tab and eat vegan brunch. And that's awesome.
We were very excited when we finally made it to the plates!
Once we did, we got a little taste of everything. This plate was mostly brunch items with Just Egg scramble, hash browns, pancakes, mushroom bacon (so good!), mushroom "shrimp" and grits, fried rice, and a mini mushroom taco. Oh, and two mini cupcakes (one lemon and one carrot cake).
I ended up getting two plates because I don't like too many foods piled atop one another. This plate was mostly soul food with blackeyed peas, greens, a mushroom "crab" cake, fried mushroom "chicken," a vegan potato deviled "egg," roasted tomatoes, a yam quesadilla, and BBQ jackfruit nachos.
Right after we sat down to eat, Tabitha came by our table! She went to every person in the room for selfies. She's just amazing. In fact, I was so starstruck thatI didn't know what to say to her, so all I could say was "You're amazing." Haha. My friend Melissa grabbed this photo of me taking a selfie with her.
The event also featured a fashion show curated by local influencer David Quarles and a musical performance by singer David Michael Wyatt. At the end, Tab took the stage and offered some words of encouragement, and then she tried her hand at jookin' (a style of Memphis hip-hop dance). What a fun event!
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Jollof Rice, a Vegan Omelet, and a Flashback Burger
Here are a few things I've been eating lately! I picked up this jar of curry Royal Red Stew, the sauce used to make African jollof rice, at the Cash Saver.
So I made some Jollof Rice with white rice, homemade seitan, spinach, peas, and that curry tomato sauce. So good!
Here's a recent scramble. This was the Sunshine Scramble from Plant You, which has a lot of tomatoes and spinach. Plus some sourdough with Marmite on the side.
Another breakfast: I recently bought the Speros Pepita Egg, which was next to the Just Egg on the shelf at Sprouts. It made a tasty omelet. It's not as fluffy and egg-like as Just Egg, but the main ingredient is pepita seeds, so it felt slightly less processed.
And finally, here's a blast from the past! I got some Boca Burgers recently for old time's sake and because they were on sale. And my friend at Tofutti had sent me some American cheese slices, which I haven't seen sold in stores here since my early vegan days. This tasted like nostalgia, and I loved it.
Also, my dad has a little tip for making Boca Burgers taste better. Thaw and marinate the patties in soy sauce, vegan Worcestershire, Liquid Smoke, and hot sauce before pan-frying. It's very good!
Monday, March 20, 2023
Pizza, Pasta, Potatoes, and Pinto de Gallo
I've been eating a lot of good stuff lately, y'all! I made my favorite Tuscan Flatbread from The Fiber Fueled Cookbook a week or so ago. This had a sourdough crust with artichokes, kalamata olives, tomatoes, red onion, chickpeas, and lots of homemade cashew parm. It's like salad on pizza! But it's sourdough so even the dough is good for you.
I also recently pulled Julie Piatt's This Cheese Is Nuts book off the shelf and made this Mac & Cheese with Garlic Spinach. I have some exciting Julie Piatt news to share soon, but I'll save that for another day. But her cashew-based mac and cheese, made with Banza pasta, was so comforting and delicious.
I've been focusing on whole foods a lot lately, so I'm cooking more from Plant You. Everything in this book is super healthy, including this BBQ Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potato. This was super easy. Just season and roast some chickpeas, bake a potato, and top with tahini sauce.
And finally, here's one of my favorite healthy meals from The Blue Zones Kitchen — Pinto Gallo! Few things are more comforting than this combo of black beans and white rice. I also made the Fried Plantains from the book and served with cashew cream and hot sauce.
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Bluff City Vegan Eats: Knifebird
I have a group of lady friends I get together with once a month or so for happy hour, and we always try to go somewhere kinda fancy: cocktail bars, wine bars, etc. For our February meetup, we gathered at Knifebird, a wine bar that turned out to be very vegan-friendly!
For starters, you can get a wine flight during happy hour. That's three 3-ounce pours of white, red, and rose, which are served in proper glasses. All four of us ordered that, so our table was filled with wine glasses! It looks like way more than it was, I swear.
As for the food, their menu includes vegan bruschetta, a kale caesar salad and — this is exciting — vegan charcuterie! I had to get the charcuterie.
It came with pita, hummus, black olive tapenade, carrots, and celery. So simple, and I feel like any bar that offers charcuterie could do this. It's really nice that Knifebird added this option to their menu. My favorite kind of meal involves bread, hummus, and wine. Really, that's all I need.
Knifebird is located at 2155 Central Ave.
Monday, March 13, 2023
Takeout: Donut Burger, Strata, and Raw Toast
Thursday, March 9, 2023
HLT Sammy, French Onion Stew, & More!
Every week day, I listen to the Plant-Based Morning Show podcast with hosts Matt and Doug (from the No Meat Athlete podcast, but this is their new one). And sometimes, they talk about what they ate for dinner last night. On a recent episode, Doug mentioned that he threw together a super-quick dinner of vegan boxed mac with chickpeas and spinach. I love a good vegan boxed mac, but I typically pare a vegan plant meat, like tenders or nuggets, as the protein. I loved the idea of adding healthy chickpeas! So I had that for dinner one night, using a box of Annie's Vegan Mac.
Here's another meal idea from Doug. He also mentioned on the podcast that he liked to make sandwiches with the Smiling Hara Hempeh (tempeh made from hemp seeds). It's a little pricy, and it's pre-seasoned, so I never buy it. Mostly because I'm not sure what to do with it that wouldn't mask its awesome flavor. But this HLT (like a TLT!) was perfect. The smoked salt and pepper-flavored hempeh was the star.
Speaking of No Meat Athlete, I'm still trying to cook my way through every recipe in the NMA Cookbook. And last week, I made the French Onion Stew with mushrooms and white beans, topped with sourdough bread and broiled cashew cheese. A nice end-of-winter meal.
And finally, here's a weird stir-fry. I found some soy chicken rounds that I bought at the Viet Hoa Vietnamese market ages ago in my deep freezer. They were still good, so I sauteed that with some veggies and served over rice. The "meat" tasted more like hot dogs than chicken, but it was tasty! Hot dog stir-fry doesn't sound great though.
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Race Recap: Little Rock Marathon 2023
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Mardi Gras Meals!
Mardi Gras was last Tuesday, and I never let a Fat Tuesday go by without a celebration. I don't celebrate Lent or anything. But I love a party. And I love Cajun food. This year, I made the Eggplant & Sausage Jambalaya from Cookin' Crunk.
It's been so long since I've made this! I got a little burnt out on my cookbook recipes after it was published because I had to make them over and over in testing. But the book came out in 2012 (over a decade ago, y'all!), so some time has passed. I forgot how much I loved the Creole Seitan Sausage that I used in this recipe. You make that first, and then it goes in the jamabalaya. The eggplant stands in for the chicken. This was spicy and comforting.
I typically make a king cake every year. But I was feeling lazy this year, and I didn't really want to be stuck with a whole cake. So I googled a recipe for a single-serve Mug King Cake. This recipe was vegan except for the milk, which was easily subbed for soymilk. Now, this was nothing like a king cake. It was a mug cake. But it had the signature icing and colored sugar, and that was good enough for me.
I also had an Abita Mardi Gras bock beer. Let the good times roll!