Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fearless Chocolate

I love chocolate. Even more, my partner loves chocolate! I think he exists on at least 25% chocolate, so we can really go through a lot of chocolate around here! When I saw this raw organic chocolate from Fearless was right around $6 a bar, I was pretty excited! Raw chocolate can be pricey and I'm not sure how this variation is so affordable, but it's very welcome! This chocolate is rich and delicious and a square or two will easily curb any cravings without having to devour the whole bar. I've tried both the Sweet & Hot (Hibiscus Ginger) flavor and also the Matcha Green Tea Peppermint bar. Both are highly recommended. I will be on the lookout for a local outlet for this brand, and so should you!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ginger Candy

Ginger candy is another one of my must-have travel items. If you find yourself getting queasy on a plane, then a ginger chew will fix you right up! They also help keep all of those buggies that your fellow travelers bring with them from settling into your system so that you stay healthy on your trip. During takeoffs and landings, you can almost always find me with a ginger chew in my mouth. Much better than gross gum or sugary candies, too!

I picked up this box of Gin-Gins (made by the Ginger People) on clearance at Food Fight several trips ago and it has served me well. The final Gins were consumed on the most-recent flight and I will have to restock before next month's trip for certain!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dave's Killer Bread - Sin Dawg

In a previous post, I included Dave's Killer Bread's Seed Bomb, but on this most recent trip to Portland I discovered another variety of DKB, the Sin Dawg! I would be remiss as a "what I like" vegan blogger to not tell you about this marvelous bit of bread engineering. What you have when you buy a Sin Dawg is a long, seedy loaf of bread that, once sliced open, is a gooey, delicious cinnamon roll inside! I can't emphasize enough how tasty this thing is and I found over the course of my most recent trip that the mere mention of the "Sin Dawg" brings up strong feelings of devotion in the locals!

The Dave's Killer Bread story is also a great one. Dave, a former drug addict and convict turned his life around and joined in the family bread-making business with his own line of ingredient-conscious breads that are undeniably delicious! The bread is made outside of Portland and some is even delivered to stores via bike courier.

If you're ever in the Pacific Northwest, I can't recommend Dave's Killer Bread enough. I am seriously considering gifting a Sin Dawg to everyone on my holiday gift list this year, they are that good!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cherry Chia Kombucha

I recently noticed GT's Cherry Chia Kombucha drink on the shelves at Whole Foods and had to give it a try. Since the huge kombucha recall last year, I have been making my own at home, but I always try out new kombucha brands when traveling and with GT's as the grand-daddy of nationally-distributed kombuchas, knew that I had to try this combo!

My partner thought this looked and tasted disgusting and the chia seeds do have this unusual slimy "skin" around each of them. When you take a sip, you can't tell if you should swallow right away or chew up the seeds (I tried both and I suppose either works). However, I think I liked it! The drink lacked the usual fermented "kick" of a good kombucha, but I suspect it was just diluted by the addition of the chia seeds. It's like drinking a thick juice or smoothie and the added health benefits of the raw chia seeds have to count for something!

Overall, I say if you like kombucha, this new addition to the Synergy line is worth a try! I'm a fan, but for the sake of my wallet, I'll still be sticking primarily with home brew unless I'm on the road.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Travel Food

I always get hungry in airports. And on airplanes. I don't know what it is, but I crave food that is healthy and satisfying. Typical airport fare leaves a lot to be desired to this end, so I always try to pack my own.

In my experience, this is the ultimate travel food: grainy bread and a ripe avocado. It's simple, healthy, comforting, filling, and easily portable (and not a liquid, so you can get it through security). It also doesn't have much of an odor, so your fellow passengers aren't disturbed (sat next to a guy eating a breakfast biscuit on my most recent flight home which was unpleasant to say the least). Grab a disposable plastic knife somewhere on your travels (or ask your friendly flight attendant) and you're good to go. I cut my avocado in half and then use each half as a little bowl to chop up the contents before spreading them on a chunk of bread, but you can enjoy these two paired any which way you like!

I picked up this Dave's Killer Bread Seed Bomb at Food Fight in Portland, OR and the avocado (requesting "one that will be good to eat tomorrow, please!") at a produce stand in Pike Place Market in Seattle (the produce and flower markets there are awesome, but the stinky, gross fish markets kind of ruin the fun).

Friday, September 2, 2011

Forbidden Gardens

So, this isn't a food thing, but I think it still counts as a "vegan thing" since most of my discoveries come from my travels and this is one of my favorites! One of the coolest things about traveling is when you have a free hour or two to see something local and one of the coolest "something locals" we've seen was outside of Houston at Forbidden Gardens in Katy, Texas.

I didn't know until just now when I went to look up some details about Forbidden Gardens that it is now gone, which is a tragedy. The story, as I remember it, was that Forbidden Gardens was built by a Chinese American man who wanted to encourage a love of his Chinese culture in his children. His gardens included many buildings and models constructed in the traditional way (which were, unfortunately, not capable of withstanding the Texas sun). There was a scale model of the Forbidden City and, the most impressive, a 1/3 scale model of the tomb of the first Chinese Emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, guarded by 6,000 terra cotta statues of warriors.

By the time we visited last year, Forbidden Gardens had fallen into serious disrepair and was all but deserted as we walked the grounds. The neglect made it seem even more surreal, as we saw the terra cotta warriors beaten and broken, but still standing guard under the magnificently blue Texas sky. It is not surprising, based on that visit, that the museum was not sustainable and is now closed, but it is sad to think that we'll never look on this amazing sight again. Now to see if I can pick up a piece of history for of my own.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Remedy Teas

Upon arriving in Seattle this past week, we visited some stores and were then hungry and wanted to go out for a bite to eat. It was about 9:30pm (11:30pm "our time") when we dragged ourselves out for a meal.

The first place we stopped at was a bar and I had inadvertently forgotten my ID in the hotel room. They still couldn't serve us food, but recommended another vegan place for dinner. When we arrived there, 45 minutes before closing, the waitress was incredibly rude to us telling us that they closed early so they could go home and that "maybe we had never worked a 12 hour shift before." Seriously. The third place we tried was also closed despite their hours posted on Happy Cow. Not knowing where to go next, we wandered towards the only lighted building in the area and fortunately, it was Remedy Teas!

Remedy Teas is an amazing little tea shop in Seattle that reminds me of Teany in New York in it's hipness and expansive tea menu. Upon entering I was delighted to learn that they were still serving food (now around 10pm) and we recounted our tale of arriving there only to eventually learn that the manager was a friend of the "rude server" restaurant owner (and was shocked at our treatment). Oh, fate. Remedy can make many of their sandwiches vegan and I opted for a Cuke Classic with vegan cream cheese and chives while my partner had a warm Tomato Fresha with vegan mozzarella. We rounded out this meal with a locally brewed kombucha and a chocolate chip green tea cookie to share (part of which is pictured). We also took a "deep sleep" tea to go with us which was delicious.

I definitely recommend Remedy Teas if you're ever in Seattle, especially later at night on a Monday or if you're in the market for a light meal or (obviously) tea! They were super friendly and hospitable and don't close before their posted hours say they will (which a local later informed me was a common occurrence in the city). The staff that we met was awesome, the space was really comfortable, the tea was perfect, and the food was perfect tea shop fare.