Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2011 - A Travel Recap

I've wanted to compile this list for a while and here it is! A list of everywhere (outside of the Chicago metro area) that we (Dan and I) visited (and ate) in 2011! Most of these were for seitan-related work, but a few also included yoga-teaching work.

Minneapolis/St Paul (driving from Chicago, so we stopped at a number of co-ops along the way there and back including a stop in Madison, WI)

Peoria, IL

Detroit, MI (Veg MI Fest)

Los Angeles, CA
San Francisco, CA (drove up from LA... amazing!)

Oregon, IL (Yoga and Vegan Cooking Retreat)

Portland, OR
Madison, WI (Mad City Veg Fest)

Madison, WI (Willy Street Co-op Member Party)
Lake Geneva, WI (Yoga Journal Conference to practice with my teacher, Dharma)
Portland, OR (Vegan Iron Chef)

Portland, OR (Vida Vegan Con)
Seattle, WA

Portland, OR (VegFest)

Dallas, TX (TX State Veggie Fair)
Austin, TX

2012 is already promising to be equally exciting. In the first 6 months we are slated to visit Los Angeles, India, Dallas, Detroit, New Orleans, and Portland! I hope to find many more Vegan Things I Like on these upcoming adventures!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kabul House

Recently, I had the pleasure of my first Afghani meal at Kabul House in Skokie, IL (do not judge them solely on the many gross meat photos on their main page). Kabul House is a restaurant that was open in Skokie for a number of years, closed down, and has reopened sort of recently. They have a small menu that includes a delicious Vegetarian Platter. The platter comes with soup (tomato lentil or noodle vegetable, both of which can be served vegan with no yogurt on top) and contains four different dishes which are served with rice. The rice is long-grain and includes shredded carrots and raisins. The dishes are a sort-of curry, though they are differently seasoned than Indian-style cooking, and also a bit lighter overall. They included cauliflower, pumpkin, eggplant, and spinach. I loved all of these dishes, and when combined with the rice, they were even better. My favorite was the cauliflower with the eggplant coming in a close second. The spinach and the pumpkin, which was much sweeter than expected, were also good. If you ever have occasion to head to Skokie, I recommend stopping into Kabul House and ordering up some of this vegan good stuff. Just remember to order everything with no yogurt and none of the chutney-type sauce they bring to the table (it has a small amount of yogurt as well - but the bread is okay) and you'll be good to go!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Sweet Vegan

The night before New Year's Eve we had an awesome vegan dessert party at our house. While I am not the cook in our house, I do really enjoy baking and the party gave me an excuse to whip out my still unused copy of My Sweet Vegan by Hannah Kaminsky that I acquired at Vida Vegan Con where Hannah was a presenter.

I made two different things from this book: A crumb-topped brownie and a lemon/lime bundt. I had actually planned to make more, but two days before the party, my cat bit me on the hand leading to a serious infection and two days visiting the emergency room for treatment and IV antibiotics. So, two things it was since I was baking one-handed. Fortunately, our friends brought lots of their own contributions and the dessert table overflowed! The brownies filled with chocolate chips and topped with a cocoa crumble were super delicious. The brownie texture was right on and not too cakey or light. I really recommend these! The bundt was also a winner and for at least a few guests, the unsuspecting star of the table! The recipe called for lemon and lime soy yogurt to be included, but TJ's only had strawberry, so the bundt was flavored with strawberry soy yogurt and lemon/lime juice and zest. It was DELICIOUS and came out of the pan perfectly. A great addition.

So far, my experience with the recipes in My Sweet Vegan have been great. I love the full color photos that help to decide what you want to try and the recipes laid out on one spread, so you don't have to fuss around with the book while trying to make anything. Also, I recommend inviting all of your friends over for a fun vegan dessert party! We had a blast!