If you’re a vegan in St. Louis, you probably spend a considerable amount of time (and money!) at Whole Foods every week. Well, this week that activity can benefit more than just your health!
Tomorrow only, five percent of all purchases at both St. Louis area Whole Foods stores will be donated to Gateway Pet Guardians in support of their outstanding work to rescue, rehabilitate and adopt stray animals from East St. Louis and the surrounding Metro East area.
Donations will apply to purchases made all day, but volunteers from Gateway will be on hand at both locations starting at 11 am to hand out info and host special activities.
Since it’s highly likely that you spend money at Whole Foods every week anyway, why not schedule this week’s trip for tomorrow and help out a great cause at the same time? I’m planning to put my Living Social discount to good use!
Another bad picture. All I can say is, I was hungry.
This is a super simple sandwich that tastes like there was a ton of effort put into it, minus the effort. I think this would be good with some sauteed onions as well, but hubs isn’t a huge fan of them, so I left them off the menu this time. Really, you could add in all kinds of additional veggies, if you prefer (green peppers, spinach, etc.). Get creative!
This salad is a take on your typical Italian house. I’d venture to say that the addition of avocado and cucumbers coupled with turning the volume way up on garlic gives this version an edge over the standard fare.
The next time I make this, I think I’ll sub out the green onion for red and will use half as much dressing, but it’s good as-is too.
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp vegan Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
1 (9 oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained, leaves or spikes removed
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced (peeled,regular cucumbers work too)
1 large avocado, cut into slices or chunks
3 green onions, minced
1/2 cup garlic croutons, crushed
Note: I mentioned it before, but it’s worth saying again, I would strongly advise making 1/2 the dressing this calls for.
In a medium saucepan, prepare the dressing by combining the vinegar, oil, cheese, mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper
Cut the artichoke hearts into quarters
In a large bowl, add the lettuce, cucumbers, artichokes and avocado
Sprinkle with green onion and then toss with dressing
Plate and sprinkle each serving with crouton crumbs
I don’t know about you but 7-11 seems like a place I would assume vegan options would be limited to salted peanuts and sour patch kids. Until now, that is.
Yesterday, 7-11 made headlines for announcing an expansion to their prepared food lineup that included four (count ‘em – four!) vegan options. What’s more, this isn’t just a few salads and a pbj here. We’re talking real, inventive, flavorful food!
The new vegan lineup includes:
Vegan Pad Thai Noodles
Vegan Spinach Noodles with Vegetables
Vegan Asian Linguine
Vegan Linguine Tikka Massala.
7-11 has actually been offering a similar selection of vegan foods in the New York area for quite some time. Yesterday’s announcement however, marks the first time they’re making these kind of vegan meals more widely available.
Unfortunately, for the time-being, the new vegan options are only available at select locations in the Northeast. If you live up that way, check out the complete list to find a store near you.
As for the rest of us, I’d say I’m going to be making a conscious effort to patronize 7-11 more often to show my appreciation and support for their vegan-friendly outlook. Of course, when I’m there, I’ll also be sure to politely mention how much I’d like to see these new offerings in my area as well!
For $45, you can get two cooking classes at PuraVegan. That’s a discount of more than 50%!
To refresh your memory, PuraVegan is the new restaurant in the Central West End from the former owners of VegaDeli in Chesterfield. Unlike VegaDeli however, PuraVegan features a 100% raw vegan menu (and I think mostly gluten free as well) and also includes a yoga studio and a regular schedule of raw vegan cooking classes!
The Culinary class schedule is available on their site and offers courses mostly in the evenings throughout the week and afternoons on weekends, so it should be fairly easy to find a class that will work for you.
If you buy the deal, be sure to give me the scoop on all the cool stuff you learned!
You know that killer mac and cheese recipe I’ve been hinting at practically since I started this blog? Here she is.
Mac and cheese was one of the first things I tried to veganize after I made the switch. That inaugural experience was so disastrous, I may have actually cried thinking that I’d never again get to enjoy one of my favorite foods. Many, many, many recipes later, I still haven’t found the perfect stove top version of this dish, but as far as baked macaroni and cheese goes, I knew after the first bite of this recipe that victory was mine!
Interestingly enough, this recipe features absolutely no vegan cheese substitutes and zero nutritional yeast. Do a Google search and you’ll quickly find out how incredibly rare that is. Instead, the creamy, cheesy flavor and texture of this dish comes from a smooth blend of veggies, Earth Balance and cashews.
Honestly, this is the BEST. I’ve served it to non-veg friends and family I don’t know how many times and never has there ever been any trace of it left (my sister will actually lick the serving spoon clean – it’s that serious). That’s why it’s taken me so long to post. I can’t ever manage to get a picture of it before it disappears!
4 quarts water
1 tbs sea salt
8 oz small, whole wheat pasta
2 slices of bread, torn into large pieces
1 tbs + 1/3 cup Earth Balance
2 tbs shallots, peeled and chopped
1 cup yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup water
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbs lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
Paprika, to garnish
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: After I made this a few times, I thought it could really benefit from just slightly more sauce. Now I make about one quarter more sauce and stir it in before baking, as usual. The ingredients list above does not reflect that because it makes for some weird measurements (1/16 tsp, etc.). If you decide to make a little more (and you should!), just eyeball it.
In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside
In a food processor, make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the bread and 1 tbs margarine to a medium-fine texture. Set aside
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion and water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 min. or until vegetables are very soft
In a blender or food processor, process the cashews, salt, garlic and 1/3 cup margarine, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and cooking water and process until perfectly smooth
In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into a 9 x 12 casserole dish and sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs and paprika.
Bake for 30 min or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown
I still can’t believe how long it took me to get to SweetArt. This adorable little bakery/cafe is nestled on a quiet stretch of S. 39th St. and is arguably the city’s best source of vegan baked goods and treats. Considering that, it seems rather ridiculous that I only just visited for the first time this past weekend!
Unfortunately, part of that is due to SweetArt’s limited hours. Since they close throughout the week (W-F) at six, our only option really is Saturday, when they’re now open from 9-5. We decided to stop in for lunch last weekend, and apparently, so did everyone else! Because they make everything to-order, it seems there is some significant lag time between placing orders and receiving your food. If you stop in during a particularly busy time, say lunch on a Saturday, that could mean you’ll be spending a little more time than your tummy would like waiting in line.
The good news is, it’s worth the wait! While everything at SweetArt is vegetarian, not all items are vegan. There are still plenty of outright vegan choices on the menu though, and there is a prominent note that mentions how anything on offer can be made vegan upon request. Cha-ching!
Andy ordered their classic Sweet Burger, which is the only constant on their ever-changing lineup. I myself had a vegan BLT, sans “magic,” which is some kind of vegan mayo concoction. Sandwiches can be ordered in half or full portions and most entrees come with a choice of fruit or Billy Goat Chips on the side. I ordered a half size sandwich (because there were treats to be had!) and it was still plenty big.
Both of our meals were yummy, though Andy was slightly disappointed that the Sweet Burger is more of a faux-meat burger rather than a “not trying to be beef” veggie burger. That’s just his personal tastes though. I like both styles. Really just depends on what I’m in the mood for.
We took our desserts to-go…but they didn’t last long! You know I didn’t miss the opportunity to sample at least two cupcake flavors, ordering a vegan red-velvet and vegan “harmony” (yellow-ish cake w/chocolate icing). Andy ordered himself a non-veg “hummingbird” cupcake which is an old-fashioned layer cake loaded with bananas, pineapples and toasted pecans with a cream cheese frosting.
I ate the harmony cupcake as soon as we got home and enjoyed it thoroughly. I had the red-velvet on Sunday (shortly after breakfast!) and it too was good. One thing to note: both cupcakes tasted quite a bit alike. Considering how different those two flavors are supposed to be, that’s a little weird – no complaints though!
Maybe the best thing about SweetArt is the atmosphere. It sort of doubles as an art studio for the couple who owns it (she’s the cook, he’s the artist). It’s clear that the entire place has been thoughtfully decorated by the two of them and all the small, personal touches are nice. It makes for a very casual and comfortable place to enjoy a meal. Or a treat. Or both!
Oh, one more thing! As you would expect from any bakery, SweetArt accepts custom orders for cakes, cookies and other goodies. So the next time you’ve got a celebration planned with a vegan guest of honor, this is the place to order up something delish for dessert! This is probably also your best bet for a lovely vegan wedding cake in St. Louis. Stop in or call for more info.
Hello friend, I’ve missed you. <—My exact thoughts upon taking the first bite of this.
Obviously, I’m not the first vegan on the planet who has used Daiya cheddar in an attempt to recreate an old pre-vegan fave, the mighty grilled cheese sandwich. I’ve seen this particular combo mentioned I don’t know how many times on vegan blogs, twitter feeds, etc. Even though I’m a huge fan of Daiya, for some reason, I had serious doubts about how good this would really be. I’m happy to say, I was dead wrong.
This. is. good. SO good!
This also marks the first time I’ve had a grilled cheese with anything other than cheese on it, and I’ve totally been missing out. I’m tellin’ you, tomatoes on grilled cheese is like the way tomatoes are meant to taste and never do.
Clearly, I thoroughly enjoyed this meal, as did my very skeptical non-vegan husband. There will be more of these in my house over the course of the next several months. Fo sho.