Archive for the ‘Veggieland’ category

What’s Been Cooking…

July 5th, 2008

In the time that has passed since the last update here we’ve been cooking alot. I owe a recipe for cornbread to Lesley. That will have its own post and I have been promising it to her for some time. The garden is yielding goodies, zucchini and okra so far with potatoes and cucumbers coming along. I have been frying what little okra we have had to this point. Boiled okra never did it for me, kind of like slurping and chewing snot. If you do grow okra then you probably know not to let the pods get very large, no larger that 3-4 inches and not too big. When they get too long they get tough and almost inedible. I use a mixture of vegan mayonnaise and soymilk to dip the pieces then dredge them in a corn meal/flour/spice mixture and fry them in a iron skillet until the coating is lightly crisp. I have done the same with zucchini but also sauteed it with olive oil and some fresh basil and oregano from our herb garden and served over spaghetti.

I’m not the greatest baker of sweets. I leave that to Elizabeth and she’s great at it. She recently got “My Sweet Vegan” and has baked a few things from it. The book includes nice pictures of each item but of what has been baked it is easy to see some recipes were not tested very well. Even reading some of the recipes makes you think a bit about what the author was thinking when she included the ingredients she did. Overall it is an OK book but by far not in the same class as “Veganomicon” or “Joy Of Vegan Baking”.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie with Soy Whipped Cream

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Cocoa Crumble

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Cocoa Crumble

We went to Atlanta last week for a short two-day trip. Nothing really notable about the trip, the usual eats (Veggieland, Sweet Tomatoes and Eats.) as well as lunch one day from the food bar at Whole Foods. The Whole Foods on Ponce in Atlanta has so much more in the vegan category on its bar compared to both Whole Foods (Wild Oats) in Nashville. There was Barbecued tofu, Teriyaki Tofu, Tofu Cacciatore, Jerk Tempeh, Eggplant and Tempeh Casserole and Coconut Curry Tofu to choose from as well as the veggies. All I ever see on the food bars in the local Whole Foods is Chik’n Fried Tofu, which I can easily make at home cheaper and better, and the occasional sauteed kale or spinach. I am slowly losing my love for the local Whole Foods, especially the Green Hills location. Whomever planned that store and laid out the design for the inside seriously needs some help. The aisles are too close together to fit two carts side by side when passing mid-aisle and the aisles even meet an end-cap in the section near the coldcase, you would think hey would make them free-flowing from aisle to aisle. I still get rude looks from the cashiers when I bring my Trader Joe’s bags in, do they feel threatened by a bag?

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Stopover Atlanta

April 24th, 2008

Coming back from our vacation in St. Augustine we stayed the weekend in Atlanta.  Atlanta is a semi-regular trip for us as my mother-in-law and brother-in-law live there  so we know the places to eat well.   Saturday we had lunch at Veggieland, a small restaurant in Buckhead that has quite an extensive menu.  I usually get a sandwich but decided to get a salad of some type since when I am usually there some at a nearby table orders one and I tell myself to get a salad next time.    I got Jennifer’s Salad (some salads are named after customers who have created and ordered them regularly), a mix of spinach, brown rice, steamed broccoli, steamed sweet potatoes, tofu, tempeh bacon, tomoatoes and cucumbers with a vegan ranch dressing.  My wife had the Tostada Salad, I am not sure what all was on it but it was tasty as I swipped a bite.  My brother-in-law had a pasta dish with steamed vegetable which smelled great and my mother-in-law, who never branches out in her vegan eating when she eats with us, got her usual veggie burger which was served with sweet potato fries.   Veggieland also serves a few vegan cakes and we had a slice of a peanut butter-chocolate cake and a strawberry cake.  I am never impressed by their cakes, they are good but noting compared to what my wife can whip up.   They are served directly from being refrigerated and are far too moist, their cake supplier has a few things to learn in the art of vegan baking.

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Salad From Veggieland

Saturday night my wife and I had planned a dinner out and we considered Cafe Sunflower, of which I am not the biggest fan (see pretty food rant).  After looking at the menu we quickly decided against it as their prices have increased considerably over the already overpriced amounts.   We called to check on the hours of Soul Vegetarian, a restaurant operated by African Hebrews,  but were told they would be closing early for Passover.  They informed us they would be open the next moring for brunch, not a big deal to me but my mother-in-law has some kind of infatuation with it so she said we should go then.  After thinking and not finding anything that we really wanted to bother driving to and burning expensive gas for we decided to go to a nearby Mexican restaurant where they prepare guacamole at tableside.  After a bowl of guacamole and a margarita we called it a night.

Sunday morning started with Soul Vegetarian.  After looking at their menu I found there was too much to choose from to waste time on a brunch selection.  I ordered a plate of collard greens (one of my favorites) and barbecued kalebone, described as made in house using soy protein and wheat gluten.  It is seitan with some spices added but is quite good.  I was served two large pieces and my collards and was quite happy.  My wife had a battered-fried “steak” and macaroni-and-cheese made form raw cashews.  The steak was also seitan but not flavored the same as what I had and covered in gravy, also quite good.  My mother-in-law went out on a wild tangent and ordered…no wait, she had a veggie burger.  I had a bite of the patty and it was different than any other veggie burger I have had but since I didn’t eat the entire thing I am not sure what tey used to make it.  My daughter had two huge pancakes from the brunch menu, she is a pancake lover.  They were very moist and again, huge.  I almost forgot, onion rings!  We had onion rings for an appetizer, battered, fried, crispy and delicious.

The night before whicle searching for a dinner place we found Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe’s website and noticed the address was near Soul Vegetarian so decided a stop there should be next.  It is in a small storefront and they have a good selection of vegan items usually only found online.   Asmall corner near the front of the store has clothing items including vegan shoes and belts.  There are two aisles of vegan foods and a cooler with vegan cheeses and other items, including my wifes much sought after vegan marshmallows.  There was only one package left and we would have bought more if they had them.  I also got a container of vegan rice marshmallow cremewich I have been craving on a saltine.  Both are great, there a re a few marshmallows left as we have been rationing them to ourselves.  My wife also found an apron which is perfect for her that she got which says “Vegan Master Baker”.

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Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe

 

Next would be a trip to Ikea that I have been looking forward to.  I have been needing a new stand for my 60″ Sony television and the only reasonably priced stand I could find that was long enough was at Ikea.   Once I saw the stand in person I noticed the shelves for components looked a bit small on width.   Not wanting to buy the stand I really wanted only to get it home and find nothing I had would fit I decided to make some calls for measurement of components.  Sure enough, the width was 1/2″ shorter than the standard 17″ component size.  Why make something a standard component won’t fit in?  After being a a little disgruntled I found another stand that looked like what I needed which had the shelving and length required.   We also picked up some lighting to replace various ceiling fans in the game room on living room at a much better price than can be found at Home Depot or even the Ikea website.

After loading two oversized boxes into a small car as well as bags from Ikea we headed to Trader Joe’s to stock up.  As the Nashville store is not scheduled to open for a few months trips to Atlanta will include Trader Joe’s for the time.

Next stop, Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market.  This is a stop where we typically fill the car with produce as the prices are hard to beat as well is the selection.  With not much room to spare in the car we cut it short and opted for some basics as well as replinishing our spices with their large bulk selection.

Our last restaurant stop would be Sweet Tomatoes.  This is one place we always look forward to and would really like to see one open in the Nashville area, Coolsprings would be a great location.

Afterward we packed up for the trip back home.   As Atlanta is a regular trip for us  we will probably be going back soon and I will try more at Soul Vegetarian,  get back to Eat’s which we didn’t include this time and maybe Harmony Chinese.

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