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The Easiest Vegan Chili. Ever.

Easy Vegan Chili | www.thatwasvegan.com

Sometimes you want chili, and you want it fast. Those are the times you’ll be thanking your lucky stars that I shared my recipe for The Easiest Vegan Chili. Ever. with you!

You’re welcome.

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! I did. I hiked 10 miles on Saturday at Staunton State Park, climbing up Lion’s Head to the Elk Falls Overlook. Pretty, right?

Easy Vegan Chili | www.thatwasvegan.com

I also met this guy. He bit me. He actually bit me!

Easy Vegan Chili | www.thatwasvegan.com

I thought he was a chipmunk, but I learned he was actually a Gold-Mantled Ground Squirrel. I also learned he has sharp little teeth. The moral of the story is, of course, don’t try to pet the wildlife.

If I had just made this chili that morning it would’ve made sense that he smelled all that deliciousness on me and just wanted a taste! But no, I actually made this a few weeks ago, so we’ll just stick with the theory that it was my own damn fault :)

This chili though? Delicious! It’s a bit spicy, and is made with chili beans and my very own seitan. It’s hearty and absolutely perfect for the chillier weather we’re starting to have!

Easy Vegan Chili | www.thatwasvegan.com


 

Easy Vegan Chili
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 loaf seitan
  2. 1/2 red onion
  3. 1 14oz can HOT Chili beans
  4. 1 14oz can tomatoes and chilis
  5. 2 tablespoons chili seasoning
Instructions
  1. Chop the seitan into quarters and pulse in the food processor until its in hamburger-like crumbles. Set aside.
  2. Dice the onion and water saute in stock-pot or large pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Stir in all remaining ingredients and reduce heat to simmer. You can let it simmer covered for 30 minutes or for hours... Just make sure to add a bit of water if you're cooking it longer.
Notes
  1. If you don't like the store-bought seasoning, you can make your own! http://www.budgetbytes.com/2014/01/homemade-chili-seasoning/
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
{ 1 comment }

Fajita Couscous

Fajita Couscous | www.thatwasvegan.com

Happy Friday! I’m spending the day snuggling with my quickly-recovering pup, but I still wanted to pop in and share something with you… and that something happens to be a side dish I made last week that I was pretty pleased with: Fajita Couscous! It’s easy, delicious, and is a totally different take on Israeli couscous (which is also delicious like this), and fun way to include some spice in your meal.

I hope you all have a FABULOUS weekend, and I’ll be back next week with more foodstuffs for ya!


Fajita Couscous
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup dry Israeli couscous
  2. 1 bell pepper, diced (I used half red, half green)
  3. 1/2 small onion, diced
  4. 1.5 tablespoon fajita seasoning
Instructions
  1. Cook couscous per package instructions.
  2. Water saute the veggies with the seasoning for 5-6 minutes. Mix with the couscous and serve.
Notes
  1. Want to make your own fajita season mix? http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/how-to-make-delicious-fajita-seasoning/
  2. Serves 2-4 as a side.
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
 

{ 1 comment }

Sausage n’ Cheese Mini Quiche

Sausage n' Cheese Mini Quiche | www.thatwasvegan.com

Happy hump day, as they say. I’m smack dab in the middle of a three-day work week (thanks to Monday’s holiday, and Friday being a flex day) and I couldn’t be happier about it. I mean, who wants to be at work when they could be home making Vegan Sausage n’ Cheese Mini Quiche!?

And while we’re at it, please allow me to clear the air a bit. I’ve been a flaky blogger lately, I realize it and I’m sorry about it. It seems I’ve been cooking less and photographing less and definitely writing less. I’ve tried to fill the void with more product reviews and giveaways, and I hope you guys are okay with that? I guess what I’m asking is: Does it kind of piss you off when you check in on TWV? and find a review or giveaway instead of a yummy new recipe? Please feel free to be honest. I can take it. Probably. It’s just that there are ebbs and flows in life, and that applies to everything, doesn’t it? Our relationships, our weight (haha), and even our blogging.

Oh! But I do have a bit of (fingers crossed!) good news! We’ve been battling a mysterious condition with this little guy:

Sausage n' Cheese Mini Quiche | www.thatwasvegan.com

First he had a weird skin infection. Then a recurring infection. Then the fur stopped growing on his back and torso (but kept growing on his legs, head and upper chest). THEN his fur started to fall out. THEN he became so insanely itchy that he started chewing on himself. Throughout all of this I was taking him to the vet where they would run tests, but could never quite pinpoint what was causing all his health problems. His thyroid? Nope. Cushings disease? No, not that either.

So we continued to treat the symptoms as they would pop up, and try to keep him comfortable. Thankfully he never seemed miserable, other than the itchiness. His appetite was always good, and he was always playful and sweet. Anyway, we started seeing a new specialist and they called on Monday afternoon with the results from his latest culture: and my sweet little baby has a staph infection! I feel terrible that it went on for so long, but am very happy to finally have a diagnosis we can treat. He’s been on antibiotics since Monday night and I feel like he’s already less itchy. He’s chewing at himself less, anyway. So, fingers crossed that Cooper keeps getting better!! I promise to post more pics as his beautiful fur starts to grow back in :)

In the meantime, I have some new quiche (quiches?) for you: this time they’re full of sausage and cheese, which pretty much makes them #killinit. You can check out my other two flavors (Sweet Potato & Kale, and Broccoli & Cheddar) here.

 Sausage n' Cheese Mini Quiche | www.thatwasvegan.com
I used Kroger brand Simple Truth breakfast sausage (they have tons of vegan products if you have a Kroger or King Soopers near you, FYI) but any brand would work. These are really simple and I love how you can start with the base and then switch up the ingredients depending on your mood. And they keep really well in the fridge! I like to make a double batch and put them in sandwich baggies, 3-4 each. That way I can grab a baggie on my way out the door in the morning for an easy breakfast or snack, and if you seal them up airtight, they’ll keep for 5-6 days.

Sausage n' Cheese Mini Quiche | www.thatwasvegan.com


Vegan Sausage & Cheese Mini Quiche
Yields 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. Non-stick spray
  2. 3 vegan breakfast sausages
  3. 1 cup kale, chopped
  4. A pinch of S&P
  5. 1 12.3oz package Lite Firm Mori-Nu Tofu, well drained
  6. 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  7. 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  8. 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  9. 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  10. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  11. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  12. 1/2 cup Daiya cheddar shreds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and spray a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick spray
  2. Dice or crumble the sausage and heat thoroughly in a frying pan over medium heat- you want the pieces to crisp up.
  3. Water saute the kale with the S&P for 4-5 minutes until softened.
  4. Combine the rest of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until completely smooth. Scrape out of the processor and combine with the kale and sausage, stir and taste. Add more salt if needed.
  5. Spoon into the muffin tins. Reduce oven heat to 350 and bake until the tops are golden and fork tines poked into the quiche come out clean, 30-35 minutes. Serve hot, warm or cold.
Notes
  1. If you didn't do a great job draining the tofu, or there was a lot of moisture left in your veggies, the cooking time will need to be longer. Just keep an eye on them, and continue to add 5 minute increments to the oven timer!
Adapted from FatFree Vegan Kitchen
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
{ 6 comments }

Chewy Cherry Chai Oatmeal Bars | www.thatwasvegan.com

You guys, baking is my Achilles heel. For some reason it’s always really hard for me. But it’s cold out today, and rainy, and there’s football on, and it really just seemed like the kind of day when I should bake something. You ever get those days?

The problem, of course, was what to bake. I live somewhere around 6,200 feet which means many recipes can be a challenge. So, I turned to my pal April’s blog: Epicurean Vegan. She’s a Coloradan like me and knows a thing or two about baking (unlike me). I decided to make her Chai-Spiced Berry-Oatmeal cookies, and got to work in the kitchen.

I’m pretty sure you can guess what happened next. I ruined them.

But! I didn’t give up! I kept trying and before I knew it, I had some very delicious Chewy Cherry Chai Oatmeal Bars in my tummy!

Chewy Cherry Chai Oatmeal Bars | www.thatwasvegan.com

They came out perfectly. They’re sweet, but not too sweet because I used Truvia’s two new products. A baking blend, which is part sugar and part truvia, and their brown sugar blend with is (obvs) brown sugar mixed with truvia. That way you get the taste of real sugar, but without all the calories.

Which really just means you can eat more, right? Here’s a shot of the bar before I chopped him up:

Chewy Cherry Chai Oatmeal Bars | www.thatwasvegan.com
Also, Truvia had contacted me and offered so provide some free product for a giveaway, and you know how much I love passing the goodies along to you! So, here’s what’s up for grabs: One 16oz resealable(!) bag of Truvia’s Brown Sugar Blend so you can get your baking on! You can enter to win those in the rafflecopter below. Truvia is also currently running their own contest called the Baking Star. There’s only two more days left to enter that, but you can vote until the 29th. Go check it out!

Chewy Cherry Chai Oatmeal Bars | www.thatwasvegan.com

Chewy Cherry Chai Oatmeal Bars | www.thatwasvegan.com

So, check out my recipe and then scroll down and enter the giveaway!


 

 

Chewy Cherry Chai Oatmeal Bars
Yields 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon chia seeds, plus 3 tablespoons water
  2. 1/2 cup vegan margarine, room temperature
  3. 1/4 cup Truvia brown sugar blend
  4. 1/4 cup Truvia baking blend
  5. 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 2 tablespoons agave
  7. 1 cup flour
  8. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  10. 1 teaspoon cardamom
  11. 1 teaspoon ginger
  12. 1 teaspoon cloves
  13. 1 cup old fashioned oats (not quick!)
  14. 1 cup dried cherries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix chia seeds and water and set aside.
  2. With a mixer, blend the butter and the sugars. Add the chia mix, vanilla and agave and mix for another 15-30 seconds.
  3. In a second bowl, combine all the dry ingredients except the oats and cherries. Slowly add the butter bowl, mixing until combined and smooth. Using a large spoon or spatula fold in the oats and cherries.
  4. Line a 9" bread pan with foil and spoon in the oatmeal bar mix. It's thick so you have to kind of smoosh it into the corners. Baked until it starts to brown at the edges, 20-25 minutes. Remove from the pan by grabbing the edges of the foil and place the whole thing on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes before cutting into rectangles. Once completely cool, store in airtight container for 2-3 days.
Notes
  1. Keep in mind, this recipe was developed waaaaay up high!
Adapted from Epicurean Vegan
Adapted from Epicurean Vegan
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I was provided with free product to review but the opinions are 100% mine!

{ 13 comments }

Creamy Chipotle Corn Sauce

Creamy Chipotle Corn Sauce | www.thatwasvegan.com

Here’s another veganization from my “before” life: Creamy Chipotle Corn Sauce! Aalthough I can’t find the original recipe (which was definitely not vegan), I was able to come up with this version from memory. It’s spicy, and creamy and just a little bit sweet from the corn.

I served it on grilled tofu, but it would also be delicious on any kind of tofu, or with seitan, or roasted or grilled veggies. I in inadvertently had it mixed with jasmine rice and it was freaking delicious!

Creamy Chipotle Corn Sauce | www.thatwasvegan.com

No matter what you put it on, it’s a great way to fancy up something that you’re maybe not to excited about. I get that way with tofu sometimes, and fun, delicious sauces like this help.

You know what else is supergreat about this recipe? It’s made with Vegenaise! They sent me a couple jars and asked me to participate in their #MayoKarma campaign. You can read more about it here, but the gist is: Better Taste, a Better You, and a Better World. A delicious product that is better for you, and is made without harming all those poor chickens. Win-win-win, right?

 

Creamy Chipotle Corn Sauce | www.thatwasvegan.com


 

Creamy Chipotle Corn Sauce
Serves 4
A creamy (slightly) spicy sauce perfect on almost anything!
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup sweet corn kernels, halved
  2. 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
  3. 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, roughly chopped, plus 1 teaspoon of the sauce
  4. 1/3 cup Vegenaise
  5. Dash of sea salt
Instructions
  1. In your blender, pulse 1/2 the corn with the milk pepper and adobo sauce until mostly smooth.
  2. Combine with the rest of the corn, the mayo, and the sea salt. You can use at room temp OR heat in the microwave for just a few seconds.
Notes
  1. If using frozen corn, defrost and drain completely
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
{ 6 comments }

Nekter Juice Bar, Greenwood Village

Nekter Juice Bar | www.thatwasvegan.com

You know I love smoothies (with beets, with cabbage, it’s all good), but sometimes I don’t feel like making them at home. Or cleaning up the mess after! Those are the times when I’d much rather stop my my local juice/smoothie bar and let them do the hard work. The problem, of course, is that most smoothie places use dairy products in their drinks so you have to be careful when ordering… Which is the beauty of Nekter Juice Bar – There are no animal products on their menu! The only milk they use is cashew milk, how perfect is that?

Their menu is separated into 3 main categories: Juices, Smoothies, and Açaí Bowls (they also offer specialty drinks/shots, and cleanse programs). We started with what I will now proclaim to be the most delicious thing on their menu, the PB Bowl: A nourishing blend of peanut butter and strawberries gives this bowl a boost of delectable flavors reminiscent of a PB&J sandwich, without the bread!

Nekter Juice Bar | www.thatwasvegan.com

Nekter Juice Bar | www.thatwasvegan.com

The bottom layer is basically a really thick, Açaí based smoothie made with bananas, strawberries, peanut butter, vanilla bean and cashew milk. It’s so thick, it’s almost like eating really healthy ice cream. The next later was a slightly sweet hempseed granola, topped with fresh fruit. 

I’d describe it as a sundae you can eat for breakfast! The peanut butter and strawberry combo was rich without being over the top. It was a really comforting flavor, because you did sort of feel like you were eating a PB&J. I’d go back in a nanosecond for another PB Bowl!

Now, normally a person would just order a bowl OR a juice OR a smoothie, not all three… and the bowl was very filling (it really would make a meal on its own), but since I had been invited there to review the whole menu, I had to push on (tough job, right?)…

Next up was The Buzz juice: Carrot, orange, lemon and ginger:

Nekter Juice Bar | www.thatwasvegan.com

We have a juicer at home but hardly ever use it because it’s so messy, so getting to enjoy fresh juice like this is a treat. The Buzz promises an instant buzz of energy, and I will say that citrus and ginger flavor really did perk me up! After that we made short work on the Banana Berry Burst smoothie (the purple one above), made of fresh whole berries, banana, raw vanilla beans and cashew milk. It was so thick and creamy, I loved it (although I couldn’t finish it, so it went home with me to spend the night in the fridge). Those banana berry combos are the ones I always want when I go to a smoothie shop, but they usually have yogurt or something in them, so it’s been a long time since I’ve actually had one!

In addition to their fresh products, Nekter also offers pre-packed juices, cleanses, and other snacks to round out your healthy meal:

Nekter Juice Bar | www.thatwasvegan.com

I hadn’t noticed while I was there, but there are small single-serve dairy milk packages in their refrigerated case, but it’s okay since they’re not using it in their smoothies! They also have boxed water, apparently, and I’m not even sure what that is.

I wish I had gotten more/better shots of the store’s interior, because it was really beautiful, very light, bright and contemporary. I also have to give a shout-out to Alexa and Tiara who were working yesterday and took such good care of us!

And I have some good news- Nekter is a chain, so there might be one near you! They’re all over California, Texas, and Arizona, and they now have two locations here in Colorado as well (Greenwood Village and Boulder).

 *I was provided with free product to review, but the opinions are 100% mine!

{ 2 comments }

Mile High Vegan Eats: Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs

Mile High Vegan Eats: Steve's Snappin' Dogs | www.thatwasvegan.com

You guys know how I love to review restaurants with options for everyone, and Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs on East Colfax in Denver is exactly that kind of place! Obviously they have a ton of omni options, as most places do, but they also have a surprising number of vegetarian and vegan options, as well as gluten-free, all of which are clearly marked on their menu! When I was in earlier this month I actually got to sit down with the owner, Steve, and grill him (ha!) a little bit. He takes a lot of pride in offering so many choices for all kinds of eaters. He’s also very honest and upfront about the possibility of “cross-contamination”, although they do make all reasonable efforts to avoid it. Veggie dogs are cooked on their own corner of the grill, etc. Works for me! They have a small indoor eating area, as well as an outside(ish) area with picnic tables and even a water bowl for your doggy friends.  Because of course a hot dog joint would be dog friendly, right?

I actually ate here once or twice years ago, but hadn’t been back in a while until a friend reminded me of it. Then I ate there twice in one week…

On my first trip I had the regular Veggie Dog, loaded with red onions, mustard, and relish. And ketchup. About a gallon of ketchup that I waited to add until after I took the picture because you literally wouldn’t have been able to see the dog, haha. On the side I had Fried Carrots & Green Beans instead of fries:

Mile High Vegan Eats: Steve's Snappin' Dogs | www.thatwasvegan.com

The veggie “fries” were crunchy and salty and really good! The hot dog was delicious too, and the bun was all hot and toasty. Yum!

On my second trip I got a little fancier and ordered the Chicago Veggie Dog which had tomatoes, a pickle, spicy mustard, relish, and celery salt. It was enormous and hard to eat, but really good! I also had the Sweet Tots and maybe stole a couple fries…

Mile High Vegan Eats: Steve's Snappin' Dogs | www.thatwasvegan.com

Mile High Vegan Eats: Steve's Snappin' Dogs | www.thatwasvegan.com

The fries and tots were both perfectly fried and completely addicting. I can’t wait to go back for more!

Steve’s in located at 3525 E. Colfax Ave AND now at DIA, Concourse B. I highly recommend you stop by one location or the other and get your veggie dog on!

 

Want more Denver-area restaurant reviews? Check out my Mile High Vegan Eats page!

{ 4 comments }

Creamy Kimchi Pasta with Bacon

Creamy Kimchi Pasta | www.thatwasvegan

Kimchi, Pasta and Bacon, oh my!

Seriously you guys, if I was able to come through your computer screen and force you to make something for dinner tonight, it would be this Creamy Vegan Kimchi Pasta with Bacon! Just looking at these pictures while I write this post is making my tummy growl.

I love me some kimchi, but it turns out I love it even more when it’s paired with bacon, sauteed garlic, and some super creamy sour cream. I can barely describe how well these flavors work together!

Creamy Kimchi Pasta | www.thatwasvegan

Each bite was like a big flavorful punch in the mouth… But in a good way!

As the weather turns colder I find myself craving pasta more and more, and this is a really great way to keep it from getting boring. Plus finding vegan kimchi is pretty easy these days, so you don’t need to worry about making it yourself. I’ve actually never even attempted to make it myself because, honestly, it seems like a huge pain in the lady-balls. Much easier to just hop on down to my local Whole Foods (or Sprouts, Natural Grocers, etc) and pick up a jar. Plus, that way you’ll have a little extra to make some Kimchi Relish for your veggie dogs!

Creamy Kimchi Pasta | www.thatwasvegan

Okay, that’s my spiel. Please just promise me you’ll try this dish the next time you’re craving pasta! Not convinced yet? Ok, here’s one last look…

Creamy Kimchi Pasta | www.thatwasvegan

Creamy Kimchi Pasta with Bacon
Serves 4
Korean pasta? YES!
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Ingredients
  1. 8 oz your favorite bite-size pasta
  2. Olive oil
  3. 1/2 red onion, sliced
  4. 2 cloves garlic, diced
  5. 4 strips vegan bacon (I used lightlife smart bacon), thinly sliced
  6. Sea salt
  7. 1 1/4 cups Kimchi, roughly chopped
  8. 1 cup non-dairy unsweetened milk
  9. 2 tablespoons vegan sour cream
  10. 1/2 cube 'not-chicken' or veggie bouillon
  11. Chopped scallions for topping, if desired
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta per package directions.
  2. In a large pan, saute the onion, garlic and bacon in the oil, and sprinkle with a bit of salt, for 7-8 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the remaining ingredients, stirring until thickened and heated through. Stir in the pasta, top with the scallions, and serve immediately!
Notes
  1. If you have applewood smoked sea salt, sprinkle a bit of that on the bacon, onion and garlic while they're cooking!
Adapted from My Korean Kitchen
Adapted from My Korean Kitchen
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
{ 3 comments }

Tex Mex Breakfast Casserole

Looking for a hearty breakfast that will keep you full all morning? Something that will fuel your for a nice long hike, or perhaps just something you can make ahead of time and throw in the oven for guests? Well, how about some Tex-Mex Breakfast Casserole!?

Tex-Mex Breakfast Casserole | www.thatwasvegan.com

There’s so much in there… Tofu scramble, kale, potatoes, tomatoes, corn tortillas, and Daiya cheese.

Layer upon layer of vegan goodness:

Tex-Mex Breakfast Casserole | www.thatwasvegan.com

I made this a couple weeks ago and we had it for breakfast before hiking Stanley Canyon. If you live along the front range you’ve probably heard of this hike… It starts on the US Air Force Academy and it is guaranteed to kick your butt. It reminded me a lot of Mt. Bierstadt because it was so steep and rocky, but it was (thankfully) much shorter.

And because I eat plant strong breakfasts like THIS casserole, I was ready. See?

Tex-Mex Breakfast Casserole | www.thatwasvegan.com

Yes, I’m a total goofball. But you guys already knew that!

Tex-Mex Breakfast Casserole | www.thatwasvegan.com

Okay, casserole. I started with a batch of tofu scramble and just went from there.  You can make it as spicy as you like, add in whatever veggies are calling your name, and it’s all good. Sweet potatoes and black beans would be amazing in there as well!

Tell us: Do you like big hearty breakfasts, or are you more likely to stick with a smoothie, or maybe some oatmeal?


Tex-Mex Breakfast Casserole
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 batch tofu scramble (with kale!) (Also I skipped the sausage in this, but that's up to you!)
  2. 1 medium/large russet potato
  3. Oil for cooking potatoes (if desired, you could also use water)
  4. 10 oz can red enchilada sauce
  5. 2 tomatoes, chopped
  6. 10 corn tortillas
  7. 2 cups Daiya shreds (I mixed mozzarella and cheddar)
  8. Non stick spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray casserole dish lightly with no-stick spray
  2. Wash and chop the potato, and cook in a pan over medium heat with just a bit of oil till tender on the inside and crisp on the outside, then stir into the tofu scramble.
  3. In your casserole dish, layer in this order: 2 tablespoons enchilada sauce, tortillas (3, torn in half for best coverage), half the tofu mixture, 1/3 of the tomatoes, 1/3 of the cheese.
  4. THEN: 1/2 the remaining enchilada sauce, 3 tortillas, the rest of the tofu mix, 1/2 the remaining tomatoes, another 1/3 of the cheese. Finally, top with the last 3 tortillas, the rest of the sauce, tomatoes and cheese.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, with a minute or so at the end under the broiler to melt the cheese in necessary. Enjoy!
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
{ 5 comments }

Mile High Vegan Eats: Seasons 52 Fresh Grill

I was invited to dine at the brand new Seasons 52 Fresh Grill in Lone Tree last week, and it turns out that I am The. Luckiest. Girl. In. The. World. It was amazing you guys!

I barely even know where to begin.

Mile High Vegan Eats: Seasons 52 | www.thatwasvegan.com

If you frequent Park Meadows then you’ve seen the building… brand new, prairie-style (think Frank Lloyd Wright), and very fancy on the inside. It’s where Champs used to be, although they tore down that building and started from scratch. We went on a Friday night and the place was packed, yet the acoustics are such that you can whisper to the person sitting next to you, and they can hear you perfectly. Try doing that in a crowded bar anywhere else and see what happens! (Nothing happens, because they didn’t hear you…). The finishes are all high end, it’s beautiful and romantic, and absolutely perfect for a special night out!

If you’re not familiar with Seasons 52, they’re all about offering seasonal, sophisticated dishes with an eye toward health. They change their menu four times a year, and each dish has 475 calories or less. They also offer multiple special menus: Vegan, Vegetarian, Sodium-Friendly, Gluten-Sensitive, Garlic-Sensitive, and Lactose/Dairy Sensitive. This makes me very happy. It’s so nice to sit down with the vegan menu and see all my options laid out before me, rather than having to grill the server about how dishes are prepared. And speaking of the servers, the service was amazing. They had only been open for about three weeks when we went it, but it was running so smoothly you’d have thought they had all worked there together for years!

And now, the food…

We started with a couple of the New Old Fashioned: Breaker Craft Bourbon, Apple Bitters, and just a hint of cherry. And rock candy. Seriously. It’s for stirring the drink, so you can sweeten it up a little. Or you can let it soak in the bourbon for a few minutes then crunch away at it, like I did. One of the best drinks I’ve ever had.

Mile High Vegan Eats: Seasons 52 | www.thatwasvegan.com

Pre-dinner drinks were accompanied by Artichoke Flatbread topped with leaf spinach, balsamic onions, and roasted peppers:

Mile High Vegan Eats: Seasons 52 | www.thatwasvegan.com

Then I had the Butternut Squash Soup, topped with shiitake mushroom chips (tasted like bacon!) and chives. This was the best dish of the night. Of the week, actually. It was sweetened with apple and it blew my mind. I might have licked the bowl.

Mile High Vegan Eats: Seasons 52 | www.thatwasvegan.com

For my main course I had the Cedar Plank Roasted Tofu with broccolini, baby carrots, and roasted crushed potatoes. I was a bit skeptical, thinking this was just a silly knock-off of the salmon version, but I was wrong. The tofu was seasoned perfectly and I really could taste a hint of cedar in there!

Mile High Vegan Eats: Seasons 52 | www.thatwasvegan.com

My lucky date chose the Vegetarian Tasting plate, which included quinoa-citrus salad, a soft taco, veggies, and some of the cedar-roasted tofu, but with a tropical salsa on top. This is the taco… Have you ever seen anything as precious as that little taco holder?

Mile High Vegan Eats: Seasons 52 | www.thatwasvegan.com

Everything was seasonal, fresh, and wonderfully prepared. It was a very special meal and we felt like honored guests. The only part of the meal that was less than perfect was dessert. The only vegan item they had on the menu was Fresh Blueberries. They were great, but we saw the dessert tray the rest of the restaurant got to choose from (aka: not vegan), and we were very jealous. I think they could easily have taken those blueberries and added some sweet cashew cream and maybe a graham cracker crust? That would’ve made my night! So, if anyone from Seasons 52′s corporate office is reading this, please consider adding more vegan dessert options!

 

Want more Denver-area restaurant reviews? Check out my Mile High Vegan Eats page!

 *I was provided free product to review, but the opinions are 100% mine!

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