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Mile High Vegan Eats: Piante Pizzaria

I shared a little bit with you guys about Piante Pizzaria in my Vegan Weekend in Breckenridge post, but they definitely deserve an MHVE post of their very own. BECAUSE THEY’RE AWESOME! They’re a 100% plant-based, high-end pizza shop located on Main St. in Breck, and I can’t recommend them enough. From the decor to the service, they’re just wonderful. 

I’ve been there twice now, both times with my mom. Long story short, during our first drive up there my car seemed to be having some transmission issues, so I had it serviced when I got back. And obviously the only way to make sure the service worked was to recreate the driving conditions and eat more vegan pizza, right? Right. Bonus points because we didn’t have issues this time, so I think the car is all set. But anyway…. Pizza!

This time we chose the Buffalo Solder: EVOO brushed crust. Garlic, buffalo sauce, and organic cashew mozzarella. Red onion. Fire-roasted buffalo cauliflower. House-made vegan ranch. Green onion. 

First, I love the crust here. It’s light, crisp, and flavorful. And the cashew cheese? It’s so rich and delicious. I noticed more with this pizza how truly rich it was, I think because it was so nicely contrasted by the spicy buffalo sauce. 

Last time we were there, we had the Lasagna Pizza: House-made San Marzano tomato red sauce. Organic cashew mozzarella. House-made organic cashew ricotta. Meat crumble. Basil. 

So far, I’d say the Lasagna is my favorite pizza, but the buffalo was a very close second. And there are so many more I want to try! The BBQ Pizza with smoked organic cashew mozzarella sounds particularly intriguing. My mom jokingly (?) suggested I order another entire pizza to take home, but I didn’t. Poor choice on my part.

On this second trip, we started the meal with a Kale Caesar Salad to share. Kale, shaved parmesan cheese, House-made garlic-infused EVOO Italian seasoned croutons. House-made caesar dressing. 

It’s so much fun to be able to order anything off the entire menu, and especially to be able to enjoy a Caesar salad in a restaurant again!. It was always my favorite salad to order in my pregan days, and I’ve missed it. I find it to be one of those things that just isn’t the same at home. But I digress. The croutons were big and crunchy and you could tell they were fresh. They were also very liberal with the parmesan (as you can see from the pic), which I appreciated. 

 On the first trip, we started with the Roasted Jalapeno Poppers: served with organic cashew mozzarella, red onion, and plant-based Italian sausage. Just spicy and enough, and not too filling (because we had to save room for pizza). I did think it odd though, that there were only 5 halves. It bothered me all night. Where did the other half of that last jalapeno go??

I’ve only tried one dessert (I’m more a fan of savory than sweet, tbh). It was the first time we were there, and we went with the Tiramisu which came with a candle because it was my birthday.

Okay, so that’s the food, and it’s phenomenal. But I also love the atmosphere they’ve created there. The servers and chefs are all so friendly and welcoming. The kitchen is open you can see them bustling in there, chopping and dicing and sliding your pizza in the stone oven. Also? If you’re cold? They’ll give you a beautiful quilt to put over your lap:

How sweet and precious is that? It’s very Colorado! I also love that they have the shaker jars of vegan parm on all the tables, just like in every other pizza joint. Except better, because it’s vegan.

They also have outdoor seating that faces Main Street and the slopes, although we haven’t sat out there. If you find yourself in Breck (or anywhere in Summit County, really), I insist you pop into Piante for a vegan pie. 


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


Vegan Weekend in Breckenridge

My mom (who is just awesome in general) came up with the fabulous idea to have a girl’s weekend for just the two of us Breckenridge to take in the autumn colors and celebrate my upcoming birthday, so we headed up there the weekend before last! 

We left Denver mid-afternoon on that Friday and arrived in Breck just as it was starting to spit snow. We stayed at The Lodge at Breckenridge which, although a little ways outside of town, we pretty great. It’s perched on the edge of a mountain and has incredible views. Plus their recent renovation achieved a nice balance of luxury and rustic (luxic? rustury?) so we were very comfortable there. 

Image from expedia.com

As soon as we had checked in, we ubered into town. We were ready for a drink and some shopping! We grabbed a beer at Ollie’s Pub while watching the snow fall, and it was just lovely. Then we ventured out for some fresh air and checked out a handful of small shops, then ducked into The Blue Stag Saloon for one last drink before dinner. That place was really cute and homey and “mountainy”. Loved it! But we only stayed for one drink because we were heading off to Piante Pizzeria for dinner and were So. Excited. 

Piante is an all vegan pizzeria located on Breck’s Main Street and it was adorable. Too cold to sit outside (it was still snowing and quite windy) but we did get a window seat facing the the slopes. 

We started with the Roasted Jalapeno Poppers, served with organic cashew mozzarella, red onion, and plant-based Italian sausage:

We scarfed them down pretty fast, with a glass of wine. In fact, here’s a shot I took to show how they offer patrons quilts if you’re cold (seriously!) that also features the empty platter:

They also have some delicious sounding salads but honestly, we were all about the pizza. Mama chose the Lasagna Pizza, which featured house-made San Marzano tomato red sauce, organic cashew mozzarella, house-made organic cashew ricotta, meat crumble, and basil. 

Honestly, I think this was the best pizza I’ve ever had. Vegan or pre-vegan, I don’t remember anything comparing to this pizza. In fact, I burst into my own personal pizza-based rendition of Nothing Compares 2 U, right there in the restaurant. Okay, not really, but still. Amazing pizza. Here’s an up-close shot to show how gooey and melty and oily the cheese was. SO REALISTIC AND DELICIOUS!

I also loved that they have vegan parm at each table: 

It’s that attention to detail (along with the delicious food) that makes Piante so great. Also, our server was so sweet and gave us a free dessert because it was my birthday 🙂 We chose the Tiramasu

We called it an early(ish) night and headed back to the lodge after dinner. We had free drink coupons to use in the bar, then it was off to bed. 

Saturday we got up early for breakfast at the lodge, which was included with our room. They actually had quite a few vegan options, including soy milk which you don’t always see, so that was nice. Also? Please don’t judge my weird breakfasts.

I started off with a piece of toast topped with peanut butter and sliced strawberries, and roasted potatoes swimming in maple syrup. 

That was followed up with a bowl of fresh fruit (strawberries, watermelon, honey dew and cantaloupe) topped with their house-made granola which was really tasty!

After breakfast it was time for a hike! We chose McCullough’s Gulch because it was rated fairly easy, and because it was close. We had an afternoon of shopping and eating planned, so we didn’t want to get sucked into a lengthy hike. Plus the reviews were great. It’s on the backside of Quandry Peak, and local 14er. 

It was really cold up there (we started off quite high) and very windy. Here’s us at the trailhead, all bundled up!

The views were beautiful…

… but unfortunately we had to turn around pretty quickly into the hike, as the trail was a basically a sheet of ice. I made mama pose for a picture first tho-

After a quick drive back to the lodge and freshening up, we hit Main Street. The sun was shining, it was in the high 50’s… basically it was the quintessential autumn day! Before we arrived we thought we might have missed the best of the leaves, but nope. They were still there!

We window shopped and real shopped. We taste-tested whiskey and even popped into The Crown, a bookstore/wine bar/coffee shop that specializes in boozy coffee drinks. I had the Hot Apple Pie which was apple cider, fireball whiskey and vanilla vodka (omg! yum!) and mom had an Irish Coffee. Ain’t she adorable all bundled up??

It was a super cute little shop, I definitely recommend it if you’re in Breck and need a coffee, with or without the booze!

More shopping and a quick stop into the Barney Ford House Museum, which was really interesting. Ford was an escaped slave who moved his family to Breckenridge in the late 1880’s. The museum is located in their fully restored home. Then.. more drinks! I had to share this one, because it’s so fancy and because the menu description was so funny:

The Ten Mile High Club: This blend of Montanya Oro rum, Breck bourbon, cognac, orange juice & grenadine lets you join the club without entering the lavatory. 

Eventually it was time for dinner. I chose Bangkok Happy Bowl because they have tons of vegan options, including a whole section of their menu (although there are other vegan options not in that section- just ask your server!). Appetizers were BOGO when we arrived so we started with the Edamame and Curry Puffs, which were stuffed with curry powder, potatoes, onions, carrots and corn, served with a delicious and light cucumber sauce.

The edamame was fine (as edamame generally is) but the puffs were extra delicious! Very flavorful, but the curry wasn’t over powering. I could’ve eaten a second order all by myself. We also split a bowl of the Tom Kha Tofu soup, tangy coconut milk with lemongrass, galengal, and mushroom with a dash of chili oil. Not all Tom Kha soups are vegan, but this one was! You can see how thick and full of tofu and veggies it was- and you can even see a lot of the seasonings. I haven’t had Tom Kha in ages, and omg I’ve missed it. I need to make my own at home. 

For some reason I stopped taking pictures after the soup, but there was also some vegan sushi, I believe it was a tempura sweet potato roll. 

And that’s pretty much it! We headed back to the lodge where we enjoyed one more glass of wine, this time in the outdoor hot tub gazing up at the night sky. Love, love, love being in the hot water with the freezing cold air around us. So relaxing… and the wine didn’t hurt either 😉 

Image from expedia.com

It was a really great weekend away! We got to catch up and talk about upcoming plans and reminisce about Sally and just relax. Thanks mom!!


RIP Sweet Sally: 2006-2017

My doggers are one of the best parts of my life. They’re my family members, friends, support systems, and cuddle machines, all built into one. They’re all special and they’re all unique, and Sally was no exception. I shared her story before, but the TL;DR version is this: She spent her first three years as a breeding dog in a puppy mill, living in a cage with no love or care. She was a mess when she came to us, and it took a long time and a lot of work to help her feel good, to feel like a dog, and to realize she was part of the family.

She worked so hard to overcome her past and to get over her fears. One of her nicknames was always Super Strong Sally because of that. She was so smart too! She knew so many phrases and would always respond immediately. I still laugh when I remember saying “Sally go outside!” and she would stop whatever she was doing and run as fast as she could towards that doggy door, careening around corners like she was on ice, her little tail wagging the whole time. It made her happy to be able to do what we wanted, to make us happy. 

And oh man, was that little girl good at making me happy! She was always so sweet and snuggly and perfect!

Back in July she started having accidents in the house. It took a few weeks to diagnose, but we realized she had kidney disease. Then, during a routine ultrasound we discovered her little body was also full of tumors. It had progressed too far and wasn’t treatable. She hated her KD food and was miserable going to the vet, so I made the decision to stop treating the kidney disease and just let her enjoy whatever time she had left. Looking back, I feel really good about that. It was the right choice to make for her. I focused on spoiling and loving her. This was us last Sunday, a rainy day spent on the couch with snacks and Netflix.

Then, on Friday morning I realized she wasn’t eating or drinking anymore, and I knew I had one last difficult decision to make.  We had a mobile vet come to the house on Saturday morning so Sally wouldn’t be scared. Her daddy came and held her, and her grandma was there too. As one last treat, I shared a glass of wine with her. She was always trying to steal drinks from my wine glasses, and of course I wouldn’t let her because it’s not good for dogs… but it didn’t matter anymore. She she finally got that glass of wine. She loved it! 

It’s never easy saying goodbye to our furriest family members, but I do feel that I made the right decision, the one that was best for her. Which is all that matters. I don’t think she ever suffered, and I know she was comfortable and happy at the very end. My heart hurts, and will for a long, long time. I know I’ll always miss her, but more importantly I’m grateful for the time I had with her. 

Sally, Poodlebutt, Puddles, Miss Honeybee… you were an amazing friend to me, and I’m so happy we found each other. I’ll always love you and never, every forget you. 


What I Eat When I’m Not Blogging #16

Some of these are kind of old… but still make for delicious eye candy! 

I had dinner last month with my Grandma Josie at Lowdown Brewery (which I luurve). We each started with a beer- I had the Patio Pounding Pilz because it’s my fave:

And I followed that up with a really delicious wrap called The Incredible Edible Eggplant Sammy with thick-sliced eggplant, Baba Ganoush, pickled carrot, red onion, roasted red pepper, toasted pumpkin seeds, and mixed greens wrapped in pita bread. It’s automatically vegan, ordered directly off the menu (Lowdown does an exceptional job with labeling!). It was huge and I chose their thick cut, super salty fries as my side. There were DEFINITELY leftovers!

The next weekend my bestie bestie from LA Randy was in town. We started the night at Upstairs Circus, a spot in LoDo where you drink booze and do crafts (very fun!), followed by dinner at Freshcraft. I had wonderfully greasy fries and another wrap- only I don’t remember what it was and it’s not on their menu anymore! Looks like spinach and artichoke hearts and maybe sundried tomatoes? But still- I highly recommend them. Lots of great vegan options! 

My mom is uber trendy and lives just on the edge of Baker and SoBo, and so is in walking distance of all the coolest (vegan) spots like Nooch Vegan Market, True Love Vegan Shoes, Sweet Action Ice Cream (that always has vegan flavors available), just to name a few. One recent hot Sunday afternoon we strolled down Broadway to Historians Ale House which has the coolest rooftop bar. They also have a fantastic drink menu and a really yummy Hummus Plate:

I like that it comes with a variety of (healthy) veggies and (naughty) corn chips, so you can choose how virtuous you feel as you eat 😉

Okay, okay, I know you feel like you see this picture in EVERY ‘what I eat’ round up, and you’re sort of correct. It’s never the same picture, but it’s the same dish from Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs. My pal Eric and I eat there on the regular and I pretty much always get the Veggie Chicago Dog and Sweet Tots… and I always steal a few of his fries, just to be safe. 

I almost always bring leftovers for lunch but decided to treat myself one day last week to a Build Your Own Bowl from Tokyo Joe’s, which is a chain. What you see here is brown rice, sweet potato, broccoli, water chestnuts, sweet onions, edamame and a sweet teriyaki sauce. I don’t eat there often because I work in Denver’s Cap Hill neighborhood so there are like millions of lunch options, but I’m always pretty happy with their food. 

My fam and I try to do Sunday Family Dinners when we can, and I hosted a couple weeks ago. I made Stuffed Shells (using my awesome ricotta recipe) topped with Daiya cheese and fresh sweet basil, my Orange Vanilla Massaged Kale Salad, and a side of peppers and onions cooked with Field Roast spicy mexican sausage. Oh, and some homemade garlic bread too! Here’s a shot of my plate:

This was dinner the other night: Oven fries with a homemade ‘honey’ mustard sauce, and a sandwich of Tofurky slices, FYH provolone cheese, and spicy mustard along with some baby spinach and tomato.

Last but definitely not least, my most favoritest salad ever. It started with a bagged kale and brussels mix that included a small portion of pumpkin seeds and dried, sweetened cranberries. I grabbed it on sale at Safeway last weekend to make my life a little easier. I mixed that with some baby spinach, half a chopped red bell pepper, some homemade croutons, diced Nasoya pre-baked teriyaki tofu, and (not pictured) FYH vegan ranch dressing. Best. Work. Lunch. Ever. 

Okay my friends… that’s what I’ve been eating. Do you have anything good to share? 

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Lemon Basil Buttered Noodles

Lemon Basil Buttered Noodles - Vegan, delicious, and easy!

This week is just flying by! In addition to caring for Sally, I also have four foster kittens who take up a lot of time as well. Not that I’m complaining of course- I love all the little darlings.  It’s just A LOT. I take the bus from work, and by the time I walk home from the bus stop it’s around 5:30. I feed the dogs, and then the kittens (which is a little tricky because one is currently separated from the others for medical reasons- but only when I’m not around to watch them. He gets to play with the rest of the gang all evening). I leash up Teddy and take him on a walk, and it’s after 6 by the time I’m able to change into my comfies and maybe grab a snack. Or mix a drink. Depends on how my day went haha! Then it’s time to straighten up the house or the yard, throw in a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher. And of course all I really want to do is collapse on the couch with a book or TV. 

By the time my chores are done and the critters have all calmed down, I’m usually ready for dinner. If I don’t have something pre-made or leftover, I usually turn to something quick n’ easy like this Lemon Basil Buttered Noodle dish. You can wash and chop the basil while the pasta is cooking (and still have time to fold that load of laundry!) so it’s pretty perfect for weeknights. But at the same time it’s fancier and more elevated than regular old buttered noodles, so you’ll still feel special. And don’t we all deserve to feel a little bit special??

Lemon Basil Buttered Noodles - Vegan, delicious, and easy!

It also reheats well for work lunches because I generally do not have the patience for making single serving meals. 

Lemon Basil Buttered Noodles - Vegan, delicious, and easy!

Lemon Basil Buttered Noodles - Vegan, delicious, and easy!

Lemon Basil Buttered Noodles - Vegan, delicious, and easy!

Interested in other quick pasta dishes? Give these a try!


Lemon Basil Buttered Noodles
Serves 2
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  1. 4 ounces pasta, cooked
  2. 12-15 sweet basil leaves
  3. Juice and zest from one small lemon
  4. 2+ tablespoons vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
  5. Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Chiffonade the basil leaves. As soon as the pasta is cooked and drained, return to the warm pot and combine all the ingredients together, stirring until the vegan butter is melted.
  1. This is one of those 'intuitive recipes'... add as much vegan butter and salt as pleases YOU!
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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Sally Update


If you follow me on on twitter or insta you may already know that Sally isn’t doing so well. We’ve known for a few weeks now that she has kidney disease, but a week and a half ago we found out she also has cancer. It’s spread quite a bit, and isn’t treatable. The kidney specialist (who also found the cancer) wanted to keep treating the kidney disease aggressively, and at first I was on board, but this past weekend changed my mind. 

First of all, Sally does not like the KD food. She’d rather go hungry than eat it. It also seems to upset her tummy. Second, she had a hot spot which quickly became infected. Badly. And if we were treating the kidney disease, we wouldn’t be able to give her painkillers. I started to feel like I was making her situation worse by treating the kidney disease.

We saw a wonderful ER vet on Sunday morning (for the leg infection) who took the time to sit with me while I cried and helped me work through it. The conclusion I came to is that the kindest, best solution is to stop treating the kidney disease and help Sally enjoy whatever time she has left. Let her eat food she ENJOYS. Let her take some painkillers, especially while her leg is infected. Let her stay home on the couch where she’s comfortable rather than dragging her around town for ultrasounds and kidney tests. 

In my gut, I know that the cancer is going to take her before the kidney disease. If the kidney disease were the only issue, of course we’d fight as long as we could. But I don’t think it’s going to matter. I don’t know how much time we have, but I know I want it to be good time- so this little girl is going to be spoiled and loved on as much as she can stand. She’s going to get dog treats for breakfast and peanut butter for dinner. Belly rubs and ear scratches. Whatever she wants, because I love her more than anything. 


Vegan Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs

Vegan Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs: A yummy vegan alternative! www.thatwasvegan.com

Whoa! Two posts in one week? (is what I know you’re thinking) And yes. I don’t know if it’s the cooler temps, but I’m feeling a lot more motivated to cook and such. Mostly I’m feeling motivated to make super filling autumnal dishes like my Best Fall Casserole and Butternut Kale Lasagna, but I’m also trying to focus on some more transitional recipes. Recipes that are good for all types of weather. Food you can feel good about eating even when you can’t hide a food baby under a bulky sweater! These Vegan Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs (or Beanballs if you prefer) fit the bill perfectly. 

They’re made with a black bean base but also have veggies and tons of seasoning in there. And cheese too! I used Daiya jack cheese, which melted perfectly, as you can see…

Vegan Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs: A yummy vegan alternative! www.thatwasvegan.com

So what would one do with these cheese-stuffed beauties? Well, the possibilities are endless. ENDLESS! Serve them atop saucy pasta, or in a meatball sub topped with sautéed onions and peppers. 

Ooh, how about with toothpicks and a bubbling bowl of hot n’ spicy marinara sauce? That’ll get your party lit. 

I really don’t think there’s a wrong way to enjoy them. Actually, that’s not true. Don’t eat them with guilt or shame. These gooey little beanballs are guilt free and it would be wrong to feel badly about eating as many of them as you can stuff into your pretty little face. You have my word! 

Vegan Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs
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  1. 3-4 oz block or wedge of vegan cheese (I used Daiya Jack, but any flavor would work)
  2. 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  3. ½ bell pepper, cut into large chunks
  4. ¼ red onion, cut into large chunks
  5. 1 can no-salt black beans, rinsed and well-drained
  6. 1 teaspoon cumin
  7. 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
  8. ½ teaspoon salt
  9. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  10. 1 cup panko, separated
  11. S&P to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 420 and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Chop the cheese into small cubes, about the size of the tip of your thumb and set aside, at room temperature.
  3. Mix the chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Drop the bell pepper and onion chunks into the food processor. Blend for just a few moments, until the pieces are smallish but not minced. Pour in the beans and blend until everything is mixed together (just a few seconds, really). You don’t want the beans completely broken down, otherwise your mixture will be too moist and wont cook well.
  5. Pour the bean mixture into a medium bowl and add the chia mix, seasonings and about ½ the panko crumbs. Mix with your hands until everything is completely blended, adding the additional panko as needed. You want this mixture to be sticky so you can form meatballs that will hold together. Taste the mix and add S&P as needed.
  6. Using approximately 4-6 tablespoons of mix each, shape your meatballs into flat, round patties. Place one cube of cheese on each and wrap the bean mix around the cheese, forming a round meatball.
  7. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat, and brown the meatballs for about 10 minutes, rolling them over every 1-2 minutes so they get a little color on each side.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip. Bake for another 5 minutes. Serve immediately (or add to the dish you’re using them in).
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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Labor day has come and gone but that doesn’t mean summer is over. There’s still plenty of time for delicious, warm-weather-friendly dinners like this Avocado Flatbread topped with Roasted Corn and Sweet Basil. Because who needs avo toast when you can have avo flatbread? #MoreCarbsFTW

Avocado flatbread with grilled corn and sweet basil: an easy, delicious, healthy vegan meal! www.thatwasvegan.com

I’ve been sitting on this recipe for a while most of the summer because I was too busy lazy to edit the pictures and type up the recipe. My bad, because I wish you all could’ve been enjoying this easy meal all along, but better late than never, no?

Avocado flatbread with grilled corn and sweet basil: an easy, delicious, healthy vegan meal! www.thatwasvegan.com

I used mini naan breads that I found at my local King Soopers. I grilled the corn on the cob using a cast iron grill pan, chopped some basil and smashed some avocado with lemon juice and salt. It was truly that easy. And if you don’t want to turn on your stove, you can grill the corn outside. Or boil it as usual, then thrown it under the broiler. 

Whatever you do, the char marks on the corn, while not strictly necessary, are highly recommended.

Avocado flatbread with grilled corn and sweet basil: an easy, delicious, healthy vegan meal! www.thatwasvegan.com

I ate this as lunch, but it’s hearty enough for dinner… or if you slice in half or quarters it would make great appetizers or snacks too. 

Avocado flatbread with grilled corn and sweet basil: an easy, delicious, healthy vegan meal! www.thatwasvegan.com


Avocado Flatbread with Roasted Corn and Sweet Basil
Serves 2
Write a review
  1. 2 corns on the cob
  2. 4 individual-sized flat breads
  3. 1 large ripe avocado
  4. 1 teaspoon lemon plus the zest of 1 lemon
  5. 15-20 sweet basil leaves
  6. Pinch sea salt, crack of black pepper, to taste
  1. Cook your corn as desired (but I highly recommend grill marks!). Mash the avocado with the lemon juice and salt. Chiffonade the basil.
  2. Allow the corn to cool slightly, then slice from the cob. Randomly-sized chunks are cool!
  3. Spread the avo mash on the flatbreads, top with corn and basil, then with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper, along with the lemon zest. Serve at room temp or slightly warm.
  1. Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/

What I Eat When I’m Not Blogging #15

Some of these are a wee bit old because I haven’t shared one of these posts in foreva, but here we go! Also, apparently, I’ve been eating out a lot lately… 

Sesame Tofu from Spicy Basil on Broadway. Their dinner portions are huge and could probably feed a family of four, but this was alllll for me! They have fantastic breading and a really sweet n’ spicy sauce, plus it comes with tons of veggies. 

Last week it was rainy and chilly, so for lunch one day I ordered the Tofu Noodle Bowl from Phonatic. I usually get the Pho, but this seemed better for a to-go order. I still prefer the Pho, but this was a close second. If you live in Denver and like Pho, you absolutely have to try Phonatic. 

I was at a work event last week too, and all I knew was that they were serving “BBQ” as the lunch, so I really didn’t have high hopes of actually being fed. Plus I was a late addition and didn’t go through the actual registration process, so never had a chance to specify my dietary preferences. So I did what smart vegans everywhere do, and threw a KIND bar into my purse. But! It was my lucky day, and I was surprised with Tofu & veggie kabobs, salad without cheese mixed in, plain baked potatoes and bbq sauce, and fresh fruit salad for dessert!

My friend William who I used to work with quit his job to go to law school, and we had a celebratory lunch for him at City O’ City, an all-veg and mostly-vegan restaurant and bar near the office. I had the daily special, which was Tofish n’ Chips, where the “chips” were actually pieces of savory waffle. It came with vegan tartar sauce and malt vinegar (which I hilariously thought was syrup for some reason, dipped my waffle in there, and got a very strange surprise haha!). COC has spotty service and high prices BUT sometimes their food is just knock-it-out-of-the-park delicious, and this was one of those times!

I’ve been on a bit of a Mad Greens kick lately, and nearly every time I’ve gone in this summer I’ve ordered the Pancho Villa Salad, which is baby greens, roasted corn, quinoa, spiced pumpkin seeds, and tofu- it might be my favorite salad ever. In fact, I had it again for lunch yesterday!

I feel like every single What I Eat post has included a picture similar (or even identical) to this one- A yummy Veggie Dog & Sweet Tater Tots from Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs on Colfax. This time I had the dog Chicago Style with funky green relish, red onions, celery salt, mustard, and hot peppers. YUM!

I went to a conference in Asheville last month, and one night I found my way to this amazing Mexican restaurant called Mountain Madre. I had lots of beer and tequila but also these Vegan Chicken Enchiladas that were super tasty. 

My step-brother, SIL and three kiddos came and stayed with me last month, and it was my SIL Kathy’s birthday while they were here, so I made these Cookie’s n’ Cream cupcakes from VCTOTW. They tasted amazing, although the cake part came out a little weird. Oh well, we all know I suck at baking!

The last night they were here we all went for dinner at Uncle Maddio’s which is a chain but is really good- My mom and I split a pie with Daiya mozzarella, seasoned tofu, tomatoes and bell peppers. 

A few weeks ago my friend Denise and I drove down to Pueblo for a girl’s weekend with Chelsea. Pueblo has gotten a lot cuter over the past couple of years- they’ve had a big influx of young professionals which has brought new restaurants and bars. We walked around downtown and by the riverwalk, and stopped at a few places for cocktails. I failed to take any pictures of that, but I did get a shot of our lunch the first day at Bingo Burger where I had the Veggie Burger, made of quinoa, garbanzos, mushrooms, vegan mayo and Pueblo chilis… and fries of course! To save a few calories for drinking I went bunless. 

The next morning we headed out to The Hanging Tree (very dark name!) for coffee and breakfast. I had their Vegan Breakfast Sandwich which was a thick portabello, red pepper hummus and spinach on a toasted bagel. It didn’t knock my socks off, but I was just so excited to have vegan options that I would never complain!





Mile High Vegan Eats: Zeps Epiq Sandwiches

Do you love sandwiches? I love sandwiches. 

Zeps Epiq Sandwiches is a little shop near 12th and Broadway that’s owned by Quiznos but with much better sandwiches. It’s perfect for a quick lunch with coworkers because they have a pretty wide variety of sandwiches, wraps and salads that will appeal to most everyone. Although it has to be mentioned, they’re quite popular and get pretty packed by 12:30 or so, meaning it might not actually be that quick.

Their menu is very clearly marked as to what is vegetarian, and the changes to make those vegan are also easy. Most can also be ordered as a half sandwich, which is what I like to get (along with some seriously amazing tots).

First up, The Boulderite: Crispy falafel, hummus, roasted red peppers, tomato, cucumber, romaine on a baguette- just make sure you ask them to hold the cheese and yogurt sauce. I subbed the raspberry vinaigrette but didn’t end up needing it.

The falafel was flavorful and crisp, and the bread was chewy. It was delicious, but the start of my meal that day was definitely the Bloody Mary Tater Tots

So much flavoring, some kind of tomato and celery salt… they were hot, crispy perfection. Of course, I’m also a fan of the Salt & Vinegar Tater Tots, shown here along side a Garden of the Goods wrap: Hummus, fire-roasted corn and red peppers, cucumber, daikon, red onion, tomato, seasonal greens in a whole grain tortilla (skip the chimichurri to keep it vegan). 

The tots are soooo salty and good. Crunchy on the outside, warm and soft on the inside. And the wrap was great too- the corn and pepper mix had a little bit of heat and tons of flavor. It was too big for me though, and I ended up taking half of it to go (you can’t order a half wrap, unfortunately).

My most recent visit involved a very messy yet fantastic version of their Bold Banh Mi with lemongrass tofu, jalapeno, pickled carrot, cucumber and daikon, cilantro on a french baguette. I planned ahead, knew this is what I was going to order, and brought a tiny little container of Vegenaise mayo with me to schmear on. Yum! Between the jalapeno and cilantro it was really spicy, but the salty tots helped.

There are few other cheese-heavy options that would be good for vegetarians, but these were definitely my favorite vegan picks. Zeps is casual, and not that big, so again I’d suggest avoiding the rush. 

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

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