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If you follow me on insta you’re already familiar with my epic date nights- I crack open a box bottle of wine, queue up something good on Netflix, and order myself something delicious for dinner. Then it’s cuddle time on the couch with Sally -and Teddy too, soon, hopefully!

Once in a while I’ll cook, but more often it’s delivery, and definitely something I wouldn’t normally get. Chinese delivery is a big favorite, and thanks to apps like GrubHub and Eat24, it’s at my door pretty darn quick. Lately I’ve been ordering from Fortune Kitchen, which apparently has a dine-in option, although I’ve never even driven by. Their food though? I can definitely vouch for that. And though they’re actually located in Aurora, they do have a pretty large delivery area that stretches into parts of Denver. 

The best best best part? They have an entire portion of their menu dedicated to vegan meat! That’s right, you can order all your old pregan favorites, but without the animal products. And I’ve double and triple checked- their seitan is egg and dairy free! It’s made with Chinese mushrooms, soybeans, veggies and seaweed.

Here are a few of my favorite dishes…

Vegetarian Sesame Chicken is hands-down the best thing they have, IMO. It’s battered and deep fried the way I remember Chinese chicken dishes being- as opposed to that thinner batter you usually get on tofu. It’s so flavorful and meaty and even omni friends say it’s delicious and authentic.

Mile High Vegan Eats: Fortune Kitchen Takeout | www.thatwasvegan.com Vegetarian Chicken Fried Rice is almost always in my Eat24 cart as well. The seitan isn’t battered, but it’s very flavorful. And they have little bits of yellow tofu in there to make it look like egg. It also has peas and carrots and onion, just like the fried rice you’d find anywhere else. 

Mile High Vegan Eats: Fortune Kitchen Takeout | www.thatwasvegan.com

They call this Tofu in Peanut Sauce but I think it’s really more of a Massaman Curry… And I have to stop myself from just drinking it straight from the cup it’s delivered in! I always order it medium spicy, and I love the broccoli and pineapple mixed in. 

Mile High Vegan Eats: Fortune Kitchen Takeout | www.thatwasvegan.com

Vegetarian Beef with Broccoli is the only “beef” dish I’ve ever ordered from here. The flavor is great, but the texture of the “beef” is much softer than the chicken. I’m a huge fan of all the veggies they include in there though!

Mile High Vegan Eats: Fortune Kitchen Takeout | www.thatwasvegan.com

And finally, the old delicious standbys: Sesame Tofu and Orange Chicken! Both are good, but when I crave the sesame sauce, I much prefer the vegetarian chicken dish. And I find the orange chicken to be a bit sweet… although in all fairness I do order it mild, so it may be my own fault. The veggie spring rolls are free with a coupon on Eat24 so I always get them, but they’re nothing special. But hey, free is free, right? 

Mile High Vegan Eats: Fortune Kitchen Takeout | www.thatwasvegan.com

So if you find yourself in need of Chinese takeout or delivery in Southeast Denver, you have to try them. You can checkout their full menu here (or via your favorite food order app), and they’re located at 12120 E Mississippi Ave in Aurora!

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

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Sweet Basil, Corn, Pepperoncini Veggie Dogs | www.thatwasvegan.com

I’ll be the first to admit that these veggie dogs need a more succinct name, but I don’t know what it would be. If you have any ideas, please share, because they really do deserve a good name. They’re so delicious! I love anything with fresh sweet basil, and then you add in the charred, grilled corn plus the tang of the pepperoncini, and suddenly your veggie dogs are next level. 

And speaking of dogs… 

Teddy!

Sweet Basil, Corn, Pepperoncini Veggie Dogs | www.thatwasvegan.com

He’s really starting to settle in. He’s figured out the stairs and loves to go upstairs on his own to explore. Sometimes I’ll be sitting on the couch reading or watching tv and wonder “Who the heck is stomping around upstairs? Oh, that’s just Teddy!” He also likes to hang out on the landing, halfway up the stairs. It’s carpeted so I assume it’s fairly comfortable, plus it gives him a great view out the front door and over the fence. 

Sweet Basil, Corn, Pepperoncini Veggie Dogs | www.thatwasvegan.com

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! I know I did. I went for a much needed walk n’ talk with my girlfriend Sonali- she’s kind of my online dating guru and is always full of wisdom. I hiked with Teddy and another friend, went to a BBQ (and brought these amazing veggie dogs!), and even spent some time soaking in my mom’s pool:

Sweet Basil, Corn, Pepperoncini Veggie Dogs | www.thatwasvegan.com

Yah… you don’t need to be psychic to know I’m going to be spending a lot of time in that pool this summer :) 

But back to the (edible) dogs- when I’m invited to an omni bbq I really try to step up my game. Normally I’d bring some delicious sides (like Spicy Pasta Salad or perhaps Grilled Sriracha Sweet Potatoes) or one of my many homemade bean burgers, but this time ‘veggie dogs’ was the specific request. This gave me pause. Sure, they’re delicious with ketchup and relish and onions, but is that really going to open anyone’s mind? Probably not. So I went with a twist, and easy-yet-tasty topping combo of sweet and tart, that had all the flavors of summer.

Sweet Basil, Corn, Pepperoncini Veggie Dogs | www.thatwasvegan.com

Being a food blogger means more is expected of you at potlucks. But it also means you get to make the dishes at least twice- including once at home to practice and photograph, and then stuff into your own face with no one watching. In this case, I did that with a side of grilled beets which I highly recommend!

Sweet Basil, Corn, Pepperoncini Veggie Dogs | www.thatwasvegan.com

I know I’ve shared these before, but they’re still a favorite of mine. The natural, earthy, sweetness of the beet, and the charred flavor from the grill… perfection! A fun way to eat your veggies as the weather warms up. And a great side to all your favorite summer dishes! 


 

Sweet Basil, Corn, Pepperoncini Veggie Dogs
Yields 2
Next level veggie dogs!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 half cob sweet corn, grilled
  2. 4 basil leaves
  3. 6+ pepperoncini rings plus 1 teaspoon liquid from jar
  4. 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  5. 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  6. 2 veggie dogs (I like Smartdogs)
  7. 2 hot dog buns
Instructions
  1. Slice the corn from the cob, chiffonade the basil leaves, chop the pepperoncini, and mix in a bowl with the liquid from the jar, the vinegar, and the sugar. Set aside.
  2. Grill or otherwise heat your veggie dogs and buns, then top with the relish. Serve hot!
Adapted from epicurious
Adapted from epicurious
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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Falling in Love

They say love is complicated, but that’s not always true.

Sometimes, you’re scrolling through pictures online, looking for that special someone, and the right one just jumps out at you. Maybe the feeling isn’t mutual right away, maybe it takes time to find your groove, but when it’s meant to be, well… nothing can stand in the way of fate, right?

I fell in love this weekend. The lucky guy? Teddy.

Falling in Love | www.thatwasvegan.com

After Cooper went to the rainbow bridge, I took some time to heal before I started fostering again. Then, a few weeks ago, I started to feel like someone was missing from my family. There seemed to be this emptiness at home that Sally and I just couldn’t fill on our own. So I decided to adopt. I already volunteer with the Dumb Friends League so they seemed like the natural choice, and there were lots of sweet faces on their website. Furry faces that needed homes. There was one in particular who kept jumping out at me:

Falling in Love | www.thatwasvegan.com

Such a sad little face he had after a month at the shelter!

All it took was a quick visit with Sally to get her approval, and that sweet fella was on his way home with me. I didn’t choose his new name until the next morning, but I knew it needed to be the perfect fit. He’s an old man so the name needed to be respectable… but it also needed to fit that adorable face of his. And those ears. Those ears!

Falling in Love | www.thatwasvegan.com

He looks like a teddy bear to me, so his name became Theodore Maximus, or Teddy for short, and he’s doing great in his new home. He’s still a bit shy and reserved, but he always wants to be in the same room as me, and has started approaching me for scratches around the neck and under the chin. What I really want to do is hug him and kiss his adorable face, but I’m showing remarkable restraint

I’m still getting to know him, but here’s what we know so far: He’s 9 years old and has arthritis in his back hips. He spent his whole life as a working sled dog here in Colorado. He really likes other dogs, and is only moderately interested in squirrels and rabbits. He and Sally are definitely friends, although I haven’t seen them playing yet. He’s insanely sweet, with no aggression at all, even over food. And he takes treats SO gently, just using his lips. I assume he’s never had the need to be house trained (since he has never lived in a house), but he’s already a pro at the doggy door and hasn’t had any accidents in the house (knock on wood).

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I have a four day weekend coming up, and I’m excited to take him on his first trip to the dog park, and I’ll definitely share pics of that adventure! :) 

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Hello and happy Thursday! I’m on a very special mission this weekend, and hope to have really good news for you in my next post. I’ll give you a hint… it involves 4 paws and a whole mess of love. Follow me on twitter or insta for updates! 

For now, it’s another update of all the amazingness I eat when I’m not making something for the blog! (Stolen shamelessly from Bianca, btw)

First up, a falafel wrap and fries from a little Syrian joint 2 blocks from my office called Shish Kabob Grill. The owners make the falafel fresh in house from their own recipe, and it’s the best I’ve ever had. That’s a creamy hummus sauce on top, totes vegan!

www.thatwasvegan.com

This next one is going to seem a bit random, but I have to share it because of how vegan-friendly Amtrak is: I took the train recently to Glenwood Springs for a work conference, and ate this vegan burger on the way. It’s literally called “The Vegan Burger” on their menu, so no need to ask annoying questions. They also have a different vegan option in their dining car for lunch and dinner each day. It was a black bean patty, not bad at all (although they did cook it in a microwave and there were no vegetable toppings available), but it was better than what I expected. And, of course, there’s always the bar car :) 

www.thatwasvegan.com

These “vegan popsters” were both adorable and delicious! I grabbed one at Pig Train, a coffee shop inside Denver’s Union Station. They had strawberry and blueberry… I went with strawberry of course. Similar to a pop tart (which I believe are vegan if unfrosted?), but softer and moister, and bigger. Which is better!

www.thatwasvegan.com

I like to keep frozen burger or chik’n patties in the freezer for quick and easy meals, like this one. This was one of those $1 finds from the Dollar Tree, score!

www.thatwasvegan.com

You know I love a good date night at home with just me and Sally, and on this particular one “we” had nachos and beer. That is to say, I had nachos and beer and she had a kong stuffed with peanut butter and plenty of fresh, clean water haha. My nachos were literally smothered in melted Daiya cheddar with pinto beans, taco flavored seitan crumbles, onions, bell peppers, salsa, and avocado!

www.thatwasvegan.com

I freaking love Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs. Especially with a side of deep fries sweet tater tots. The veggie dog was “Chicago style” with mustard, red onions, tomatoes, pickles, strangely colored relish, and celery salt. Delicious!

www.thatwasvegan.com

Another quick n’ easy meal: tater tots from my freezer with a huge portion of sauteed kale, and one of my spicy chickpea burgers. I can’t remember what brand of cheese that was… I grabbed it at Natural Grocers because it was on sale, but it wasn’t very good, honestly. 

www.thatwasvegan.com

I busted out the waffle maker for the first time in my new place, and made beer waffles! The recipe isn’t quite perfected, but almost… it’ll be great in a number of savory recipes I’m thinking of. 

www.thatwasvegan.com

Last but DEFINITELY not least: Crazy @ss Totchos. You know those days when everything goes wrong and you just want to drown your sorrows in fats and oils and grease and starch? Well I had one of those days, so I went home and baked off some tots, then smothered them in melted Daiya, green chile, and ketchup. It was divine. Exactly what I needed to life my spirits! 

www.thatwasvegan.com

Okay, that’s all I have for ya. Don’t forget to check back for updates on my top secret mission ❤︎!

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Hummus Pasta Salad

Hummus Pasta Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

It’s cold and rainy here, but I’m pretending it’s summer. Dishes with fresh veggies, burgers, and pasta salads are all on the menu at my house!

Also? Getting outside as much as possible. Even when it’s so cold I can see my own breath… 

Hummus Pasta Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

Hummus Pasta Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

These are from a trail in Boulder on Sunday morning. It was a great hike, and had there not been all those clouds hovering around us, there would’ve been a beautiful view. And I really could see my own breath!

Can’t claim this pasta salad is on the same level as a perfect hike, but it IS delicious! Pasta… hummus… what else do you need? The hummus makes it all so creamy, but still healthier than vegan mayo. Plus depending on what kind of hummus you use, it changes up the flavor. I went with the garlicky-est hummus I could, but I feel like a roasted red pepper would be great too. 

Also, sorry for the crummy picture. I got new lights and I’m still figuring them out! 


Hummus Pasta Salad
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 8oz your favorite pasta (I used a whole wheat rotini)
  2. 1.5 cups hummus (I recommend a garlicky one!)
  3. 3+ tablespoons nondairy milk, as needed
  4. 1 cup grape tomatoes
  5. 1/2 cucumber
  6. 1/2 sweet onion
  7. S&P to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta to package instructions. Drain and return to hot pan.
  2. Slice the grape tomatoes in half. Slice and quarter the cucumber. Dice the onion.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together in the still-warm pan, adding as much nondairy milk as you need to get it a little creamy. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve at room temp or chilled.
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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Grilled Carrots with a Sriracha Cream Sauce | www.thatwasvegan.com

I feel like I’ve fallen into this bloggery rut of disappearing for weeks at a time, popping up and apologizing and promising to do better, and then… disappearing again. 

This time though! Really! I mean it! 

As a peace offering I come bearing a recipe for delicious Grilled Carrots with a Sriracha Cream Sauce. If you haven’t tried grilling carrots yet, you’re missing out. The trick is to not overcook them- you want them to still have some bite, but with that delicious smokey almost-burnt-but-not-quite flavor. 

Grilled Carrots with a Sriracha Cream Sauce | www.thatwasvegan.com

These would make an excellent side dish for any upcoming cookout action!

Grilled Carrots with a Sriracha Cream Sauce | www.thatwasvegan.com


 

Grilled Carrots with a Sriracha Cream Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 12oz Mori Nu silken lite firm tofu, drained
  2. 1/4 cup lemon juice
  3. 1.5 tablepsoons apple cider vinegar
  4. 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened almond or soy milk
  5. 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  7. 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  8. 1.5 - 2 tablespoons Sriracha
  9. 12 carrots, fairly equal in size
  10. Olive oil
  11. Salt & pepper for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except carrots and oil in the food processor and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside.
  2. Wash, trim, and slice the carrots lengthwise in half or in thirds (depending on their size). Put them in to a zippy bag with 1 tablespoon water, with about 1" of the top left unsealed. Microwave on high for 1.5-2 minutes, or until they're pretty flexible.
  3. Drizzle the carrots with a little bit of olive oil and grill on medium/high for 2-3 minutes. Brush with a bit more oil, flip, and grill for another 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with S&P and drizzle with the sriracha sauce. Serve warm.
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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Food Adventures in DC

I went to DC for work last week, and aside from being productive and informative professionally, it was also very successful in terms of food. That is to say, I ate my damn face off!

It started off slowly on Tuesday when my flight was delayed for 3 hours, which is the best excuse I’ve ever heard to drink my breakfast! I cozied up at the bar with my ipad and the time just flew by. I was reading In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume… This is the first adult fiction I’ve read of hers, and I really enjoyed it. Although I will admit, reading about plane crashes is probably not a great idea right before boarding a plane!

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It was definitely not a smooth travel day, and I was disappointed to have missed my afternoon of sightseeing, so by the time I checked into my hotel I was ready for some happy hour happiness. The Public House was literally across the street, so that’s where I went.  Half off appetizers and $3 draft beers sounded pretty great to me, so I ordered their house lager and hummus plate. You know how sometimes hummus plates are a little skimpy on the hummus and the pita, and you end up with a bunch of veggies at the end and nothing to dip them in? Not here! That was two enormous scoops of hummus, and almost more pita than I could eat! It was fantastic. I finished my book and chatted with the guys sitting next to me, then headed back to my room to work for a bit. 

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Wednesday morning’s breakfast was A.) a little sad, and B.) destined to be repeated every morning for the rest of the week: Coffee and pretzels. It hit the spot though… and allowed me to save my per diem to spend on later, more exciting meals haha!

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I was at the Census Bureau all week, and they have their own enormous cafeteria inside the building, and that’s where I had lunch each day. There were different stations set up- you could get pizza, or burgers and fries (they had a veggie burger, but I never asked if it was vegan), sandwiches, soup, etc.  On Wednesday I hit the salad bar and made a spinach and veggie salad with chickpeas, and this cauliflower/corn/red bean salad with a vinegar dressing on it. It was tasty. I also grabbed a few chunks of Thai sweet chili tofu off the Asian bar.

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Long before we broke for the day, I knew I was headed to happy hour at Thai Pavilion because their menu looked good and very vegan friendly! I ended up enjoying three glasses of pinot grigio along with some edamame. By then I was reading In The Tall Grass by Stephen King and Joe Hill (his son!). It’s a short story, very good! 

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Eventually I caved and ordered some vegan Pad Thai as well… the leftovers made a tasty breakfast the next morning! The big chunks were fried tofu, and then little red pieces were also tofu, they seemed styled to look like that strange bright red pork that I remember from Asian restaurants of my youth, I think?

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Thursday’s lunch was similar to the day before- I hit the salad bar again. This time I also grabbed some curried chickpeas and then a spicy broccoli salad from the Asian bar.

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After finishing up work, I set out on another delicious adventure. I started at Elevation Burger which I had read about online and was dying to try. Their vegan burger was supposed to be delicious, and I was not disappointed! It was flavorful and full of veggies you could actually see- it kind of reminded me of the $1 dollar store burger I shared a while back, which I realize sounds strange. Anyway, because I knew I had a long night of liquid calories ahead of me, I went with a side salad instead of fries:

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I walked around for a bit- after a really rainy day, the sun had finally come out!

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I decided to pop into The Walrus Oyster and Ale House for a drink. I was meeting my friend Shawna (we’ve been friends for 25 years, which really boggles my mind!) a little later, and I didn’t want to go back to the hotel, and of course I had my ipad with me, so I figured I would read for a while. Sparkling rosé, mmmm!

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And in case you’re interested, I was reading Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison. Tales of her years living at the Playboy mansion, it was pretty interesting!

Finally it was time to meet Shawna so I walked a few blocks over to Granite City Food & Brewery. I wasn’t hungry, but did enjoy two glasses of wine along with lots of catching up! We hadn’t seen each in other in 4 years, so there was so much to talk about, and the time just flew by. I wish we had asked the bartender to take a picture of us.

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Friday found me with a couple hours to kill at Reagan National Airport, so I headed to Ben’s Chili Bowl, where I ended up with this vegan beast:

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That’s a vegan burger with ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato and pickles, and chili fries in the background. I was so impressed that such a meatcentric restaurant had so many vegan options, and they were all really good! It was expensive though- the fries, burger and soda set me back almost $25 which seems pretty pricey to me.

It was a fun week full of great food, but I was very happy to get home to Sally and my own bed!

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Orange-Vanilla Massaged Kale Salad

Orange-Vanilla Massaged Kale Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

I actually really like kale, and salads in general – not that you could tell from my Recipes page… it’s woefully short on salads. But it’s true! I’ve actually been eating 2 cups of steamed kale (or sometimes steamed broccoli, just to change it up) every morning for first breakfast, and I haven’t minded a bit. The only problem with steamed kale is my compulsion to cover it in garlic salt, which results in stinky breath and having to refill my water bottle a billion times while I’m trying to work. 

Enter massaged kale… no reason to steam it because it’s already nice and soft and relaxed. You know, from the massage you gave it. This one with Avocado & Carrots is wonderful… My Easy Spicy Kale Salad would also be a good bet (and has broccoli in it!) but I’m not really down for spicy first thing in the morning. 

Orange-Vanilla Massaged Kale Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

Actually the real issue is how much I’ve been craving that Cara Cara Orange Vanilla White Balsamic Vinegar that I used in last week’s Basmati Rice with Spring Vegetables! My bottle came from this place, but there are quite a few websites that sell it. And if you live in or near a decent sized city you probably have your own EVOO/Vinegar shop! Anyway, that’s how I came to create this delicious Orange-Vanilla Massaged Kale Salad!

Orange-Vanilla Massaged Kale Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

There’s only a tiny bit of oil in this recipe, just enough to help soften the leaves. All the flavor comes from the sweet n’ citrusy balsamic, along with just a teeny tiny bit of salt and garlic powder. It’s light and flavorful, and very easy to make. 

Funny story: I had popped into my local Sprouts the other day to grab a lemon (for a cocktail, not a recipe) and bumped right into a display of Cara Cara oranges! What where the chances, considering I had never even heard of them before receiving that bottle of vinegar for Christmas?

Orange-Vanilla Massaged Kale Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

Beautiful AND delicious, very sweet and bright tasting. Less tart than the oranges I’m used to. I would definitely buy them again. 

Orange-Vanilla Massaged Kale Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com


 

Orange-Vanilla Massaged Kale Salad
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 bunch kale, washed, torn, and dried
  2. 1 teaspoon EVOO
  3. 1.5 tablespoons Cara Cara Orange Vanilla white balsamic vinegar
  4. A couple pinches of salt
  5. A little shake of garlic powder
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and massage with your hands until all the leaves are covered. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  2. Taste, add more salt as needed, then serve chilled or at room temperature.
Notes
  1. If you used a really large bunch of kale, you may want to add an extra drizzle of the vinegar!
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

You guys, I had the most amazing foster dog ever. Her name is Kay (she also answers to KK, Katie, Kahkay!, K-Diddy, Kapooh, and Don’t Chew on Those Shoes!) and I love her so much. She’s two years old, and was dumped at a shelter up in Weld county with a broken hip that had never been treated, and had healed poorly. She was quickly transferred to the Dumb Friends League here in Denver where they tried a surgical solution (removing the head of the femur bone, basically), and she was sent home with me to convalesce. Unfortunately the surgery didn’t work, and they had to amputate her leg on Friday, but that’s okay. If you’ve ever met a tripod dog, you know they get around just fine, especially when the missing leg is in the back, the way it now is for Kay. I haven’t seen her since Friday when I dropped her off for the surgery, and I miss her SO MUCH.

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

Honestly, I was thisclose to adopting her, until I realized there was a (slightly) better home for her.. With my ex-husband! He has a great big house and a huge yard and Kay will be able to run around more (she has a TON of energy). Plus when he travels she can come to my house, like his other dog already does – and my Sally will still get to see her when she stays with him while I’m out of town. Perfect solution, right? I still miss her terribly and wonder if I should’ve adopted her myself, but part of me knows this was the best outcome.

On a much lighter note, my girl Denise and I ventured up to Boulder on Friday to eat at Jill’s vegan lunch buffet! They offer a buffet for lunch every day during the week, but on Friday’s it’s ALL VEGAN! This was actually my second time partaking, but the first time was like 2 years ago, so it hardly counts.

The menu is a little different each week, but this time they had 8 or so different types of pizza (some on gluten-free crust made from chickpeas), and an array of Indian food. The basmati rice cakes with pistachios and cranberries were freaking amazing!

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

 

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

Actually, everything was amazing. There was also a salad bar set up, but I didn’t get a shot of it.

Here’s my first plate…. I started with a green salad, and a really yummy Israeli couscous salad that had cranberries and sliced almonds in it. You can see Denise’s plate in the background. She was bad and DID NOT start with salad, haha!

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

My second plate was a bit more in the spirit of things, I had 2 pieces of pizza, some potatoes, one of those basmati rice cakes, this little samosa cup stuffed with spiced veggies, and a bit of bread with fresh hummus on it. 

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

Then my third plate (this is where I’d start to be embarassed to tell you guys I ate this much, if I had any sense): More pizza, more couscous, another basmati cake, a bit of mano chutney, and more bread… this time with pesto!

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

Then there was this amazing roasted tomato soup. No idea what was in it, but it was INSANE!

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

Clearly I loved it… Denise had to kick me under the table repeatedly to stop me from licking the bowl clean…

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

Finally, it was time for dessert! The mango lime cheesecake was a little disappointing- the cheesecake itself seemed like maybe it was just silken tofu with a tiny bit of sugar added? The chocolate mousse with salted caramel though? OMFG was that good. There’s a good quarter inch of the salted caramel just sitting on top of the mousse. I wanted to drink it. Bathe in it. LIVE in it. It was so good. The fresh veggies and chocolate was delicious too. They have a chocolate fountain so you can make your own, pretty fun!

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

It was a seriously delicious and indulgent lunch, but honestly I’m a little glad that it’s all the way up in Boulder. If it was in Denver I’d be tempted to eat there way more often, and that would be bad for my pants. I absolutely recommend it for all of you though, at least once! 

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Citrus-Sweet Basmati Rice with Spring Vegetables | www.thatwasvegan.com

We had a snowstorm last week. The weather forecasters were calling for 1-3 inches… and we got about 2 feet. Two. Feet. Of. Snow.  I’m not complaining, because I’m always grateful to live in Denver – I love the sunshine and the mountains and the wildlife and alllll the nature. Enormous spring snowstorms are a part of life here, and that’s fine. My point is simply that waking up to that nonsense really made me feel ready for warm weather. 

You know what I’m talking about… cocktails on the patio, dinner on the grill, a good book in the shade. Whatever your ideal warm day looks like. THAT’S what I was craving, and this dish hit the spot. It may have been snowing outside, but in my kitchen it was sunny and 80, with a light breeze.

Citrus-Sweet Basmati Rice with Spring Vegetables | www.thatwasvegan.com

I had a package of organic white basmati rice from The Real Co., a great new company that just debuted the first US certifiable 100% single origin products (they also sell Himalayan pink rock salt and organic raw can sugar). They partner with farmers and growers around the world who aren’t able to distribute their products on their own, allowing us to enjoy what is usually impossible to experience: unique, tasty, freshly farmer/mined products at affordable prices. 
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The part I find most exciting about The Real Co’s business model, though, is that every grain of salt, sugar, and rice can be traced to it’s source, which is then shared on the product packaging. Each food item is harvested from one single place, single farm, or single family. Scroll back up… my rice came from Al-Farid Co-op Gujrat Punjab. Every single grain. How neat is that? 

And I have to say, although I’m not always the best at making rice, this batch came out perfectly! I just followed the instructions on the package, and it actually worked. Miracles are real!

It was also the perfect opportunity to crack open the bottle of Cara Cara Orange-Vanilla Barrel Aged White Balsamic Vinegar my awesome SIL sent me for Christmas! (She also sent me Butter Flavored Olive Oil which is vegan and soooo good!).

Citrusy and sweet, with that balsamic tang, it’s now my favorite thing in the pantry. You best believe you’ll be seeing plenty more recipes using it this spring! This time, though, I paired it with the delicious basmati rice and some lightly steamed veggies. I really wanted the veggies to be toothsome and fresh tasting, not overcooked. 

Citrus-Sweet Basmati Rice with Spring Vegetables | www.thatwasvegan.com

Asparagus, carrots, sweet peppers, and parsley. Rice. Vinegar and a bit of olive oil. Garlic. That’s it! And this recipe is the perfect chance for you to get in that kitchen and flex your culinary muscles… it’s what JL likes to call Intuitive Cooking. Add the veggies you enjoy the most. Add as much garlic as you think is delicious. 

Citrus-Sweet Basmati Rice with Spring Vegetables | www.thatwasvegan.com


Citrus-Sweet Basmati Rice with Spring Vegetables
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup The Real Co. basmati rice, cooked per package instructions
  2. 3 tablespoons EVOO
  3. 1/4 cup Cara Cara Orange Vanilla white balsamic vinegar
  4. 3 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus more for topping
  5. 1/2 teaspoon (or more to taste) garlic powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1.5 - 2 cups your favorite veggies, chopped and lightly steamed
  8. S&P to taste
Instructions
  1. While the rice is cooking, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and parsley. When the rice is done, stir in the veggies and the marinade. Taste and add more salt or garlic as needed, then top with a bit of black pepper and additional parsley.
  2. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Notes
  1. This serves about 4 as a side, 2-3 if you're eating it as a main dish like I did!
  2. This is definitely an "intuitive cooking" recipe... add the veggies YOU love, and as much salt and garlic as makes you happy!
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
I was provided free product, but the opinions are 100% mine!

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