Sunday, October 2, 2011

FALL is coming!

So I know I've been a slack ass.  Travel has been slow and I haven't been tending to you guys as well as I should.  However, I found an amazing vegan breakfast sandwich from a fellow blogger and, as a means of playing blog catch-up, I'm gonna do what I didn't really want to do.  Post. a. RECIPE!  So here goes.

Let me preface the recipe by saying: Dude, I know this looks weird.  I know.  Pumpkin and sausage?  SERIOUSLY?!  Yes.  Pumpkin and sausage.  Don't question the awesome, just stuff it in your face ok?

pumpkin-breakfast-sandwich46--.jpg (564×524)
Does seeing the yummy help?  Reconcile it in your brain.  DO IT NOW!
A few tips first: I want to make this during the week too but I don't have NEARLY the amount of time I would need to do all this cooking on a week day.  So I made the package of GimmeLean sausage into about 6 patties and cooked them all at once (cause English muffins come 6 to a pack...see how that works?).  

Yummy yummy breakfast sausages!
I also made a whole bunch of pumpkin butter so I could use the whole can of pumpkin.  I effectively doubled the recipe for the butter.  Cause can you ever really have TOO much pumpkin butter?  Only if you're a fascist. (Hitler disapproves of your excessive pumpkin butter!)  So let's begin!

Jack-o-Pumpkin Breakfast Sandwich
makes 1 sandwich with leftover pumpkin butter

Part One: Pumpkin Maple Butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 Tbsp maple syrup (grade B is my preference)
2 tsp olive oil
pinch of sea salt (truffle salt is even better)
Optional: dash of pumpkin pie spice for spiced complex flavors

to make: heat in microwave for 30 seconds, stir well.

Part Two: Sandwich Ingredients
1 patty vegan sausage - GimmeLean brand used here
-> brush patty with olive oil and fine black pepper

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
-> brush with olive oil, salt and pepper

1 thick slice vegan Monterey Jack cheese, I used Follow Your Heart brand

1/4 cup chopped fresh arugula

1 English muffin, whole wheat

2-3 Tbsp pumpkin butter (from above - serve more on the side if you'd like)

optional: 1 tsp hot sauce or dash of cayenne (for heat)

To Make:

note: I use a panini press to do all my grilling - you could also use a saute pan - grill press helps too.

1. Toast/grill muffin.
2. Grill/press vegan sausage patty. Grill mushrooms.
3. I add the cheese to the cooked patty - then top with the mushrooms and press down my panini press. This prevents the cheese from sticking to the press, but allows it to melt between the shrooms and patty.
4. Assemble: Slather each side of muffin wit your warmed pumpkin butter. Add patty, mushrooms and arugula. Close top. Slice and serve warm.

Let me know what you guys think of this.  I inhaled mine and it was delicious.  I had to handle the sandwich with care because I will say, the pumpkin butter makes the innards want to squirt out the back like a push pop.  So be careful and enjoy! 

(I got the original recipe from the blog:  Her blog is awesome if you like to cook and I HIGHLY recommend it.)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011 awesome...I mean seriously...

For my last meal in San Diego I dragged (and I do mean dragged) my friends to this place called Veg n' Out (  Can't. Gush. Enough!  This place is like every vegan's wet dream.  It might not look like much, but just trust, it's ridic.

We started with the sweet potato medallions with ketchup.  Tiny, golden disks of joy in mouth.  No joke.  With some salt, they were heavenly.  I even got the meat-eaters to agree on that one.

Then we have the Big Kahuna sandwich.  Oh the sandwich.......  I can't.  There are not words.  Ok, maybe there are.  They use a "chicken" base that they create like a BBQ-shredded-chicken-mess with that is delish.  Then they add some cheese (vegan or dairy, whichever you prefer), a slice of pineapple, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo (vegan or reg) and mustard.  You get fries or salad on the side.  I got salad with some kind of dill dressing that I want to bathe in (no, seriously...I mean that).

 That and a locally brewed ginger Kombucha tea and stick a fork in me, I AM DONE!

They also had some locally baked vegan cookies and brownies.  I tried the chocolate chip and the oatmeal chocolate chip.  I was licking the cellophane...seriously licking.  The brownie...meeeeeeh.  It was a vegan brownie.  Nuff said.

Overall, a must visit for any vegan on the go.  The menu is like 5 pages long and everything I saw coming out of the kitchen looked amazing.  Go, GO NOW!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dream of Californication

SoCal.  Despite traveling for three years now, I have yet to visit this 75 degreed, year round paradise.  As a vegan, I think they revoke your card if you don't go at least once...  Anyway, I figured what better place to find awesome and healthy vegan food than a place where 90 lbs vegan "actresses" run around.  (Megan Fox bitching about being too skinny as a vegan...hooker)  Let's ignore for the moment that they are merely subsisting off salad and a steady coke habit.  Coke is vegan, right?...  But I digress.

 First stop was in  Carlsbad, California at The Naked Cafe (

From first glance this place screams "O. M. G., we are SO environmentally conscious!" so much so that you expect the chairs to be covered in dirty hippie skins.  The walls and tables are lined with bamboo wood and cork and it seems like this place has every energy efficient build-out you could find.  

Looking at the menu this place does serve meaty treats but their alternatives mostly focuses on vegetarian options, though they do have some vegan fare built into the menu (and gluten free if that's your thing).  

I have to say, I went here because someone online talked about their AMAZING breakfasts.  Well sorry vegan kiddos, no alternatives that let you carb-out like the runner up to Ms. America the day after the pageant.  All the pancakes and french toast have egg.  But they have lots of Mexican themed food...oh joy...cause, as a Texan, I needed MORE Mexican breakfast items...

I chose to have the Yin and Yang made vegan (without the sour cream or the cheese) and a french press coffee.

While my companion had The OM made with tofu. 
*Warning - The OM is made with honey so it is not vegan!*

The food was good.  The potatoes had a nice crisp on them but, in the long run, it makes a fancy potato and bean taco.  Not that there's anything wrong with that per se.  Just nothing that makes me want to jump up and down.  The coffee leaves something to be desired, especially considering the hefty price tag. Tasted a little more like something I could get at work than free-trade, fresh brewed.  They have a pretty extensive drink list on the menu.  Lots of coffees and teas along with some smoothies thrown in for good measure.  Hmmmm, should have gone with the tea I think...

Overall, this place had a pretty large selection and was very tasty.  The waitress seemed to be very familiar with what on the menu can be easily made vegan, and they have staples like soy milk for your coffee.  They have 4 locations around San Diego so they're convenient enough to guilt your meat eater friends into going somewhere you can eat damn it!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Search Begins!

As a vegan with a fairly hectic travel schedule, I always think to myself, "There has got to be a site out there that will just tell me where to eat when I am in _____(fill in the blank with random work destination)."  

Unfortunately,  there are not a lot of sites that will tell you if "vegan friendly" means they have food for you or if that means "Oh, well we have a garden salad with vinaigrette dressing!".  

"Ooooo, for me?  You shouldn't have! really, you shouldn't have."

For the record, salad is not a meal.  

So now, I am on a mission!  One lone vegan on a journey to scout out vegan food in the far reaches of the country!  To boldly go where vegans have gone before and say "You know what?!  SCREW YOUR SALAD!"  Stay tuned as I start in the easiest destination EVER...Southern California.