2020 hasn’t been all that bad. PETA points out some really good wins in this video that should put a smile to your face–it surely put a smile to my face. Hopefully the push towards plant-based foods continues, and the pressure remains strong against people and institutions using animals for entertainment, especially now that the Joe Exotic documentary is the talk of the town.
Things will get better. If anything – this video is pretty inspirational.
The two big ones are Seed and Cafe Carmo. Both are musts. Simple. The vegan beignet is at Seed and for that alone you need to go.
Cafe Carmo has a really nice menu and their dishes are superb. Lot’s of local flavor, and they have book readings there. It’s a gathering spot for the conscious minded and has a great vibe too. I can’t compare or rank either restaurant, but Seed is fully vegan. That’s one point for them.
Dat Dog is on Frenchmen St. in the French Quarter. They offer a Field Roast hot dog. Just eat it. It’s delicious. Greatest hot dog ever.
Holy Crepes is in the French Market and has a vegan friendly menu. Vegan crepes – you read that right. And they are delicious of course.
But my favorite spot was The Gumbo Shop. No frills – just a really good vegetable gumbo, and a plate of black beans so authentic that will make any Cuban think they were back in Havana. Really — it was that good.
And I can’t forget to mention the Mac and Moon’s Macaroons at the Auction House Market – it’s a food mart that has vendors that have vegan friendly menu items, but more importantly, a fully vegan stand featuring vegan macaroons. And they serve bubble tea. There I tried their rolled ice cream as well. The macaroons were the clear winner.
Rouse’s supermarket is vegan friendly. They have a nice vegan section. And with regards to prepared foods, you need to try the brussels sprouts. Also check out the gumbo spice aisle–you’ll really dig that. I included it here because of they have an eating section – and did I mention their brussels sprouts?
It’s not Philly, and they have a long way to go. But—they have some great selections. And as veganism continues to grow, I’m sure more selections will pop up.
If I had to recommend one place, it would be The Gumbo Shop.
Oh – and spices they sell at Gumbo Shop are fantastic.
Here’s a recipe I encountered that was such a big hit that it was asked by my family to be in the regular meal rotation. This recipe is an adoption from America’s Test Kitchen Vegetarian Cookbook. And by the way, it’s not a vegan cookbook, but it has some great vegan recipes in it and recipes that can easily be adopted. I strongly recommend it.
I served mine over rice. The recipe below is for the curry only. When prepping dishes like this, and they are served with rice, I usually begin the rice first and monitor it as I’m preparing the main dish, which is this case is the curry. Step one is always prepare the rice.
1 1/2 teaspoons
Red potatoes (small)
Small knob, 1/2 inch (diced)
1 bag, or one small head, 1/2 head if large cauliflower
1 bag, or one small head, 1/2 head if large cauliflower
1 1/2 cups
1 1/2 cups
1/2 can, or full can if you really like coconut
Put tomatoes in blender or food processor until chunky, with some pieces still visible. Set aside.
Heat oil in large dutch oven. Add curry, garam masala and cook for about 10 seconds. Stir on onions, potatoes, salt. Cook and stir for about ten minutes.
Reduce heat to medium. Stir in garlic, ginger, tomato paste and cook for about a minute. Add cauliflower and stir well until florets are covered in spices.
Gradually stir in water and scrape the bottom. Stir in chickpeas and processed tomatoes. Cover and bring to simmer. Cook for about 25 minutes.
Uncover and stir in peas and milk. Cook for two minutes until peas thaw.
When I cooked it I added a can of coconut milk. It was really strong – but delicious. I would stick with the 1/2 can.
I’m preparing Thanksgiving meal for a lot of people this year. Normally I’ll do acorn squash dishes, which are cute, but for a lot of people it might be difficult, and might not make a good main for people accustomed to a grand centerpiece. So instead, I’m focusing on fall colors, and thinking of a collection of dishes a little closer to a traditional thanksgiving meal. For the centerpiece I might go with oven roasted cauliflower covered in a ginger tomato sauce surrounded by umami infused chickpeas. This will make a beautiful and delicious plant-based center. Oh, and yeah, can’t forget the chili. That will steal the show.
But the center is only one portion of the entire feast. There will be a variety of tastes and I’ll be cooking for non-vegans, so I need to think of comfort foods. Mac and cheese is a Thanksgiving comfort food. I’ve begun combing the interwebs for some recipes and here are two I found I’ll be experimenting with:
Vegan baking can sometimes be a mystery. This is a recipe from an awesome cookbook, The Joy of Vegan Baking, that kind of demystifies the mysterious mystery. I brought this to a party recently and the hosts could not believe it was vegan. It’s a little cliche in that it uses tofu, but don’t let that fool you. This cake will absolutely satisfy and is well worth the effort. Give it a try, and if you’re non-vegan, this will make you wonder what’s really over the rainbow.
And I strongly recommend you check out this book. I’ve tried several recipes and every single one has been a winner. Tonight I made the German Apple Cake – really, really good!
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup tofu (soft or firm)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon lemon or orange extract
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and oil a bundt pan
blend tofu, water, orange juice and extract until smooth
in a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and zest. Make a well in the center of this mixture and pour the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
Fold in the blueberries.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert and let sit for about ten more minutes
No chili is complete without the cornbread to accompany it. At least that’s what the wise ones say that sit atop the tallest mountain of Veganazia. The Oracles, as they are often referred to, hath doth provided me with this recipe that I shall share with you.
It’s that time of year. After a hard day of delivering presents to children around the world, Santa likes to come home, sit in front of his fireplace, put on a pair of cozy slippers, and have one of his little minion elves bring him a nice, heaping bowl of chili. It’s true. Little known fact, Santa is a vegan. That is why he is able to do so many amazing things that night. Through several connections I have, I’ve been able to source the recipe for Santa’s chili. Here it is. I probably won’t be receiving anything this year for posting it, but I’ll take that risk because the post was well intended.