Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Jonesy's Eat Bar: Cozy, Creative Vegan Eats

"I could bring my dad here" is praise I can lavish on a very select few restaurants. These restaurants must feature a variety of exceptionally delicious food, a cozy, unpretentious atmosphere and attentive service. The newest restaurant that meets this is Jonesy's Eat Bar, located near downtown Denver. The standard menu that you receive upon sitting down doesn't look super vegan friendly- it's full of classic American dishes, most with a twist, but the magic happens when you ask for the veg-friendly menu. You receive a page of delicious dishes, all clearly marked with their level of being vegan-friendly. We're talking quinoa loaf (tastes way less boring than it sounds), curry fries, Thai fries and a variety of things that will make it surprisingly difficult to order, thanks to an abundance of options. The dish pictured here is the Vietnamese salad with crispy tofu and seaweed salad and it was the perfect mix of refreshing, filling and delightful to the mouth. Complete with a daily happy hour, Jonesy's is also pretty easy on the wallet. Dad, I hope you're looking forward to eating there now.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Photogenic Soup: Curried Carrot in the Wild

Soup is often hard to photograph and I generally don't even bother. It kind of
tends to look like weird, but boring, puke in a bowl. This is why photogenic soup is a marvel, and why I was extra excited to see this specimen, Curried Carrot, in the wild. Served at Denver's City O' City, this creamy little friend is topped with vegan yogurt and tamari cashews, which mix perfectly with its sweetly spicy self. The biggest bonus is that a cup of this liquid gold is only $3, and goes down to $2 for happy hour. They might as well just give it away! Paired with a vegan caeser salad, it creates a meal that balances out perfectly between hot and cold, spicy and soothing, liquid and solid. Plus, you'll have enough room left for one of City O's amazing desserts- HoHo Cupcake anyone?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Vegan Pizza Night with Phoney Baloney's Coconut Bacon

Oh, pizza, when will my love affair with you end? Probably never if my friends and I keep having build your own pizza nights. We each get a personal pan size crust and load it up with the toppings of our choice. Our most recent pizza night featured Phoney Baloney's Coconut Bacon. If you haven't had it yet, you must. Smoky, salty, savory and a little bit sweet, these are the perfect addition to a salad, sandwich or, in this case, pizza. We rounded out our topping selection with Victoria Vegan Alfredo Sauce, homemade marinara, sauerkraut, spinach, black olives, a variety of veggies and Teese cheese. By the way, Teese has reformulated and is extra amazing now- super melty and super tasty. Your move, Daiya.

What did my pizza feature, you ask? A gluten-free crust, with red sauce on one half, white on the other. The red side featured tomatoes, black olives, sauerkraut, Phoney Baloney's Coconut Bacon, red onion and mushrooms, while the white side kept it simple with more bacon, tomatoes and spinach, with both sides slathered in Teese. I love pizza nights because, with the use of pre-made crust, they are super simple for everyone involved- everyone just brings a few ingredients and is guaranteed to have a meal that they'll love. Long live pizza night!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Give 'Em a Squeeze: Chia Squeezes from Mamma Chia

My love affair with chia seeds started with chia seed pudding at last year's Vida Vegan Con. Reminiscent of tapioca and full of nutrients, I throw these little guys into everything, so I jumped at the chance to try Mamma Chia's Chia Squeezes. Mamma Chia was gracious enough to send me four flavors: Green Magic, Apple Cinnamon, Strawberry Banana and Blackberry Bliss. Verdict? They are awesome! My favorite was the Blackberry Bliss, followed by the Green Magic, but all four flavors made my mouth happy with their perfect representation of the flavor noted on the packaging. These squeeze packets would be the perfect introduction to chia seeds for someone who was a bit nervous about the texture, as the 'squeeze it into your mouth' factor helps to gloss over the chia seed texture. These are perfect for a quick breakfast, a road trip snack, to throw in your bag for a long day of hiking and or just to keep around for when you need a quick bite. The only thing I wasn't super jazzed about was that it definitely took me both hands to open these, so they'd be hard to open when I'm out for a run, which was my original intent with them. However, I can definitely see these little packets easily working their way into my daily life. Fruity, chia seeds and easy to transport? Yes please to the chia squeeze!