Seattle: Veggie oasis

I picked up the Seattle Weekly today for its cover story on Seattle’s vegetarian culture.

Sadly I’m a dirtbag and can’t relate to vegan fine dining and I took issue with the comment about how hard it is to get protein as a vegetarian (um, false), but the article deftly illustrates the veggie-friendliness of Seattle and makes me proud to live here.

Also, the mention of a couple Seattle-based veggie websites and Twitter accounts sent me down a wormhole of Seattle vegan blog after Seattle vegan blog (Vegan Score and Serenity in the Storm in particular). So good to find more locals! And tips on great places to hit up in my city. Next I just need to make friends with some vegans.

I’m a total food blog whore. Those that aren’t vegan I frequent because of their vegan-friendliness and adaptability to my preferences. Please check out my blogroll on the right for a stack of recipes, discussion and vegan resources that will help you out more than I ever could. I’m not an authority – just a voice and a friend to the vegi-curious. Because I’m the lone vegan in my life, these are the places I go to find support and information – and, mostly, food porn.

I mean, you guys. (Credit: Fire and Earth Kitchen)

I mean, you guys.
(Credit: Fire and Earth Kitchen)

Frozen vegan

It was 11 p.m., past closing time for any good take-out places, including the vegan-friendly taco and burrito place a block away from my boyfriend’s place.

But I needed food. I was so hungry and had 90 minutes left of my telecommuted work shift. Food needed to happen.

So I went to Ballard Market, a 24-hour grocery store that stocks tons of the natural and veggie-friendly products I like, not to mention its killer produce section. (They let me buy one celery stalk at a time! God knows I never use a whole bunch of celery!)

For some reason, I was in the mood for some vegan trash that didn’t require prep, so I cruised the frozen aisle. After eyeing vegan pizzas and dairy-free mac and cheeses, I settled on an intriguing option: Sukhi’s Indian-style vegan chili chicken.

I mean, it came with its own naan.

Bear with me, the house was dim, making for extra-crappy phone photos.

Bear with me, the house was dim, making for extra-crappy phone photos.

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Soup, resurrected

OK so I made another soup last night.

I turned to a trusted site I frequent, especially when I’m dirt poor/need to save money in a hurry. (Saving for a new apartment right now. Operation: Live Like a Dirtbag is underway.)

I went for Budget Bytes’ Tomato Herb Soup and it was super cheap to get the ingredients I didn’t have. Then I’d make grilled cheese to accompany it with some Trader Joe’s soy cheese I already had.

SO GOOD. No cream, amazing, rich texture, big on flavor. And if you wanna go super healthy, you can cook your aromatics in a thin layer of veggie broth instead of oil, a Happy Herbivore health hack I use all the time. It works, yo!

Also, if you don’t have these dried herbs laying around, buy them in bulk. I no longer buy pre-packaged herbs because it is such a better value to get the amount I want in bulk.

o hai flash

o hai flash

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Soup!

I really don’t get a big hankering for soup in the summer, but last week my soup switch turned on.

Heck, this week or next I’ll probably make chili. IT’S CHILI SEASON, YOU GUYS.

Anyway, I made two soups last week from the Happy Herbivore’s Happy Herbivore Abroad cookbook, which I highly recommend. The author, Lindsay Nixon, is awesome with cheap, accessible and easy recipes, which is what I’m all about.

Soup 1: Texas white chili More

Veganism for dummies: Read the label

A quick shopping trip for some kind of energy bar before hitting the gym yesterday offered an important reminder.

I swung by Safeway to pick up a Clif bar or two before working out because I hadn’t eaten anything at all that day and drank a cup of coffee, which sometimes gives me the jitters if I don’t send some food down there to soak some of it up.

I love Clif bars. They’re delicious and reliably vegan.*

But I couldn’t find them at the Safeway I went to. They shouldn’t be that hard to find, but every Safeway seems to be set up differently and I haven’t figured this one out yet. Wanting to just get to the gym before starting the night shift at work, I came upon a section of “natural” bars. It didn’t include Clif bars, but after a quick skim of the selection, I picked up a couple cranberry flax seed bars that seemed cheap and filling enough and continued on my way.

It wasn’t until I got into my car that I bothered to check the ingredients list for dairy. As is often the case, the list of contents is hidden under a flap in the packaging. More

When veggie options just aren’t happening

My parents have been so supportive of my new lifestyle decisions. They don’t question my choices, they try to cater to my preferences and even my mom has shown some interest in the new, awesome food I’m fixing.

That doesn’t mean, however, that my lifestyle fits in with what’s going on when I visit home.

This past weekend, I visited my family in Olympia. Downtown Olympia is a hippie haven and there are wonderful indie restaurants that are veggie-friendly. My family, however, lives closer to Lacey, which features much more corporate and less diverse fare.

This was the first weekend where it wasn’t just the vegetarian daughter going home, but the “No seriously I’m gonna be vegan now” daughter. More

Veggie VIP: Bamboo Garden

Though it’s super easy to be plant-based in your own home, going out to eat can be less so. I mean, this is the country where the KFC double down is a thing.

Some plant-based folks just eschew going out to eat altogether, and certainly that’s the most economical route and the best way to control what you put in your body.

But to me, a community’s cuisine is reflective of its culture. My favorite part about traveling, or even enjoying a new home (I move a lot), is digging into the local cuisine. It’s a great way to bond with friends, try new things and yes, get out of your own kitchen for a bit.

Luckily my new home, Seattle, is quite vegan-friendly, whether a restaurant is exclusively vegetarian or just offers good options. And all my requests to veganize something (hold the cheese/egg) have been honored. I still don’t think enough places offer awesome veggie options other than a garden salad where you have to ask to leave off the cheese, but there are still some great joints out there that deserve recognition.

Today: Bamboo Garden in Lower Queen Anne

bamboo1 More

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