Getting Warm at Leaf Cuisine

I have gone to Leaf Cuisine a few times recently and I have discovered that I am more of a fan of their fusion cuisine than their raw cuisine.  Their fusion cuisine consists of cooked and raw foods combined.  I especially like their fusion wraps.

Their Chick’in Pesto Wrap ($10.99) is really good – Soy Chick’in mixed w/ cashew kreme cheeze, sauerkraut, pico de gallo, sour kreme & sprouts.  This wrap was very flavorful – I loved the pesto used to drizzle on it.  It was also a large portion, so you can always take the one half home and enjoy it later.

Leaf Cuisine Chick’in Pesto Wrap

Chick’in Pesto Wrap

Another wrap is the Philly Cheeze Stake Lavash ($10.99) –  Soy Beaf Stips w/ melted vegan cheeze-, marin onions, spicy sour kreme, cashew kreme cheeze, sauerkraut, tomato & spring mix.  I didn’t taste this one, but my vegan guy enjoyed it.

Leaf Cuisine Philly Cheeze Stake Lavash

Philly Cheeze Stake Lavash

We also got a dessert to go (well, it was given to us, because of a mistake in our order).  I obviously had a lapse in judgment, because I went with the Raw Chocolate Cheesecake.  I should have known I wouldn’t like the bitterness of the raw chocolate, because I never do.  And it was bitter.  The raspberry filling was also way too tart for me.  The only good thing about this dessert (besides being free) was the creaminess.  Next time, I’ll opt for a non-chocolate cheesecake.

Leaf Cuisine Raw Cheesecake

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake

Leaf Cuisine is located at:

11938 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 397 0700

Hours of Operation
Mon – Fri 10 AM to 9 PM
Sat – Sun 11 AM to 9 PM

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More from Green Earth in Pasadena

It’s rare that my vegan guy and I are in the Pasadena area, but when we are, we like to stop at Green Earth in Old Town.

One of my new favs is their Golden Wontons ($4.50): fried wontons served with sweet chili sauce.  They have this creamy center, crispy outside, and a wonderful, slightly sweet dipping sauce.  I love them!

Green Earth Golden Wontons

Golden Wontons

My vegan guy got their Chick’un Burger ($8.95): crispy breaded chick’un breast, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle, avocado, and house made tofu mayo.  This burger is like your basic chicken burger.  It had great flavor and wasn’t dry.  Simple and delicious.

Green Earth Chick'un Burger

Chick’un Burger

I was trying to get something a little more wholesome and not so much fake meaty, so I opted for the Spicy Lemongrass Tofu ($8.50): tofu sautéed with spicy minced lemongrass.  I am not a fan of overly spicy dishes, but I could handle this one.  A few bites that contained more of the chili sauce were tough for me to get through, though.  Luckily, this comes with rice to mellow out the spice.

Green Earth Spicy Lemongrass Tofu

Spicy Lemongrass Tofu

Green Earth’s menu is large and varied.  I definitely recommend a trip to Pasadena to eat here.  You can even park for free for 90 minutes across the street in the parking structure.

37 South Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105
626-584-0268

Sun – Thur: 11:30am – 9pm
Tue: CLOSED
Fri – Sat: 11:30am – 10pm

Gourmet Pizza Shoppe in Redlands

Yet another pizza place has made the brilliant decision to get Daiya and provide some vegan pizzas.  When it is in the Inland Empire, this decision is especially wonderful.  The more vegan options, the better!! The Gourmet Pizza Shoppe in Redlands is another one of those local favorites that have had such great success, they have expanded to a second location.  People just love their crazy (meat and cheese filled) pizza pairings.  I’ll tell you that even before they started carrying Daiya, I was still a huge fan of this place, too.  Yes, it may have been only because of their bread, but (wow!) you have got to try their Breadsticks and marinara!  Yep, I eat the whole thing.  Nice and soft on the inside with a crispy seasoned crust – served with a wonderfully flavored marinara sauce ($2.99).

Gourmet Pizza Shoppe Breadsticks

Breadsticks with Marinara

Of course some of you might not be enticed by just bread alone, so lucky for you, vegan pizza is an option.  I love their crust!  Their regular pizza sauce has dairy in it, so be sure to get it with marinara sauce instead.  Top it with vegan cheese and whatever vegetable toppings you like.  I got my Personal Sized Pizza with Mushrooms ($7.50) – super delicious.  The Redlands place is like one of those pizza parlors from your childhood.  I love it here.  And when you are done, walk around the historic downtown Redlands (go on a Thursday night and the whole street is shut down for the hugely popular Market Night).

Gourmet Pizza Shoppe Vegan Pizza

Vegan Pizza with Mushrooms

The Gourmet Pizza Shoppe has two locations (Redlands being the one I frequent):

120 E. State Street, Redlands, CA 92373
(909) 792-3313
Sun: 12 PM – 8 PM
Mon-Sat: 11 AM – 9 PM

13661 Calimesa Blvd, Yucaipa, CA
(909) 795-8000
Sun: 12 PM – 8 PM
Mon-Thurs: 11 AM – 8 PM
Fri & Sat: 11 AM – 9 PM

Vive le Euphoria Loves Rawvolution

I tend to have a love-hate relationship with raw cuisine.  Sometimes it can be really good, and sometimes it just makes me want to gag.  I think I initially put off raw cuisine, because my first experiences were more of the gagging kind.  Luckily, I persevered and found items I liked.  One place with some tasty raw cuisine is Euphoria Loves Rawvolution in Santa Monica.

One of my new favorites at Euphoria is their Warm Adzuki Bean Miso Soup ($4 cup/$7.50 bowl) – soy free miso with homemade Nofu, scallions, and mushrooms.  The Nofu just melts in your mouth and the broth has great flavor.  I’m going to remember this soup when I feel a cold coming on.

Euphoria Loves Rawvolution Miso Soup

Miso Soup

I also got a Taco Salad ($11.50) – walnut taco meat, guacamole, and tangy mayo on a bed of lettuce.  This thing was huge!  I had to take half of it home.  The taco meat was very filling and they give enough of the topping so you can have some with each bite of lettuce.  I really hate it when places are stingy with the dressing.

Euphoria Loves Rawvolution Taco Salad

Taco Salad

My vegan guy got the Avocado Cheese Scramble ($10) – homemade cashew scramble with avocado, sunflower seed cheese, red bell peppers, red onions, and marinated mushrooms served with heirloom purple corn chips.  I had a tiny taste of it and really liked it.  He also enjoyed the dish.  Good thing breakfast is served all day, so we can get this anytime.

Euphoria Loves Rawvolution Avocado Cheese Scramble

Avocado Cheese Scramble

Euphoria Loves Rawvolution is located at:

2301 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 392-9501

Open 10am to 9:30pm daily

Vegan Sweets at Muffin Top Bakery

Once again, the Inland Empire is coming up in the vegan world.  There is now a bakery that has two locations in the I.E.  Muffin Top Bakery‘s original location is in Riverside and they have recently opened their second location in beautiful downtown Redlands.  I had been buying their breads at Clarks Nutritional Center in Loma Linda (where they also sell a few select pastries), but was excited to have their full bakery menu at hand in Redlands.  I haven’t been to the Riverside location, but I would think the offerings at both locations would be very similar.

Muffin Top Bakery

Muffin Top Bakery

Muffin Top Bakery Display Case 1

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Frozen Meals at Whole Foods

When I first became vegetarian, there were only a few frozen food companies offering veg*n meals.  Amy’s Kitchen was (and is still) one of them.  At some point, Gardenburger came around and made veggie patties more mainstream.  And now there is a plethora of vegan options in the frozen foods aisle.

Look at some of the newest meals being offered for vegans I found at my local Whole Foods.  Candle Cafe (the famed NYC restaurant) has entered the frozen foods market and now offers four vegan varieties: Seitan Piccata with Lemon Caper Sauce, Mac and Vegan Cheese, Tofu Spinach Ravioli, and Ginger Miso Stir-fry.  I bought three of these flavors and also a Whole Foods brand Vegan Lasagna.

Whole Foods Frozen Dinners

Frozen Meals Found at Whole Foods

First up- the Candle Cafe Seitan Piccata with Lemon Caper Sauce.  I thought this one was very tasty, although I also thought it was a bit too lemony for me (lemon flavored items aren’t one of my favorites).  This was a very light meal and at only 210 calories, it may not satisfy your hunger.  I would definitely recommend having a side, soup, or salad handy to compliment this meal.

Candle Cafe Seitan Piccata with Lemon Caper Sauce

Seitan Piccata with Lemon Caper Sauce

Next up – the Candle Cafe Tofu Spinach Ravioli.  This was my favorite of any of the meals reviewed here.  Like the seitan, this meal was small and I would recommend adding a side, soup, or salad along with it.  It had a great sauce and the ravioli was moist and wonderful.

Candle Cafe Tofu Spinach Ravioli

Tofu Spinach Ravioli

The last of the Candle Cafe frozen meals was the Mac and Vegan Cheese.  I wasn’t a big fan of this one.  The Daiya sauce clumps up and only sticks to a few noodles – leaving some bites to be super flavorful and others to be bland.  I prefer Amy’s Kitchen Vegan Mac and Cheese a lot better.

Candle Cafe Macaroni and Vegan Cheese

Macaroni and Vegan Cheese

And finally, I gave the Whole Foods brand Vegan Lasagna a shot.  I did not like it.  I thought the sauce was kind of tangy (like unripened tomatoes had been used) and the filling was kind of bland.  I also didn’t like that only a few large broccoli florets were used instead of being cut into smaller pieces and spread throughout the dish.

Whole Foods Vegan Lasagna

Whole Foods Vegan Lasagna

All in all, I’m definitely going back for the ravioli and probably none of the others.  There are lots of other options in the frozen foods aisle that I enjoy and I’m sure you’ll find ones that you would enjoy as well.  Hit up your local health foods store to see what you can  try.

Vegan Eats at The Gypsy Den

The Gypsy Den is one of those omnivorous, hipster restaurants with vegan options.  They have two locations – one located in Costa Mesa and one located in Santa Ana.  I went to the Costa Mesa location and was delighted by the cozy cafe atmosphere.  They have a large menu and bakery display case, but only a few vegan choices.

I got the Chipotle and Avocado Vegan Chicken Wrap ($9) – soy chicken, chipotle cream, salsa, avocado, and spinach in a whole wheat wrap.  I am not a huge fan of overly spicy food items, but could handle this one.  And when things got too hot, I’d just take a breather and have a few chips.  I love wraps and would order this one again.

Gypsy Den Chipotle and Avocado Vegan Chicken Wrap

Chipotle and Avocado Vegan Chicken Wrap

My vegan guy got the other vegan lunch option: the Veggie Burger ($9) – vegan patty on a grilled wheat bun with lettuce, avocado and salsa.  He also opted to add vegan bacon.  We both thought the same thing – it needed some sort of sauce.  A little bit of vegan mayo would have done it.  Other than being kind of on the dry side without the sauce, it was good.

Gypsy Den Veggie Burger

Veggie Burger

After dinner, my sweet tooth kicked in, so I got the Mocha Cupcake ($2.75).  I thought it was also a little on the dry side and a bit too dense.  It had a nice flavor, though.

Gypsy Den Mocha Cupcake

Mocha Cupcake

Be prepared for the many naked women paintings around the Costa Mesa location.  I was a little irked by that.  Come on Gypsy Den, where’s the men?  Why does nudity always seem so focused on women?  Let’s get some equal opportunities for our male counterparts up on your walls.

The Gypsy Den is located at:

2930 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Open 8am – 11pm daily

or

125 N. Broadway Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Monday – Wednesday 8am- 10pm
Thursday – Saturday 8am – 11pm
Sunday 8am – 9pm

Green Earth in Pasadena

Pasadena is growing in their offerings for vegans.  Green Earth is an all vegan restaurant in the quaint Old Town district of Pasadena.  My vegan guy and I went and got a plethora of options.

Our first appetizer was the nachos ($5.25) – organic white corn chips and cheese served with guacamole, pico de gallo, and jalapeños.  As you can see from the picture, it is kind of plain.  We got the pico de gallo on the side, but even so, the guacamole was more like pureed avocado.  It was decent, but not the best.

Green Earth Nachos

Nachos (pico de gallo on the side)

Hot and Sour Soup ($4.95)  was next – spicy soup with bamboo shoots, tofu, soy protein, king oyster mushroom, and shredded carrot.  I didn’t really like this one either. I thought it was not very flavorful, but high on the spicy factor. This soup was small, but enough to serve two.

Green Earth Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup

My vegan guy got the Wonder Sub ($8.95) – veggie “meatball” sandwich topped with marinara sauce and vegan mozzarella cheese.  He really liked this.  I had a bite and liked it as well, but I also think I have had better meatball subs.

Green Earth Wonder Sub

Wonder Sub

For my entree, I got the California Chick-un Wrap ($8.95) – sautéed chick’un, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, avocado, pico de gallo, and house made tofu mayo.  I love wraps and this one was no different.  It is very light – not greasy at all. There was a perfect amount of chicken versus avocado versus tortilla.

Green Earth California Chick-un Wrap

California Chick-un Wrap (pico de gallo on the side)

As if you thought we couldn’t eat anymore, we got dessert.  Green tea is always appealing to me, so I got the Green Tea Cheesecake ($5.25).  It was slightly cold and wonderfully creamy.  A very nice lightly sweet dessert to end the night.

Green Earth Green Tea Cheesecake

Green Tea Cheesecake

If you make it out to Pasadena, make sure to check out Green Earth Vegan Restaurant.  You can park for free for 90 minutes across the street in the parking structure.

37 South Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105
626-584-0268

Sun – Thur: 11:30am – 9pm
Tue: CLOSED
Fri – Sat: 11:30am – 10pm

Vegan at Mu Thai Restaurant in Redlands

Sometimes the Inland Empire is not so fun for vegans finding food, but there are exceptions.  Redlands is a small town located next to an even smaller town that is predominately inhabited by Seventh Day Adventists.  For those unfamiliar with this religion, most followers eat a vegetarian diet.  This makes eating there and in Redlands more friendly to veg*ns.

One very nice restaurant in Redlands is a thai place that has many vegetarian options.  Thai food is generally easy to get prepared vegan, but the ambiance and knowledge of the staff at Mu is so great, it keeps me coming back.

On a dinner outing with some old friends, I decided on the Panang Curry ($12) – peanut sauce, bell peppers, coconut milk, and tofu.  It came with a side of rice, which was great, because it was a way to deliver that amazing peanut sauce to my mouth!  Order this, and you won’t be sorry.  I’m also a huge fan of their Pad Thai and their vegan coconut milk based tofu and vegetable soup.  See all their menu items here.

Mu Panang Curry

Panang Curry

Mu is located at:
309 W State St
Redlands, CA 92373

Monday – Friday: 11am – 2:30pm and 5pm – 10pm
Saturday: 5pm – 10pm
Sunday:  5pm – 9pm