More Comfort Food from Doomie’s

Vegan MoFo Day 27:

I think I may have found one of my new favorites at Doomie’s Home Cookin.  I was actually craving some mac and cheese, but I wanted something in addition to that.  It was like their BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich ($8.95) was meant for situations like this.  The sandwich is piled with pulled pork drenched in a sweet and delicious BBQ sauce (my favorite kind!).  It’s served with fries or fruit and the mac and cheese I was craving.  Bonus – they might still be serving up their new thicker mac and cheese that  they were serving up at the Vegan Mac and Cheese Showdown I mentioned in a previous post (ask for it… seriously!).

Doomie's Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork

My vegan guy also got one of his favorites: the BLT ($8.95) – also served with fries or fruit (although my vegan guy upgraded to chili cheese fries).  Guys just love (vegan) bacon.

Doomie's BLT with Chili Cheese Fries

BLT with Chili Cheese Fries

And have you heard of Green Menu?  Well, if you sign up, you get all sorts of discounts at veg restaurants – including Doomie’s.  Here, you will get a free dessert (cupcake or fried oreos).  The Chocolate Cupcake reminded me of the cupcakes you got from the grocery store as a kid.  The cupcake was dense and chocolatey and the frosting was whipped and airy.  I plan on trying one of each of their cupcakes with my Green Menu Card.  Yum.

Doomie's Chocolate Cupcake

Chocolate Cupcake

1253 N Vine St Suite #9
Los Angeles, Ca 90038
323-469-4897

Open Everyday: 12pm – 10pm

Vegan Deliciousness at Evo Kitchen

Vegan MoFo Day 25:

I’m here to tell you that there’s an upscale (yet casual) pizza place in West Hollywood that is serving up delicious vegan eats.  This used to be the location of a Pizza Fusion (which also had some vegan eats), but is now Evo Kitchen.  They have a bunch of vegan options, including three of my favorite items combined into one: bread, Daiya, and garlic.  Evo’s Garlic Cheese Bread ($4.99) is basic but good.  The marinara is the perfect compliment.

Evo Kitchen Garlic Cheese Bread

Garlic Cheese Bread

They also have gross meat mini burgers, but you can substitute to make them vegan.  The Mini BBQ Burgers ($6.99) are made vegan with portobello mushrooms and Daiya cheese and weren’t my favorite.  I liked the concept, but the execution wasn’t the best.  I think the smaller pieces of mushroom made these hard to eat (the mushrooms kept falling out).  The BBQ sauce was great, though – that’s why I got the next item…

Evo Kitchen Sliders

Mini BBQ Burgers

My favorite item here was the BBQ Chicken Wrap ($9.99).  You’ve got nice chunks of vegan chicken covered in that wonderful BBQ sauce and wrapped in a nice, soft tortilla. Yumsters!

Evo Kitchen BBQ Chicken Wrap

BBQ Chicken Wrap

And, like I said before, they create pizzas here.  My vegan guy and I had to try one, so we created our own and got a Vegan Chicken and Mushroom Pizza.  I liked everything about it, except the chicken.  I thought the chunks were too big – next time I think I’ll just leave the pizza with veggies only.

Evo Kitchen Mushroom and Chicken Pizza

Mushroom and Chicken Pizza

And for dessert, we (well, mainly I) got a Vegan, Gluten-Free Brownie a la mode ($6.99).  I liked this brownie.  It was one that sticks to your mouth, but the flavor was good and they were great about warming it up.

Evo Kitchen Brownie

Brownie a la Mode

We parked at a meter on the street, but then noticed that there was a sign indicating that they have a parking lot for the restaurant behind the building.  This makes it so much more convenient.

7950 W Sunset Blvd #104
West Hollywood, CA 90046
323-375-3390

Sunday – Thursday 11am-10pm
Friday & Saturday 11am-11pm

Junk Food That’s Healthy

Vegan MoFo Day 23:

Healthy Junk in Anaheim.  Get on it… Seriously.

They have revamped downtown Anaheim and it now has a bunch of cute boutiques and a food court-type place that houses the newest vegan watering hole.  It’s got all the vegan junk food you loved as an omnivore, without the “omni” part.  Just take their Nachos ($5.50) – these tortilla chips are loaded with black beans, taco meat, chez sauce, tomatoes, and avocado cream.  They did not skimp on the toppings!  I think these might be my new favorite vegan nachos.

Healthy Junk Nachos

Nachos

Another snack I tried was the Curly Yam Fries ($4.95).  A friend ordered this, so I thought they were onion rings at first (they look like it, right?).  The flavor was awesome – not to mention I loved the BBQ and Ranch sauces they drizzled over them.  However, they were a bit too mushy – something you wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at them.

Healthy Junk Curly Fries

Curly Fries

My entree was their Classic Burger ($6.45) and I opted to add chez and bacon for an extra $2.  I liked the burger – typical soy patty and a great bun.  I did feel that they could have added more chez and the bacon was more like a slice of vegan ham (still good, though).

Healthy Junk Bacon Cheeseburger

Bacon Cheeseburger

And I got a BLT ($5.95) to-go for my vegan guy.  It was also quite nice, but I wouldn’t call it a BLT.  It was more like a ham sandwich.

Healthy Junk BLT

BLT

And they have shakes!!  I’m an insane person when it comes to shakes, so I had to try their Chocolate Shake ($5.50).  I thought it was delicious!  Even better than their Strawberry Shake (more on that in a later post).  I also had a sip of my friend’s Pumpkin Shake (which is available for a short time only) and thought it was extremely good, too! I heard it’s made with tofu and pumpkin spices and some other stuff.  Way better than I thought it would be.

Healthy Junk Chocolate Shake

Chocolate Shake

Let me take a moment to say that my friend “J” is awesome!!  We happened to be with a large group and it happened to be the day before my birthday, so she went ahead and did what I dream to do at every vegan restaurant – order one of each of the desserts!  The first was not really a dessert, but still so good.  The Cornbread Muffin had the perfect amount of cornmeal flavor and sweetness.  It comes with a small container of vegan butter to make it even more tasty.

Healthy Junk Corn Muffin

Corn Muffin

The Apple Crisp is gluten free.  It was a nice dessert.  My only problem was that the crust was super hard to cut – making sharing difficult.

Healthy Junk Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp (GF)

The Chocolate Chip Cookie was giant and thick!  Definitely one of the favorites of this evening.

Healthy Junk Chocolate Chip Cookie

Chocolate Chip Cookie

My birthday cake turned out to be Carrot Cake.  This one is super moist and topped with vanilla frosting.  Talk about dessert overload!!  I still have one more…

Healthy Junk Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

The Fall special is a Yam Pie.  I think this one is also gluten free, but you’ll have to ask about that one.  It’s like cream on a crust.  I thought it was good, but the raisins or cranberries (or whatever they were) were kind of a weird chewy thing amongst the delicious creaminess.  Next time I might just pick those off and eat them separately.

Healthy Junk Yam Pie

Yam Pie (GF)

I love it here.  Order at the counter and then sit and wait for them to bring you your amazing food.

Healthy Junk

Healthy Junk

201 Center St. Promenade Unit B
Anaheim, California 92805
714-772-5865

Monday – Saturday 11am – 8pm

Chreesy Mashed Potatoes

Vegan MoFo Day 19.  Enjoy your Friday night plans, but first, a quick review of Chreesy Instant Mashed Potatoes:

It’s always nice to have convenience products made especially for vegans.  Yes, they may be a processed foods, but in those moments when you just don’t have the time to cook certain things from scratch, these products certainly help out.  I recently ordered some goodies from Vegan Essentials and decided to throw Chreesy Mashed Potatoes in.

Chreesy Mashed Potatoes

Chreesy Mashed Potatoes

This product is easy to prepare: add the powder to a pot with some liquid, cook, then add some soymilk and buttery spread.  The final product, in my opinion, wasn’t that great.  I thought the texture was too mushy and the flavor could have used some more spices.  I think the best application for these potatoes would be in a casserole or shepherd’s pie type dish and not as a solitary side.

Chreesy Prepared Mashed Potatoes

Chreesy Prepared Mashed Potatoes

I did set aside half the product to prepare a recipe described on the box: Croquettes.  Just like the basic product preparation, this recipe was easy to prepare: shape cooked mashed potatoes into patties, coat in panko bread crumbs, and pan fry in a little bit of oil.  This method of preparation made it taste so much better.  The panko added the bit of texture I was missing with the original potatoes.  This would make a better side dish than the basic mashed potatoes.

Chreesy Croquettes

Croquettes

I’m not sure where they sell this product in stores, but it is still being offered by Vegan Essentials.

Vegan Mac and Cheese Showdown Recap

Vegan MoFo Day 16!  We’re already half way through this fabulous month!

This past Saturday I was one of the lucky 100 people that got to taste test (and vote on) five different mac and cheeses from local LA restaurants.  Get ready to be jealous, because I’m about to recap this showdown.

The first Mac and Cheese is from Hugo’s Restaurant and happened to be my favorite from the event (and the #1 pick of the judges).  I had had their mac and cheese when it was a special at the restaurant and didn’t really like it – I thought it was a lot of crap with a little bit of mac and cheese.  At the competition, however, it was mac and cheese with a little bit of crap in it.  The Hugo’s team serving up this deliciousness described the dish as their homemade noodles with a sunflower and nut (cashew?) cheese mixed with peas and mushrooms and topped with crispy onions.  I absolutely loved their cheese sauce.  It must be the sunflower part.  I thought it tasted very similar to the mac and cheese at Sugar Plum in Sacramento (which also uses sunflower cheese).  You can get this at their restaurant – just hope that they prepare it with more parts mac and cheese than the stuff they mix in it.

Hugo's Mac and Cheese

Hugo’s

My second favorite was hard to choose.  I thought it was a toss up between Doomie’s and M Cafe.  Doomie’s was definitely the most like a traditional mac and cheese from your childhood.  It was a creamier version of the kind you can get in their restaurant (and is currently on their secret menu).  I definitely like it better than the one they have been serving on the menu.  The thicker consistency makes a big difference.  My one problem was that I was tasting a certain flavor.  As described in a previous post on the Mac and Cheese by Daniel’s Choice sold at Follow Your Heart, it had this flavor that reminded me of having mac and cheese as a child with gross hot dog juices.  Did Doomie’s add some kind of roasted red pepper?  It tasted like it and I wasn’t a fan.  That’s my own weird thing, though.  The people didn’t think there was anything weird about it – Doomie’s came in second place in the People’s Choice prize.

Doomie's Mac and Cheese

Doomie’s

My other second favorite was the Mac and Cheese from M Cafe.  To be honest, it didn’t really taste like mac and cheese – more like a pasta with creamy white sauce.  It was really good, though.  It was gluten free noodles with a cashew cheese and mixed with sun dried tomatoes and asparagus and topped with arugula.  I thought the sun dried tomatoes were a little overpowering and would have preferred just the noodles with sauce.

M Cafe Mac and Cheese

M Cafe

Coming in at third place for me was the #1 pick for People’s Choice and #2 pick from the Judges.  A Mac and Cheese from SunCafe.  Described as gluten free noodles with pecan garlic cheese and nacho cheese.  I liked it, but something about it just didn’t sit right in my throat.  One of the flavors was just overpowering and I kept having to drink some water to wash it off the back of my throat.  Is that weird?  I guess so, since everyone else seemed to love it.

SunCafe Mac and Cheese

SunCafe

And my least favorite was from Southern Fried Vegan.  It looked like there was Daiya in it, but it didn’t really taste like it.  I’m not really sure how to describe the flavor.  Honestly, I didn’t get the comforting mac and cheese flavor out of it.

Southern Fried Vegan

Southern Fried Vegan

Here’s hoping they do this again next year and bring on more vendors!  Although, the portions were big for sampling (I’m not complaining!) and I’m not sure how much more mac and cheese I could have eaten.

More Brunching at Real Food Daily

In relation to where my vegan guy lives, Real Food Daily is quite convenient.  And this makes it especially nice when we want some breakfast foods, since RFD serves brunch on Sundays (you can see more brunch items in my last RFD post).

My vegan guy went with his usual tofu scramble, but I wanted something new and got The Weekender ($14.25): scrambled tofu, onions, tomatoes, cashew cheese, tempeh bacon, half order french toast or two pancakes with hash browns or fruit.  I got it with pancakes (added blueberries) and hash browns.  I love this meal, because (1) it fills you up and (2) it combines sweet with savory.  This is great for those of us (like me) who are indecisive when it comes to menu ordering.  I still don’t like their tempeh bacon, but everything else was delicious!

RFD Weekender

The Weekender

And this sweet-aholic always eyes the bakery display case at their Santa Monica bakery.  I didn’t want something too heavy after eating that large meal, so I got the lightly sweetened Blueberry Coffee Cake.  I only thought it was decent – not spectacular.   Maybe it was just too dense and not moist enough for me.  Won’t stop me from trying their other desserts, though!

RFD Blueberry Coffee Cake

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Did you here?  RFD is now serving Pasadena!

My Favorite Store Bought Mac and Cheeses

Vegan MoFo Day 10:

I just want to take a moment to tell you how amazing Leahey Gardens Mac and Cheese is.  I purchased a bunch of these from Vegan Essentials, because I can’t find it locally.  In my opinion, this is the best vegan mac and cheese in a box (or bag) on the market.  It’s prepared very similar to the conventional kind in the blue box.  The sauce is a powdered mix that you cook with some water or non-dairy milk (I also add some Earth Balance to it) then mix it in with the cooked noodles.  So simple and so delicious.

Leahey Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

And also a shout out to the best frozen mac and cheese out there:  Amy’s Rice Macaroni and Dairy Free Cheeze.  Even easier than Leahey Gardens!  Just pop this guy into the microwave.  It’s a small meal, but very satisfying.  And the best part is that this one is pretty readily available in your local grocer’s freezer section and is gluten free.

Amy's Mac and Cheeze

Amy’s Mac and Cheeze

(Source)

But if you don’t want to clean up dishes from either of these, I’d like to tell you about a Vegan Mac and Cheese Competition coming up this Saturday, October 13th in Los Angeles. Pay $5 to sample vegan mac and cheeses from local restaurants.  There will be a People’s Choice Award and a Judge’s Choice Award.  Get there early, because (apparently) only the first 100 will get samples.  See details here.

Vegan at zPizza

Vegan MoFo Day 9:

Daiya vegan cheese has really revolutionized vegan pizza.  I remember when vegan pizza was just a mythical creature in childhood fables.  Now, vegan pizza can be found all over the place.  On a recent trip to Tennessee, it seemed vegan pizza was our only vegan option.  Progress, I tell you.

zPizza is a national pizza chain that is helping spread the gospel of vegan pizza.  They have a pizza called the Berkeley that is full of veggies and fake meat.  I never was a fan of real meat on my pizza, so I tend to just stick to veggies – which is what my vegan guy and I did on our last trip to zPizza.  We got a vegan Mushroom and Olive Pizza.  The crust is a one-size fits all kind of crust:  not to thick and not too thin.  I like it.

zPizza Mushroom and Olive Pizza

Mushroom and Olive Pizza

But my vegan guy likes the fake meat, so he got a Hawaiian Pizza to eat the next day.  They put a good amount of hearty-sized bits of the fake meat and look at all the pineapple.  Fruit on a pizza is a great way to get your 5-a-day!

zPizza Hawaiian Pizza

Hawaiian Pizza

Check their website to see where your local zPizza might be.

Mail Order Raw Chocolate from Cloud 9

A quick review for Day 8 of Vegan MoFo:

I’m a sucker for deals, so when an offer hit the web for a sample of vegan raw chocolate from Cloud 9, I had to get it.  I’ve calmed down with purchasing discounted goods a lot since this deal went out.  For awhile there, I had more food than I could eat.

I understand the benefits of raw foods, but I just can’t get on board with raw chocolate.  It’s way too bitter for me.  I think I’ve finally learned my lesson to stop ordering it.  I’m thinking that the only way I’d learn to love raw chocolate is if I never ate sweetened foods.  Then maybe my taste buds would find the raw chocolate pleasant.  But, something tells me I won’t be giving up my vegan cakes and ice creams anytime soon.

As for the goods, I only had a very tiny sample of each flavor and then gave the rest away.

Cloud 9 Raw Chocolates

Raw Chocolates

The better ones would be the Macadamia/Goji and Cranberry/Pecan, because the sweetness of the fruit helps balance out the bitterness of the chocolate.  I couldn’t handle the bitterness in the Walnut and Original at all.

Cloud 9 Assorted Chocolate

Clockwise: Original, Walnut, Macadamia/Goji, Cranberry/Pecan

If you like really bitter chocolate, go get some of this.  It has some great nutritional qualities for a candy bar and I hear quite a few people liked it at Natural Products Expo East.

Back to the Roots Mushroom Growing Kit

Vegan MoFo Day 5:

Many months ago, I bought this deal for three mushroom growing kits by Back to the Roots.  I thought this was such an awesome thing!  I can grow my own mushrooms?!  I love mushrooms.  Plus, oyster mushrooms were expensive and hard to find in the stores.  I thought I’d save a bundle.

The thing is, you have to spray the thing with water twice a day, everyday, until you are ready to harvest.  Since I’m gone most weekends, this kit ended up being quite a burden.  When I finally found a good time to start growing, I did as directed.

First, you have to soak the kit (instructions are included when you buy the kit).  Then you drain it, put it back in the box, cut some slits, and wait for things to grow.

Back to the Roots

Soaking the Bag

If your kit actually grows – it’ll look something like the following pictures (I’m such an urban-farming hipster now!):

Back to the Roots Day 1

Day 1

Back to the Roots Day 7

Day 7

Back to the Roots Day 8

Day 8

Back to the Roots Day 9

Day 9

Back to the Roots Day 10

Day 10

Back to the Roots Day 11

Day 11

I say “if” you kit grows, because my first kit did not grow.  They have a 100% guarantee, so I contacted them for support.  It took a few days for them to respond (a lot of time wasted for a kit that should be harvestable in about 10 days).  By the time they did reply to me, I had already given up on that kit and started a new one (seen above).  They gave me tips on how to save the first kit, but it never did grow, so they sent me a new one.

They also say that “when you are ready” you can go ahead and follow the same steps to harvest the other side of the kit.  Cool – I can get two harvests out of one kit!  Well, I wasn’t “ready” to harvest the second side immediately after finishing the first side, so I waited a week or two.  That was a mistake.  I came into my kitchen one day to see my kit covered in mold (the bad kind) and fruit flies swarming the place.  I had to take that kit out to the trash – leaving me with only one harvest under my belt.

So, would I buy this again?  Definitely not!!  I think I bought it for around $13, but I’ve seen oyster mushrooms being sold at Whole Foods for $10-$15 a pound.  Considering I only got 3 and 1/8th ounces out of my one harvest, it was way not worth the money. I’d say this is only worth it if you have kids and want to do something fun with them.  Save your mushroom purchases for the stores.

And did they taste good?  I actually didn’t see much difference in them compared to some varieties of cheaper mushrooms at the store.  I had been wanting to try this Clam Chowder recipe from Healthy Happy Life, so I used the mushrooms for that.  The soup was great!!  But I think you could easily sub the mediocre Back to the Roots mushrooms for another variety.

kblog Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder