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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Nap Report

Best sleeping friends in the whole world.
Thanksgiving!  Eating too much!  Falling asleep!  Do you have your napping buddy picked out?

I'm planning on making a No Turkey-Turkey from a recipe from Vegetarian Times from like 1990-something.  This is my favorite fancy Thanksgiving recipe of all time: it's basically seitan or baked tofu dipped in gravy and then mounded up in a baking dish, covered with a heap of stuffing, and then topped off with puff pastry and baked until golden.  Serve with extra gravy, of course!  It's delicious, and you can cut out little fiddly decorations of puff pastry to stick around your masterpiece and satisfy your inner Martha Stewart.  I promise I'll take a picture (maybe even with my good camera and not my phone!) to taunt you with later.

Planning ahead for Thanksgiving, I offer you this quick-yet-delicious recipe for soft and yeasty dinner rolls.  This is adapted from a recipe that appeared in our local paper - again, back in the 90's.  Apparently I was paying attention to recipes back then.  In any case, this has become a staple around our house and I'm often expected to bring these babies to school, work and family functions.  And I do, because they are so easy to whomp up.  I hope you enjoy!


SIXTY MINUTE ROLLS
adapted from an original recipe by Miss Eugenie Bell

3 Tbsp instant yeast (YES, 3 TABLESPOONS.  You can cut this back to 2 Tablespoons if you want.  The rolls just won't be as yeasty)
2 Tbsp shortening or Earth Balance (coconut oil is nice, too)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 and 1/2 cups your favorite non-dairy milk, warmed in the microwave or on the stovetop until lukewarm
1/4 cup warm water mixed with 1 heaping Tbsp ground flax seeds
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour (for the batch picture above, I used 3 cups unbleached A.P + 1 cup whole wheat.  Whatever floats your boat!)

Mix your flax egg up in a small bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl, mix the yeast, sugar, shortening, and milk until well combined.  Try and break the shortening into smallish chunks (some of which might melt.  That's okay!).  Stir in your flax egg.  Use a wooden spoon and stir in the flour and salt.  You may need to get in there with your hands and really mix it up.  This tends to be  sticky dough - that's okay! You can add a little flour if you think it's too sticky, but you want it to be a little soft and sticky.  Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for 15 minutes.  Hopefully if everything goes according to plan, the super yeasty dough should rise up quite a bit during that time.  Take your wooden spoon and push it down as best you can and then cover it and let rise for another 15 minutes.  Start pre-heating your oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease two round 8 or 9 inch metal cake pans.  When the dough is done with its second rising, turn it out onto a well floured board and cut it into 16 pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball and arrange in your greased pans.  Cover and let rise for another 15 minutes.  Put in the oven and bake for, you guessed it, about 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I am what I am

Today's recipe is for Creamed Spinach!  Get yer Popeye on!!  Seriously, this is some good shit.

I'm strong to the finish, yo
I was inspired to make this for lunch after seeing Kathy Patalsky's stuffed sweet potato picture.  It looked so yummy, except I'm not a huge fan of kale.  (I know, that's like vegan blasphemy.)  So I asked myself, what would be a good replacement for kale?  Spinach! Now there's a green I can get behind.  And what's even better than plain spinach?  Why, spinach in a creamy, garlicky sauce, of course!  I also really wanted that sweet potato, so I baked some up (see that little orange niblet in the top of the bowl?), topped them with my luscious spinach, and then some walnuts.  It was soooooo good.  And very autumnal.  And possibly slightly healthy.  Yays all around!

CREAMED SPINACH

1 big bag of baby spinach (I think mine was around 12 oz)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup cashews, soaked for about an hour
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 T. nutritional yeast
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Saute spinach in olive oil over medium heat.  Add a few splashes of water if you need to get it steaming.  When the spinach is soft and deep green and shrunk down, add the garlic and saute for another minute. Drain spinach in a colander to get rid of excess liquid.  Set aside.

Put the remaining ingredients in a blender and whiz til smooth.  Pour into a small sauce pan and cook over medium/medium-high heat until thick and hot.  Stir in drained spinach.  Enjoy!

Hello, lunch.  Get in ma belly!





I also wanted to share some pics of our doings over the past week:

Apple Cider Cupcakes from VCTOTW.  Holy crap these were delicious.  Go make them, now! Do it! Do it do it do it!

Nom nom nom. These got made for Caileigh's teachers for conference day.  Did someone say brown-nose?

Caileigh as the Cheshire Cat.  Her dad made this costume.  He is sooooo crafty!

The cousins:  Finn, the Cheshire Cat, the Zombie Twins, and a cute little black cat

Jake dressed as Finn.  This way he's both characters.  wink wink

OMG.  Too cute!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Athens of the South

I went on a business trip to Nashville last week, so I hopped onto the Happy Cow website and checked out where to eat while I was there.  I had a free night, and it looked like The Wild Cow needed to be on my agenda.  It did not disappoint!

The Far Eastland Bowl
Holy yum, Batman!  I had the Far Eastland Bowl, and it was delicious!  Brown rice, sauteed kale, grilled tofu, carrot-daikon slaw, peanut sauce and avocado. Awesomeness!  It was also really cool to eat at a restaurant that is totally vegan - we don't get that around my house!  On the other hand, I felt like a totally old fart eating dinner by myself there.  Not that anyone was rude to me - the staff were super friendly. I sat at the bar up front near the register and the kitchen, which was fun in itself -  it's just that everyone else in the place was twenty-something... and I'm 46.  I mean, I've got cool graying temples and four different pairs of glasses depending on what I'm trying to read and I looked like someone's mom who wandered in there by accident.  Oh well, it was fun!

I'm not really very adventurous when I travel by myself - I much prefer to have a companion when I'm banging around a new city.  So I was proud of myself for even going.  (But damn, I'm old.  I wish I had made it to Grins at Vanderbilt, but I think going to another college-age restaurant would have seriously demolished any ego I had left at that point...hahahaha!)

SO, to celebrate my middle-aged mom-ness and love of vegan food, I bring you some Halloween cookies I made with my kids:


I veganized my Mom's recipe for Vanilla Cookies, which I would share with you here, but I'm not satisfied with my veganizing on this recipe yet.  The original recipe calls for FOUR eggs, so I used Ener-G to replace them, and as Isa Chandra says, well, they had a taste.  I've never noticed Ener-G taste before, but I've never tried to replace four eggs worth of ingredient before either.  My family didn't notice; they gobbled them up!  But I need to work on this one before it's share-worthy.  The frosting is from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, and the decor are just vegan chocolate chips and walnut pieces.  They were good, just not great.  I'll try to get these right by Christmas.

Happy Halloween, everyone!  I've got four more nights to squeeze in scary movies before my family tells me to knock it off!  How about you?




Thursday, October 17, 2013

You're vegan? Well, here's your salad!

Ah salad, how I love thee.  Let me count the ways.

Okay, well not so much when it's the crappy bowl of lettuce starting to turn brown with a few shreds of purple cabbage and dried out carrot pieces.  Maybe a flavorless cherry tomato for garnish?  Or a big chunk of bitter, old, unpeeled cucumber.  What?  You don't want that?  You're so difficult.

Now THIS is a SALAD:
Friday Salad.





This is based on a salad from a deli located on campus.  This deli has a different main salad offered every day of the week, and they are pretty damn popular, with good reason.  They are huge salads, they load up the toppings, they're cheap, and they're delicious.  Of course, they're also NOT VEGAN.  Heck, they're not even vegetarian.  They're not good for you either, but that's a different story.

So here is my "recipe" for Friday Salad (even though it's only Thursday).  You need this salad in your life.  The original was loaded down with chicken, bacon, candied nuts, feta, and hard boiled eggs.  Mine's close, but a little healthier, and definitely more compassionate!

Friday Salad

Lettuce mix (I used romaine and baby spinach)
toasted walnuts (handful)
dried cranberries (handful)
coconut bacon (about 2 Tbsp)
One serving's worth of Meatless Griller Strips (you know, Chicken-y strips.  Pick your favorite vegan brand), cooked and chopped up
One serving's worth of Daiya Jack-style block cheese, crumbled
Agave-mustard dressing (which is basically just dijon or yellow mustard mixed with Agave syrup)



Enjoy!  And to send you on your way, here's a pic of my kids' jack-o-lanterns. Don't they look like they're having a good time?

So the first pumpkin says to the second pumpkin...


Friday, October 11, 2013

The Book I Never Wrote



Mise En Place

A novel by
sparkythewonderdog

 Chapter One
Antipasti

             She is grinning like an idiot as she quickly swirls extra virgin olive oil around the skillet.  A sprinkling of minced garlic, crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper are tossed into the pan and the oil begins to sizzle and pop.  Now, a splash of white wine and the fragrant liquid begins to steam and the sizzling intensifies.  A stream of relentless chatter is bubbling out of the hostess’s mouth, which is still stretched impossibly wide by her unnatural smile.  This is the same sauce my grandma made me when I was young. Make sure not to burn the garlic! Ooooooo, it smells so yummy!  See how simple this is?  Cream, butter, and a mound of fluffy, shredded, and intensely flavored imported cheese are added in a final burst of exuberant cooking mania, and the rich, velvety sauce is complete.  She tosses in the soft pillows of gnocchi which have been gently boiling in a nearby pot and flips the contents of the skillet into a thoughtfully chosen ceramic dish.  An artful sprinkling of chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley (never curly!) and more cheese complete the rustic masterpiece.  A few minutes under the broiler and you’re sure to please your entire family! Now, on to the salad!

            Sometimes I fucking hate the Food Network.

__________________________________________________

            I love being The Opener.  There is a stillness and sense of wondrous possibility I feel about the restaurant like no other time of day.  Great food will be cooked here today, and I will initiate the orchestration of flavor, texture, smell and sensation through my actions.  Later, when I am tired, achy, sweaty, and my clothes smell like a delicatessen, I will forget the love of the food.  I will want to be hosed down the drain like all the other crud that has been smashed and ground into the floor mats.  But for now and the next hour, the kitchen is mine.  Everything is clean and where it belongs, and the morning routine can begin.
            One of the best things about opening is I get to pick the music in the kitchen.  The soundtrack for today is XTC’s anthology, Chips from the Chocolate Fireball.  It’s wonderfully psychedelic and fun musical poetry, but most importantly it sets a good pace for the prep work ahead.  Other current favorites include Tom Wait’s Rain Dogs; the Cole Porter tribute album, Red, Hot, and Blue; and just about any Talking Heads album.  This is Food Network Falsehood Number One:  no one ever listens to music while they are cooking.  I know it’s so you can hear that gently sizzling garlic, or the rhythmic chopping of the chef’s knife against the cutting board, or the delightful crooning of the beautiful hostess as she babbles incessantly about the virtues of fresh tarragon, but it still pisses me off.  

End of page 1

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What's happening, hotstuff?

No recipes today, but food and life continue to happen.  Egad!  Please enjoy this photo essay.

Been a busy week or so.  James had eye surgery last Friday, although I delighted in telling everyone that they injected the eggs in one go and we expect them to hatch any day now.

Sesame Kwachik at Asian Wind.  Nom nom nom.
Tired boys take a nap together. Ain't they sweet?
Chocolate-Raspberry Blackout Cake from VWAV.  Because everyone needs cake after surgery, right?
Homemade English muffins from Vegan Brunch.  My first time making this recipe (I'm really a bagel gal), and they were perfect!  
Poppy hates having her picture taken.  She is about to kill me here.

Homemade Cobb Salad, L-R: Cherry tomatoes, turkey-style seitan a la Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day, Onion, Coconut Bacon, and Jack-style Daiya, topped with avocado.  Romaine on the bottom, dressed with homemade Ranch.  Yum!  This was totally inspired by The Vegan Cookbook Afficionado's' great Vegan MoFo Brown Bag posts, but hers is much prettier.  You should go check it out!
TTFN!!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

La-la-la-la-la-Lasagna!

I survived my first Vegan MoFo, and I'm back for more!  Sorry for the absence for the rest of last week, but I needed some time to recover from September.  Whew! 

I needed some comfort food in my downtime, and today's recipe fits that bill to a tee:  Lasagna Soup!  This is a recipe I veganized from the Disney family website, Spoonful.  They have so many cute and fun ideas over there - if you have kids I definitely recommend checking them out, especially with Halloween coming up. I got the idea for our best Halloween costumes ever from Disney's Family Fun/Spoonful:  James was the Big Bad Wolf and the kids and I were the Three Little Pigs. And we wore them to go trick or treating in Walt Disney World!  I'm not proud, or shy.

The kids were asleep in the stroller at this point.  This is pre-gan, so please excuse my ice cream.

Okay, back to Lasagna Soup. This recipe is really yummy:  it's got all the flavor, sauciness, creaminess, and pasta-y goodness you're looking for in a lasagna, without all the work or calories.  This one is definitely going in the family Christmas Recipe Zine I've got planned.  Enjoy!


Lasagna Soup

1 package Gimme Lean sausage
2 tsp olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped small
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
6-8 cups veggie broth (I use water and Better Than Bouillon Not Chicken flavor)
1 - 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
8 oz. fusilli or rotini pasta (or whatever shape you like!)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil, or 1 tsp. dried basil
1 recipe of your favorite Tofu Ricotta (I used the Cashew Ricotta recipe from Veganomicon)
Vegan Parmesan for sprinkling (I used Galaxy Foods Go Veggie! grated topping, which I got in my Vegan Cuts snack box, and is delicious!)
Optional:  Vegan Mozzarella shreds

 In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the sausage and saute, breaking it up into small pieces (an old-fashioned potato masher is really good for this!) and cook until lightly browned.  Add the onions and saute another five minutes or so until softened.  Add the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and saute another for another minute.  Add the tomato paste and cook for about 3-4 minutes.  Add the tomatoes with their juice, the veggie broth, and the bay leaves and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes (depending on how big a hurry you're in!).

Add the pasta and turn the heat up to medium-high.  Boil until the past is tender to the bite.  Discard the bay leaves and add the basil.  Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, mix up your tofu ricotta in separate bowl. 

To serve, you can either put about 2 tablespoons of the tofu ricotta in the bottom of each serving bowl, and then ladle in some soup.  Or, you can just dollop the tofu ricotta on top of the soup.  Sprinkle with vegan parmesan and/or vegan mozzarella shreds.  I'm not a big fan of a lot of vegan cheeses, so I just went with the vegan parm.  Stir and enjoy!  We had some crusty bread on the side, and a salad would be nice, too!

All mixed up!





Monday, September 30, 2013

A very special Vegan MoFo dedication: To my hero, Weird Al

This has been an amazing month.  I have had so much fun blogging here about vegan food.  It has really inspired me to be more involved in the vegan community and to share my love of vegan food. And, I hope to continue posting regularly on this blog about my own personal adventures in veganism.  It's also made me feel more secure about being more out-there in real life with my friends and family about the joy of living a vegan lifestyle.  So, three cheers for Vegan MoFo!

Before I had even heard of veganism, I was a fan of Weird Al Yankovic.  He's also a fave-rave with my whole family.  Here's a crappy phone picture of my birthday present from a few years back:
Al, my pal! 

Not only is he a hero for nerds and geeks around the world, but he's vegan!  What's not to love?  So, in honor of Weird Al and the way he also inspires me to let my freak flag fly, I bring you.....

THE VEGAN TWINKIE WEINER DOG!!!
Look Bob!  It's your favorite!



Mmmmmmmm.
I don't think any recipes or much explanation are needed.  Simply make some aluminum foil twinkie molds, fill 'em with your favorite vanilla cake recipe, pump 'em full of vegan vanilla buttercream, and let the fun begin.

Make some twinkie molds using foil and a spice bottle.
I put my molds in a brownie pan and added some pie beans for stability.


Baked!
Stuffing!
Beautiful synchronized twinkies a la Esther Williams.
Ready to add some vegan junk food!
In case you didn't get a good enough look the first time
 
What did I think of it?  Well, let's just say one bite was enough to last me a lifetime. 

 

 Happy Vegan MoFo 2013 to everyone!!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Penultimate Polish Potato Bread, or A Lot of Alliteration from Hungry Herbivores Busily Baking Bread after Terrible Tofu Tragedy

So, I went to this new-to-me restaurant last night with some friends and was really excited about it because I had read online that it was "vegan friendly!" and they even had a Vegan Crispy Tofu Burger and Tofu Po' Boy listed in the on-line menu. All right!  Let's get this party started!

I assume the reference is to Topher Grace?  Is he even a vegetarian?  Well, I don't know, but it doesn't matter because this sandwich isn't either.


When I got to the restaurant, there was no Crispy Tofu Burger in sight on the menu any longer.  Okay, no prob.  I was really interested in the Tofu Po' Boy anyways.

"Is the Tofu Boy vegan?"

"Uh, let me think.  Well, if we left off the special sauce it might be, because that has mayonnaise in it."

"Okay, that sounds good.  I'd like to order that."

"Wait, let me ask the kitchen."

waiting

"Um, well, the slaw isn't vegan either so we'd have to leave that off.  And the barbecue sauce has Worcestershire sauce with anchovies in it.  And the bread has eggs."

*Sigh*



I ended up with a tofu wrap with no dressing, and it was actually pretty tasty.  But it came with a side of fries that had obviously been sitting under a heat lamp for quite a while.  So, yeah.  NOT going there again.  Oh well.

So let's talk about something that is vegan and super delicious instead!  My husband, James, is of Polish descent.  His grandparents emigrated from Poland and somehow ended up in Kentucky.  James had a Polish college professor tell him once that our last name, Kolasa, means "maker of two-wheeled carts."  A noble profession!  In any case, every once in a while he gets on an "explore-my-Polish-heritage" kick, and we get to eat some tasty new foods.

One of our absolute favorites is Polish Potato Bread:

I stayed up until midnight cooking these bad boys for you people!
This bread is tender and moist from the potatoes, and it makes your whole house smell awesome as it bakes.  You can slice it up for sandwiches, or toast it, or just rip off fresh-out-of-the-oven warm chunks of bread and cram them into your gaping maw.  We love to take this on picnics and do just that!  If you make it with Yukon golds, it also will have a beautiful golden color.  So get busy baking!



Polish Potato Bread

½ cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)
1 ½ cups mashed potatoes
2 T. sugar
1 cup vegan milk, warmed slightly in microwave
2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup warm water
4 1/2 tsp instant yeast
5 ½ cups all purpose flour
Olive oil for brushing
Sesame seeds

Mix vegan butter and mashed potatoes in large bowl.  Add sugar, salt, and warmed milk.  Dissolve yeast in 1/3 cup warm water and then add to milk/potato mixture.  Gradually add flour, stirring with wooden spoon.  Knead and let rise until doubled in bulk.  Punch down and let rise again.  Split into two balls.  Form each ball into a braided loaf and set in greased French-bread loaf pan or cookie sheet to rise again.  Brush loaves with olive oil.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Bake in preheated 400° oven for 10 minutes, then lower heat to 350° and bake for another 25-30 minutes.  Cool before slicing.

Notes:  The olive oil will give it a nice brown color, but unfortunately it won't make the seeds stick.  (Obviously this is my veganized version of the original recipe.)  In any case, you might try boiling 1/2 cup water with a couple tablespoons of cornstarch, and then letting that mixture cool and using it to brush on top of the loaves prior to baking.  I think that'll hold the seeds on better. 

Bread rising, waiting to be brushed with olive oil.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sweet dreams are made of this

Peanut butter and chocolate.  Chocolate and peanut butter.  Oh yes.

Favorite Cookie:
Big Gigantoid Crunchy Peanut-Butter Oatmeal Cookies from Vegan With a Vengeance
Today's lunch dessert!
Add a bag of your favorite vegan chocolate chips, and use your small disher to scoop these out.  Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes.  These are my go-to dessert recipe!  No Earth Balance required!

Favorite Candy:
Homemade Halloween Treats: Chocolate Candy Bar from Healthy. Happy. Life.

Image from Healthy.Happy.Life by Kathy Patalsky

These things are SO GOOD and easy to make.  I made them for our Halloween party last year and they were absolutely devoured.  Kathy has totally convinced me to use more coconut oil in my baking with her awesome recipes.

Favorite Bar:
Kittee's O' Henry! Bars from Papa Tofu

Image totally stolen from Instructables.
I have modified this recipe and made it my own with the following changes:  Use 1/3 cup peanut butter and 1/3 cup Earth Balance (instead of 2/3 cups E.B.) in the base, and use 3 cups quick oats and 1 cup crispy rice cereal (instead of 4 cups of quick oats).  It pumps up the peanut-buttery goodness and adds a little something-something to the bar.  I could mainline these, seriously.


This message is officially approved by Taffy, the Sassy Cat.
Stop writing down recipes and feed me already!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

That's no moon, it's a space station

We're building up to the end of Vegan MoFo... can you feel the excitement?  I've got plans for a grand finale on Monday next week (September 30th!), but in the meantime I'd like to share this little masterpiece with you:

OMGWTFBBQ
Yes friends, that IS a Vegan Barbecue Sundae.  My husband (NOT vegan) dragged me to the Kentucky Barbecue Festival a few weeks ago, and one of the participating teams was selling BBQ Sundaes, and they were going like hotcakes.  Sad, but true.  These concoctions were served in clear Solo cups with a big dill pickle wedge stuffed in the side.  I thought to myself, "Wow. That's disgusting."  And then I thought, "This needs to be veganized!"  (You'll note there is no dill pickle in the picture above.  I don't like them myself, but they do kinda add a nice finishing touch to the presentation, especially for a party!)

Now, everybody knows that soy curls are the ideal product for some good vegan BBQ, so that's what I used.  I re-hydrate my soy curls in a broth with the same seasonings Isa Chandra Moskowitz uses for her Tempeh Bacon in Vegan With a Vengeance.  Then I saute them until the liquid is mostly evaporated and the curls are starting to brown, and then add bbq sauce.  I'm partial to Kansas City sweet sauce myself, but you can use whatever.

The bottom layer is composed of the Cheater Baked Beans from Veganomicon.  Yum yum yum.

The recipe I'm going to share today is for the slaw, which I sorta made up based on the description of the BBQ Sundae at the Festival:  Key Lime Coleslaw.  It sounded interesting, so I definitely wanted to give it a go. It turned out really tangy and creamy, just perfect to cut the sweetness of the BBQ soy curls and the mustardy-molasses-y goodness of the beans.  I definitely see this slaw becoming a fave for future vegan BBQ events!

I perused some Lime Slaw recipes on the web for a while, and here's the result:

KEY LIME COLESLAW

1 bag of shredded cabbage (I used Trader Joe's.  I'd estimate there were approximately 4 cups of cabbage in that bag. Pick out the big stemmy pieces that didn't shred right.)
1 medium carrot, grated
1/2 small onion, minced
2 green onions, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup vegan mayo (I used E.B. Mindful Mayo)
1/4 cup vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti)
the juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the mayo, sour cream, lime juice and zest, and sugar in a large bowl.  Add all the veggies and toss well to get everything coated.  Add a little salt and pepper and taste.  Add more seasonings as needed/desired.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

And the leftovers are awesome for lunch the next day!






Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Find a Happy Place



Today I want to talk about some of the vegan options in Kentucky.  Believe it or not, there are some! 

I live in a small town, but the Kroger in nearby Harrodsburg (five miles away) has a decent selection of faux meats, Earth Balance, soy/almond milk, vital wheat gluten, tofu and the like.  So shopping to cook at home is not hard.  If I want an even bigger selection that is still relatively close to home, I can go a little farther away (ten miles) to Danville and hit the Kroger there.  Eating out in Harrodsburg or Danville is mostly a wash – you can hit up the usual suspects like Taco Bell or Subway, or there’s a Chinese place in Danville called Wok-n-Go that has a yummy version of Sesame Tofu.

Luckily, I commute to Lexington for work, and there are plenty of options there!  We just got a Trader Joe’s last year, and we’ve got Whole Foods and the local Good Foods Co-op.  The Good Foods Co-op has a restaurant as well, with an awesome hot bar, salad bar, and some vegan selections in the bakery section.


There are plenty of Asian restaurants in Lexington that can accommodate your vegan needs:  my personal favorite is Asian Wind, which has the most awesome soy/gluten product called kwachik on the menu.  The Kung Pao Kwachik and Sesame Kwachik are delish!  Planet Thai is also a fave:  great Pad Thai, Planet Thai Noodles, curries, and more.  Try the spring rolls!  Omigod!  (You know the drill:  ask for no egg or fish sauce ...Side note:  I also once saw Steve Zahn eating dinner there. Woot!)

The local Mexican restaurants also have some pretty good vegetarian selections that can easily be made vegan.  Jalapeno’s and El Toro are two of my favorites.  Potato burrito!  Yee-ha!

We’ve also got some Cajun joints that are worth checking out:  head to Bourbon n’ Toulouse for the vegan black beans and rice!



The old vegetarian hippie standby and local favorite is Alfalfa’s.  I find them to be hit or miss sometimes (and a little pricey), but they’ve usually got at least one vegan dish on the nightly specials, and options on the regular menu as well.  Hit them up for weekend brunch and you won’t be disappointed.  Get the cinnamon coffee!  Another local restaurant with good veggie options is Ramsey’s.  They tend to be heavy on the cheesy-side of things, but you can get vegan if you try!



We’ve also got lots of newcomers on the scene – Limestone Blue is a cute little sandwich place downtown (I think they lean more vegetarian than vegan, but I’m sure they will accommodate!)

And there’s always Mellow Mushroom for pizza!

I don’t get to Louisville much, but I did want to throw in a mention for Heart & Soy on Bardstown Road.  This place is really cool.  You can watch them making homemade tofu through a big glass wall.  It doesn’t get any more vegan than that, does it?  We hit them up last year when we saw the Mythbusters on tour.   Here's what we ate:

Pad Thai

Rice Cake with Veggies

BBQ Tofu over brown rice

And thanks to Kittee’s epic month of Ethiopian food, we’ll be hitting up Addis Grill or Queen of Sheba next time we go.  

So, next time you're heading to Kentucky, or just passing through, do not despair!  We've got you covered!

Finally, here's that whoopie pie I owe you all from yesterday:

See you tomorrow, MoFoers!