07 August 2016

grocery edition : vegan mac & cheese.

if you could list out the top three questions that vegans get asked, what would that include?

i think ...

1. do you get enough protein?
2. don't you miss chocolate?
3. don't you miss cheese?

listen, i don't miss cheese. but i'm not going to lie, i miss mac & cheese. such delicious, filling comfort food ... hard not to miss it. but lucky for us, unlike vegans of generations ago -- we've got vegan mac & cheese options a plenty available for our consumption.

so i made my way over to vegan heaven (aka whole foods) & picked a few options. here's what i got ...

daiya :
remember when we were kids & we'd say "first is the worst" ...? i decided to apply that principle here. this wasn't terrible (unlike the daiya white alfredo box or whatever, which was truly inedible), but it wasn't great. this one is trying to be like velveeta mac ... #fail on that front.

earth balance :
like the daiya wants to be velveeta, this one wants to be kraft. not going to lie, it's pretty damn good. my level of excitement when this first came out was sky high ... met / exceeded expectations. 
pro tip -- skip the v. milk & add extra v. butter. 

soul vegan :
my faveeee. reminds me of homemade mac & cheese ... i like to add some seasonings & crushed red pepper for a li'l kick (not pictured). if i see this when i'm at whole foods, i pretty much have to get it. it's that good. it comes from the people who brought us vegan now & the original soul vegetarian. so you can trust it's god. (that was a typo, but i decided to leave it.)

welp, there you have it. let me know your favorite grocery vegan mac & cheeses ... always down to try more!

31 July 2016

kitsch'n.

i've been trying to explore the places in our new hood, roscoe village. the top of the pack, you ask? kitsch'n, located right on roscoe near damen.

seeing as kitsch'n is "chicago's cult favorite comfort food & brunch destination," i was pretty pumped to try it out.

here's what i had ...

tofu scramble :
light & flavorful seasoned tofu sautéed w/ evoo, spinach, broccoli, roasted peppers, scallions, garlic & a drizzle of fresh basil pesto. 
here's the deal. the flavors, great. but this just wasn't a tofu scramble. when you're expecting a tofu scramble, you want a tofu scramble. also, i just feel like usually, a tofu dish like this would come with toast? potatoes? like how an egg scramble would come? ... nope. this was just this. what you see is what i got. 

kitsch'n is a roscoe village staple ... i've believe they've been here for close to 20 years. so clearly, this is a me problem. let's be honest. any place that has legit vegan options is a place we need to give a second chance. plus, le baby enjoyed his french toast sticks, so there's that. we'll be back!

--
kitsch'n
2005 w. roscoe st.
chicago, il 60618

27 July 2016

roister.

guys, i've been majorly slacking off this summer. i know. i apologize. between moving, trips out of town + baby (how long can i blame baby for things? it's been almost a year...), it's been a busy summer!

so busy ... that me & the girls went to grant achatz's new restaurant, roister in the west loop, months ago. i can't even remember when we went.

roister's ish is that "the restaurant is the kitchen. the kitchen is the restaurant." all open ... you can see everything that's going on. super cool.

we cleared with the team there that they'd be able to accommodate le vegan (me, duh) & le gluten-free (mah gf, joelle), so we knew we were set. side note, it was hella dark in there & i didn't want to be that person & use my flash, so sorry for that.

here's what i had ...

grilled asparagus salad :
fennel & rice. 
tasty. a very loose interpretation of what a salad is, but that's just me. 

yukon fries :
soy dusted, rice vinegar, tofu mayo. 
these were the star of the meal. i mean ... delicious potatoes + a special vegan/tofu mayo!? kind of something i could eat 14 portions of. 

carolina gold  rice :
hoisin-glazed carrots, thai basil. 
i obviously requested no mushrooms & got extra carrots in return, so that was perfect. but tbh, i don't remember at this point how much i liked the dish. knowing my obsession with carbs, i'm guessing i finished the whole plate either way. 

of all the achatz restaurants i've been too, i'm going to say roister was my least favorite. yeah, the potatoes were bomb. but is that enough to save a meal? if i love something, i remember. trust me. 

listen. taste is personal. you may love it. it's not like i won't try it again!

--
951 w. fulton market
chicago, il 60607

12 June 2016

left coast food & juice.

okay, i promised this week would be a good one ... let me tell you, it is. i'm officially beyond obsessed with left coast food & juice on lincoln ave. in lakeview.

since california food is some of my favorite food, i've been to left coast 5 times now. (yes, you read that right.) ... every time, it's delicious! my goal is to try all the vegan options on the menu. so far, i've tried 4, because i had to have the avocado toast twice. so good.

okay, before we dive into the eats, here's a bit about left coast : "we bring flavorful & progressive recipes to not only healthy food, but also chef-driven, cold-pressed juices & delicious smoothies." i've clearly already gotten on board with this. your turn!

here's what i had (in order of first visit to most recent) ...

kale mary smoothie :
blueberry, kale, avocado, oj, macca powder, agave, apple cider vinegar. 
any excuse for a selfie ... plus the smoothie was awesome. 

left coast acai bowl :
acai berries, blueberries, raspberries, banana, almond butter, macca powder, hemp seeds granola. 
this was my first smoothie bowl! i was pretty excited ... it's perfect for a hot day & also, just so pretty. 

robust rosa :
kale, spinach, roasted broccoli, roasted tomato, red onion, toasted hemp seeds, avocado caesar dressing + tofu.
green, check. leafy, check. tasty, check. 

hermosa avocado toast :
toasted semolina bread, avocado, mojo rojo, red onion, fresh basil + tofu. 
i pretty much live for good avocado toast. this version is on point. plus added tofu for, ya know, protein. 

easy street wrap :
tofu, brown rice, roasted carrots, pickled sultanas, smoked almonds, arugula, red onion, madras curry sauce & whole wheat wrap. 
like a vegan curry chicken salad wrap! more, please. 

holy moly, that was a lot. but honestly, isn't all of it just so delectable-looking? food that looks fresh, tastes fresh, is fresh. so many thumbs up. and it doesn't stop there ... i'm scheduled to go back tomorrow for lunch w/ my mom & le bébé. see ya on instagram! 

--
left coast food & juice
2878 n. lincoln ave.
chicago, il 60657