Twin Cities Veg Fest 2013

TC Veg Fest 2013 Goodie Bag

Yesterday, was the second annual Twin Cities Veg Fest. As last year, it was held at Coffman Union on the U of M campus. I was excited to try some new vegan food. Veg Fest is all about the tasty food right? Look at all the goodies in the grab bag!

Hot Indian Food Truck

Hot Indian Food Truck

A couple weeks ago, I went with some coworkers on their regular food truck pilgrimage. They had made mention of some vegan food, so of course I had to investigate.

Blueberry Pancakes

blueberry pancake

Sometimes, a nicer breakfast is in order rather than rushed. Taking the time to make some fresh blueberry pancakes is the thing to do. I drenched mine in maple syrup from my friend’s forest. I helped gather the sap to make the syrup earlier this year. You can read about it here: sap fest 2103. The pancakes and syrup were just what this morning needed. Tasty!

Cute Cupcake Oven

Cute Cupcake Oven

A friend gave me this cute little oven a few days ago. It’s a few inches tall and made from paper. She didn’t make it, but got it at a local shop. It was neat by itself, but what was waiting inside was even better.

Three Bean Salad with Curry Vinaigrette

Three Bean Salad with Curry Vinaigrette

My friend Brandy over at Trobairitz’ Table d’hote just posted her recipe for this salad on her blog. It sounded good and I was craving beans, so I made it last night. I took some liberties to make it my own based on what I had in the kitchen. It was good to eat last night, but even better after resting in the fridge overnight. Thanks for the recipe idea!

Hail Merry Lemon Tart

Hail Merry Lemon Tart

What to say about this lemon tart? I mean it’s really tasty and full of lemony goodness. Oh yea, and it’s vegan. I had several of them on my trip last year, but my wife didn’t have one until last month.–Find Tasty Veg Restaurants


I’ve been using for several years, but I don’t think I’ve written about them yet. They are my favorite place to look for new vegan restaurants locally and when travelling. They have a great interface on the web and mobile. The android app is also good. It’s one of the few I’ve purchased.

They claim to have the largest free directory of vegetarian restaurants and from my experience I would agree. I’ve used the site for all my travelling in the last five years both in North America and Asia.

The site is entirely community supported with reviews, photos, and restaurants added by the community. I’ve added several restaurants, photos,  and reviews. You can check out my happycow profile here:

Check them out!


Baked Summer Squash

Summer Squash

Our garden has been cranking out the crooked neck summer squash for the last couple months. It’s really a nice cultivar. It is easy to care for and easy to eat. Our favorite way to eat it is to bake it. If you have a young squash, which isn’t necessarily small, you can eat the skin. As they get older, the skin darkens and gets tough. We like to eat them plain for dinner. They have a delicate sweet flavor that is easily masked by seasoning.

Kitty Corner Cafe

Kitty Corner Cafe

Thanks to twitter, I found out about a new vegan-friendly restaurant serving waffles and Panini's in Minneapolis. Last weekend we ventured out into the rain to sample the offerings of Kitty Corner Café.

Spiced Chickpeas and Spinach

Spiced Chickpeas and Spinach

This tasty dish is an easy favorite. We frequently use it as a go-to recipe for potlucks or other social events. Other people really enjoy it, and it is quick and easy for us to make. The recipe easily doubles. We like to serve it over brown rice.

Corn Quinoa Soup

Corn Quinoa Soup

While waiting in line to order food the other day, I found a stack of little postcards extolling the virtues of eating whole grains. There was a recipe on the back, but I didn’t like the picture. I thought I could do better, so I created this recipe. We both really liked the end result. Satisfying and tasty.

Twin Cities Veg Fest in October 2013


This year’s Twin Cities Veg Fest is just around the corner. It will take place on October 26, 2013 from 10am-4pm at the Coffman Memorial Union at the University of Minnesota.

The festival is free to attend. There will be tasty vegan food samples, speakers, and a free concert. I had a great time last year sampling all of the treats, and I enjoyed a couple of the talks.

You can read about my experience at the first TC Veg Fest last year in 2012 here: Twin Cities Veg Fest 2012

Learn more about the 2013 TC Veg Fest at their website here:


Happy 3rd Birthday Gorkha Palace

Aaloo Saag - Gorkha Palace 3rd Birthday

Gorkha Palace is celebrating their third anniversary from 9/16 to 9/22. It’s hard to believe they’ve only been open for three years. We go so often it feels like much longer. Gorkha is celebrating with a completely new menu just for this week only and 15% off the entire meal.

My favorite two dishes are Channa Saag and Hariyo Saag (chickpea curry and leafy green sauté respectively), but neither was on the anniversary menu. Instead, they made a delicious Aaloo Saag. The owner promised me I’d love it or my next order of channa saag was free. She’s smart. I did enjoy it as it was nearly a combination of my two favorites.

Aaloo Saag is potatoes and greens, in this case mustard greens, sautéed with tomatoes and onions in what tasted like a light curry sauce. It went well with the basmati rice and garlic roti. Tasty!

You can read my full review of Gorkha Palace here: Dinner at Gorkha Palace Restaurant


Gorkha Palace
Address: 23 4th St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone: 612-886-3451

zpizza–Vegan Pizza Delivery


A couple days ago I stumbled upon the website for zpizza since I had heard they had vegan pizza options. I was quite happy to see they had several great choices for ingredients with a large veggie selection, daiya cheese, and some gardien crumbles. I casually put my address into their delivery box, and was even more excited to see our house was in the delivery range! Awesome! We’ve never had vegan pizza delivered to our house in the eight years we’ve lived in.

Funny Vegetarian Comic

Funny vegetarian comic from:
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

The artist is a vegetarian too.

Rice Paper Restaurant–Edina, MN

Rice Paper Restaurant

We love exploring new restaurant options, so I like to check the happycow listings to see if there are any new vegan friendly restaurants nearby. The other night we picked Rice Paper. The description on happycow listed it as an Asian restaurant with a vegan menu. We had to check it out.

Bravo Cafe And Bakery

Bravo is one of my wife's favorite restaurants. Lots of my friends enjoy it as well. The food taste good and it is relatively cheap. All the food is vegan unless marked as NV (not vegan) which confused me the first time I went there.

Our favorite thing to get is the peppered steak. It is made from gluten and it very savory. The sauce is great, and the green bell peppers add a nice splash of color and crunchiness. I also like to get the sauteed green beans.

Take out is our favorite. The inside space is small and only seats about a dozen people. There is usually plenty of 30 minute parking out front on Grand Ave as well.

Bravo Cafe and Bakery:

Cafe Racer Food Truck

A friend mentioned there was a new food truck with vegan options. We walked over to the Mississippi river along Kellog in downtown St. Paul and found Cafe Racer. Self-described as "delicious, healthy, Latin-American cuisine."

I ordered the roasted basalmic veggie entree with a side of sazon rice and sweet roasted plantains skipping the cheese on the plantains. The girl taking my order made sure the cook knew mine was vegan and also wrote it on the order ticket. A nice precaution against mistakes. After a short wait, they called my name and handed me my lunch.

The veggies were nicely cooked with a slight crunch. They were a mix of green beans, bell peppers, onions, and others. The rice was ok. My favorite was the sweet plantain. Yum. A little pricey at $8 for lunch, but normal for food trucks. I would eat there again it was tasty.

Find them on twitter: @caferacermn

Roasting Purple Potatoes

Purple potatoes are my favorite kind of potato. I love the deep purple color. The flavor is very similar to yukon gold. They cook the same as other potatoes. I get mine at the local co-op. Unfortunately, they are a seasonal item.

  • purple potatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Dice to about one inch cubes.
  3. Add broth and cut potaoes to an oven safe pan.
  4. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
  5. Uncover and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until fork tender.
  6. Serve and Enjoy!

Kale Salad At French Meadow

Brunch at French Meadow in Minneapolis is one of our weekend favorites, so when my wife asked if we could goto brunch this morning there wasn't any hesitation.

The classic vegan breakfast (hashbrowns, tofu scramble, vegan sausage, and hemp toast) has been my favorite brunch item for several years, and then my wife suggested I try the kale salad. Yum! I've been getting it everytime since. It is quite tasty and more health promoting.

They use flat kale aka dino kale. They say it is raw, but they clearly have blanched or steamed it for a minute or two. The leaves are softer and slightly curled. They toss it with some gingered tamari and olive oil and sprinkle a generous amount of pumpkin seeds on top. I like mine most with some freshed squeezed lemon. The tangy lemon goes great with the savory seeds.

French Meadow Bakery & Cafe
2610 Lyndale Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Voodoo Doughnuts Portland

Voodoo Doughnuts Portland

Who doesn’t like tasty doughnuts? This past May, we visited Portland, OR for a long weekend with the goal of sampling all the tasty vegan food we could. Voodoo Doughnuts was near the top of the list due to all the positive things we’d read online about them.

While we were walking around downtown, we kept seeing people carrying pink Voodoo boxes. We must be getting close. A short walk from the train, and we were there. The line was out the door and around the corner. They must be popular.

Voodoo Doughnuts Portland

It was quite the scene inside. We waited at the door to be called in to one of the many employees helping customers. There were carts of doughnuts in the back.

Voodoo Doughnuts Portland

Our faces were plastered to the vegan doughnut case. The bearclaw was calling my name. I could almost taste it through the glass. It looked really good.

Voodoo Doughnuts Portland

We exercised a little restraint while ordering and managed to make it out of the store without buying a dozen doughnuts. It was hard!

Voodoo Doughnuts Portland

We quickly sat down outside and ripped open our pink box to eat the tastiness inside. It started to mist, but we weren’t deterred. 

Voodoo Doughnuts Portland

The bearclaw was delicious, and it was totally worth the wait. My wife ate her doughnut as well. We saved one for a snack after the movie. The box was a bit unwieldy to deal with, so we put the last two doughnuts into her purse and continued to explore the downtown area.

If you’re in the area, do check them out if you like doughnuts. They are quite good even if they are a bit decadent. Drink a smoothie afterwards to balance it out. ;)

Pizza Luce Duluth

Pizza Luce Duluth

It isn’t very often we can get pizza delivered since we went plant-based, so we jump at the chance when is presents itself. We were in Duluth, MN over this past weekend, and they have a Pizza Luce there. Every time we goto Duluth, we make sure to eat at two places. Pizza Luce and the Co-op.

Pizza Luce Duluth

Their delicious pizza goes great with the awesome views of Lake Superior. We ordered a build-your-own (BYO) pizza with their homemade rinotta cheese made from soy and nuts. It’s a nice change from the mainstream vegan cheeses.

This pizza had red sauce with vegan crumbles and roasted red peppers with mushrooms on one side and black olives on the other. We ordered a medium, and by the time we were done wished we had ordered a large. The pizza arrived right at the door to our room about 45 minutes after we called. One of these times we’ll remember to order ahead of time instead of waiting until the middle of the dinner rush. It was delicious.

Lake Superior, Duluth, MN

Poached Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lions Mane Mushroom on Black Rice with Brussels Sprouts

I’ve been experimenting with growing mushrooms for the last several weeks and writing about it on my garden blog: Everyday Urban Gardener. Our Lion’s Mane mushroom kit has finally fruited! We have been excitedly watching it grow for the last two weeks. I’d read it is supposed to taste like lobster.

I wasn’t sure how to cook lobster, so I opened up a browser and read some recipes. One theme that kept coming back was to cook slowly. Ok. I can do that, so I decided to poach it in some veggie broth.

Neither of us thought it tasted like lobster, but it definitely had a chewy texture that my wife really enjoyed. The left-overs were slightly less chewy, and had an improvement in flavor. The mushrooms are like little sponges soaking up all the flavor from the broth.

I paired it up with a 50/50 mix of brown and black rice with a large scoop of maple glazed Brussels sprouts on the side. Yum. The combo of slightly sweet and savory was delicious.

Lions Mane Mushroom

Above: A cross section of a Lion’s Mane mushroom.


  • 3 Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cloves garlic


  • Cut the mushrooms into 1/4 – 1/2 inch slices.
  • Mince the garlic and heat in the broth for a few minutes on medium heat.
  • Put the mushrooms into the broth and let cook on medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.

Lions Mane Mushroom on Black Rice with Brussels Sprouts

Green Garden Smoothie

Our garden has finally started to produce enough food to eat. We harvested some spinach, kale, chard, two honeyberries, and a strawberry. We ate the berries immediately, but thought it would all go together to make a delicious smoothie.

We didn't have enough berries from the garden, so we suplemented from the fridge. Don't worry about exact amounts of the ingredients, the recipe is more about ratios: 1 water, 1 spinach, 2/3 kale, 2/3 chard, 1.5-2 fruit. Let your taste buds be your guide.

  • 1 cup water
  • spinach
  • kale
  • swiss chard
  • fresh blueberries
  • frozen strawberries

  1. add water to high speed blender until the one cup mark. We use a vitamix.
  2. keep adding spinach and blending until the total amount in the blender is two cups. We used almost half a pound.
  3. add chard and blend until just before the three cup mark. We used about six ounces.
  4. add kale and blend until the 3.5 cup mark. We used about six ounces.
  5. add two large handfulls of fresh blueberries and one large handfull of frozen strawberries.
  6. blend until smooth
  7. enjoy!
Makes 5-6 cups.

What 200 Calories Looks Like

I really like this short video as it shows what 200 calories of food looks like. It is based on a great post with lots of pictures here on wiseGEEK.

Since we can only consume a limited amount of calories a day, it makes sense to spend them wisely by eating the most nutrient dense food possible: plants.

YouTube: What 200 Calories Looks Like

Minneapolis Farmer’s Market

Minneapolis Farmer's Market

It’s been a while since we’ve visited the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market. We’ve been visiting the co-op and other smaller markets instead. We had a great time this weekend shopping. We came home with two huge bags of greens, some strawberries, and some rhubarb. I also bought another strawberry plant to put into the garden.

There was also a guy giving chair massages, neither of us could resist. Two bags of veggies and a massage = a great morning of shopping.

Walnut Tacos

Nut Meat Tacos Variation

It’s been a while since I made my delicious nut meat tacos. Last time I made nut meat tacos I used a mixture of almonds and walnuts. I’m out of almonds right now, so I doubled up on the walnuts and these walnut tacos were born. I let them soak overnight to get a slightly softer texture than last time. These tacos are wrapped in simple corn tortillas which we’ve grown very fond of over the last few months.

They are so tasty with some freshly picked cilantro from our backyard garden.

Vegan Tex-Mex Lasagna

Vegan Tex-Mex Lasagna

While browsing through my copy of the “Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health” last night, I stumbled on ‘Layered Tex-Mex Lasagna” from Mary McDougall (page 130). Being a cold night with snow in the forecast, it sounded delicious! It’s layered corn tortillas with pinto beans, corn, black olives, and onions for the filling and drenched in tomato and chipotle sauce.

Making Maple Syrup at SapFest

SapFest 2013

This weekend was SapFest. It is a small, annual event run by a friend. He has a few acres and several Sugar Maples. In the early spring, folks come out and help gather the sap into buckets and then watch it boil. He claims it is the outdoor equivalent of watching paint dry, but my wife and I found it more exciting than that.

I’ve been surrounded by Maple syrup most of my life. I thought I knew how it all worked, but seeing it was a bit different than I excepted.

Restoran Natural Vegetarian Food Centre

Restoran Natural Vegetarian Food Centre

Delicious vegetarian food in the Pandan Indah section of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. This was the first restaurant in Malaysia that we ate at when we were there earlier this year.

Review: Native Seeds

Native Seeds Order

I enjoy trying new foods. I also enjoy collecting different types of beans, so I was excited when I found Native Seeds as they have a unique collection that I haven’t seen or heard of before: Colorado River Beans, Moon Beans, Four Corners Gold Beans, and a bunch more.

Dinner at Gorkha Palace Restaurant

Dinner at Gorkha Palace Restaurant

Gorkha Palace is one of our favorite restaurants. They serve delicious food from Nepal, Tibet, and India. There are vegan, vegetarian, and meaty items all clearly marked on the menu, so there is something for everyone.

Pigeon Pea Soup

Pigeon Pea Soup

Yesterday, was a cold and snowy day, and we were craving soup. The Pigeon Peas and Rice were all gone. We still had more pigeon peas. This savory soup fit the bill nicely.

Pigeon Peas and Rice

Pigeon Peas and Rice

A few weeks ago we were stopping at a Mexican grocery store. I love walking the aisles looking for tasty treats. On this particular trip, I was drooling over the large selection of dried beans and legumes. There were several I had never seen before including Pigeon Peas, so I bought them.

Funny Comic

A funny vegan comic. I like the irony in the last two frames.

Blue Corn Posole Stew

Blue Corn Pasole Stew

I first learned about posole when I read “Born to Run”. I had never heard of it, but I was interested to eat it. I was inspired to make this after reading several different recipes for Posole Soup online. It is rich and savory with an impressive amount of flavor. I served it with homemade baked corn tortilla chips. Yum!