Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Trip to Missouri and a Xmas gift: Vegan Comfort Food cookbook

Happy New Year! I have not been blogging so much since I don't have a complete functional kitchen but it's coming close to be functional. Cabinets and floors are installed as of now.

For the last 2 weeks of December, we drove to Missouri from California and back, to visit family for Christmas, a 4135 miles total. Pheww! It was quite an experience since we encountered rain, sleet, freezing rain, snow, slick roads, etc. What ever there is in a winter storm we went through it during this trip. We arrived home safely on January 1 and were very grateful!
During our trip, I encountered very little of vegan restaurants. I brought some bread, vegan chili, Tofurky deli slices, peanut butter and jelly for on the road snacks and in the hotels. The following restaurants are the ones we found along the way:
Santa Fe, New Mexico: Check out Annapurna Ayuverdic World Vegetarian Cuisine We had a breakfast, a lunch, and a dinner at this place. They serve vegan dishes and are quite delicious.
Tulsa, Oklahoma: Check out Be le Vegetarian Restaurant. There were plenty of vegan dishes. We were actually surprised that this restaurant exists in the midwest. Their food were so delicious. We love their fried wontons, lo mein, Vietnamese Vermicelli, mongolian 'beef, and noodle soup. We actually had lunch there and ordered food-to-go for dinner on our way to Missouri and did the same on our way back from Missouri.
Tucson, Arizona: There are a lot more choices in this town for vegetarians or vegans. We love this restaurant: Lovin' Spoonful The owner, Peggy, has been a vegan for 20 years so she has a lot of experience in making vegan dishes. The entire menu is vegan so we splurged. We had 2 breakfasts, and a lunch while we were in this town for only 2 nights. Here is the picture of the tofu scramble breakfast. DH had a French Toast for one breakfast and a stack of pancakes for the next breakfast (not pictured).

This is a picture of their Sesame 'Chicken' Salad. Yum, I ate the whole thing.
We had a chance to try a healthy Japanese restaurant: Yoshimatsu Healthy Japanese Restaurant for dinner. It is not a total vegetarian restaurant but they have many vegetarian and vegan choices. Their miso soup is vegan. I tried the Ginger Tofu Bento with brown rice. It was delicious!
During our family Christmas gifts exchange, I received the best gift this year: Vegan Comfort Food Cookbook from my husband's nephew and his girlfriend. It is awesome.
I love the book cover, the content, and have tried a few recipes. The recipes are GREAT! It helps that the author was growing up in California and likes Mexican food (she likes spicy too) although she now lives in Atlanta. I tried her recipes of 'fish' tacos, fools your friend tacos, mango salsa, etc. and they were yummy. I made her 'Oven Fried Chick'n, Sage Gravy, Collard Greens, and Classic Cornbread for last Sunday dinner(pictured below). It was a dynamite! For those who don't like hot and spicy, I suggest to reduce the amount of cayenne or red pepper flakes from her recipes, but, for me, I love the amount of spicyness in her recipes.

I also like how the author gives 'meal ideas' or mini menus in the cookbook. Creating a menu for the week is already challenging enough for me. By following the 'meal ideas' from this cookbook I can make a set of dishes for a nice comfortable dinner. The menu for pictured above plate is called 'Southern Nights' which was perfectly named for a Sunday 'Chick'n' dinner. Thanks Jason for a great gift!