Friday, June 16, 2017

Vegicano Cinco de Mayo Pop-Up with Peaceful Provisions

Last month, Vegicano hosted a pop-up dinner at Urban Vegan Kitchen with desserts by Peaceful Provisions; you can bet I was there.

The cocktail list was varied and I was glad they offered mocktails; it's so boring when the only options for those not imbibing are water & soda.

I chose the non-virgin madame du berry: mezcal, blackberry, lemon, peach bitters. It looked like it would be fruity and was served in this delicate champagne glass, but the surprise was on me because I forgot that mezcal is a smoky tequila. My fault entirely, and it's not the first time I've made this mistake. I get it, many people like to mix their sweet and savory. I am not one of these people! 


I was uber grateful when the amuse bouche showed up to cleanse my palate: brocetita de sandia vestido: watermelon, cucumber & red onion with chile, salt, & lime. What a bolt of flavor! We were definitely off to a good start.

*the picked onion was sandwiched in the cucumber fold

The evening's food menu:


The appetizer was guacamole estilo vegicano: with chipotle roasted chickpeas & walnut cotija and the guacamole was so delicious that I was able to look past the customary cilantro within. The crunch of the chickpeas were such a nice counter to the creamy guac (why haven't I seen this paired before?!) and the homemade chips were divine. It was really difficult to share this with my 3 tablemates; I easily could have commandeered the whole bowl and left happy.

There were two dinner options: glutenous or gluten-free; we all of us went for the gluten. Filete de seitan a la mexicana: with arroz y rajas, refritos, and cucumber pico turned out to be a flavorful spin on traditional beans and rice featuring seasoned rice and peas, melt-in-your mouth refried beans, and a slice of succulent seitan topped with onions and tomatoes (gluten-free option substituted jackfruit and yuba for the seitan). As someone who is used to the multi-faceted tacos and tortas served to order at Vegan Shop-Up, this struck me as Vegicano Unplugged.

For dessert, Peaceful Provisions offered the choice of either a donut hole trio (gluten) or chocolate cake: salted coconut dulce de leche, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and spiced almonds (gluten free). I was THRILLED with my donuts, but had the opportunity to try the cake via my generous pal and it was amazing as well.

I know; it's blurry and dark. It was the best I could do before it was speared by 4 forks.

Three flavors of giant donut holes: chocolate ganache filled & tossed in spiced sugar, raspberry & cholula glazed, dulce de leche filled & topped with pepita. I expected to automatically love the chocolate the most, but they were all so wonderful with distinct flavor profiles that I honestly could not pick a favorite.

Keep your eyes and ears open for whatever Vegicano and Peaceful Provisions do next- either together or individually. They are talented people who continue to surprise and delight.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Vegan Ben & Jerry's Waffle Ice Cream Sundaes for VM Day!

Got a little sidetracked with the Philly rehash; we're now back to our regularly scheduled programming, starting with Mother's Day!

Making Mother's Day brunch is kind of my thing, so I began preparing months in advance- truly. The first step was to acquire a waffle iron. I'm not really into kitchen gadgets, so I didn't want to spend much money. I bought this little Oster Belgian waffle maker and it's pretty much the pits; don't be fooled by the fact that it's an Amazon best seller. Unfortunately, I'm a dummy who waited too long to take it out of the box and actually try it, so once I finally did it was too late to return. All this is to say, don't buy that one! You can make do with it, but it's FAR from ideal.

But, don't worry about us; we were fine. I monkeyed around with it long enough to figure out how to get a relatively decent waffle (NOT Belgian as advertised) with as minimal mess as possible. I used this recipe for waffles and then crisped them up in the oven for a few minutes before assembling and serving.

And, by "assembling and serving", I mean WITH ICE CREAM. Yeah, that's right: Mother's Day waffle ice cream sundaes.

Freshly made waffles with ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate chips, and this really amazing syrup.

Lately I've been eating a lot of Nada Moo, but on this day we partook in the three new, vegan, Ben & Jerry flavors.

Shown here, sans waffles. Caramel almond brittle up top, coconut 7-layer bar to the right, and cherry garcia at the bottom. All three flavors are a vast improvement of the original four vegan flavors they released last winter; I especially loved the brittle & the 7-layer. In case you're wondering, I do know that Ben & Jerry's (and parent company Unilever) are problematic- not the least of which because some flavors contain palm oil and the chocolate is not Food Empowerment Project approved; feel free to let me have it in the comments. Please note, though, that I don't necessarily have a problem with non-vegan companies making vegan items; instead, I think it's a sign of progress. But, I digress.

 You-know-who got her own 89-size waffle sundae; see her chowing down here.


As you might imagine, this meal held us over for quite some time. We spent the day chatting, watching movies, and being amazed by a sudden hailstorm.

Well, we were amazed. Petri Hawkins Bird not so much.

Also, VM brought a present for 89. Not sure how that works since 89 already has 2 personal holidays, but there you go.

Of course that didn't stop her from trying to gnaw her way into VM's gifts because she's a humongous glom.

Eventually we got hungry again and had Ethiopian food for dinner.

Aaaaand, luckily there was plenty of brunch leftovers so that we were able to repeat the sundaes a few days later as if Mother's Day never ended!