Category Archives: Veg Friendly

Coachella is here!

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Coachella is nearly here & I can hardly contain my excitement. Beginning last year (& for the rest of my life), I will be camping at Coachella, which means no hotel with a kitchen so I need to locate all of the vegan friendly trucks, stands and carts that I will be dining at throughout the weekend. I also bring some of my own food, but sometimes a PB&J sandwich or vacuum packed Indian food just doesn’t cut it (or I don’t feel like walking all the way to the campsite.)

I just downloaded the Coachella Official app & it’s got a great listing of all of the food vendors that will be at the fest this year.  You can sort them by Name (A-Z) or type of vendor & the app gives a description of where in the festival or campground the vendor is located. I’m bummed that Coolhaus is in the VIP area.

VEGAN:
118 Degrees: Vegan & Raw (Between Outdoor/Gobi & VIP White Peaks)
Strictly Vegan: Vegan Jamaican (Terrace West) <– I will be here
Tantes: Strips, Fries, Knish, Shwarma (Between Outdoor/Gobi & Terrace South)

VEGETARIAN:
Cali-Pop Culture: Kettle Corn & Shaved Ice (Terrace North)
Certified Farmers Market: Local produce, juices, baked goods, coffee & snacks, 7am to 2pm (Lot 8 Near Clubhouse)
Junior Corn: Corn on the Cob (Terrace South)
West Coast Island Noodles: Eats (Between Man/Outdoor)

FOOD TRUCKS:
(I tweeted each of these with the hashtag #Veganchella)
Wicked Kitchen @WickedKitchn – “No vegan, we do have a vegetarian option… ‘I Pity the Tofu’
Lime Truck @thelimetruck – (I had bok choy from here last year, yum!  They also said they can make other vegan dishes if you ask.)
Kogi @kogibbq – ” Just ask at the window!
Joe’s Pizza @JoesPizzaTruck
Mangler’s Meltdown @PedleyMangler
Green Truck @GreenTruck – (The Classic Mother Trucker Vegan Burger is really good, I had that last year.)
Cravon @CravOnFries – “We’re cooked in olive oil & lightly dusted w/sea salt. 50% less fat. 100% great potato taste.
Border Grill @BorderGrill – “We can make vegan burritos and tacos if you ask for them.

Last year I created the Vegans Unite! group on the Coachella Message Boards.  Join me there, and follow @becahveg on Twitter.  I will be live tweeting (pending phone battery life) during weekend 2 using the hashtag #Veganchella.

Back to the Santa Monica Main Street Lot (After the Juice Fast)

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I’ve decided to head back to the Santa Monica Main Street Food Truck Lot on the Tuesday after my juice fast ends. At this point… I can’t wait! I have contacted the attendees listed on LotMom, and will keep you updated as I hear back from them.

Hang 10 Tacos “Yes, we do have a vegan potato taco. We just had a conflict in our schedule so I’m Not sure if we will make it to Main Street. Please check back with us as we approach the date.”
Jogasaki Sushi Burrito “We have veggie burrito and it’s vegan :)”
BABYS BADASS BURGERS The tweet I got back said “The best veggie dliderd ever!” I think they meant “veggie sliders”, because I don’t know what a dliderd is… hmmm?!! Fries are cooked in oil too.
India Jones “Yes our green coco curry, and Dahl”
Belly BombZ “Sorry nothing vegan!! I would say our fries but we fry all our chicken in it… 😦 we can offer salad with a tangy sesame dressing” Soooo… I guess… salad?
White Rabbit Truck “Only vegetarian..”
Holy Aioli

It looks like I will definitely be trying the veggie sushi burrito from Jogasaki (yum!) I may also go for the veggie sliders from Baby’s or Dahl from India Jones… we’ll see.

Change of plans.  I will not be in Santa Monica this Tuesday, so no food trucks, but I will be sure to catch up with the trucks next Tuesday & if you go, let me know what you had & how it was!

The weekly Santa Monica Food Trucks Lot is held on Tuesday nights from 5-10pm at the corner of Main St and Ocean Park (2612 Main St 90405).

Happy New Year!

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champagne_glassesLooking to ring in the new year in a compassionate way? Here is the latest list of vegan & non-vegan champagne/sparkling wine for your celebrating pleasure (from http://www.barnivore.com)…

Search results for SPARKLING WINE
Vegan Friendly
Domaine Carneros Sparkling Wines
El Grifo Sparkling Wines
RSVP Sparkling Wine
Schmitt Sohne Sparkling Wines

Not Vegan Friendly
Blue Mountain Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine 2007
Blue Mountain Brut Sparkling Wine NV
Campari sparkling wines
Four Cousins Sparkling Wine
Freixenet Sparkling Wines
Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wine
Wycliff Sparkling Wines

Search results for CHAMPAGNE
Vegan Friendly
Champagne Fleury
Domaine Ste. Michelle Blanc de Blancs
Domaine Ste. Michelle Blanc de Noirs
Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut
Domaine Ste. Michelle Extra Dry
Domaine Ste. Michelle Luxe
Harmony Wynelands Champagne
Korbel Natural Champagne
Merridale Champagne Style Somerset
Perrier-Jouët Champagne
Piper Heidsieck Champagne
Veuve Clicquot Champagne
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne
Wilsons Creek Almond Champagne

Not Vegan Friendly

Bollinger Champagnes
Cook’s Champagne
Freixenet Sparkling Wines
Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wine
Harmony Wynelands Wedding Champagne
Korbel Brut
Korbel Extra Dry
Louis Roederer Champagne
Moet Champagne
Pink Champagne

Enjoy & celebrate safely!

Santa Monica Food Truck Lot

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So, I recently started working in Santa Monica on Tuesdays, and for the past two Tuesdays on my way home I have been smelling the most amazing food as I passed the California Heritage Museum. It turns out that I was smelling the weekly Santa Monica Food Trucks Lot, which happens Tuesday nights from 5-10pm at the corner of Main St and Ocean Park (2612 Main St 90405). Of course I decided to email all of the trucks on the calendar this week, and this is what I have gotten back so far:

Asian Cravings: “Thanks for checking us out! Yes, we do have a vegetarian curry with jasmine rice. The curry is also vegan. Hope to see you next week!”
Bool BBQ: “Yes! We have a delicious Bibimbap Bowl we could do with our tofu. It’s awesome”
Surfer Taco: “Well we just have a veggie burrito or tacos (rice, beans, onios, cilantro, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and salsa)”
Cali Banh mi: “Thanks for reaching out to us.  We most certainly do have Vegan options.  We make a fantastic vegan tofu that is great in the spring rolls with a peanut dipping sauce.  I wish that the bread were fully vegan but it does have a bit of butter in it.  We also offer a bun salad that is not listed on the menu, but we run as a special from time to time.  It consists of rice noodles with veggies and can be topped with a protein of your choice (in your case tofu).  When ordering with us please let the cashier know that you would like the peanut sauce as we have two sauce options, and one alternate sauce has fish sauce in it.”
India Jones
Lobsta Truck
Romolo’s Cuisine
Gourmet Genie: {Gourmet Genie let me know that they were double booked this week & will not be there until NEXT week} “Thank you for contacting us, yes we carry several vegan options. Please visit our website to check out our menu at gourmetgenietogo.com” (From what I can tell, that would include: 5-Star Eggplant Caviar, Falafel, Homemade Cabbage Salad, Warm Couscous w/ Magic Spices, Homemade Hummus, Garlic Fries, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Falafel Pita Wrap & Homemade Hummus Pita Wrap)
Meet n’ Potatoes: “Thanks for the inquiry. We have fries, and that may be about it. Sorry.”
Sweet Arleen’s: “No I’m sorry we do not offer vegan at this time.”

I will be having the veggie curry, bibimbap bowl, veggie burrito & tofu spring rolls.  OK, maybe not, but I am going to try to order as much as possible, and I’ll share the leftovers with the boy when I get home.  I just noticed on the @SMFoodtrucklot Twitter that they are offering a $5 coupon if you pay with Kuapay Mobile.

VERDICT: I ordered the Curry from Asian Cravings ($8) & the Bibimbap Bowl from Bool ($9).  Both were very good, and filling.  I like the container that the curry came in, because I ended up bringing it home to share with the boy (30 min+) & it was still warm when I got here. I have to say though that the bibimbap was my favorite.  It had rice, julienned carrots, spinach & bean sprouts.  The seasoning was subtle, but oh so good!  I will definitely be back!

I paid with Kupay.  They had a booth set up and at least 3 reps walking around helping people with the app.  They even gave me an extra dollar off, so I got $6 off my food.

Microwave popcorn for vegans!

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Some time back, me & the bf went over to a friends place for movie night. He, knowing that we are vegan, had purchased some snacks that he thought we could eat. He, not being vegan, didn’t know about all of the mystery ingredients that come from animals that many manufacturers feel the need to put in their products. Milk, whey, casein… and the ever mysterious “natural flavors.” This is when I discovered that microwave popcorn is not usually so vegan-friendly.

The following day, I decided to go to the grocery store and take a look for myself. I couldn’t find one brand/variety that was definitively vegan. So I went home and did some Internet research. I found lots & lots of recipes for DIY microwave popcorn, including the paper bag method which I have adopted as my go-to method since.

  • Take a quarter cup of popcorn kernels & place them in a paper lunch bag
  • Fold over the top a few times securely & place in the microwave on its side
  • Set the timer for 2 minutes (like any microwave popcorn, you need to listen for the pops to slow… indicating doneness)
  • Eat as is or mist with olive oil & sprinkle with salt (I like to grind my salt in a coffee bean grider to make it into a really fine dust.) Shake the bag to coat all popcorn & eat!

I haven’t found the right way to apply a buttery substance (Earth Balance, or my preference: Smart Balance w/ Flax), because it always makes the popcorn mushy & damp… yuck! I have however experimented with other spices instead of, or in addition to, salt. My favorites: Old Bay or Cayenne Pepper… yum!

Popcorn for vegans!

Recently, the bf went on a trip for work. When he travels, he is always looking for quick meals & snacks that he can make in the hotel room, since usually he only has access to a fridge & microwave. On this last trip he found Pop Secret Sea Salt. It’s only ingredients are: Whole Grain Popcorn, Palm Oil, Sea Salt & TBHQ (I love short lists of ingredients!) Now, the paper bag method is certainly healthier, as TBHQ (while vegan) is not the best thing to put in your body… but if you are not in the mood to pick up paper bags, popcorn kernals, salt & spices and assemble them yourself, this is the next best thing. Enjoy!

Veganchella

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Tickets went on sale, tickets sold out, and now we have just 90 days until the official start of Coachella 2012. As this will be my first Coachella as a vegan, I want to get a jump start on what I will be eating (which is, of course, the most important thing next to the music!) I am camping for the first time this year, and I plan to bring lots of water & lots of random packets of vegan food that I can have handy throughout the weekend. I’m sure that there will be times though when I (or my friends) will want to stop at the food court, cantina, terrace, clubhouse or food trucks, and I don’t want to be gumming up the works asking a million questions, So today (which I am thinking of dubbing Food Truck Friday), I tweeted all of the Food Trucks listed on the Coachella website to see what they might have to offer. This is what I got back:

BorderGrill: YES, we will be at #Coachella! Still working on our menu but we will keep vegans in mind. Hopefully we see you there!
TheGreasyWiener: We’ll be there, got a veggie dog & veggie fries!
kogibbq: Yes, we’ll be at Coachella this year, yes we’ll have a veg option.

So there you have it… step one DONE.

I started a vegan group over at the Coachella Message Boards, so feel free to join in the conversation.

See you at Coachella!

Veggie Roll at the Let’s Roll It Truck

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Veggie Roll from the Let's Roll It Truck

Veggie Roll from the Let's Roll It Truck

I was headed out to 1st Thursday ArtWalk in San Pedro last night to check out a show put on at The Loft by some friends in the Redondo Beach Art Group & I noticed on the 1st Thursday website that they had a map of the food trucks that would be there.  Loving food trucks as I do, I thought I would do a little research & see who had what.

Since I am a recent vegan (6 months this Sunday) and there were no all-vegan trucks coming to the event, I emailed/Tweeted/Facebooked all of the trucks that were scheduled to be there & out of 11, 6 responded.  Out of those 6, 4 had vegan options.

I decided to try the veggie roll recommended by the Let’s Roll It Truck on Twitter, in response to my inquiry.  They said, “Yes we have our veggie roll. It’s very good! Cucumbers, avocados, carrots, asian pickled radish, with our sweet teriyaki sauce.”  They were right… it is VERY GOOD!  There are very few things I miss after going vegan, but one is sushi.  I know that there are all-vegan sushi restaurants in LA, but I haven’t made it to them yet & the veggie sushi at Whole Foods has honey in it… really WF?!!  Anyway, I ordered the veggie roll without sauce & it was great… perfect… why would anyone even need fish (I’m serious!)  Plus, it is only $6, and most of the other rolls (& anything on many other trucks) were $9… bargain!

I emailed Let’s Roll It today to get a little more information & found out that the salad they serve on the side has masago (fish eggs).  I didn’t have any, because the roll was more than satisfying.  Also, the sauces that by default come on the roll are not vegan. The wasabi mayo, obviously, has mayo & the Teriyaki has fish extract.  Just order it without sauce & put some soy sauce on it, it’s delicious!  They were more than accommodating in all of their communications & seem open to suggestions.  They clearly are very customer centered, which is how it should be.  I will be visiting Let’s Roll It again in the future.