New Tree Chocolate

2013-09-30 20.00.47

 

Another chocoholic alert! This New Tree chocolate was delicious. Smooth chocolate with pieces of cherry and I was in heaven. Try some for yourself.

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Pumpkin Pie

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The CSA gave us a pie pumpkin, so I had to make a pie. Yummers! It had been years since starting from an actual pumpkin, but I was up for the adventure. What you will need:

1 real pie pumpkin, these are smaller and more round than carving pumpkins

1/2 cup agave

1 and 1/2 cups vegan sour cream, one tub of Tofutti sour cream fits the need

1 TBS molasses

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ginger

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of cloves

1 pie crust

Preheat oven to 350. Cook pumpkin in microwave safe container with lid for 10 minutes, press on the pumpkin to make sure fully cooked and then cut open and remove seeds. Once cool enough, scoop out pumpkin meat and mash with a potato masher. If desiring a smoother consistency, place pumpkin meat into a food processor and puree. Measure out two cups of pumpkin and place in a bowl with the other ingredients. Mix well and pour into pie crust. Bake for 60 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes to set the pie and eat it up yum!

 

Amy’s Vegan Pizza

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I think I have mentioned before how I can feel super busy. So busy that I don’t have time to cook a meal from scratch. Because of this, I am always on the lookout for something easy and tasty for the really busy evenings. I have been eating various Amy’s products for years and some are better than others, as to be expected. My tastes are certainly different from other peoples. However, this vegan Margherita pizza was not good. I will not be buying this pizza again unless I forget that I didn’t like it. If you enjoy Daiya cheese, seek out a Daiya cheese frozen pizza. Much better taste.

Potato Plate

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The CSA kept giving us potatoes last fall. I love fresh potatoes, so this was not a problem. One night I was staring into the freezer and got an idea. Mmm… This is what you will need:

1 package fake chicken pieces of some sort. I used the orange chicken from Trader Joe’s

4 yukon gold potatoes, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup diced carrots

1 medium onion. diced

1 TBS minced garlic

2 TBS sesame seeds

1 tsp avocado oil

Sea salt and pepper to taste

baby spinach

pesto

Saute onion, garlic, potatoes, and carrots in avocado oil until cooked, about 15 minutes. Add the red bell pepper about half way into the other vegetables being fully cooked. Prepare the non-chicken according to the directions on the package and add to pan. Add sesame seeds and salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot over a bed of baby spinach with a dollop of pesto on top. Yummers!

This easy recipe can include any vegetables you have on hand. For example, switch out the yukon potatoes for sweet potatoes or use broccoli instead of the carrots and bell pepper.

Green Bar & Kitchen

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For my last dinner in Fort Lauderdale I went to Green Bar & Kitchen. It was walking distance from my hotel and had good reviews on Happy Cow. I was not disappointed. The woman at the counter was super nice and helped us order. When she found out we were from out of town and unable to come back when the smoothy bar was open, she found someone to make us a smoothy anyway, which made hubby ecstatic. We needed a lot of help ordering, but finally settled on avocado toast to start.

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It was delicious. The flavors were so different from what we expected and a perfect start for our famished tummies.

For the main dish hubby ordered the coconut green bowl with red curry (not on the online menu, thank goodness I wrote this down) and I got the  BBQ sandwich.

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Oh so yummy. This time I actually helped hubby finish his dinner!

We also ordered the Aztec smoothie that had cacao in it another other deliciousness and desserts, but I didn’t get a picture of the desserts before hubby dug in. The desserts we tried included an almond butter cup, a coconut cookie, and a brownie. Totally worth trying.

I think one of the best parts about this place, other than the super nice staff and great food, was the patio. We really enjoyed sitting outside for dinner under the strung lights.

I highly recommend this place. It was our favorite during our little trip and I would enthusiastically return. Green Bar & Kitchen gets five out of five vegan cupcakes. Bonus: It’s gluten free!

iConnect Cafe

When we headed to  Fort Lauderdale, I knew I had to get to Sublime. But I was unaware of all the other vegan restaurants in town. Happy Cow to the rescue! Such a great phone app for traveling. Our second evening in town we were coming back from a lecture and hungry. Happy cow noted a vegan restaurant between where we were and our hotel. The place also had decent reviews. I was excited to try iConnect.

The space is also a yoga studio and walking in is mostly a store front with a bar to sit at and two tables. Our hostess, server, and yoga schedule shuffler was very nice as we asked lots of questions about the different options. I think the place is mostly used for take-out as three different people came by while we were there to pick up their dinner.

After much contemplation, I ordered the grilled cheese and veggie sandwich, hubby ordered the scramble with garbanzo beans, and the couple we brought with us got the portobello sandwich and the tropical sandwich. The salad looked the best of all our dishes.

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We were disappointed. The food was just okay and everyone responded the same way. I was certainly surprised by the pile of tortilla chips with my sandwich.

Because I can’t pass up a vegan dessert, hubby and I shared a chocolate cupcake. The flavor was very good. There were also cookies out for anyone to try that were very tasty. It seems the desserts are worth the trip. However, for dinner I give the place two out of five vegan cupcakes. The food was okay, but I won’t go back for it. I should probably try the yoga studio though. I love yoga.

Sublime

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I was super lucky and recently got to escape the cold for Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I was only there a few nights, but made it to three different vegan restaurants. I had no idea there were so many vegan places to eat in this town. Of course, the first stop on my list was Sublime! The dishes I ordered were wonderful, but hubby was less pleased. One word of caution, the portions are huge. Go very hungry or prepared to take home doggy bags.

We started with appetizers. I ordered the Frito Misto, which is a giant town of delicious cauliflower.

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I tried to serve it with the spoon provided and decided it was more fun to just chip away at the tower with my fork. Hubby really liked this dish too.

Hubby ordered the Pretzel Dip Medley and was unimpressed. I didn’t like this dish either, but, to be fair, pretzels are not really my thing. Hubby remembers loving them as a kid, so he was super hopeful.

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I thought the dish was pretty. Nice presentation.

For my entree, I got the Vegetable Lasagna. OMGosh! It was super yummy. Creamy and rich as if it was made with cow milk cheese. I was actually worried until I remembered verifying with the waitress that we were in the right vegan restaurant before ordering. It was so good and rich that I couldn’t finish the giant portion. Hubby to the rescue! Especially since he was less pleased with his Reef Tacos. He felt the tacos could have used a more interesting shell and that the rice and beans were uninteresting. But, he really liked my lasagna.

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Of course we had to try a dessert! We were too stuffed at this point to order separate desserts, so we split the Chocolate Nirvana. I really liked the flavor, but I think the cake was stale because it was a bit dry.

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Overall, Sublime was disappointing. Which is a real bummer because this is a fairly famous place. I would certainly give it a second try, especially since a couple dishes were prefect. Our waitress was super wonderful and we tipped her well, but the hostess was grumpy and not nearly as excited as we were.

Maybe I need to make a rating system. I always want vegan places to be incredible, but just because the food is vegan does not mean it’s always perfect. Based on my first visit, Sublime gets three out of five vegan cupcakes. There is certainly potential for five cupcakes and if I ever get back to Fort Lauderdale, I will go again.