Friday, September 28, 2012

This week's menu

It's a cold and rainy day here at Well on Wheels headquarters, and I'm looking forward to some curried rice noodles for lunch.  For my clients, it's something a bit fancier for the week, though nonetheless satisfying and delicious.

Black Bean and Brown Rice Stuffed Zucchini with Roasted Red Pepper Coulis

Teriyaki Tofu with Broccoli, Carrots, Peanuts and Fresh Basil on Brown Rice

Pan-fried Tempeh with Mushroom Gravy, Wild Rice Pilaf, and Caraway Cabbage

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

This week's menu

The theme is "comfort food" at Well on Wheels headquarters this week.  It always seems I'm in the mood for rich and creamy carbs once the weather changes, so the menu this week reflects that.

Seasonal zucchini makes an appearance in the first entree.  I sauteed it with some garlic and onions and seasoned it with lemon and oregano before cooking it down with some white beans.  This was accompanied by a generous portion of delectable potato au gratin made with rice milk and Daiya mozzarella.

The second entree featured baked tofu made my favorite way:  marinated in tamari and toasted sesame oil.  I topped this with a sweet and savory fig and balsamic reduction and served it with a baked garnet yam and Brussels sprouts.

The last dish is a vegan twist on an old standard:  Tempeh Stroganoff.  I added some mushrooms, carrots, peas, and onions to the medley and the end result was reminiscent of a deconstructed pot pie.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

This week's menu

I had a request from a client this week to make burritos and it occurred to me, gee, it's been a LONG time since I've made them!  I generally try to move beyond the standard vegan fare when I cook for clients, so this gave me a challenge to do something a little different.

For some variety, I used spinach tortillas and filled them with brown rice and pinto beans sauteed with onion, pepper, garlic and the absolutely delicious Muir Glen fire-roasted petite diced tomatoes in adobo sauce.  I topped them with a red sauce made from the same fire-roasted tomatoes along with cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika, then I sprinkled some Daiya pepper jack over that for melty goodness when it's reheated.

The next meal featured seasonal veggies, a Zucchini and Tomato Stew with Cannelini Beans and Fresh Basil on Baked Sun-dried Tomato Polenta.

Lastly, since it's still technically summer, I wanted to do a salad for the third meal.  This was a Soba Noodle Tossed with Miso Vinaigrette and topped with Baked Tofu, Carrot, and Red Cabbage.  Sesame seeds were sprinkled over the top for a nice crunch.  It can be eaten cold or lightly reheated, but either way it's delish!

Dining at Cafe Indigo

I recently spent one of the last weekends of summer away in New Hampshire and had the pleasure of visiting Cafe Indigo, a little vegan cafe and bakery in Concord.  Famous for its veganized carrot cake and woopie pies, this wholesaler of vegan baked goods also has a tiny dining area where guests are served simple, casual vegan fare for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.

When you first enter the tiny storefront tucked inside an industrial strip far from the town center, you are greeted with a tempting display of baked goods.  I was so transfixed by the brownies, cupcakes, and bars that I almost forgot to take a seat in the dining area for lunch.

The menu features standard veganized versions of classics like burgers, BLT, fried fish, "cheese steak," as well as salads, soups, and wraps.  They also have a separate wheat free menu that is greatly appreciated by diners like me who stay away from gluten.

I ordered "The Rachel," which was kind of like a reuben with cabbage slaw and mustardy dressing.  The regular sandwich includes housemade seitan, but for the gluten-free version the patty inside was made from bean flour.  It was a suitable substitute, albeit a tad dry and crumbly, so I was happy to receive a side of Sriracha when I requested some hot sauce to dress it up a bit.

My dining companion had the House Made Veggie Burger which was made from black beans and brown rice, dressed with garlic aoili, and served with lettuce and tomato on a homemade roll.  Both sandwiches came with a handful of corn chips.

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For dessert I had my tastebuds set on carrot cake, but was disappointed to find they were out of it (!!).  My alternate choice was the famous woopie pie, but when I asked which of the three flavors our server would recommend, she said she isn't really a big fan of them because they're too sweet.  The next option was the sweet potato brownie with chocolate ganache, which she assured us was really good.  We also got a couple of the chocolate mini cupcakes - one with vanilla frosting, and one with chocolate, both of which were decent desserts that even nonvegans would happily devour.  As for the sweet potato brownie, it was more like dense pumpkin bread with a not-too-chocolatey coating on top.  I was a little disappointed and regret not going for the sugar fix of the woopie pie.  Next time...