Vegan MoFo 2017 Day 31, Last day. Vegan Trunk-Or-Treat

Hey, so I am able to post after all.

Tonight I went dressed as a silly unicorn lady and gave out Surf Sweets vegan gummy heart candy and lollipops to a bunch of vegan kids. I also decorated my trunk with a unicorn, “vegan love” theme. I knew most people would do stuff that was scary or animal themed, so I wanted to do something different that reminds us why we’re vegan: because we have compassion.

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My favorite local vegan business, Like No Udder (ice cream), was there too handing out free cones. They offered a choice of orange creamsicle with chocolate pieces or cookies and cream in cones.

I didn’t know many people there, but it was nice to give out candy to the kids and see their costumes. I was so happy to be able to do something like this because as far as I know, this is the first all-vegan Halloween event for kids in our state. It was put on by Rhode Island Vegan Awareness as well. I’m so glad kids and their families will now have a safe and fun all-vegan event to go to that they can trust each year.

I didn’t take photos of the other trunks except for one. This trunk belonged to the president of RIVA, who also is named Laura (see my post from yesterday for more on RIVA and Laura), and since I knew she’d give me permission to post it, I felt comfortable asking to take a picture to post. They were parked right next to me.

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Pretty cool, right?

Happy Halloween, and hope you all had a great Vegan Month of Food! I’ll be back posting stuff after a quick break, not as frequently as I did for MoFo, but hopefully more frequently than I was before it started.

And I’ll definitely keep you all updated on the progress of my Vegan Unicorn Book.

Be sure to check out the Instagram account, @unicorns.eat.vegan for more stuff like what I was doing this month! Plus soon I’ll be posting about some cruelty-free craft ideas!

And, as always, if you haven’t yet “liked” my facebook page for Banana Curl, Vegan Girl, go ahead and do so! I usually post when I make a new blog post, and sometimes some other stuff, so it is definitely a good way to keep on top of my updates.

XOXO

Laura

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Vegan MoFo 2017 Day 30: Vegan Halloween Party Recap

This post might seem a little all over the place. I’m tired and excited and I’m still recovering a bit from how awesome my birthday ended up being. This evening I went to a Halloween hot yoga class dressed as Wonder Woman. It was SO fun. I was so impressed with the soundtrack. It was choreographed to our yoga practice! I’m a little yoga high as well.

Anyways, today I’m here to share another Halloween event I went to. It was an all vegan Halloween Party hosted by the nonprofit group Rhode Island Vegan Awareness (RIVA).

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Of course, I went dressed as a unicorn:

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Since I know most of you are here for Vegan Month of Food, I figure I’ll talk about the food first. When we arrived, the tables had a smattering of delicious vegan gummy candy from Surf Sweets all over them and some chips and hummus. We had dinner soon after, and there was a gluten-free option that I had. It was pasta, pizza, and salad and they gave us a lot of it! There was the option for seconds too, but I was pretty full. Towards the end of the night, they passed out 2 packages of Justin’s Peanut Butter cups to each guest. It was awesome! I had been refraining from buying them the week before because I had heard a rumor we were getting them at the party.

The event was planned as a fundraiser for a vegan billboard that will be put up in Providence. This party was able to fund it and I’m excited to see it.

RIVA’s president is also named Laura. Together we make two vegan Lauras. She went as Belle from Beauty and the Beast alongside…well…her partner the Beast. Haha. Here’s a picture of the two vegan Lauras together. “The Beast” took our photo! Thanks!

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RIVA did a great job organizing and running the party! Not only did we have food, but there was a cover band, vegan vendors, dancing, a trivia and costume contest, and raffles. I also got an astrology reading done in honor of my birthday. She gave me some great advice based on my chart and shared lots of stuff about me that helped confirm some life stuff I’ve been considering taking action on. I am going to keep it cryptic for now, but maybe I will talk about it sometime in the future. I was really glad I got to see and talk to her.

Oh! There was also a really awesome spoken word performance by my new friend, who I happened to carpool with after Laura had asked if someone could help with a ride for them. The piece was about how annoying it is to be asked, “where do you get your protein?” Even though most of us vegans often complain about hearing that question, the performance was still really inventive, funny, and well put together.

Oh! and there was a couple that dressed as B-12 and won the best vegan themed Halloween costume! I got such a kick out of it! If you go to RIVA’s facebook page and look at the pictures of the event, you might see them, amongst some other really awesome costumes! RIVA’s Facebook.

Anyways, I’m super tired from all this activity lately. I really hope I am able to post my last Vegan MoFo 2017 post tomorrow about the vegan Trunk or Treat event, but if I get home too late it might be a challenge. If I don’t make it in time, I will post November 1st, even though it won’t be the same.

Happy Halloween everyone! And Happy MoFo if I don’t post tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan MoFo 2017 Day 29: My birthday!

Hey, everyone, it’s Laura here.

Shh, don’t tell Fluffy this, but I have some bad news. I didn’t realize until yesterday that there is already a famous body-positive unicorn named Fluffy. I’ve never seen it, but supposedly they are in a Despicable Me movie. So, I feel like I will need to change their name in order to publish my book without problems. If anyone has some good ideas for unicorny ideas, let me know! I’m going to do a big brainstorm and I want it to be something more creative than Fluffy and perhaps a bit less frou-frou sounding, but also short and sweet. A challenge!

Anyways, I missed posting yesterday because I was busy getting ready to attend a vegan Halloween party last night! I had a great time, it was so much fun, and I was able to post a Halloween themed Instagram photo of some cookies I made earlier in the month. Check it out on IG @bananacurlvegangirl.

The next few days of posts are going to be Halloween themed. Tomorrow I will do the recap of the party, and hopefully, if I can make time to post before midnight, on Halloween I will be doing a recap of the vegan Trunk or Treat event I am doing.

Then Vegan MoFo will be done for the year! This year’s experience has been awesome. Thank you to everyone who has liked my posts, commented, or followed me on social media! I know I’ve mostly been posting unicorn stuff on this blog’s Instagram account, but after MoFo is over I’m going to go back to posting all my unicorn stuff on a separate account I made @unicorns.eat.vegan. The blog’s account will go back to posting more general vegan foods and baked goods. So be sure to follow the unicorn account if you wanna see where this project ends up going.

Anyways, today’s post is all about ME!! What, is it my birthday? Yes! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

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The picture above is the most epic card from my brother. Let’s give him a shoutout, because he also helped me execute my design for the Vegan Food Should Be Fun graphic that I like to post:

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Yesterday’s theme was brunch, but I did that today. With my mom. At my favorite vegetarian restaurant that almost everything can be made vegan at. The Grange in Providence, RI. I totally cheated on my limiting gluten and went all out by ordering the chickun fried seitan and waffles, pictured below.

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Omg, it was so good. And since I’m kind of sick of cake from this month of food, we got a pumpkin glazed vegan donut for later to go. I haven’t looked at it yet, but maybe I will post it later on IG.

I also went to the mall and got some workout clothes and Lush cosmetics goodies. Oh, and a Lavender iced tea from Teavana.

I’m kinda taking it easy now because I’m super tired from last night. I did some relaxing, tarot card reading, and other mellow stuff. Now I am writing a blog and later we shall go out to eat again. I’ve only had one meal so far today, but that one meal was amazing!!

Tomorrow I also plan to go to a hot yoga class dressed as 70s Lynda Carter style wonder woman, I cannot wait!

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My vegan donuts

I’ve been all forlorn because there are now two places in my city that have vegan donut options, but I am essentially too broke to buy them. Everyone I know that’s vegan seems to be posting them on social media, and it made me want donuts SO BAD.

So, I made up my mind to make some of my own.

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I used this recipe for the donuts but substituted the shortening for coconut oil (using 1 1/2 tbsp).

I fried them up, choosing to make them without holes because I thought I might add a filling inside. I used Chloe Coscarelli’s recipe for chocolate ganache as a topping.

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On half of them, I applied some vegan sprinkles from Sweetapolita’s shop.

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On the other half, I used Chloe’s filling frosting in the recipe above (made with half coconut oil and half veggie shortening I’m trying to use up), and separated it into three bowls, colored it with my natural food colorings (red, yellow, green), and then got super frustrated trying to use this icing bag contraption I bought that’s supposed to make it easier to pipe out multiple colors at the same time. I don’t think it was that easy, but it did come out very nice.

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I think next time it’d be better if I fill the insides with the frosting and don’t color it. It got really melty on top because it’s summer and I ended up refrigerating them.

BUT THEY ARE SO GOOD! They helped me wake up early this morning because I knew they were waiting for me, and I was able to get a ton of humane education work done because I was up so unusually early. 🙂

 

Gluten Free and Vegan Elvis Panini Sandwich!

I have been trying to eat more healthfully lately. In fact, ever since I went gluten free I have found it hard to make up the ridiculously delicious recipes I was used to creating in the past. But today I dreamed up an idea for an amazing unhealthy sandwich that at first I was skeptical of being able to pull off to meet my needs. As I continued to think about it, I devised the methods that could make it healthier, and is the perfect combination of delicious, ridiculous, healthfulness, and satiety level!

This sandwich is a peanut butter and nanner sandwich, with baked vegan rice paper bacun, made with light tapioca gluten free bread, grilled in a panini maker. This definitely is not a very original idea, I’ve seen many a vegan version of this sandwich on blogs and in cookbooks, but this is my version!

It came out so well, that my panini maker has been given a new life outside of sitting in my basement!

Let me walk you through the steps, in picture form. It’s easy!

Bake the rice paper bacun. I did this recipe’s marinade, minus the ground coconut, soaked the rice paper strips in cold water, then in the marinade, and put them on a cookie sheet sprayed with coconut oil. Then I baked them in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes, checking and flipping every 5 minutes (some got done sooner than others, when that happened I took the ones that were done out and put it on a plate while the rest continued to cook)IMG_9197

Set aside.

Take two pieces of Ener-g gluten free light tapioca loaf bread and spray coconut oil on one side of both slices of bread. Put the coconut oil side down on a plate.

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Take out the peanut butter. This is a locally made, all natural, salt and sugar free peanut butter. It’s so good!

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Place one tablespoon of peanut butter on each slice of bread.

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Cut half a banana into slices. Place on one slice.

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Layer the rice paper bacun you made earlier on top of the bananas. Put the peanut butter slice down on top of the bacon to make the sandwich.

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Place the sandwich into a pre-heated panini grill on medium high for about 5 minutes, more or less depending on your device (check on it).

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Ready to go!

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Enjoy!

Happy Holidays! (xmas recap)

I’m in the mood to do a show and tell kind of post, with pictures and descriptions of my Christmas…so here it goes:

*Note: I decided to eat gluten this holiday…I need to go back to eating gluten free because I don’t feel great again, but I wanted to see how I felt with it. I’m glad I don’t have celiacs, but I’m definitely pretty sensitive. I’ve missed some of this food so much though.

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My brother illustrated a portrait of two of my cats for my dad’s business. It’s really cute. Cats seemed to be the theme of our Christmas this year.

In fact, I made a bunch of cat sugar cookies.

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Unfortunately, I am a little weak with my decoration skills.

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For Christmas Eve we made my Pizza Strips and this caesar salad.

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My orange cat, Sammy, woke me up very early on Christmas morning so I went downstairs to make some cinnamon buns with coffee icing for everyone.

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Yum! They were a hit with everyone. I actually bought pre-made vegan cinnamon buns and just made the icing myself, because it would have been difficult to make them from scratch in the morning and have them ready on time.

Later, we had Chef Chloe Coscarelli’s Pistachio Guacamole from her Italian cookbook for an appetizer:

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For my dinner I made Sporkfood’s frosted tempeh beet loaf. My mom made Chloe Coscarelli’s creamed spinach for me and twice baked potatoes.

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For dessert we made Chloe Coscarelli’s lava cakes with raspberry sauce, So Delicious coco whip and ice cream.

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And I got quite a few culinary presents in the form of new cookbooks!

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It was quite a delicious event! I hope those of you who celebrate Christmas all had a great holiday!

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Vegan MoFo Day #17, Post #13: Make (or eat) a traditional local dish: RI clam cakes veganized!

Apparently vegan seafood is my specialty. And why wouldn’t it be living in New England? I’ve made vegan shrimp bao, lobstah salad, vegan scallops wrapped in tempeh bacon (that was actually featured on the Bake and Destroy Blog for Superbowl recipes), papaya lox, and probably more that I am forgetting! I’ve fantasized about making a vegan New England Beach food truck more than once…

Today I decided to veganize a Rhode Island (my home state) favorite seafood snack, the clam cake. According to Wikipedia, “Clam cakes, which can also be called clam fritters, are a New England food, most commonly found in Rhode Island.” I didn’t really eat these before going vegan, but from what I know, these are not a “cake” in the way you’d think of a crab cake or whatever (which can also be veganized–check out this recipe I love). They are more like a fritter or even a weird type of fried donut.

I made these with dried reconstituted shiitake mushrooms in place of the clams. They were pretty darn good!

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I served them with some vegan Tartar sauce (relish and Just Mayo), and my favorite new thing: Broccoli Fries, They’re french fries with broccoli in them. I threw out the bag and the trash went out so I can’t tell you the name of the brand that makes them currently…I’ll try to remember to share this some other time.

Here is the recipe!

Vegan/Gluten Free New England “Clam” (Shiitake) Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz package dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp kelp granules
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • Cold Veggie Broth and boiling water mixed together, enough to soak the dried mushrooms in
  • 1 cup yellow corn flour (not cornmeal!)
  • 1/2 cup superfine brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried dil
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chia seeds with 1/4 cup water
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • Peanut oil, for frying

Directions:

  1. Reconstitute the dried mushrooms by placing in a medium sized bowl. Pour the water and broth over them. Stir in the kelp granules and Old Bay. Let sit for thirty minutes.
  2. In the meantime, mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Prepare the chia seeds and water mix, whisking several times, and let it sit until the mushrooms are done.
  4. When the mushrooms are moist after 30 minutes, drain in a strainer. Don’t rinse them off or anything, you want the seasonings to remain (I almost did that out of habit).
  5. Cut each mushroom into thin strip. You probably want to cut those in half as well, but that’s up to you.
  6. Add the chia water mixture, lemon juice, and light coconut milk to the dry ingredients.
  7. Pour about an inch of peanut oil into a frying pan/skillet with tall sides. Begin to heat the oil on high.
  8. Fold in the chopped shiitakes to the batter mix.
  9. The oil is hot enough when a drop of the batter immediately sizzles when placed in the oil.
  10. Set aside a plate or platter lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil and cool the cakes when done.
  11. Before frying the batter, turn the heat to medium, you will need to adjust this occasionally as you continue to fry them.
  12. Drop large spoonfuls of the batter into the oil.You will most likely need to cook them in two batches. Don’t get tempted to overcrowd the pan.
  13. Flip them over when the side facing the bottom of the pan is golden brown. They are ready when they are golden brown on both sides.
  14. Take each cake out with a slotted spoon so that you don’t get hot oil all over the place. Gently transfer to the plate with the paper towel, and allow to cool before serving.

Here are some more pictures of the process:

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After the Shiitake are reconstituted and drained

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The batter minus the shiitake

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The shiitake all chopped up

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Some finished cakes.

I haven’t gotten a chance really to look at many other people’s MoFos because of my workload lately 😦 But I hope to be looking a bit more this weekend *fingers crossed* If you’ve been participating with your blog, and you want me to check it out, be sure to comment on this post (and/or tomorrow’s) so I remember to look!

Also, don’t forget to “Like” me on Facebook if you haven’t already! Or follow me on Twitter. And Instagram.

Vegan MoFo Day #16 Post #12: Favorite Late Summer Food

Hello there,

I had a lot of fun with yesterday’s prompt although it took a long time to do.

Today is a pretty quick and easy post. What is my favorite late summer food? Corn on the cob!

Where I live, we are less than a mile from a local farm (called Four Town farms) that grows tons of corn. It’s the sweetest during the end of the season.

I had some last night and it was so good. I like to lather it with Olivio’s coconut spread (which I put in the picture so you can look out for it) and sprinkle some salt on top. Check out my old-school Mickey and Minnie corn holders too!

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Maybe today if I can get my homework done, run, and prep for tomorrow’s MoFo post early I can find some time to check out your MoFo posts about your favorite late summer foods, as well!

Vegan MoFo Day 15, Post #11: Obama hypothetically coming to a vegan dinner cooked by me

I saw this prompt (OMG, Barack Obama is coming over because he knows you make awesome vegan food! What are you going to make?) and was really upset that I couldn’t think of anything I make that I truly feel is worthy of serving a president.

I have made things that are really impressively tasty by my standards, like for example, this moussaka. I just have trouble thinking of things to pair it with that I would also make. It’s an extremely agonizing decision.

However, I started to think, and I remembered that when Obama came to Rhode Island, he apparently got advised by people to go to a really gross restaurant in RI that’s pretty famous here, called Gregg’s. When I could eat there, the few times we went there I was really disappointed by my meals. The only thing I really liked from there were their cakes. Here is an example picture of one of their cakes, the death by chocolate cake, so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about.

Since I didn’t have enough time to try and create vegan recipes inspired by Gregg’s menu, I looked at the menu, which is huge, and tried to find a few recipes or ideas for veganizing some of the items. This can give you an idea of what Obama may have actually eaten when he went there, but vegan…of course.

I’m going to start with the desserts, since I’m pretty sure some people only go to the restaurant for that thing. After doing some research on their website, it is 6 layers worth of cake, and covered in mini chocolate chips (good luck with placing the mini chocolate chips all over a cake that size! probably better to randomly decorate it with some bigger sized vegan chocolate chips). So, here’s a recipe that looks good for this (and probably won’t put you into a dessert-induced coma after eating a slice). Vegan Death By Chocolate Cake. I haven’t actually made this one yet, and won’t be because it’s not gluten free, but let me know if you try it and it’s good.

Now, I’m going to try and find at least one recipe from almost all the rest of the categories of the menu (except for drinks, breakfasts, Monday and Tuesday special, daily features, seasonal selections, healthy choices, kids, and platters to go–yes, this menu is huge, I’m taking on a lot work for this and the day to post this is almost over, woops!)

Soups and Chowders:

French onion soup is on the menu. I actually almost forgot I made an amazing french onion soup last year for MoFo. Here it is! 

I feel the need to also include a chowder. This is the one I’d choose to make, though I haven’t tried it personally.

Appetizers:

Rhode Island actually has an official state appetizer. Sadly, it is fried calamari. Yes, it’s on Gregg’s menu. Usually this is done here in an Italian kind of style, tossed with a buttery, lemony, garlic sauce with banana peppers or sliced peperoncino. To make this, I’d actually recommend you buy Sophie’s Kitchen breaded vegan calamari, cook it according to directions, and then melt some earth balance and combine that with at least 2 cloves of minced garlic, pour on top and mix together, then fold in the peppers and dip in marinara sauce. It’ll be a pretty accurate RI vegan rendition of this dish, I believe. I’m not sure if the Sophie’s Kitchen vegan calamari is gluten free, so I probably won’t be trying this and perfecting it myself. Let me know if you try it and how it goes. I did have the vegan calamari awhile ago, but didn’t do much with it. I feel that product needs something fancier done to it, so this should be perfect!

There is also Spinach and Cheese dip on the appetizer menu. I highly recommend this vegweb recipe if that’s what you want. I recommend shredding the Follow Your Heart cheese with a grater instead of the way it’s pictured in the recipe, though.

Sensational Salads

Groan…there’s also a  “Calamari Mediterranean” salad here. Basically, based on their description, it is the same recipe as the appetizer I listed above but on a salad with roasted red peppers and sliced black olives. Add some vegan parmesan cheese to make it fancier.

The salads they list are so easy to make vegan that looking up recipes isn’t actually required. I’m running out of time to post this before midnight, so I’ll do one more:

To veganize the Tuscan salad, grill a portobello mushroom, add some roasted red peppers and greek olives, make some vegan feta out of tofu, and place over greens.

Sandwiches with Style

Tuna Melt- I highly recommend this jackfruit version.

Thanksgiving Sandwich. This recipe from Beyond Meat seems pretty authentic. To make it more like we do in RI, I’d also spread some Just Mayo on the bread.

Traditional Club Sandwiches

There’s actually a veggie burger club on the menu (without the bacon, it even says!) Make it better with your favorite brand of vegan bacon or make your own. Their menu says it’s a black bean and corn burger, which many vegan brands have similar versions of, and I bet you can find a recipe to make as well (in the interest of time I’ll leave that up to you).

Since I bet Obama wouldn’t be too impressed with that as a choice, may I suggest veganizing their Buffalo Chicken Club. Fry up some buffalo cauliflower or tofu (my fave recipe can be found here), put on bread with your favorite vegan bacon brand, maybe add some vegan ranch or bleu cheese dressing (this cauliflower recipe has a sauce that to me is pretty close to bleu cheese dressing!)

Gregg’s Favorite Sandwiches

Apparently all their favorite sandwiches are all on Focaccia bread. There are two on the menu that are easily veganized. The Portobello and Eggplant ones. First, find or make some vegan focaccia bread. I have found some good vegan focaccia at wholesale clubs, such as BJ’s in the bakery section believe it or not. Then, slice it into sandwich bread size pieces and either grill a portobello and top it with roasted red peppers, fresh sliced tomatoes, and greens or make a vegan eggplant parmesan and put it in between the bread. I recommend you melt some Follow Your Heart Provolone sliced cheese on top of the eggplant in the latter.

Burgers and “Steaks” Sandwiches

To veganize the Steak Sandwich, I recommend you make this from a fellow MoFo-er.

Dinner Favorites

Maybe Obama would be cool and choose the French Meat Pie, which is amazingly veganized here (it’s even gluten free, so I can still eat it! And one of my favorites of all time).

Pasta

Keeping with the vegan calamari idea (since they have a Crispy Calamari Pasta), do pretty much what you did with the appetizer and salad recipe, but instead of salad, toss everything (including the roasted red peppers in the salad) with thin spaghetti and some olive oil.

Everyday

Chicken Pot Pie is on this menu. I was surprised to see Trisha Yearwood has veganized this and it looks really good.

Voila! There you have a sampling of the menu of the restaurant Obama visited when he was in my small state of Rhode Island and some tips on how to make it all vegan! 

Although, as an after thought, if we are talking classic RI stuff and he specifically came to me for vegan food, I’d make him my RI Vegan Pizza Strips, serve some lemonade or coffee almond milk, a nice salad (we’ve made this one more times than we can count), and my raspberry lime rickey cupcakes I can’t stop linking to and talking about and making.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, friends! I’m done just in the knick of time…and didn’t want to steal anyone else’s photos…knowing me, if Obama actually came to visit me I’d attempt to make a ton of these items to impress him and stress over it so much, haha.

Vegan MoFo Day 5: Post #5: Best Sandwich Ever: Pretzel Bun Po’Boy from The Grange in Providence, RI

Today I’m excited to bring back a feature of my blog that I haven’t done in a long time. That is, to bring back some of my drawings. Since my favorite vegan sandwich happens to be something I can no longer eat due to being gluten free (well, who am I kidding, I don’t really eat sandwiches anymore, which makes me sad!) I couldn’t just snap a fresh picture of it. Adding to problem, is that this sandwich is from a local vegetarian/vegan restaurant in my state. So, I wasn’t going to go there, and buy something I can’t even eat just to get a good picture of it. No, that’d be pure torture.

So instead, I drew a picture in homage of this sandwich. It’s from a restaurant called The Grange. If you’re ever visiting Providence, I recommend you go to it. And get in touch with me, I’ll happily meet up with you and we can talk about vegan (and also vegan gluten free, if you’re into that!?) food the whole time. They have really great brunches. Just sayin’.

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The picture I drew basically describes it perfectly, although it is hard to describe the oyster mushrooms to do them any justice. The salty and smooth pretzel baguette along with the veganaise (which I guess, according to the menu is actually “remoulade”, house made pickles (or at least I assume they are, they’re good, and taste almost homemade), and mushrooms makes the perfect combination for a sandwich. I seriously would do almost anything to make myself be able to eat gluten again so I could have one more of these. Alas… 😦 I will need to find a new favorite dish that is also gluten free at this awesome restaurant.

Thanks for reading!