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Vida Vegan Con Pt 1- Food Adventures

Vegan Food Adventures in Austin Texas

If you follow me on social media, you know that I just spent some time in Texas attending and speaking at one of the best conferences ever, Vida Vegan Con. VVC is a media and lifestyle conference that combines the strong feelings of community with seminars about business and ethics, while also featuring local vegan businesses/products.

But, another huge part of this adventure was the road trip there and back, plus all of the freakin’ food! In this post I’ll go through a lot of what I ate from California through Arizona and New Mexico, then (BAM!) Austin, Texas. We stocked up on kombuchas, snacks and water at Whole Foods before we started our road trip in CA and then again when leaving Texas, which helped keep us going during those long drives!

After those delicious eats, we drove straight from Phoenix, AZ. to El Paso, TX. only stopping for gas/bathroom breaks. Joni is a total badass road trip driver! It was at night so we didn’t see anything exciting really, and made sure to get up early the next morning to get a head start on our day. We lived off of snacks and sandwiches that Joni made for her, Sayward and I, until we got to Austin.

First meal there and the start of a million tacos:

Next was breakfast and we went to Bouldin Creek Cafe (for visit #1), where I enjoyed some coffee and the vegan El Tipico with Corn Tortillas!

Breakfast at Bouldin Creek Cafe - Austin TX

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Filed under Dining Out, Healthy Recipes, Personal

Grilled Pineapple Salsa with Quinoa-Corn Tortilla Chips

Grilled Pineapple Salsa with Quinoa-Corn Tortilla Chips

A few weeks ago, I was creating recipes as a contributor to a cookbook that is all about quinoa. I felt pretty excited about being 1 of the 5 contributors and 1 of the 2 vegans that they included in the project! It was fun to get creative with recipes, and get away from the standard filled peppers and cucumber salads. One of the recipes I tried to create was for quinoa corn chips, this meant making your own tortillas from quinoa and masa harina, then making them into chips.

Fresh Pineapple

I didn’t have a tortilla press then and was really struggling with getting the tortillas thin enough and evenly shaped; they mostly looked like little hacked up Antarcticas. So, I gave up on that recipe and moved on. That being said, when I was contacted to do a review for a festive set of cooking tools (a press being one of them) I couldn’t resist signing on! It’s a win-win, right? Finally, I get a tortilla press in my kitchen along with a citrus reamer, avocado scooper/slicer, tortilla warmer, and two salsa bowls with cute lil’ feet.

Grilled pineapple

It’d be really hard to not throw a fiesta with awesome food with all of those goodies! I especially love the tortilla press and the citrus reamer, which has little silicone parts for better grippin’ and squeezin’. All of these products come from IMUSA, where you can find more food gadgets and cookware for creating awesome food.

Making quinoa-corn tortillas

As for the recipe, can you really go wrong with grilled pineapple? The answer is, “Hell no!” and this time is no different. The grilled pineapple brings a caramelized sweetness to the salsa, where it plays with fresh tomatoes, red onions, lime juice and a bit of cilantro.

Making quinoa-corn tortillas

The chips are a little time-consuming, but are neat if you’d like to put a new twist on tortilla chips. Admittedly, I went straight in the oven with these so they are softer than the traditional chip. But, you can take the extra step of pan frying them with a little oil in a pan for a couple of minutes, before baking them to get them crispier. Lightly salt the crunchy, quinoa-corn chips right when they pop out of the oven and add a squeeze of lime for a subtle zing.

Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Find the recipe for the Grilled Pineapple Salsa with Quinoa-Corn Chips below, and under that you can find the widget to enter the giveaway! Also, don’t forget about your $1 off coupon for Gardein products, the offer is ending in a couple of days!

Grilled Pineapple Salsa with Quinoa-Corn Tortilla Chips

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Filed under Giveaways!, Holidays, Savory Recipes

Spicy Teriyaki Chick’n Tacos

Spicy Teriyaki Chick'n Tacos Vegan

I’m back! I don’t think I can properly word how I feel about being able to actually post on the blog. I’ve missed playing around with my own recipes and interacting with readers here, and on social media. The last time we connected, I mentioned that I was shooting photos for two cookbooks, simultaneously and that’s still kind of going on. I’m about to wrap on Jason Wrobel’s cookbook and am ecstatic about how it’s turning out so far!

Pickled Daikon Radish

After I get done with these books, it’s time to finally start on my own, but before then I’ll be heading to Vida Vegan Con in Austin, TX! Let me know if you are going to the vegan blogger conference as well, as I’d love to meet up with you; plus, I’ll be speaking and I’m excited/nervous about that.

Pickled Daikon Radish and Carrots

There’s a lot more going on in my life, but what’s more important are these freakin’ amazing tacos. I’ve always been a fan of Gardein — their fishless filets are my JAM — but I’ve only done one or two recipes with it on my blog. This has got to change! If you’re not familiar with Gardein products they’re plant-based, meatless proteins that can replace animal products in traditional dishes. They use non-GMO soy and wheat, vegetables and grains, are high in protein, and have a large variety of products from meatless balls, to beefless ground, tasty chick’n sliders and the great Teriyaki chick’n strips that I used in this recipe.

Spicy Sesame Sriracha Sauce

Aside from all that, these products make ditching the meat easier than ever because they are super convenient and can be found in stores all over the country, in the freezer section. I’ve tried out several of their products on non-vegan friends as well as my parents and all are surprised (in a good way) by the great flavors and textures.

Another reason I’m stoked on Gardein is because they’re giving you a chance at a $1.00 off coupon (offer over) because I’m working with their products for this post! So, free recipe plus a discount? I believe you’re making out on this deal. 😉 The coupon ends May 31st so snap it up quickly!

Vegan Spicy Teriyaki Chick'n Tacos

Back to the recipe, though. I wanted to do a spin on teriyaki/banh mi sandwiches and do an Asian taco-type dish. In this recipe you’ll find quick-pickled daikon and carrots, plus fresh herbs, spicy jalapeños and a delicious sriracha/toasted sesame oil/vegan mayo sauce (inspired by my good friend Joni!). Basically, these tacos kick ass and are great for a weeknight dinner.

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Artichoke Crab Cakes with Sriracha Tartar Sauce

Vegan Artichoke Crab Cakes with Sriracha Tartar Sauce

This post has been a long time coming, and I am so glad that it’s finally happening! I was so excited when I learned about Kristy Turner, of Keepin’ It Kind, writing her first cookbook and it has been out for a couple of months now. If you haven’t seen it yet, PLEASE take a look at But I Could Never Go Vegan!.

Vegan Artichoke Crab Cakes with Sriracha Tartar Sauce

This cookbook is filled with clever chapter subjects, like “I could never give up cheese”, “It’s all rabbit food”, and “wait, is chocolate vegan?”; all excuses and phrases that I’ve heard more times than I can count. Kristy makes sure to go over each excuse and give you a few awesome recipes that completely obliterate the notion that it’s hard to go vegan.

Sriracha Tartar Sauce

Not only do these recipes sound incredible, there are SO many gorgeous and vibrant photos in this book, all taken by Kristy’s awesome husband Chris. I won’t lie, I may be a little biased, as Kristy and Chris are two truly wonderful people and are friends of mine. This does not lessen the fact that they make a great team when it comes to Keepin’ It Kind and I am so glad to know them!

Vegan Artichoke Crab Cakes with Sriracha Tartar Sauce

Back to the food: I had a really hard time choosing which recipe I wanted to showcase from this book because seriously, there are so many amazing-looking dishes. But, I’m into casual eats, and my mom likes seafood-ish type things so the crab cakes sounded pretty easy and definitely tasty. The ingredients are easy-to-find, the process of making them was easy (even if I added too much oil to the pan at first), and they were tasty to all that tried them!

Vegan Artichoke Crab Cakes with Sriracha Tartar Sauce

Kristy and her publisher were kind enough to not only share the recipe with you, but also to give you a chance to win a copy of her cookbook! (US residents only, please) So, go ahead and make these super delicious crab cakes and enter the giveaway at the end of the post!

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Filed under Giveaways!, Savory Recipes