Green Sage Café

Location:

Green Sage Cafe

5 Broadway St

Asheville, NC

(828) 252-4450

GreenSageCafe.com


Atmosphere:

Hellooooooo Asheville! I’ve officially relocated from Virginia Beach to Asheville, North Carolina! Instead of ocean views, now I am surround by mountains, and I’m so excited to try out all of the vegan food Asheville has to offer. 

Right in the heart of downtown Asheville, Green Sage Café offers up tons of vegan friendly breakfast and lunch options. With its active coffee shop scene, people of all ages visit to order a hearty meal, chill out with a nice cup of espresso, or do some work on their laptops. This spot is self -proclaimed as “Asheville’s Healthy Restaurant” and their mission is “to make nourishing food for our community using sustainable practices”. With the use of organic, non-GMO foods, and a separate waste bin for recycling and composting, this place lives up to its name. 

Food:

I ordered the Pura Vida Bowl with herbed tofu scramble in place of the eggs $8.50. This bowl was filled with brown rice, black beans, tofu scramble, fresh avocado salsa, grilled sweet potatoes, red onion, and sautéed kale.  This bowl had so many flavors and textures that played together beautifully. The fresh veggies added crunch to the beans and rice, and the tofu scramble added a savory herb flavor.  The grilled sweet potatoes were sweet and delicious. 

  

To drink, I ordered a large Pumpkin Spice latté with almond milk for $4.85. Coconut and soy milk were other non-dairy options. 3 shots of espresso in a huge mug would have been good enough for me (coffee addicts unite!!), but this was sweet and foamy, with a smooth pumpkin flavor. After moving from Virginia Beach the day before, this was a much needed pick-me-up.

  
Dig it or Ditch it?

DIG IT! 

Eco-conscious, laid back, fair priced, fresh and healthy vegan options? Umm, YES please! Asheville is lucky enough to have 3 Green Sage Café locations, and I predict that I will be visiting all of them frequently. Let me know if you give this place a try!

Advertisements

October’s Treasure Hunt

It’s the end of October, and here are some vegan treasures that I’ve found!

First up, is Amy’s Pad Thai! For about $3, this is way cheaper than going out for Thai food, and it’s really not too far off when it comes to flavor.  Tender noodles, carrots, broccoli, peanuts, and tiny cubes of tofu, in a tangy and sweet sauce.  Loved it!

Amy’s Pad Thai
Next, is Nature’s Path Dark Chocolate Chip waffles.  These babies are gluten-free and organic, and have the richest dark chocolate chips in them!  I baked mine up in a convention oven until they were super crispy, then added some coconut oil and pumpkin pie spice… So so good! They were equally delicious with peanut butter.  I’ll definitely be getting these again.


(Picture from website linked below)

Nature’s Path Dark Chocolate Chip Waffles

Next, is Kiss My Face Flouride Free Triple Action Gel.  I’ve been looking for a Flouride free toothpaste for awhile (read up on the effects of Flouride), and was really hoping this one would get the job done.  Well, it did!  I’ve been using it for a month, and my teeth feel clean and my gums feel healthy.  This gel formula contains Xylitol, tea tree oil, silica, peppermint, and Zinc Citrate, to do what traditional toothpastes do, but without the side effects.  I really like nice mild mint flavor and will continue to use this for a long time!


(Picture taken from link below)

Kiss My Face Toothpaste

And last on my list has been a long time favorite turned unfavorite … As you might have heard, Ellen DeGeneres, animal rights advocate and vegan, shockingly started a shoe line that included leather.  For the life of me, I do not understand this, and sincerely hope that she changes this very, very soon. To make matters worse, it appears that she is pairing up with the worst people in Hollywood, that happen to be a couple (I will not put their names in my blog), and selling more items made of animal materials.  What. The. Actual. Hell.?  I will not be watching her show again, that’s for sure. Read more below.

Article 
Sign the petition:

Petition Ellen’s use of Leather

Well, that does it for me.  I’ve been really busy this month since I’m moving to Asheville! There are plenty of Veg restaurants there, so you’ll be hearing from me soon!

What have you been loving this month?

Top 10 Vegan Food Items for Beginners (or long-timers)

1. Chao Slices – Can’t live without cheese? Then don’t.   Field Roast really hit this one out of the park.  The Coconut Herb flavor is smooth and mild with sea salt, black pepper, and oregano.  It’s delicious melted or eaten straight out of the package on your drive home from the store (my preferred method).  The Original version is just as smooth and mild, and the flavor reminds me of American cheese.  The Tomato Cayenne is the bad boy of the group… Spicy and bold, this would be awesome on black bean burgers, nachos, you name it! 

  

Field Roast Chao Slices

2. Potatoes – any kind will do. Bake them, mash them, make fries or chips… They’re a great way to fill up and not break the bank.  One of my favs is to make oven fries.  Cut up your little spuds into wedges or strips, toss them with a little water, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and sea salt, then bake away at high heat (around 400 degrees F) until crispy and golden brown. There’s no need for butter or oil, but feel free to add some if you’d like!  Here’s a batch that I made. Yum!

  

3. Avocados – healthy and delicious, these babies add healthy fat, flavor, and substance to a meal.  Make a simple guacamole for burritos, slice them up to throw in a sandwich, make a fresh dip or dressing, or just mash it on to some toast and add some salt and red pepper flakes.  The options are endless.  Here’s a super simple avo dip , made with salt, pepper, garlic powder, red onion, and lemon juice, paired with sweet potato fries. 

  

4. Bananas – even if you’re not absolutely obsessed with them, get some anyway.  You can make thick delicious smoothies and nice cream.  Just add other fruits, vegan dark chocolate, or nut butters if you don’t love the taste of bananas alone.  With potassium, fiber, and Vitamin C, they’re an exceptionally healthy (and cheap) food choice. Here’s some simple nice cream made of blended frozen bananas and strawberries.

  

5.  Brown Rice – borrrrring.  Yeah, rice can get a little boring but it’s a great base to a meal.  Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice, and it’s nutty flavor is fabulous in soups, tacos, burritos, salads, or just a side dish.  Again, it’s another cheap and nutritious option. 

  

6.  Gardein 7 Grain Crispy Tenders – Don’t know what you want to eat? Start with these then work backwards.  Make a chik’n parm, panini, pair with Mac n’ Cheese, pasta, or rice. Use your imagination!  Gardein has a ton of meat substitutes, so try them out! Here’s one I made with some cheeze and BBQ sauce.

  

Gardein 

7. Carrots – packed with disease fighting phytochemicals, carrots should make an appearance several times during the week. It’s better if you eat them raw… In a salad or with hummus, etc, but they also create a hearty base in soups, and produce a surprisingly sweet juice (pair it with green apple juice!)

8. Beans – Super cheap and simple, beans give you plenty of fiber and energy for just pennies.  Use them in soups, burritos, tacos, nachos, salads, and side dishes.  You can make your own bean burgers or hummus.  Black bean brownies are AMAZING, and there’s really no limit to what you can make! Here’s some good old rice and beans.

  

9.  Fruits and Veggies- I know, I know… Obvious. Not just any fruits and veggies though.  When people go vegan, they think they have to eat strange things that they don’t like… Don’t like kale? Cool. Don’t buy it.  Love blueberries? Buy a truckload.  Don’t try to force yourself to eat things that you don’t like.  It’ll just take the joy and fun out of eating.  Try to get in some different colors (apples, sweet potatoes, spinach) if you can.  It’s true, you’re tastebuds will change (maybe in the future you’ll shove kale down your throat all day long), but don’t eat things just because you think it’s the “vegan” thing to do. If you don’t like the taste of fruits or veggies on their own, make smoothies or fresh, plant based dips and dressings to help!

  

10. A multivitamin – Whether you’re vegan or not, a good quality multi, made from whole fruits and veggies, will help you stay energized, focused and strong.  

Well, I hope this gave you some ideas! What’s on your must-have list?

Pie-O-Neer Pizza Bar

Location:

Pie-O-Neer Pizza Bar

3376 Princess Anne Road

Virginia Beach, VA 23456

Pie-O-Neer Pizza Bar’s FB page


Atmosphere:
Pie-O-Neer Pizza Bar, the pizzeria formerly known as zPizza, is a create your own pizza shop that features a myriad of topping choices for your special, just how you like it, pizza pie. 

This place is pretty new, and the employees, are friendly.  The service is fairly quick, it was about a 10 minute wait for my pizza to be fired up in one of their multiple pizza ovens. 

The toppings included both vegan and non-vegan choices.  The vegan options were Daiya cheese, Gardein veggie burger crumbles, artichokes, button mushrooms, black olives, spinach, tomatoes, red onions, and more.

Food:

  

 I simply ordered the 10″ Vegan pizza on white crust (wheat and gluten-free crusts were available).  It included all of the toppings listed above on a thin, crispy crust.

I’m not a fan of Daiya cheese if it’s not melted (Who is?), but it’s pretty damn good on pizza since it gets super creamy and complements any toppings you could possible have. 

The crust was perfect, the toppings were fresh and flavorful, and the 10″ size was just right. I didn’t get too much flavor from the tomato sauce, but I didn’t miss it.   

Dig it or Ditch it

Dig it!  I like the whole concept of customizable pizza, and the fact that they include vegan options, is awesome.  I even told the employee working there (he may have been the owner) that it’s cool that he had this, and he was very appreciative of the compliment (Hooray, Business 101!).  Based on that interaction alone, and even if the pizza wasn’t great, I would have returned. When I do visit again, I’ll be more creative and try the wheat crust with some crazy toppings. 

If you’ve been here let me know!  What are some pizza combinations that you like?

Blackbird Pizzeria

Location:

Blackbird Pizzeria

507 S. 6th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19147 

Blackbirdpizzeria.com

Atmosphere:  This place is casual, laid back, and the perfect place to chill and stuff your face with amazing vegan food.  Not just any vegan food, the BEST vegan food there is.  Blackbird Pizzeria is Philly’s first vegan pizzeria, and was voted to have 2 of the top vegan pizzas in the country! (Who voted and how do I get that job?!)

Anyway, I visited this place awhile ago, but if you ever find yourself in Philly, give this place a try. Their menu keeps getting better and more creative, and I can’t wait to try more.

Food:

I have to be honest, I almost died of excitement as I waited in line to order.  I had never been to a restaurant with so many vegan options before (in fact, they’re all vegan), and wanted to try absolutely everything. 

I ordered a slice of “The Haymaker” and a cheesesteak (Philly is home of the traditional cheesesteak so I was very curious to try a plantbased version).

  
Th Haymaker is a little piece of seitan sausage – red onion – garlic butter – Daiya cheese – tomato sauce – filled heaven.  The crust was thin and perfectly crispy. The zesty sausage was unbelievably delicious paired with the creamy Daiya, fresh onions and tomatoes, and garlic.  I usually like adding seasoning to my pizza, but this was perfect as is. An entire pie is $12 (I’d pay way more).

The Seitan Cheesesteak ($9.00) was awesome!  This baby features perfectly textured, rosemary flavored seitan, smothered in vegan cheese whiz, grilled peppers and onions, house made ketchup on a fresh, chewy roll. They hit this one out of the park! 

  
I also had a bite of my friend’s Cubano sandwich ($8.50). Unfortunately, I didn’t get a pic of it, but it had smoked tofu, seitan pepperoni, coconut bacon, onions, Daiya, and grain mustard aioli.  At this point, I was pretty full, but I wanted to order about 20 of these to go. All of the ingredients were fresh and flavorful, but the aioli, oh that fabulous- make-my-eyes-water-it’s-so-good grain mustard aioli, made this one of the best sandwiches I have ever eaten.  My friend said the same thing, and she happens to be a carnivore. 

Dig it or Ditch it?

Well I couldn’t hide my love for this place.  It’s a definite DIG IT!  Like Hampton Roads, Philly has a lot of great vegan food, and I can’t wait to go back!  Please visit Blackbird Pizzeria, it will change your life and inspire you to find and/or cook masterpieces of your own! 

P.S.  I ordered an entire Haymaker pie, and ate it on my drive back home to Virginia Beach. #iregretnothing