Vegan’s Guide to Seattle

Hello folks! Today I’m sharing with you some of my favorite vegan spots in Seattle! The first couple times I visited from Georgia I was so impressed with how many vegan-friendly restaurants there are, and it’s still one of my favorite places to try new vegan dishes.

I don’t frequently find myself in the city for breakfast, but I thoroughly recommend Wayward Vegan Cafe if you’re looking for some fantastic breakfast/brunch grub. They’ve added even more options since I last visited, but I can vouch for the country fried seitan and pancakes being absolutely delicious! They also serve lunch and dinner, so you’ll have tons of variety whenever you decide to visit.

While some may argue donuts aren’t a “proper” breakfast, I say to follow your heart and eat the dang donuts! Mighty-O Donuts is my favorite spot in the city for vegan donuts because they offer some amazing classics and delicious specialties. I’m a sucker for any cake donut with sprinkles, but their fritters and yeast-raised donuts are also fantastic. What better way to start your day in Seattle than a delicious vegan donut and a hot cup of coffee?

Once you walk off breakfast and get hungry enough for lunch, I’d recommend swinging by Pi Vegan Pizzeria. Pi Vegan offers up some of the best vegan pizza I’ve ever had. My favorites are buffalo chicken and magic mac, which features their very own vegan mac and cheese on top! Don’t worry, if you’re not in the mood for pizza you can also just get a serving of their delicious mac and cheese on its own.

Veggie Grill is another awesome vegan option in the city, especially if you’re on the hunt for something quick and casual. Veggie Grill serves up a variety of sandwiches, salads, and bowls, and anything you order is sure to be delicious. Their salads are absolutely massive, so I love getting one as my entree and then a couple sides to share. If you’re on the hungrier side, they also have classics like burgers and fries to fuel you up!

If you still have room for dinner by the end of the day, you must swing by El Borracho. They actually have a location in Pike Place Market which makes it a fantastic option after a day of shopping. El Borracho’s menu is 100% plant-based and they have so many incredible options, it’s hard to know where to begin. When in doubt, I always recommend the nachos which you can load up with shredded “chicken” or seitan steak.

This restaurant recommendation is a little bit outside of Seattle in a town called Renton, but I included it because it’s a fantastic option if you’re heading into the city from SeaTac. Blossom Vegetarian is hands down one of my favorite vegan Asian restaurants in Seattle. They specialize in Vietnamese cuisine and have everything from Vietnamese chicken nuggets to pho to entrees with plant-based duck and fish. Their menu is extensive and has some of the most impressive plant-based meats I’ve ever tried.

You didn’t think I would forget dessert, did you? Cinnaholic is actually a chain but their Seattle location is worth a visit because these are the best vegan cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had. These aren’t your standard, canned rolls: they have almost any kind of topping you can think of. You can get a standard frosting or try flavors like chai, cake batter, or maple, and your topping options range from fruit to pretzels to vegan COOKIE DOUGH. Yup, you read that right. Mind. Blown.

If you’re more of an ice cream person, Frankie and Jo’s is the place to go. All of their ice cream is vegan, and they offer some deliciously unique flavors like salted caramel with activated charcoal as well as dark chocolate with coffee and toasted almonds. You can also get your ice cream served up in a cone and topped with extras like cookie dough bites and chocolate fudge sauce. Talk about dreamy!

I hope you get to enjoy some of these recommendations on your next visit to Seattle, and let me know what your favorite vegan spots are in the city!

My Favorite Breweries in Colorado Springs

Happy Sunday! I’m changing it up a bit this week and sharing with you guys some of my favorite breweries in Colorado Springs. Local breweries are a really cool way to experience different cities, and we’ve had a lot of fun checking out various breweries in the past couple months that we’ve lived here.

Trinity Brewing Co.

Trinity Brewing Co. is actually the first brewery we explored in Colorado Springs when we went for my birthday back in January. The staff there are super helpful and friendly and will work with you to recommend a drink that they think you’ll love. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every beer I’ve tried from Trinity (last time I went I tried the Raspberry Kolsch which was delicious) and they even have great food! As a bonus, they also offer some vegan options as well, and their vegan wings are a delicious compliment to their drinks.

Colorado Mountain Brewery

Colorado Mountain Brewery is an awesome option if you want good beer and a great meal. There are two locations and both have a great atmosphere which makes this spot perfect for the whole family, whether you plan on drinking or not. I recommend getting a flight to sample some of their flagship beers, such as the Roller Coaster Red Ale and the Monumental Stout. As far as food goes, you really can’t go wrong, but their bison queso is exceptionally amazing.

Bristol Brewing Company

Bristol Brewing Company is another spot I’d recommend checking out for good beer and an awesome location. This brewery is located in Ivywild School, a former elementary school turned food and event hall that also features a bar-coffeeshop combo and a variety of restaurants (we love Decent Pizza Co.). There’s truly something for everyone to enjoy and the setting is super unique and interesting. Plus, their outside patio is dog-friendly!

Trails End Taproom

Trails End Taproom is a really cool brewery concept: instead of being served specific sizes of drinks, you receive a card that you can scan for a variety of on-tap local beers and pour yourself however much you like. That way, you can try a number of different drinks and you simply pay by the ounce at the end of your visit. This brewery features tons of beers, and even some wine, from local vendors, so it’s a fun way to taste a lot without spending an absurd amount of money.

FH Beerworks

FH Beerworks is the perfect option if you plan to bring your pups with you for a drink. They have a fantastic outdoor patio/garden area with plenty of seating options for you to spread out. This is one of the first breweries we brought our dog Willie Nelson to, and it was a great experience for all of us. More importantly, their beer is amazing as well! We got a flight to sample several different kinds and really enjoyed all of them.

Eating My Way Across the Country

How did 2 vegans and 1 vegetarian stay well fed on a road trip from Georgia to Washington?  Is it possible to make it across the state of South Dakota without eating meat (and also not starving)?  But how healthy did we actually eat during 7 days of driving cross country?  Find out below!

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SNACKS

  • Protein bars
    TIP: make sure the bar you choose has a good ratio of protein to sugar – I prefer bars with at least 20 grams of protein and less than 5 grams of sugar.  Try the Quest brand in oatmeal chocolate chip or ONE in glazed donut!
  • Greek yogurt (again – watch the sugar content)
  • Freeze-dried fruit
  • Lightly salted mixed nuts
  • Dark chocolate covered nuts (a better option than candy bars!)
  • Potato chip alternatives such as pea crisps or whole grain crackers

When traveling, my philosophy with food is to make healthy choices about 75% and splurge the other 25%, and the splurges I do have are usually local treats.  That way I have a good balance of healthy eating while also enjoying what the area has to offer!

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NASHVILLE, TN 
The Southern V

Vegan. Soul. Food.  That’s about all you need to know.  Stop by for some killer jackfruit BBQ, crispy “chicken” sandwiches, creamy mac and cheese, and classic baked beans.

 

 


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Cafe Gratitude

Cafe Gratitude was a gem to discover a few years back when we road-tripped to Colorado for a vacation.  The entire menu is plant-based and they have a huge range of raw options as well – try the chai milkshake which is to die for!

 

 

 

SIOUX CITY, IA
Coffee and Nosh Food Truck

Such a fun find in the small town of Sioux City, Iowa which hosts Food Truck Fridays over the summer!  We got one of their bowls with jackfruit instead of meat.  It was a fresh and delicious snack!

RAPID CITY, SD
Everest Cuisine

I’ll admit it – I was a bit wary of trying an Indian/Nepalese restaurant in South Dakota.  But Everest Cuisine was a delicious surprise with a great variety of vegetarian and vegan options!  Their vegetable samosas and yellow lentil dish never disappoint.

MID/NORTHWEST STATES
Taco Johns + Taco Time

 

So no, fast food Mexican is generally not a super healthy dining option.  But play the menu right and you can put together a quick vegetarian meal that is a way better option than french fries or cheese pizza.  The bean tacos and burritos from Taco Johns are a solid choice, and you can get a side of guacamole for only $1.00!  Taco Time is another great option as they offer bowls which can easily be made vegetarian.

BOZEMAN, MT
Red Tractor Pizza The Nova Cafe

 

Boy, did we get lucky in Bozeman.  Dinner was from Red Tractor Pizza: with vegan crust and cheese options and a huge range of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, you can put together an amazing pizza (I recommend adding fresh basil, rosemary roasted squash, and roasted brussel sprouts)!  We were equally spoiled the next morning with The Nova Cafe’s breakfast of a blue algae smoothie bowl and potato hash with forbidden black rice – the perfect way to kick off your day.

SEATTLE, WA
So. Many. Restaurants.

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Seriously, there are soooo many crazy good vegetarian/vegan options in and around Seattle.  From an entirely plant-based restaurant chain only found on the west coast (Veggie Grill) to vegan nachos (El Borracho), pizza (Pizza Pi), donuts (Mighty-O Donuts) and more, Seattle has so much to offer.

There you have it folks.  Thanks so much for reading, and stay tuned for more Seattle-related posts soon!
-Lizzie

 

 

The Best Vegan Ice Cream

When people first hear I’m vegan, they usually ask some questions: why are you vegan?  Where do you get your protein?  How do you survive without ice cream?  This last question is hardest to answer because I do have a deep and personal love for ice cream, and vegan ice cream has had a history of being a pretty disappointing substitute for the real thing.  Recently, however, a number of brands have released vegan ice cream that is actually really good, and may even fool some dairy-lovers.  The newest vegan ice cream release was from the infamously rich and delicious Ben & Jerry’s brand, and I can tell you: they did not disappoint.  With that in mind, here are my top picks for the best vegan ice cream brands on the market.

5. So Delicious Dairy Free Soymilk

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This brand of ice cream has been on the market for quite a while now, and when you’re in desperate need of a late night ice cream fix, it’ll hit the spot.  These ice creams probably won’t wow any new vegans or “regular” ice cream lovers, however, but some of their flavors are worth a try (I like Turtle Trails and Peanut Butter Zig Zag).

4. Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss

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This brand (which you’ll mostly find at health food stores like Whole Foods, although it is available in some supermarket chains) is pretty dang delicious.  There are a number of fun and delicious flavors, with my favorite being Mint Galactica.  The texture is a bit lacking though, as it can be a bit icy, and the coconut-y undertones may not be your cup of tea.  Still, this is one vegan ice cream brand I will be happy to enjoy any day.

3. So Delicious Dairy Free Cashewmilk

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This line of ice creams, which was recently released by the previously mentioned So Delicious brand, is super tasty with an amazing, creamy texture.  The choice to use cashew milk as a non-dairy base is a definite step up from soy milk, as cashew milk is creamier and has less of a noticeable taste.  Sadly, this line of ice creams doesn’t have many flavors to choose from, but the Snickerdoodle and Cappuccino flavors are the perfect sweet treat.

2. Steve’s Ice Cream

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Steve’s Ice Cream is a fairly small, Brooklyn-based, artisan ice cream brand that serves up some of the best vegan ice cream out there.  They have a substantial number of delicious and somewhat fancy flavors to choose from, with my favorites being Burnt Sugar Vanilla and Cinnamon Coffee.  This ice cream brand is impossibly creamy (with a base of coconut cream), and the flavors are so unique and daring, you won’t even notice you’re eating non-dairy ice cream.

1. Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy

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Boy oh boy is this ice cream good.  Ben & Jerry’s is a brand probably best known for their emphasis on organic ingredients and their wacky, over-the-top delicious ice cream flavor combinations.  Before going vegan, Ben & Jerry’s was my ice cream brand of choice, so it was a huge bummer to have to miss out on their delicious ice creams.  I knew that it was only a matter of time before they would offer something up for their non-dairy lovers out there, however, and they have not disappointed.  Although they are only currently offering 4 non-dairy flavors, I have faith they will expand the line given the incredibly hype and stellar reviews.  I’ve gotten to taste 3 of the 4 non-dairy flavors, and my favorite has to be P.B. & Cookies.  This flavor is rich but not overly sweet, with the perfect amount of peanut butter, and crazy delicious cookie chunks.  These flavors are a bit hard to find at the moment, but Ben & Jerry’s has assured non-dairy fans that the flavors will be rolling out into stores throughout the coming weeks.  I urge you to run to the nearest store offering these non-dairy flavors and snatch them up; I can guarantee you’ll love them, and your dairy-loving friends will enjoy them too.

The Jean-Luc Godard Cooking Show

I’m really excited to share the latest installment in the Food on Film series with you all:  The Jean-Luc Godard Cooking Show!  The first Jean-Luc Godard film I saw was “Une Femme est Une Femme”, and I fell in love with his unique style and captivating characters.  With this video, I hope to pay a small homage to his iconic films!

I would like to mention that although I studied French for several years in middle school, it’s been quite a while since I’ve had to flex my French-speaking muscles, so I apologize for any incorrect grammar or pronunciation!  At the end of the day, I am mostly hoping to capture the feel of his classic black-and-white films from the 60’s.  I hope you all enjoy!

Double the Bubble Tea Recipes!

If you’ve never tried bubble tea, you probably aren’t living your best possible life.  Bubble tea is a Taiwanese tea drink that has recently become popular in the U.S., with some shops even opening up that deal exclusively in this entirely unique drink.  The drink itself is tea-based (although there are tons of different variations and recipes out there) and the “bubbles” are actually small, black tapioca pearls (also known as boba).  Drinking bubble tea is definitely a strange experience, and you’ll probably either love it or hate it: the boba is tasteless, although sometimes sweet from being soaked in honey or sugar, and chewy.  In my opinion, bubble tea is fun, refreshing, and a perfect sweet treat, but it’s hard for me to find good bubble tea (especially bubble tea that can be made dairy-free) near me, so I did some research and concocted 2 dairy-free bubble tea recipes that are super easy and fun to try at home.  Here’s how to make them:

The Boba

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For enough boba for 2 drinks, you will need:

1/3 cup black tapioca pearls (these can be purchased online or at an Asian market)
3 1/3 cup water
A small bowl of agave or honey
A bowl of cold water

Your bag of black tapioca pearls should have instructions on them for how to cook the pearls, but my method is: bring the 3 1/3 cups of water to a hard simmer and add the pearls.  Cover the pot and cook for about 6 minutes.  Remove the lid, lower the heat a bit to a soft simmer, and cook for another 6 or 7 minutes (test a pearl every now and then until they’re as soft as you want them).  Drain the pearls and add them to the cool water.  Let sit for about a minute and then drain the pearls and throw them into the bowl of agave/honey to soak while you make the rest of your drink.

Taro Bubble Tea

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For 2 servings:

1/3 cup taro powder (can be ordered online; try and read the ingredients to make sure it doesn’t include any milk products!)
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk (I accidentally used water – although it still tasted delicious – but I find cashew milk to be the creamiest non-dairy milk)

Simply blend all of the ingredients together and serve with the boba!

Creamy Avocado Bubble Tea

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For 2 servings:

1 banana
1 ripe avocado
Agave or honey (eyeball how much you want and add more to taste – you shouldn’t need more than a tablespoon)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (again, I prefer cashew milk)
1/2 cup crushed ice

Scoop the avocado into your blender and add the banana, broken up into pieces.  Add the rest of your ingredients, blend, and serve with boba!


Giant straws are not necessary to enjoy your homemade bubble tea treats, but they are definitely recommended (you can order them online!).  Give these recipes a try and decide if you’re ready to join the dark side and become a bubble tea fan.

The Stanley Kubrick Cooking Show

Happy Halloween everyone!  In celebration, I am pleased to share The Stanley Kubrick Cooking Show with you all.  To be honest, this video was quite a challenge to film: The Shining is such a remarkable film that I wanted to accurately capture the horror of the story and Kubrick’s iconic style.  Hopefully I succeeded to some extent!

Again, my friends (and frequent collaborators) Shannon and Hannah deserve a huge thank you.  They were immensely helpful and talented both in front of and behind the camera.

I hope you all enjoy this video and have a wonderfully spooky Halloween!

The Wes Anderson Cooking Show

I’m incredibly excited to share The Wes Anderson Cooking Show with you all!  I am a huge fan of Anderson’s iconic, quirky style and it was so much fun to recreate.  I couldn’t have imagined a better way to launch the Food on Film series.

My friends Shannon and Hannah deserve a huge thank you, they were so helpful in making this video and I couldn’t have done it without them.  I hope you all enjoy this video, stay tuned for more!
Lizzie