Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saturday Vegan Brunch at Perch

James and I went out for the most awesome brunch yesterday.  Perch is doing vegan brunch on Saturdays from 10-2 now!  It's super exciting.  And this isn't just one vegan option mixed in with a bunch of eggs and meat brunch stuff, it's an all vegan menu.  Some of the items are soy-free and gluten-free, too, which is pretty awesome.  I found out about the Saturday brunch from Vegan Mischief.

blueberry-ginger pancakes

I've found tons of great vegan brunch stuff in Seattle, but Vancouver usually just has the same old tofu scramble made slightly differently at various places.  It's funny because there are quite a lot of options for vegans in this city for lunch and dinner, but not so much for breakfast or brunch.  It's kind of a bummer, but I'm glad that someone is finally doing something about that.  I can't wait to go back and have brunch at Perch on a future Saturday.  I wanted to try everything!

Yesterday was a perfect day to be out and about, too.  It's been raining non-stop for the past few weeks here in Vancouver (as it tends to do in the winters here) but it was a gorgeous, warm, sunny morning.  We sat right in the window and soaked up some sunshine as we drank our tea and ate our breakfast.

James went for the vegan bennies, which is no surprise because he loves those things.  I've been making the Vegan Brunch version of the vegan benny at home every now and then, but these are a bit different.  The sauce is rich and creamy and I think made with some kind of nut, which I think is so great.  I love having sauces and dips and things from nuts.  The tofu tasted like it was marinated a bit, too.  James seemed to really like the taste of it.  There were tomatoes and tofu on the english muffin under the tofu and sauce and a nice little bit of greens off to the side next to the potato cakes.

vegan bennies with greens and potato cakes

I went for the blueberry-ginger pancakes.  These babies are not only vegan, but also gluten free. Let me tell you, you'd never know it.  The pancakes were fluffy and full of flavor.  There's freshly grated ginger in there, too, not just some powdered ginger.  I love that!  I haven't had pancakes in a restaurant in eons.  I seriously can't even remember when the last time was.  It was definitely in my pre-vegan days.  So that was pretty exciting to have something I hadn't been able to order for so long. Tasty, too!

I had to get a side of some potato cakes with my pancakes because I have this thing about having potatoes for brunch.  It's like some sort of rule or something.  It's just not brunch without potatoes in some form or other! The potato cakes were yummy.  They were made with grated potatoes and onions and probably a few other things and cooked up so the inside was nice and moist.  They were full of flavor, I didn't even put hot sauce on them.  Though, really, that's mostly because I forgot to ask for hot sauce.  I really can't be stopped from putting hot sauce on breakfast potatoes.  It's like an addiction or something.

Overall, I think the experience was a great one.  We had a really nice meal and the prices were good.  We'll be going back for sure.  I like the atmosphere in Perch, as well.  James says it has a bit of a Seattle vibe to it and I agree.  If we lived closer, I'd definitely go there more often.

James was making faces for the camera.  I think this is his tea drinker face.  ha ha

Oh, I should mention that there are also vegan caesars for $6.  We didn't have one, mostly because we didn't think about it until after we had paid the bill, but I think next time we will for sure.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cajun Beanballs over Angel Hair Pasta

I finally got my copy of Appetite for Reduction.  After reading the entire thing, I'm even more excited to start cooking from it.  This book reminds me so much of Vegan with a Vengeance.  The recipes aren't complicated and everything requires mostly whole foods that are easy to find no matter where you might live.  I have a feeling that I'll end up making just about everything in this one just like I did with VwaV.  

I think my favorite thing about Appetite for Reduction is that Isa made not only awesome recipes, but recipes that I can easily put together after work without planning to eat dinner at 10pm.  That rules.  I like good food that comes together quickly.  So yay for a healthy selection of quick to prepare stuff.

Cajun Beanballs Over Angel Hair Pasta

The first thing I made was the Cajun Beanballs.  I love the beanballs from Veganomicon so much that they've gone into my regular rotation.  I have some recipes that I make once a year or so and some that I make much more often.  Beanballs have my heart.  I've actually been craving them lately, too so it was an easy decision to try the black bean and tempeh cajun beanballs from this this cookbook.

These beanballs are baked instead of pan-fried, which right there puts a huge load of good for you into them.  I love tempeh and any excuse to find new ways to prepare it is a win for me.  They're so tasty and they hold together no problem.  James says these are his new favorite beanball.  He likes the other ones, too, but apparently these hit it out of the park.

I also really love the idea of dumping the zucchini into the boiling pasta to cook those two things together.  A great idea and it saves from having to wash an extra pot.  As a bonus, when you dump the pasta and zucchini into the colander, it all gets mixed together pretty evenly which is kind of cool.  I had never considered combining steps like that before, but I love it!  I also love the addition of veggies to what is usually just pasta, sauce and beanballs.  Don't get me wrong, that's still awesome, but this is a great way to integrate some extra veggies. 

So far I say way to go, Isa!  I can't wait to make some more awesome stuff from this cookbook. 

I apologize for the crappy photo, by the way.  I took it with my phone and didn't do any color correcting.