Sunny November

The weatherman doesn’t know it’s November, but I’m certainly not going to be the one to break the news…

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I went to the beach this weekend – take that New York. 

So after coffee x3, I had a pear & dried cranberry breakfast with my agave nectar & cinnamon on top. 


Not too complex of a dressing, but pretty good if I do say so myself.  I had an apple too.  Honeycrisps are all the rage right now, but Galas are still my favorite.


For lunch I used more quinoa and leftover BBQ tofu to create this dish.


Since others have been asking, here’s the recipe for the BBQ tofu.  And by recipe, I mean 4 minute/4 step process.

  1. Press tofu (extra firm)
  2. Coat in whole wheat flour (really cake it on)
  3. Dip in BBQ sauce* (again, don’t be shy with the amount)
  4. Bake on sprayed cooking sheet for 35-45 minutes at 375 degrees.

*Annie’s Original BBQ sauce is my sauce of choice, but runner up is Annie’s Smokey Maple flavor.  So good!


And there you have it. 

Now back to lunch.


To start I piled the BBQ ‘fu on a bed of quinoa.


Then I added raisins and tossed the whole thing so BBQ sauce coated each and every bite.  


This took me nearly 30 minutes to eat.  It was delicious and I savored every morsel. 


Having the sweetness of the raisins to bring out the sweet tones in the BBQ sauce was perfect.   


Worth repeating. 

After lunch I went for a 30 minute run on the beach.  The weather was gorgeous and I could have kept going forever just to stay in the sun.


Throughout the afternoon and early evening I snacked on my newest obsession, candied ginger.

For dinner Kyle and I had a date night planned. 


Dinner and a movie – such a classic combo can’t be beat. 


Interim Cafe is a hole-in-the-wall kind of place on Wilshire & 5th. 

Nearly half the menu is vegan and there are tons of gluten free and dairy free eats as well.  However, the rest of the menu is just your typical cafe fare – salads, sammies, soups, and the likes. 


Did I mention they have quite the baked goods selection?


The ambiance has a funky kind of feel, with a mix of retro rocker (check out that shiny red bikelite espresso machine), hippie zen (there was a mural of a black Buddha meditating with vegan fro-yo in his hand), and a bizarre Los Angeles chicness to boot.  And yet, all the while there was Spanish music playing in the background, competing with Anderson Cooper 360 on the tv.  Oh, and did I mention how diverse the menu is? 

It took us both a really long time to decide what to get because there were soooo many options.  I wanted about 20 different items on the menu and Kyle wanted a different 20. 


He ended up ordering the chicken burger with gruyere cheese and a fried egg.


He literally couldn’t stop raving about it.  It was gone in about 30 seconds too. 


I finally decided to go with the most famous of all the vegan options (I figure there’s a reason places are known for certain dishes). 


This was the vegan Seitan Bombay Bowl, a savory Indian stew of seitan, mushrooms, peas, carrots, spinach, squash and a bazillion tasty spices.  The dish is typically served over your choice of vegan whippers or organic brown basmati rice – but I couldn’t decide between the two and requested both.  Yes, BOTH.  What are vegan whippers you ask?  They are a vegan version of cheesy mashed potatoes (with no dairy obviously). 


Can you taste the flavors through the computer screen?  Because this was maybe one of the most complex dishes I’ve ever had, with taste layered on taste layered on more taste. 


The seitan stew came with whole wheat chapati on the side, which was new to me.  It was like a perfectly crisped wheat tortilla with a much heartier grainy texture.  The inside was warm and the outside was flaky with golden browned char from the oven. 


I inhaled it all folded up – sometimes dipping it in the stew to soak up the juice, but mostly I just ate it plain like a quesadilla.  The inside had some melty non-dairy butter substitute in it, so it was delicious all on it’s own. 


Given the generous portion with rice and mashed potatoes and whole wheat chapati, I never thought I’d finish it all. 


Of course that was not the case. 

The mashed potatoes and rice in the stew may seem odd, and I admit I was hesitant to give it a go, but I promise it was delicious.  In fact, the entire dish was such a smorgasbord of ingredients, I was a bit nervous about how my stomach would react.  I should have trusted the vegan-ness though, because I left feeling happily full and totally content.  Never mind how good the food tasted, for a small cafe, I was beyond impressed with the extensive menu options and the big portions.  Hole-in-the-wall places can be hit or miss and this was a HIT.

Kyle even said his meal was better than RFD.  What!?!  Better than Real Food Daily?  That’s a bold statement Kyle. 


It probably has to do with this.  🙂




After dinner we made our way to the Promenade to (finally) see The Social Network.  Two thumbs up. 


I love how Santa Monica is attempting to make us feel like it’s the holiday season with the trees wrapped in Christmas lights.  But I was in flip flops and a tank top.  Seasons be damned, this is the kind of November I can get on board with.  Clearly I don’t miss the East Coast weather, huh?

I had tea and way more candied ginger when we got back home 🙂

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Comments (26)

  1. Leianna

    You are so lucky, we had snow in Iowa this morning:( I guess this means I’m chained to the treadmill for a couple months!

  2. julie

    i’m telling mother nature on you. it’s not fair that you went to the beach and i’m about to go ice skating. bulll to the shiznat.

    you’ve got me craving a huge bbq-ed something right now and i pretty much never crave bbq! weird.

  3. Jennifer@ knackfornutrition

    That meal looks divine. I’m so hungry but whatever I make is certainly not going to look like that. 🙂

  4. Evan Thomas

    That tofu and quinoa looks perfect. I’ve never tried pressing it in flour before giving it sauce. I’ll have to try that with gluten-free flour

  5. lynn @ the actor's diet

    i’ve never heard of interim cafe!!! looks like my kinda place. LOVED social network.

  6. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)

    i LOL’ed at kyle’s meal: eggs, dairy, meat, bread. Not quite the GF Vegan experience but sounds delish nonetheless! I love the outdoor and small cafes in CA…well anywhere, but 75F weather sure helps get one in the mood to have a blast!

    It was gorgeous down here today too!

  7. cbrady3

    Thanks for the BBQ sauce recco — Whenever I am craving it I get frustrated that the kinds we already have at home all use HFCS!

  8. Caroline

    I’ve never had bbq tofu before! Which is crazy, seeing as I’ve had it almost every other way… but it looks great!

    And kyle reminds me of my boyfriend… while I’m having a tempeh and avo sandwich hes having a big greasy pepperoni pizza! Gotta love guys…

  9. Mimi

    Warm weather rocks!

    That restaurant looks lovely–I’d love to check it out.

  10. Mary Beth

    It NEVER feels like the holidays in Florida either…sure as heck beats snow though!

  11. Pure2raw twins

    WOW that little hole in the wall cafe sounds amazing!!! The food looked and sounded wonderful. I just love when little places surprise you, you know??


  12. edenseats

    Hole in the wall joints always beat chains, even good chains like RFD.
    What did you think of the social network?
    I love Santa Monica, and I feel it DOES get a little chilly at least at night. I don’t need frost and minus any degree to feel like its the holidays.
    And you seriously need to help me out with my tofu making! i think its the one thing i cant master!

  13. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

    I want to see that movie, but I think I will have to catch it on DVD. I love mashed potatoes with stew. I thought it sounded weird at first too, but it really does work! Everything looks amazing!

  14. Leng

    Ohhh….that BBQ tofu looks soOo good! I think I’ll be making that very soon. I’ve been trying to find a good vegetarian/vegan friendly BBQ sauce. Definitely picking that up too.

  15. BroccoliHut

    Ooh! BBQ + raisins is such an unexpected combo, but it sounds delish.

  16. Jackie (Peaces of Earth)

    That cafe looks awesome!! I love hole in the wall places. I will have to check it out next time I head up North. And, I’m totally making that ‘fu. I love BBQ anything!

  17. brothern8ture

    Ahh, i have been to that place! But we didn’t eat there… Know why? Because we decided on RFD that night! I wish i would have tried both, but we went to RFD every night except for one in SM. Your meal looks delicious, and that is a pretty bold statement that Kyle made. Very intriguing. Although i don’t think it’s possible, i am sure he knows his food. As do you. Look at those raisins on top of the tofu! I do this all the time.

  18. glidingcalm

    that BBQ tofu meal looks soo good!! I love that it took you 30 min to eat. I should try to do that with my food more often!

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  20. Rika

    I’m currently eating the BBQ tofu+quinoa+raisin combo and it is oh so good!! I never thought to put flour on my tofu before coating in sauce, and it is genius! I can’t wait to try this with temeph as well! 😀 Thanks for the recipe of deliciousness and simplicity!

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