The weatherman doesn’t know it’s November, but I’m certainly not going to be the one to break the news…
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.
- Press tofu (extra firm)
- Coat in whole wheat flour (really cake it on)
- Dip in BBQ sauce* (again, don’t be shy with the amount)
- 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.
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.
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