Nov 1, 2010

herbivore (MoFo 1)

Gnocchi with Creamy Marinara Sauce

Herbivore was one of our favorite places to eat at in San Francisco. Of course, being in San Fran after living in Virginia was like the difference between the Amazon and the Sahara. There wasn't just Herbivore to indulge our palate, but many other delicious culinary excitements.

Herbivore is casual dining, like a vegan Applebee's or Chili's. They serve pastas, sandwiches, soups, things along those lines. They actually have three locations now, so does that make them a 'chain?'

Cat's favorite thing there was the Gnocchi in Creamy Marinara Sauce. Since I've already made a creamy tomato sauce, all that needed doing was the gnocchi. It has been a looong time since I've made gnocchi and it wasn't much fun, as I recall. Luckily, I caught Secrets of a Restaurant Chef on Food TV back a few months ago and all of a sudden I felt like a gnocchi pro. A few important 'secrets' Ms. Anne tells her viewers is that the potato must be hot when put through the food mill, but cold before adding the flour. Another one is that just because your gnocchi floats does not mean they are ready! They must boil for a few minutes until they puff up and are light as air. Good as her word, my gnocchi was a success.

I chose the Ceviche to recreate because it was David's and my favorite appetizer...salad...whatever. They use oyster mushrooms, but not having any at my Whole Foods, I just used button mushrooms. They also include tofu in this, so I wrapped my extra-firm tofu to draw out the moisture and then marinated the vegetables, tofu and fungus in a lime-garlic-olive oil dressing. Really good! Doesn't matter if you use oyster, button or no mushroom at all.

Shawarma is a Middle Eastern street-food - a wrap of meat, hummus, pickles, hot sauce and/or onions. Herbivore's version uses either soy (I used Soy Curls) or seitan (so can be soy free), has potatoes, avocado, tomato, pickles, onions, hummus and hot sauce, all wrapped in a flat bread - pita, tortilla, lavash, etc. This was an instant family favorite the first time we had it.

All in all, I was quite successful in making these dishes; even the kids said it was better than the real-deal (although I'm pretty sure that is because it has been years since we've been in California) - quite a compliment from a bunch of young people who criticize everything!
I have made a How-To Breakdown and wrote recipes for all of the dishes.

Cost Breakdown:

1/2 recipe of creamy tomato sauce: $3
potato, flour: $4
Total for 4 servings:

cuke, tom, onion, pepper: $2
cilantro, lime, olive oil, garlic: $1
mushroom: $2
tofu: $2
bread: $1
Total for 8 servings:

lavash: $3
1/2 bag of soy curls: $3
potato: $2
avo, tomato, pickles: $3
garbanzo beans, olive oil, lemon, tahini: $1.50
spices: $1
Total for 4 servings:




Welcome to Weekly Vegan Menu's Month of Vegan Food Blogging!

For this month, we are changing the name to
"Weekly Vegan Menu Take-Out."

For the following month we are recreating restaurant food for your home. Don't live near Millennium? No problem. Applebee's uses meat? We got it covered.  Desserts use eggs and dairy? Sink your sweet tooth into November.

This month we are traveling all over the U.S. making signature meals - yes, not dishes, but meals! - from top vegan, vegetarian and popular restaurants.

We'll travel from the East Coast's Anchor Bar to the West Coast's Cafe Flora and stop along the way at Chicago Diner, Olive Garden and even Outback. We'll dip down to sunny Florida to visit Sublime and not even ignore Benihana.

Yup, that is how confident we are that not only will we bring you vegan food from far flung places, but make many meatless meals possible from the cross section of Americana.

Here is the line up, not necessarily in this order.

Red Robin
Enjoy Chinese
Chicago Diner
Olive Garden
Pizza Hut
Anchor Bar
Mother's Cafe
Annie's Pretzels
Cafe Flora
Soup Nazi
TGI Friday's
Native Foods
Follow Your Heart

Not to be outdone by super cool blogs like Vegan Appetite, we, too are giving away cookbooks. One per week, so check back often. Only one cookbook per wining address or family. We are shipping anywhere in the US and if the post doesn't charge UK and Canada more than the book's cost, we'll ship there, too.

This is promising to be an exciting, fat-filled (maybe we'll try to health it up a bit!), delicious month of vegan food.

I can't wait!