It’s been an interesting year at VICC Project and we’re glad we got to share it with you. We’ve learned that some of our favorite restaurants are not vegetarian friendly, found some wonderful foods in unlikely places, and discovered that we are truly lucky to live in a time when dietary choices are possible to maintain.

Perhaps the biggest lesson we learned this year is to always ask questions. No matter how much you love a place, if you don’t know what’s in that beautiful sauce, it could be beef broth, sausage grease, or any number of “flavor” items. Of course we’ll still go to Siciliano’s, A Taste of Italy, but now that we know there is very little offered without some sort of meat broth, we can make educated decisions about what we order.

We also learned not to judge a restaurant by its exterior. Walking into an old gas station for Indian food was scary. We’ll own that fear. But we went in and were pleased with what we found at Rasoi, the Indian Kitchen. The atmosphere is peaceful and the food delightful. With only one woman working on our visit, and cigarettes behind the counter, we are still not totally convinced there isn’t gas in those pumps, but we definitely recommend trying this one out. Just ask for only vegetarian items and trust the server that everything she puts on your plate will be good and run with it. This is an experience to enjoy.

Speaking of books and covers, remember to stop for food trucks. We counted at least five at the Veggie Fair this year that offered completely vegan menus, so hurry on over and ask the staff what they’ve got in there. You just might be happily surprised.

As we’ve said before, be glad to have so many choices in your vegetarian, pescetarian, or whateveretarian lifestyle. Between pre-packaged microwave meals, fake meat roasts, and organic delivery businesses, we are able to eat whatever we want whenever we want it. While we do prefer the control of a home cooked vegetarian meal, Field Roast, Smart Dogs and Tofurkey have made it easy to grab a quick meal on the run while Amy’s Kitchen and a few others give us microwave meals ready in minutes. And while you are shopping for vegetarian instant meals, remember your local Indian grocer. Green spots mean vegetarian, so go green while you shop.

This has been a wonderful year for exploring our little corner of the world. We’re heading out west in a couple of days and hope to get some good recommendations for roadside food stops. We’re only taking vegetarians on this trip, so any suggestions between Dallas, TX, and Anaheim, CA along the southern route would be appreciated. Post comments here or e-mail us at and we’ll give your spots a try.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

We’ve come to one of the best parts of the holiday season: eggnog drinks! We realize that anything incorporating raw eggs and sugar will turn some people off, but that’s what the soy nog is about. If you like eggnog, the first three are our take on eggy eggnog and the last two are some dairy free versions. Of course, we like the booze and we tend to booze our nogs up quite a bit, but eggnog is delicious by itself.

Braums has far and away the best eggnog we tried this year. Thick and creamy, the spices coalesce to create the perfect (even at 210 calories) cup of seasonal flavor. We hold Braum’s products up to a pretty high standard, but they have yet to let us down. The family company keeps its own dairy herd in Oklahoma and doesn’t open stores more than 300 miles from that area, so it’s no wonder their products are so fresh. By itself this eggnog is magic in a cup, but add a little Southern Comfort and top with nutmeg for a party in a bowl.

We liked Bolthouse Farms Holiday Nog, too. At only 80 calories a serving, it’s hard to find fault with this brand. This might taste a little diet for eggnog, but it is definitely not a diet drink. This is flavorful and smooth alone or with Chai. (Yes, we stole that idea from Starbucks and have loved it for years.)

Horizon Organic Lowfat Eggnog is good, but tastes like very sweet milk. Still thick, it’s not as sweet as some nogs, but brings more of a spice flavor than many. Our vegetarian felt this brand was too milky while the omnivore loved it. This does not taste in any way diet or low fat. In fact, it’s closer to the dessert beverage we expected, so don’t let the name decide for you. Try it out.

We usually enjoy Silk brand’s Seasonal Nog during the holidays, but have had trouble finding it this year. It is a little thinner than eggnog, but has all the flavor you could want. Perfect for egg-free lifestyles, this soy-based treat is beautiful with a little whiskey or bourbon. Not too much, though, or it gets thin.

As much as we hate to say it, So Delicious Dairy Free Nog Coconut Milk Beverage is just strange to us. If you love coconut milk and drink it all the time, this might not be a big leap, but for us, that coconut smell just kind of belongs on a beach. But, this does offer another vegan alternative, so that’s great.

If you drink milk and like eggnog, try adding a little Baileys Irish Cream or Godiva White Chocolate liqueur to your batch. If you prefer a vegan nog, go with Southern Comfort. We’ve had them every way and these are our three favorite ingredients to spice up the bottled stuff.

If you make your own eggnog, please oh please share the recipe. We are lucky enough to live in cattle country so there is no shortage of dairies around and we have a huge selection at pretty much every store we enter. But we’d love to hear your recipes and give them a try.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

One of the most vegetarian friendly food types we’ve encountered is Mediterranean. From tabouli to dolmas, you can fill up on a dozen or more dishes before you encounter a meaty option. This week we looked at Fadi’s and Dimassi’s, both of which we already knew we liked.

Fadi'sVeggieSamplerFadi’s Mediterranean Grill offers many dishes, but the vegetarian sampler has to be the best idea we’ve encountered outside of a buffet. With the option to go through and point to what you want, or just leave it up to the server to give you a little bit of everything that doesn’t contain meat. Since we always like to try new things, we went with the latter option. Of course, items mixed and we found rice buried underneath the center, but the flavors are so diverse that they go beautifully together. We particularly liked the fresh mint in the fattoush, as it seemed to almost cleanse our palates whenever we had some. The cauliflower also stood out and although we were trying to be courteous and share, we each kept taking bits of it until nothing but a hole remained where it used to sit on the plate. For something as simple as cauliflower and lemon juice, that stuff is incredible!

Fadi'sFalafelOn the recommendation of a very helpful man behind a counter, we also tried the falafel sandwich. More of a wrap, really, this is quite nice with pickles, tomatoes and dressing rolled in a thick pita bread, then toasted. The chickpea patties are packed into this sandwich with enough dressing on the side to ensure every bite can drip as much s you’d like.

Serving sizes are huge at Fadi’s, so you get plenty for the price, and the food is wonderful.

If you are in the mood for a buffet, try Dimassi’s Mediterranean Buffet on Campbell in Richardson. We went through half of the buffet without encountering one item with meat, and we filled our plates with only the smallest sampling from each vegetarian offering. While one of the rice dishes does contain meat, they do a great job of keeping the dishes separate and labeling everything. We liked the dolmas quite a bit and fell in love with the baba ghanouge’s smokey flavor. Whatever you like, this is a must try buffet for vegetarians.

Both Fadi’s and Dimassi’s are equally wonderful with fresh ingredients and delicious dishes. Spend an evening or even a lunch hour at either one for a healthful meal you’ll love.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

Welcome to December. For those of you involved in volunteer organizations, fraternities, sororities, or any number of other large groups, this means banquet season. Having attended two banquets in two days, we once again say the food is secondary to the company. But, being the fat kids we are at heart, we still love to try the food.

First we visited the Tower Club in Downtown Dallas’s Thanksgiving Tower. We found the staff amazing, the view remarkable, and the food pretty good, too. On the buffet table we encountered baked potato and asparagus soup, Cesar salad, roasted vegetables, chicken and beef. Of course, not knowing which of the dishes used what broth, we were glad to find a vegan option offered away from the buffet line.
Vegan plate from the Tower clubThis plate came with a potato and corn cake under crisp-tender asparagus and surrounded by roasted vegetables. Red peppers, green and yellow squash, and what appeared to be anise bulb were quite mild with a simple roast. The asparagus was lovely and perfectly cooked. While we were not disappointed, we weren’t jumping up and down over the flavor. Of course, this could be our hillbillyesque upbringing, but we focused more on the staff than the food. No matter what the wait and cater staff members are paid here, they deserve more for their amazing service. For the attendees who acted like the staff wasn’t there, they blended into the background. Yet when we made eye contact and thanked any staff member for a special plate, refill or whatever, we received a warm smile and friendly attitude. Of course the option to arrange special plates to a dinner based on dietary requirements was a wonderful addition to any large dinner, and the view from the 48th floor definitely created a one-of-a-kind dining experience.

The following night’s banquet was just as fun (because we are involved in wonderful organizations around here) and featured food options from the opposite end of the spectrum. This group brought large trays from Qdoba into their facilities and had volunteers serve attendees. Chicken or beef, again, but with the option of a rice and bean bowl with choice of toppings. We’ll forever more put rice on our nachos after having chips on our bowls, and we had a great time with amazing people.

Whatever style of banquet, dinner, awards ceremony or fellowship you attend this month, remember that there is always a way to stay full, but the food is not the focus; spend your energy appreciating your friends and peers while you all enjoy a night together.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

Sometimes we just crave Thai food, so this week we’ll cover Bambu in Richardson, TX. A small restaurant, holding maybe a dozen tables, this place has an incredible atmosphere and staff. The food is beautiful as well as tasty, making Bambu a must try for Thai.

With windows on two sides, the light becomes part of the experience during lunch. Subtle music and genuinely friendly staff would probably bring us back even if the food was only OK. But as it stands, those are nice additions to a wonderful meal.

Edamame from BambuEdamame (4) comes out piping hot, so be careful. Steam pours off the soybeans when the bowl comes off the top and that heat brings out the most of the flavor. We found ourselves actually enjoying this appetizer rather than just going through the motions while we talked.

Thai Fried Rice with Tofu from BambuThe vegetarian tried Thai Fried Rice (9), after being assured it contained no chicken broth, of course, and loved it. Large onion chunks in and around the mound of rice are just sweet and very crisp. A large tomato in the middle gave a fun texture combination with the egg while scallions added crispness and flavor throughout. Perhaps the nicest surprise was the contrast in flavor and texture when the fresh cilantro mixes with oils from rice. We’ll definitely get this again.

Cashew Chicken from BambuOn the carnivore’s side we had Cashew Chicken (9), which was just spicy enough to build up and get the nose running at a spice level of two. All white meat chicken with fresh, large-cut vegetables and a dark sauce came together for the perfect meaty dish.

On a previous visit, we watched a friend ask for Pad Kee Mao at “Thai Style” and tear up when he ate it. His face was red, nose running, and eyes streaming with tears, yet he wouldn’t stop eating; it was that good.

We like Bambu because has something delicious for everyone and the staff works as a team, which makes the experience a little more pleasant. The next time you are near Coit and Campbell in Richardson, stop in for a bite.

Thanksgiving is upon us once again here in cattle country and while we may not enjoy the turkey, we are saying thanks for all of the vegetarian and vegan options available to us. From Tofurkey and Field Roast to desserts, there really is something for everyone. We will gather with friends and family who have a range of dietary requirements and can’t wait to see how some of the dishes go over. Here are a few of our favorites, and ways we will alter them to appease vegetarians and still appeal to the rest.

Main Dish:

Tofurkey and Field Roast both have a stuffed roast for holiday gatherings. This year, since we’ve procrastinated, we’ll go with whichever is left when we get to the market. We’ve historically made a Tofurkey roast, and we love them, but Field Roast has found its way onto our favorites list with other meat substitutes, so we’d like to try the celebration roast a try. For our meat-eating guests, we’ve secured a free range, organic turkey from


Green bean casserole is pretty much vegetarian as long as you leave out any bacon pieces, so that’s a no brainer. Just replace any chicken broth with vegetable broth if making this from scratch, or check the cream of mushroom soup can to ensure you are getting a vegetarian version.

There is this aunt who makes amazing cornbread stuffing. Of course, her original version uses chicken broth, but when we started playing with the vegetarian lifestyle in these parts, she took it upon herself to make a batch with vegetable broth one year. Everyone loved it! The only thing she changed was the broth; so if you have a favorite family recipe, give that a try. (She did not use bacon grease to season her cornbread pans in the first place, but if your recipe calls for that method, you might want to use vegetable oil, instead.)

Gravy is tricky. Since it typically comes from drippings, it’s not exactly vegetarian friendly. We’ve made some from milk and vegetable bouillon powder with a little cornstarch to thicken it. While it tasted great, it turned out green and visitors didn’t care to try it. (Who can blame them? This isn’t a Dr. Seuss story.) We’ll go with mushroom gravy this year, but would love to hear about any vegetarian or vegan gravy recipe you enjoy.

Candied yams are one of those sides that really should be dessert. The marshmallows, red hots, and generous amounts of brown sugar rival any pie we can think of. While the vegetarians can only enjoy this if the marshmallows used are vegan, Sweet & Sara brand makes it possible to alter this for everyone while maintaining the flavor.

We have this desert/side that we’ve dubbed Green Shit. Yes, it’s green, but it’s quite delicious. Basically, it’s a cottage cheese salad, but since it was historically made with green Jell-O, it’s not vegetarian friendly without alteration. We’ve used pistachio powder, and that came out like silk, but not as solid as we had hoped. La Cocina Encantada has a beautiful recipe for a vegan pistachio pudding that might go well in our recipe, so we’ll try that. While the carnivorous family members typically laugh at the Tofurkey roast, we’ll give this a try and see if they can tell the difference. While the cottage cheese definitely is not vegan, at least it will lack the gelatin in the original version. Alternatively, lime flavoring and agar agar will make a jiggly desert, so that might work, too.

We’d love to hear from you about your favorite items and alterations around the holiday season.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving; we’ll see you next week.

When we pulled up to Thai Tanee on Alpha Rd. in Dallas, we were a little unsure about going in. Situated between a laundromat on one end and a pool hall on the other, we weren’t sure what we were walking into; but when we found an elegant room and a friendly staff inside.

Fried Tofu from Thai TaneeFrom the many appetizers, we went with Fried Tofu (4.95). Fresh from the pan, this was hot, hot, hot with very crispy corners and a soft interior. With pretty much the same flavor all tofu has, the sauce made the dish delicious with its light sweetness and crushed peanuts.

Pra Ram (Peanut Sauce) from Thai TaneeThe Pra Ram (peanut sauce) with veggies (8.5) is a wonderful dinner. This came out like a curry, with plenty of sauce and vegetables beside a cone of rice. The sauce was thinner than other peanut sauces we have experienced, but it was so full of flavor we were surprised. A strong peanut smell filled the area surrounding our table as we tried the amazing dish. Sweet and nutty, this comes with plenty of peanuts crumbled over the top of mushrooms, broccoli, snow peas, carrots, cabbage and baby corn. We can’t recommend this enough. If you can only come here once, we encourage you to try the Pra Ram.  

Pad See Ew from Thai TaneeWe always like Pad See Ew, so tried it here with tofu (8.5). The dish is sweet, but not so much so that it builds to a sickly sweetness before finishing. Always mild, this is one of our favorite versions. The tofu is firm and big noodles are well cooked. The sauce is darker than others we’ve tried, but also more delicious.

Pad Woon Sen from Thai TaneeThe Pad Woon Sen (8.5) is also quite nice. Crisp celery, carrots and onions with whole mushrooms accent wonderfully chewy glass noodles that perfectly cooked to a complimentary texture. We had this with tofu, which is pretty basic, but if you prefer meat, that is an option.

Pad Thai from Thai TaneeWe also enjoyed Pad Thai (8.5) with its spicy green onions and sweet sauce. This is extremely flavorful and the noodles are thick and well coated in sauce. The spice from a green onion spice took us off guard at first, but it worked with the sweet to create a wonderful dish.

We were only one of three tables on our first visit, and one of two on our second. This is most likely because of the variety of ordering options. Dine in, of course, carry out, and delivery are all available. And, you can even order online, so the lack of visible customers is not indicative of the restaurant’s quality. The atmosphere is nice, the staff friendly and the food ranges from great to amazing. Thai Tanee is an instant favorite we can’t wait to visit again.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

Decorative pumpkin and sqashHalloween is over and if you did not carve a jack-o-lantern, there is a good chance you have a nice, ripe piece of fruit sitting somewhere in your house. Pumpkins make wonderful fall decorations, but they are more than just the big chunk in the cornucopia. They are much like a squash, and as such, they make delicious dishes. As long as your pumpkin is not too old (it should still be firm) and has not been sitting with its flesh exposed, you can cook it.

Pumpkin pie is the obvious seasonal treat, so instead of using canned pumpkin, cook the one you already bought. You may not need the whole thing, so here are a couple of ideas for what’s left.

Fresh pumpkin seeds from the ovenPumpkin Seeds:

You will need:

  • Seeds from one pumpkin
  • Sea salt (about a handful)
  • Seasoning
    • Cayenne pepper
    • Garlic
    • Onion
    • Madras curry
    • Whatever you like!



  1. Scooping out pumpkin seeds with an ice cream scoopScoop the seeds from a pumpkin set the pumpkin aside. An ice cream scoop works well for this.




  2. Rinse seeds under hot waterPull the seeds from the membrane and rinse in a colander under hot water until the seeds are white.




  3. Place the wet seeds into a medium-sized bowl and mix the sea salt in. Stir until all the salt dissolves to create a brine with the water still in the seeds from cleaning them.


  4. Divide the seeds for flavors. If you only want plain, salted seeds, skip to step four. Otherwise, put a small amount of seeds into a smaller bowl for each flavor. We made five: cayenne pepper, garlic, onion, madras curry, and plain. The amount of seasoning depends on the size of the flavor batch and on personal preference, but remember, you started with a brine, so they are already going to have salt.


    cayenne pepper:
    Season the seeds with your choice of spicessprinkle enough cayenne pepper over the top of the seeds to make a good layer, then stir.


    We used the garlic mix from a tube, so ours came out very salty, but delicious. Squeeze the garlic mix onto the wet seeds and mix well. This will create a paste on the seeds.


    For this we used dried onion from the spice rack. It turned out well, but the onion bits became a companion to the seeds more than a coating. But again, toss in a handful and stir with the wet seeds.


    madras curry:
    This is delicious! Add enough to coat the top of the seeds and stir. It should coat them well and turn the seeds a bit yellow.


  5. Spread the seeds on baking sheets and bake at 350 until dried out and crispy. This may take a while, but check them every five minutes and stir them around so all sides cook evenly. (You can make over a camp fire as well, you would just use a skillet, aluminum foil, or whatever cooking item you have handy.) When they are crisp, dry, and starting to brown, they are ready.


  6. Remove from oven and serve.


Try not to burn your fingers, but these are amazing warm out of the oven. Any flavor will do, so experiment and find your signature way to make these. Betty from Betty’s Kitchen has a video on how to make sweet pumpkin seeds that sound delicious.


Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin soup garnished with seeds
You will need:

  • One pumpkin
  • Water
  • Dried onion
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Garlic blend (from a tube)
  • Olive Oil
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Salt
  1. Remove the seeds and membrane from the pumpkin and either discard or use to roast pumpkin seeds.


  2. Steam the pumpkin to remove the skin. While you can do this by cutting your pumpkin in half and placing face down, you might not have a large enough steaming bowl. If this is the case, go ahead and cut your pumpkin into manageable chunks and place them into a microwave safe bowl with a lid, or a microwave steamer.


  3. Remove the pumpkin skin with a spoonSteam in the microwave for about 30 minutes, checking at 15 a 25 minutes. If the meat is soft and the skin pulls away easily, the pumpkin is ready.


  4. Remove the skin with a spoon and discard.


  5. Puree pumpkin in food processorPurée the pumpkin meat in a food processor or blender and set aside.




  6. In a soup pot, rehydrate the onion in vegetable broth over medium heat. Amounts will determine on the amount of soup you are making, but we find that adding a couple of extra shakes of onion to whatever we think we need turns out best.


  7. Add a turn of olive oil and let that warm for a minute or two.


  8. Sauteed seasoning for pumpkin soupAdd parsley, thyme and garlic to the onion and mix and saute until it makes a thin paste.




  9. Add the pureed pumpkin and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until all is well incorporated.


  10. Pumpkin SoupAdd vegetable broth one cup at a time to achieve desired thickness. Stir in each cup until well blended before adding the next. The final amount of broth will depend on the size of the pumpkin you cut. The thinner you want your soup, the more broth you will use.


  11. Add salt to taste.


  12. Ladle into bowls, top with roasted pumpkin seeds and serve.

As most pumpkin soups require half and half, cream, butter or milk, we experimented with this vegan version. We were happy with the result and look forward to hearing what you think.

As with any fruit or vegetable, make sure to use a fresh, ripe pumpkin for cooking. Any pumpkin variety will work, even those knotty, funky ones, so you can rotate them out to keep your decorations changing and have pumpkin dishes all season long.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

Halloween is a funny holiday for vegetarians and vegans. Tons of processed candies contain animal products, so we get to decide whether to be the house with the “good” candy, or to stick to our principles when it comes to animal products. Since vegan treats are wandering more into the mainstream, you can have the best of both worlds this year. While vegan candy may take a little more ingredient searching to find in a standard supermarket, you don’t have to hand out honey-sweetened or gelatin-filled snacks when kids come to the door.

It seems there are a ton of lists for vegan approved items, so instead of putting together yet another one, we’ve gathered five of those we found interesting this year.

PetaKids has a list of mass produced vegan candies, many of which are available individually wrapped. We were happily surprised to find Fireballs about halfway down. After the snacks, this page defines some common ingredients. While we knew about gelatin, honey and rennet, we were a little surprised to see that stearic acid can come from just about anything with four legs and a stomach.

VegNews also put together a list of vegan-safe candy. We’re huge fans of Airheads, so again, happy to see a favorite on it.

Your Vegan Girlfriend compiled some wonderful vegan recipes in 2011 and we love good recipes. For anyone having or attending a costume party, it will be difficult to resist a plate of cookie eyeballs and witches fingers.

Pledge Vegan put out a wonderful selection of raw vegan treat ideas. If you don’t know your neighbors well enough to give their kids goodies from your kitchen, individual servings of apple sauce and individually wrapped dried fruit are pretty good ideas.

And no collection of vegan lists would be complete without a looking at Healthy Bitch Daily for a fun take on the treats. The Vegan Halloween Candy post includes a wonderful collection to hand out with a no-nonsense reminder that just because it’s vegan, doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

Whatever you do this Wednesday, enjoy your time with friends and family.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

It’s been a busy week around Dallas. The Texas State Fair is winding down, we lost Big Tex to a fire, and local vegetarians and vegans are ramping up for the Texas State Veggie Fair. Our plan was to hit the standard fair, then head to the veggie fair, but with Big Tex burning down, we’re not sure we’ll make it to the standard one.

We’ll miss Big Tex, and people who aren’t from here definitely don’t understand why. Honestly, it’s a 60-year-old giant Santa Claus skeleton turned cowboy, so why should we care? But we do. Those of us who grew up meeting at his giant boots every year, who were welcomed by his giant “Howdy, Folks,” and who had our first stolen kisses in his shadow, will miss him terribly. There is talk of rebuilding, but when you make it bigger or better, it reminds us all of what we’ve lost.

But the fair, it’s meant to roll with the times, and that’s what it’s doing. Good Karma Kitchen brought the vegan option to the masses this year. Vegans and vegetarians were able to skip the fried (insert random near-food here)s in favor of something a bit more healthful. Maybe this will be a trend and other vegan and vegetarian food vendors will start popping up next year. We’ll have to see.

The biggest excitement for us this week is definitely the veggie fair. From what we’ve seen so far, this is a great place to go and just be ourselves. A place where we can partake of the food without asking what’s in the fryer, and where nobody will look at us strange for skipping the barbecue. Since the veggie fair is Sunday (today), we’ll fill you in later with our impressions and takeaways.

For now, though, enjoy a beautiful recipe submitted to us by Melinda Stone of Denton. We’re calling it Portobello Bliss.

Portabello, pepper, onion and squash

One portobello mushroom top
One red pepper
One summer squash
Half an onion
Near east pine couscous
Handful of toasted pine nuts
Spoon full of minced garlic
Olive oil
Red pepper flakes

Slice veggies into thick chunks, spread on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on garlic, red pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Bake in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes or until soft. Prepare couscous as box instructs. Top couscous with veggies and pine nuts and enjoy.

Portobello, peppers, onions, and veggies over couscous

Thanks Ms. Stone for the amazing recipe. Pine nuts and garlic are a pair made in Heaven by anybody’s standards. Great job.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.


The 2012 Texas State Veggie Fair was wonderful. We were definitely at home there with so many vegan and vegetarian options. Mercy for Animals handed out recipes (with industry pictures, of coures), the Vegan Black Metal Chef gave a cooking demo, and we finally caught up with Good Karma Kitchen.

The food smelled wonderful as we wandered through rows of vendor tents taking it all in. Food trucks lined a street near a stage where live bands played throughout the day, kids bounced in a bounce house, and a few brave souls took to a bungie swing. Overall, this was a modern lifestyle version of a small town or county fair from an idyllic time; quiet and calm, people talking to friends and strangers alike, kids dancing around, and nobody worrying about much of anything. If we could pick a favorite way to spend an afternoon, this would be it.

We’ve been trying to get to Good Karma Kitchen for months, but every time we are in Fort Worth, they are in Dallas, or the other way around. We finally crossed paths at the Veggie Fair and are glad we did. This food truck is completely vegan, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a bit of down home Texas cuisine. With Barbecue Tacos and Frito Pie on the menu, we knew we were in for a treat. After asking which was better, we went with the pie. A mountain of chips covered some of the thickest chili we’ve had in a while. Yes, it’s vegan, but the texture is beautiful. Chunks of fresh tomatoes and green peppers, black beans, and what we guessed was TVP or another veggie meat gave this a depth we didn’t expect to find on a truck. It may look like a little cup of chili, but that is one of the most filling meals we’ve had in a long time. If you ever see this bright yellow truck, no matter the time of day, it’s lunch time. Trust us.

Capital City Bakery offered a selection of vegan treats, so we naturally went there next. An oatmeal cream pie with vanilla cream (vegan, of course) frosting proved to be more than we could handle in one sitting. That sucker was HUGE! But it came wrapped, so we carried it around and nibbled throughout the day until it was gone. Pumpkin cupcakes were amazing as well. The ability to make things like this that taste so good, so much better than what we remember from our childhoods, is what brings people to realize that being vegan doesn’t mean have to resign yourself to accept that you will lack anything in your food life. Again, if you ever see this truck, make sure to stop and visit.

Inside the rec center, we attended a couple of cooking demos. A vegan bartender removed any and all animal products from some delicious beverages, some of which we didn’t even know weren’t vegan. She offered tips for some popular items. Jello shots, for instance, are obviously not vegan. But you if you use Agar Agar (available at any Asian market) instead, you are in business.

We were surprised to see that her entire audience left and the Vegan Black Metal Chef’s following came in. We figured there would be some crossover, but we may have been the only ones to see both demos. (We are the lucky ones.) He made Aloo Palak and Buffalo Seitan Bites in his demo with nothing precooked accept the boiled potatoes. The spices from the seitan filled the packed room, so definitely use the stove fan if you make this. Watching him make two vegan dishes from scratch in under an hour made us think we might actually have time to cook dinner, even on the busy days. Shocking videos aside, this guys is quite funny in person. Oh, and all the armor he wears in his videos is made of rubber, not leather.

If you get the chance to go to the veggie fair next year, do it. You don’t have to be vegan or even vegetarian to attend, so bring your friends. This is an eclectic group of people with one thing in common: we accept each other’s choices not to eat meat. Enjoy the adventure!

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