Sunday, February 22, 2015

Booda Butter Vegan Lip Balm: Made in Bellingham!

I recently ran out of vegan lip balm and was at the Public Market searching for what to buy when I came across the Booda Butter vegan lip balm, Not only is it made from natural, vegan ingredients, it is also made locally, right here in Bellingham!

I love buying local whenever possible, so I was very pleased to find a locally-made vegan lip balm that works great and makes my lips feel silky-smooth. This makes me want to say thanks to Booda Butter for making these products, and thanks to Terra at the Public Market for carrying them. Are there any other local vegan products you think I should check out? If so, please don't hesitate to let me know!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sunny Days & Sunsets

I have to begin by apologizing for not updating my blog with anything food-related this weekend. As I know I have mentioned in the past, sometimes it is difficult for me to make the time to write when the days are as beautiful as they have been recently.

And I know I am not alone in feeling light-starved this time of year. Which makes it nearly impossible to want to do anything besides revel in the gorgeousness of Bellingham when it's like this. Which is what I have been doing. I think in some ways, having the long string of dark days actually opens us up and helps us appreciate the light and feel the magic of when things begin to shift as we transition from the weeks of darkness to the longer, brighter days.

So for now I am leaving you with a few pictures of tonight's beautiful sunset from my viewpoint this evening, and the wish that you have also had amazing, wonderful, light-filled experiences this past weekend.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Roasted Veggie Wrap: Mediterranean Specialties - 505 32nd Street

Today's blog post is short and sweet--I tend to have less of an inclination for writing when we experience our first sunny day after days and days of darkness and drizzle. And today was a gorgeous day. But I couldn't let the weekend pass without posting something, so I thought I would mention my latest obsession.

 I know I have written briefly about Mediterranean Specialties before, but I wanted to mention it again because it's been a few years and this place is still one of The Best places in Bellingham. Not only is it incredibly vegan-friendly, everything is so well-made, so flavorful, so delicious.

Sometimes I find a meal or a dish at a particular restaurant that I love so much, it even makes its way into my dreams! That may sound strange, but it's true. The roasted veggie wrap at Mediterranean Specialties is just such a dish. My mouth waters just thinking about it. Imagine the most wonderful, flavorful, perfectly-cooked cauliflower and eggplant, combined with fresh pickled veggies, tomatoes, and the best tahini sauce you have ever tasted, and you will start to get some idea of what I am talking about. (And, I can't help but also get some of the cauliflower on the side because it is so incredibly delicious.) Trust me when I say no description of mine can do this food justice--you will simply have to try it for yourself!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Happy Hour at the Cliff House Restaurant: 331 N. State Street

I hate to say this, but as vegan-friendly as Bellingham is, there are some restaurant that I honestly don't expect to have anything at all I can eat, not even a salad. Sometimes this is based on my perception of a place; sometimes it is based on experience; sometimes it is a little bit of both. Which is why I am pleasantly surprised when I am at such a place and find there is something I can nibble on with my drink, even if it's not listed as an actual entree, especially when this happens at the kind of place everyone wants to go to because of its otherwise awesome atmosphere and location.

This past Friday after work I joined some friends for happy hour at the Cliff House Restaurant. The Cliff House is one of those places in Bellingham that everyone knows about. It's probably the best restaurant in the city to watch the sun set, and since during this time of year, the sun still sets fairly  early, this can easily be accomplished during happy hour (which is from 4:30 to 6:30pm).

Happy hour drink & menu prices at the Cliff House are really quite good, and while the menu is primarily made up of non-vegetarian & vegan items, I was happy to see a hummus platter as one of the appetizer options! I am always a fan of the hummus platter. Not only am I a huge fan of the chickpea in general and hummus in particular, the hummus platter is the one possible vegan item you can often find at restaurants that don't usually have vegan options. At the Cliff House, the hummus platter is vegan without the pita, and they will sub in more veggies and leave the pita off if you ask. 

Served with fresh cucumber, red pepper, carrots, kalamata olives, and a cherry tomato confit, the hummus platter was lovely and colorful to look at and even tastier to eat. The hummus itself is made in-house, and it had such great flavor that I took what I couldn't finish home, not wanting to waste a single bite. 

The service at the Cliff House is also fantastic--everyone is friendly and the atmosphere is so inviting. I enjoyed the company of my wonderful friends immensely as we watched the sun set over the bay together. I think this might be one of my favorite go-to happy hour spots in Bellingham now and I look forward to returning there soon. (By the way, I can't take credit for the sunset pic--that was snapped by one of my friends with her phone, but it gives you an idea of the lovely view we had that evening.)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Grace Cafe: Best Vegan Burger in Bellingham!

Today's post is short and sweet, just a shout-out to The Grace Cafe, home of delicious bagels and vegan baked goods, and also, The Best vegan burger in town! The tasty sesame buns are made in-house, and they are so soooo good. Until yesterday, it had been awhile since I had a vegan burger, and then I really enjoyed this one at The Grace Cafe, so I  just wanted to remind you now about how delicious their burger are. The Grace Cafe is located at 1065 E. Sunset Drive, and is one of the most vegan-friendly places in town.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Vegan Cheese that TASTES Like Cheese!!!

Whenever an omnivorous friend of mine asks me if there are any good vegan cheeses out there, I usually try to explain there are some okay versions that aren't bad, and that most vegans will eat them because it reminds them of what they remember cheese tasting like, but that there isn't really anything that actually tastes like cheese. I am revising that statement because there is now a vegan cheese that actually DOES taste like cheese, and it's made by none other than the wonderful Seattle-based company,  Field Roast.

I happened to be at the downtown Food Co op on Friday where I ran into a couple of friends who are also vegan and they were excited to break the news to me that the Field Roast Chao Slices were on the shelf! I was bummed to see corn starch as an ingredient because of my corn allergy, but at the same time I decided to go for it and hope it was a small enough amount that I wouldn't be affected. (Unfortunately, corn starch is also in all of the vegan yogurts and a whole host of other vegan products).

Not sure exactly what to expect in terms of taste, but with high hopes since Field Roast is pretty awesome at just about anything they decide to make, I made toasted sandwiches with this cheese (with spinach and sauteed mushrooms) and was absolutely blown away by the flavor, the texture, and how well it melted.

Not only does it melt well, it is also good uncooked. This is the kind of cheese you could have with some crackers or some baguette slices and a glass of wine. Because IT TASTES SO DAMN GOOD.Thank you Field Roast for making something so amazing! I am a huge fan, and if I happen to ever get a craving for cheese, there is now a vegan cheese that will totally satisfy that craving. (And I would also like to go on record & say thanks to the Bellingham Community Food Co op for carrying this product. Please don't stop!) :)