Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Busy Vegan

I'm a busy vegan
I don't have time
to chop the onion
and squeeze the lime

My day is packed
work, meetings and chores
Don't want to plan meals
go shopping in stores

It needs to be
pretty and hasty,
fit the budget and tasty.

So here's the deal
I've laid it all out
It's an amateur
beginning, no doubt.

The Scandinavians are famous for the open faced sandwich and there isn't a better time than breakfast for one of my latest open faced sandwich creations. If you don't have gluten restrictions, any bread will do. For me, it's a round rice cake. Round is nice since the key ingredients are round.

Layer in this order: Rice cake, hummus, baby spinach, slice of red onion the size of the rice cake (don't be shy), slice of cold red beet or two, enough to cover the onion. Done. If you are serving others, throw a little parsley sprig on top to class it up. It is delicious. I ate two of these for breakfast this morning and it held me straight through to lunch.

Lunch today was a Hollywood adventure. I went to visit LA for fun and lunch. She was in charge of finding the vegan restaurant. She gave me two choices. I chose California Vegan because I liked the name.

California Vegan is located at 7300 W. Sunset Blvd in Hollywood, CA. Take out, delivered, or eat in. It's a little place facing Sunset Blvd. The street side wall is glass from table top height to the ceiling. Along that wall are 7 diner style booths, the benches covered in bright yellow vinyl. And on the window sill, the salt and pepper shakers and a small vase holding a single gerbera daisy, a different color at each booth. Behind a high counter on the other side of this narrow room, was the kitchen. We waved to the cook. He said hi. On the counter, next to the cash register was a vase of pink tulips. My first impression was "fresh".

We were seated and waited on. LA started with a sparkling water, but I chose the Fresh Young Coconut Juice. I was not ready for what was served. I could have been on a tropical island.

A whole, coconut, the top lopped off, hanging by a thread, a little umbrella stuck into the shell and a straw. It was refreshing. LA knew a little something about this coconut juice (or coconut water). It is a young coconut so the liquid almost fills the center cavity and the coconut flesh is soft and thin at this stage. This coconut juice is used as an intravenous fluid in some developing countries where medical saline is unavailable. It's also marketed as a sports drink because of its high potassium and mineral content.

My lunch was the lentil loaf served with a big scoop of brown rice and a green salad. It could have been better. I ate the lentil loaf with the tomato from my salad. It helped. Where were the herbs? It needed something.

The pluses: 1. it was no problem to be a gluten free, soy free vegan. 2. it was a very comfortable environment. 3. the waitress was knowledgeable and friendly. 4. I was in good company.

OK. I will tell the truth now. I skipped Dinner. I was full from lunch and I heard the Purely Decadent Coconut Milk frozen dessert in my freezer calling my name. I ate 1/2 a pint. Thanks Ben for introducing me to that dessert.

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