By Lauren Neuschel
Native Foods Cafe
Homemade Lavender Lemonade, Watermelon Fresca, Blueberry Hibiscus teas…we’re definitely known for our fresh bubbler drinks. All of you Native foodies out there know the secret- sometimes our drinks taste best when you make your own concoctions- mixing and matching, adding a little fresh mint or lemon. We love bringing out the mixologist in you.
But, one of our best kept secrets is our selection of local beers and vegan wines. They may not be poured from our cool bubblers, but don’t judge a book! They’re especially perfect for summertime or when you want to let loose with friends over the weekend. Guests love to come in and know that everything- from our creamy chipotle sauce to our Native Chicken, to our wines- is sustainable and animal-friendly.
So what is it that makes our wine so special? Isn’t all wine vegan? It’s just smashed grapes right? What’s the catch? Actually, the majority of wine uses animal-derived products during production. Who knew?!
When wine goes through a filtration process for the removal of excess protein, yeast, cloudiness, peculiar flavoring or coloring, and organic particles, it passes through “fining agents.” The fining agents are often blood and bone marrow, milk protein, fiber from crustacean shells, fish oil, or gelatin. But alas, there are always ways to avoid these pesky practices.
Native Foods uses this image courtesy of: http://images.winecommunicationsgroup.com/image/wv-2013-05-20_veganvine.jpg
Hence, vegan wine. Animal-friendly processes use carbon, clay, limestone, plant casein, and vegetable plaques as filtering agents instead. Doesn’t that process sound so much more natural and delicious, so in tune with the richness of the earth? We think so.
There are plenty of vegan wines out there including the labels we pour in our restaurants- Vegan Vines, Girasole Vineyards, and Green Truck. Check out this link for an extensive list: www.vegans.frommars.org/wine.
By Lauren Neuschel
Native Foods Cafe
Get this—on the front page of last week’s Wall Street Journal was a story about one Illinoisan’s quest to add a new food-related emoji to her phone’s lexicon.
At a bar one Friday night, Laura Ustick was stunned by, what was to her, a gaping hole in Apple’s available icons. While presumably texting a friend about her late-night food cravings or perhaps about the adorable Weiner dog outside the bar window, she found herself without an emoji for the all-American hot-dog.
Yep, that’s right folks, apparently this story was front-page material…Long live the hard-hitting headlines!
Anywho, apparently this same woman is a third-generation general manager of a Superdawg Drive-In, a company that has been serving hot-dogs since the 1940s, hence the uproar over the emoji shortage. Ustick is now lobbying on behalf of the hot-dog in an attempt to create a new character, siting that her hot-dog company’s Tweets just aren’t “cute” enough without one. Times are tough, people!
But Ustick is not the only one obsessing over Apple’s limited lexicon. One particular Facebook page is titled, “The Universe Demands a Taco Emoji,” while Dosomething.org has an online petition titled, “Apple: Add More Diversity to the Emoji Keyboard.”
Native Foods uses this image courtesy of: http://zouchmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/emoji_1486775c.jpg
In Apple’s defense, if one data engineer could create an 800-page translation of “Moby Dick” entirely from emojis, I hardly think our phones are at a complete loss. Perhaps Ustick’s claim that hot-dogs are the all-American food, just isn’t quite true anymore.
Whether you emoji like a caveman using hieroglyphics or whether you’ve never once used one of those yellow smiley faces to represent your feelings, perhaps you too will find a tinge of pride in knowing that, a hot-dog doesn’t exist, but an eggplant does!
Native Foods uses this image courtesy of: http://notakarentheworld.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/eggplant-emoji.png
By Kelly Behr
Native Foods Cafe
We look forward to working more with Mercy for Animals this year, check out their website for more information to stay informed and get involved!
By Sammy Caiola
Native Foods Cafe
Candy Crush Saga is ruining our kids.
If you’re one of the half billion people who have installed the ultra-addictive game app since its 2012 release- don’t feel bad.
It’s not your fault that the most downloaded app of 2013 happens to revolve around lemon drops, chiclets and jelly beans and features a guide character named Mr. Toffee. It’s also not your fault that its addicting methodology has people playing for so many hours a day that they’re developing “candy crush shoulder.”
The blame here lies with the developer, a British company called King, which makes about $1 million a day on this ultra-colorful, sticky-sweet phone game. Would it have been so hard to create Veggie Crush instead?
Truth is, people don’t really care what bits and pieces they’re shifting around on the screen, so long as they go “poof!” once they’re properly aligned. And so long as they can rack up more “poof” points than they’re friends on Facebook, they’ll be satisfied.
Native Foods Café uses this image courtesy of itunes.apple.com
So why not switch things around in the name of our health? Instead of the red jelly beans, throw in a bright red tomatoes. Sub the lemon drops with golden beets and the green chiclets with heads of lettuce. And those chocolate disco-ball looking things? Let’s try an extra fancy veggie, like an artichoke heart. Instead of Mr. Toffee, let’s bring in Farmer Joe, who I’m sure has bushels of insight on how to rack up the points and climb the Veggie Crush rankings.
If we could nix the entire Candyland theme in favor of greener pastures, would kids still go crazy for the concept? History says yes. The most popular Facebook game in 2009 was Farmville 2- a competitive app in which players acquired points by growing and selling crops.
Native Foods Café uses this image courtesy of facebook.com
Kids will get hooked on whatever you put in front of them. Mom bloggers everywhere are complaining about how their kids are continually asking for candy, more so now that the bonbon bonanza has gone viral. Perhaps if the interface were just altered a little, America wouldn’t have such a nagging sweet tooth.
On the upside, King seems to have gotten the memo and has already come out with “Papa Pear Saga”, a brand new game for iPhone, Android and Facebook that features a bouncy tropical protagonist named Papa Pear. Apparently hazelnuts and “crazy chillies” also show up in the 100-level journey that brings players through the Fruity Forest and the Great Pyramids.
Native Foods Café uses this image courtesy of play.google.com
We’re back on the right track. Parents: see if you can’t get your kids hooked on Papa Pear Saga instead of Candy Crush. Or take it to the next level, and see if you can’t get them outside for a while.
By Kelly Behr
Native Foods Cafe
Samuel L. Jackson is the newest memeber of a long list of public figures now adhering to a vegan diet. He has been out and about promoting his newest film, "Captain America: The Winter Solider."
Samuel L Jackson must feel invincible because when reporters inquired about his vegan diet he response was simply, "Just trying to live forever. Trying to finish out my Marvel deal."
So what I concluded from this is that being a superhero must mean giving up meat and dairy...plant-power!
His plant-based diet physique can be seen in theaters on April 4th.
By Kelly Behr
Ever since Chef Steve started at Native Foods he has been filling me with a wealth of food information. One day we were talking about grains. He was one of the first chefs who really started to utilize quinoa. But, it doesn't stop there. There are so many grains out there that I had never even heard of and I thought it would be fun to look up these grains and see what they could be used for.
My favorite so far has been this tiny little grain called Amaranth.
I read this grain is full of protein, (13-14%! and it is a complete protein being that it has lysine, which most other grains lack) which is great news for us vegans! But not only that, you can pop it like popcorn. I read that this is a popular way to make it in South America. I was pretty skeptical about this tiny little grain being able to pop I decided to give it a whirl.
I heated up my skillet. I tested the temperature with a little drop of water (if the water evaporates after bubbling around for a few seconds, you are ready).
I put one teaspoon of the grain into the pan because I was unsure of how this was going to go and I covered it immediately. (Good thing or those little grains would be all over my kitchen).
But the weird part is, it actually tastes just like popcorn. It is like the dipping dots version of popcorn! I used some salt and ate it with a spoon since it was so tiny, but I have to say, it was delicious!
By Steve Petusevsky
Director of Culinary Innovation
Native Foods Cafe
From the tiny beachfront fishing village of Sayulitas, along the warm Mexican Riviera in the Nayarit region of Mexico, comes this unusual recipe for marinated jicama and pineapple. It was so refreshing and juicy yet spicy. Escabeche can be served as an appetizer or salad, but any way you serve it, a fiesta for your taste buds is inevitable.
Jicama Pineapple Escabeche
Serves 4 as an appetizer
1 small jicama, peeled and cut into ½ inch sticks
½ small pineapple, peeled and cut into ½ inch sticks
Chili powder, to taste
2 tablespoons Cilantro, minced
3 tablespoons scallions, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
In a medium bowl, toss the jicama with the chili powder, scallions and salt. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over the top. Makes 4 servings.
by Kelly Behr
Although I was unable to attend the 2014 Natural Products Expo in Anaheim I got a glimpse of some of the rad new vegan products from some dedicated instagrammers who were fortunate enough to attend.
Gardein introduced some new "seafood" and also some gluten free options of some of their meat substitute products. It seemed the fish samples were served from a real deep fryer and got good reviews. Are these the fish sticks of the future? I hear fish tacos calling my name!
Native Foods uses this image courtesy of gardein.com.
Phoney Baloney was also there with some new flavors of their coconut bacon. I just learned about coconut bacon a few months ago. Personally, I have never liked bacon or the flavor of it...I know I might be the only member of the bacon hating club! But for those of you vegans who miss bacon in their lives, I hear this is an excellent substitute. Plus the company's name rocks!
Daiya cheese and I have a love/hate relationship. I want to love it so bad! And if used in certain ways I actually do, but I have had so many times where I do not. I have friends that live for Daiya. I have found ways to make mac and cheese that I love so I can never discount it entirely. At the expo Daiya was giving away samples of their "no-bake cheese cake" that had everyone raving. I am definitely willing to give this a try! The recipe can be found here.
I, like most vegans, am always in the market for a good non-dairy cheese. I cannot wait to not only give Parmela a try but also her sauces! Nothing beats a homemade sauce unless you find yourself short on time. Once I get my hands on these I will give you a full report.
And this last one I included because I mainly just found it funny and awesome. Beyond Meat set up their own "Taco Bell" booth for serving their products at the expo. A+ for creativity!
by Cassie Younger
One of the hardest things about becoming vegan is recreating the meals of my childhood memories I tend to crave as comfort food. As a middle class kid growing up in the suburbs, this included things like Hamburger Helper, Kraft Mac and Cheese and Shake n Bake chicken. (Perhaps obviously, my family was not a part of the “clean food” movement.)
So when my roommates’ grandma died and we inherited her entire pantry, I was pretty excited upon finding a box of Shake n Bake mix. Although I couldn’t pronounce a lot of the ingredients and part of me was repulsed by the pre-packaged processed-ness of it all, the other half of me thought this would be hella delicious on some tofu. Turns out, it was.
WHAT YOU NEED:
12 oz. (or more) extra firm tofu, pressed and sliced
½ c vegan Ranch
1 packet Shake n Bake Coating Mix
You don’t need to follow the instructions on the Shake n Bake box so carefully, as tofu is much easier to cook than chicken. Slather the tofu in ranch, dip it in the coating, and bake it at 400 degrees, for 25-30 minutes, until it’s crispy and beginning to brown. The amount of coating per packet also went a long way; I probably could’ve covered two packages of tofu with it.
I paired mine with a side of steamed kale to try and balance out the meal nutritionally, but mashed potatoes and a can of green beans might be more appropriate.
Native Foods Cafe, vegan restaurant, vegan recipes, vegan food, vegan kids