Tag Archives: pizza

Green with Envy

At least that’s how I think you’ll feel as you read this post. You’re welcome.

I don’t think Green has ever come up in my blog before (at least not more than in passing), which is bizarre, considering that it’s been – and continues to be – my favorite restaurant since I went vegan. It’s vegan fast food – okay, maybe not fast food, but quick, comfort food – at its finest.

Green is a completely vegan restaurant in North Tempe, almost in Scottsdale, but not quite. Tempe(h) for the win! Now that I think of it, it’s really the only vegan restaurant I know of in Tempe, and maybe Phoenix. There’s plenty of vegetarian places, many of which have a ton of vegan options or are mostly vegan, but I think Green’s the only one that’s legit enough to not only be 100% vegan, but 500% more delicious than everywhere else.

Green has a mix of Asian and American options, including appetizers and salads, customizable flatbread pizzas, po-boys, sammies, burgers, stir-fry bowls, and, most importantly, the infamous tsoynamis.

This guy used to be a special, but eventually was added to the regular menu. Um, I wonder why?…

The Mexicali burger: Green’s homemade burger patty with organic garbanzo hummus, zesty nacho cheese, vegan mayo and spicy chipotle sauce. With the only side I ever order: tahini coleslaw! On an Ezekiel bun, of course! If you could have your junk food on whole grain bread for only a dollar extra, wouldn’t you do it too? There’s not much to say about this burger except that, like all their sandwiches, the flavors come together just right, providing you with a melty, gooey mess that’s as satisfyingly wonderful as it is difficult to eat without your formerly clean face becoming a casualty of the meal. The coleslaw is cool and rich, with little flecks of peanuts balancing out the creamy tahini dressing. It’s always the perfect foil to the warm and hearty sammies.

This sandwich is a special, and only a special, for now: the Tempeh Reuben!

I’ve never had a real reuben before – if you can even call a sandwich made of ground toxin- and antibiotic-laden flesh “real,” that is – but this one was amazing. Spicy, toothsome tempeh, tangy sauerkraut, and creamy vegan thousand-island dressing. Mmm.

This here is another favorite, not least because it’s oh-so-adorable name.
The Texas “moo-shroom” po-boy: “pulled” and shredded portabella with caramelized onions and peppers slow cooked in Green’s espresso BBQ sauce.

As you can see, they don’t skimp on the filling. It usually takes me a few minutes to eat the stuff outside my sandwich with a fork before I even take a real bite. Not complaining though…

The moo-shroom po-boy is even messier than the Mexicali burger. Just look at how saucy it is. (pun INTENDED!)

Although I usually order sandwiches or stir-fry bowls (their mock chicken is one of my favorite faux meats of all time!), occasionally I’m up for a pizza. My only problem being overcoming my revulsion – fear? haha – of white flour, as I’m pretty sure these aren’t whole wheat flatbreads.

Butttttt, that sentiment is pretty easily overcome when this awaits me:

Green’s namesake, the Greenza! Homemade pesto sauce (basil and pine nut) with vegan mozzarella cheese (they use Teese). This one was topped with artichoke hearts, spinach, and caramelized onions.

Here’s one that my friend ordered! The Western: Green’s vegan BBQ sauce with vegan mozzarella cheese. Jo topped hers with roasted jalapeños and mock chicken because she’s bad-ass like that!

No visit to Green would be complete without the obligatory Tsoynami (Think a Dairy Queen Blizzard, but vegan and 3265561487x more amazing).

Green makes their own vegan “tsoft tserve,” and it’s the best fro-yo style vegan ice cream I’ve ever had. And the mix-ins. Oh, the mix-ins. Imagine every vegan thing you’d ever want on a sundae at your disposal, and that’s how Green rolls. Fruit (berries, bananas, and tropical fruit), multiple forms of chocolate, various flavors of Newman’s O’s, graham crackers, vegan mocha puffs, “captain crunch,” and “berry crunch,” pretzels, nuts, ricemellow fluff, flavored syrups, and of course, PEANUT BUTTER. And not just any peanut butter, organic Maranatha peanut butter. Sometimes they even have special mix-ins, like orange pound cake. There’s about 15 pre-made combos, but I usually design my own.

Here’s the PB&J (Strawberries, PB, and graham crackers) with bananas added:

And a special: the Monsoon, which, if I remember correctly, was chocolate syrup, chocolate cake, and chocolate chips. Of course I had to add PB to it.

I wish I had pics of all the Green meals I’ve had before I got my camera, but that post would be unbearably lengthy, so maybe it’s for the best. But I can guarantee you that this won’t be the last you hear of my favorite restaurant.

Advertisements

How We Love Zee Pizza!

First of all, I just wanted to thank all of my caring readers for being so supportive of me in my half marathon! Your words meant a lot to me, and for those readers who said that my race had inspired them to consider training for one, I’m so glad that I was able to inspire you to inspire yourself! In other running news, I’ll most likely be doing the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon at home in January! I guess once you start, you can’t stop! I wanna get under 2 hours!

Now to the main point of business. So, um, Zpizza is the bomb.

Recently having discovered that there’s a Zpizza in Upland, just 20 minutes away from Pomona, my vegan friend Stephanie and my gluten- and dairy-free friend James decided to have a study party with pizza pizza party (to be fair, we maybe did homework for 15 minutes…)

The only pizza I’ve had since being vegan, not counting ones I’ve made myself at home, was at Viva Herbal in NYC and at Green in Tempe (will be posting about that soon!), but NEVER before have I had delivery pizza. Classic, greasy, delivery pizza with a real crust and melty “cheese.”

I’m pretty sure Stephanie and James were in a similar boat, because we were all really freaking excited when these boxes finally arrived (we were also excited that delivery was free…)

Zpizza is unique in that, not only do they have vegan cheese (they used to have a non-vegan soy one with casein, but now they use Daiya, which is soy-free – and free of most allergens, at that – and made of cassava root! They haven’t updated the site yet, so just call your local Zpizza to make sure they now use Daiya), but they also offer whole-wheat and gluten-free crusts, and organic tomato sauce. And that’s not to mention their more than extensive range of fresh and healthful toppings! Some of which toppings you’re about to get a nice little preview…

Steph and I split a large pizza (we ordered whole-wheat, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what we got…oh well). My half was roasted garlic sauce, Daiya cheese (duh), spinach, caramelized onions, roasted yams, pineapple, and fresh basil:

Steph’s was the same, but with eggplant instead of the pineapple, and with tomato sauce as well:

And Jamesie got a nice little gluten-free personal pizza. He wanted his to be a traditional cheese pizza, so he stuck with tomato sauce, Daiya, and basil. Can’t blame him, though. Look at it!

Yeah, I know you’re waiting for the delightfully greasy, mid-bite money shot…

Daiya tastes best hot, so be sure to reheat your slices if they cool down – it really makes a difference in your Zpizza experience, I promise.

Next time, I think I’m getting tomato sauce, Daiya, avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, and cilantro. Oh, and actually on whole wheat this time.

Back to the pizza party. You didn’t think we could end it without dessert, didya?

What flavor? Why, only the best ice cream known to vegankind – and mankind! Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Cookie Dough!

It’s gluten-free, which I had forgotten until I saw the labeling at the store, and then I just knew I had to get it to round out our night. See picture below for humongous chunk of said gluten-free cookie dough.

Happy kids, finally feeling like typical, unhealthy college students.

NYC Goodies, July 4th Concert, and the Ridiculous Fantasy Cake of My Dreams

Hey guys! I wanted to include NYC and NJ in my Portland travel post, but maybe it’s better on its own. Two posts for the price of one. Actually, that doesn’t make any sense. Just keep reading.

Here’s some shots of the lovely farmer’s market my friend Jo and I walked through:

We then headed over to Sacred Chow for a lovely brunch! We both ordered the Tempeh Hash, crumbled seasoned tempeh with hash-browned sweet potatoes and browned onions, topped with diced fresh tomatoes & parsley, because who wouldn’t want that? Steamed collards on da side, yo.

This dish would be so easy to make at home too! I’ll definitely have to experiment with it.

Fortunately for us–or should I say me? Jo’s not as insane as I am–Peanut Butter & Co. was literally right across the street from Sacred Chow:

You know I picked up a jar of Mighty Maple! (It’s the one I can never find in stores…) Jo nabbed a Dark Chocolate Dreams, which I’m pretty sure is the best one, so it was a good choice as a popper of her PB & Co. Cherry! We may or may not have snacked on it straight out of the jar as we walked the NYC streets on our way to our 4th of July concert in the park…

Speaking of said concert, it was maybe the best concert of my life. First of all, it was free. Second of all, I was with my 2 best friends, Jo and Grace (who are both in NYC for the summer), and my wonderful aunt and uncle, Showie and Mickey (who came in for the show). Third, and most importantly, it was JENNY LEWIS and CONOR OBERST. Together. In one show. (They even sang together!) They are literally my two favorite artists of all time–I am more intimately attached to their music and work than I can explain. If it helps ring any bells, Jenny is also the lead singer of Rilo Kiley, and Conor is the leading man in Bright Eyes. Anyways, add the fresh air, sunny breeze, and 4th of July buzz, and this concert was basically heaven for me.

Jenny Lewis and band member Jonathan Rice:

“Because institution’s like a big bright light,
And it blinds you into fear and consuming and fightin’
But in the desert underneath the charging sky
It’s just you and God
But what if God’s not there?
But his name is on your dollar bill
Which just became cab fare…”



“Like the citrus glow off the old orange grove
Or the red rocket blaze over Cape Canaveral
It’s been a nightmare to me
Some 1980’s grief
Gives me parachute dreams
Like old war movies
While the universe was drawing
Perfect circles for infinity…”

In the city, we also went to Viva Herbal Pizzeria (vegetarian with plenty of vegan options) and Lula’s Sweet Apothecary (an entirely vegan old-fashioned ice cream parlor), but unfortunately, my camera died. :( However, I’ve found some pics on Flickr of other people’s food from both, so I’ll use those (Hope that’s okay!)

At Viva, I had a slice of the Zen (super anti-oxidant) pizza: green tea-herbed miso tofu, green tea basil pesto, shiitake mushrooms, maitake mushrooms, carmelized onions, sundried tomato, roasted garlic, on a green tea herbed spelt crust. This was hands down the best pizza I’ve had since going vegan (not that I’ve had a lot…).

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user, Roboppy)

Jo got the Canja: diced onions, tomato and garlic marinated in hemp oil, roasted hemp seeds, hempseed nuts, hemp-herbed basil pesto, kalamata olives, tempeh, and roasted garlic on hemp-herbed spelt crust with hemp herbed-miso tofu. What a mouthful! They really integrate hemp into every element of the pizza, don’t they?

At Lula’s I had a Sundae with both Carrot Cake and Peanut Butter Fudge Nut-Based Ice Cream with Hot Fudge, Strawberry Sauce, Crushed Ginger Cream Cookies, and topped with Coconut Whipped Cream and a Cherry! It was as good as it sounds. Next time I’m getting a banana split!

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user, Vanessa52)

Jo and I also had a really wonderufl time in Long Beach Island, NJ at my grandma’s beach house. The house and the island are seriously one of my favorite places in the entire world. They’re everything you could ever want in a vacation spot (actually, I could live there…). Everything there is so classic, from the old-fashioned ice cream parlor (not that I condone its business), to the kooky mailboxes shaped like lighthouses and flamingos, to my grandma’s back deck and upper patios overlooking the bay. Three days was not enough.

Speaking of not getting enough, this cake, OMFG. My grandma surprised me, Jo, my dad, and my cousin Matt–all the summer birthdays–with a cake one night! When she first brought it in, Jo and I obviously appreciated the gesture, but never in a million years presumed that we could actually have some. And then my grandma told us it was vegan and that she had grilled the shop, Foodies, where she bought it, on the ingredients. I don’t know if Jo and I were more touched that she went through the trouble to find this cake, or more amazed that you could even get a vegan cake on that tiny island–and peanut butter at that! I dub this wonderful creation Chocolate Peanut Butter Devastation Layer Cake.

The bottom layer is chocolate cookie crumb cake. I could honestly swear that the middle layer was just straight peanut butter (which isn’t a problem for me obviously, but still–whoa), and the top layer was a very rich chocolate mousse. It was even better cold, straight out of the freezer!

Now that I’m home, I’ll be posting more regularly, so stay tuned!

Europe Part I: Italian Eats

Freaking finally, right? It only took me a month.

First night in Rome. Pizza Marinara with extra vegetables. Nice and simple, so the tomato and oregano can really shine.

The Beehive. Organic Vegetarian B&B and restaurant in Rome.

No fixed portion sizes or prices. The restaurant looked like a normal house. You just sit down in the kitchen, tell the chef exactly what you want, and he makes it fresh right in front of you.

A delicious mixed salad. Simple, but a welcome relief to the not so vegan-friendly Roman carb fest.

The meze platter my mom and I split, including vegan burger patties and special hummus.

A nice cafe in Montepulciano, a medieval hill town in Tuscany, This was the raw zucchini salad.

The best spinach ever. Just dressed with REAL olive oil and the biggest-ass pine nuts ever.

Lampone-Rosmarino (Raspberry-Rosemary) Gelato from the Pluripremiata Gelatería–Gelato World Champions, 2006-07 and 2008-09–in San Gimgiano.

Potato-Rosemary Focaccia in Cinque Terre.

I know this is an absolutely horrible photo, but it’s RICE MILK GELATO in Lago Orta, Italy! I almost had a seizure when the guy told me it was vegan. So much better than fruit/sorbet gelato.

Stay tuned for Part II: Greece soon!