Dye, Egg, Dye!

Naturally Dyed Eggs

Eggs have a long tradition of representing new life and welcoming spring. After a long winter, it’s easy to feel like celebrating at the sight of trees blossoming and the warmer temperatures.

The tradition of decorating and dyeing eggs is rooted in these early spring rituals and symbols, and people gave colored eggs as gifts to wish others a new beginning. Many of us grew up dyeing a ridiculous number of eggs using packaged colorings, like these. Vibrant colors are fun, but I started seeing photos of more muted colored eggs, which means different dyes; that piqued my curiosity. It makes sense that before there was Paas, there were other ways to color and decorate eggs – I had just never given it much thought. Let’s investigate!

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The Vegan Roadie, Season Two!

Good news, vegi-vores!

If you enjoyed following Dustin Harder’s tasty travels in The Vegan Roadie web series, you can help make Season Two possible by contributing to his Kickstarter project until March 2, 2016. Tentative filming locations for the upcoming episodes include Seattle, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, New Orleans, Tampa, Atlanta, Nashville, Syracuse, Madison, Kansas City and Portland.

Season One Recap:
S1E1: Ann Arbor, MI
S1E2: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
S1E3: Boston, MA
S1E4: St. Louis, MO
S1E5: Indianapolis, IN
S1E6: Philadelphia, PA
S1E7: Austin, TX
S1E8: Denver, CO
S1E9: San Francisco Bay Area

Don’t want to wait until Season Two for your vegan YouTubing? The Vegan Roadie has also been producing another series, OMG! That’s Vegan?!. You can also get the latest news by following The Vegan Roadie on various social media platforms and by visiting the website.

We wish Dustin and his team all the best as they dive into their new adventures!

The Vegan Roadie Episode 9: San Francisco, CA

San Francisco has been a sanctuary for plant-based eaters since the 1970s, and continues to build a thriving and diverse vegetarian and vegan restaurant scene. Here’s where The Vegan Roadie visited while in the neighborhood.

3Potato4 serves up customizable baked potato fries with vegan sauces and toppings. Choose from a variety of potatoes, such as russet, sweet potato, and a purple potato medley to use as a base, and go crazy with sauces, flavored salts and sugars, and other toppings. Soups and chilis are also available if you’re looking to make a meal of it.

Next up, organic vegan Mexican fare featuring produce from a Bay Area biodynamic farm. Welcome to Gracias Madre. We’ve had the pleasure of eating there ourselves, and recommend the cauliflower cashew cheese tacos (happy hour special!) as well as the empanada (homemade pastry filled with plantains and sautéed onions, served on a bed of spicy mole sauce, with cashew crema.). I’ll also second Dustin’s recommendation of the posole.

Mushroom mole and cauliflower "cheese" tacos at Gracias Madre. La hora feliz indeed!

©Knife & Fork Project

Mushroom mole and cauliflower “cheese” tacos at Gracias Madre. La hora feliz indeed!

Gracias Madre's plantain and sautéed onion empanada, served over mole with a cashew crema

©Knife & Fork Project

Gracias Madre’s plantain and sautéed onion empanada, served over mole with a cashew crema

Millennium has offered San Francisco a vegan fine dining experience for 20 years. Formerly located within the Hotel California in San Francisco, chef Eric Tucker migrated across the Bay in 2015 to Oakland and continues serving up delicious fare, earning them a spot on the 2016 Michelin Bib Gourmand list.

And, for that insatiable sweet tooth, Berkeley’s Cinnaholic provides vegan cinnamon rolls, with 30+ available flavors of frosting and toppings to customize your treat. Not near the Bay Area? Cinnaholic also has locations in Southlake, TX and Atlanta, GA.

That concludes Season 1 of The Vegan Roadie! Watch Episode 9 below, and visit The Vegan Roadie website to see what else is on Dustin’s menu.

The Vegan Roadie Episode 8: Denver, CO

The Mile-High City is chock full of vegan offerings. These are just a sampling from Dustin’s visit.

Native Foods Café bridges the fast food world with vegan fare with their 100% plant-based menu, striving to includes sustainable and earth-friendly practices. They’re also working to build community with their Native Pals Day, when once a month, a portion of your purchase supports the protection of our ocean environment or humane animal treatment advocacy programs. Not near Denver? You can visit one of their other locations in Southern California, Colorado, Oregon, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Virginia.

WaterCourse Foods is a local staple for Denver vegans. Their delectable vegan comfort food menu also strives to reduce negative environmental impact by recycling everything they can, including fryer oil that is converted into bio-diesel. They make all of their own vegan desserts at WaterCourse Bakery, next door to their (vegetarian and vegan-friendly) sister restaurant City o’ City.

For those hard-to-find vegan ingredients, Dustin visited NOOCH Vegan Market to find some local items for his 5-Ingredient Challenge. NOOCH focuses on bringing as many local vendors, farmers and distributors to their shelves as they can, and is a great community resource for education and vegan staples. Visit on a Wednesday from 5:00 PM–close for 10% off your purchase. A market with a happy hour? That’s my kind of grocery shopping.

And, let’s not forget the continuous hunt for the elusive vegan doughnut. Beet Box Bakery & Café offers a wide variety of baked vegan doughnuts – if ever I’m in the neighborhood, I’ll be trying the chocolate pumpkin!

Watch Episode 8 below, and visit The Vegan Roadie website to read more about Dustin’s tasty adventures.

The Vegan Roadie Episode 6: Philadelphia, PA

The Vegan Roadie pays a visit to the City of Brotherly Vegan Love. Rich Landau and James Beard Award Nominee Kate Jacoby serve up an abundance of delicious vegan goodness between their two restaurants, V Street and Vedge. Street food, inventive cocktails

Pure Sweets & Co. not only has a full organic, gluten-free, vegan, kosher parve cafe menu, but also provides cold-pressed juices, serves 5-course prix fixe Friday feasts, offers workshops and creates meal plans for the busy health-conscious eater.

You can’t visit Philadelphia without eating a Philly Cheesesteak, and for a vegan version, Dustin headed to Blackbird Pizzeria. Made with house made seitan, garlic and rosemary sauce, topped with onion, peppers and a house made “cheese” sauce.

All this and more in Episode 6:

The Vegan Roadie Episode 5: Indianapolis, IN

Next stop on the Vegan Roadie tour: Indianapolis, IN. Follow Dustin to Indianapolis City Market to meet Ian Phillips and taste Three Carrots’ housemade seitan gyros. If you are local and you NEED IT NOW, you can order ahead and reserve your vegan gyro, bahn mi or chili for pick up in 15 minutes. Then, get your hockey-watching and local craft brew-drinking on at The Sinking Ship, which offers both vegan and carnivore-appropriate fare.

Finish out your day by treating your sweet tooth to something vegan and gluten-free at The Flying Cupcake‘s North Illinois Street location. Although you can also purchase gluten-filled and dairy-infused cupcakes at any of their locations, the Illinois Street site is home to the dairy-free and gluten-free kitchen. Both varieties are kept in separate cases to avoid as much cross-contamination as possible. If you’re looking for something on the chilly side, customize your own frozen treat at Sub Zero using one of their six bases (including vegan and non-vegan options) and construct your flavor of choice using one of their 38 flavors (or all of them!) and various mix-ins. Your dessert creation then gets a quick liquid nitrogen bath for a little dash of science.

All in all, it sounds like a pretty good day of vegan-friendly eating!

Watch The Vegan Roadie, Episode 5:

The Vegan Roadie Episode 4: St. Louis, MO

Meet The Vegan Roadie in St. Louis as he spends some time with Robert Tucker and Lauren Loomis, the husband and wife team behind Lulu’s Local Eatery. Find out what it means to be a WWOOFer and hear about the journey that led them to a sustainable vegan restaurant. And guess who loves buffalo cauliflower as much as The Knife & Fork Project does? The Vegan Roadie and Lulu’s Local Eatery!

Read more about our cauliflower obsession.

Watch Episode 4:

The Vegan Roadie Episode 3: Boston, MA

This week we head east with The Vegan Roadie to discover vegan offerings in Boston, MA.

Meet Kyle Rusconi and Onur Ozkoc, the folks behind Cocobeet, where Dustin did his first solo juice cleanse. Cocobeet goes beyond juice and offers salads, sandwiches, and boasts the Healthiest Breakfast in Boston, a warm quinoa bowl with fruit, nuts and almond milk.

Dustin also takes a tour of 7-Eleven to show us how he keeps it vegan on the road even when a convenience store is the only thing for miles.

Season’s Eatings: Cauliflower

White Cauliflower  |  The Knife & Fork Project

I hated cauliflower as a kid. Just a boring, bland waste of space on a veggie tray. Flavorless, albino broccoli.

Like many food groups that I disliked growing up, I have discovered that, if I revisit them, there is almost always at least one preparation that I’ve found delicious. Lately, this has inspired me to re-evaluate foods I once thought of as dull. I have been pleasantly surprised that cauliflower has been among those successful experiments, and am now a little bit obsessed.

It started with cauliflower’s charismatic, Fibonacci-shaped, chartreuse cousin, Romanesco. Being the color and design nerd that I am, I almost didn’t care what it was going to taste like when I made an impulse purchase at the Farmers Market. It was intriguing to separate the florets, and tasted a bit like cauliflower, but slightly different somehow. Curious, I visited The Google to learn how exactly the two are related. They belong to the cabbage family, along with broccoli, kale, collards, brussels sprouts and kohlrabi. A curious group, all of which I love. Except for that monotonous white cauliflower. I decided cauliflower deserved another chance.

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