Friday, July 13, 2012

Purée Organic Cafe

Vegan in Charleston is BACK!

My little family and I moved away from Charleston for a bit, but we came racing back as soon as we could.  While I was away, a new organic cafe opened up.  All my friends were talking about the delicious vegan food they were serving and I was drooling from a far.  Also, they serve baby food, hence the name!  I make my 8 month old child's baby food and it's all organic and vegan, so I was very excited to order her food off the menu from a gourmet chef!

We made Puree Organic Cafe our first stop when we got back to Charleston.  We were not disappointed!

The cafe is in a cute little house in Mt Pleasant off of Chuck Dawley.  It is bright and adorable.  We were greeted by the owners and friendly staff.  My little "vegan in Charleston" had an adorable high chair to sit in and was comfy and ready for her gourmet baby food!

My daughter ordered the sweet potatoes with coconut milk and cinnamon.  It was a heaping amount and was fresh, organic and hand made.  Best yet, it was delicious and she gobbled it up!

I ordered the grilled chimichurry seitan wrap with herb citrus dressing and chipotle sauce.  It was stuffed with carrots, tomatoes, spinach, sprouts and more.  The sauce was amazing and spicy!  The seitan was cooked to perfection and seasoned so well.  It tasted great and was completely vegan! I hope my picture does it justice.  I think you should try it though!

What better to top off a great lunch then with a great desert.

Puree has amazing, fresh deserts daily.  Most are vegan.  Today I had a FRESH blueberry vegan cupcake.  The cake was moist and filled with whole blueberries.  The frosting was light and sweet.  Writing this makes me want another one to munch on!  mmmm...





It is very important what kind of food we put into our bodies.  If you have children, it's even more important.  So, you should take your kids and babies to Puree Organic Cafe.  It will make your day and theirs!

Enjoy!

Check out their facebook page for information.

Monday, September 12, 2011

VEGAN POTLUCK!

Looking for a great place to eat VEGAN food, hang out with AWESOME people AND listen to AMAZING music?


This Saturday night at the Jivamukti Yoga School in Mt. Pleasant, there will be a FREE Vegan potluck!!  There will be vegan food galore, ranging from main dishes, side dishes and DESERT!  All Vegan and all tasty!  Potlucks are a great time to sample other dishes and get new recipes from the people who made them.  They are wonderful if you are newly vegan or thinking about becoming vegan. 

The potlucks are generally waste free, meaning we use real dishes and utensils.  It is amazing to see that many people eating and not requiring paper products!  Inspiring! 

After the meal, there will be music by the kirtan band THE JAIS.  They will get you rockin' and lift your spirits.  It is a fun time to meet new, like minded people, eat good food and rock out! 

The Jivamukti Yoga School in Mt. Pleasant is Charleston's Mecca for great yoga and a one of a kind vegan community!

The community, or Satsang, are so welcoming, fun and inspiring that you will immediately feel like you belong.  Like you have come hOMe!

Jivamukti is owned by Andrea Boyd and Jeffrey Cohen.  They are our world renowned, awe inspiring teachers.  They both are joyful practicing vegans and amazing yogis! 


Come out and meet new friends!  Stay tuned on the Jivamukti Yoga website for future potlucks, free movies, free kirtan and chanting, great yoga classes at a great price and much, much more! 






Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Taco Mamacita by Mia Chaveco

Guest Blog By: Mia Chaveco

Mia is a fellow Jivamukti Yogi and vegan.  She went vegan 2 1/2 years after reading the book Skinny Bitch
She actually quit cold turkey after discovering the truth of the meat and dairy industries!

She is married and has an 8 year old daughter, Autumn.  She grew up in New Jersey and lived there her whole life.  They have been in Mt. Pleasant for the past 5 years.  Mia is a RN.
Mia and her husband


Taco Mamacita by:  Mia Chaveco


After yoga class Thursday night, 13 of us met at Taco Mamacita (on beautiful Sullivan's Island) to try out their famous Vegan menu. It was a full house, and since we had a large group, we did have to wait for about 1 hr. But it was worth the wait.


This restaurant supplies a totally seperate menu for Vegans. This was definatly refreshing, since usually Vegans have to ask the kitchen to make modifications on existing dishes. The Vegan Menu featured 10 main dishes, and 4 side dishes.

Everything looked so delicious! At our table we ordered some appitizers: the "Salsa Sampler" features corn tortilla chips with mango jalepeno salsa( my favorite), Salsa verde, and roasted tomato salsa, and we also asked for the "Fresh Guacamole Now" with corn chips. Both were very tasty and fresh. The guac was as good as homemade, just the right flavor. 



After enjoying those, we had some choices to make. We enlisted the help of Ali (our server). She was so excited to serve us, and said that we were the first table of Vegans she had served since they opened, and it was nice because she is a Vegetarian. She suggested the Vegan Tortilla Soup. It was my favorite dish   of the night. A white bowl came out with fresh tomato, avocado, lime and cliantro in it. Next to it was a metal pitcher with the most delicious house made roasted tomato veggie based broth in it. Ali brought it out to our table, and poured the broth over the fresh ingredients. The presentation made my mouth water. On top she sprinkled corn tortilla strips. When I tasted the soup, I was in heaven. The flavors went so well together,especially the tangyness of the lime in the broth. I would come to this restaurant for this soup alone, I enjoyed it so much.

Next we ordered 3 Tacos and The Enchiladas. My daughter loved the "Freakin Vegan Taco". This delicious taco had cilantro spinich rice, petite red beans, crispy lettuce, pico de gallo, fresh escabeche ( a sort of slaw) , and guacamole in a flour tortilla. My husband and I also shared one and I thought it was delish too.  Next was the "Avocado Taco". This had fresh avocado, lettuce, pico de gallo, salsa verde and fresh escabeche wrapped in a flour tortilla.  This was tasty as well, but I mostly tasted the avocado, and not much of the other ingredients. My favorite taco was the "Vegan Jerk Taco". It has shreaded cabbage, mango salsa(so tasty), sauteed plantains tossed in homemade jerk sauce and petite red beans, wrapped in a flour tortilla. The jerk was very savory and flavorful, and I enjoyed the different textures, and tastes of the plaintains,salsa, cabbage and beans. It was like a smorgasborg of flavor. My absolute favorite besides the soup! The Enchiladas come 2 to a plate with a side dish of your choosing. This is the largest entree, since the tacos come ala carte style. The "Vegan Enchiladas" were corn tortillas filled with cilantro spinich rice, sweet roasted yellow corn, diced tomato, black beans, cilantro, and topped with homemade salsa verde. They were savory, but I couldn't help thinking that they would be even better with some Daiya Cheese melted on top. (I'll get back to that in a minute). These enchiladas tasted similar to the "Freakin Vegan Taco", I wouldn't order both the next time I go, since they had almost the same sort of flavors.  The sides that were available with the Enchiladas were : Cilantro-Spinich Rice, Sweet Potato Fries, or Black Bean and Corn Salad (made with white balsamic vinagrette dressing) We tried all three and they were all yummy. You can also order them ala carte.






The manager came out to speak to our table after we mentioned Daiya cheese to our server Ali. He said at the moment they don't have any vegan cheese option, but he asked us many questions about the cheese. All of us at the table liked Daiya the best so we explained how well it melts and how delicious it would be smothering the Vegan Enchiladas. He said that there could be a possibility in the future that they could order the Daiya cheese if there was enough of a market for it. (So get in there and ask them to get the cheese!!!) He also told us he would have no problem using it in a dish if we wanted to bring it with us. We could send it back to the kitchen and they would add it to whatever dish we wanted it on. This made me happy! They were very willing to please the Vegans!!

I am already planning a trip back to bring all my friends and family there. I am happy to patronize a restaurant that recognizes Vegan's needs! ENJOY!!

Thanks Mary for letting me describe my food experience in your blog!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Patat Spot by Sarah Swingle

                                                             Guest Post By: Sarah Swingle

Sarah and her hubby

Sarah is a compassionate vegan.  She has been vegetarian for 4 years and vegan for 2 years (and many more...). She is married to an awesome vegan husband, Hanes, and they have four rescued fur babies (one dog and three cats). They love being vegan in Charleston!

Sarah is a member of the local group, Charleston Veggie and Vegans.  Please visit their FB page here for great events and gatherings and also visit here for more information on Charleston's SECOND ANNUAL Walk for Animals!!  


PATAT SPOT by: Sarah Swingle


If you haven't been to Patat Spot Friet & Falafel yet, you're in for a delicious, vegan experience. Located on George Street less than a block away from C of C's Cistern, the establishment calls itself "a quick service vegetarian European style snack bar," but I call it falafel heaven, and soon you will too. Walking in, you're greeted with brightly colored walls, shiny diner-style tables, smiling staff, and the irresistible smell of made-to-order, hand-cut friet (or fries, as they're called in the US of A).

The menu, as evidenced by their name, is made up mainly of falafel and fries.A falafel, for those who aren't familiar with it, is a Mediterranean spiced chickpea cake. Patat Spot's falafel can be prepared fried or grilled and is actually gluten free, which is awesome for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. They even have gluten free (and regular) pita bread to make a great falafel sandwich. Not feeling sandwich-y?


Falafel Pita
Not a problem; you can order a salad that comes with two falafel patties. Either way, you have your pick of more than 21 toppings at the toppings bar, which features local ingredients and is easy-to-navigate because each topping is labeled very clearly with a sticker that shows if it is vegan and/or gluten free. This makes deciding what you want easy: pile your plate up with all the vegan options! Some toppings are expected (like baba ganoush), some are unexpected (like pickled turnips from The Pickle Lady at the Farmer's Market), but all are scrumptious. I especially recommend the tomato/avocado topping and tabouli.

Falafel Salad


You can make your falafel sandwich or salad into a Patat Spot Combo, which adds friet and a drink. The friet are delectable, and they come with your choice of sauce. The only two sauces that are vegan are the curry ketchup and the mango chutney. I LOVE the curry ketchup and highly recommend it. If you want to get even fancier, upgrade your friet to a specialty topping. There you have your choice of delightful vegan options: The "Gribiche" tops your friet with olive oil, capers, pickles, shallots and parsley; the "Latino" adds a bite with lime juice and vinegar hot sauce; and the "Gremolata" complements the fries with minced parsley, lemon zest and garlic. Delish. And if you're only looking for a quick snack during a day of shopping on King St., they serve fresh pita chips with dips too!




All in all, Patat Spot hits the vegan spot. Go there. You'll love it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Guest Post by Susan McKellar


Susan is a sweet, caring, fun, silly, creative, talented, compassionate vegan yogi!  Oh and did I mention an extradrodinary VEGAN BAKER!  This woman can make any yummy treat vegan for everyone to enjoy!  So she definately knows some good vegan food when she tastes it!  This blog is about her visit to 17 North in Mount Pleasant.  They host VEGAN NIGHTS with all vegan menus.  Check out their website here and read Susan's post for the details of this lovely dinner!

17 North Roadside Kitchen
By: Susan McKellar
Nobody puts us vegans in the corner!
When I first became vegan going out to eat in Charleston usually meant a salad and french fries.  Despite the lack of dining out variety, I knew being vegan was the only choice for me and hoped for a brighter day in Charleston’s restaurant scene.  A lot has changed since then- thank goodness!  These days vegan cuisine can be found at almost every restaurant, and most kitchens lacking items on their menu are happy to accommodate you with advance notice. Now vegan dining has reached a new height in Charleston with a monthly vegan dinner series at 17 North Roadside Kitchen.  

On Sunday March 22, I was fortunate enough to attend the second dinner in this series.  I was immediately intrigued by the radical Chef Brett McKee who decided tackle all vegan dinners after receiving encouragement from several yogi friends.  Chef McKee is incredibly charismatic and truly makes you feel at home on his amazing backyard patio.  He admits he enjoys the challenge of learning to cook vegan, and he also sees this as wonderful opportunity to educate his staff on how to do so.   60 people attended this wonderful celebration of compassion, and Chef McKee hopes to see 100 people at the next event on May 8.  I believe we can make it happen Charleston!  Let’s show our support for this amazing forward-thinking chef.  You certainly don’t have to be vegan to come and enjoy this evening of smiling faces, great food and live music.  Just come and see what vegans are all about.  We already love you no matter what your food choices are and would simply be thrilled to share our way of life with you.  You never know what will happen.  You might learn something new about yourself or maybe you’ll be part of building the foundation for Charleston’s first all vegan restaurant!  Can you imagine it?  I can!
First Course: Vegan Spring Roll served with White Truffle Ponzu Sauce.  These vibrant rolls were light and full of flavor.  Filled with julianne cut yellow squash, zucchini, red onion, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, mung bean sprouts, avocado, red bean soba noodles, mint, cilantro, basil
rolled in a Japanese rice paper.  The sauce was a gluten-free soy sauce with the zests and juices of lemons , limes and oranges, grapefruit juice, sesame oil, truffle oil, pickled ginger and juice with a touch rice wine vinegar.  It had an incredible citrus taste.


Second Course:  Baby Spinach Salad with Fresh Strawberries, Mango, Candied Pecans and Raspberry Vinaigrette.  This was the perfect sweet summer salad.  The slightly sweet taste of fresh baby spinach was perfectly paired with the fresh fruit and candied pecans.  I also enjoyed the color contrast of the deep green leaves and the bright pink raspberry vinaigrette.
Third Course: Wild Mushroom Ratatouille served with a Creamy Basil Pesto & Smoked Tomato Polenta.  This was good but could have had more spice for me.  The polenta overpowered the flavor of the wild mushrooms, pesto and smoked tomato leaving the dish a bit on the bland side for my taste.  Nutritional yeast would have been a nice addition to the polenta.


Fourth Course: Vegan Chocolate Cake prepared by Andrea Boyd, co-founder of Jivamukti Yoga Charleston.  Wow!!!  Purely decadent but not sinful since it’s vegan!  This delicious cake is rich and moist- pure chocolate heaven.  You can taste the love and care in which Andrea makes it.


A special thank you to Chef Brett McKee for being willing to try something new.  I humbly offer my gratitude to you. Om Shantih- Susan


Megan, Chef Brett McKee and Susan

Happy Vegans!




Friday, February 4, 2011

Guest Post by Joy Erickson

Five Guys Burgers and Fries may sound pretty scary for a vegan or vegetarian.  My friend Joy is here to tell you otherwise.  She has been vegetarian for many years.  She is an avid runner, animal activist and blogger.


This is Joy

  You can read her blog called "Yes Charleston...there is a blog" by clicking here.  En-JOY her vegetarian find at Five Guys!...



Five Guys:  By Joy Erickson

After being completely convinced that this place was completely focused on providing meat products and such, I went in with much hesitation. I only had intentions on purchasing fries. However, after walking in and learning of the cheese vegetable sandwich (and also just vegetable sandwich), I quickly learned they had the pleasure of serving all kinds of eaters.

 The sandwich was spectacular. Grilled mushrooms (separately from the cow), lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and onions mixed with a nice cheddar cheese sqooshed in between the nice sesame seed bun...it was truly heaven in my mouth. In addition, the potatoes used to make the homemade fries were nicely labeled on a blackboard in the restaurant. Needless, to say..I was very pleased and will frequent five guys over and over.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mellow Mushroom



Mega Veggie with Daiya Cheese AND my recycled napkin!

Mellow Mushroom has VEGAN CHEESE!  End of story..done...go there!  :)

Mellow Mushroom has very yummy pizza.  They have the best crust and a huge variety of toppings.  To "top" it off, he he, they have Daiya Vegan Cheese as an option at no extra charge!

Daiya cheese is tapioca based and completely made out of plant based ingredients.  It melts and taste just like mozzarella and can be found in any health food store...and at your local Mellow Mushroom!


Try any veggie topped pizza with some yummy vegan cheese!