vegan eats in Orlando (with a cameo appearance by Cocoa Beach!)

March 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm (eating out)

I consider my living situation pretty lucky; my house is situated in the middle of downtown, biking distance to tons of great restaurants and cafes, including an almost unreasonable amount of vegan ones. so let’s explore all the ones I’ve visited and documented so far.

first and foremost, my favorite cafe in downtown Orlando (if not all of Florida) is the Drunken Monkey. they’re on 444 North Bumby Avenue, hilariously next door to the Beefy King and a stone’s throw away from Etoile, a great vintage boutique. they offer a variety of food for omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans, and it all ranges from paninis, wraps, burritos, hot dogs, soups, paellas, to the best baked goods everrrrrrrrrrr. seriously, if my wallet permitted, the Drunken Monkey would make me the fattest, happiest, sassiest person in the world off of their oatmeal bars, marshmallow brownies, and ANZAC cookies alone. and yes, their marshmallow brownies are vegan. praises be sung because they are glorious. another thing I really love about the Drunken Monkey is that they don’t have a static menu, so you can come in every day and they’ll have something you’ve never tried before. and I can almost guarantee you it’s gonna be good.

ANZAC cookies and one of the many adorable bottled drinks they offer.


the blood orange herbal tea, from their long list of great varieties. if you've never had blooming tea, definitely try it at the Drunken Monkey. it amuses me to no end.


marshmallow brownie, oatmeal bar, and an ANZAC cookie. I could live off of these if I had to (and would love to).


he samosa wrap, one of my favorites. the only downfall of their rotating menu is that I can't get this whenever I want (but I know they'll have something else that's just as good so it's not even a big deal).

up next is Raphsodic, a 100% vegan bakery co-op that just recently opened on 710 N. Mills Ave. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting them a few times and have yet to not be impressed. last time I was there they had a reasonable selection of gluten free goodies that I would have tried if I hadn’t been tempted by the coconut chocolate banana pie instead.

a toasted coconut and almond brownie and the very first scone I ever had (which was deeelicious).


the aforementioned slice of pie, which was so good I ate it all on my way to work with my bare hands.

then of course there’s Ethos, Orlando’s very own (only?) 100% vegan restaurant, located on 1235 North Orange Avenue. you really can’t be a vegan in Orlando without having been to Ethos at least once in your life. and it’s definitely worth a visit. unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of the foods I’ve even there, but I’ve had their Samson burger (my favorite, highly recommended!), the philly, and the sheep’s pie. and of course their cookies which are omnomnomnom good. people swear up and down about their mac and cheese, but I haven’t had the opportunity to pay them a visit on Saturdays yet so I apparently am seriously missing out. hopefully I’ll find out sooner than later!

and then we have Tony’s Deli, a teensy little Mediterranean restaurant on 1323 North Mills Avenue that I always knew was vegetarian friendly but was surprised to find out that they’re actually pretty much 99% vegan and extremely accommodating. everything is handmade there, including their doughs and such, so their spinach pies and baklavas are vegan!

falafel, spinach pie, and an awesome salad.

though it’s not an Orlando-only staple, we also have the Loving Hut, whose quality of food is only slightly surpassed by its creepiness. but I brave it out and drink their green smoothies and ignore the fact that there might be some kind of brainwashing agent in them. (if you don’t know what I’m alluding to, obviously you’ve never been. pay them a visit and watch their TV for a little bit and you’ll see exactly what I mean.) last Sunday I got to experience their all-you-can-eat buffet for the first time ever! it’s from 3PM to 9PM every Sunday and it’s about $10 per person. here’s my suggestion: bring a computer, book, or something to occupy your time with and spend the whole day there partaking in their delicious food. you’ll most certainly get your money’s worth that way and trust me, they are waaaay too polite/sedated to kick you out. once again, no pictures because for some reason I deleted them all. some subconscious reason that drives me to worship the almighty vegan master, perhaps?

last but not least, there’s the Green Room Cafe in Cocoa Beach, on 222 N. 1st Street. I spent a night there during my spring break and it was the only vegan-friendly restaurant in the five-mile vicinity of my hotel (not counting the co-op which closed at 7PM). they’re great! I had the Golden Fold, which is a wrap consisting of rice, pineapple, tofu, and tons o’ greens, with an uhhhhmazing sauce. I’m not even a huge fan of pineapple, but I really enjoyed it juxtaposed to everything else. if you’re ever in or around Cocoa, definitely pay the Green Room Cafe a visit. they’re super duper nice there too. :>

that salsa was damn good too.

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real food?! no way.

March 17, 2010 at 10:16 pm (alt-meat, raw)

for being a ‘healthy’ vegan blog, this sure has been filled with tons of sugar and fat lately. oops. sorry, sometimes I can’t help myself and I go into a baking frenzy for a couple days… or weeks. but life is back on track and here are some of my latest culinary adventures!


black bean burger and wrap, both extremely delicious! I used Fat Free Vegan’s black bean burger recipe with a few tweaks: I subbed the rice, pepper, and onion for a slow-cooked stuffed pepper with rice and carrots that I had in the fridge. for the burgers, I made the buns using this recipe and they turned out good enough, albeit a little hard.


my first seitan! I used Veganomicon’s recipe with great success (and great ugliness). it was fantastic on an open faced sandwich with rosemary focaccia bread (also from Veganomicon), lettuce, and tomato. simplicity at it’s best!


my copy of Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen came in and I had fun with a few recipes from there. the first is the butternut squash ‘rice’ with walnuts. I let my friends and coworkers tried this and they were shocked at how rice-like the texture was and how great it tasted. I absolutely loved it as well. then I tried the sunburgers and they were… not my thing. not saying they’re bad, just not what I’m into. a bit bland also.


my very first granola! I looked through some recipes for a basic guide and then just kinda made up everything as I went along. flavor-wise it was spectacular, texture and form-wise I wasn’t too happy with. I was going for more of a granola BAR and it was just too crumbly and flaky for that. so I’ll definitely be trying again, and as soon as I’m successful I’ll post my recipe. :>


stir-fry based on Fat Free Vegan’s Hot and Sour Shirataki Noodles recipe. shirataki noodles seem to get so much flack from the vegan community for being gross and smelly, but I actually genuinely like them. yeahhhh the odor’s a little weird at first, but it’s nothing a thorough rinsing won’t get out! and once everything’s cooked and flavored it’s completely gone anyway. don’t get me wrong, real pasta is far superior to this, but it’s also far fattier and I just can’t really bring myself to eat it anymore, so I’m just glad shirataki noodles are here to satiate my cravings.


glorious cheesy scrambled breakfast burritos. these were the bomb. the only complaint I got about them was from my roommate who said they’d be better with real cheese. wellllll sucks for her. I really wish I could remember where I got my cheese sauce recipe from but I can’t for the life of me find it. well, I’m sure I’ll be making these again sooner than later and when I do I’ll meticulously write down and bookmark everything so I can share, because these are so worth it. in fact I really want one right now. or two. or four. D:

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Food Matters

March 3, 2010 at 11:58 pm (health, movies)

I just got done watching this and oh man let me tell you, it was pretty powerful. Food Matters is a documentary dealing with the state of health and nutrition in the world today. they go into detail about raw, organic diets, the importance of vitamins, and the causes and preventions of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic illnesses. I was honestly shocked and appalled at some of the things mentioned in this, especially many of the statistics (like how the number of deaths from cancer has more than doubled since Nixon put billions of dollars into medicinal research into the field over 30 years ago; lol wut). on top of that, they do nothing but reassure just how simple and logical it is to be healthy. this is a really really great movie. it’s done nothing but justify my choice in going vegan. I highly recommend checking Food Matters out if you are concerned at all about the things you put in your body and what they have the ability to do to you.

here’s the trailer:

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an unreasonable amount of baking

March 2, 2010 at 3:44 am (desserts, recipe, vegan)


in an even more unreasonable amount of time. for the past few days, that’s all I’ve been doing. and here are the fruits of my labors:

heavenly biscuits from Flavor Vegan. on their own I thought they were a tad bland, but a nice buttery spread really complimented them.


chocolate chocolate chip walnut cookies from Veganomicon. they might look ugly, but they sure did taste amazing!


peanut butter, chocolate chip, and banana coconut cookies I made on a whim one night to bring in to work the next day. the unanimous favorite amongst pretty much everyone were the banana coconut, and I’m going to try and experiment with turning them into muffins sometime soon.


satanic sugar cookies from The Gluttonous Vegan for my beloved friend Danny.


peanut butter chocolate brownies I made today to use up the rest of the peanut butter I bought (since I’m not a big fan of it in general). I modified this recipe, here’s what mine consisted of:
ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 mashed bananas
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 oz melted semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup soymilk

directions:

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees. lightly crease a 9×13 baking pan.
  • in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.
  • in a large bowl, mix bananas and sugar until smooth. add peanut butter and melted chocolate and cream together.
  • mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients and milk gradually.
  • bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into mixture comes out clean.
  • let cool and decorate with either homemade or store bought frosting (I used Funfetti).

nutritional information:
makes about 16 decent-sized servings

  • calories: 232
  • fat: 10g
  • sodium: 83mg
  • carbs: 32g
  • fiber: 2g
  • sugar: 11g
  • protein: 6g

not bad for brownies! and they’re very rich tasting, so you really wouldn’t be able to tell that they’re fairly low-calorie. thank goodness for bananas. :>

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