Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Vegan Valentine's Day Dinner at Infusion Tea


I've been asking my husband to take me to the Very Vegan Valentine's Day Dinner at Infusion Tea ever since they started offering it.  He has had an excuse every year, including the popular "I only like YOUR vegan food" excuse.  Well, last week while he was in San Diego I finally decided to just go.  I took my mom and my younger daughter as my "dates" and we enjoyed a 5 course dinner with a room full of couples.  Kind of awkward, but whatever!  I think we had more fun :-)

The lights were dimmed and the added touch of a soloist singing soft romantic songs was really nice. It was enough that we could still have a conversation without being overpowered by singing or the music.

Wine or tea was offered as soon as we sat down.  Of course, I must have wine on Valentine's Day so I opted for the Pinot Grigio.  My daughter had a red herbal tea!

First course was a sort of Borscht soup with the name "Apricot, Beet and Cumin Soup" and was very flavorful with a nice texture.  I could have had two bowls of it, I enjoyed it that much.  The bread served with it didn't really compliment it that well. I think a small side salad with citrus would have paired better.

The second course was a "Cedar Roasted Carrot Salad with Tofu and Carrot Pesto" and it was so nicely presented I dove in and started eating without thinking about taking a photo until my plate was almost empty...sorry, it really was that good!

So here we have the third course, a "Vegetable Wellington with Compari Tomato Coulis".  The vegetables were well seasoned but the pastry itself tasted a bit dry.   Maybe a "Vegetable Galette" would have kept a moist pastry crust...just a thought.

The final course was a "Cocoa Rose Mini Cake".  This paired well with a Merlot wine, but the cake was more like a chocolate rose infused cupcake with too much frosting.  I liked better the mini chocolate and berries served along side it as a garnish...I could have eaten two or three of those :-)

All in all, I think the Very Vegan Valentine's Dinner is a great place to take a Valentine's date, whether they are vegan or not.  The atmosphere is casual yet elegant, and the service is excellent.  A big thanks to the owners Brad and Christina for fitting us in at the 7pm seating with only 8 hours notice.  I know how hard it is to work a kitchen when you have a restaurant full of people being seated all at the same time and I felt that the owner, the wait staff and chef handled this beautifully.  I look forward to Infusion Tea's next 5 course dinner, the Vegan Fall Harvest Dinner...with my husband or not!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Raw Food Swap!

A friend of mine started a "Raw Food Swap" last summer and we've been swapping on and off...well mostly off.  When life gets hectic, this is the first thing everybody drops!  So, we swap when we can and we are always glad that we did even though it can be stressful to try to prepare everything in time on a busy weekday.  We put everything in these mason jars and bring them in a cooler to a local health food store for the swap.  One of the friends has a truck, so we usually meet at the back of her truck!

The food gets prepared the day of the swap, or at least I prepare it the day of the swap...maybe others do the day before if they are using a dehydrator.  It's so super fresh and everything looks so vibrant and delicious that it all gets eaten when I bring it home.  Not by me, but by my KIDS and my HUBBY!  Yeah, I have to pry it out of their hands.  This is a good thing.  I'm not complaining, but I am sort of because I'd actually like to have more than a taste of each jar I receive!   Especially on the desserts :-)