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I am on Day 30 of trying to complete 30 Days of Vegetarian eating. This was lunch. Meaning I only technically have one meal – dinner – and possibly an evening snack to go before I can successfully say I did 30 days with zero meat. So to not bury the lead, that is why I’m eating vegan bacon this lovely Thursday afternoon.

Vegan bacon is an odd thing. It looks like a thick dark brown popsicle stick that is slightly chewy and flavored with liquid smoke and a lot of salt. You know just like real bacon. No seriously, it’s bacon-ish at best. While bacon-ish is the best I can say about the vegan bacon itself, I am happy to share that the B.L.T.A. (Tempeh Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado) I ate it in was pretty good.

You’re probably scratching your head wondering how can a chewy, smoke, salt popsicle shaped substance taste good in anything? It’s a fair thing to wonder, but I swear it really does work in this vegan version of a B.L.T.A. sandwich.

The combination of the fresh ingredients and vegan mayonnaise with the grilled sourdough bread makes it a solid sandwich and one I’d definitely order again, even if I wasn’t doing a no meat personal challenge. Does that mean this sandwich is better than the real thing – a B.L.T.A. with real “B”?  Possibly. I’ve had some poorly executed real B.L.T.A. sandwiches that I’d pass for the vegan alternative. I still prefer real bacon and yes I did miss it in the rest of this perfectly executed sandwich. And that’s okay. I survived vegan bacon and it wasn’t that bad when the rest is right.

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The sandwich comes with a couple choices for sides including mixed green salad, coleslaw or potato salad. I went with the potato salad.  I prefered this vegan version over the typical potato salad with egg whites which is something I pick around, as I’m not much of a fan of eggs. It was a nice compliment to the sandwich as I’m sure the salad or coleslaw would be as well.

Overall, I enjoyed this quick lunch.  The sandwich was reasonably priced at $12 including the side.

I look forward to coming back and trying some more from the menu. The Burrito Fore and some of the vegan tacos sound delicious.

Learn more about Flore Vegan on their website: http://florevegan.com/

Address: 3818 W. Sunset Blvd. Silverlake, CA 90026

Phone: (323) 953-0611

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Chicken Tikka Masala Poutine for #SundaySupper

On July 25, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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When I heard what this week’s Sunday Supper theme was I knew exactly what I wanted to make, since I had tried making the dish a month before and knew I was close to getting it right.

The theme this week is Copycats Recipes. Basically, recreate a recipe from a restaurant. Badmaash is an unique take on Indian located in downtown Los Angeles. They call themselves an Indian-Gastropub and that’s exactly what they are. One of the dishes they showcase a lot on their Instagram feed that I follow is a Chicken Tikka Poutine. They use a gravy with curds and add grilled Chicken Tikka to top it off.   Mine is a bit different and instead uses the rich tomato heavy cream sauce of a Tikka Masala in place of gravy.

For those who do not know, poutine is a French Canadian dish with fries, gravy, and cheese curds. There are a lot of variations on the dish with some adding pulled pork, beef and other options to go along with gravy, fries and curds.

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I was lucky this past week at the Studio City Farmer’s Market where I found some organic cheese curds from Spring Hill Jersey Cheese based in Petaluma, California.

While a Canadian friend of mine thinks the Badmaash dish here is blasphemous, I don’t care. It tastes great. Is it “poutine”? No, not by a strict definition, but it does taste amazing and is a great way to mix it up which is why I wanted to share it during this week’s Copycat Recipe for Sunday Supper!

Chicken Tikka Masala Poutine

Serves 2

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in bite-sized chunks
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
Juice from half a small lemon
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon of ghee or butter
½ medium onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon garma masala
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon paprika
pinch of cayenne powder
1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup cheese curds
chopped cilantro for garnish

Bag of frozen French Fries, Alexia is a good choice

Combine yogurt, lemon juice and spices in a bowl. Add the raw chicken and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 6 hours.

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Cook fries per the package instruction if using frozen. You can also make your own using your favorite recipe.

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When chicken is done marinating, heat broiler for 5 minutes moving rack so boiler is about 6-inches from rack. Place chicken evenly on aluminum foil, do not stack chicken pieces on top of each other and spread them out so they are easy to turn. Heat chicken for 4-6 minutes until you see chicken start to blacken, flip chicken using tongs and heat in broiler for another 3-5 minutes until browning occurs. Remove and set aside.

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Heat ghee or butter in pan on medium-high heat. Add the onions and let them cook for 5 minutes until translucent and not brown. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another couple minutes. Then add the tomato paste and stir cooking for a minute. Add the spices and combine finally pour in the can of diced tomatoes with the juice and stir letting it heat up for 4 minutes. Finally add the heavy cream and mix, once combined add the chicken you removed from the broiler. Cook on low heat until your fries are ready.

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When everything is done, place the fries on a dish and then add some of the Chicken Tikka Masala with sauce on top. Add some cheese curds and spoon over some more Chicken Tikka Masala letting the heat from the sauce melt the cheese. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top and serve.


 

Everyone has a favorite dish, dessert or drink available at a restaurant. This weekend, the #SundaySupper bloggers share copycat recipes for their favorite dine-out meals. Is your favorite on the list?

Drinks

Appetizers

Condiments

Main Courses

Side Dishes

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more greatSunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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We had an amazing Saturday thanks to a tip from one of Theo’s classmate’s mom.  There was a robot competition happening last Friday and Saturday between International teams with $3.5 million in prize money. The Robotics Challenge is one that has a real impact beyond the competition itself. The competition is really about improving technology in disaster relief response situations using robotics; the competition merely funds the research and innovation.

It’s a free event for the general public. You not only get to watch the robot teams compete in a series of tasks, but there are a number of booths that let you participate in hands-on demonstrations using robotic technologies. It’s a really fun experience for the kids and adults too.

We spent about three hours at the event, which was enough time to see one round of competition and fortunately for us we did see the First Place winner: Team KAIST. The challenges included walking out of a vehicle, opening a door, turning a wheel, cutting open a wall, removing tools from a shelf and finally walking up stairs. It was funny watching the audience react to each successful task with applause. It was like a nerdy sport competition. That’s not to say it was a bad thing, it was just kind of hilarious having a stadium full of people cheering on robots. We loved it.

The booths were interesting too. Our boys had opportunities to use a robotic hand to do tasks similar to what the competition robots did. They also were given robot licenses and controlled robots using game controllers. There were also demonstrations featuring some advanced robots from NASA, JPL, and many others in the robotics industry.

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Theo has a real love for robots and both boys are taking a robot LEGO programming class for summer school. They came away with more excitement about robots and robotics as a possible choice in their careers. Of course at 9 years old, decisions are likely to change. What’s important though is they were each inspired and wanted to know more about what it takes to become a robot engineer.

Thanks DARPA for providing such a great event and we are sure to attend next year too!

I’ll leave you with this a video someone put together using footage from DARPA of robots falling. Unfortunately, the version with a WWE wrestling voiceover was removed by the copyright owners… You’re welcome.

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My Meat Prayers have been Answered

On May 4, 2013, in Featured, Food, by Chris Baccus
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Thank you Meat God.

When we moved out of Texas last year to come back to my home state California, one thing I knew I’d miss was Burgundy Pasture Beef.  The ranch in Grandview, Texas was a gem in where I sourced my meats. We would drive to the ranch about every 6 weeks (it was a hour drive south of Dallas) and get $300-$400 of meat while enjoying some of the best burgers in my life. Life was good. I had found an amazing small ranch, grass-fed beef place I loved going to visit and support with my dollars.

Los Angeles is not Dallas. Or is it California is not Texas?

LA is not full of ranches within a hour drive and the area is known more for vegetarian, raw food which I love too, but it just isn’t a mecca for beef like Texas.  So I went around the local Farmers’ Markets and bought from a couple good grass-fed vendors.  Nothing was that impressive and at least I found some sources outside of the supermarkets or mail order.

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That’s when fate intervened.  We were interviewing some interns for a open position we had where I work and one of the interns mentioned she was doing social media for an organic, grass-fed butcher in Los Angeles called Lindy and Grundy. My ears perked up and I asked her to tell us more about the place, where it was and what she was learning about grass-fed meat. I noted the place and went to it that Saturday when the weekend arrived. I’ve been back since about four times.

Lindy & Grundy sells local, pastured raised, organic meats including beef, pork, chicken and a few other options. I had the pleasure this week of finally meeting one of the two owners Amelia Posada. She was great sharing how she spent some of her time growing up in Pasadena just like myself. I bought some beautiful baby back ribs, chicken, and Amelia’s family recipe pork carnitas.

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We had the carnitas tonight. Oh. My. God. They were delicious. The lard, oranges, garlic and spices brought out so much wonderful flavor I couldn’t stop eating. The shop was also selling fresh tortillas today from the Boyle Heights location of Guisados Tacos. Writing about this I’m now thinking of raiding the refrigerator to make another taco.

So while I love doing vegetarian/vegan meals every 3 to 4 times a week, having a great place to get high quality, sustainable, grass-fed meats is a blessing to my meat quest. Amen.

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