Friday, April 06, 2007

Vegan Pizza @ Cootie Brown's

Well, I didn't have to go to work today since it was a holiday, so I spent the morning messing around with my raw "bread" that I put into the dehydrator yesterday. It's basically a mix of sprouted buckwheat, soaked flax seeds, carrots, and some spices like curry, garlic & rosemary. You just put all of that together in the food processor and blend it up and then spread it on the dehydrator trays and dry it down until it's bread-like, or cracker-like, whatever you want. I actually tasted of the wet stuff, straight from the food processor, and it was actually very yummy. I could definitely see using it as a Live Dip for some raw veggies. In fact, I ate quite a few pieces of raw carrot dipped in some of the leftovers and it was very delicious. It went into the dehydrator yesterday evening and should be done sometime today. But anyway, when lunch time rolled around, I pretty much decided that I would like to go out for lunch. I had no idea that it would be SO crowded out today, but I guess everybody else in the country had the same urge I did, to go out and eat for lunch on their day off.

Eating out here where I live, and being able to eat something that's both yummy & vegan, of course limits my choices significantly. One place that I can always count on though is Cootie Brown's. That's why it shows up so often in my blog. Unfortunately for most people who read this blog, there are only two of these and they're right here where I live & work. I wish everybody could try their food, but I'm also a little selfish and am so thankful that they are here where I live. Since it can sometimes be a challenge to find vegan food when you eat out, having a little gem like Cootie Brown's around, which offers several different delicious things that can easily be made vegan, is a lifesaver.

I went there today with my best friend and it was PACKED. We ordered the Mexicana pizza which comes topped with black beans, red onions, green peppers, sliced jalapeno peppers, roasted chilies, roasted red peppers & black olives. It normally comes with Monterey Jack & Cheddar Cheese on it, but I, of course, left those off to make my pizza vegan. I'm sure it's delicious just like that, with absolutely no cheese on it, but look at the picture of my pizza. What is that? It looks like it has cheese on it. Have I renounced my veganism?

No way. Believe it or not, it's actually some Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella (the BEST vegan mozzarella cheese replacement, in my opinion, and that of a bunch of other people). I cubed some up and took it to the restaurant with me in a little plastic storage container. Once I got there, the owner and his wife actually happened to be there so I asked them if they would mind putting my vegan "cheese" on the pizza instead of the actual cheese that they normally use. They didn't mind at all. AWESOME!

It's still kinda' blocky, because if you've ever used the FYH cheese before then you know that you usually have to hit it with the broiler at the end of your cooking in order to get it to really melt up. But they were extremely busy today and I kinda' felt bad about springing this on them right in the middle of such a rush, so I didn't request any special cooking adjustments or anything, I was just thankful that they would actually put my vegan cheese on my pizza. Some of it melted, and it all got nice & creamy, so it was VERY delicious. We only ate half of it at the restaurant. I brought the other half home and I'll probably zap it under the broiler in the toaster oven tonight for a late night snack. That'll be goooooooooooood.

And get this, the owner's wife rang me up and she said that they would actually look into getting that vegan "cheese" and offering it at the restaurants as an option on their pizzas! WOW! I made the comment that they probably wouldn't need very much since there probably wouldn't be many people ordering it and she told me that there are actually quite a few vegans who eat there regularly. Who are these other vegans here where I live? I wonder if they read my blog?

Speaking of people who read my blog, after I got done at Cootie Brown's I FINALLY visited Melanie's soap & candle shop. She's a local reader of my blog and frequent contributor in the comments section, in case you have no idea who I am talking about. It's so cool to meet someone in the real world that I met through blogging. I had already tried some of her soap, which I purchased in a local health food store, but I used all of that up and was in need of some more. So I already knew that I loved her stuff. Her store (and it's where she makes all of her stuff too) is REALLY neat. I ended up buying a few bars for me (I got the Vanilla Bean, Nag Champa (I love that smell), and some kind of Japanese Grapefruit) and a few bars for my mom. It's her birthday and I know that she'll love this soap when she gets it. Melanie even fixed it up all nice for me in a basket so it's all ready for giving as a birthday gift. Thanks Melanie! Even if you don't live near here, you can still order some of her awesome soap online (it's all vegan, except one with honey in it). It's all homemade and full of such yummy stuff. I just love the look and feel of homemade soap. It's almost like something that you should eat instead of wash with. If you're into fancy handmade soaps, you will really like her stuff. It's REALLY nice.

Oh yeah, I met her daughter Storm and her two kitties too. Hi Storm!

So there you have it, a little vegan adventure on my day off. I had some awesome vegan pizza, and maybe even started the ball rolling on a local pizza place serving vegan pizza, and picked up some awesome vegan soap too. Not a bad way to spend a chilly Friday.

So thanks for reading the blog this week. See everybody on Monday.

Happy Easter!


Mary said...

Ken, that would be very awesome if they started offering vegan cheese. I'm glad that they are so open minded.

I want to try Amy's pizza now. I'm still debating whether to buy it, because I won't eat the whole thing myself. If an omni would like it, I'd buy it for me and my boyfriend. What do you think?

kennyboy said...

I would bet that he would like it. There's so much fat in it that probably anyone would think it was good. I shared mine with a vegetarian friend and his comment was, "This is really good, but you can tell that there's a lot of fat in it."

It's not that big. It's the same size as all their other pizzas, which I think is kinda' small, but it's still around 1000 calories, so yeah, eating the whole thing yourself would probably not be a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken, just wanted to say Happy Easter and thanks for the blog. I love reading your friendly chat, especially since it's vegan. Most of the vegan stuff I read is very activist-oriented and hard core so it is so nice to just read everyday stuff (for my sanity). BTW the raw stuff sounds interesting but I'm glad it's you and not me. I have a dehydrator for fruit and stuff and it takes so long to dry, I couldn't wait that long for dinner to 'cook'. Wish I was in your town to catch up for a vegan day! Best wishes, Tina

bazu said...

What a fun post. I'm glad about the potential vegan pizza offering, and Melanie's soaps sound and look beautiful. You are right, handmade soaps are the best. Have a great weekend!

Kris said...

That's so great that the restaurant owners are interested in getting some FYH cheese! How cool! That pizza looks delicious. What a fun day, I wish I'd had work off to romp around and play yesterday!

Veganluv said...

I just read the ingredients on the soap sampler set and one of the ingredients is "organic comb honey". I'm not too sure if that's vegan?

kennyboy said...

Yeah, I guess I should have been more specific.

All of her soap is vegan except for one, and I guess it's in the sampler.

There's info there on the top of one of her pages where it says everything is vegan except the one with honey in it.

I probably should have mentioned that.

Melanie said...

hi ken, thanks for clarifying on that. with the samplers, you pick whatever varieties of soap you want to try. rather than have a page-long ingredients list, i just did a "May Contain..." thing to cover the various ingredients that are in different stuff. it is true that the only non-vegan product i make is the Honeyed Amber soap, and it does contain either Really Raw brand honey or some honey that i get from a friend of mine who raises her own bees. absolutely everything else in the line is vegan-safe - even the Honeyed Amber fragrance in sugar scrub, skin oil and lotion forms are free of the honey, it only goes into the soap itself.

by the way, thanks for coming into the store the other day, it was great to meet you and your friend. and in case anyone is wondering, the answer is YES - ken is just as advertised, he's exactly what you'd expect from reading his site. just a very nice, articulate, down to earth person. it was great to meet him and talk to him.

Neva Vegan said...

Oooh, I love Melanie's soaps! She's one cool lady.

I'm visiting your blog because you're nominated. Congratulations!!

Melanie said...

is that the Neva i know, or a *new* one?

*goes to stalk neva*