April 9, 2008

prettie/vegan weekend!

I spent this past weekend with my prettie/vegan best friend, Erin. Every year we try to see each other at *least* twice. She came down to visit this past weekend and we had loads of fun trying some vegan treats in the Bay Area! Of course we’re both really into food- so we did some damage at a few places…..

I started off by making Penne with Pesto, Asparagus & Roasted Pine-nuts (all vegan) for dinner on Thursday:

vegan pesto penne


  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance Margarine
  • 2 heaping tablespoons Better Than Cream Cheese
  • 2 bunches asparagus cut into little pieces
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • handful of pine nuts
  • handful of walnuts
  • a large batch of the pesto from the link below for recipe & ingredients
  • 1 1lb package penne

To make the pesto part of this dish- follow my pesto recipe but omit the parmesan. I added more pine nuts and a handful of walnuts in this batch!

After you cut the asparagus, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a frying pan and cook the asparagus in the pan on medium heat. (It’s really good if you brown them a bit but do not over cook!) It should take about 5-7 minutes. Splash a teaspoon or two of the garlic powder in with the asparagus.

Once finished, set aside the asparagus and add the pine nuts to the pan. Toast them in the pan for about 5-8 minutes until they turn brown. Be sure to not over cook them as you don’t want nuts that look like coffee beans in your pasta! ack!

Once the pasta is cooked, drain into a strainer and reserve a little bit of the pasta water. Put the pasta back in the pot and drop the remaining 2 tablespoons of the margarine in. Mix until pasta is coated.

Add the Better Than Cream cheese to the penne and stir. The penne mixture might get really thick…so start adding a bit of the reserved pasta water. Now add your pesto (the more the merrier!!!!) Then add the asparagus and pine nuts. I saved a bit of each to garnish on top of the served pasta. Stir it up and add some fresh lemon juice!

***This pasta was excellent the second day! I even had some a few days later. Just add some more lemon juice to freshen it up! It’s sooo tasty. This recipe serves about 4-5 people. There were 3 of us who had second helpings and there was tons left over! It would be a great dish to make on a Sunday night and continue to eat for the next few days. ***

It’s really good if you add Parmesan on it….I’m just saying….

Back to the visit….

We spent the day shopping in the city on Friday with another good friend and had sushi at a place called Cha-Ya in the Mission.

Here’s our table & the sea vegetable salad I ordered:

cha- ya  --- san francisco seaweed salad

next we had edamame & the best miso soup I’ve ever had:

edamame the best miso ever!

we devoured avocado rolls/avocado tempura rolls & eggplant nigiri:

avocado roll/avocado tempura roll/asparagus nigirl/eggplant nigiri eggplant nigiri

fell in love with veggie tempura & the vegan roll:

veggie tempura the vegan roll

On Saturday, we went to Fraiche in Palo Alto to get some soy frozen yogurt:

my usual at fraiche!

i asked for a splash of almonds tasty

And for the big blow out, we went to Millennium in SF on Saturday night with my parents for a fab meal!

millenium- SF  vegan restaurant!!

here’s our table & the menu:

our table the menu

we HAD to order the mushroom flatbread pizza & garlic fries:

mushroom flatbread/pizza garlic fries!!!  still dreaming of these

scarfed down some fried mushrooms & avocado grapefruit salad

fried mushrooms avocado & grapefruit salad

I ordered wild cherry & chard roulade & Erin picked the smoked tempeh with sweet potato mash

i ordered the roulade erin's smoked (?) tempeh!

Casey got the edamame & shiitake cakes & I drank a sparkling grape soda with mint

edamame & shitake cakes --SOOO GOOD! sparkling grape drink with mint!

For dessert…

coconut rosewater panna cotta with strawberry sorbet & pecan orange cake with mint julep sorbet

coconut rosewater panna cotta pecan orange cake with mint julep sorbet

And of course…the sweet indulgence plate & a ginger lemon digestive drink to end!

sweets! ginger & lemon digestive

Also during the weekend we:

– binged on the first season of Carnivale (love!)

– stayed up til 3am chatting

– went to Target, Sephora, H&M, & GAP

– ate our weight in bagel chips

-snacked on some ginger almond cookies

-tried to do pedicures…but gave them the cold shoulder

-had a drink with a friend

-shared home ideas over coffee & vegan pastries

-found out our good friend is having a baby girl!

-met an illustrator who had a high strung dog that bit my finger

It was such a good weekend. Thank you woot! I love you!

  • regan

    jparks and I just finished watching all of Carnivale. At the end of the final episode we were both yelling at the tv “No! We need more!”

  • Tracy

    regan- isn’t that always the case? I felt that way about so many shows that were canceled…. I am going to try to savor each episode!!!

  • Melisser

    Sounds like a fabulous weekend! Yay for vegan recipes!

  • wootowl

    thank you for being the hostess with the mostess! i miss you SO MUCH already… we really need to move closer together, or find jobs that require that we commute to eachother. this distance is unacceptable. I LOVE YOU!!!

  • Wheeler

    Wow, wish I could have tagged along, all that food looks amazing! Especially that asparagus penne, that literally made my mouth water. Didn’t even know that expression was serious!

  • regan

    I kept telling myself “You know this show got canceled before it’s full run so don’t get sucked in” but I couldn’t really help it. It’s so pretty just to watch, that alone should have earned it another season.

  • tracy

    wheeler: it was pretty mouth watering! you should try it!

    woot: i miss you too…if only we lived closer. if only you were my next door neighbor. i think the hubbs would get annoyed though!

    melisser: you will have to take me to the vegan ice cream sandwich place!

    regan: agreed! so pretty!

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