A Fresh Dille

I’ll be your sweetheart.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on February 22, 2011

This is the reason I venture to Veggie Grill.

The Sweetheart fries are fabulous on their own, but the Chipotle Ranch is what really makes these so tasty. The dip is begging to be recreated at home. The fries are always well seasoned and perfectly hot and crisp.

Obviously there are other great things on the menu, but since I am not the biggest faux-meat eater, my past favorite order was a gigantic Quinoa-infused, “All Hail Kale” salad.  The kale is marinated with red cabbage, roasted corn salsa, agave-roasted walnuts with a ginger-papaya vinaigrette and blackened tempeh. It is so tasty.

This weekend, I opted for a new-to-me choice, the “Chipotle BBQ” wrap-style (usually sandwiches come on a wheat bun) consisting of shredded veggie-steak, marinated in tangy BBQ sauce, with chipotle ranch, caramelized onion, lettuce, & tomato. I guess I couldn’t get enough of the Chipotle Ranch.

As you can see, it was a tad messy, but delicious none the less. The more I eat seitan, the more I enjoy the texture. Although tempeh is still top on my list for veggie protein, it is great to try new things I wouldn’t make at home and this was a prime example. On the side I had some steamed kale with ginger miso dressing. That is another dip/sauce/dressing I need to make ASAP.

Originally, I was going to order the “Bali Bliss,” filled with Indonesian styled tempeh, sautéed and grilled, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and chipotle ranch, but V beat me to it. He requested his tempeh blackened and added avocado. That’s my kinda man.

Oh, and these should also be mentioned.

V had ordered one of his favorite things, Nachos, without me even hearing. Already pretty stuffed with sweet potato fries and half my wrap, I tried a few “Uptown Nachos” to see how the chili, VG-cheese, corn salsa, avocado, soy cream, and jalapeno topped chips tasted. The chili, avocado, and corn salsa were wonderful, but the “cheese” was a little too much for me. It kind of reminded me of velveeta or the type of “fake tasting” cheese they serve on nachos at sports events. V made his way through them though.

My sister was also in attendance, but I somehow missed a shot of her “Bean Me Up Chili.” It was a red and white bean stew with a touch of soy cream, and chopped green & red onion. The soup had crispy slices of toast on the side for dipping, and she said it was wonderful. That girl knows her chili too.

Never one to go without dessert, I ordered a large vegan chocolate chip cookie with walnuts for us three to split.

These were another winner and the perfect amount of sweetness after a filling meal.

Veggie Grill is the kind of place I really appreciate in LA. Not only is the menu entirely vegan, healthy, and filled with comfort-like food, but it is an ideal place for non-veggies as well. My sister and V seemed to enjoy their meals as much as I. We will definitely be back.

– Do you have good veggie places in your area? Are you hesitant to take friends and family with you in fear of it being “too healthy” or boring?

– What is your favorite type of Veggie protein?

lots o’ love

Posted in FAMILY, FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on February 14, 2011

Alright, I know that I’ve been away much longer than I previously mentioned, but I must say that I am still all about the blog world. Yes, I am starting this post with an apology. I am sorry. An apology goes out to all my readers who have wondered where I’ve mysteriously disappeared to.  I promise it really isn’t too exciting. It’s always good to be busy, but as most of you know, blogging creates such a wonderful feeling. Sharing and reading others ideas about food, travel, yoga, etc. is something I can’t forget to let myself do.

So on this Valentines day, I decided that I should really go somewhere I love most, and that is the world of blogging.

Since moving to Los Angeles, finding an apartment (which I love, but have yet  to decorate), and starting a few different work projects, I haven’t had much time for pretty much, well, anything. When my last film finished, just a week ago, it was the first time I could breathe, and it happened to be the same time my sister would be coming to see if LA was a good fit for her, as well.

The list of veggie-friendly places I wish to visit in LA is ever-expanding, and my little sister is the perfect person to bring along. We are all about sharing, and so far, we’ve had some great eats at Seed in Venice, Le Pain Quotidien in West Hollywood, and M Cafe in West Hollywood. There was also the babycakes visit Friday night when V was wrapping up a day of filming Downtown. That cafe is too cute and just too good. We shared a chocolate chip cookie and a banana chocolate loaf slice (maybe this recipe with added chocolate chunks & topped with raw sugar, yum). We ate them on the car ride home, true story. Falling asleep by 10 p.m. is pretty standard these days.


Although I am not so into Valentines Day, I am into Valentines Day specials. When I heard M Cafe , my favorite nearby macrobiotic joint, was going to be having specials for the holiday, I brought my sister along for some chocolate-y goodness. We went for the Petit Fours, which were essentially tiny cakes covered in a rich ganache. They were tasty, but I was expecting something a little more truffle-like. My sister saw the gingerbread cookie on the counter, and we decided to go for it although it is an item on the regular menu. It really was a great choice and not one I would typically go for. It was chewy, sweet, and perfectly spiced. Later we will  break into my favorite item from the deli case, the kale salad with spicy peanut dressing. That stuff is addicting. Sometimes I grab a little container mid-work-day shop for a pick me up.

Lastly, just for kicks, here are our recent Le Pain Quotidien lunches.

The Tartines (open-faced sandwiches) are always delightful. I adored my Black Bean Hummus one with avocado, and spicy tahini spread. Lily also raved about hers, which was Ricotta with mission figs, black pepper, and acacia honey.

I hope everyone is having a truly great day. I hope to be stopping in more around here. I have a particular place in mind, I can’t wait to share with you.