A Search for Great Vegan Food in San Diego

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Jyoti-Bihanga: Vegan Friendly Sunday Brunch

NORMAL HEIGHTS.  People love Sunday brunch.  This includes vegans.  Unfortunately, most restaurants rely heavily on eggs, cheese, and bacon to spice up their brunch menus.  Which is why Jyoti-Bihanga’s vegan brunch is all the more special.  Jyoti-Bihanga offers a 100% vegetarian, vegan friendly, all you can eat, Sunday brunch every other weekend from 9am – 1pm for $10.95.


[caption id="attachment_2475" align="alignnone" width="536"]Jyoti-Bihanga Brunch Menu Sign Jyoti-Bihanga Brunch Menu Sign[/caption]


Jyoti-Bihanga’s breakfast buffet is impressive.  The restaurant lines up tables and sets out trays of delicious, home-cooked food.


[caption id="attachment_2472" align="alignnone" width="640"]Buffet Line Buffet Line[/caption]


At the first table, you pick up your plate and choose among a variety of fruits and nuts.


[caption id="attachment_2465" align="alignnone" width="640"]Fruit and Granola Fruit and Granola[/caption]


Next up, are the brown rice and refried beans.  The beans are particularly popular — even though Jyoti-Bihanga kept on refilling the trays, I never managed to get a picture when it was full!


[caption id="attachment_2468" align="alignnone" width="640"]Rice and Beans Rice and Beans[/caption]


And would what brunch be without crispy breakfast potatoes and mushroom gravy?


[caption id="attachment_2467" align="alignnone" width="640"]Potatoes and Gravy Potatoes and Gravy[/caption]


Then there’s my favorite part — the biscuits — which are excellent smothered in mushroom gravy — and whole wheat blueberry pancakes.


[caption id="attachment_2469" align="alignnone" width="640"]Biscuits and Blueberry Pancakes Biscuits and Blueberry Pancakes[/caption]


Jyoti-Bihanga makes it easy for vegans to enjoy their brunch, because they CLEARLY label everything!  Perfect example, the Apple Compote (I like to top of the blueberry pancakes with it).  There’s no need to wonder if there’s butter lurking in it, because Jyoti-Bihanga tells you it’s vegan!


[caption id="attachment_2470" align="alignnone" width="640"]Apple Compote Apple Compote[/caption]


After going through the buffet, you might have a plate that looks something like this.  And yes, you can go back as many times as you want for more!


[caption id="attachment_2471" align="alignnone" width="640"]Brunch Plate Brunch Plate[/caption]


Jyoti-Bihanga also sets up a table for beverages and condiments.  Here, you can find drinks like tea, coffee, and soymilk and toppings like syrup, ketchup, and hot sauce.


[caption id="attachment_2473" align="alignnone" width="640"]Drink Table Drink Table[/caption]


Once you have gathered your food and drink, you can grab any open seat.  Jyoti-Bihanga is a bright and cheery place to eat.  Eating Sunday brunch here is sure to start your day of right!


[caption id="attachment_2474" align="alignnone" width="640"]Jyoti-Bihanga Interior Jyoti-Bihanga Interior[/caption]


3351 Adams Ave

San Diego, CA 92116




Vegan Date Bars

It would be impossible for me to overstate my feelings about dates.  Quite simply, I love them.  I tried my first fresh date three years a go when I arrived in California.  I was hooked, after my first bite into this sweet fruit.  They tasted so good – almost like a caramel candy!  So you can imagine how happy I was when I found out that dates not only are tasty but also are healthy!  Dates are good sources of fiber, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants.  Click on the link below to find out more about the benefits of eating dates.



One of my favorite recipes using dates comes from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Joy of Vegan Baking: The Compassionate Cooks’ Traditional Treats and Sinful Sweets.



I have been very happy with all of the recipes I have made from The Joy of Vegan Baking.  The Date Bars – a sweet date filling sandwiched between delicious, oat layers – are no exception.


[caption id="attachment_1786" align="alignnone" width="640"]Date Bars on Table Date Bars on Table[/caption]


To get started, gather up your ingredients!


[caption id="attachment_1766" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Date Bar Ingredients Vegan Date Bar Ingredients[/caption]


Remove the pits from the dates.  I suggest wetting your hands during the “de-pitting” process, as it makes the dates easier to handle.  I like to use either Medjool or Barhi dates, but I’m sure there are other types that would work as well!


[caption id="attachment_1767" align="alignnone" width="640"]Pitted Dates Pitted Dates[/caption]


Next, chop up the dates.


[caption id="attachment_1768" align="alignnone" width="640"]Chopped Dates Chopped Dates[/caption]


Add the dates, vanilla, and salt to the boiling water.  This is when delicious aromas will begin to fill your kitchen.  This date mixture tastes good on its own.  I highly recommend taking a time out for a taste test!


[caption id="attachment_1769" align="alignnone" width="640"]Filling Ingredients on Stove Filling Ingredients on Stove[/caption]


Assemble all of the ingredients for the oat layers in a bowl…


[caption id="attachment_1770" align="alignnone" width="640"]Topping Ingredients in Bowl Topping Ingredients in Bowl[/caption]


And combine!


[caption id="attachment_1771" align="alignnone" width="640"]Topping Ingredients Mixed Together Topping Ingredients Mixed Together[/caption]


Take half of the oat layer mixture, and press it into the greased baking pan.


[caption id="attachment_1772" align="alignnone" width="640"]1st Layer: Date Bars 1st Layer: Date Bars[/caption]


Then add the date mixture…


[caption id="attachment_1773" align="alignnone" width="640"]Date Filling Date Filling[/caption]


And spread evenly.


[caption id="attachment_1774" align="alignnone" width="640"]2nd Layer: Date Filling 2nd Layer: Date Filling[/caption]


Add the second oat layer on top of the date mixture, and press it down gently with your hands.


[caption id="attachment_1775" align="alignnone" width="640"]3rd Layer: Topping 3rd Layer: Topping[/caption]


It’s now ready for the oven!


[caption id="attachment_1776" align="alignnone" width="640"]Side View Date Bars Side View Date Bars[/caption]


Keep in mind that it is best to allow the bars to cool before cutting.


[caption id="attachment_1777" align="alignnone" width="640"]Date Bars with Corner Cut Out Date Bars with Corner Cut Out[/caption]


The Date Bars are perfect for any time of the day.  Their coffee cake like consistency make them a great breakfast or brunch treat, and they work well as a mid-day snack or as a dessert at the end of a meal.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!


[caption id="attachment_1783" align="alignnone" width="640"]Stack of Date Bars Stack of Date Bars[/caption]

Vegan Date Bars
  • Filling
  • 1.25 cups water
  • 16-18 dates Medjool dates or 32-36 Barhi dates, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Oat Layer
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup non-dairy butter (like Earth Balance), melted
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup water (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Grease an 8 x 8 pan
  3. To make filling, bring water to boil and add chopped dates, vanilla, and salt.
  4. Allow to simmer until dates are soft
  5. To make the oat layer, mix oats, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, non-dairy butter, and canola oil
  6. Stir until combined. Add additional water if necessary. Mixture should be moist but not wet.
  7. Press half of the oat layer into the greased pan.
  8. Spread date mixture over crust.
  9. Press other half of the oat layer over date layer.
  10. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool, and cut into bars.
  12. Enjoy immediately, or store in airtight container.