A Search for Great Vegan Food in San Diego

Tag Archives: chocolate

HealthForce: Vegan Vanilla Protein Plus

Protein powders seem to be taking over supermarket shelves and not in a good way.  Many of the containers promise increased muscle and endurance using powders laden with chemicals and artificial flavors.  I want wholesome (and vegan!) ingredients to fuel me during my workouts.  Undeterred, I began sampling protein powders.  After sampling some chalky, bland tasting brands, I tried HealthForce, who I’ve read have the best range of protein powders.  I knew I had my winner.

 

 

HealthForce protein powder is 100% raw, vegan, gluten free, and non-GMO.  The protein powder is made from a base of organic, sprouted brown rice and organic hemp.  HealthForce then adds in nopal cactus for endurance and blood sugar function, arctic root for endurance, vanilla bean, whole stevia leaf, and a variety of enzymes.

 

IMG_5059

 

Personally, I like HealthForce vanilla protein powder mixed with almond milk, although it is also delicious when mixed with coconut water and in smoothies.  It tastes like a vanilla milkshake.  I love that I can see the small black specks of real vanilla bean!  The protein powder is great for a pre or post workout drink.  It takes the edge off my hunger before a workout without making me feel heavy and helps me not overeat after a workout.

 

[caption id="attachment_2074" align="alignnone" width="535"]Warrior Force Vanilla Protein Supplement in Mason Jar Warrior Force Vanilla Protein Supplement in Mason Jar[/caption]

 

HealthForce also has a chocolate protein powder.  I haven’t had a chance to try the chocolate flavor yet, but I’m guessing that the cacao powder and cinnamon listed as ingredients on the label ensure it taste delicious!  Did I mention that the packaging is made out of recycled material? Definitely a product worth trying!

 

For more information on HealthForce’s products, check out their website at:

http://healthforce.com/

Eclipse Chocolate New Years Resolution Dinner

[caption id="attachment_1984" align="alignnone" width="640"]Eclipse Chocolate Sign Eclipse Chocolate Sign[/caption]

 

SOUTH PARK.  “There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.” – Linda Grayson

So Eclipse Chocolate is clearly a true friend.   Eclipse Chocolate understands that chocolate should not be confined to desserts, demonstrated by a menu that weaves dark chocolate into appetizers, entrees, and drinks.  But wait, it gets better.

Each month, Eclipse Chocolate offers “Supper Club” – a themed multi-course tasting dinner.  The themes change, but each Supper Club dish features chocolate, vanilla bean, or caramel.  Yes, even the savory dishes.  (Especially the savory dishes!)  And Eclipse offers wine or beer pairings for each dish.

Supper Club usually lands on a Friday or Saturday night.  Multiple seating times are available.  Reservations are crucial.  To reserve space, call (619) 578-2984.  A full calendar of upcoming Supper Club Events can be found at:

http://eclipsechocolate.com/events/

I attended the New Years Resolution Supper Club.  I owe a special thanks to Katherine and Sean for finding out about it and passing along the news.  So let’s get started . . .

 

Drink:

 

I am an eavesdropper.  I eavesdrop.  It’s what I do.  Within minutes of arriving, I heard one of the servers talking about a Chocolate Chai tea.  Suspecting that chocolate tea in a restaurant specializing in chocolate was going to be pretty special, I ordered one.  I recommend it.  The tea has a rich, chocolate taste with a great blend of spices.

 

[caption id="attachment_1985" align="alignnone" width="640"]Chocolate Tea Chocolate Tea[/caption]

 

Starter:

 

First, we shared the Avocado Street Tacos.  The mini tacos arrived (obviously way cuter than regular tacos), and we picked up the hickory salted corn tortillas that encased panko crusted fried avocados, vanilla bean pickled cabbage, and black bean pico de gallo.  The tart pickled cabbage and spicy pico de gallo added powerful flavor to the smooth and creamy avocado interior.  In short, the tacos were a perfect starter.

 

[caption id="attachment_1986" align="alignnone" width="640"]Avocado Street Tacos Avocado Street Tacos[/caption]

 

Eclipse Chocolate First Course:

 

Next was the black bean soup, made from roasted veggies, caramelized onion, and black beans.  Served with fried tortilla chips, pickled red onion, vanilla bean salt, and chive, this soup could stand on its own as a meal.

 

[caption id="attachment_1987" align="alignnone" width="640"]Black Bean Soup Black Bean Soup[/caption]

 

Eclipse Chocolate Second Course:

 

Eclipse Chocolate offered two options for the second course: (1) Spicy Farro Poblano; and (2) the Crispy Quinoa Fritter.

 

Spicy Farro Poblano:

 

Farro, roasted veggies, and kale spilled out of a spicy, herb roasted poblano pepper.  Eclipse drizzled brute cocoa mole on top.  The mole was amazing.   In my opinion, chocolate should be drizzled liberally on every dish!  Did I use my fork to scrape every last bit of it off my plate? Absolutely.  So how did they make the dish even better?  By adding a side of fried plantains, mixed with jalapeno peach salsa.  A truly special entrée.

 

[caption id="attachment_1988" align="alignnone" width="640"]Spicy Farro Poblano Spicy Farro Poblano[/caption]

 

Crispy Quinoa Fritter:

 

Then there was the equally delicious Crispy Quinoa Fritter.  The quinoa, bell pepper, and mushroom fritter stood on a polenta cake, served with hickory salted avocado.  The fritter was crispy on the outside, and hot and soft on the inside.  The same cocoa mole sauce drizzled the fritter, complete with the side of fried plantains and jalapeno peach salsa.

 

[caption id="attachment_1989" align="alignnone" width="640"]Crispy Quinoa Fritter Crispy Quinoa Fritter[/caption]

 

Eclipse Chocolate Third Course:

 

Finally, it was time for dessert.  If you’re judging me for grand indulgence, that’s completely reasonable.  I was full, I admit it.  But I made room for the Almond Toffee Sundae.  At the base, there was a grilled olive oil almond cake.  Sweet and mild. Then marcona almond and cocoa nib praline created a salty ring around the almond cake.  Finally, raw almond and cashew milk gelato – with coffee kahlua caramel – crowned the cake.  Wow.  I wish I could spoon feed this dish to every person who thinks that vegan desserts are somehow lacking.

 

[caption id="attachment_1990" align="alignnone" width="640"]Almond Toffee Sundae Almond Toffee Sundae[/caption]

 

Conclusions:

 

I will be looking at Eclipse Chocolate’s upcoming Supper Club events with eager anticipation.  I can only hope that they will have another vegan friendly dinner in the near future.  I’ve also explored Eclipse’s regular menu and found that they regularly offer a variety of vegan-friendly options.  You can be sure I will be visiting again soon!  Expect a blog post about them in the future!

 

 

[caption id="attachment_1992" align="alignnone" width="640"]Interior Eclipse Chocolate Interior Eclipse Chocolate[/caption]

 

2145 Fern Street

San Diego, CA 92104

619.578.2984

 

 

 

Vegan Brownies

I am a brownie lover.  I am a brownie lover who has (until recently!) shied away from making vegan brownies.  Why?  They final results are often dry, tasteless, and crumbly.

So, when I walked into my vegan cooking class and my teacher, Liz Gary, announced the group of recipes for the day would include vegan brownies (which were also gluten-free), I knew I had to be assigned to the brownie group.  We used the recipe from BabyCakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York’s Most Talked-About Bakery by Erin McKenna.  This was my first time using a recipe from the BabyCakes cookbook.  After making these brownies, it is high on my list to purchase!

 

 

First, we gathered the ingredients…

 

[caption id="attachment_1213" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Brownie Ingredients Vegan Brownie Ingredients[/caption]

 

Including the apple sauce that would ensure the brownies were moist!

 

[caption id="attachment_1819" align="alignnone" width="300"]Apple Sauce Apple Sauce[/caption]

 

The dry ingredients went in the bowl first.  I would recommend taking a moment to smell the cocoa powder! YUM!

 

[caption id="attachment_1212" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Brownie Dry Ingredients Vegan Brownie Dry Ingredients[/caption]

 

Then add the wet ingredients.

 

[caption id="attachment_1820" align="alignnone" width="640"]Mixing Vegan Brownie Ingredients Together Mixing Vegan Brownie Ingredients Together[/caption]

 

And mix together.  Looking at this picture of the vegan brownie batter is making my mouth water right now!

 

[caption id="attachment_1824" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Brownie Batter Vegan Brownie Batter[/caption]

 

The only thing better than brownies? Brownies with chocolate chips!

 

[caption id="attachment_1830" align="alignnone" width="640"]Brownie Batter with Chocolate Chips Brownie Batter with Chocolate Chips[/caption]

 

Once the chocolate chips were mixed in, it was time to pour the batter into the pan.

 

[caption id="attachment_1825" align="alignnone" width="640"]Pouring Vegan Brownie Batter into Pan Pouring Vegan Brownie Batter into Pan[/caption]

 

Spread the batter evenly.  I was happy my class made a double batch of these brownies, because I had a feeling they were going to go fast!

 

[caption id="attachment_1826" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Brownie Batter in Pan Vegan Brownie Batter in Pan[/caption]

 

The brownies went in the oven, and soon aromas of baked chocolate were wafting through the kitchen.  Heavenly.

 

[caption id="attachment_1827" align="alignnone" width="640"]Baked Vegan Brownies Baked Vegan Brownies[/caption]

 

The brownies were soft, moist, melt in your mouth, chocolate bombs.  I’m thrilled that I have a “go to” recipe for vegan brownies.  They will definitely be in my rotation for potlucks and dinner parties.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! Happy baking!

 

[caption id="attachment_1828" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Brownie Topped with Cashew Cream Vegan Brownie Topped with Cashew Cream[/caption]

 

Vegan Brownies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup garbonzo/fava bean flour
  • ¼ cup potato starch
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • ½ cup coffee
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Grease pan with coconut oil.
  3. In bowl mix together garbonzo/fava bean flour, potato starch, arrowroot, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt.
  4. Mix in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into 9 x 13 pan.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Brownies are done when toothpick in center comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool. Serve immediately or store in airtight container.

 

Melinda’s Maca Balls

Chocolate treats that are good for you?  Count me in!  Melinda’s Maca Balls are an organic, vegan, raw, snack bursting with rich, chocolate flavor.  And there is one teaspoon of maca in each ball!

 

What is Maca and Why is it Good for Me?

 

Maca has been around for a long time.  Legend has it that Incan warriors used to ingest large amounts of maca for strength before heading into battle.

http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/2011/03/superfood-profile-maca/

 

David Wolf, a vegan who is well known for his dedication to raw foods, superfoods, and longevity, summarizes some of maca’s benefits in the following YouTube Video.  (Mr. Wolf will be familiar to you, if you have seen the documentary “Hungry for Change.”)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJd49HdMDn0

 

Mr. Wolf notes that maca supports healthy hormones, is rich in fatty acids, and contains important trace minerals and amino acids.  Maca is also important, because it helps the body adapt to stress.

Maca’s other possible benefits include increased libido, decreased cholesterol, increased stamina, reduction in post-menopausal symptoms, regulation of hormones, and reduction in migraine headaches.  For additional information on these topics, click on:

http://www.naturalnews.com/maca.html

 

Melinda’s Maca Balls:

 

Melinda’s Maca Balls are made from whole, organic ingredients and come in 3 flavors: (1) Chocolate Walnut, (2) Double Chocolate Chip, and (3) Chocolate Mint Chip.  Agave nectar, cacao, maca, coconut oil, cacao butter, vanilla bean, and Himalayan pink salt make up the base of each ball.

The Chocolate Walnut Maca Ball with its dense, chocolate center is coated with walnut pieces.  It is my favorite — in my opinion, chocolate and walnuts can and should be mixed together as often as possible!

 

[caption id="attachment_1199" align="alignnone" width="640"]Chocolate Walnut Maca Balls Chocolate Walnut Maca Balls[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_1203" align="alignnone" width="640"]Chocolate Walnut Maca Ball Container Chocolate Walnut Maca Ball Container[/caption]

 

The Double Chocolate Chip Maca Ball has the same dense, chocolate center but is covered with cacao pieces.  It’s chocolate on chocolate – perfect for those who are looking for their next sumptuous treat!

 

[caption id="attachment_1201" align="alignnone" width="640"]Double Chocolate Maca Balls Double Chocolate Maca Balls[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_1200" align="alignnone" width="640"]Double Chocolate Maca Ball Cut in Half Double Chocolate Maca Ball Cut in Half[/caption]

 

So far, I have not been able to find the Chocolate Mint Chip Maca Balls in a store.  However, if the other flavors are a barometer for the Chocolate Mint Chip flavor, I am in for a treat!

 

Melinda’s Maca Balls are a decadent maca delivery device.  I recommend enjoying them sooner rather than later!

 

 

More information on Melinda’s Maca Balls can be found at:

http://www.macaballs.com/home.html

 

For a list of stores where Melinda’s Maca Balls can be purchased, check out:

http://www.macaballs.com/stores.html