A Search for Great Vegan Food in San Diego

Tag Archives: farmers market

Moncai Vegan: 100% Vegan

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NORTH PARK.  Participating in Meatless Monday just got easier.  Moncai Vegan has partnered up with Mike Hess Brewing to serve delicious vegan dinner and dessert starting every Monday at 4pm.

Each week, partners Don Jackson and Princesa Vitela create and serve a new vegan meal.  On Monday, I showed up hungry.  So obviously I decided to try one of everything!

First up was the Cauliflower and Potato Soup with fall greens, served with a side of bread.  The soup was strikingly flavorful, and the potatoes, cauliflower, and kale were tender, but not mushy.  (Expertly done.)  The bread – topped with a garlic and kalamata olive spread – was a special treat and perfect for dunking in the soup!

 

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Next, we tried the Roasted Vegetable Lasagna with Creamy Kale Sauce which came with Caesar Salad, and a side of bread.  I love that Moncai served an entrée that is normally full of meat, cheese, and dairy, because the easy comparison showcases how vegan food can just as easily be comfort food.  Sandwiched between layers of firm noodles, the zucchini and broccoli burst with flavor.  The creamy sauce was decadent.  And all stray pieces of lasagna were quickly mopped up by my bread!

The vegan caesar salad was fresh, crisp, and delicious – the perfect complement to the warm, filling lasagna.

 

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There were two doughnut options: (1) chocolate topped with vegan marshmallows and (2) vanilla topped with pistachios.  And the chefs told me that they had mixed Hess beer into the doughnut batter.  Wow!  It was a tough choice with no wrong answer.  Ultimately, however, my sweet tooth decided the issue and I walked away with the chocolate version.  A masterpiece.  It was dense, rich, and deeply satisfying.  And how in the world did they make these vegan marshmallows?

 

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Monvai Vegan does not have a storefront.  Yet.  They are currently fundraising to open a bakery in North Park and hope to have it open in the next 4-5 months.  They are using IndiGoGo as one of their fundraising tools:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/moncai

 

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So where can you find Moncai until the bakery opens?  Happily, they go to a variety of farmers markets.  There’s probably one near you!  For a full list of the markets Moncai attends, click on:

http://moncai-vegan.com/where-to-find-us/

 

Moncai is excellent at updating their website to reflect the current menu.  For their current selection, check out:

http://moncai-vegan.com/

 

Mike Hess Brewing

3812 Grim Ave.

San Diego, CA 92104

619.786.4377

 

 

Lotus World Foods: 100% Vegan

Lotus World Foods Sign

 

LA JOLLA.  Does anyone remember how cold it was last weekend?  Gray sky, wind chill, and San Diegans bundled in layers.  On Sunday morning, my boyfriend and I were coming off of a 48 hour juice cleanse (I will be adding a post about my cleanse experience later this week), and we were H-U-N-G-R-Y!!

We wanted something substantial, but healthy.  We wanted something delicious, but did not want to burn the benefits of the cleanse.  So we went to an old favorite – Lotus World Foods, a unique gem of the La Jolla Farmer’s Market.

Sarah Nee is the woman behind the creative parfaits, salads, and soups at the Lotus booth.  Sarah talks passionately about preparing foods that makes can help people achieve better health.  In fact, her personal story involves the dramatic reversal of serious ailments through the enjoyment of food that is raw, nut free, gluten free, and vegan.

 

Sarah Nee at La Jolla Farmers Market

 

On Sunday, we started with a vegan parfait.  A bottom layer of raw, sprouted quinoa with blueberries and strawberries.  The top layer, strawberry chia seed.  (Superfoods, like chia seeds, are central to Sarah Nee’s creations.)  Further, the parfait was smooth and creamy, with vibrant flavor from the fruit.

 

Raw Quinoa and Strawberry Chia

 

Sarah understands that people love sweets.  To that end, she has created a delicious chia pudding with a raw chocolate topping.  The chocolate is sublime.  It is not the overwhelming “sugar sweet” found in candy bars, but a complex chocolate that reveals its flavor as you slowly savor it.

 

chia pudding with raw chocolate

 

The salads are special.  These are not the salads that commonly sit next to an entree as an after-thought.  Rather, they stand center stage as the products of careful thought, experimentation, and focus.  The salad pictured below features arugula and sprouts, topped with a homemade ginger dressing.  This description, however, does not do it justice.  The component ingredients are all fresh and crisp but the real treat is the way in which all of these greens combine with the homemade ginger dressing.   The result is a salad that I can’t stop eating.

 

Ginger Salad

 

Sarah likes to experiment with food and frequently updates her offerings.  One dish I can’t wait to try is the Raw Cactus Tostada.  The cactus acts in place of a tortilla and cradles the seaweed salad, sprouts, and squash blossom filling.

 

raw cactus tostada

 

I would also recommend that if you are ever at Lotus World Foods’ booth and there is soup available, buy it.  Sarah’s coconut soup is literally the best soup I have ever had in my life.   

Sarah can be found every Sunday at the La Jolla Farmer’s Market from 9am – 1pm, and the Lotus World Foods’ Facebook page can be found at:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lotus-World-Foods/411045545610272?fref=ts

If you are interested in learning more about raw food—and the potential health benefits—click on the following link:

http://vegetarian.about.com/od/vegetarianlifestyle/f/rawfoods.htm