Gone Native

For this week’s Vegan Tuesday, I had to go to Palm Desert for a meeting and had a new challenge to eat out for both lunch and dinner. Although, I cheated a bit for lunch. We went to Native Foods, a great mini-chain of vegan restaurants in the Los Angeles area. If your in the area, check them out. I love their menu. I wish there was one closer to where I live.


I had the Ensalada Azteca, which has: chopped tomato, cucumber, onion, jicama, avocado, quinoa, romaine, currants, pepitas, and a mango-lime vinaigrette.


My friend, A, had the Scorpion Burger: a blackened tempeh patty with chipotle sauce.

Dinner was a bit more difficult. I went to Armando’s, a conventional Mexican food restaurant. I had a side of vegetarian black beans, a side a rice, corn tortillas, and salsa.


Instead of bailing out on cooking vegan completely this week, I did make something vegan: the Lemon Bars, from Veganomicon. It was my first time cooking with agar, a gelatin substitute made from seaweed, and it was also my first time making lemon bars (vegan or not).

It was a little complicated because the recipe called for agar flakes and all I could find at the health food store was agar powder. The recipe calls for dissolving 3 tablespoons of the flakes in 1 1/3 cups of water, but reading the bottle of powder it says 2 tablespoons per pint of water. I guestimated the amount of powder to use as 1 tbsp plus a little bit more.

I used meyer lemons I bought at the farmers’ market and whole-wheat pastry flour for the crust. These were very, very delicious. YUM!