Monday, April 30, 2012

The Green Boheme


One day last week, I had an overwhelming urge to eat lunch at a restaurant where I wouldn't have to think about which menu options were vegan and which were not. So I drove over to Del Paso Boulevard and settled in at the Green Boheme, a small cheerful cafe that serves gluten-free raw vegan food.

The French Toast sounded really good, made from sweet bread with coconut yoghurt and applesauce, but I wasn't in the mood for breakfast. So I ordered the Wedge Salad that was listed on their specials board. It was excellent, consisting of lettuce, sprouts, tomato, avocado, radish, and vegan versions of bacon, feta, and ranch dressing. I ate every bite.

I ordered Horchata to drink, a beverage usually made from rice and milk. The tasty Green Boheme version had the consistency of a milkshake, with ingredients including Brazil nuts, banana, vanilla, coconut water, cinnamon, dates, and chia seeds.

Although the Horchata was quite good, I would rather have had a lighter drink, especially the Mate-LimeAde or Mate-LemonAde. But here is my one caveat for vegans dining at the Green Boheme. Even though the menu is almost completely vegan, they do use honey in some of their drinks, including the ones that I wanted to order. So be sure to check the ingredients listed on the menu if you want to avoid honey.

For dessert, I ordered a Chai Spice Macaroon, described on the menu as "Coconutty heaven with hints of cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg and a touch of cardamom." I can definitely vouch for the "heaven" part. I'll be sure to order that again on a future trip to the Green Boheme.

In addition to serving wonderful raw vegan food in their cafe, the folks at the Green Boheme offer classes and pre-paid food plans. The Green Boheme is located at 1825 Del Paso Boulevard, between Arden and El Camino. Their phone number is 916-920-4278, and their website address is The cafe is open Monday through Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and Thursday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cupcakes for Earth Day

Yesterday was Earth Day, and as all vegans know, one of the best ways to contribute to the health of the planet is to minimize or eliminate the consumption of meat and dairy products. Raising animals for food requires huge amounts of fossil fuels, which then release massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The consumption of dairy products harms the environment too, since all those dairy cows produce millions of pounds of manure, which end up in cesspools that pollute our groundwater supplies.

So how does a vegan celebrate Earth Day? I'm glad you asked! In honor of Earth Day, I attended the 1000 Vegan Cupcakes for Charity Challenge at the Tower Bridge Bistro at the Embassy Suites in Old Sacramento. Eleven different bakers or bakeries made cupcakes for the event, which will benefit three charities: the Sacramento Tree Foundation, the Humane Society of the United States, and the Center for Land-Based Learning. The cupcakes were judged by a panel of celebrity judges, including the Humane Society's Jennifer Fearing, Dr. Don Forrester from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the Sacramento Tree Foundation's Ray Tretheway, Gina Garcia from Yoga in the Park and Yoga Across America, and author and vegan chef Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, who was there signing copies of her books, including The Joy of Vegan Baking.

The bakeries that participated were Sugar Plum Vegan Bakery, Bicycle Bakery, Sweet Stuff Cakery, Vanilla Bean Gourmet Bakery, Busy Bees Cupcakery, Baagan Vegan Cafe, Live Food Academy, Sun Flour Baking Company, Capitol Garage, Tower Bridge Bistro, and Whole Foods Market. It wasn't possible to try all of the beautifully-prepared cupcakes that were available at this event, but I sampled a few.

The Sangria cupcake made by Sugar Plum Vegan Bakery was incredible, very light and moist. I tried the Orange Creamsicle cupcake from Vanilla Bean Gourmet Bakery, which was also light and delicious. The Peanut Butter Cup from Sweet Stuff Cakery combined a chocolate cupcake with a fluffy peanut butter frosting, an unbeatable combination. The Tower Bridge Bistro's Chocolate Macadamia Nut cupcake was excellent, with a dark chocolate cupcake and a light and creamy chocolate frosting. One of the more unusual cupcakes was the Indian Masala cupcake made by Baagan Vegan Cafe, which combined some very interesting ingredients, such as a gluten-free flour blend, coconut oil, tamarind, Indian spices, and pistachios, into a very tasty dessert.

As a bonus attraction, Here's the Scoop! brought an ice cream cart to the event and passed out free samples of their fabulous vegan ice cream. I'm a huge fan of their Very Cherry Chip vegan ice cream, but I decided to try something new. I had one of their Blueberry vegan ice cream bonbons, and it was sensational.

In recognition of the fact that this event took place on Earth Day, there were several placards lying on a table in the center of the room that offered facts and figures about the problems caused by meat consumption. One placard that especially caught my eye said that it takes over 5,000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, and it quoted John Robbins, author of The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and the World, as saying, "In California today, you may save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you would by not showering for six entire months."

If you're not a vegan, maybe Earth Day is a good time to think about consuming fewer animal products. Even if you don't believe that you could ever embrace a strictly vegan diet, maybe you could think about going vegan one day a week, or at least eating a vegan meal once in awhile. It may be easier than you think, especially now that it's starting to feel like salad weather.

Kudos to Bethany Davis and the folks at Sacramento Vegan Challenge for organizing this fun event. I hope it becomes an annual Earth Day celebration.

Monday, April 16, 2012


My husband and I had a very nice dinner at Ten22 in Old Sacramento recently. I sent a message to the restaurant beforehand to ask if they had any vegan menu options and received a quick response from the restaurant's marketing assistant. She listed several items that are vegan or can be made vegan.

I started with the fresh and delicious Crispy Organic Granny Smith Apples and Romaine Salad, which I'd had on a previous visit to Ten22. In addition to the apples and Romaine, this salad includes walnuts and dried cranberries, and it's dressed with a cider vinaigrette. Normally, it also includes blue cheese, so you'll need to ask your server to omit the cheese.

For my entree, I ordered the Organic Vegetables with Pesto Pasta. Since pesto generally includes Parmesan cheese, I was surprised to see this dish on the list of vegan items. I was told that the chef can prepare pesto with or without the cheese, so make sure to let your server know that you are vegan and don't want cheese in your food. The plate of pasta I received appeared to have some basil chopped up in it, although I don't think I'd go so far as to call it a pesto sauce. Still, it was very good.

The other items available for vegans are the Chickpea Hummus in the Starters section of the menu, the Organic Simple Greens in the Gifts from the Garden section, the Seasonal Vegetable and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza (if ordered without the cheese) in the From the Brick Oven section, the Roasted Seasonal Vegetable Stew in the Large Plates section, and the Roasted Fingerlings and the Vegetable "Ratatouille" (if ordered without butter) in the Sides section.

Ten22 is located at 1022 Second Street in Old Sacramento. Their phone number is 916-441-2211, and their website address is They are open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tequila Museo Mayahuel

I had a very tasty meal last week at Tequila Museo Mayahuel. This restaurant, which is located about a block north of the State Capitol, has a separate vegetarian menu that specifies which dishes are vegan or can be made vegan, but you'll need to ask for it.

I tried to order the vegan Azteca Lentils Soup, which is described on the menu as a vegetarian combination of lentils, pineapple, and bananas, but the server came back from the kitchen with the news that it had been made with chicken broth. So I had some kind of potato soup in a tomato-based broth instead. It was good, but I hope they'll have a vegan version of the lentil soup available the next time I visit the restaurant.

For my entrée, I had the Enchiladas Yashu de Zapoteca, which consisted of guacamole rolled in three corn tortillas and topped with sautéed chayote, green beans, and bell peppers. I really liked the guacamole as a filling for the enchiladas. The menu has this item listed as having a vegan option available, but there doesn't appear to be anything that's not vegan in the list of ingredients. Still, it's best to make sure your server knows that you want the vegan option for whatever you order.

All of the salads on the vegetarian menu are either vegan or a vegan option is available. In addition to the enchiladas I ordered, there are two other entrées that have a vegan option available: the Chile Relleno Maya's, a roasted and stuffed poblano pepper, and the Calabacitas Mexicanas con Nopal, a dish made with zucchini and Nopal cactus in a red sauce. There are also a couple of vegan desserts: a fruit plate and sautéed plantains.

Tequila Museo Mayahuel is located at 1200 K Street. Their phone number is 916-441-7200, and their website address is According to their Facebook page (!/MayahuelSacramento/info), they are open Monday through Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., and Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. The restaurant is closed on Sunday.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Upcoming Events

Several events that may be of interest to local vegans are coming up this month. Check them out!

April 13: The Culinary Center at Whole Foods Market will offer a "Plant Indulgent Recipes with Chef AJ" class from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Chef AJ will demonstrate how to make raw chocolate mousse torte with raspberry coulis, a cherry cardamom rice pudding, Thai peanut noodles, 6-minute split pea soup, Quick 6 fat-free salad dressing, and a creamy kale dip. More information about this course can be found at

April 15: The Sacramento Vegan Society will have a "Help a Hen" party at Arden Park beginning at 4:00 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring a picnic dinner for themselves and their families, and baked goods to sell at a bake sale to raise funds for Animal Place, a sanctuary for abused and discarded farm animals. More information can be found on the Sacramento Vegan Society's website at

April 21: The fourth Sacramento Mobile Food Festival, SactoMoFo 4, will take place under the freeway at 8th and W from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. While most of the vendors don't have vegan menu options, there are several that do, which makes it worthwhile to check out this fun event. More information about SactoMoFo 4, including a list of participating vendors, is available at

April 22: A new baking competition called 1000 Vegan Cupcakes for Charity will be held on Earth Day at the Tower Bridge Bistro at Embassy Suites in Old Sacramento. Ten local bakers will each make 100 vegan cupcakes, which will be sold for charity. More information about the participating bakers and the charities that will benefit from this event is available at!/events/345975432106230/.

April 26: A vegan Indian feast cooking class will be held at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op Community Learning Center & Cooking School from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The menu includes chana dal fritters with curry leaves and red chiles, cool green pea & corn soup with coconut milk, vegetables and red lentil rice featuring freshly roasted and ground spices, pan-roasted baby potatoes, and rice pudding with soy milk and freshly ground cardamom. More information is available at