Archive of ‘nj’ category

PositiviTea in Verona, NJ

Positivitea.

 

The Big WAC

One Saturday afternoon my husband and I dropped the kids off with my mother-in-law and then headed to PositiviTea in Verona, NJ to meet up with our friends Dianne from VeggieGirl, her husband Dennis and Lydia and Mauro from the blog From A to Vegan.

The place was packed! Which always makes me happy to see an all vegan place thriving. Our group scored a table up front and we settled in for some great food and conversation with our friends.

I knew right away what I would be ordering. The Big WAC! I follow PositiviTea on facebook and have been wanting to try this since Chef Abe posted about it. It’s a vegan take on the Big Mac from you know which fast food chain. It was one of my favorite burgers to eat growing up and I couldn’t wait to see what they did to mimic it. Its a double decker burger with 2 homemade vegan burgers with their own special sauce, lettuce, mayo, onions, pickles and vegan cheese served on an Organic Bun with a gluten free option of being served on a portobello mushroom. The burgers were amazing. For being a gluten free burger they hold together like nothing I’ve ever seen. I use vital wheat gluten to help hold my burgers together and would love to make my own gluten free friendly burger for friends. The Big WAC! was everything I had hoped it would be. It was big, messy and delicious. It really reminded me of my childhood favorite The Big Mac.

My dessert! The All Jersey #vegan #positivitea

The All Jersey

For dessert I had to have their now famous N’ice’ Kream. Its a homemade, soy free, soft serve vegan ice cream. When we were there they had a special flavor, Egg Nog, which they ran out of just as our table was ready to order dessert. I’ll admit that I was happy they ran out of it. I really wanted to try their regular vanilla flavor and they can only have one flavor at a time. I was happy to wait the 1/2 hour or so for the vanilla to freeze up and be ready to serve.

I ordered the All Jersey N’ice Kream with is their regular soft serve with crushed organic graham crackers, organic chocolate and vegan marshmallows. It was a lot of ice cream and I ordered the small. I ate it all though! Next time I go I want to order the P.B. & Jay which is peanut butter, strawberries and graham crackers over their delicious N’ice Kream.

Dennis's dessert! #vegan #positivitea

Off the menu dessert!

Our friend Dennis was checking out if they had any other desserts available and told Chef Abe that he wasn’t sure what he wanted. Abe said he would surprise him and this is what showed up at the table! There are THREE types of cookies in that beautiful thing! THREE! Gingerbread men, oreo’s and I believe oatmeal cookies. This was amazing to look at and I’m sure to eat.

I had been DYING to go to PositiviTea since it opened around June/July of 2013. It is basically up the road from us through 3 towns. Its a very short distance by car but we’ve never made it there until recently. I find it very funny that friends, driving up from Pennsylvania to eat there, are what made us go for the first time. It’s ridiculous but I’m so happy we got to try it and I can’t wait to go back. I’m really anxious to try their waffles.

Food and Animals

Dinner: Seitan and Veg Fajitas w. Cashew Creme and Cilantro #vegan

Seitan and Pepper Fajitas 

I am still obsessively using my recipe for Soy-Lime Seitan Tacos. This time I made the soy-lime seitan adding peppers and mushrooms as sort of a fajita type dinner. Served them over toasted tortillas with some leftover Cashew-Lime Creme and lots of cilantro. We are not cilantro haters in this house. Served with a side of Rice and Beans and it was a perfect “new” meal for us. The kids even ate most parts of the meal.

Scone Monday. #vegan

Holiday Scones

A few of us had a day off of work/school last week for Holiday that everyone seems to hate now a days. I was happy to just have my family together for an extra day. I made us some chocolate chip scones for breakfast. I completely screwed the recipe up but they were still edible and good. I can’t imagine how much better they would have been if I didn’t leave out certain ingredients!

Happy pig!

for the animals sanctuary 

This weekend we visited a sanctuary in NJ called For The Animals. We met pigs, cows, chickens and goats that were once meant to be killed for food. The pig above loved laying in the sun having its belly rubbed by whoever. You could see the smile on her face.

The goats running toward us. #iheartgoats

I love goats and when we all entered the field they were in and the sanctuary owner called out for them they all came running. It was one of the happiest things I ever saw. If you knelt down they would come over and rub against you like a cat. These are all smart smart animals who want to be loved just like all of us. I don’t know how people can eat them.

The Cinnamon Snail and Freezy Freeze at the Farmers Market

5 spice lemongrass seitan

5-spice Lemongrass Seitan

The Cinnamon Snail is at the Red Bank, NJ, Farmers Market on Sundays. Its not possible for us to go down to them during the beach season because traffic home on a Sunday is horrendous! A 1 our trip can take over 2 hours! So since we were south of Red Bank on our vacation we traveled UP to Red Bank in the morning to hit up the Cinnamon Snail food truck. Most importantly it was without the kids! They stayed back at the beach house with my mother in law.

It was still breakfast time when we arrived but we both decided lunch would be for breakfast. Since breakfast for dinner is a thing then lunch for breakfast could be a thing…right? I ordered the 5-spice Lemongrass Seitan sandwich. It was amazing. Probably my new favorite sandwich from the truck. It is loaded with cashews. Cashews on a sandwich. Brilliant. I love cashews and this sandwich had a ton of them! Along with the load of cashews is also arugula, wasabi mayo and chili sauce.

Korean BBQ Seitan

Korean BBQ Seitan

My husband ordered the Korean BBQ Seitan sandwich. I’ve had it before and it’s always delicious. It’s seitan with chili butter, kimchi and greens. You can’t beat that.

Cinnamon snail pastry treats! #vegan

Box of pastry!

I loved when Adams daughter asked if we would be needing a small or large box for the pastry’s. We went with a large box and ordered a few donuts, tarts and other sweets. Everything was amazing. I especially loved the S’Mores Donut and the turtle bar. This box of treats was very popular when we brought it back to the beach house.

Iced coffee...also makes ice cream to order with liquid nitrogen. All can be made vegan!

Freezy Freeze

Across from The Cinnamon Snail is a truck called Freezy Freeze that makes Ice Cream per order with the help of SCIENCE!….A.K.A. Liquid Nitrogen. All flavors can be made vegan and they have quite the list of toppings.

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I have yet to try their Ice Cream since I’m alway’s there to load up my stomach with some Snail goodies. I did order their cold brewed coffee with coconut milk and it was a delightful iced coffee. I’ve promised myself I’ll order an ice cream while I’m waiting for my Snail order to be made. (I’ve waited 45 minutes once. Totally worth it though.)

Beach House Eats

Beach house lunch: toasted Italian bread w. tomato, rosemary and cashew spread w. a sliced nectarine. #vegan

Lunch

We vacation in Ocean Grove, NJ every year. Every year it gets easier and easier to be vegan down there. From Porta and Mogo in Asbury Park which is just a short boardwalk walk North or Kaya’s Kitchen in Belmar just a short car ride 2-3 towns South. It used to be that I would have to bring a ton of food with me. I’d have to pack a cooler. With 2 kids now I don’t have room for a cooler anymore besides a small frozen lunch bag thing that I bought awhile ago. I ended bringing down: Earth Balance and a cashew spread that I made. So I appreciate the vegan options that are popping up all over the Jersey Shore. Here are a few of the eats from down there. I’ll have a separate post about Kaya’s and the Cinnamon Snail coming later in the week or two.

My mother in law would toast some bread with tomatoes, herbs and cheese for everyone. I asked that the cheese not be added to mine and I topped mine with a cashew spread I made the day before we left and brought down with us. That spread came in handy while I was down there! I was glad I brought it! It’s cashews, garlic, lemon, water, salt and pepper blended in the Vitamix.

Beach House Snack: #vegan #glutenfree peanut butter cookies from The Barbaric Bean in Ocean Grove.

Snack

Local Ocean Grove coffee house The Barbaric Bean offers soy or almond milk for their coffee drinks and had a gluten free vegan peanut butter cookie. I’ll admit that I wasn’t to excited for these cookies when I saw them. I wanted to try them anyway and I was glad I did. They were really good!  I hope they have them next time we are there. Pre-vegan I LOVED the scones at The Barbaric Bean. They were the best I ever had. I wish they would consider making vegan versions of them.

Beach House Breakfast: seitan tart from the Cinnamon Snail! #vegan @veganlunchtruck

Breakfast

On Sunday’s the Cinnamon Snail is in Red Bank, NJ at the Farmers Market. I brought back a large box of treats and two of these savory seitan mustard cashew tarts. Peter and I each had one for breakfast later in the week. They are one of my favorite things that the Cinnamon Snail has to offer.

Beach House Breakfast: bagel, EB and nooch. Homemade cold brew coffee w. almond milk. #vegan

Bagel Breakfast

We all know my obsession with bagels. Especially bagels with Earth Balance and nooch. This part of NJ isn’t known for there bagels like the part of NJ that I live in. I found some decent looking ones at a bakery in town and they didn’t disappoint! Me and kids were happy that I remembered to bring some Nooch down with us.

The Iced Coffee in some of the pictures was beach house homemade. I brought down my large french press and made some cold brew coffee with some almond milk that my mother in law picked up at a grocery store down there. I bring that french press on all our vacations.

Porta, Asbury Park NJ

uploadDoor’s outside of Porta
The vacation of repeating restaurants.Outside eating area
That one time I asked a fancy pizza place what they meant by "vegan Parmesan" and the waitress said "oh it's just nutritional yeast." My eyes bugged out a bit and I ordered the pizza sans soy cheese. #vegan #porto #asburyparkRita and Mark sans vegan mozzarella 
Asbury Park, NJcrossing over the bridge to Asbury Park
Oh s'Miles!

wearing his Nonna’s glasses 

 

Porta is a pizza/pasta restaurant in Asbury Park, NJ. Per their own FAQ’s they are a “Contemporary, local, sustainable, Italian, American, everyman slow food” type of place. Per my own summary of the place “they are awesome”.

We just got home from our annual beach vacation in Ocean Grove, NJ which is the next town over, south, of Asbury Park. We ate at Porta one of our first nights in town at the suggestion of my brother in law. When we arrived at Porta it was PACKED and very loud. They have seating outside in an area that they call Porta National Park which is first come first serve and more casual. We were lucky enough to find a table out there right away and it worked out better for the kids. It was completely cool if they wandered around and played with the pebble floor.

I was very excited to see not 1 but 2 vegan main courses on their menu. 1 pizza and 1 pasta dish. The pasta dish, Vegan Succotash, is made with baby penne pasta, corn, green beans, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, white beans and basil. The pizza dish is called Rita & Mark and is topped with tomatoes, vegan mozzarella, vegan parmigiano, garlic, dried oregano, basil and extra virgin olive oil.

I ordered the pizza BOTH times we ate there that week. I asked that they not put the vegan mozzarella on. It was soy based which means it wasn’t Daiya but I still didn’t want it. When I asked what the vegan parmigiano was the waitress said “Oh it’s just nutritional yeast.” I nearly fell off the bench I was sitting on! THEY HAD NOOCH! I’m pretty sure the waitress thought I was nuts with how excited I was over the nutritional yeast. The pizza’s came and I wasn’t disappointed at all. It was delicious and exactly how I wanted it to be. Even Reno was going crazy over it. I just ordered the kids a tomato pie, no cheese, which they loved but she kept looking at mine and saying how good it smelled. I shared a few slices with her. When we went back for a second time I ordered 2 of the vegan pizza’s sans vegan mozzarella. One for me and one for the kids. (The pizza’s are personal size BTW.)

My only regret is not trying the pasta dish the second time we went. I’ll definitely be ordering it the next time we eat there.

 

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