Friday, March 16, 2012

Vegan at Disneyland!!!

I finally did it. I sat down and did my research and compiled a pretty complete and thorough list of vegan and vegetarian food options at the Disneyland Resort. My list includes Disneyland, California Adventure, and Downtown Disney. There are a few restaurants at the three hotels too, not included in my list. And of course these are not ALL of the options. I mainly focused on finding vegan options, as that is a lot harder to find (no offense vegetarians). And please be responsible for checking things out yourself when you are ordering food/making reservations. This list is just meant as a place for you to start!

Vegan/Vegetarian Options at Disneyland
Make sure to always let your server know you are vegan/vegetarian and always ask for everything without cheese and dairy and be careful of sauces!

If eating at a table service restaurant not listed here, call 714-781-DINE to make a reservation and to speak with a manager or chef to discuss your vegan/vegetarian needs. They can accommodate you with something delicious!

All of these dishes are Vegetarian.
* = Vegan


Bengal BBQ
*Vegetable Skewers
Cheese-filled pretzels
Yogurt Parfait

Tiki Hut
Dole Whip

Critter Country
Hungry Bear Restaurant
*Veggie Burger can sub apple slices for fries! Vegan ask for no cheese

Village Haus
*Veggie Burger vegan ask for no cheese

Rancho del Zocalo
*Veggie Burrito vegan ask for no cheese
*Tostada Salad sub sautéed veggies instead of meat
*Soft Tacos Monterrey vegans request no cheese, no sour cream

Stage Door Cafe
Funnel Cake

New Orleans Square
Royal Street Veranda
*Gumbo in a sourdough bread bowl vegan ask for no cheese

Café Orleans
*Pomme Frites vegan ask for no cheese
*Creole Ratatouille vegan ask for no cheese
Mickey Beignets
Monte Cristo vegetarian ask for cheese only

Blue Bayou
*Portobello Mushrooms
*Couscous Maque Choux

French Market
Four Cheese Pasta
Vegetable Gratin

Pizza Port
*Terra Nova Pasta vegan ask for no cheese
Starfield Greens salad
Cheese pizza

Tomorrowland Terrace
*Portobello mushroom roasted red pepper sandwich vegan ask for no cheese, no sauce, gluten-free bread
*Veggie Burger vegan ask for no cheese


Golden State
World of Color Picnic @ Sonoma Terrace
*Mediterranean Platter Lemon cake NOT vegan

Pacific Wharf
Pacific Wharf Café
*Vegetarian Chili in a bread bowl vegan ask for no cheese

Lucky Fortune Cookery
*Teriyaki Tofu Bowl vegan be careful of sauce choices, ask chef/server

Cocina Cucamonga Mexican
*Veggie Burrito vegan ask for no cheese

Downtown Disney:
Jamba Juice
*All-fruit smoothies
*Steel Cut Oats beware of add-ons like brown sugar crumble and apple cinnamon toppings as they have milk

La Brea Bakery
*Asian Salad
Spaghetti with marinara kids menu

Tortilla Joes
*Vegetarian Burrito vegan ask for no cheese

*Fruit Stands
*Mickey Pretzels
*Corn on the cob vegan ask for no butter
*Minnie Mouse ‘oreo’ cookies, both chocolate and vanilla
*Pre-bagged Mickey Mouse kettle corn
*Dreyer’s strawberry whole-fruit bar
*Cotton Candy
*Popcorn the butter isn’t real butter, it’s oil!

And here is the most complete listing I found of vegetarian options at Disneyland, including hotel restaurants:
Alphabetical listing of vegetarian options

I had a lot of fun compiling the list and reading all about other vegan's experiences at Disneyland! My vegetarian uncles are visiting me in a week and we will be spending the day in Disneyland, so I am excited for this newfound knowledge. I really think Guest Relations needs to have this list on hand for guests. We do have pamphlets about food allergies and options, but I am pretty sure we don't have any kind of list like this with specific restaurants and menu items. Plus I don't like veganism being referred to as a food allergen, as it is a life choice, not an allergen. The cast member reference guide does say which restaurants have vegetarian food, but not vegan.

Blogs coming soon: Vegan St. Patrick's Day Food and Vegan trip to Disneyland with my uncles!

Happy Disney Eating!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rutabegorz, Garlic Bread, Dal Palak, Mexi-Curry Salad, and Oats

So when I put off blogging it adds up. But the good news is, there's lots of really great stuff in this blog post! So enjoy...

After work the other day we went to a restaurant in Orange, CA called Rutabegorz. Their menu is HUGE! It will take you forever to decide what to get, but luckily for vegans, you have my suggestions right here. All three of these dishes are vegan. There are many other vegan options on the menu too.

Rutabegorz Website (with locations)

Cool Flip Book Rutabegorz Menu

I got the Dala Salad with Mediterranean dressing ($4.75) and a cup of their Killer Chili NO CHEESE ($3.25). All of their salad bowls are humungous, and delicious, and there are PLENTY of vegan choices, not only in salads, but on the whole menu. Also, the waitress was very knowledgeable, nice, and helpful when it came to ordering vegan things, and the menu has clearly labeled vegetarian options. This is the most inexpensive salad on the menu and it was extremely filling.

Jane got the Quinoa tacos, one of the weekly specials. They are vegan. You might have to ask for no cheese, I don't remember. Just be sure to consult with your waitress before ordering. You get two tacos for the special.

It's funny about the word "Quinoa". Before this week I had never heard that word, but, as you will see later in this post, it came up twice for me this week! Quinoa is a grain-like crop grown for it's edible seeds. It is also really hard to find in a regular grocery store. In fact, I didn't find it. But it is extremely healthy! I will keep looking.

Two more cool facts about Rutabegorz: Their women's restroom won Best Restaurant Restroom in OC Weekly, and it is in an old house, which is adorable!!! This is probably one of my favorite restaurants of all time now. And affordable too! I'd definitely go back regularly and grab a huge salad bowl any time!

Garlic bread
One night this week Patrick and I had spaghetti for dinner. He made garlic bread, and I wanted some too. So I invented this little concoction. Corn tortilla with vegan mozzarella spread on it, sprinkle on some freshly chopped garlic cloves and garlic power, put it on a metal pan and put in oven on high heat (broil) for about 7 minutes. I didn't really time it though, so keep a close eye on it. At that high of heat it doesn't need very long. It came out very crunchy, and the sensation of gooey, melty cheese is not something a vegan has very often. It was awesome, and I made it again a few nights later :)

Dal Palak
This was EPIC! This recipe I followed for a vegan Indian dish called Dal Palak says "Very Simple Dal Palak" HAHA... okay this was probably the most effort I have ever put into cooking a single dish EVER. It was SO worth it though!

Dal Palak Recipe

My notes on the above recipe:
-I halved the recipe, but if I had it to do all over again I wouldn't. It seems like a TON of food when you are making it, and I wanted to have lots of leftovers to eat all week since it took me so much time and effort to make, but it really doesn't make as much as you think it is going to while you are preparing it. It gets a lot smaller during the 45 minute simmering phase. So if you are like me and you don't usually put an hour plus into making food, then make this whole recipe and you'll have a lot more for later.

-Words I had to look up prior to shopping for this recipe:
Coriander: It is the same thing as cilantro. In the UK they call it Coriander and in the US they called it Cilantro. I couldn't find it as a spice, so I bought the actual green leafy cilantro in the vegetable section of the super market. You need a very tiny amount. It was near the parsley.
Garam Masala: This is some kind of mixture of Indian spices. I think you just have to look it up and make your own combination of spices. I just used cinnamon for the full amount that the recipe calls for. It worked wonderfully. And was a very simple solution to this complication.
Scallions- They are those skinny stick shaped onions with small white-ish bulbs at the bottom. They are chopped up and used for garnish. You don't NEED them for the recipe, but I like the little bit of crunchiness they add to the mostly mushy dish. You don't add them until the very end.

-And my last tip is to make sure you chop, dice, and prepare all of your ingredients and be very well organized with bowls and plates nearby the big pot on the stove BEFORE you begin cooking ANYTHING. Once you get going on this one it's go-go-go! So be ready to put everything in the pot, following the timing in the recipe of course.

Crying while cutting onions. Patrick couldn't believe that this actually happens! haha

Spices from left to right on plates: Scallions on red plate, spinach, ginger, garlic, and cilantro on black plate, cinnamon, chili powder, and salt. Chop your garlic and ginger and cilantro before starting to cook. I didn't. Mistake. I ended up just chopping really quickly right before throwing them in the pot.

Other ingredients. Diced tomatoes (make sure not to drain, the juice is necessary in the pot), onions and mushrooms in red bowl, potatoes in black bowl, and lentils. I didn't find red lentils, but these worked just fine.

Onions and mushrooms cooking:

A little later, everything in the pot, about to put water in and simmer for 45 minutes.

All done! It will be much prettier when I plate it with some rice, or put it in a pita pocket. It is ridiculously delicious, and the whole house smelled amazing!

Mexi-Curry Salad
While I was waiting the 45 minutes for the Dal Palak to cook, I made myself an EPIC salad to eat for dinner that night. (The Dal Palak was for later in the week).

Recipe for Mexi-Curry Salad

My notes on the above recipe:
-This is when the word "Quinoa" popped up again. I didn't find it in the store, so I didn't use it. Apparently you had to cook it and let it cool before putting it in the salad, which is way too much effort for me after making Dal Palak, so it wasn't a salad ruiner by not having it. No big deal.

-The store only had red, white, and brown onions, no red... so I got brown. The cheapest ones. Still, no big deal. Still delicious.

-I didn't use a jalapeno in the dressing.

-I used regular salt instead of sea salt. Simply because I already had regular salt in the house and didn't want to buy sea salt, but I'm sure it would be awesome.

Other than that, just chop it up, mix it up, and enjoy!!

Pretty layers:

Pretty dressing:

All mixed up!

Homemade Oatmeal
So my friend Jane had been telling me I should just get a big canister of oats and make my own oatmeal instead of buying the pre-packaged, pre-flavored bags. I had stuck to the bags before because I am usually on a time crunch in the morning, and they are so easy. But I decided to go for the canister finally. It is much more cost-effective. So today was my first morning making homemade oatmeal. 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of oats, and then I sprinkled on some cinnamon and a tiny bit of maple syrup, microwave for 2 minutes. It was still quick, easy, delicious, and healthier! Thanks Jane! :)

Well I'm off to grab some Mexi-Curry Salad before work. St. Patrick's Day is this Saturday and we are having a POTLUCK! So come back some time next week, because I'm sure I will be blogging about that epic meal :)

Happy Eating!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

My "Better-Than-Last-Time" Vegan Pizza and lots of other stuff

Today's blog is going to be a long one. I didn't realize how much stuff I had saved up that I wanted to blog about. I will go chronologically from longest ago to most recent...

Wednesday February 29, 2012 - Leap Day!

To celebrate Leap Day Disneyland stayed opened for 24 hours from 6am Feb 29 until 6am March 1. We spent the night at the park from midnight until 6am on the 1st. Then we went to Dennys. Dennys Veggie Burger IS vegan. Here's what happened though- I wanted the veggie burger and fries because it was 6am after staying up all night and I just wanted something filling and good. So I ordered the veggie burger. A looong time later our waitress came back and said they are out of the veggie burger patties. So I ordered something else, something much less satisfying for the time like fruit and fries or something, then a loooong time later she came back again and said the manager just got there so now they have veggie patties. What, did the manager just walk in with pockets full of veggie patties or something?! haha. Anyway, good news, I got my vegan burger and fries. Not as good news is that it was not that great, and definitely not worth the $9 or whatever they charged me. It was rather dry, and it seemed like they tried to make up for that with balsamic oily dressing on it. I think I would rather just eat some vegetables, not in patty form, on a sandwich. But I am glad I got it because it was my very first veggie burger, and it is always good to know that you do have options when you are with friends who want to go eat somewhere. The fries were awesome. 

March 3, 2012 - Auntie Anne's Free Pretzel Day

The line at 2:15: (They stop giving them away at 3:00)

This was a new one for me! Patrick reads reddit every day and there is a reddit that tells you where, when, and how to get free stuff. So he found out about free pretzel day! Apparently Auntie Anne's did it last year too and gave away millions of free pretzels, as a thank you to their customers. Who doesn't love those awesome pretzels at mall food courts everywhere?! You could choose from regular or cinnamon sugar to get for free. Many of Auntie Anne's pretzels are vegan, you just have to make sure to ask for them WITHOUT BUTTER!! They just twist the pretzel dough (which is vegan) like so...

...but then they dip it in a giant bowl of butter (which you can see in this picture, in the sink). So they can easily skip that step. The funny thing is, as we were standing there watching her make the pretzels, another guest beside us asked her what was in the bowl they dip the pretzels in and is it their secret ingredient.... I was just thinking.... yeah it's the secret ingredient for fat Americans at malls everywhere... BUTTER. Fortunately the nice people at Auntie Anne's had no problem fulfilling our butter-less request, and Patrick got plain and I got cinnamon sugar, and we split them and each had half of each kind. Having someone to share your free pretzels with is the best. And they tasted AMAZING! We have the most unique, most fun dates :)

March something, 2012 - Delicious Homemade Vegan Tacos

I don't know if I've blogged about the yummy vegan tacos that I make before, so here I go. One time I got a kit, but these are not from a kit. 

Corn Tortillas
Refried Beans
Jalapeno peppers

How I prepare the food:
Patrick is in charge of making the rice always. I fail at rice. I don't know why. Takes too long. Anyway, step one = obtain boyfriend, have him make rice. 

Next, chop up onions, peppers, and tomatoes and throw in a frying pan with some oil. Sprinkle with pepper and fry it up until you think it's done. Not too long or the tomatoes will shrivel up too much. 

Meanwhile, open up the can of refried beans and heat it up on the stove. This brand of refried beans that we got this time was better than whatever we got last time because it wasn't just mush, but it had some actual beans in it still. Yum. Patrick didn't really like refried beans until we started making them in these tacos. Now he likes them! I wasn't sure if I liked refried beans, but since I am trying new things, I decided to get some, and I really like them! They take the place of the meat in the tacos. Make sure to cook at low heat and to stir very frequently, or else they may mess up the bottom of your pot. They only take a few minutes to cook.

Almost done. Before assembling your taco, heat tortillas on a plate in the microwave. Then assemble taco, refried beans first, then frying pan stuff, then chop up lettuce and put on top. Plate rice and squeeze lime all over everything!! So delicious. Just try not to eat too many, because they are so delicious! 
Vegan love = mexican food :) Mexican food is great, too, because people who are not vegan who are eating with you can top them with whatever they want, like cheese or sour cream or meat (as long as they cook it separately!)

And finally, the last topic for today...

March 8, 2012 - My "Better-Than-Last-Time" Vegan Pizza

So I already posted about making homemade vegan pizza using corn tortillas and pasta sauce. Well tonight I made vegan pizza again, but this time with actual tomato paste that is meant for making pizzas, and, for the first time ever, I used VEGAN "CHEESE"! As a rule I am still not using substitutes in my vegan diet because it is cheating to me. And it is expensive. But today we had coupons for a free slice of pizza at this pizza place down the road from us called zPizza. Now zPizza DOES have an awesome looking vegan pizza and all fresh organic ingredients, but they didn't have that option available for the free slice coupon. So lucky Patrick got both free slices of pepperoni, and I decided to splurge and try vegan cheese on my homemade pizza. 

Vegan Mozzarella 

Corn Tortillas (yes okay, next time I will make more of an effort to get a better crust for the pizza)
Tomato Paste
Pepper (Patrick didn't remind me until AFTER I finished making the pizza that these are Jalapeno peppers and not bell peppers like last time... thanks... It was one spicy pizza. That's okay, I like spicy.)
Freshly chopped garlic
Garlic powder

Okay, so with the cheese I tried grating it, but that didn't work. So I ended up just cutting up pieces as best as I could. The cheese is kind of a different consistency, kinda mushy/gooey. But it tastes great! 

I don't need to tell you how to assemble the pizza. Just slice it up and put everything on there. Put it in a 375 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, checking it occasionally, because honestly I didn't really time it.

So yum.

Happy Eating!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I Love Being Vegan

I love being vegan. Sometimes it is hard. Sometimes I still don't eat that great (like oreos, ritz crackers, too much PB... etc) but most of the time I just love being vegan. 

Today for lunch I basically just made my regular salad, but I put it on a wrap to mix things up, keep it fresh.
Wrap = corn tortilla, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, avocado, pepper, olive oil...
How can you not love food that is that colorful?!

And the best part of my lunch was this chex mix I put together real quick....
Mix = whole wheat chex cereal, banana chips, date nuggets (they're like raisins), and peanuts!

We totally bought the date nuggets on a whim because they were on a really good sale. I had never even had dates before. But they are delicious! Almost like candy! Very sweet. Sweeter than raisins. The banana chips were on a really good sale too. I love banana chips, and this is my first time buying a whole bag of them since being vegan. It is so nice to get new foods! 

So my vegan tip of the week is to MIX IT UP! Don't just buy the same things every time you go to the store. Look for deals and sales. Buy in bulk whenever you can. And don't be afraid to try something new!

Happy Eating!