October 12, 2018
What are you eating this month? Vegetarian Awareness Month kicks off with World Vegetarian Day on October 1st, and ends with World Vegan Day on November 1st of each year. Whether you are a committed vegetarian, vegan, or simply just veggie-curious, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate a meatless (or “meat-lite”) lifestyle. Some of the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle include saving money, increased fiber intake, a higher vitamin-rich diet, and saving animals, just to name a few.
To celebrate Vegetarian Awareness Month we collected a few top-rated vegetarian-friendly restaurants around a few of our apartment communities. We were even inspired to throw in a few super delicious recipes for good measure!
A Hollywood Thai food mainstay for 16 years, Sawadee relocated to Camarillo, just under five miles from Mission Hills Apartment Homes. Sawadee is known for high quality (and healthy!) entrees made with fresh ingredients including spices, herbs, chilies, and ginger (celebrated for its anti-inflammatory properties). Other pluses: they don’t use MSG, and there are no preservatives and they use 100% vegetable oil. Most dishes can be as vegetarian-friendly; some of the favorites Yelpers reported were: Eggplant with Thai basil, Pad Thai Noodles with steamed veggies and Tofu & Vegetable Curry, but there are other options to choose from. And “make sure you leave room for the fried bananas with coconut ice cream!” one Yelper advised.
This casual and usually packed sit-down restaurant in Pleasanton has an Asian-inspired menu, highlighted by well-liked standouts such as "chicken" drumsticks with plum sauce, the vermicelli noodle plate, mushu mushu, curry fried rice, stir fry broccoli and clay pots with jalapeno. According to the website, Blossom Restaurant prepares everything from scratch daily and is committed to using only the freshest premium vegan ingredients. It is one of the few truly 100% vegan eateries in Pleasanton — no need to worry about MSG, dairy or eggs in their food! Nearby E&S Ring communities include: Pleasanton Place (1.6 miles), Valley Plaza Villages (2. 2 miles), Pleasanton Glen (3.3 miles) and Pleasanton Heights (3.9 miles).
If you’re craving plant-based tacos and fresh fruit margaritas, look no further than Gracias Madre — Café Gratitude’s sister restaurant. Headed by chef Chandra Gilbert, Gracias Madre is just about a half mile from Mediterranean Village West Hollywood and serves up high-level vegan Mexican fare sourced from locally grown organic ingredients and according to Eater, “doesn’t lean too heavily on the fake cheese.” You’ll find plenty of flavorful Mexican deliciousness, from the potato chorizo tacos and flautas de camote to butternut squash quesadillas and black bean burger. “Heaven for vegans!” exclaimed one Yelp reviewer.
Real Food Daily has been a longtime Los Angeles vegan staple with branches of restaurants scattered all over the city for years. The outlet on La Cienega in West Hollywood (less than a mile from Mediterranean Village West Hollywood) is one of those standbys for Hollywood hipsters who appreciate well-known dishes like tempeh bacon, vegan nachos and salads.
If you’re not in the mood to go out — or do not happen to live near one of the restaurants above — don’t fret! We’ve got three standout vegetarian recipes to try out at home this month.
Daniele Uditi’s blend of asparagus, fresh herbs, crushed red pepper and garlic makes this pizza a true don’t-miss-dish worthy of serving.
TV chef Ellie Krieger’s vegetarian version of chili uses canned black beans, while a hit of fresh orange adds a warm, sweet note to the rich spices. Bonus? You can throw this beaned bad boy together in under an hour, making it a perfect choice for all of your NFL Sundays in October!
Acclaimed Los Angeles chef Josef Centeno took inspiration from his great-grandmother for this recipe. “Because meat was expensive, she often made enchiladas using only vegetables, like carrots and potatoes,” writes Food and Wine. For his take on the enchiladas, chef makes a sofrito, cooking carrots low with a slow drizzle in of olive oil with garlic and tomatoes.