A Pirate-themed Vegan Seafood Car in Austin? Let’s Help Make it Happen!

Lisa Ward is trying to open a pirate-themed vegan seafood cart in Austin and she started a kickstarter campaign to raise funds. Exciting!!

The idea of this cart makes me really happy and I definitely plan to pledge some money towards this project. I hope this post inspires some of you guys to become a backer too! Every small amount counts and there are some really cool rewards offered for larger pledges…like a wooden pirate sword with your name on it, a custom painting of your pet as a pirate, and a fully-catered Pirate Party for you and 29 other shipmates.

Seriously. This is cool. We want this in Austin!

Check out her Kickstarter campaign here:


Contest: Submit your Best Vegetarian Travel Tip & Win a Free Kiss My Face Gift Package!

I know this is advance notice, but I will be teaching a Vegetarian Travel class at REI here in Austin, TX (as part of Hosteling International-Austin’s travel workshops). The class will be on January 11th and I’ll be posting more details closer to the date.

In preparation for my class, I’m compiling a list of vegetarian travel information and am having a contest to see who can come up with the best veggie travel advice.

Have a vegetarian travel tip to share? Just post it in the comments below (before January 11).

The winner will be contacted by email and will receive a gift package from the Kiss My Face Holiday Peace Collection. The package includes:

  • 100% natural foaming hand soap (pomegranate acai)
  • 100% natural all-purpose liquid soap (lavender mandarin)
  • soy wax Peace candle (lemongrass clary sage)

Product details below:

To celebrate the holidays at Kiss My Face, we have created our new Holiday Peace Collection. The Holiday Collection features our new 100% natural all-purpose castile soap in a liquid form and also a foaming hand soap. As consumers are searching for ways to remove toxins from their lives, this versatile soap is the perfect solution. The liquid soap has over 101 uses from the shower to the kitchen to the lake and even washing man’s best friend. All bottles come with a to/from holiday card for easy gift giving and are available in 4 “peaceful” scents: grassy mint, lemongrass clary sage, pomegranate acai & lavender mandarin scents.

10% of the profits will support Seeds of Peace, an organization that brings together teens from countries of conflict, like Palestine and Israel, to a camp in Maine where they learn about “the enemy” and leave more educated and compassionate about their neighbors.

Tasty Bite is giving out samples in Austin!

Tasty Bite makes all natural, preservative-free, ready-made ethnic meals. All meals are vegetarian and they also have a large variety of gluten free, vegan, and kosher options. *I think it’s a little odd that an all-veg company would have a photo of shrimp on their main page, but oh well….

Anyway, I’ll be posting a review of some of these products once I get my hands on them. The company has been running an Austin marketing tour since the beginning of October and will continue this tour through November.

During November, Tasty Bite will be giving out samples at Austin and Houston H-E-Bs from 10 AM – 5 PM at the following locations:

Thursday, 11/11:
Research Blvd & Braker Ln
Spicewood Springs & 183

Fm 620 & Anderson Mill Rd
651 N. Us Hwy 183
Gattis School Rd & Redbud Ln
Fm 2338 & Cedar Breaks Rd
S. Congress & Oltorf St.
E. 41st St. & Red River

Friday, 10/12:
Spicewood Springs & 183
Well Branch Pkwy & Fm 1825

Ih-35 & Canyon Ridge Dr
Fm 1460 & Hwy 79

Brodie Ln & William Cannon
S. Congress & Oltorf St.
New Slaughter Ln & Manchaca Rd
Slaughter Lane & Escarpmen


Thursday, 11/18:
Research Blvd & Braker Ln
Burnet Rd & Allendale Rd

Ih-35 & Canyon Ridge Dr
Fm 1460 & Hwy 79

Village Ctr Dr. & Far West Blvd.
Mopac Expwy & Parmer Lane

E. 41st St. & Red River
5401 & I-h 35

Friday, 11/19:

Fm 620 & Anderson Mill Rd
651 N. Us Hwy 183
Hwy 1325 & Greenlawn
Gattis School Rd & Redbud Ln
Brodie Ln & William Cannon

S. Congress & Oltorf St.
S. Ih-35 & N. Loop




Somnio’s Cafe

I absolutely recommend Somnio’s Cafe in South Austin.
Locally grown organic food. Cute, cozy house with a nice ambiance. BYOB. Generous portions for a good price. You really can’t go wrong with this place. It’s a perfect place to bring a few friends, a bottle of wine or a few good beers, and a big appetite.


Somnio’s Cafe has a large selection of vegan/vegetarian options, but they also offer meat options as well (making it a great choice if you’re eating with carnivorous friends, family members, or coworkers who can’t handle a single meal without meat). Vegan and vegetarian dishes are clearly marked and many of the veggie dishes can be prepared vegan if requested.

I highly recommend the Nynavae’s Tacos with panko crusted mushroom fritters. Very very good. I’m also a fan of the Sissy salad with apples, avocados, jalapeños and pecans. Yum!


Somnio’s Cafe also always have some nice vegan specials, like giant bowls of vegetable curry. These heart-shaped quinoa cakes were part of their Valentine’s Day special.


I tried their Sunday brunch once and I don’t think their tofu scramble is as good as the tofu scramble at Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse…but their breakfast bowl was still very tasty. I’ll definitely go back though when I’m in the mood for pancakes and fresh brewed fair trade coffee.

Biscuits + Groovy Trailer

A few years ago, the Hyde Park area was pretty lacking in the fast food breakfast/lunch offerings. There was a handful of good coffee shops, restaurants, and hang out spots…but the ready-to-go meal options (especially of the vegan variety) were in short supply.

Lucky for me though, this has started to change. I live and work in the Hyde Park Area and now have a few great vegan trailers that I can walk to on my way to/from work. I’ve mentioned Counter Culture before. It’s great for lunch (because open most days at noon), but if I’m too lazy to cook breakfast and find myself hungry on my morning walk to work…now I can go to the Biscuits +  Groovy Trailer (open most days from 8:30am-2pm).



The Biscuits + Groovy trailer owner is vegan. And while the food cart started as a strictly vegan cart, he has recently expanded his menu to include some meat. It’s too bad he couldn’t keep it all vegan, but I do understand the need to get a larger volume of people to give it an initial try. Judging by the reviews on yelp, the cart seems to be getting quite a bit of love from both vegans and non vegans, so that’s great. I do think he needs to clarify on his menu which items are vegan though (as it’s a bit tough to tell without asking him).

The first time I tried Biscuits + Groovy, I had the regular biscuits and gravy with a vegan sausage topping.


The next few times I tried it, I had the works: biscuits and gravy with vegan sausage, tofu scramble, vegan cheese, and green onions. Yum!



I honestly don’t think the gravy is as rich and delicious as the vegan mushroom gravy Miguel makes as home, but it’s still good. And I personally love my own vegan tofu scramble a bit better. But with that said, I spend my workday mornings making biscuits and gravy with sausage, tofu scramble, and vegan cheese. So I have absolutely no complaints! I’m definitely super stoked this place exists – especially in my area.

Also…John, the owner, is really friendly and the prices are reasonable. I foresee myself making quite a few more trips here on the mornings when I’m tired of my usual granola or breakfast tacos and am feeling like treating myself.

I’ll continue to add to this post as I try more things on the menu. I’ve heard good things about the vegan philly cheese steak (which isn’t on the daily menu makes an occasional appearance from time to time). And I still need to try the pancakes…and the breakfast burrito…and all the other stuff. Ok, now I’m getting hungry.

Cooking Fresh Pumpkin Pulp

Yay Halloween! Time for costumes and pumpkins and other fun things.


This Halloween was especially fun and we hosted a pumpkin carving party at our place.




Once the jackolanterns have been made, many people just roast the seeds and toss all the guts away.  This is an incredible waste because pumpkin innards are edible and delicious. Making fun things out of them should be an essential part of pumpkin carving!!

After all our pumpkins had been carved, we ended up with 3 giant bowls full of pumpkin pulp (which we pureed in a food processor) . We still have a little bit left in the freezer, but my roommates and I managed to create many different pumpkin creations.

So far, we have made pumpkin soup, pumpkin chili, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pecan balls, pumpkin hummus.





I even made vegan entrails for our Halloweeen party (and put a few dabs of pumpkin inside). They turned out great!


Scary Vegan Finger Cookies!

Check out these vegan finger cookies my friend, Lilli, made for our Halloween Party. They’re made with homemade bread and almonds and I think they’re pretty amazing!