Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Farmer's Market Fun: Taste of Life, krispy kale, and samples galore!

My weekly routine is to go to the Hollywood Lemon Grove farmer's market on Wednesday and to the Silver Lake farmer's market on Saturday. But this Sunday, Kirby Von Scrumptious, The Food Monster, and I piled into a car and headed out into the warm sunshine to THE Hollywood Farmer's Market. Because of my frequent trips to the two other closer markets, I haven't been to the Hollywood market in a few months but I'm glad my two fellow bloggers brought me back because I had forgotten how absolutely awesome it is.

First of all, the weather was perfect. The weather in L.A. is pretty much perfect all the time, but it was extra perfect on Sunday. Because I had just stocked up on produce at the market the day before, I didn't plan on buying anything. I mostly went to try the free samples and to get some Taste of Life vegan delicacies. The Food Monster and I definitely tried produce samples from every vendor in the whole place (and trust me, there are a lot). After all the avocado samples we ate I'm pretty sure we probably ate the equivalent of two whole avocados each. We also sampled a refreshing corn and basil salad that I will definitely be recreating in the near future. Because I just couldn't control myself, I ended up picking up some pomegranetes, limes, kale, and yellow tomatoes (I was so happy to see these babies aren't totally gone for the season!!!).

Yesterday I was in the mood for something crunchy so I jumped on the baked kale bandwagon and made some kale chips. At the last minute I decided it might be fun to try using my Sesame Ginger dressing from Trader Joe's on the kale instead of the usual oil, vinegar, and salt. To be honest, I wouldn't do that again. The chips weren't inedible but the dressing made them too tangy and a little bitter. But they were still good enough for me to happily stuff it all into my big face! Here's how I made the chips:

Tangy Kale Chips
Spray oil
one bunch kale
sea salt, to taste
2 tbsp sesame ginger salad dressing

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with the spray oil. Tear the kale off its stems into shreds and put in bowl. Toss with the salad dressing and the sea salt. Spread onto cookie sheet and cookie for 15-20 minutes or more depending on how crisp you like your chips. Remove from heat, cool, and enjoy!

After drooling over pictures of Taste of Life's vegan soul food on many other blogs, Kirby Von Scrump and I finally got to take some drool-worthy pictures of our own. A Taste of Life is a regular stand at the market but they also have a restaurant on Fountain, not far from my casa, but because of my Pure Luck addiction, I haven't made it over there yet. I first sampled their vegan lasagna which was absolutely delicious and I am fairly positive it would totally fool an omnivore. After debating with the insanely friendly and funny server, I opted to go for a side of Mac N Cheez instead. My last taste of vegan mac and cheese was not good at all so I was skeptical, but it looked so good and gooey bubbling on the buffet. I got a slice of cornbread and was ready to go.

Except for wait--what would I wash all those carbs down with? I needed some watermelon agua fresca of course!!! Watermelon agua fresca--let's call it WAF--is my beverage of choice at every given moment. It is basically like heaven juice sent from the gods. So I hopped by a kabob stand that had a big ole vat of it, threw the guy two dollars and was on my way. Lucky for us, we were able to snag some of the few seats that are provided next to where the Thai food stand is.
Taste of Life's Mac N Cheez was absolutely amazing. I think it could maybe possibly even trick an omnivore just like the lasagna. Maybe that is a little extreme, but regardless, the stuff was finger lickin' good. A "side order" of it is also enough to put you into a serious food coma. Kirby got the same thing and we both had to keep taking breaks from eating because we were stuffed, but we are no quitters. We polished that stuff off like champs!!!!! And then we wanted to die. But in a good way. Ya know? The cornbread was also absolutely delicious and was on the sweet side. I absolutely cannot wait to go back to the Taste of Life stand and to try out their restaurant. I think next weekend Kirby and I are going to split the dinner platter which gives you a sample of four different dishes and will surely force us to loosen our belts. Three cheers to the Hollywood Farmer's Market! Just another reason to fall in love with this fabulous city of ours.

A Taste of Life


Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

what a great day at the Farmer's Market! Hopefully my nearby market will also sell vegan mac n cheez one day!

Anonymous said...

I think I need to hop on the kale chips bandwagon, too. Those sound delicious!

Vegyogini said...

I can't wait to try Taste of Life for myself. I love the kale chips at Juliano's Raw, but I can't figure out exactly how they make them!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

hey Liz, the skull whoopee cushion is from Target. It was in the $1 section. Hope you find one!

Destiny's Vegan Kitchen said...

Wow, your description of the mac n cheeze is so good, I think I can taste it!

Anonymous said...

i'm SO glad you got a taste of life! it's absolutely amazing, isn't it! you guys sound like ya know how to have fun. :)

Ruby Red Vegan said...

That is the prettiest picture of kale my eyes have ever seen. !!

Farmer's markets are the best. It is impossible not to buy stuff there...unless you are broke. Wow, your descriptions of Taste of Life have me craving some vegan mac like crazy. And cornbread too!

Joanna said...

i'm a big mac and cheese fan, but there's no vegan restaurants around here at all. i have to make my own everything if i want it haha