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Trader Joe’s Vegetable Panang Curry

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Trader Joe’s has really been working on their vegan options, and they are adding to them all the time.  In fact, just the other day I saw shredded vegan cheese in the refrigerated section.  I don’t often leave work for lunch, but there are those days when I’m running late and can’t make one ahead of time.  There aren’t a lot of vegan meal options near my job, so I get really sick of Robek’s and Subway.  Trader Joe’s has become my go-to because I can buy a variety of prepared meals there and it doesn’t get old.

Anyway, I recently tried Trader Joe’s Vegetable Panang Curry and found it satisfying, but not spicy enough.  I don’t think that’s the fault of Trader Joe’s, I think that I just like my curry hot.

Trader Joe's Vegetable Panang Curry | A Vegan in Progress

It comes with the rice and the curry in separate compartments, which is really awkward if you don’t have bowls in your desk and you have to try to scoop the vegetables into the rice compartment after cooking.  For the record, I usually have bowls, but we recently took them camping to be used for cereal and haven’t brought them back to work yet.

Trader Joe's Vegetable Panang Curry | A Vegan in Progress

I’m sure I will purchase this again, just for variety’s sake, but I have other Trader Joe’s favoritesl

VegiLicious All Natural Vegan Cafe, Huntington Beach

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My parents have been going to the same accountant for years. In fact, before they went to him, they went to his father. When I was little, I used to play on the floor of his office during their appointments. As I started working, I used to handle my taxes myself, but once I got married and started writing off educational expenses and dealing with family trusts, they became too complicated for me, so I started tagging along on their annual appointments.

We have sort of made it a tradition to go on a Saturday and have a lunch out, just the three of us, which I really enjoy. For this year’s lunch, my mom searched for restaurants ahead of time, since we aren’t that familiar with the area. She came across VegiLicious All Natural Vegan Cafe, which apparently just opened a few months ago.

VegiLicious, Huntington Beach | A Vegan in Progress

They are tucked back into the courtyard area of a shopping center, so it’s a little difficult to find. The decor is simple and inviting and I loved the ocean breeze that we got from the door that was left open.

VegiLicious, Huntington Beach | A Vegan in Progress

I really liked the little cards on every table explaining “why vegan?” and concluding, “in short, you can make yourself and others happy!”

VegiLicious, Huntington Beach | A Vegan in Progress

It’s so nice to be able to order anything you want from the whole menu… it’s a serious treat to dine at an all-vegan restaurant. After some trouble deciding, I ordered the Signature Curry with Oven Baked “Chicken” Tenders and asked for shelled edamame to be added in the curry. The meal comes with jasmine rice and a side salad.

VegliLicious - Curry with "chicken" tenders | A Vegan in Progress

The side salad was delicious… the dressing was just perfect. I also loved the way that they prepare the curry. They present you with a bowl of mild curry and a side of rice, as well as a small pot of spicy sauce to mix in at your discretion. I was able to make the curry as spicy as I liked, but I’m sure this was also good for diners who like their curry mild.

VegiLicious - Side Salad | A Vegan in Progress

The chicken tenders were great for dipping in the curry, but I’m pretty sure they were just Gardein brand and not house-made. I’ll take well-made store bought meat replacements over bad house-made ones any day.

My parents both got small cups of the Miso soup, which they really liked.

VegiLicious - Miso Soup Cup | A Vegan in Progress

My mom ordered their Tofu-N-Radish Salad…

VegiLicious - Tofu-N-Radish Salad | A Vegan in Progress

and my dad got the Grilled Teriyaki “Chicken” Sandwich with a side of edamame.

VegiLicious - Grilled Teriyaki "Chicken" Sandwich | A Vegan in Progress

My dad was very impressed with the sandwich and kept asking, “you’re sure this isn’t chicken?”

After thoroughly enjoying our entrees (we practically licked our plates clean, we were so pleased with the meal), we ordered a couple of slices of the Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake to share.

VegiLicious - Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake | A Vegan in Progress

It was tasty, but I was pretty disappointed. As you can plainly see, this is not chocolate cheesecake, it’s chocolate chip cheesecake. I don’t like regular cheesecake nearly as much as chocolate cheesecake. Plus, this was obviously store-bought and still frozen in the center. My mom and I were sharing a piece and couldn’t finish it, but my dad loved his, so to each their own.

The service at VegiLicious is something that must be commented on. They had only one waiter who was extremely friendly and attentive. The owner also came by more than once to see if we liked what we had ordered. The service and entrees alone were plenty to have me saying I would be back whenever I am in the area.

However, the prices were a little steep for the portions we received and I was put off by the dessert. I hope they work on those things, because this was a great restaurant!