Tag Archives: vegan

Specialty Produce in San Diego

Specialty Produce Fresh Foods

Fresh Items From Specialty Produce

Specialty Produce Is The Bomb Baby!

We love Specialty Produce. It’s like our 2nd home. And I’m gonna tell you why. But, first… What can I say? It’s been a while since I wrote a post. My music project has kept me busy. If you wanna check that out (which I would appreciate) please visit: funkcatbrown.com

San Diego Farmers Market Items

Farmers market items

So, now on with my love of Specialty Produce. First of all, they are open like every single day. Holidays and everything. I think the only holiday they close for is Christmas?? But, what really rocks about this place is the freshness and variety of foods they have. I mean the list is endless! They normally sell to restaurants. It’s basically a wholesale restaurant supply place, but they allow the public to shop there. It has ruined going to a regular grocery store for us. They have seasonal items, they have organic fruits and vegetables. They sell locally grown farmer’s market produce. They have things you will not find anywhere else. They have more than just produce!! They have nuts, and beans, and sauces and olives, and chilies, and oils, and Sriracha, and pastas, and grains, and rices, gourmet items, herbs, and more!

Romanesca San Diego

Romanesca

But, I’m just getting started here. The deal is that they have the freshest, choicest, and highest quality stuff. Have you ever been to the grocery store and a lot of the produce seemed like maybe it had sat in the back for a while or maybe had been on display for a little too long? Or maybe it was parked in a truck for a week? Never a problem at Specialty Produce. Since they serve restaurants primarily, the turnover of their product is high and that means you are getting the very freshest of produce. Fresher than a grocery store for sure. In fact when we do get stuff from a regular grocer now we are almost always disappointed with the quality. For example, the lettuce we get there is so fresh it lasts for a couple of weeks in our fridge without even putting in the produce/crisper drawer. Their avocados are really the best I’ve had and are always the perfect ripeness. And I could go on and on about how perfectly fresh all of their food is.

Figs in San Diego at Specialty Produce

Figs in San Diego at Specialty Produce

Variety? Check. They got it. Have you ever gone to like 3 or 4 stores looking for that one thing that might be in season? Not a problem here. They have so much variety it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes. So, they have what’s in season, but one of the things I like is being able to get stuff the normal stores don’t carry if it’s not in season. I can always get watermelon and berries year-round at Specialty, for example. Need a case of bananas? They got it. Or a case of honeydew melons. Covered. I wish I could list everything they have here. But, hey… they’ve already done it. Over on their website is a list of everything they have in stock. Ridiculous. Want purple potatoes? Got it covered.

Heirloom Tomatoes at Specialty Produce

Heirloom Tomatoes at Specialty Produce

And prices!! Have you ever been to Whole Foods and bought an heirloom tomato and a Portobello mushroom and it was like $20? Not here. Their prices are amazing. We save so much money by shopping at this spot. No coupons necessary. And the staff is extremely helpful and knowledgeable and friendly. Props to the staff! We love them. They are the best of the best and I just cannot say enough about how awesome they have been. You get to know them and it’s nice shopping some place where you feel like family.

Black Garlic in San Diego

Black Garlic in San Diego

Another added benefit is that since they don’t carry all that junk and crap that regular grocery stores do, we aren’t tempted as much to buy processed foods that are bad for us. And another cool thing is that if you want to taste something before you buy it, you can. Recently, I wanted to make sure some new Sumo oranges were as good as they looked, so I peeled one and split it with Mrs. McFly and of course they were so awesome we bought some. Hey, don’t go there expecting a free lunch. I mean be reasonable. But, if you need to taste before you buy, just know that you can do so within reason.

Chili peppers in San Diego at Specialty Produce

Chili peppers in San Diego at Specialty Produce

They even have this badass Specialty Produce App you can download for free for Android or Apple (you can see this stuff on their website, too) that will tell you what’s in season, what they have that’s new, and will give you details about food items that you never even knew about or maybe want to learn about. It will even tell you which restaurants in the San Diego area are using that food item and give you recipe ideas and show where it’s been spotted by other app users on a map of the world! Mind blowing stuff. I have learned so much about food since going to Specialty Produce and here I thought I was a foodie!

Watermelon in San Diego year-round.

Watermelon in San Diego year-round.

What a gift we have here in San Diego and we do not take it for granted. If you want to expand your culinary horizons or are looking for new things to try or hard to find vegetables or fruits or if you need special herbs or tons of something or just want to save money, then go to Specialty Produce and enjoy what they have to offer. It still amazes me that a place like this is open to the public and we are ever so grateful to them for all that they offer the community. If you go there be sure to tell them Funkinutt sent you.

Mushrooms in San Diego wholesale

Mushrooms in San Diego wholesale

And to give credit where credit is due: A special shout out to Rawvana. She is the one who turned us on to Specialty Produce and she was very helpful to us when we were raw for a while. Much love for a sweet spirit. Check out her blog if you get a minute. We have in turn tried to tell as many of our vegan friends about it to pay it forward. Wonderful. Nothing but wonderful. Hey, if you find something amazing, then you share it with your friends, and that is what I’m doing here. I am sharing it with you. Thank you all for reading and maybe I will start posting more. Just maybe. No promises though.

Peaches in San Diego

Peaches

Dufus Extraordinarius

Dufus Extraordinarius

Fresh Fruits and Veggies in San Diego

Fruits and Veggies

Philip Rivers made of fruit

Philip Rivers made of fruit

Pumpkins and squash San Diego

Pumpkins and squash

Black Garlic San Diego

Black Garlic

Stone Fruit San Diego

Stone Fruit

Bananas & Watermelon San Diego

Bananas & Watermelon

Plums & Pears San Diego

Plums & Pears

Plum Heaven

Plum Heaven

Vegan San Diego Fresh Fruit

Fresh Fruit

Melons and Plums San Diego

Melons and Plums

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Vegan Blog Coming Out of Retirement – Follow Me on Instagram

Vegan Blog Funky Cat

Vegan Blog is Funky!

Surprise! I’m back. Well, I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since I posted on my little vegan blog! I am here to announce I am taking my vegan blog out of semi-retirement. Woo hoo!

Vegan Scallops Sophie's Kitchen

Sophie’s Kitchen Vegan Scallops

You know when I started a vegan blog I thought it would be a lot of fun, and it was. But, then as I got into it, suddenly it became more work than it was fun. I have a lot of respect for all the wonderful vegan blogs and vegan bloggers out there because there is so much that goes into it. Blogging is a lot of work! Writing, cooking, documenting the recipe when you didn’t even follow one, taking pictures, editing photos, updating the blog software, making sure links are working, learning HTML code and other codes you never wanted to learn, formatting, dealing with spammers and hackers and other security issues in the background, approving comments, responding to comments, promoting, Twittering, SEOing, Facebooking, Pinteresting, Instagramming, linking, and the list is endless. I found it all a bit much just for a little vegan blog (for example this post took 3 hours) and then life events also have kept me pretty busy. So, that kind of explains my being semi-retired for about 2 years now.

Dehydrated Watermelon

Dehydrated Watermelon

First, I want to thank all of my loyal fans and followers. Secondly, I have been mostly on Instagram these days posting photos of delicious vegan food and other funky stuffs. Please follow me on MY INSTAGRAM. I have really enjoyed connecting with other like-minded vegan people on Instagram and have truly been blessed and enlightened by my experience with everyone there. The pictures in this post are just a few from my Instagram.

I also have decided to bring this blog back to life a little. Perhaps not posting for 2 years was a bit extreme. Ha ha. So, maybe if I post once a month (give or take) that will be a good balance. My focus these days is really on my music, which takes so much time and energy.

Wheatgrass Juice Vitamix Buddha

Wheatgrass Juice Vitamix Buddha

Mrs. McFly and I have been leaning towards becoming more raw vegan and may try to do a raw 30 day challenge. Also, in the last 2 years so much cool stuff has happened in the vegan world and it is easier and better than ever to lead a plant-based lifestyle. We also have been evolving in our knowledge and bought a Vitamix and Excalibur dehydrator. So exciting and fun. Maybe I can get Mrs. McFly up to speed on how to blog and she can take over some of the blogging duties.

That’s enough from me for now. Stay funky and vegan.

Sincerely,

The Funky Vegan –  Funkinutt McFly

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Carlsbad Village Farmers Market

Carlsbad Farmers Market Assorted Vegetables

Carlsbad Village Farmers Market - Assorted Vegetables

Carlsbad Village Farmers Market

We decided to get some stuffs recently at the Carlsbad Village Farmers Market and ended up with this bounty of avocados, sweet onions, Japanese turnips (never tried them), and a cabbage the size of my head and weighing nearly as much! Shopping at a Farmers Market is an excellent way to support your local farmers and buy some quality super-funky fresh produce, often at prices better than the grocery store. Some vendors have organic food, too. We are blessed to have so many Farmers Markets in the San Diego, CA area.

We couldn’t pass up the deal on avocados since they are $1.50 to $2.00 at the grocery store right now (crazy!). One vendor had vegan tamales and even though they were a little pricy we tried a black bean tamale and a veggie tamale with some killer salsa. They were so yummy and fresh. No lard – Yay! We wanted tomatoes, but there weren’t any really awesome ones, yet. Maybe next time. Strawberries are in season, but we had a whole 8 pints recently and are almost straw-berried out, which I don’t think is humanly possible. Can’t wait to make some killer stuffs with all this goodness. It always makes us feel happy, inside and out, to buy local food.

You can find Farmers’ Markets (and more) in your area by going to the Local Harvest website. For more information about the Carlsbad Village Farmers Market click here. Wish I had remembered to bring my camera to the actual market. Bah! Next time. :) Keep it funky and vegan!

~* The FunkyVegan

Carlsbad Village Farmers Market Bounty

Carlsbad Village Farmers Market Bounty

Farmer's Market Avocados Japanese Turnips Sweet Onions Cabbage

Avocados, Japanese Turnips, Sweet Onions, Cabbage



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Funky Vegan Spaghetti with Marinara and Italian Sausage

Ingredients Funky Vegan Spaghetti with Marinara and Italian Sausage

Yeah! This is gonna be good.

This is an easy and delicious recipe, packed with flavor, using organic whole wheat spaghetti and vegan Italian sausage. The best part? If you didn’t tell someone it was vegan, they would never know the difference.

So, who doesn’t like spaghetti? Especially when it is packed with flavor and wholesome ingredients. I know. I know. You’re already thinking, “I have my own recipe for spaghetti” or “It’s just easier to use store-bought Marinara sauce.” But, I promise that I wouldn’t be posting this if it wasn’t the absolute bomb-diggity. Just give it a try. It doesn’t take long to make and beats using jarred Marinara sauce any day.

Funky Vegan Spaghetti with Marinara and Italian Sausage

Mangia!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is always recommend to use pasta made in Italy and we really love the Garofalo brand of Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti. It is imported from Italy and can be found at Costco. However, you can use any pasta with this recipe. You may also substitute crushed red pepper (like the kind you get with pizza) if you don’t have the whole dried peppers handy. It is highly recommended that you do not substitute for the Cavender’s Greek seasoning, which can be found at most grocery stores. Of course, you can use sugar, or any sweetener, in place of the  organic blue agave nectar.

Let’s get crackin’.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

1 (16.7-ounce) package of organic whole wheat spaghetti
1 (14-ounce) package of Tofurky Italian sausage, sliced
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
1 head of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup water
5-10 dried red peppers, finely chopped or crushed
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3-4 dashes Tabasco brand pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon Cavender’s Greek seasoning
3/4 teaspoon organic blue agave nectar

Directions:

1. Fill a 6 quart stock pot with 4-1/2 quarts of water. Place on high heat and start the process to bring to a boil.

2. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and vegan Italian sausage slices to a pan on medium-high to high heat and sauté 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Add garlic, onion and Cavender’s seasoning to a 3 or 4 quart pot with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Sauté over high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add basil, oregano, and bay leaf, then stir briefly and reduce heat to slightly above medium.

4. Add tomatoes, black pepper, crushed red pepper, organic blue agave syrup, Tabasco sauce, 1/3 cup of water, and 2 teaspoons of salt (to taste), and stir. Save remaining 1 teaspoon of salt for pasta water.

5. Once the marinara sauce is bubbling, add the vegan sausage then reduce heat to low and simmer until pasta is ready.

6. When the pasta water is boiling, add the remaining teaspoon of sea salt and spaghetti, then cook according to package directions, usually around 9 minutes.

7. Quickly drain spaghetti using a colander, leaving a small amount of cooking water (1/4-1/3 cup) in the pot. Do not shake excess water from pasta. Place pasta back into 6 quart pot it cooked in, but off the heat. Add Marinara sauce and stir well.

Funky Vegan Spaghetti with Marinara and Italian Sausage Pot

In the Pot

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