Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Vegan hiker

He came up with the idea late Saturday night.

"Are you ready for an adventure?"

Yes! Yes, I was.

Except when he told me exactly what the adventure would entail, I was scared more than excited.

Hiking all day in the middle of the desert? What the heck will I eat? This would be my first real excursion in the outdoors since going vegan, something that would require more than a Larabar and an apple.

So I made a loaf of rosemary focaccia.

Rosemary focaccia

When that was done, I used it to make a big fat sandwich of seitan and roasted red pepper spread. Since there was no telling when we would be home or how strenuous the hike would be, I also packed up a pear, a couple granola bars and some quinoa protein muffins.

Early the next morning, we hit the road and ended up in the middle of the Mojave.

Road to nowhere

The trail was a big sea of golden wildflowers.


We hiked to the top of a 10,000-year-old volcanic crater.

Jason on rim

The payoff was an excellent view of lava fields.



After a spectacular sunset, we headed back home.



We were so exhausted, dirty and hungry, we decided to stop to wash up and grab a quick bite. I had no idea what I would find at Crossroads Cafe in Joshua Tree. Best-case scenario, I figured would be a salad, even though that wouldn't be nearly enough to fill my grumbly post-hike belly.

And then ... success!

A tempeh reuben with vegan cheese and a mixed green salad with lemon tahini dressing, all for $7.50. When my side salad arrived with non-vegan feta, the server efficiently whisked it away and brought me a brand-spanking-new one.

Reuben sandwich

(Pardon the bad photo. That was taken with my phone in a poorly-lit place.)

Support vegan-friendly businesses: Crossroads Cafe is located at 61715 29 Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, CA.


thedesertlife said...

Did you have to ask for vegan cheese or do they use it on their vegetarian stuff? I've eaten there at least twenty times and never thought to ask... I'm intrigued!

Maggie said...

I think you have to specify that you want the vegan cheese.

I told the server, "And no cheese because I'm vegan," and she said, "Oh. So you don't want the vegan cheese?"

I didn't even realize it was an option!