Tucson, part 2

January 2, 2015

Hello again from Tucson! As promised, here is part two of our Tucson adventures. Since the last post we have squeezed in a LOT of great activities including several hikes, a trip to Bisbee, lots of parties and of course Christmas Eve dinner, which was completely vegan this year. It’s been a bit colder this year than Christmases past, but we’re still making the most of it. Here are just a few photos of what we’ve been up to.

tucson seven falls tucson seven falls

For our first Tucson hike we went to Seven Falls in Bear Canyon. Unfortunately we only made it about halfway up because the water was flowing too much, and you have to cross the stream about 8 times. In the end we gave up and just charged through the water, getting our feet wet along the way.

wholefoods vegan sushi

Yummy vegan sushi from Wholefoods.

Tucson sunset Tucson sunset

Watching the sunset from my mom’s fire pit out in the desert. We get full views of the mountains from this one spot, making it a really special place to hang out with friends.

vegan pizza from Zona 78

Vegan pizza from Zona 78: portobello mushrooms, carmelized red onion, roasted fennel, kalamata olives and basil on a wholewheat crust.

Agua Caliente Park in Tucson

A walk to Agua Caliente Park near my mom’s house.

IMG_2090 vegan panzanella

My Christmas Eve dinner contribution consisted of a vegan spinach and artichoke dip (recipe to come), panzanella and green beans with toasted almonds (not pictured). Andrew also made some delicious roasted brussels sprouts.

So the story with the panzanella is that I bought two heirloom tomatoes from Wholefoods without looking at the price and ended up spending $12 for the two of them. Whoops. Because of this I really wanted to make something special with them and had the ingredients for panzanella. While it’s by no means a traditional Christmas dish, it did go down really well!

vegan Christmas dinner

vegan Christmas dinner

Here is our Christmas Eve spread, everything was 100% vegan this year: 2 Gardein roasts, stuffing, cornbread, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts, stuffed acorn squash, garden salad, panzanella, green beans with almonds, spinach and artichoke dip and two types of gravy. It was a real feast.

IMG_2137 vegan breakfast tacos

On Christmas morning I made everyone vegan breakfast burritos using my traditional tofu scramble recipe, sauteed bell peppers and onions, avocado, coriander and salsa. I also cooked up some soy chorizo from Trader Joe’s to go with it – and it was freakishly like the real thing.

hiking in Milagrosa Canyon, Tucson   hike up milagrosa canyon

vegan pita for the hike

Our next hike was up Milagrosa Canyon near my mom’s house. It’s a short hike (about an hour up), but it’s a pretty hard climb. There was a ton of water up there, and we were the only people on the trail which I love. For our lunches I made a stuffed pita sandwich with hummus, tofu, baby kale and leftover panzanella.

vegan tofu tacos from La Cocina vegetarian reuben

For Andrew’s birthday a bunch of us went to La Cocina for dinner, where I had the vegan “tofu-riza” tacos with black beans, rice, salad and guacamole, while Andrew had a vegetarian reuben sandwich that was made with aubergine.

Govindas vegan brunch in Tucson

Govindas in Tucson has always been one of my favorite places for lunch – even long before I became a vegetarian. We went there on a sunny Sunday and sat in the courtyard with my sister and enjoyed one of the tastiest vegan brunches I’ve ever had. There’s a good chance we’ll be going back again before we leave.

tucson sunset tucson sunset

tucson sunset

We had a truly spectacular sunset one night while hanging out at my mom’s house. This is one of the prettiest sunsets I’ve seen in years, and one of the many reasons I miss the desert so much.

As you can see, we’ve done quite a bit since the last post and this isn’t even half of it. In my final post I’ll talk about our NYE trip to Bisbee and SNOW in the desert!

Happy 2015 everyone!