Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chili, cornbread, Ani's slaw, my weight loss, and a smoothie

Well I've been at a weight plateau for quite a while now.  Although only in numbers.  I can see the progress of my new weight lifting regimen, especially in my arms.  I work out with weights 3 days a week now and do lots of walking on the other days.  They say you don't often see the numbers go down on a scale when you're weight lifting, but you may go down in sizes.  Anyway, my numbers did finally start to go down the other day....even if only a tiny bit.  Every bit counts!  And I think I'm in my last 5-10 pounds of losing anyway, which apparently are the hardest to lose.

Ok, on to the food :)

Saturday's market: eggplant, tarragon, okra, tomatoes, peaches, white button mushrooms, baby bellas, basil, fairytale eggplant, mustard greens, butternut squash, limes, asian pears, cucumbers, rice,  and more black bean salsa!

Today I made a great juice!

Apple Carrot Ginger juice:

2 medium carrots
1-2 stalks celery
1 fuji apple
small slice ginger (depends how gingery you like it)
1 cup water (or 1 1/4 if you want it a bit more watery)

Blend in your Vita-Mix!

I needed a good raw meal the other day and found Ani Phyo's Black Sesame Asian Slaw with Ginger Cashew Mayo in Ani's Raw Food Kitchen book. I didn't use Chinese cabbage, but used plain old shredded cabbage and coleslaw in a bag.  (I ended up having to add quite a bit more water to the mayo, because it was pretty thick) I also used a mixed seaweed bag a friend brought me from Japan, instead of just Hijiki.  It made enough "mayo" that we had the slaw again a second day for lunch.  It was delicious!

I made some of my bean chili the other day, with whatever veggies I had on hand.  I added pink-eyed peas, since I had some in the freezer that I'd previously cooked.  I served it with this cornbread, which was absolutely awesome!  Just the right amount of sweetness.  Only thing is, I forgot to add the vegan butter when I processed the kernels of corn, but it still tasted great.  And the batter was so tasty, I didn't even bother adding the topping of vegan butter and sugar!  You definitely need to make this :) (I left out the bell pepper too)

Other stuff I've eaten:

A variation of my Indian Curry  (served over millet):

Another variation of my Indian food with added eggplant and okra, served over plain couscous:


Check out Averie's blog. She's giving away a bunch of awesome Tempt stuff!!

Eat smart,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Burritos, Tacos and Spring Rolls, among other things...

First, Saturday's market share: cucumbers, spaghetti squash, shiitakes, watermelon, peaches, tomatoes, herbs, sprouts, mustard greens, peppers, eggplant, okra, and local black bean salsa!

After our trip to Texas, I was inspired to make burritos and tacos :)

Tanya's Veggie Burritos:
(makes ~4-5 burritos)

4-5 tortillas (I used sprouted grain)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 avocado
~1 cup coleslaw/shredded cabbage/broccoli slaw
diced dried jalapenos (or fresh)
taco seasoning
lime juice & salt to taste

Saute onion & celery in about 1/4 cup water until soft.  Add peppers, carrots, and jalapenos.  Cook about 5 minutes more. Add the cabbage/coleslaw mix and cook about 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the cooked rice and taco seasoning.  I also added tomato powder (optional).  Mix well.  Add salt & lime juice to taste.

Scrape out the avocado and mash up.  Spread on the tortilla, top with veggie mix, and fold!

Tanya's Pea Tacos:
(makes ~5-6 tacos)

5-6 corn tortillas
1 cup cooked pink-eyed peas (or black-eyed)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1 tbsp minced garlic
Creole Seasoning
Taco Seasoning
diced dried jalapenos
crushed red pepper flakes

Wrap the tortillas in tin foil and put in a 250 degree oven for about 10 minutes to heat up.  Saute the onion, garlic, & celery in 1/4 cup water until soft.  Add the peppers & cabbage.  Cook another 5 minutes, then add the peas and seasonings, including the jalapenos & red pepper flakes.  Stir well. Add more water if sticking to pan.  Cook about 5 minutes.  Try to mash up the peas a bit in the pan so the mixture sticks together a bit more.

Remove tortillas and fill. Top with guacamole (recipe follows).

Tanya's Guac:

1 Hass avocado
1/2 tomato, chopped
1 tsp dried diced jalapenos (or use fresh)
juice of 1/2 key lime (or use from a whole lime, if you like it)
1 tsp dried cilantro (or use fresh)
salt to taste

Mix all together.

Other stuff I made:

Pink-Eyed Pea salad:

Marinated veggie spring rolls (turned out to be a bit too soggy):

I also made the Peanut Passion Sauce from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.  I used almond butter instead of peanut butter.  I left out the lime zest, and I only used a tiny drop of sesame oil.  It was quite good...I used it as a dipping sauce for spring rolls.

My one year bloggiversary is almost here!  Look for a book giveaway as a celebration!!

By the way, I'm thinking of changing my blog name. Any ideas?  My husband likes "Cooking With T" so I may keep that as a subtitle.  I also would like my blog title to match the url.

Oh, and if you're interested, there was an article on trying to be vegan in New Orleans here.

Eat smart,

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Texas Trip and Good Eats: Austin and Texas Beer

Now for the best part of the whole trip! WE LOVED AUSTIN!!  That's my new favorite city. Never thought I'd say that about somewhere in Texas, but....it is.  There are bars everywhere, lots of vegan/raw food places, it's a very walkable city, great texas beer, and nice walking paths along the river.  What more do you need??? Oh....a job.  Hahahaha.....there aren't any full-time orchestras in Austin, so that won't be happening.  But, if you know of maybe 15-20 kids who need violin or viola lessons......we're in! Sign us up :)

Now for the food.


Borboleta Gourmet/Ambrosia. Yes, they've gone through several names, including The Talkhouse.  But they're still there and open! The woman inside was really friendly and talked to us a ton about Austin.  Their menu is very limited, but very good. I think they only had maybe 4 items to choose from, for an entree. 

"S" got the Raw Lasagna, which was really tasty and so pretty:
I got the Raw Pizza with kale salad. Delicious! The kale salad was pretty strong with the lemon juice, I think, or something sourish, but it was still really good.
And for dessert, a mesquite ball and chocolate macaroon. Both tasty.
And although I didn't get any, here's a picture of their fermenting kombucha, which they sell:

We walked a few miles to get to this place and it was definitely worth it. Besides, 6th street is awesome, so it's great if you feel like a beer along the way :)

Speaking of, we were dying of heat walking there and stopped in at an outdoor bar for water.  Well, I asked for club soda to go and she said they didn't have to go cups (geaux cups here in Louisiana).  We forgot we were not in Louisiana anymore.  So we sat down to drink it there.  She didn't even want our money!  I must've looked like I was about to keel over from walking 3 miles or so in 100 degrees.  Well we gave her a good tip at least....thank you whoever you are!!

The people in Austin are SO nice.

Mothers Cafe.  A friend of ours recommended this place to us and was supposed to meet us there, but came down with the stomach flu. Guess we'll meet up with them next time!  Anyway, this restaurant was awesome.

We started with a cup of the Tomato Artichoke Bisque (vegan), which was out of this world!!
(and that's "S's" wine)

"S" ordered the Spicy Tempeh Enchiladas, which were excellent:

I ordered the Vegetables Rancheros....also delicious. That sauce is awesome!
And we couldn't skip out on dessert.  But we even had to take some of the food back to our hotel! So I got the Belgian Mocha Fudge Chocolate Cake to go :) WOW! Delicious!!

The menu here is all vegetarian but shows you what is vegan and what they can veganize for you, which is a lot of stuff.  And the room in the back is really great.....a fountain, lots of trees and greenery.  Nice staff too.

Beets Living Foods Cafe.  Huge menu.....very bright, clean, and modern looking.  You can park free in the garage of the building, so that's a plus.  It's not far from Borboleta Cafe. The waitress was really nice and very smiley. This is raw vegan place. They also sell a few items (yes, I bought a shirt) like raw books, shirts, powders, etc...

We started with their special: Curried Carrot Chips with Tahini dip. So good.

"S" got the Portobello Fajita Plate with a side of TexMex Cabbage.  Tasty:

I ordered the Asian Style Noodle Salad with kelp noodles. It was almost too pretty to eat! But it was absolutely delcious and hit the spot on a hot summer day:
More pictures, because it was so pretty:

Got a brownie for dessert, but they had way more stuff....just didn't want to overdo it this time:

And the last place we ate was Daily Juice Cafe, on our way out of town. Also a huge menu.  We ordered what the woman behind the counter suggested which were both really great.

We got the "Tuna" Boat....really delicious, but probably high calorie!

...and some sort of Enchilada, which was also awesome (you can order one or two, we got one):

I also got the Chocolate Prana smoothie...tasted like liquid chocolate mousse....lots of coconut flavor.
It was a good drink/dessert for the road!

Our last morning, we walked to Little City Espresso Bar, near the Capitol building on Congress. Very nice place and really good coffee. They even played Queen the whole time we were in there!! (yes, I love Queen)

PS-I forgot....we walked to Aster's Ethiopian too (about 2 miles from our hotel).  Looks a bit like a "hole in the wall" kind of place, but the people were really nice and the food was great! They've got a vegan/vegetarian combo. Picture was taken on my phone:


Texas has great beer! Who knew??

While in Houston,  I was able to have Saint Arnold's Amber on tap at our hotel.  Very good session beer. 
Saint Arnold's also has a Summer Pils that's a good session beer (tried that at the Ginger Man in Austin). And I brought back a bottle of their Wheat beer, which I had last night and it was excellent!

512-yes it's the Austin area code, but it also happens to be a great brewing company!
A kind gentleman at Darwin's Pub on 6th street told us we should try the Ginger Man on 4th and Lavaca for some 512 beer (I asked if they had any). Thank you, whoever you are. I told you, people in Austin are just too nice. So, back to the beer.

512 makes an excellent Pecan Porter that was recommended to us by several locals. Thank you, Ginger Man, for carrying quite a few 512 beers for us to try :)
They also make a very refreshing Wheat, called a Wit and a very hoppy/grapefruity IPA. Both very good!

Real Ale-it's real and it's good.  I had picked up a 6-pack variety when I was in Houston, without having tried any, so this was a good opportunity to have some (at the Ginger Man bar).  Actually, I'd had their Fireman's #4 Blonde Ale at our hotel the previous night.  Another good session beer....not too strong, but good. We had their Hans Pils (one of their summer seasonals) and that was pretty darn refreshing! Their Rio Blanco Pale Ale is one of their year-round beers.....pretty grapefruity.  All good.

Live Oak: yet another local Austin brewery.  Yup, they have a ton.  We had their Big Bark Amber Lager at the hotel and it's a darn good beer. Hmmmm, I thought we tried more at the Ginger Man, but I can't remember now.....too many beers?? They did have 36 taps and it was raining in there, so we were in there a while.  

The Ginger Man pub. It's where we tasted most of those beers.  The man behind the counter was oh so helpful and very friendly.  We tasted a lot, we had actual pints as well (what? did you think we'd just go in for free tastings?? Although that doesn't sound half bad...)

And last, but not least......I broke down and went to Whole Foods.  I guess Austin is the mother of all Whole Foods.......we ate there one day for lunch.  I went back on another day to pick up a tote full of goodies.  Expensive goodies, but.......here it is:
(No, those 3 TX hot sauces are not from WF.  Vegan granola, agave, raw almond butter, local coffee, Geeta's Jalfrezi sauce-amazing stuff, and local Strawberry Almond jam) Oh, and I picked up that one bottle of St. Arnold's beer there too.

And that's all....wow....that was a lot of food....and beer.  But seriously, Austin is my new favorite place. Who wants to hire me?

Upcoming giveaway: Dr. Neil Barnard's "Get Healthy, Go Vegan" book!!

Eat smart,

Texas Trip and Good Eats: Houston and San Antonio

I'm back! Ok, we weren't really gone that long, but we had SO much good food.  We decided to visit Houston because my husband's family would be gathered there for a few days.  Had a good time with them.....hope they didn't mind the vegetarian cafe we dragged them to :)

Not a big Houston fan.  The place is just too big and too crowded with people and cars.  But, I had done my research for good vegan food and so that was the second reason for going there.  Since we were already that far, we decided to make a loop and visit San Antonio and Austin as well....I'd never been to any of these cities.

In this post, I'll show you the food finds from Houston & San Antonio, because Austin deserves its own post!


Field of Greens Healthy Cuisine:

Not totally vegetarian, but almost. They do have a tuna and salmon dish, I believe.  You order at the counter and seat yourself.  My only complaint was that it took forever for our food to come out.  But, they did bring us some free hummus to start (I think it was a mistake, but I asked and she said to eat it anyway).  It had a vegan pesto on top...delicious.

"S's" aunt & uncle got the Veggie Burrito and Salad.  Didn't taste it, so I don't know how it was.  I hope they liked it:

"S" got the Vegan Fish Taco Platter, which was excellent!
I got the Macrobiotic Platter (half portion only and it was huge), which was good.  Pretty plain, but good.  The steamed veggies didn't have any seasonings or anything, but I love my kale!  The tofu quiche was really delicious too.
My platter also came with soup: Ginger Carrot.  Was ok....a bit oily for my taste:

"S's" cousin got the Spinach Salad.....had cheese on it,so no picture :) Must've been good though, because he cleaned his plate.

Had to try dessert: vegan chocolate cake. Really good.

Next stop: Central Market in Houston (H.E.B.) An amazing grocery store! They had sooo many coffee beans to choose from and tons of bulk items and raw food items.  Lots of beer too. And the produce was so fresh! (not in the picture-apples & carrots & a 6-pack variety of TX Real Ale)Oat groats, sprouted buckwheat granola, Holly's oatmeal, sprouted sunflower seed snacks, raw pumpkin seeds, corn pasta, local coffee, and oat chocolate bars.

Loving Hut, Houston:

Very clean and bright place.  You order at the counter and then go have a seat and they'll bring it to you.  The seats were comfortable and the wait wasn't very long.  We ordered the Spring Rolls for an appetizer and they were delicious! I should've ordered an extra as my main meal :)

I had the Sweet and Sour Divine. I knew "S" wouldn't like it....he hates Chinese food. So I had it all to myself :) Also got the apple/carrot juice which was great.
"S" ordered the Exquisite Curry, which was good, but mostly liquid with lots of noodles and maybe not enough vegetables.

We had to go to Sweet Tomatoes once, because we don't have any where we live and I used to LOVE that place (also known as Souplantation in Southern CA).  I looked up the daily menu on their website and wrote down the few prepared salads and soups that were vegan and I was set to go.  It's an amazing salad bar, so of course most of what we ate was raw vegetables! No pictures...sorry...too busy piling up my plate with veggies.


Then off to San Antonio we went! First we stopped for lunch at Green Vegetarian Cuisine, which was just outside of downtown, in what looked like a residential area. They were so friendly!  Both the waitstaff and Chris (not sure who he was....the chef? The  owner???)  were super nice and very appreciative.

I had already planned on what I was going to order....the raw carrot noodles with cashew alfredo sauce.  But alas, they didn't have that on their physical menu....they said it shouldn't have been online.  That's ok, what I got was amazing! The Zucchini Enchiladas with a side of mashed potatoes and a side of collard greens, all of which were vegan :)

"S" ordered the vegan Carne Guisada with a side of kale and side of broccoli salad.
(he liked it a lot, but it was a bit too "meaty" for me)

And for dessert, I had the Cookies N' Cream cupcake which was awesome!

And that's it for San Antonio....we only spent the afternoon there (that's ok with me, wasn't too interesting)....saw the alamo and riverwalk.  Then continued on to Austin, where we focused more on raw food. Look for my part 2 post!

Eat smart,


Vegetarian Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory