June 30, 2010

A Healthy Option in the Atlanta Airport

I recently had a short layover in the Atlanta airport.  Among many fast food restaurants, is the Atlanta Bread Company, a much healthier choice.  The Veggie Sandwich and the Greek Salad are great vegetarian options, and just about anything can be customized to be vegan. 

June 24, 2010

Anniversary trip to Turks

My husband and I are on our way to Provo, Turks + Caicos for our anniversary.  It's where we were married two years ago...
It is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever encountered.  Not only is the scenery mind blowing, but the food is outstanding!  I can't wait to share this glorious island with all of you!  

Until next week...

Photos courtesy of Cory Piehowicz

June 23, 2010

Amsterdam Falafel

The place to go for falafel in Omaha is Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob.  Their Falafel Sandwich is filled with fresh vegetables, garlic or spicy sauce, and of course, falafel. 
Their Curry Fries should not be missed either!

June 21, 2010

Blue Sushi

The first time I tried veggie sushi, I was hooked.  I'm always excited to try new sushi restaurants to see what kind of inventive vegetarian rolls they've come up with (and a little disappointed when all I see is an Avocado Roll).  Blue Sushi in Omaha recently changed their menu and added some amazing vegetarian options.  

Edamame Hummus served with fresh cucumbers, carrots and curry crostini. 
Midori Moki Roll - tempura tofu, burdock root, sweet gourd, avocado + red pepper wrapped in soy paper.
And my favorite roll of all time - The Crunchy Cabbage Roll - spicy tofu, scallion, tempura napa cabbage.  Warning: This roll is addicting!

June 19, 2010

Cornmeal Fried Avocados

While we're on the subject of Mexican food...last week I had a unique take on Veggie Tacos at Roja in Omaha.  The cornmeal fried avocado makes them so special.  As crunchy is my favorite texture, I love what it does to the creamy avocado.  Great alternative to guacamole.

June 18, 2010

Guacamole in the Dallas Airport

On our way to Mexico, we had a layover in the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.  Cantina Laredo has a location there and it's a great choice if you've got time to spare.  I ordered the Guacamole to start and Veggie Tacos to finish.  The Veggie Tacos were not on the menu; I had to request them, but they were happy to oblige.  Both of my choices were very good, but I almost wished I would have ordered what my neighbor at the bar ordered.  He only ordered Guacamole, but instead of chips requested flour tortillas and a side of salsa. So simple, yet so good.  Perfect example of how easy it is to eat vegan in a Mexican restaurant.

June 17, 2010

Tapas in Mexico

A quick trip to Mexico...beautiful weather, turquoise water + Mexican Coke.
We found an amazing restaurant in a very touristy area, which is always a pleasant surprise.  Terraneo is a tapas and wine restaurant with a spectacular view, relaxed ambiance, and excellent food.
A duet of sweet + white mashed potatoes.
Patatas Bravas with a spicy sauce.
And a beautiful bowl of asparagus soup with fresh baked bread.

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Mexican Coke is so intriguing because it contains no high fructose corn syrup, just pure sugar.  It's not exactly healthy, but much better than the American version.  You can actually buy Mexican Coke in the States, at certain Mexican restaurants, grocery stores, and oddly enough some Walgreens.

June 10, 2010

Off to Mexico

I'm off to Mexico with my husband's family...I'll have lots of pictures + stories to share with you late next week, so stay tuned!!!

A quick Columbus trip

Last week I spent two days in Columbus visiting my sister's family.  I caught up with some good friends, spent time with my nephews, and of course ate some amazing food.

Whole Foods is my grocery store of choice. Whenever I travel, I stop in the nearest location to see all of the amazing local produce and specialties.  The Columbus store has great vegan pastries, like the Blueberry Muffin pictured below.  They also have a Cranberry Orange Vegan Muffin and two types of vegan cookies.

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I spent the day with my nephew Isaac and he requested Noodles & Co for lunch.  I was ecstatic to hear this because sometimes he requests some not so veg friendly places.  There are lots of vegetarian/vegan options at Noodles & Co, as you can add organic tofu to any of their dishes.  They break up their menu into sections - Asian, Mediterranean and American.  I've only tried a couple of items from their Asian menu, but what I've had has been very good.  This visit, I had the Bangkok Curry with tofu and Isaac had the Buttered Noodles.  We both had food coma afterward...

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 The Zen Cha Tea Salon in The Short North is an adorable tea shop that serves every kind of tea you can imagine.  They have the most beautiful teapots and great presentation that varies with each tea.

My drink of choice is their Coconut Chai with soymilk.  I have yet to find a better Coconut Chai.  

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Before I left, I had to get my Northstar fix.  Their tofu is the perfect consistency and is always seasoned well.  I had the Buddha Bowl - brown rice, steamed veggies, seared tofu + peanut sauce...you had me at hello.

June 8, 2010

Memorial Day in Ohio

I spent the second half of the long weekend with my family in Ohio.  A casual breakfast...Sweet + White Potato Hash with green onions + a lots of icy Limeade.

And a game of Tic Tac Toe...

That evening, we made a small fire and roasted Sweet N Sara's Toasted Coconut Vegan Marshmallows.  A lovely end to the day.

June 6, 2010

Summer picnics

There are always lots of picnics and cookouts during Summer, and vegetarians should always come prepared. For a recent Memorial Day cookout, I brought my own veggie hot dogs and vegan hot dog buns.  My husband brought all of the toppings to make Chicago style dogs - pickle spears, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers, mustard + celery salt.  With all the fresh vegetables, it's a great way to make a hot dog much healthier!  And if you've never grilled veggie hot dogs on the grill, you're missing out.  They're perfect when they're slightly charred on all sides.  It takes away the rubbery texture.

And for dessert, we walked to a local Omaha ice cream shop, eCreamery.  I had the Passion Fruit Sorbet, which was exceptionally creamy for being vegan.  Some of their other Sorbet flavors include Blood Orange, Pink Grapefruit and Pomegranate. 

On their site, you can customize Sorbet, Gelato and Ice Cream by adding flavors and mix-ins.  I think I might try Coconut Sorbet with Dark Chocolate Chips mixed in!

June 3, 2010

Daily Grub

My friend Elle opened a vegetarian restaurant, called Daily Grub, last month in Omaha.  She is a stellar chef and comes up with crazy good menus.  It is my go-to spot for weekday lunches + weekend brunches.  And to think...I thought I would be the only vegetarian in Omaha!
Here is a recap of her first month...much more to come in the future!
Corn Sope filled with peppers, tomatoes and avocado with a side of Mango Cabbage Slaw.  She features a different sope every week and they are so good!

Black Bean Soup with avocado crema and hot sauce with a toasty baguette.  How cute is that soup cup?
Yellow Curry Bowl with jasmine rice, potatoes, onions, peas and Cabbage Slaw.  So comforting - it's exactly like my Mom's Curry.

And for my birthday...Strawberry Rhubarb Cake!

My husband had the Field Roast Vegan Sausage Tart in phyllo dough with a side of Dill Potatoes. 

And when that wasn't enough...an order of Classic Waffles.  The Waffles are completely vegan, but you would never be able to tell the difference from the real thing!

Sweet Potato Hash with Collard Greens and Vegan Sausage Biscuits.

Vegetable Brunch Lasanga = amazing!  Layers of fresh vegetables with corn tortillas.

Lovely Limonata.

Field Roast Vegan Sausage with chipotle, avocado and salsa verde on corn tortillas.  A perfect afternoon snack.

The menu changes every week and I've found that going once a week is simply not enough.  There are too many things to try...and I don't want to miss out on any of it!

One week in a vegan restaurant

I recently spent a week at my parents' restaurant...It was so much fun & so much work!!!  All the preparation, the grocery shopping, the menu creation, etc etc etc.  My parents have owned 4 restaurants over the past 30 some years - all in Northeast Ohio.

And I'm so happy that their one and only restaurant at the moment, Ely's to go, is 100% vegan (that wasn't always the case)!  Here are some of the lovely things I helped them prepare...

Pineapple, strawberry + coconut scones - these were incredible. The pineapple doesn't allow the scones to rise like normal so my dad decided to put them into these adorable cups.

Tempeh bacon, lettuce, tomato + avocado on thick freshly baked bread.

Pho - a traditional Vietnamese soup made with ginger, cinnamon, star anise and cloves.  You top it off with a squeeze of fresh lime and Hoisin sauce.

The House Salad - lettuce, carrots, edamame, cucumber, corn, tomatoes, cantaloupe, strawberries, dried cranberries + pistachios with a garlic vinaigrette.  So fresh and light.

Three kinds of mesquite roasted potatoes with peas and spinach.

Red quinoa with pineapple, blueberries, cranberries, bell peppers, grapes + dried cranberries.

Baked mac and cheese with broccoli, asparagus + peas.  Before they're baked, they're topped with soy chicken and focaccia croutons.

Banh mi - Vietnamese sandwiches with soy chicken, marinated vegetables, cilantro and Vegenaise on a fresh baguette.

Beautiful purple asparagus.

And after a long day of peeling, dicing, chopping and assembling...here are some of the things we had for dinner.  My mother never stops cooking.
Lemongrass soy chicken with romaine, cucumbers, carrots + cilantro with a soy lime dressing. 


And my favorite Vietnamese dish - Banh Xeo or sizzling pancakes.  The batter is made with rice flour and coconut milk, the filling consists of mung beans, marinated carrots and jicama, mushrooms and sprouts.  It's served with lettuce, cucumbers, cilantro and a lime soy dipping sauce.  I like mine extra crispy.