Tag Archives: vegan

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey guys,

How’s it going? Long time no see?

Remember that time I said I’d be blogging again in June? Whoops.

So, let’s recap all that’s happened since March:

  1. I got my 200-hour yoga certification! Woohoo! And started teaching yoga twice a week, and subbing lots.
  2. We traveled to Hawaii, Raleigh, and Austin. It was all fun, and full of yummy vegan eats. Perhaps I will do a summer/fall travel roundup with the food photos I took along the way.
  3. I got promoted at work. Awesomesauce.
  4. I got another year older. But that’s cool.
  5. I went to Atlanta VegFest 2013, and it was awesome.
  6. We ate out more than I cooked.
  7. I started a new blog for a second, and then realized that I already have some loyal readers at this domain, so I decided to delete that blog and pick back up over here.

So, thank you to the folks that keep checking in on the blog, and that keep sending suggestions for the “Where Can a Vegan Eat in Atlanta” page.

Now that I’ve been teaching/taking lots of yoga, I’ll start covering that topic a little more here. I’ve written about Ahimsa before, so living that branch of yoga definitely fits in with the blog.

The past 9 months have been a blur. But, I’m going to start updating more frequently again. Also, I’ve still been reading lots of vegan blogs, and getting inspiration from all of you!

Namaste.

Hiatus

I’ve been a bad bad blogger. I apologize. I’m juggling a busy season at work, with an exciting adventure to become a yoga teacher (which includes homework), with family time and friend time. So, I don’t have a lot of time or leftover brain space right now to blog.

BUT, Former Fish Taco Fanatic will be back in June, so come back and stay tuned for some changes!

2013 Resolutions

Last year, I made 30 resolutions for my 30th year. I’m not going to make 31 resolutions this year. I’ll stick with a more manageable number. Like five.

I enjoyed having my resolutions written down somewhere public. It gave me somewhere to reference, and kept me accountable. So without further ado – my 2013 resolutions:

1. Sucessfully complete Yoga Teacher Training! – My yoga instructor is offering her first teacher training. I’m so excited to be participating. I can’t wait to start this journey!

2. Proactively hang out with my friends (i.e. Invite people places more) – I tend to be a hermit. And after some of the events of last year, I felt most nights like sitting on my couch watching Homeland and drinking wine. I have some awesome friends, I have some awesome friends moving to Atlanta (yay!!!) and I’ve met some great people that I’d like to hang out with more. So, I’ll get up off my butt and call people, and do things.

3. Only drink once a week during teacher training - I know this might make No. 2 a little tricky, but No. 1 will flourish if I can stick with this one. It’s not like I’m a lush, but when I did Operation Bootcamp before the wedding, I saw much better results during the month where I only had one or two drinks per week.

4. Don’t cheat anymore with dairy products. – In 2012, I was probably 98% vegan. I had some cheats, mostly with baked goods and once during a dire situation where the only thing available was a quesadilla. This year, let’s be 100%. No more cheats.

5. Travel for Fun - I traveled a lot in 2012, but most of it was work-related. Now, it was awesome, but I definitely want to up the “pleasure” to “business” ratio.  We already have some fun trips planned – Portland in May, Hawaii in June, and either Raleigh again or a West Coast adventure for our anniversary.

So cheers to 2013!

Holiday Hash Brown Casserole – and Happy Herbivore Abroad Giveaway Continues!

I hope everyone had a safe and Merry Christmas!! Don’t forget! The Happy Herbivore Abroad giveaway goes until midnight on Dec. 28. Click on the link below to enter via rafflecopter. Giveaway is only open to U.S. and Canada. Winner will be chosen at random.

Click here to enter to win a copy of Happy Herbivore Abroad!

HappyHerbivoreAbroad_FrontCoverYesterday, we spent the day with my in-laws for Christmas. Though my mother-in-law did veganize some of her dishes, I felt like we should also contribute to the Christmas meal.

I’ve been craving a really good hash brown casserole. The kind with lots of cheese and a buttery corn flake topping. Vegan Crunk’s Cookin Crunk Cookbook came to the rescue!! DSCN3725

Bianca has a whole section dedicated to dishes perfect for potluck meals, and in it was that yummy, cheesy hash brown casserole that I had been craving!

I made the casserole a day ahead, and since we didn’t want to wait until the next day to eat it, I also made a smaller casserole for the two of us to eat that morning.

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This was DELICIOUS!! And, it keeps overnight in the fridge really well. The only change I would make is to save the corn flake topping and add before taking it to the party, since the corn flakes did get a little wilted.

We will definitely make this again! And if you are looking for a belated holiday gift, be sure to pick up your own copy of Cookin’ Crunk!

 

Happy Herbivore Abroad – Another QandA with Lindsay Nixon and Giveaway!

I’m a big big fan of Happy Herbivore, Lindsay Nixon. Her cookbooks helped me make the transition into a vegan diet, and recipes from her two cookbooks are some of my favorites.

I’ve also had the pleasure of interviewing her during blog tours for Happy Herbivore and Everyday Happy Herbivore.

More on the giveaway after the interview!

HappyHerbivoreAbroad_FrontCover

How does Happy Herbivore Abroad differ from HHC and EHH?

HHA is international themed and has a lot of me in it — personal stories and such. You won’t find that in my other books. This book is so personal, and I really love that about it.
You are a world traveler! What destinations have influenced your cooking the most?

Living abroad and traveling throughout Europe has really shaped me as a person, which I’m sure has translated to or effected my cooking and approach to meals/recipes in some way. It’s hard to pinpoint a specific country or even city that has influenced me more than the others — I think all the experience together have influenced me.
What are some of your favorite places that you have visited?

Many of the places I traveled to were so different from each other you can’t really compare them to have favorites. How can you compare the mountains to the desert, for example? There were places with mesmerizing vistas that I could stare at for days, but then there were other places, with no vistas, but such beautiful architecture… or a culture that was so rich and vibrant it was intoxicating… I guess if I had to pick, I’d say Germany, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands…

What are some of the biggest challenges you face for eating vegan abroad, and how do you deal with them?

As with domestic travel, you have to have patience. I’ve never had trouble finding vegan fare (anywhere in the world) but it wasn’t always the most convenient choice. A little creativity and persistence is key.

You are going overseas – what’s in your carry-on bag?

I take my backpack on board as my carryon — which as all my clothes and toiletries in it. In my purse I have my passport, peepers (eye shades) and ear plugs for the ride, my kindle, money, chap stick, a few snacks for the plane and important papers – like travel reservations.

Would you like to win a copy of Happy Herbivore Abroad? Enter below! Giveaway is only open to U.S. and Canada. Giveaway closes at midnight on Dec. 28. Winner will be chosen at random.

Enter to win Happy Herbivore Abroad!

Vegan Wings at Graveyard Tavern

D played a show at The Basement (the venue underneath Graveyard Tavern) on Saturday night, so we took advantage of the opportunity to go upstairs and check out the mythical vegan wings that I keep hearing and reading about. I was not dissapointed.

Now, I don’t think I can really remember what an actual Chicken Wing tasted like, but these little nuggets were wonderful! They came with a side of fries and vegan ranch sauce. Either they gave us the wrong sauce, or their idea of ranch is along the lines of horseradish sauce. But, it was still a good pairing for the wings.

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It’s $8 for the wings/fries combo. I could have shared them, they were quite filling. But a good option for a night out at the bar.

Graveyard Tavern is having some big 12/21/12 apocalypse party, so go get yourself some vegan wings and party down!

A Very Vegan Hanukkah – and cookbook giveaway preview!

Saturday marked the last night of Hanukkah and we celebrated with our annual family gathering hosted at my sister’s house. It was a great night exchanging presents, spending time with family, and enjoying some yummy vegan versions of our favorite Hanukkah foods!

Let’s take a little tour of my plate, shall we?

hanukkah dinner

At the bottom right of this delicious plate, you’ll see my mom’s famous potato latkes. Mom makes the best latkes in the world. Seriously. I’ve never found any that stand up to hers. And, it’s family tradition that my sister and I help mom fry and flip the latkes on the stove before dinner. So they are fresh! Never frozen! If you don’t come out of Hanukkah dinner smelling like vegetable oil, then it’s not a real Hanukkah dinner! and of course, served with apple sauce and Tofutti sour cream.

Moving to the left, you’ll see the maple roasted Brussels sprouts that I’ve started to make for everything. I don’t even think my family likes Brussels sprouts. But I do. So I make them.

Next, you’ll see my veganized Brisket! It was so easy, and turned out delish! I based the recipe on my mom’s traditional brisket recipe, which calls for  one packet of onion soup mix, two bottles of chili sauce, water (fill up the two bottles and add that to the pot), potatoes and baby carrots, but substituted Gardein beef tips in place of the brisket meat. I also threw everything in the slow cooker and set it on low for the day.

My aunt made a yummy salad and left the cheese on the side for the vegans. My Brother-in-Law also made a vegan peach pie, which was pretty tasty too!

Mom also brought her yummy mock chopped liver, based on this recipe. It gets better and better each time she makes it, and it was yummy to begin with! All the taste without the guilt or the cholesterol!

It was such a great night and we all rolled ourselves home and slept well with full hearts and tummies.

Giveaway Alert!! On Monday, December 24, I am excited to be participating in The Happy Herbivore’s 31 Days of Giveaways for her new cookbook, Happy Herbivore Abroad. So please check back in on Monday to read a Q&A with the Happy Herbivore and enter to win a copy of the book!

 

Pinterest-Inspired Dinner

I, like many other bloggers, am addicted to Pinterest. I use it mostly to pin recipes, and yoga poses that I aspire to be able to do.

I wanted to find an easy, quick and healthy dinner to make after work on Monday night, so I perused my Pinterest board to see what I had pinned. I was instantly inspired by this Spaghetti Squash recipe.

Courtesy of Dashing Dish

We had an amazing spaghetti squash dish during the yoga retreat, and I’ve been craving it ever since. I had heard about cooking spaghetti squash in the microwave, and since I like anything that’s quick and easy, I decided to give it a go.

I really didn’t do anything fancy for “my” version of spaghetti squash:

  • Poke LOTS of holes in the spaghetti squash and nuke for 8-10 minutes (10 was too mushy, 8 was still hard in spots, so I’d try 9 next time.)
  • Cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and scrape “meat” into a bowl with a fork.
  • Dump squash into saucepan
  • Crumble package of favorite brand of soy crumbles
  • Pour in tomato sauce of choice
  • Heat up on stove
  • Top with some Nooch and enjoy!

Sure, it’s not gourmet. It’s basically what I do with actual spaghetti, but healthier and even faster.

What’s your favorite way to make spaghetti squash?

Vegan Eatin’ in West Palm Beach

Over the weekend, hubbers and I went down to Florida to celebrate the union of two wonderful friends! The wedding was beautiful, and one of the most fun weddings I’ve been to in a while. We ate, danced our booties off, and took lots of photos like this:

Of course, I did my research before we flew south, and found a couple GREAT restaurant recommendations on Will Travel for Vegan FoodChristopher’s Kitchen and Darbster.

Christopher’s Kitchen

We chose Christopher’s Kitchen for lunch on Saturday afternoon since it was super close to our hotel, and actually turned out to be in the same development as the wedding venue. They had a big selection of fresh juices. I ordered one called the “Maui,” which was a blend of celery, cucumber, parsley, kale, lemon, apple and ginger.

It was mighty tasty. I felt instantly healthier.

D and I are a bit obsessed with Avocado, so of course when we spotted Avocado Toast on the menu, we had to order ourselves a slice. The avocado tasted so fresh and creamy, I could eat this toast for breakfast everyday.

For our main courses, I ordered the Falafel Wrap, which came in a lettuce wrap and was topped with this yummy Brazil nut and cashew hummus. Very tasty, but I did end up abandoning trying to eat it like a sandwich since it was a little messy. It was also VERY filling and I ended up sharing the second half with D.

D had the Pesto Sandwich and I had more avocado envy (even though my wrap was filled with Avocado too.

He ate it all up. I think that means he liked it.

We were definitely splurging on lunch, so we decided to indulge and order two desserts – the Ice Cream Sundae and the Chocolate Mousse.

I didn’t love the crust on the mousse, but the chocolate was fluffy and creamy. And the ice cream sundae was fabulous and topped with delicious chocolate macaroons.

Christopher’s Kitchen is pricey, so be prepared for a splurge. It’s totally worth it. Most (if not all) of the menu is raw vegan. At night they have an organic grill and wine bar open as well.

Darbster

As if I planned it perfectly, Darbster was just a couple exits away from the airport off 95, AND they served Sunday Brunch, so it was the perfect place to grab some grub before heading back to Atlanta.

This restaurant is like a little oasis right off the expressway. Once you walk in, you feel as if you are sitting in a beachside eatery in the Bahamas, or better yet, on your best friend’s (who happens to live somewhere tropical) porch. We were shaded by large umbrellas and palm trees on our patio seat. A guy named Ric strummed on his guitar with hangover-friendly tunes.

Darbster is all vegan, and I loved that they had education in their menu about the vegan lifestyle and why people should consider veganism. It was done so tastefully, that you didn’t feel like their message was “in your face” or preachy.

And the food. Oh the food. I wish they would open in Atlanta.

I ordered the Palm Cake sandwich, which I can only describe as the closest thing to crab cakes that I’ve had since going vegan. And I used to LOVE crab cakes. It came with a side of home fries, and I ordered their “sausage,” which was also the best vegan sausage I’ve ever had.

D ordered their AM Quesadilla, which had Daiya cheese, tofu scramble and hash browns. It was topped with Guacamole, to add to our avocado fever. He also had a side of the Tempeh Bacon, which was delish.

Darbster’s ambiance, and wallet-friendly menu would definitely make it a regular hang-out if we lived in West Palm.

Veganizing an old favorite: Apricot Chicken

My mom used to make this awesome Apricot Chicken, that was SO EASY. So, I took a stab at veganizing it.

Try some Un-Chicken instead!

The original recipe calls for:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts (eww)
  • One packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix (accidentally vegan)
  • One bottle of Russian or Catalina Dressing
  • One jar of Apricot preserves
  • Preheat oven to 375. Mix all ingredients together. Pour mixture over chicken. Cook for 30-45 minutes (Gosh, I don’t miss how long real chicken takes to cook).

So really, the only thing I needed to veganize was the Chicken. I opted to try Gardein’s Chickn Scallopini instead of the Chicken and adjusted the cook time in the on to 15-20 minutes.

I also love to make Mahatma Yellow Rice (also accidentally vegan, and gluten free!) to accompany this dish. It’s my favorite yellow rice, and I just substitute Earth Balance in place of butter in the recipe.

The recipe turned out pretty good, but to tell the truth, I’m not crazy about Gardein’s Scallopini. I love some of their other products, so I’d be curious what the recipe would taste like with their Chick’n Filets. I also think Seitan might be a good option to make this dish taste even better!