ETW: Zest, Downtown SLC

I did not intend to review this restaurant. It had good reviews on Yelp. How I wish I’d brought a better camera.

Can I just put this out there? Just because I’m an herbivore DOES NOT mean I need small portions. Contrarily, I need MORE food.

Zest Kitchen & Bar

Zest Kitchen and Bar Eat. Drink. And be healthy. (Emphasis on the drink part.)
Menu
275 South 200 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
801-433-0589

mygoodcleanfood.com

Set the scene: I got a babysitter, a miracle in and of itself. I’m paying her by the hour. Located in PF Changs back closet, it’s hard to spot. The only sign is less than a foot in diameter on the glass door. I guess you have to be “in the know” … hard to find joints are hip, right? Fortunately, we’d been to the location when it was a hipster burger joint after I was sworn-in 5 years ago.

Upon Arrival: The space is small and dark. Half is a standing bar with high tables and half is a dining room. We waited about five minutes as all four of the on-floor employees whiled away their time talking to each other. Finally someone greeted us, carded us (that’s weird but cool, I guess) asked us how we found the place, and then ignored our answer. We were abruptly seated with a smile straight off a sitcom. Five minutes later, our hipster waiter with a cartoon character on his shirt, beefy arms and almost no idea what the menu included, asked for our drink order (water) and he left. Five minutes later (or more) he returned with our water – apparently our non-drink buying was a deterrent. His other two tables were getting loaded (read – much better tips).

Upon Ordering: As usual, I asked  for recommendations, and while he couldn’t really tell me, his aloof demeanor was, again, right out of a sitcom. The table to our left (a tipsy older couple on a blind date) just had to tell him during our ordering (because they hadn’t seen him for 20 minutes) that the stir-fry was, “I kid you not, the best I’ve ever had!” So we ordered it. ($7)  He came back 10 minutes later dropped off the stir-fry in cereal sized bowl. After we finished it, he came back to get the rest of our order. Stuffed mushrooms with cashew cheeze ($8), the salad special (7?), and the stuffed avocado w/spicy seasoned walnuts, lettuce salad, salsa & cashew sour cream ($13).

The food took a while to come out. One. Plate. At. A Time. Let’s just say, the service was hilariously bad. It’s like they were trying to be bad because that’s hip.

mygoodcleanfood.comAnd now, the food.

I am not terribly picky, I’m really not, but consider the prices as I give you a rundown.

Stir-fry. $7, probably 1 cup of vegetables. No rice. Tasted like Rumbi teriyaki but with garbanzo beans in it. We kept looking for something to dip in the sauce. DEFINITELY not the best I’d had. In fact it wasn’t as good as the mountain of stir-fry I’d made the night before for the ruffians with the stuff in my fridge.

mygoodcleanfood.comStuffed Mushrooms. $8. Quantity 5. Seriously – five is the worst number for almost any table except one of, well, five. Said served warm, more tepid, and the flavor was uninspiring. And maybe it’s because I make cashew cheeze that I wasn’t blown away by the vegan-ness.

Salad. $7? It was small. The tomato vinaigrette was good. But it was half red onions and to say they were thinly sliced is like that guy at the gym telling you it’s all muscle. Big bites of spicy onion, standard mesclun mix, and three slices of a baby cucumber … three? Really?

mygoodcleanfood.commygoodcleanfood.com

And then, my favorite, the stuffed avocado. $13 Admire the above pictures. There may have been the equivalent of a whole small avocado on the plate. A large tablespoon of walnut stuffing with flavor that didn’t seem to land anywhere. Now, look closely at that awesome avocado. The bottom was cut off and still the big, fat bruise on it was visible. It was cold, always weird for avocado.

And still, after all four dishes, I was starving but unwilling to wait another hour or pay more money for mediocre food. We came home and had dinner.

There is a positive spin … it’s a gluten-free restaurant with raw dishes, and that’s cool, right?

Can I tell you the last part which is actually pretty funny? During the time our waiter took a year an a half drop-off, take and return our check and then return my phone which he’d left by the bar (I still feel uncomfortable with that), the slightly tipsy couple on the blind date  was ALSO waiting for Hipster Waiter guy, so they joined us. Literally, they pulled their chairs up to our table and divided my husband and I – just what I need on my once-every-few-months-date. The lovely woman thought the giant photograph of a cippolini onion looked like, well, it made me uncomfortable. I won’t even hint at her thoughts on the bell pepper.

 

When Sandy comes to play…

We’re partaking of an extended vacation to western Massachusetts, my husband’s fatherland. We hedged our bets that a big storm was not only unlikely, but virtually impossible. I’m learning I can’t trust virtual reality.

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I’m at the in-laws, so I don’t have much to do by way of preparation in terms of safety and lighting and trees falling down. so I’m doing what I do best…bake!

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The only real problem is that I’m working in a fully omnivorous, traditionally New England household  and things like nutritional yeast and Vitamixes are dirty words, nevermind plant-based, vegetables, and vegan. but it’s remarkable how well we’re managing.

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And we slip a little in times of travel and hurricanes.

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And stink bugs. I wouldn’t want to be out there either!

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So, as we ride out the storm, we’ll all be enjoying onion and olive flatbread, these chocolate chip cookies (sort of, again working with what we have), and lots of lentil soup.

ETW: Fong’s Fine Chinese Dining

This photo sums up my entire post- maybe it was serendipitous that we happened to sit down at the happiness table.  It was exactly what I needed after a long, busy day that involved being on my feet for the 14 hours before I finally got to eat dinner.  I was truly famished and ready to eat anything vegan the restarant could throw at me.  These were my options: (happy day indeed!)

I went with the Buddha Supreme, add tofu, spicy and served with brown rice.  Plus many glasses of water and lemon wedges.

I devoured it!  With grace of course.  Enjoyed every delicious bite.  And left a very happy, very satisfied girl.  Two thumbs up from this hungry vegan.

ETW: Kneaders Bakery and Cafe

I used to LOVE Kneaders! What’s not to love about gourmet crispy artisan breads, insane amounts of delicious desserts, scrumptious sandwiches, soups and salads?!? Top that off with a cozy, cutesy, Utah atmosphere (ok, maybe not my style), but our location does have a lovely fireplace.

Um, all the love was before I went vegan. Aside from all the delicious breads, now there are only 3 things I can order off the menu and even two of those I have to customize. Now I just kinda like the place. Especially since during a recent drive thru visit I ordered a sandwich and got home to find it had huge chunks of turkey breast all over it. Boo! Although I have to hand it to them, they did remedy the situation and replace my sandwich.

My visit this week was free of any of that drama. 😉 I met my husband there for lunch without the kids. A rare treat! I ordered the Veggie Avocado Sandwich for $5.99 (same one I always order, it’s still a mystery how the turkey appeared on it the last time).

I ordered it on the Hazelnut 12 Grain Bread, which is every bit as good as it sounds. I add cranberry sauce (free, bonus!), and dijon and leave off the kneaders sauce (mayo based) and provolone. If you ask nicely, they will put cucumber slices on it too, but I forgot this time. It’s a really good sandwich, but usually leaves me a bit hungry and wishing I had asked for one of their tasty dill pickles on the side. (Hey, I’m like Amanda, I eat like a horse).

My husband ordered the Large Green Avocado Salad: here’s the menu description:

LARGE GREEN AVOCADO
$7.19
MADE FRESH TO ORDER, SERVED WITH SIDE OF BREAD, CROUTONS OR ROLL. Spring mix, ranch dressing, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, red onions, avocado.
Of course we ordered it without cheese, and we substituted their poppyseed dressing for the ranch. I’ve got to figure out a lower cal-version of the poppyseed goodness, I’ll let you know when I do!
The salad was everything that was described, however it was a bit small, especially for a salad with LARGE in the title, too small for the $7 + bucks we paid for it and it was really quite plain. Kneaders has heaps of veggies and fruits in their kitchen, this salad could really use a revamp since it’s their only salad without meat on the menu. Grapes, orange segments, sunflower seeds, broccoli and roasted bell peppers were ingredients I saw elsewhere on the menu that would have added nicely to this salad. My husband found himself so bored with it that he ended up eating half my sandwich (which is probably why I left hungry).
I really had wanted to order this:
PANINI | PORTABELLA GRILLE ON CIABATTA
$7.59
SERVED HOT WITH PICKLE AND PARMESAN CHIPS. WHOLE SANDWICHES ONLY. A fresh portabella mushroom, zucchini squash, red peppers, red onion grilled with lemon garlic sauce, ricotta and parmesan cheese.
I asked for it without the cheeses and parmesan chips of course, but apparently the Panini’s are pre-made and they were unwilling or un-able to make one as a special order for me. Bummer, sounds stinking delicious.
The other menu item that is vegan that we could have ordered was the No Dairy Berry Smoothie, but we couldn’t be bothered and found ourselves ducking out to Roxberry’s afterwards for double wheatgrass shots instead.
I would love to see Kneader’s get more vegan options on their menu (including desserts PLEASE!). Also, their menu titles could use some re-tooling, their Orange Citrus Salad sounded delightful, but when I asked what was on it, I found it contains chicken AND three cheeses AND bacon, in fact their on-line menu mentions bacon twice…..

ETW: Silver Fork Lodge

Oh, where to begin on this one? Silver Fork Lodge is located up Big Cottonwood Canyon just before you get to Solitude on the south side of the road. I give you this preface so you can know it is located in one of the most beautiful places on earth – of which I have no pictures. Lame. I know, I’m sorry. Just know, that at least once a summer, we go up here for breakfast and sit on the patio in our jackets and watch the hummingbirds come in. This time, we were not disappointed. And in case you’re wondering, all four species of hummingbirds that come into Utah  – Broadtailed, Black-chinned, Rufous, and Calliope – came into their feeders the morning we went. I know this only because I’m married to a formerly avid birder (formerly since he now has a real job, three kids, and busy church responsibilities).

So, you now know, we love the location. On this particular occasion, we were celebrating, so after being seated we ordered two cinnamon rolls (not within the confines of a traditional plant-based diet, but so delicious, right?). We were told they were running late, but that they should be out of the oven by 9 (it was 8:50 – no biggie). We figured between these (they’re huge) and sharing our breakfasts, the kids would have plenty to eat.  The menu has few options for us plant eaters, but we know how to work around so I figured we’d be fine. I should have been warned when I saw the Sysco truck outside.

We were still waiting for our Cinnamon Rolls as we perused the menu, but our server came back and said – well, actually, those cinnamon rolls might be a little longer, but should be soon (there was a more specific excuse but I can’t remember exactly what it was now). Huh, well, I guess that’s okay. So we ordered the rest of our food. I ordered Guru Dave’s Power Spuds without dairy and add extra vegetables (easy – the omelets had a huge variety of veggies, they could easily choose some of them to add to it). Matt ordered the Huevos Rancheros without dairy with extra veggies and with scrambled eggs for the kids.

When our server brought out our food, we were then informed that the cinnamon rolls would not be coming since nobody took them out of the freezer the night before. Great, awesome, my kids are starving and we have some scrambled eggs to tide them over? So we ordered some pancakes that took 20 minutes from ordering and my kids complained the whole time – super-celebratory, right (part of my very veggie birthday)? And the verdict on the food?

My “Spuds” were passable – oily Sysco hashbrowns with NO extra veggies and some of the scariest looking onions and mushrooms I’ve ever seen.  And there was just enough food to be a side dish, clearly not enough food to call them a meal, especially without more veggies. We’re still trying to figure out what sort of a Guru Dave is. Matt’s Rancheros were essentially just beans and potatoes with some salsa – no extra veggies. I know, I know, we’re so demanding.

The pancakes were pretty good, but totally insufficient for myself (still hungry, thanks) and my now starving children who waited forever to eat – tables turned over more than once in the time we waited (we had to keep them from eating the jam packets). When we finally finished eating, our server gave us the last and final excuse, that her manager had been planning on making the cinnamon rolls himself, but it got too busy so he decided against it. Really?

Happy birthday to me. I’m still torn – I love the hummingbirds that come in,the cool fresh air, but next time we might just bring our own food and order some juice.

Mom’s Quinoa on the Beach, a Fishwich, and Airport Fabulousness

Holy guacamole- it’s Monday!  I am sitting in the Dallas airport with 3 wiggly kiddos, realizing that today is not Wednesday, or Thursday, or another blurry day of vacation, it’s MONDAY.  (I know, shocking news for everyone, please excuse my frazzled mom-brain.)  Monday is significant in my little world because Monday is the day I am supposed to blog.  So technically, I still have 5 more hours TX time and I’m in the clear, right?

That said, we have to board in 30 minutes, so I will…..

Nope- lost connection.  It is now 12am in UT and we arrived home safely, my contacts are glued to my eyeballs, I think I am slurring my speech but I WILL POST.  Something about not being reliable through my younger years has made me a bit more more adamant about follow through as I get more wrinkles.

Up first, lunch on the beach.  Can I say how awesome all of my family is?  Everyone we went to visit went out of their way to repeatedly provide vegan options- I love my family!

This day was absolutely beautiful.  We went to the sandy beaches in Ludington, MI where the water was crystal clear, the sand was baby soft.  The night before, Mom cooked up this batch of quinoa which was great round one, even better day two as a quick and easy picnic meal.

Mom’s Rice Cooker Cinnamon Quinoa

2 c quinoa
5 c water (1 extra c. due to rice cooker usage)
1/4-1/2 c. slivered almonds (or nuts or your choice- pecans?  mmm)
1/2-3/4 c. dried cherries
2 tsp. cinnamon

Put all ingredients into rice cooker on brown rice setting and wait for the blinky “done” light.  Top with fresh blueberries picked at the patch and eat on the beach and enjoy pure bliss.  Not to worry, it’s still tasty at home in the kitchen!

The FishWich

 

Ok seriously, how cool is this?  Talk about a lunch that leaves you smiling.  Sure the bread was semi-tasteless and styrofoamy, but it was a FISH.  Totally worth it.  This sandwich was veggie cream cheese, chives and assorted veggies.  And can’t for get the MommaChia- a new favorite beverage indulgence.  I am still working on the perfect ratio of chia seed to liquid for a home made momma chia, I’ll keep you posted on that one.

The Airport

We had quite a layover in Dallas/Ft.Worth and walked to find a food court area and a meal.  I was a bit wary of my options and assumed I may be eating a baked potato with ketchup and side salad at Wendy’s if nothing else came up.  Well, something did!  Au Bon Pain.  They had two vegan soup options, a lentil curry and a tuscan white bean, and a couple sandwiches as well.  I chose the Mediterranian Wrap (roasted red pepper hummus, kalamata olives, cucumber, greens, tomato, sun-dried tomato and I subbed the feta cheese for fresh avocado, all on a ww tortilla.)  So amazing!  Too good to eat in an airport food court.

To top off the positive experience, the general manager was super nice and had just made the vegan switch last September!  We got to visit for a sec before my daughter ran off and he told me about a vegan cruise (no way!?!) that is one week in Jamaica and Mexico where all the food is vegan and there are cooking classes and all sorts of awesomeness.  [Insert angel chorus here]  Really wish I could have caught more details on that one, not that I have the time or resources to pull that off at this phase of life.  One day….

So I mentioned the food court.  Funny thing, it was a great lesson on food choices.  To my right was this:

I will leave to you to notice the obvious.  And to the left was this:

Not only were the customers half the size but the line was longer and much happier.  Hooray for health!  (I know, I am a nerd.  It’s been said, now deal with it.)

After 2 weeks on the road, my bed is calling me.  Over and out.

ETW: Cafe Supernatural & my copycat Machu Picchu recipe!

The night before my birthday we got a babysitter and hit the town. I sometimes forget how awesome life is with just two until three seems more awesome than five and I wonder what the two of us alone would be like…

I digress. Upon hitting the town, or rather just after we walked out the door, we did as all good married couples do and looked at each other and said, “Huh, what do you want to do?”

“I dunno, leaving the house was a good first step. You hungry?”

“Come to think of it, yeah. Did I eat yet today?” (That was me, if you couldn’t tell – the bottomless pit.)

And then we ended up (after wandering around Trolley Square for 15 minutes) at Cafe Supernatural. Just FYI, so as to spare you the random phone call asking where they are – it’s on the west side, outside of the main building adjoining a yoga studio.  Cafe Supernatural is Chef Ian Brandt’s fourth plant-based venture, following after Sage’s Cafe, Vertical Diner, and Cali’s Natural Foods.

The atmosphere was pleasant, though it made me wish I was going to a yoga class as people came and went. It’s a walk-up and order, sit down and wait kind of place, nice enough without being too pretentious. The menu is relatively small, probably half cooked and half raw, but the brevity didn’t help me decide. So, after telling her I was starving and a nursing mom, upon the recommendation of the girl behind the counter for heartier options, we got the Machu Picchu and the Mesa Azul, and a ginger lemonade. We ordered our Machu Picchu with potatoes AND quinoa (I know, we’re rebels), just so we could try them both. From the menu:

Machu Picchu

Steamed potatoes or quinoa served with steamed seasonal vegetables and roasted chili cashew cream sauce 8.75

Mesa Azul

Two blue corn winter squash tamales with pumpkin seed-tomato mole and baby greens 9.75

Like any good food paparazzi reviewer, we snapped a few shots with the phone. (Why do I always feel so dorky when doing this?) And we were about to eat when the girl behind the counter stopped by our table to mention that I shouldn’t eat the husk on the tamale. Come again? And she was dead serious, and I thought that was hilarious. She was sincerely concerned that I might try to eat the dry papery thing on the outside of sweet succulent goodness. Did it often happen that people tried to eat the husk and she hadn’t warned them and felt bad? Had they been sued? You laugh, but I went to law school and that’s not too far fetched.

Anyway, back to the food. It was fantastical, delicioso, and marvelous – the kind of food that just feels good to eat. But, it had the same problem that Omar’s had, that I was still very, VERY hungry afterward. Two small tamales and a salad (both extremely delicious, mind you, and I would eat them again in a heartbeat) did not a sufficient meal make. Nor did a bit of quinoa, veggies, potatoes and a luscious cream sauce. I wish my meal had been 50% bigger. So, again, we found ourselves elsewhere – Whole Foods this time – looking for a second dinner.

I’ve heard that as we get older, our need to eat reduces (my neighbor told me that today), or maybe we’re supposed to order an appetizer and dessert too, or maybe I’m just so accustomed to “other” restaurant’s meals that I want MORE! Either way, I’ll still probably go back and order those tamales with that amazing mole again. I think about them in my sleep.

But, after what I did tonight, I probably won’t go back for the Machu Picchu, because I recreated it for a fraction of the price and I can eat until I’m full.  And it made enough to feed our new plant-based neighbors (score!). And it will go into the regular rotation because, even with my kids, I think it took me just over 30 minutes to make (plus cashew soaking time), everyone ate it and loved it, and it felt so, so good to eat.

The Machu Picchu Knockoff

  • Assorted Seasonal Vegetables, steamed
    • I used 4 carrots, 1 summer squash, half a bunch of broccoli
  • Thinly sliced potatoes, steamed (I used those ever-present garden ones, probably 10 or so, not quite 1/4″ thick)
  • 3 + c. cooked Quinoa (I started with 1 1/2 c. uncooked and used the open pan-1/2 to 1″ of water above-simmer until cooked method)

Cashew Chili Cream Sauce

  • 1 to 1 ½ c. raw cashews, soaked in water for at least a few hours
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 1 ½ c. veggie broth (I used 1 t. vegetable base + 1 ½ c. water)
  • Salt, to taste

Drain the cashews, tossing out the water. Place all ingredients in blender and rip until smooth. Cook over medium heat to thicken for a few minutes, stirring regularly or it will burn. Taste, adjust seasonings, and try to not to eat it all. I found that enough salt was the key to making it ever so amazing.

To serve: top cooked quinoa, vegetables and potatoes with cashew chili cream sauce and eat. And eat. And then as you’re putting it away, lick the spoon, scrape the bowl, etc. And you’ll still have enough for lots of leftovers.  Or for the neighbor that just moved here from another continent whose stuff hasn’t arrived yet and is hardcore plant-based. I am SO excited to get to know them.

ETW: Mountain West Burrito, 1796 N 950 W Provo Ut

Rating: **** not too pricey, actually cheap

My dad had open heart surgery last week so I have been in the hospital a lot. I went to the cafeteria for dinner with my mom the second night and was looking forward to something healthy based on my mom and (vegetarian) sister’s recommendation. My choices included,

  • fried meat,
  • processed meat,
  • processed cheese,
  • more processed cheese with a little fruit,
  • processed meat, cheese and bacon with some lettuce on the side labeled “salad”
  • worst of all there was, what appeared to be a fruit dish, but not so, I picked it up to reveal stacks of processed meat and cheese hiding under the 10 grapes

I had already been crying, now I felt like crying more and screaming out loud (cover your children’s ears):

“you sasafrassin*^##^^!! Poo#&*!%* idiots, don’t you know this is why our loved ones are in here?!!  How are our only choices so unhealthy?!”

Don’t worry, I didn’t say it out loud, only in my mind I sounded like a serious, crazy, activist.

My mom took one look at my face and suggested we leave the hospital for dinner. We found a little hole in the wall next to the smoke shop called

Mountain West Burrito (Angel’s singing here)

1796 N 950 W Provo Ut

It is a strange little hippy joint, that serves Tex-Mex.

Everything is organic, local, fresh.

I got the Grilled Veggie Burrito on a whole wheat tortilla, stuffed with organic brown rice, salsa, pinto beans, grilled summer squash (I am sure the veggies change with the seasons). $6

Delicious!

They even had vegan sour cream! My mom ordered a chicken and veggie burrito. Even their meat was organic and local. The burrito was HUGE, I couldn’t finish mine. I also got to try a weird health drink called kombucha, which kind of tasted like carbonated vinegar, but I liked it.

Traveling Vegan

Hey all!  We’re trekking across the country by car, plane, and boat so this post is little off the standard.  I haven’t had much time in the kitchen and photo ops have been few with my arms full of luggage and children (my phone left uncharged doesn’t help much either), I do however have loads of information to share!

While packing I was wary of my first cross-country trip as a vegan and nervous about finding plant-based food along the way that would be satisfying and healthy, so even before we left I loaded up our carry-ons with food galore.  Here’s a portion of the list:

*pistachios
*crackers
*squeeze applesauce
Product Details
*wasabi peas (also provided entertainment when my 2-yr-old insisted on licking one)
*protein bars, larabars, zbars- oh my!
Product Details
*veggies and hummus
*Justin’s Maple Nut Butter travel packs
<em>Justin's Nut Butter</em> - Almond <em>Butter</em> Squeeze Pack <em>Maple</em> - 1.15 oz....
*clementines
*flax crackers
*vegan chocolate (a must)
<em>Chocolove</em> Dark Choc W/Almonds & <em>Sea Salt</em> 3.2 oz (Pack Of 12)
*protein powder (to be added to a cup of soymilk purchased in the airport terminal)
Garden of Life <em>Raw Protein</em>, Original, 22 oz
*coconut water powder (add to water for electrolytes to prevent travel dehydration, tastes like fun dip when in powdered form!)
Product Details
*Primal Strips Jerky (BBQ- AMAZING, Teriyaki- ok, Shiitake- blech)
<em>Primal Strips</em> Texas <em>BBQ</em> Vegan Jerky, 1 oz (Pack of 24)
*homemade baked goods
*vitamins and supplements

I know there was more but I have been on the road with 3 kids for 5 days and everything is a bit of a blur.

Here’s a great article I found about airplane regulations and packing yummy vegan meals- some great ideas!

What’s In, What’s Out
There are plenty of snacks, treats, and spreads that get the “all clear” for the friendly skies. According to the US Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) guidelines, all solid food that is wrapped or in a container is allowed, as is whole, unpeeled natural food. However, if you dig into an apple while waiting in line to check your bag, you’ll have to wrap it up before hitting the security checkpoint. All liquids and semi-liquids (juice, coconut milk yogurt, hummus, and the like) should be placed into containers no larger than three ounces (the same as shampoo and soap). And with two tablespoons to each fluid ounce, you can bring on six tablespoons-worth of peanut butter without batting an eyelash. Yum.

……Pack frozen vegan enchiladas in a plastic container and with sauce in a two-ounce cup—by the time you’re aboard, you’re ready to eat.

 

More words of wisdom on road tripping vegan:

My Travel Food Philosophy:

Aim for Zen-like simplicity, bring along the bare minimum you need to produce food, be creative & flexible, do your research, think ahead, and take advantage of opportunities.

And don’t forget the can opener. Opening cans with a key and a paring knife or your trusty Boy Scout knife gets old fast. Fortunately can openers are available everywhere. Except maybe on camping trips.

Planning is important, but so is spontaneity when travelling. You might find yourself in an area where there are plenty of fast food restaurants and convenience stores, and not much else. Even those places will have something you can eat if you adopt temporary amnesia about organic, non-GMO, and food additives. Taco Bell and Subway are well known examples of fast food outlets (I wouldn’t call them restaurants) where you can get something veg and filling to eat in a pinch. Every town in North America has at least one supermarket, and many have delis where you can buy salads etc.

Always carry an emegency food supply – protein bars, nuts & seeds, dried fruit, trail mix, crackers, chips, fresh fruit, water – enough to keep you going for a day, just in case there’s no other food available.

It pays to find out ahead of time where the natural food stores and veg friendly restaurants are located along your way.

 

And I LOVE this blog on eating out anywhere vegan, no matter the country.  So cool!  Totally worth a read.

So there it is.  Hope all is well out there in blog land.  I’m off for a morning run on the pier and then a day on the beaches of Lake Michigan.

Veggie Grill Recipe

I tried a delicious salad at the Veggie Grill and needed it again, I scoured the internet, found some recipes, modified a little and this one is VERY close!

My Version of Veggie Grill’s “All Hail Kale Salad”

INGREDIENTS – (serves 4)

Gardein Crispy tenders (I can buy these at Smith’s in my area, check the internet to find them in yours. These are the BEST, you can trick carnivores with these babies)

16 cups Kale (about 3 big bunches)

2 cups cooked quinoa

2 cups corn salsa (recipe below)

2 cups red cabbage

10-16 Tbs chopped walnuts (just depends on how many you like)

3 cups Ginger Papaya dressing

Ginger Papaya Vinaigrette (1  1/4 quarts this is so yummy)

1 oz fresh ginger root or (1 T gound)

1 cup lime juice

1 ½ cups fresh papaya  (about one large Papaya)

½ cup rice vinegar

1 Tbs. sea salt

2 cups canola oil

1 cup water

1 ¼ cups evaporated cane juice

Corn Salsa (1 quart)

8 cups Roma tomatoes

1 cup red onion

½ cup cilantro

1 cup roasted corn (I used Costco frozen corn, spread on a cookie sheet and toasted in the oven for about 5 minutes on broil)

2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 oz. lime juice

Method:

Kale:

Remove spines from kale chop, rinse and dry. Place kale in large bowl add 3 cups ginger dressing and Quinoa, toss thoroughly, make sure all kale  is coated. Refrigerate overnight (this step infuses the kale with the ginger papaya dressing and makes it a lot yummier)

Ginger Papaya Vinaigrette:

Peel ginger root and papaya, combine with all ingredients to blender (except oil) blend until

smooth. Slowly drizzle oil while continuing to blend until dressing emulsifies, add to container and

refrigerate

Corn Salsa:

Chop cilantro, in large bowl combine all ingredients and mix well

Final Salad:

Mix 4 cups marinated kale to plate, swirl ¼ cup raw chopped cabbage around

kale, topped with ¼ cup corn salsa, 2 Tbs walnuts 4 crispy tenders