Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Green Vegetarian - Houston, TX

I just realized I never took a photo of my panang curry from Thai Cottage this past weekend. The dude and I went there for dinner before seeing the Lego movie. Oh well, it was tasty and we were too busy talking for me to remember taking a photo. Can't complain about that. However, I did remember to bust out my camera at last weekend's vegan brunch at Green. My friends organize it weekly, but this time there were SO many people! The final head count was 19 people. The dude didn't join us since he had lots of things to do, but I ate too much food. I ordered the migas plate, 2 pancakes, a maple-walnut cupcake, and got to try the new vegan BBQ and Daiya quesadilla and brownie from someone else's plate. (Can you say #FATFAT?) I was still full in the evening, so I had crackers and Treeline for dinner. Healthy, right? Sundays are for epic cheat meals! ;)
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Monday, February 24, 2014

Italian Bowl

I had some basil left in the fridge from the Super Bowl. Since I had all of the ingredients for the sun-dried tomato pesto, I figured I'd make that to use everything up. I made the pesto, marinated some tofu with Italian marinade from Vegan with a Vengeance, and cooked some quinoa in the rice cooker and used the steam to cook some broccoli. Boom - dinner is served in 30 minutes. It's simple meals like this where I just aim for a protein (the tofu and quinoa), a carb (the veggies and the quinoa feels like a carb), and some green vegetables. I have some fat from the oil-packed tomatoes and from cooking the tofu.
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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Soy Curls!

Now that I have quite the surplus of soy curls in the pantry, I decided to use some of them for dinner. I made this stir-fry recipe from Olives for Dinner, except I didn't use the veggies listed. The photography and writing on that blog are awesome, so check it out. I rehydrated the soy curls, then fried them up as described. I made rice and broccoli in the rice cooker. I made this as a doubled recipe, but fried the second half of the soy curls without the cornstarch coating and stored the leftovers separately from the rest of the food so they won't get soggy. These were worth the work of frying something and getting over my fear of cooking with hot oil while alone. This blew take-out food out of the water! The crunchy texture and thick sauce were awesome together. I sprinkled some sesame seeds and cashews on top for a little more fat. ;)
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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Rabbit Food Grocery - Austin, TX

Every time I go to Austin, I try to place an order with Rabbit Food Grocery. They're the only place I know of that carries the new vegan Earth Balance chips in sour cream and onion flavor and cheddar flavor. I also picked up No Whey candies by Premium Chocolatiers, an Amy E's cashew and caramel bar, salted caramel sauce from Sweet Ritual (Austin's vegan ice cream parlor), soy curls, and Match Meats' vegan ground beef sub. I've never had Match vegan meats before, but they got a great review on Vegan Crunk (here). I met up with the Rabbit Food folks at their scheduled pick-up at Counter Culture, but we chose not to order anything from CC since we had just finished brunch at Kerbey Lane. Hopefully they'll have a store soon! After the Rabbit Food pick-up, we zipped over to Wheatsville for Go Max Go candies, Cocomels, and Treeline nut cheese. NOM.
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Friday, February 21, 2014

Kerbey Lane Cafe - Austin, TX

I recently saw a brunch plate on Twitter that looked incredible. I follow several Austin vegan bloggers on Twitter. One posted a pumpkin cinnamon roll pancake from Kerbey Lane Cafe. Um yes. The vegan special pancake this past weekend was vanilla, which was a simple choice that was a perfect pairing with the vegan brunch platter. The platter has tofu scramble, homemade soy sausage, and pancakes. I ordered a side of home fries for extra calories. I really enjoyed this brunch, but I felt so stuffed afterwards. I probably could have done without the potatoes, but what is brunch without potatoes? The dude ordered a vegetarian breakfast quesadilla. He eats vegetarian at home and with me (mostly vegan with me actually), but he has ordered meat/fish recently with his friends. He's trying to find the perfect balance for himself, so I'm still holding out a tiny bit of hope that he'll one day go vegan. I guess he's just not quite ready to be the "odd" one with some of his friends in certain social settings. This was a topic we both had avoided discussing, but a guest at the wedding we attended in Austin straight up asked him if he's veg *because of me.* I used that as a way to discuss that I want him to make this choice for himself and for his own health, not think that I demand this from him. He's just trying to find his way and he said he has no problem eating vegetarian at home and with me, but he wants the flexibility to order meat when going out (clearly with friends, not in front of me!). We ended that discussion with me saying that I appreciate his efforts and his openness to go to vegan/vegan-friendly places with me and that I like many, many things about him so we can work through differences in diet. I really like him and I think we can find a balance that works for us. All of my previous boyfriends have been omnis, so this is my first vegetarian relationship. It's a touchy topic to discuss because I don't want to be demanding or preachy. I want to be inspirational. He inspires me to work out and be more active. I want to inspire him to eat as many plants as possible. We went out for this tasty brunch after such a serious conversation. It was a bit of relief to finally discuss something we'd both been thinking about, but weren't sure how to start such a conversation.
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Thursday, February 20, 2014

BBQ Revolution & Red Rabbit Donuts - Austin, TX

The new Northloop trailer park is home to Red Rabbit Co-op Bakery, BBQ Revolution, Unity Vegan Kitchen, and Taco 'Bout It. The taco place is not all vegan, but there are vegan options. The other three businesses are all vegan. I really wanted to try the BBQ Revolution food and get donuts from Red Rabbit. I love donuts and there are no vegan donuts in Houston. I ordered the raspberry jam filled and the jam and chocolate filled heart shaped donut. The concept of BBQ Revolution intrigued me. They were out of seitan brisket, but it has peanut butter so I would not have been able to order it this weekend anyway (the dude can't have peanuts). The dude and I both ordered the smoky soy curl sandwiches. The dude got potato salad on his sandwich as suggested by the employee, but I chose to put my mac and cheese on the side. The mac needs a little more nooch. It's just not very rich, but it is soy-free if that's important to you. Overall, NOM.
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Valentine's Gifts

I ordered the dude some vegan shaving supplies from Jack Black. The shaving products are highly reviewed in Men's Health. I hope he likes it, since he can't use an electric razor on his skin. He bought me some jewelry, had an ornate vase from Iraq filled with artificial flowers out to decorate his apartment (since we were going out of town and the cats eat flowers, he didn't want to buy real ones), and paid for dinner and most of our Austin expenses. He spoils me! This is the first time in my life that I've received jewelry from a boyfriend. I feel so adult. It's also not too large and flashy, a perfect starter set for someone like me that doesn't wear jewelry often. :)
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Birthday/Valentine's Weekend

I left work early on my birthday, but the dude couldn't get out of work early. We had planned to head up to Austin that evening, but we decided to stay in Houston. We went to Radical Eats for a vegan Valentine's dinner. The appetizers were beet borscht soup, a jalapeno popper, and a little beet salad. We picked different entrees so we could try both choices on the special menu. I got the veggie/tofu tart with roasted veggies. He ordered the veggie charcuterie pizza. My entree was better than his pizza. The pizza needed more flavor under the veggies, like a strong garlic and herb olive oil sauce. The dessert was a chocolate mousse or some truffles. We split the mousse, it was insanely rich. We each had a glass of red wine, but I'm not sure if my wine was vegan. The service was very good again, so the dude and I would like to try going on a non-holiday to see if that level of service is consistent. We exchanged gifts after dinner and watched the first few episodes of House of Cards.
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Monday, February 17, 2014

Brunch at Green Vegetarian - Houston, TX

Another Sunday brunch at Green. I got the chorizo and tofu scramble tacos with Daiya vegan cheese, plus an order of pancakes. The chef offered us free desserts because he liked my "wings are for flying not frying" shirt (from Herbivore, sold here). Sweet! The pancakes were incredible, the tacos were delicious, and the Twinkie knock-off was quite good. I loved the meal and it was great to have brunch with the dude and some friends. We had a smaller crowd than the last time I went to brunch because the organizers were on a dog rescue mission.
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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fusion Taco - Downtown, Houston, TX

A kickball friend recently had a birthday, so a bunch of us met downtown for tacos and a few drinks. We went to Fusion Taco and I ordered the tofu taco, subbing guac for the peanut sauce. I would have ordered the peanut sauce, but the dude can't have peanuts. They had a kale and tofu quesadilla, but they don't have vegan cheese. The tofu tacos were impressive though, definitely not stingy on the portions. This place is near Okra, the charity bar, so we walked over there for a drink after dinner.
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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Green Vegetarian - Houston, TX

Date night at Green Vegetarian after a rough few days for the me and the dude. Usually our work schedules are opposite, but we both had a few crazy days with long hours and lots of work. We met up for dinner at Green and both ordered chickpea burgers. I got my burger with Daiya cheese, avocado, jalapenos, and chipotle mayo. We both ordered mashed potatoes for the side and we split a cupcake for dessert. This place makes comfort foods, so it was a great choice after such a rough week.
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Friday, February 14, 2014

Chia pasta

I found this chia pasta on sale at the store recently, so I picked it up. I served it with some red beans, kale, onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and cauliflower. I sprinkled some of the nooch pesto topping I got from Pat Greer's Kitchen on top. That really bumped up the flavors. This was a great meal and it made a ton of food, perfect for the long hours I've been working recently.
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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Super Bowl Food

Better late than never, right? Italian tofu sandwiches with homemade buns, sun-dried tomato pesto, and spinach. I love that tofu marinade from Vegan with a Vengeance. Chocolate and vanilla marbled cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Cauliflower wings with buffalo sauce from the only vegan show on Cooking Channel, but you can find the recipe online here. Lots of chips, hummus, pretzels, and Coke Zero (a once a week indulgence for me). We were cheering for the Seahawks, so it was a great evening. :)
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014


The dude and I were both too tired to cook the other weekend, so we decided to do date night at Fadi's. After running stopping at Whole Foods and being unimpressed with the hot bar selections, he discovered a Fadi's location so much closer to our houses than the other location. We went there and got falafel. I also got red pepper hummus, pomegranate chickpea salad, roasted cauliflower (not shown, since it came out after we went through the line), roasted potatoes, and pita bread. NOM NOM NOM. I love that you can select your sides as half-sides and get more choices.
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

BBQ Tofu

Another quick meal here - BBQ tofu made using Organicville Tangy BBQ. Served with broccoli with sriracha and sesame seeds, plus fries. Nom. Totally simple, but healthy.
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Monday, February 10, 2014

Amy's Frozen Meals

In a week, I worked 70 hours, hence my absence from blogging. I didn't get a chance to schedule a bunch of posts like I usually do. I have a big week ahead this week too, but it should be a little calmer than the last week! I ended up running to the grocery store for some vegan Amy's meals before going to soccer one night. I tried the mattar tofu and the roasted vegetable tamale. They were on sale, so that was cool. I was surprised that these meals were as good as they were. I don't normally eat things like this, but sometimes you just have to get something to eat. I was on my way to soccer, so a burrito would have been a terrible choice. It's good to know that these are decent for the next time my work day becomes 12 hours long.
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Saturday, February 1, 2014


Now that I'm all caught up on food posts, I should probably write down my resolutions.

(1) Be more active. I played kickball, soccer, and tennis in 2013, but didn't work out regularly. The dude and I both resolved to work out more, so we can hold each other accountable. In the middle of January, we decided to try a 90 day challenge of eating cleaner and working out more. We'll see how it goes!

(2) Pay off the cats' vet bills. I still owe a lot. I was hoping my mom would give me more money at xmas. She gave me a nice chunk, but I still have a big balance. Blah. We discussed a plan, so hopefully it will be paid off by the next holiday season. I was hoping my mom would pay more and I could join a kick-ass gym, but that's on hold until this debt is out of my life!

(3) Continue to build a healthy and happy relationship with the dude. I want to nurture our relationship. I'm usually not an overly emotional person, but I really like him. <3 He spoils me way too much, but I hope he is as happy as I am.

(4) Quit biting my nails. I actually did this successfully at the end of 2012 and first half of 2013... but as soon as I became miserable in my old job and started searching for my new job, I started chewing on them again to handle the stress. I stopped painting them weekly and that made me feel less guilty about picking at them. I will start with painting them again and hopefully that will help me stop biting them for good this time.

(5) Keep diet soda as a treat instead of a part of my daily lunch. Don't buy it, it won't go in my lunch. I did this for several months in 2013, but again caved when miserable at my old job.

(6) Read more for work so I can write an awesome fellowship application this year.