Archives For Entrées

On yet another trek from Pensacola to St. Augustine, my counterpart and I decided to make a lunch pitstop in Tallahassee. I just couldn’t resist introducing him to Southern vegan cuisine at the infamous Soul Veg, noted as part of the largest chain of vegan restaurants in the world, operated under the Hebrew Israelite Community of Jerusalem.

Situated just outside of downtown in a modest building next to some railroad tracks is this diamond in the rough. And yes, that’s me creeping in the reflection.

SoulVeg

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Not at Home Cooking

July 3, 2014 — 5 Comments

On our way back to St. Augustine from our Florida wilderness retreat, we pulled over at the County Line in Hastings, Florida to stop at an acclaimed Farmer’s Market, literally called the County Line. We made out like bandits picking up potatoes, squash, beets, spinach, onions, tomatoes, mango and more for a mere $12. We even got to pick out our own courtesy apples after we had paid as a nice little thank you for stopping by.

CountyLine

Since we returned to St. Augustine with so many veggies in tow, we decided to go three for three on home cooked dinners for two, fully utilizing our findings.

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Confession: I’m always craving egg salad of the eggless variety. Itching to make this salad a bit less straightforward and more playful, I decided to incorporate it into a colorful dinner spread, featuring local produce I picked up at the market last weekend. Rather than scooping the eggless salad onto a naked plate, or a bed of greens, I opted to let it rest gracefully atop sautéed Portobello mushroom caps. These eggless egg-dressed caps were accompanied by steamed asparagus and sliced tomato, resulting in a balanced meal ranking low on the glycemic index and high on the satisfaction scale.

EgglessEggSalad

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This past weekend was the first weekend I’ve been back at home in awhile without some sort of major happening taking place, which meant ample downtime after playing catch up for a few days.

For a delayed birthday celebration Saturday evening, my mom and I enjoyed an evening of grilling on her best friend’s deck overlooking Pensacola Bay. During the summer months my body especially craves lighter meals, which urges me to really focus on clean eating. Once it cools off a bit and gets slightly more tolerable outside in the evening hours, firing up the grill offers a festive way to enjoy fresh vegetables. Our vegetable features for Saturday evening consisted of grilled Portobello mushrooms, zucchini and onions. For a simple marinade, these veggies were brushed with a blend of garlic, salt, pepper and basil in Walnut EVOO.

GrilledVeggies

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Everyone has those childhood dishes that are forever inscribed in their memories. Thankfully enough, my mom has eagerly veganized a couple of my own childhood favorites over the years so we can continue to enjoy them. This weekend, she brought two of these classics back in one delightfully filling evening ensemble.

Rotel Dip

The first is a dish that not only centers around Rotel Dip, but includes my favorite childhood vegetable, green beans, along with yellow rice. I’m not sure what originally inspired my mom to combine these three entities into one dish, but it’s certainly a favored entrée that has withstood the test of time. My mom brings out this dish when requested for special occasions, in this case, the extended holiday weekend that just passed. Rather than the traditional version of Rotel Dip, requiring Velveeta cheese and Jimmy Dean Sausage, simple swaps of vegan cheese and vegan sausage can be made to reinvent this classic in plant-based fashion.

RotelDip

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As the summer heat and Florida humidity have been steadily on the rise as of late, I’ve been especially craving food that is what I consider to be stripped down, light and airy. Yesterday afternoon, I found myself dreaming of lettuce wraps. I have no clue what inspired this day dream of mine since it’s been quite awhile since I’ve munched on lettuce wraps, but it was pretty vivid. Minutes later I opened the fridge to figure out what I was going to eat after yoga, and lo and behold, our neighbor had given us a giant bag of green leaf lettuce. Clearly lettuce wraps were meant to be.

Lettuce wraps offer a great way to get some added roughage in your diet, and are an alternative to tortillas. While lettuce on its own may seem a bit boring or bland, I find wrapping food in lettuce to be nothing short of entertaining. Just like with tacos, you can literally wrap anything into a piece of lettuce.

For some lettuce wrapping inspiration, here is a quick look at how I rolled last night.

LettuceWraps2

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Since I ended up with quite a few shredded carrots and spring onions on hand following my Thai-Infused Peanut Surprise, it seemed fitting to put them to good use, and pull together something I’ve had a craving for lately—mock chicken salad.

MockChickenSalad

But wait a second, how can it be chicken salad without the chicken? I thought you might ask.

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