The past 26 days have seen little in the way of restaurant food. I can count on one hand…actually…one finger, the number of times I’ve eaten out. The sole occasion was that disastrous vegan sub at Subway, and that must have ruined the experience as a whole. But yesterday I had the treat of meeting a friend at the trendy, elegant-cafeteria style restaurant “Green Dog Cafe” here in Cincinnati.
The words “elegant” and “cafeteria” put together may seem like a paradox, but it was actually quite lovely. It was so nice to step into an establishment with just as many options for vegans/vegetarians/gluten-free people as not. As I ordered the “Green Chow Chow Curry-vegan style” I caught myself expecting some kind of smirk, or “oh, she’s one of those…” looks, but no such look was cast my way! It was great.
Their description for the green chow chow curry is as follows: “sauteed spinach and mushrooms, green curry, coconut milk, cilantro served over brown rice with socca”. It was delish, and there was so much of it!! Two meals at least. My friend got their fries for us to share, and I’m so glad she did! They were perfect. I couldn’t try the mayonnaise based dip, (unfortunate because she was practically drooling over it), but I did have the pleasure of dipping in the apple one, which tasted like
apple butter to me. I also indulged in some Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet (Jenni’s Ice Cream) which was light and refreshing. The perfect finish to such a filling meal, even if 5 dollars is a little pricey for a few scoops of sorbet.
Then today, I went to Chipotle with my family and got a burrito sans meat, cheese and sour cream. It hit the spot! Why didn’t I go here earlier?
Culinarily, today has been both indulgent and disappointing. I woke up with plenty of time, at least for a McKenzie morning, to make a solid breakfast, but I wasn’t horribly enthused about oatmeal (my stand-by).
I decided on a bowl of fruit but I was still hungry afterward so I toasted half a vegan bagel. Now, I was worried because of the listed ingredients that this would taste like bird feed cleverly molded into a bagel shape, but alas! It was fantastic! (P.S. if anyone can tell me what “sprouted whole wheat berries” are, you get a gold star.
Here’s where the indulgent part comes in. I covered it with a big ol’ layer of cherry jelly. *Hand smacks forhead.* Later I had a moment of sheer panic when I realized that jelly is made with pectin, typically a horse product. Thankfully, Smucker’s makes their with fruit pectin! That was close.
Then, I was desperately trying to think of anything I could take for lunch and totally blanked. As delicious as straight up collard green leaves sound, I felt like I had no options…so I packed up a container of Kashi Go Lean Crunch and a water bottle full of almond milk. When lunch (finally) came around after several hours of shakiness that would put Michael J. Fox to shame, I decided to try a veggie sub from Subway instead. Worst mistake I’ve made in the past three days. Whether it was the great volume of mustard the condiment-loving worker put on my sandwich or her equally enthused hatred for spinach (I got three leaves), it was just generally a poopy sub. Wahh. So cereal it was.
Then for dinner I made a chili dog, I was skeptical of the cylindrical molded tofu, but when my dog came over with his tail wagging I thought “hey, maybe if he thinks it’s a real hotdog then I will too”. Nope-he’s just a fatty. I have to give the company kudos for the flavor which was lovely and smoky-It was very similar. But the texture? Not so much.
The saving grace of the day was the soy hot chocolate shown at left. It showed no hint of it’s hidden vegetable roots and damn was it tasty. Next time I’ll change the “pinch” of Cayenne to an omittance of it. Too spicy for my wimpy taste buds, but here’s the link to the recipe.http://allrecipes.com/recipe/delicious-vegan-hot-chocolate/