Monday, October 31, 2011

Luna's Living Kitchen and Forks over Knives

I recently found an excuse to bring Forbes down to Charlotte for a lunch date at Luna's Living Kitchen.  I have only been once before, but loved the veggie burger and wanted to Forbes to try it out with me. 

We settled in, ravenous for lunch, and began to peruse the menu.  I have to be honest, even after eating here once before, and being vegan, I stared at the raw menu skeptical that its contents would have the capacity to fill my hungry belly. 

Forbes of course went for the burger after my rave reviews, but I wanted to try something new.  So after much deliberation I settled on the Lunasagna.
The portion size was pleasing to my eyes, and I knew right away I had made the right choice.  We simultaneously dug right into our entrees.
Forbes and I shared tasting bites of each others' as well.  The quinoa patty was just as amazing as I remembered!  But the Lunasagna was definitely the star of the show.  It was layered with zucchini, red sauce and a cashew-basil "cheese."  I never wanted this amazing dish to end.
What I found when eating my raw lunch was how much time I took to savor each bite.  It was as if I wanted to mimic with my eating the care and attention to detail that went into this dish.  It brought me back to a place of intuitive eating and really helped me to slow down and enjoy my meal. 

At the end of lunch I was comfortably satisfied.  But there was room for persuasion and when the owner came around to suggest the Creme Brulee I was all too eager!
Two spoons were presented to us and after a short wait we received this master piece!
Just like your traditional dish, a hard, sugared shell was cracked open to reveal a creamy and rich filling.  The Creme Brulee was cold, which I wasn't expecting (so was the Lunasagna--duh it's raw!) but the flavor and consistency was spot-on the original.  Of course, I've actually only ever had the real deal once before. 

Forbes and I both really enjoyed this meal and are excited to try other menu offerings in the future.  While it was a bit pricey for an average lunch for us, it was well worth it for the quality of the meal.  Plus, as we were leaving, they offered us these...for free :)
And those were tasty too!

Eating at Luna's has inspired me to think more outside the box and incorporate a little raw into my diet.  For someone who eats a diet that some would consider "extremist" I still can't wrap my mind around a raw diet.  I am very interested in trying some new things, however.

Another event that has me re-focused on my diet is the movie Forks over Knives.
I had some friends over last night to watch the movie with Forbes and me.  Most of the information I learned in other places: China Study, Food, Inc., etc.  However, it was a great refresher course, and brought the information to me in new ways.  I realize that while I am eating a plant-based diet, lately I have been relying a bit too much on sugar and other processed foods.  As a consequence, I really haven't been feeling 100% lately.  I really want to "clean-up" my eating habits! 

This is an ironic post considering it is Halloween and we're talking about eating healthier!  But what better time, eh?  Luckily for me, tonight's Halloween Party is a Soup Party and not a Candy Party!  So I will be eating well all day! 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mooresville Pumpkin Run 8k Race Recap

Happy Saturday to you and to me!  No better way to start a weekend than a slow wake-up followed by a successful race.  Am I right?
Forbes and I ran for the second year in a row the Mooresville Pumpkin Run 8k.  Leading up to this race I couldn't be more excited.  A 5-mile run was exactly what I needed on my calendar.  Short enough to not wig-out over, long enough to make worth-while.  I could challenge myself with speed and distance. 

Last year was a wonderful event!  Forbes and I ran it together and it was his Personal Distance Record at that time!  I knew it was hard for him, but he finished strong and even placed in his age group!  This year was a bit different.  Since last year's race, Forbes has finished two half marathons and has stepped up his game, shall we say.  He is so much faster than I am now and I knew it would be him pushing me to the finish line this year! 

We set a goal of 9:30 minute/miles.  An average pace for Forbes but a very challenging goal for me.  I really wanted to see what I had in me, despite my lack of motivation lately.  This morning was rough when we woke up to cold and rain.  We considered bailing on the race.  If it started any earlier, I am afraid we might have!  Instead, we snuggled on the couch with breakfast and hot water until the very last minute.  At 8:35am we finally charged upstairs, donned our running gear and headed out for the 9am start time.
Representing in my Cards shirt! World Series Champs!
The start line lagged a little and I was super cold waiting for the race to begin.  Finally we were off and within moments I warmed up on the first of many hills.  Our speed started off strong and we may have been charging 8:30 min/miles at the beginning.  My legs needed to warm up fast!

The first and second miles were the longest.  I kept thinking there was no way I could keep up the speed for 5 whole miles!  I seriously lack confidence when it comes to speed.  Around mile two I grabbed a cup of water and swallowed just a sip to motivate me to keep going.

Around that same time the sun peaked out of the gloomy sky and we began to see streaks of bright blue behind the clouds.  All of a sudden I remembered why I love this Fall race so much!  The bright hues on the changing leaves and breeze blowing motivated me through mile three.  We worked up quite the sweat and left our gloves and hats on the side of the road (at a friend's house) and pushed through mile four. 

The Mooresville Pumpkin Run is one of the hilliest courses out there, but it winds through a beautiful neighborhood and downtown.  I curse the hills and the turns, but in a way they motivate me to charge forward.  This morning I found myself literally sprinting to the top of the hills, counting them down as we went. 

Finally, we were in the last mile and I really felt I had given this race all I had.  I couldn't believe the crazy-fast times we were running and I really wanted to quit.  It was hard to continue to press on even when my legs were screaming, STOP!  We began to pick out competitors in front of us and pick them off one-by-one.  We took off up the last hill, rounded the corner to the finish and blew past the line at 45:30! 
Forbes was wearing the Garmin watch so I had no clue how quick we were running!  I knew it was definitely under a 9:30 pace, and for this 10:30-averager, it was the hardest race I have run to-date.  I kept telling myself toward the end, Pain is Temporary-Victory is Forever!

(for the record...last year's race was completed in 52:33!)
We dawdled at the finish, chatting it up with friends and acquaintances.  We checked the finishers results and found out, for the second year in a row, Forbes placed in his age group!  Congrats Forbes!
We grabbed his medal before the awards however.  I had a coffee date I needed to get ready for!
I met my dear friends Shannon, Elizabeth and Kelly at Starbucks for a latte.  I also ate a mini-cupcake that I grabbed from the race.  I'm 100% sure that cupcake was all vegan (NOT)!

Not long after, I satisfied my sweet tooth again with lunch at TCBY.  I have stopped all TCBY photography because I already have one too many photos of fro-yo!  But yes, I did go back to the sorbet.  No more dairy for this girl.  The pumpkin flavor isn't really that great anyhow!  I did also sneak in some veggies in salad form from Field of Greens.

The rest of the day post race has been a mix of running errands and cooking up a storm in the kitchen.  All of it spent with Forbes.  The perfect day in my opinion. 
New running store in Mooresville--Grand Opening we checked out today!
Charlotte Running Company


So just where has my fitness levels been over the last two weeks leading up to this race?  It has been a while since I did a week recap of Fitness, Faith, and Food.  Here's a quick look over the last couple weeks!


Saturday- Triple Lakes Trail Race (8 miles)

Sunday- bailed on the half-marathon, day of Rest
Monday- lots of walking on the seashore
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- Rest
Thursday-went to the beach...lots of Rest!
Friday- Rest
Saturday- Rest

Sunday- Rest
Monday- finally got back out there! 3.5 mile run
Tuesday- lost my mojo again...Lazy Rest
Wednesday- Lazy Rest
Thursday- Track workout with Forbes- sprints and stadiums
Friday- too cold...Rest
Saturday- Mooresville Pumpkin Run 8k

It really does make it sound better when you say Rest vs. Lazy!  Honestly, I have lost my stride and am hoping to find it once again.  I want to get back to a balance of 4 to 5 strong workouts a week, with 2 or 3 active rest days in between.  I have felt so good over the last few months on this schedule and am hoping to get back there this week!  I'm hoping the run today will inspire me!

Tomorrow we will catch up with Faith and Food!  Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Vegan Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Forbes and I had a bit of extra time together yesterday morning.  We took advantage in the best way we know how...pancakes!

Since we have been together, pancakes have been a staple in our life.  We have made all sorts of different pancake concoctions, challenging each other to find the better pancake-flipper, and experimenting with a wide assortment of toppings.  Pancakes are our thing.  To me, it represents those lazy mornings together when we were first getting to know one another.  When there wasn't a care in the world other than each other.  They are romantic.

We have had many pancake successes, and many pancake failures.  Specifically after going vegan, our pancake experiments have been just that...experiments!  Some never cook in the middle, and I feel like I'm eating straight batter.  Others are too dry and even syrup can't fix them.  We've tried whole grain, whole wheat, made with flax eggs, made with oil, made with chia seeds--all types!  Mostly we use recipes I find online, but when I went searching yesterday for exactly what I wanted, it was nowhere to be found.  Thus a new experiment and one that I was very weary about.
To my surprise, these are the best vegan pancakes we have had to date!  They were perfectly fluffy and cooked on the inside, yet still soft.  The outside was browned and just a little crispy.  I was worried about the flavor when we sampled the dough, but after cooking we both discovered these tasty pancakes were just right.  If you like your pancake dough sweeter, you might need to add a bit of sugar to the recipe, but we prefer to get our sweetness in the toppings!

Vegan Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
makes 12-15 pancakes

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  •  2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Measure 1/2 cup almond milk (or other non dairy milk) into small bowl.  Stir in apple cider vinegar and allow to curdle for approximately 5 minutes
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together flours, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spice.
  3. In separate bowl, stir together pumpkin puree, water and vanilla.  Mix almond milk into this wet mixture.  
  4. Stir wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined.
  5. Heat griddle pan to medium heat and spritz with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Drop 1/3 cup of batter onto pan and cook about 4 or 5 minutes.  The dough will not bubble up as much as typical pancake batter.  You will have to check with a spatula to see if the under side is cooked.
  7. Carefully flip the pancake and cook for 4-5 minutes on the other side.  Do not smash down on your pancakes.  If you are concerned about the inside cooking, carefully pierce the middle of the pancake to see if the center is done.
  8. Once your pancake is cooked, remove and repeat until you have used all your batter.  Keep pancakes warm in oven or wrapped in foil.
  9. Serve with baked apples, syrup, nut butters or jelly.  Or go for the pumpkin overload with Pumpkin Butter!
I "fake-baked" our apples in the microwave for 2 minutes, and topped my pancake with pure maple syrup and cinnamon.  We made about half the batter and stored the remaining batter in the fridge.  Forbes woke up today and quickly cooked a few more pancakes and told me "We should always have pancake batter on tap!"  Well, we definitely should!
What pancake experiments have you had?  Any great flavor combos?  Our favorite creation was Peanut Butter and Jelly pancakes!  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Simon Birch and God

I keep telling myself to stop with the crazy talk on the blog.  I must be turning folks away.  No one wants to hear how "God is using me."  I feel like the movie Simon Birch.
This was one of my favorite movies growing up, and one of the few movies I could even stand watching more than once.  The little boy in the film walks around saying God has a purpose for him.  His life is going to be great and that God will use him.  The people in town and at church chastise him, questioning his faith and telling him to shush, no one wants to hear his wild statements!  The church is content to follow their religious rituals and move through every day life not questioning a greater and higher purpose.

I wonder if that's what others think of me.  Are they wanting me to be "normal" and stop talking about God's big plans.  Am I turning others away because I believe God has called me to something greater than the life I am living?  Will I lose friends?  (Have I even been that vocal about it to turn others off, or is it all in my head?)

I am certain that as I continue to follow God's will for my life, my path will change and the people on that path will also change.  Ultimately it is a question of who I wish to follow.  What is most important?  God is obviously most important, and my relationship with Christ.  But that doesn't mean that my other relationships aren't valuable too.  I want to nurture those relationships, even as I change. 

In the end of the story in Simon Birch, the little boy saves the lives of many school children in a terrible accident.  [spoiler alert] It is a deed that ends up taking his own life.  God was working a wonderful power in this small body and many eyes were opened by this little boy and the short life he lived. 

I wonder if that will be my legacy?  Will I be strong enough to save a life, even in the wake of criticism and disapproval?  Will I follow Jesus, or my own selfish desires?

Yesterday I had a "God Moment."  I have struggled with my passion and desire for long term mission, and what I would give up here at home to make that possible.  I'm not just talking about my comfortable couch and food on the table.  I am more concerned with my friendships, and a career that is fulfilling.  Giving up my position at Girls on the Run to move away would be the most difficult thing I could ever be asked to do.  I shared this in a meeting yesterday with my board chair and we both agreed that there might be a different schedule that could work that would allow me to take a break during the summer to pursue some of these passions.  Nothing is official and obviously our two opinions aren't the only ones that count.  But I am blessed to have a "boss" that is a Christian and understands God's will.  It is something we will continue to pray over and I am excited about the possibilities! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Live 58

Isaiah 58

True Fasting
 1 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
   Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
   and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out;
   they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
   and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
   and seem eager for God to come near them.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
   ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
   and you have not noticed?’    “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
   and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
   and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
   and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
   only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
   and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
   a day acceptable to the LORD?
 6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
   and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
   and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
   and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
   and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
   and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
   and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
   you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
   “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
   with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
   and your night will become like the noonday.

I tried to break this passage down a bit for you, but I could not decide where to stop.  This is such an important scripture and it has been my mantra lately.  I recently read Fast Living, a book that follows this passage and commands us to the True Fast.  I checked out their website and this is an unbelievably motivating initiative.  I signed up to host a viewing of 58:The Film.  It came in the mail yesterday so we watched it at small group and once again I was convicted by my inadequacies and lack of movement. 

Check out the trailer! It is moving!

My church will be hosting this film in the coming weeks.  I would love for you to come out and watch it if you are local!  I will put out more details when I have it all lined up.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Gingerbread Buckwheat Bake

Yum-o-licious! Would you like some cake for breakfast?

First off, my tofu winner is...(drum roll please)...Julie! Julie, I know I have your address around here somewhere but will you email it to me and Nasoya is going to send you some coupons to try out their latest products! Of course, I may require you to share whatever you decide to make!  The Coconut-Battered Tofu recipe is a great one, and I recommend that first!

Secondly, thanks for your sweet responses to my posts the last few days.  It really is encouraging to know others are going through similar experiences.  It just means God is at work in our lives and giving us a desire to serve His Kingdom.  It is exciting and I am just thankful that He has planted that desire in me and in all of you!

Thirdly, cake for breakfast!  I have watched as Ashley has made Buckwheat Bake after Buckwheat Bake for the better part of a year.  And I admit, I have scrolled down, skipping the recipe and just reading the blog.  They just didn't appeal to me.  Plus, I would have to buy another obscure ingredient and figure out how to freshly grind buckwheat groats and all that just sounded too complicated!

Then I realized I had buckwheat groats just lurking about in my pantry!  Where did they come from? How did they get there?  And recently a dear friend gave me her blender (she pitied me for my chunky Green Monsters made in the food processor) and I discovered that a blender is really awesome at grinding flour!  Now I had all my ingredients and kitchen tools ready, it was only a matter of time before I got around to seeing what the fuss was all about!

Pumpkin Gingerbread Buckwheat Bake
Serves 1

This recipe uses freshly ground raw buckwheat to create a light and fluffy breakfast cake.  The flavor is nutty and full of spice!  There is no need for added sugar; to sweeten your cake just top with a little honey or pure maple syrup.  If you don't have a ramekin or a baking dish of proper size, just use your muffin tin, using only 2 or 3 cups. 

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 1/3 cup fresh ground buckwheat groats (raw)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • pinch allspice
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 2 tablespoon water)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  1. Preheat oven to 350* and lightly grease ramekin or other oven-safe dish.  (You could also use muffin tin, using just two muffin cups)
  2. Mix together 1 tablespoon ground flax seed and 2 tablespoons water to form your flax egg.  Set aside
  3. Whisk together freshly ground buckwheat groats, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, allspice and cloves.
  4. In separate bowl stir together pumpkin, almond milk, vanilla and molasses.  Add flax egg when it has gelled (about 3-5 minutes)
  5. Add wet to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  Pour batter into prepared baking dish.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  
  7. You can top your Buckwheat Bake with more cinnamon, maple syrup, honey, nut butter, or fruit of choice.  I used honey and grilled banana slices.  Yummy!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Go and make disciples of all nations...

I woke up this morning with a passage stuck in my mind, quite similar to how songs become stuck:

Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them all I have commanded (paraphrased in my brain from Matthew 28:19).

It was just there.  From the moment I was awake I heard those words.  It isn't out of the blue; the Great Commission was the theme from our WOW (Women of Worship) Beach Retreat.  But it was a command that I heard loud and clear for my day today.

I have been caught up in this dream of moving far away for long term mission work.  I have been itching for an adventure, some giant calling on my life.  I know that God has a great plan and that if I desire to work as a foreign missionary, then someday I will have the opportunity.  But I am also beginning to understand that dream may not be accomplished today.  Today he may have other plans to prepare my heart and my life for what is to come.  And so while I wait, it doesn't mean that the mission field has to wait.  There is a need in my own community and each day is a call to help and serve others.

I realize it is easier for me to dream of moving to Africa to serve rather than walk down to the Christian Mission.  Serving others is outside of my comfort zone and in Africa you just expect to be outside of that zone.  Here at home, it is far easier for me to become complacent and retreat to the comfort of my home and ignore the needs around me.  It is challenging for me to want to move.  But as God continues to shape my heart I am convicted that moving right here is what I am called to do right now.  When God commands us to make disciples of all nations, He even meant America, not just nations far away from me. 

From the retreat this weekend I took home this:

Christ has...
     No body on earth but yours,
     No hands but yours,
     No feet but yours.

Yours are the eyes...
     Through which His compassion will look upon the world.

Yours are the feet...
      With which He will go about doing good.

Yours are the hands...
      With which He will bless others now.

I am convicted by my disobedience to serve others each and every day of my life.  I get these big dreams of Africa and can't see past my own nose.  There is much work to be done, even right here.  Today my focus will be to glorify God in everything I do.  In every interaction and task that I take on.  And today I will make an effort to better serve God's kingdom in my own community.  I have a plan to get further connected to the Christian Mission and to allow God to mold my heart to love the people around me more and more. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pray for me. I pray for you.

Look where I was (again) this weekend.  Like I said, my life is awesome! I attended the annual Women of Worship Beach Retreat, this year in North Topsail.  A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. describes my experience in just one word.  Or how about Transforming.  Or Sanctified.  My life is a crazy journey lately and this weekend just added to the mess.

A mess perhaps, but a good mess.  I struggle to find the words to describe how I've been feeling lately.  I struggle to put down my emotions, thoughts, and feelings.  I want to.  I desire to.  If for no other reason than to share with you this journey I am on.  I would also love to document these moments in my life to forever look back on.  I can tell I'm on to something.  On the cusp of change.  Waiting for a new adventure.  And I want to remember forever this feeling of following God's will and trusting solely in Him.

Don't be turned off by my "Christian-eeze."  I am a sane person.  But I have found a friend in Jesus and I want to share with you the beauty in this love.  A love that now defines me.  And directs me.  I'm just now beginning to truly understand who Jesus is and His love for me.  There is now a comfort in His love, where before I felt uncomfortable and uneasy with the idea of this love.  Now I am trusting and hopeful.  And I know that I have a rich future ahead of me.

I mentioned I am struggling to find words.  Mostly because the more I write, the more I fear you think I am crazy.  That it is all nonsense and I assure you it isn't.  God's love is real.  And I'm anxious to share more about how my life is being transformed, but perhaps in small doses.  For your sake...and for mine.

For now I leave you with a fun video from our "PJ" party.  (Praise Jesus.  Pajamas.)  This so you can be sure we are as crazy as we seem...

"The Anointed Spoons" we call them!

I had a wonderful time at the beach.  I especially enjoyed the company of these two ladies...
As well as all the ladies! 

For past WOW retreats check out these posts:

Being Loved
Beach Retreat
Beach Photo Montage

I'm back now, and I am in serious prayer about where my life is leading.  Please continue, as always, to pray for me.  I will pray for you.

Friday, October 21, 2011

How to Cook Tofu

A while back we talked about tofu on a No Meat Monday post.
Is anyone still with me on this?
So I listed a Tofu Buying Guide and gave you a great recipe for tofu!  Well, the tofu-gods must have been smiling down on me, because just a few weeks later I received coupons in the mail from my favorite tofu company!
Nasoya has just come out with several new versions of their already amazing tofu!  Forbes and I rushed right out to redeem our coupons and snagged a container of the new Sprouted Tofu.

And then rushed right back home to create a tasty, seasonal stir-fry.
Nasoya organic Sprouted Super Firm Vacuum Pack tofu is made with organic sprouted whole soybeans and is an excellent source of protein & calcium.  What I loved about the product is the easy peel package and no pressing required!  Usually I will have to pull the tofu out hours before dinner to press and marinade.  This time we threw together a quick marinade and it was ready to cook in 30 minutes!

Sweet Potato Tofu Stirfry
serves 4

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 package Nasoya organic Sprouted Super Firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Shoyu sauce (soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (about 2 large)
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • salt and pepper to season
  1. Mix together vinegar, Shoyu sauce, red pepper flakes and minced garlic.
  2. Dice tofu into cubes, 1x1 inches
  3. In bowl or Tupperware pour marinade over tofu and set aside.  Marinade for 30 minutes or more, flipping or stirring half way through.
  4. While tofu is in marinade, heat large saute pan over medium heat.  Cook sweet potatoes and carrots for 10-15 minutes until begin to soften
  5. Add in peas and cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes until heated through.  Right before serving, add spinach into pan with 1 tablespoon water and saute until spinach is wilted.
  6. In smaller saute, cook marinaded tofu over medium heat.  Flip every 2-3 minutes, cooking each side until crispy.  After about 10 minutes cooking time add tofu to the vegetable pan, toss with any leftover marinade and serve over brown rice.
Thank you Nasoya for providing the tofu!  Now you can win some tofu as well!  Leave a comment about anything in the world and you will be entered to win!  Entries will be accepted until Saturday night.  Winner announced on Monday!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nikki's Sushi Bar Wilmington, NC

Yes, one last weekend recap before we move right along...into another weekend at the beach no-less.  I know, my life is awesome. 
My favorite thing about traveling is the food.  Duh.  We try not to eat out too much.  We like to save a little money on vacation, and I tend to go overboard when eating at new-to-me vegetarian establishments. 

For instance...This Fried Vegetable Lunch!  Case and Point.

When we settled in at Nikki's (lotsa great reviews on Yelp!) our eyes immediately wandered to the fried veggies.
Fried green beans.  Yes. Please.
Tempura Sweet Potato Roll.  I'll take one of those!  (Tempura is just a fancy name for fried.)
Fried Tomato Sandwich.  Yes. Yes. That too.

What kind of restaurant serves all these types of food?  Nikki's does.  At first glance you see the Asian fusion sushi establishment, and then as you peer further into its depths you notice the falafel, and bean burger, and all the other great makings of a normal vegetarian restaurant. 

To counter all the fried veggies, I did order a salad.
But even that I topped it with some of the fried green beans.  Whoops! 

Nikki's is a delicious restaurant in the heart of downtown Wilmington.  I encourage you to check it out too!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Remedy

So I am a little closer to finding a remedy for this crazy flu/cold/sinus infection I have been struggling with.  I saw my doctor today and surprise, surprise it isn't allergies like I was originally told.  Now I have a much better diagnosis and that will hopefully help me to feel better soon!

But today we aren't meant to talk about my remedy but The Remedy, a delicious vegetarian restaurant in downtown Raleigh.  Forbes and I ate dinner there on Saturday night while we were staying in Durham.  Honestly we chose a place in Raleigh because I really wanted to go to the mall to check out the H&M.  North Carolina finally has an H&M and I was stoked!  So we made our way through the store and with large appetites landed at The Remedy.
For starters, the Fried Broccoli with housemade Vegan Ranch dressing.  I love all veggies deep-fried.  It is a weakness of mine!  But this ranch dressing really made the dish come alive.  It was simply fabulous!
Per usual, Forbes and I ordered two entrees and split them.  While the Tempeh Tantrum (pictured above) is touted as one of the "Top 5 vegan sandwiches" by PETA, it was really the vegan Eastern Carolina BBQ that stole my heart!
Served on a kaiser roll and topped with Carolina slaw, this sandwich was reminiscent of the first years Forbes and I spent in North Carolina eating Cook-Out weekly!  (You just can't beat the $3.99 BBQ Tray from Cook-Out with a side of hush puppies and french fries and a huge tea!)
Of course dessert was on the to-do list since I had just finished one race and was getting ready for another (not that you need an excuse for dessert!)
We ordered the Coconut-Cream Pie which was heaven-in-my-mouth.  Can I have more please?  Right now?  I said puh-llleeeeaaasssseee!

If you are in Raleigh, you need to stop by this eclectic little store-front and give it a try.  We loved every bite!