Best Of: Vegan Travel Eats

standard November 25, 2016 1 response

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I am sad to say that I honestly cannot remember my first vegan meal, home-cooked or otherwise. It was a slow, ongoing process for me to remove animal proteins from my diet, and as such a gradual change almost goes unnoticed, the meals I made and ate also went under the radar.

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I do, however, have a handful of best-ever meals over the course of my work travels and culinary adventures in the past 6 years. If you ever find yourself in one of these cities, please go check out these delicious spots!

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1. White Dog Cafe (Philadelphia) // Not a vegan restaurant, but with an ever-changing seasonal menu that includes some dedicated vegan options. My last meal there was white bean ravioli with caramelized onions, kale, celery root puree, and turnips. Gourmet perfection.

2. Farmicia (Philadelphia) // My all-time favorite restaurant. With locally sourced seasonal produce, their menu features meat options, vegetarian dishes, and vegan fare, including dessert. Three courses with a view of the city street is why I went back three times within the same trip once I discovered this gem.

3. Farm Restaurant (Dublin) // Tucked inside a renovated house, this quaint gem of a restaurant about gave Farmicia a run for its money. By far the best meal I ate in Ireland, and considering most places with vegan desserts are just so-so, the chocolate coconut tart topped the entire meal.

4. The Chicago Diner (Chicago) // All vegan, all diner. Milkshakes, burgers, and brunch heaven.

5. The Wallflower (Vancouver) // Another diner-style, eclectic spot, perfect for carb-loading comfort food. They even serve their mac and cheese with vegan hot dogs if you really miss your childhood favorites.

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6. Kirbey Lane Cafe (Austin) // Best vegan pancakes. And an ever-rotating daily vegan pancake offering. I’ve stopped trying to order anything else, although the tofu migas come in a close second.

7. Sweet Ritual (Austin) // Ice cream sundae heaven. Chocolate milkshakes are getting me through pregnancy.

8. Departure (Portland) // Small plates with numerous choices. Apple pear salads, Brussels sprouts,  artfully prepared veggie sushi, mango curry. I could go on and on.

9. Wazuzu (Las Vegas) // All the restaurants inside the Wynn have vegan menus, but Wazuzu is my favorite. It is genuinely difficult to find good veggie sushi that’s not just a cucumber roll, but this one makes it easy. I have yet to have the same items twice here, and all were fantastic.

10. The Farm of Beverly Hills (Los Angeles) // Go get the best kale salad you will ever eat.

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Runners-Up (chain restaurant favorites):

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Go Green! Realistic Ways to Add More Green to Your Day

standard November 20, 2016 Leave a response

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We’ve all heard we need to add more greens to our diet. There are numerous products out there promoting green super foods. You can add spirulina to your smoothies, take shots of wheatgrass, eat tons of salads, or down interesting concoctions of green juices. But what about realistic ways to add a bit more wholesome, real food, green nutrition to your everyday diet? Add one of these simple, easy, and delicious recipes to your meal plan this week for an extra dose of real food greens!

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Green Smoothies:

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Green Salads:

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Green Meals:

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Green Anytime:

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Lessons in Texture

standard November 18, 2016 Leave a response

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I love neutrals. My whole house is a balance of grey-white walls, dark accents, and soft textiles. But when it comes to food, the more color the better. Crisp, seasonal veggies bring so many vibrant hues, it’s hard to not showcase them. But since today’s topic is all about greyscale, let’s recap the week and talk about what makes a perfect meal-sized salad.

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Also, make sure to check out the beautiful grey linens in these photos! You can get your own recycled hemp and cotton, handmade kitchen linens from Beautiful Ingredient. Now through the end of November, Neat & Nutritious readers can get  15% off orders over $25 in the Handmade Shop with the code HOLIDAYVB1012.

(Disclaimer: I was gifted a heathered napkin in exchange for mentioning it on the blog. All images and opinions are my own.)

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1. Start with a strong base. Spring greens are great in a salad, but to balance the heft of a big, meal-sized bowl, make sure to use a lettuce that won’t wilt immediately and has some strength to hold its own. Crispy romaine, vibrant spinach, or the go-to massaged kale all work beautifully.

2. Include a fat and a protein. The veggies you add will naturally add some carbohydrates, so make sure to include a healthy fat, such as avocado, beans, or nuts, as well as a protein like quinoa, seeds, or tofu. Beans and quinoa will also add some natural carbohydrates, so you will end up with a good balance of macronutrients. Just watch out for the oil in your dressing! If you’re adding a fat to the salad base, you want to limit how much you add to the dressing. All things in moderation!

3. Don’t forget the crunch! Crisp greens, raw or roasted veggies, creamy fats, and hearty proteins all add a variety of texture and flavors, but you still need a crunch. Toasted nuts or seeds, crackers, or pita chips can all add that extra bit of texture to make the salad come together as a meal.

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Ready to make your own layered salad? Check out these examples:

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