Vegan Review: True Bistro (Date Night!)

I’ve been very fortunate this week.  This week I ate at two of my favorite vegan/vegetarian restaurants.  Go me!

Let’s start with Tuesday night.  Dylan and I were lucky enough to have my parents want to babysit Soy Bean, so we had the evening to ourselves.  I think the secret to a happy marriage is having at least one date night a month.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it’s important to have a meal with no interruptions where you can just enjoy each other’s company.

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My handsome date.

Dylan and I have been to True Bistro a few times, it was actually one of our earlier dates (he must have been feeling fancy).  True Bistro is a more upscale vegan restaurant.  You know it’s fancy if Dylan doesn’t wear workout clothes to it… Everything is vegan, no vegetarian options.  If you plan on dining here you should be prepared to drop at least $100 because you’re going to want dessert and apps.  Cocktails and mocktails are excellent as well.

The restaurant has been remodeled since we last visited (which was when I was a pregnant lady sucking down mocktails) and the initial greeting was a little awkward.  When you walked into the restaurant you basically walk into a wall and don’t know which way to go, there’s no host stand.  Now I worked in restaurant for years as a hostess as well as a server.  Your first impression is when you walk in is the greeting.  A server asked if we had a reservation (we did) then brought us to what I would assume was a manager sitting a high top who again asked us if we had a reservation.  They seemed a little confused why we were there (to eat duh!).

So finally we were seated.  Our server was very nice, but inexperienced.  I mean, like not clearing extra glasses and cans inexperienced.  Not great for my OCD, but I managed (and of course still tipped 20% as you always should, unless someone is a jerk to you).

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Oyster mushrooms. Yum.

We started with the seared cauliflower and cornmeal-crusted oyster mushrooms.  I not crazy about the cauliflower dish but we’ve ordered the oyster mushrooms every time we’ve visited and it’s never disappointed.

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Red-Red Black-Eyed Peas

For our meals Dylan had the temple skewers and I ordered the red-red black-eyed peas.  That’s probably my favorite dish there.  Its unique and has a nice spice to it.  For dessert we had the cheesecake, which was amazing and recommended by our server.  They really have the best desserts there.

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Amazing cheesecake.

Moving on…

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Vegan nachos for the win!

The next day Soy Bean and I went to visit my brother in Watertown.  We walked around Mount Auburn Cemetery (not creepy, it’s a beautiful spot with lots of famous graves!).  Kiel then treated us to some delicious vegan nachos and juice at Red Lentil.  I’ve done a review of Red Lentil before on here.  It hold a special place in my heart since Dylan and I had dinner there after we got engaged.

What as awesome week.  Only a week and a few more days of summer for this gal.  I’m looking forward to everything pumpkin, foliage, and sweaters!

What’s for Dinner?

I haven’t forgotten.

Well it’s past 8 and we haven’t eaten yet, but for the sake of preserving WFDW we are having some Beast Burgers.  We just put the baby to bed and the hubby is downstairs in his “office” (aka table in the basement) logging his hours for the day.  Dylan spent about a half hour upstairs with Soy Bean putting him to bed, and I got SO much done.  It’s really amazing what you can do without a one year old attached to you!  I paid two bills, unloaded the dishwasher, RSVP-ed to a baby shower, bought a shower gift, and made a vet appointment for Daisy.  Go me!

Okay back to food…What I love about this meal is Dylan is totally in charge now that he has a grill.  Woohoo!

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Beast Burgers are a little bit pricy, but they are totally worth it and make a nice special treat.  I’m just hoping we have some outdoor weather soon so we can enjoy a meal on our deck.

Where is summer?

 

Checking In

I’ve been meaning to write every weekend for the last two months.  It’s insane how difficult it can be to do with a new baby and house.  Soy Bean is a relativity easy baby too, but still it’s hard to fit things in.  I thought I would just catch up on a few things…

Me: I’ve been hanging in there.  Going back to work was extremely difficult.  I’m so fortunate that I’m leaving the baby with my parents, but still I want to stay home and snuggle all day.  I think one of the most difficult parts about being a mom is finding balance.  I have a career I love but I also want to be with my son as much as I can.  On the other hand, I would probably go crazy if I was home with him all day every day.

Our routine has been pretty successful so far.  I wake up at 4:45, shower, get dressed, nurse, and then sit down and have a cup of coffee with my husband.  We load Soy Bean into the car and drive to my parents’ house which is thankfully only 6 minutes away!

After school we don’t really have much of a routine yet.  When I first went back to work I put a lot of pressure on myself to get everything done by 8 pm.  Not going to happen!  Everyday looks different for us so we have to go with the flow of things.  I also know that if I don’t get to sleep until midnight (which has happened a few times) I will survive.  Thank goodness for coffee!

Coffee and stretchy pants that looks like dress pants have been my savior this fall.  When I planned on breastfeeding I figured all my baby weight would melt off.  Well, I’m apparently not one of those women.  I’ve been about the same size (semi effortlessly) for the majority of my adult life, so I feel like I’m in an odd place when my clothes don’t fit right and I have to think twice about what I’m eating.  I’m also amazed I still have hair, postpartum hair loss is not joke.  Yikes.  Once I hit three month my hair started to shed like crazy.

So I’m heavier than usual and losing my hair.  Not fun.  Walking has been a good escape for me to help me feel better.  I love going on adventures with my dog, for a 10 year old dog she has some great stamina.  We’ve been enjoying living on the south shore and checking out new places.  I’ve been fortunate to have some fantastic fall (spring?) weather too.

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House:  We’re getting there with the house.  It’s easy to forget how expensive moving can be.  We had to purchase a washer/dryer, fridge, curtains, rugs etc.  It adds up fast!  We’ve been enjoying owning our own home though, and not sharing walls.  We have a few project to complete before we really feel settled.  Our neighborhood is full of couples in their 30’s with young kids (and usually a dog or too) and we are looking forward to getting to know our neighbors.   Everyday I come home from work and appreciate where I live.

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Soy Bean: SB is such a sweet baby, we really lucked out.  He’s always been a really good sleeper, once he’s down, he’s down 98% of the time.  He’s a peanut though, and we actually have another weight check for him this week.  Sigh.  His doctor recommended starting him on solid foods, which I was hesitant about but once we tried he loved it.  I’ve actually been looking forward to him eating solid food, but  I didn’t think we would be starting until December.

So far he’s had rice cereal, avocado, sweet potato, banana, apple and butternut squash.  I made my first batch of homemade baby food this weekend and froze it for future use.  My goal is to make as much of my own baby food as I can.  I invested in some ice cube trays with lids so I can freeze baby-size portions whenever I make batches.

The Impressionable Vegan:  Well we’ve been eating, I promise.  I go though weeks where I meal prep, and some that I don’t.  It’s been hard to find that groove while balancing work, baby, and house.  I have a few hacks I want to share as well as some good fall recipes.  I’m also experiencing some major Trader Joe’s withdrawal (the closest one is about a half hour away!

Well that’s all for now.  I have a baby and a dog staring at me…they probably want something!

Vegan Dining: Julian’s

Well I’m certainly behind.  I’m enjoying the last half of my April vacation and reflecting on dining experiences I had during February vacation.  Funny though, the weather was a bit nicer in February.

As I’ve mentioned before, we live very close to Providence.  I love (parts of) Providence.  I appreciate the history, the countless veggie friendly restaurants, and the easy parking (because I’m old).

Our friends had spoken highly of Julian’s, which is right down the street from one of our other favorite spots, The Grange.  We heard high praises for their brunch and drink menu.  Well, we didn’t’ make it to brunch and obviously I’m not taking too much advantage of the bar these days but we were certainly not disappointed.

We decided to grab an early dinner at Julian’s on a Friday night.  Julian’s is not a vegan/vegetarian restaurant but they have tons of veggie friendly options.

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Vegan Tasting Board Yumminess

We started with the vegan tasting board which came with sumac cheese, eggplant -quinoa pate, root vegetable chips, squash jam, pickled veggies and naan.  It was so flavorful and unique!  I love apps that give you a little taste of everything.  The best part was it was only $12  For our entrees Dylan order the vegan “steak and cheese” wrap and I opted for salad adding grilled tofu (which was out of this world).  Dylan’s wrap was also delicious (of course he had to let me have a bite or two).

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The bar menu was expansive and had a great beer selection.  They even had a mock tail section which made this pregnant lady happy!

The hubby and I are in baby and house buying mode right now, so we are trying to save our money as much as possible, but we are going to have to check this place out for brunch sometime.

 

Checking In…

I can’t believe I survived March (without wine I might add).  In Teacher World March is one of the longest months of the year.  No vacations, no days off (though we did manage to sneak in a snow day), grades closing, and for some reason tons of meeting for us special ed teachers.

I also can’t believe I’m finally in my third trimester.  I’ll be 30 weeks tomorrow and I can hardly believe it.  10 or so more weeks until I get to meet Soy Bean.  It’s so exciting/terrifying!

Knock on wood, I’ve been pretty lucky with this pregnancy.  I’ve been feeling great besides occasionally getting dizzy, at tiny bit of heartburn and sometimes having trouble getting up from the couch (it’s not a pretty sight).  I haven’t had any random strangers try to touch my stomach and no one has preached to me about drinking caffeine.  I’ve been lucky enough to have my mom take me clothes shopping and have found some nice deals myself.  My sister-in-law advised me when I was first pregnant that I should make an investment in some good maternity clothes.  I have to say I totally agree. When you enjoy what you’re wearing it can make your day, especially when your body is changing daily.

Now back to food.  I was scrolling though the pictures of my phone I realize my husband and I have hit up some great vegan places since the last time I posted so I guess I have plenty to write about.  Date nights will be few and far between once this baby comes so we are taking advantage now 🙂

Cranberry Orange Scones

I’ve been on a scones kick, that’s for sure.  I guarantee I’ve eaten more scones in the last five months than I have in my entire life.  Scones are awesome and super easy to make!

I haven’t been too daring in my scone pursuits, mostly sticking to blueberry scones, but last weekend I took a risk.  I decided it was time to attempt some cranberry orange scones.

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I’m a good New Englander, so of course I need to cook with cranberries.  I love the tartness of cranberries.  I decided to attempt some cranberry orange scones.  I was quite please with how they came out!

Ingredients

4 cups of flour
6 tablespoons of sugar
4.5 teaspoons baking powder
2 flax eggs
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons of cold vegan butter
1 cup of fresh cranberries
1.5 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons plain almond milk
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice + the zest of one orange
For the glaze

1 cup of powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. First, make your flax eggs (three tablespoons of water and one tablespoon flaxseed meal = one egg) and set aside in a bowl. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the cold butter to the dry ingredients. Take a fork and cut up the butter until your mixture resembles wet sand. Whisk together 3/4 cup of milk and flax egg and add to the bowl. Mix together and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of almond milk and orange juice. Fold in your cranberries and orange zest. On a well floured surface kneed your dough and flatten into an about 8 inch circle. Cut your dough with a pizza cutter into eight triangles. Place the individual triangles on a baking sheet. I lined mine with aluminum foil lightly coated with flour. Bake for 30 minutes.

Call me bias, but these came out pretty good.  I love taking one of these to work everyday to enjoy with my coffee.  Enjoy!