Advances in Veggie Science

When I first began my vegetarian journey back in high school there were very few veggie options out there.  You could have a Boca burger, a Boca burger on a salad, a Boca burger on pasta, etc.  I’m still amazed to this day how many meat alternatives are available at pretty much every grocery store.  These days it is incredibly easy to make a solid vegetarian/vegan meal that even the most devoted and adamant carnivore can enjoy.

IMG_6918

One product I’m super excited about are these Beyond Meat Sausages.  We’ve only tried the Hot Italian version of these but they offer a few other types of sausage and I’m going to assume they are excellent as well.  These sausages are a little pricy (usually around $8 a pack) but I have found they are often on sale, especially at Whole Foods.  They can be grilled and served on a bun with peppers and onions, sliced and simmered in a red sauce to be topped on pasta, the list really goes on.  My brother came over for dinner the other night and I served these with pasta.  That night was a bit of an adventure since we had to run out with the baby and head to the ER (he had croup, he’s fine) and my brother ended up sleeping on Soy Bean’s floor (it was quite a night!).  Had that night not have so…hectic…I would have asked for his solid opinion.  We’re just going to say he loved it.

IMG_7622

Another new product we’ve tried recently is Miyoko’s Fresh Vegan Mozz.  I’ve tried Miyoko’s cream cheese before and throughly enjoyed it so I thought I would give this cheese a try.  I was actually looking for Daiya cheese but I couldn’t find it, I’m glad I tried this!

IMG_7623
Friday night is pizza night at our house.

If you’re used to working with Daiya cheese, the Miyoko’s cheese is a very different texture.  I actually grabbed my cheese grater before I opened this but then I realized how soft this cheese was and it could be pulled apart.  I used the whole package to make two pizzas and spread them out in little mozzarella balls.  It looked super authentic in my opinion.  Once it cooked it had a nice bubbling appearance to the cheese.  If you don’t like nuts I wouldn’t recommend this cheese, but luckily we are big fans of the cashew in our house. The second ingredient in this cheese is soaked cashews.  While it had a slightly nutty taste to the cheese it wasn’t overwhelming.  This is the unofficial best pizza I’ve ever made.

IMG_7627
Pizza with garlic and lots of red pepper flake. Sorry I didn’t get a better picture!

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.

IMG_6265
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).

IMG_6266
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.

IMG_6268
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.

IMG_6271
Amazing cheesecake.

Moving on…

IMG_6272
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!

Review: Beyond Beef Crumbles

Tonight is an exciting night.  We are finally wrapping up The Sopranos.  The hubby and I committed to this series and now we are down to two episodes.  Then hopefully I can talk him into watching Orange is the New Black!

I don’t know about you but watching The Sopranos makes me super hungry, I mean they’re always eating amazing food.  If I could get away with having pasta, bread, and Chianti for dinner every night I would.

IMG_6255

In honor of Tony Soprano tonight I’m using Beyond Meat’s beef crumbles.  These are by far my favorite beef substitute.  All I do is toss a package of crumbles in with my favorite sauce and simmer and serve over pasta.  It’s perfection.  These crumbles would go great in a chili as well.  I know I say this about a lot of products, but you could serve these to your meat-eater friends and they probably would not notice the difference.

Mangia!

P.S. I also walked a ton tonight so I can justify this meal.  Here’s a picture from one of our walks.  I’ll never get tired of living near the ocean!

IMG_6251

Review: Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry

Guess who is taking took a nap?  Soy Bean!

I’m (or I was) so exited this is a nap that doesn’t involve me holding him.  Freedom!  He’s been down for about an hour and so far I’ve paid three bills, vacuumed, mopped the floors, cleaned the counters and made lunch.

IMG_5678

Speaking of lunch today I pulled out a bag of riced cauliflower stir fry that I picked up from Trader Joe’s the other week.  It was an easy enough meal to make.  I opted to add in some frozen broccoli, fresh peppers, and chickpeas for a little extra protein.  I topped it off with some nooch, Braggs and hot sauce.

IMG_5667

I really enjoyed it!  My husband actually thought it was real rice, too.  It had great flavor and you can add pretty much anything to your liking.  You can easily bulk it up for a main course or utilize it as a side dish.  Best of all if you eat the whole bag it’s only 225 calories!

****I meant to post this this afternoon but guess who’s dog barked and woke up the baby…and guess which dog it was.  We still love her (sometimes).

 

Review: Eggplant Garlic Spread

I have another Trader Joe’s winner here.  Well winner for me, my husband isn’t so much a fan to be honest but I guess that means more for me right!?

I’ve recently reignited my love for TJ’s eggplant garlic spread.  I actually bought two containers of it the other day just so I would have extra.  I absolutely love it on toast.  I was first introduced to it a few years ago when a friend (who is a vegan) made an app with it.  She spread it on toasted bread and topped it with black olives.  I’ve been hooked since.

IMG_5358

I love this spread on toast, crackers, and I think it would be excellent as a sauce for a flatbread.  It has a very unique, smooth and savory flavor to it.  I wouldn’t say you even need to be a fan of eggplant to enjoy it.

If you haven’t tried it yet I highly recommend you pick some up!

A Late WFDW…

I okay, so I’ll confess that I thought most of today was Wednesday.

That will happen this time of year!  Tomorrow is my last day of the 2017-2018 school year and I’m so anxious for summer!  I love my job and my seeing friends at work everyday, but I can’t wait to walk out tomorrow and be free.  I’ve been waiting all year to have unlimited Soy Bean time.  Last summer I was so nervous taking him out and plus I was recovering from having him, so this summer I want to soak up.  It’s also going to be the first full summer in our house, and we are excited to do some yard work and enjoy our home.

Well I didn’t document it, but we had burritos from Moe’s last night.  I have a good excuse though.  We had a pretty eventful evening.  One of our cars unexpectedly crapped out on us last week, so we had to buy a new one.  I wasn’t thrilled at first, I mean having just one car payment is pretty sweet, but I love the new car.  I guess I’ll deal with it.

Soy Bean had his 12 month appointment today and he is officially a giant!  Well maybe that’s a bit of a hyperbole, but he’s a big boy.  I’m so grateful that he’s healthy and thriving.  I’m sure Soy Bean was happy too, but maybe not so much after his three shots and blood test.  He’s a tough cookie though.

Alright back to food, so I didn’t take a picture of our dinner last night, but I thought I’d dig through the archives of my phone and find a few foodie ideas (that I could have easily eaten on a Wednesday).

Also, yes, I take pictures of food randomly…my phone is loaded with Soy Bean, Sophie, and food pics.

IMG_4390

First, as you can see is vegan tikka masala from Trader Joe’s.  I can’t tell you how bummed I am that I don’t live 10 minutes away from a TJ’s anymore.  This meal is great when you don’t have time to cook, but you want something satisfying.  When I make this I usually mix in some broccoli as well.  I’ve brought this for lunch at work since it’s microwaveable and I’ve made it for dinner for the hubs and me when we want take out food but don’t want to go out.

IMG_4392

Next is the Beast Burger.  I’ll probably be plugging Beast Burgers a lot since I bought Dylan a grill for Father’s Day.  Beast Burgers are the most amazing veggie burger out there.  What I love about them is they are a pea based protein (I try to limit soy) and they honestly taste and look like a real burger.  Who doesn’t love a burger (and fries)???

So next week is my fist official week of summer.  I’m hoping to fit some blogging in (when SB is sleeping of course).  So far I have SB signed up for swim lessons, but that’s really it for solid plans.  We’re hoping to spend as much time outdoors as we can and have some playdates with friends.

Alright, I’m going to retire for the evening.  One more wake up!