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Chowing Down with the Motley Crew

8 Oct

I had to share this for Meatless Monday even though I ate this yesterday ūüôā

We were a motley crew on our 11 mile training run – one with a bum ankle, one feeling sick and run-down, and another with fatigue. But we finished and were able to enjoy this wonderful, well-deserved brunch at the Highland Bakery in Atlanta. Pictured below is what I got: Tofu Scramble with Soysauge and Oven-Roasted Potatoes, accompanied with a Pumpkin Spice Soy Latte.

https://twitter.com/alison_mercer/status/255040130702790656

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Fast Food Options for Veg-heads

14 Sep

My husband sent me¬†an article last week about how McDonald‚Äôs is planning to open two all-vegetarian restaurants in India next year. At first I was excited to hear this news because that means more fast food options for me and other US vegetarians in the future. However, I stopped and thought, would I really eat at McDonald’s? Knowing everything that they stand for with animal cruelty and worker exploitation, I‚Äôm conflicted with eating there. I’m sure that other restaurants have the same low morals as McDonald’s, we just don’t know about them because they are not heavily publicized by the media like this fast food giant.

But with all of that aside, it made me think about this topic: what are some fast food options for vegetarians in the US?

Personally, when I’m trying to find a quick bite to eat, I usually opt for Subway, Chipotle, Willy’s, Moe’s or Panera. As you can see, they are mainly sit-down restaurants or grab-and-go type places – no drive-thru windows for this girl. Although, I was curious what the vegetarian community had discovered on this topic because I knew someone had been more exploratory than me. Not to mention, I cook at home a lot. Like all the time. So, I found this website that teaches people how to eat vegetarian at fast food restaurants. This site is genius and I love it!¬†This article gives you help by suggesting questions to ask when ordering food, advice on where to eat and how to look more in-depth at the ingredient list. And, my personal favorite is a link to a Veg Guide that lists vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurants. I haven’t used this when traveling, but I’m sure this is a good tool to have when you’re on the road.

Although this is a step in the right direction for fast food options for veg-heads, I would like to throw caution about the sodium content associated with these places. I believe many people think of non-meat food as healthy, but usually the sodium content is outrageous. The Livestrong website has a good article about the low-sodium options at fast food joints. It’s limited, but at least it’s something!

I realize I’m lucky to have these various options as a vegetarian. People have told me before that they were vegetarians back in the day until they started traveling because of the lack of choices on the road for veggie lovers. We’ve definitely made progress as a nation and we’re still making positive changes in the veg-friendly food world. Now, we all just need to follow the trend in cities like Portland and Austin and get some vegan food trucks!

Running for a Cure and Eating Like There’s No Tomorrow

21 Mar

I don’t know if my cheeks or legs hurt more. I ran a half marathon this past weekend with Team in Training for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and I smiled from the start to the finish line. Here’s a picture to prove it – this is me and my mentor running together at mile 12, still smiling!

How could I not smile when I had supporters like these guys cheering for me on the sidelines?

Notice Kevin’s shirt in the picture above?¬† It says “I support those who do 13.1 for others.” He got so many remarks about his shirt – people loved it! And here’s another one of Kevin and my dad with their sign at the race.

It was truly an unforgettable experience. I was so happy to have raised $2,590 for such a great cause, as well as train to participate in my first half marathon (and to finish in a decent time too – 2:36!). Thanks to my donors, I was one of the top ten fund-raisers of the event!

I ran in memory of my Aunt Toni and my friend Emily Morrill. I wish they could have seen all that purple supporting LLS.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with a food blog. Well, I’m getting there. Just one more picture of me and my friend with our medals.

Later on in the day, after I rested and ate a bunch of food, my friend and I met up at Wrecking Bar Brewpub for a celebratory beer and some more food. I felt like I was eating for 2 that day! Wrecking Bar was offering $5 off for runners because we couldn’t partake in the St. Patty’s Day festivities the night before. We, of course, took advantage of this offer. Plus, Kevin and I have frequented this restaurant in the last few months because we love it so much.

We got their Spinach and Artichoke Dip to start, and as a main course I got the Pearl Barley Risotto and Kevin got the Seitan Veggie Gyro with their Brussels and Butternut Hash. My friend got the Wild Mushroom Flatbread and one of their salads. Why didn’t I take pictures of this awesome food?! Probably because I was too busy devouring it…

It’s honestly some of the best food I’ve ever had in Atlanta. Not to mention, their beers are outstanding and brewed right there at Wrecking Bar. They change up the beer selection every so often, which makes it new and exciting each time we visit. The brews were exactly what we needed to quench our thirst after running 13.1 miles!

Sweet Melissa’s in Decatur: As Sweet as it Sounds

19 Feb

It has been a long time since Kevin and I have gone out to eat brunch on a Sunday.¬† We usually opt for something easy like cereal, or if we’re feeling real crazy we’ll cook our own brunch completed with sweet potato pancakes, tofu scramble and veggie sausages.¬† Last Sunday we rolled out of bed and opened the fridge to realize that we had no ingredients for any kind of meal, even cereal. After a few minutes of throwing around restaurant ideas we landed on Sweet Melissa’s in Decatur, Georgia.¬† Their menu has many veggie options including what I ordered, the Tahini Tofu with hash browns and veggie sausage (pictured above).¬† They even had soy milk to add as creamer to my delicious coffee – not a common thing to find, even in Decatur.

Kevin ordered the Mad Platter and I now know how they came up with this name.  It was my plate except the tofu scramble was replaced with real eggs and there were two pancakes that came with the meal (pictured left).

To top it all off, on Sundays they have live music covering bands such as The Grateful Dead and Simon & Garfunkel.¬† We didn’t hear the Allman Brothers’ song Melissa – which I’m assuming the restaurant was named after – but the band was very talented.¬† We weren’t sure if they are the house band every Sunday, but we sure hope so because we’d like to hear them again when we return (which will be very soon if we have it our way!).

Twain’s Restaurant and Jazz Experience

8 Feb

Kevin and I recently adopted a puppy named Dali (yes, after Salvador Dali) and we started taking her to obedience training at the Atlanta Humane Society.¬† Here’s a picture to show how cute she is:Image

And another with her toy:

Image

We get home late from training, which gives us no time to cook dinner.¬† Last night we went to Twain’s to grab a bite to eat after training.¬† Twain’s in Decatur has many vegetarian items on their menu, including a falafel burger (my favorite), veggie chili and a “B(eet) LT”, among more.¬† Not to mention they brew their own beers – an added bonus for a beer connoisseur such as Kevin.¬† We forgot that they have live Jazz on Tuesday nights, which was a very pleasant surprise.¬† How can you beat great food, awesome drinks and free entertainment from very talented musicians?¬† Here is a short video clip that showcases their Jazz performances:

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They Say the Neon Lights Are Bright…On Broadway Cafe

14 Jul

Broadway Cafe

Why is it that you always want what you can’t have?¬†¬†All the Southern¬†meat-eaters out there (or ex-carnivores) know what I’m talking about with Chick-Fil-A¬†being closed on Sundays.¬† Everyone in the South who eats fried chicken knows that Chick-Fil-A¬†is closed on Sundays, but that’s when everyone wants it most.¬† That’s exactly how it is with this vegetarian and¬†Broadway Cafe.

Broadway is a¬†vegetarian/pescatarian restaurant that¬†is always closed on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons because of Shabbat.¬† That means I always want their food on…Friday nights and Saturday afternoons!

I honestly can’t remember how Kevin and I stumbled¬†upon this place, but I sure am glad that we did!¬† Not¬†only is their whole menu vegetarian/pescatarian, but they also offer a variety of vegan options.¬† They¬†now even offer vegan pizza!

The food is, as Will Ferrell impersonating James Lipton would say, scrumtrulescent.¬† Everything we’ve tried¬†is amazing¬†and always brings us back for more.

A few months ago,¬†I started with¬†their¬†butternut squash soup that comes with a garlic knot (all of their bread is made fresh at the restaurant and is delicious)…

…and I had their mediterranean pasta dish as¬†my entr√©e…

More recently¬†I had the Veggie Rice Bowl…

…and Kevin had the Moo Shu Vegetables…

Broadway Cafe is definitely a must try if you live in, or are visiting, Atlanta.

Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool: China Pearl Restaurant

8 May

This post is for my mom who I respect, cherish and love.  Thank you Mom for being you and always being there for us girls.  Here is my mom, cooking on Easter:

She made us a really amazing veggie and tofu lasagna, along with the best eggplant¬†parmigiano¬†I’ve ever had.¬† My mom is an amazing cook and I aspire to be like her one day!

Tonight Kevin and I are taking my mom out to China Pearl.¬† China Pearl is an awesome Chinese restaurant that’s conveniently located right across the street from my parent’s neighborhood.¬† The owner is so nice and makes it a point to come over and talk to us every time we go in.¬† The service is outstanding and the food is exquisite.¬† All of their vegetarian options are good, but their eggplant in garlic sauce is amazing.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and moms-to-be!

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