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In and Out.

This post was going to be titled “Do you want some whine to go with that cheese?” the punch line being NO, I want some cheese to go with my cheese! I miss cheese, I miss cheese more than meat by a long shot and dare I say….I miss cheese more than traditional cake. I set out to do this challenge not moaning and groaning about what I couldn’t have but celebrating what I could! So no more talk of gooey brie or stringy mozzarella, smoked gouda and enough of the honey infused goat cheese that I could eat on one of Tully’s crusty dog toys right now. NO, we shall celebrate the glorious food that I have been eating. (and in total honesty, it has been pretty kick ass!)

 

Dining out can be a challenge but what I have learned is you have to ask in a nice way if the chef would be willing to try to substitute something for you, if the menu is lackluster in vegan options. One of my favorite places has a wonderful tofu dish that comes with a reduced balsamic glaze, which is delicious but when I found myself there two times in one week I asked the waitress if the chef would be willing to find a different preparation for me. I approached it by saying the tofu with balsamic was so wonderful, I can’t imagine what else they could make happen. The waitress came back with a big smile and said it was a welcome challenge! This is what appeared in front of me…..

 

 

tofu ottos

Vegan or not…. I would order this crispy tofu with sweet chili glaze, over a barley hash with veggies again and again at Otto’s in Main Strauss/Covington Ky

Another night I was out with my friend Michele and I asked if they could put the Thai Chicken Salad on a flatbread minus the chicken. After the waitress got that “hun?” look off her face she brought back the owner who was totally accommodating and very sweet and the dish was excellent. (I forgot to take a pic)

Celebrating Matt’s birthday lunch at a quaint, hip Mexican place in the northside of Cincinnati one of the many vegan dishes offered was very filling and satisfying and I hardly gave a second look to the cheese smothered all over Matt’s dish….okay I might have given one or two seductive longing glances that way but no cheese went past these lips!

mattb-day

Guacamole and Chips are totally vegan…. happy happy.

 

Those were some of the things that I enjoyed going out with friends to eat this past week, now here are some things I made staying in….

 

 

When I was craving apple pie, I made an apple filling of fresh sliced apples, cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup then had it on an organic vegan english muffin with a smear of tofutti (vegan cream cheese) and a few almonds on top.

When I was craving apple pie, I made an apple filling of fresh sliced apples, cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup then had it on an organic vegan english muffin with a smear of tofutti (vegan cream cheese) and a few almonds on top.

 

 

I think the most bang for your caloric buck when it comes to something sweet is marshmallows. I bought some vegan ones, and these great locally made vegan chocolate graham crackers for a decadent dessert, along with an ice cold glass of almond milk if felt like total indulgence.

 

s'more

Perfect match…

 

I was very inspired by a gift I received in the mail last week. I was not expecting a delivery from amazon so when the package arrived, I wondered what kind of screw up had happened! When I opened the package it was a gift from my friend Micheal, along with a very sweet note of support.

 

 

A compassionate and honest look at being vegan.

A compassionate and honest look at being vegan.

 

He had sent me one of his favorite books regarding being vegan, it is so wonderfully written with stories, information and recipes…I have already read the whole thing (some parts twice) and found myself wanting a challenge to make something fabulous with what I had in my kitchen.  Thank you Michael for the support and inspiration, so here is what I came up with….

 

 

final step 3

Brown basmati rice with roasted sweet potato, brussel sprouts, and a caramelized onion coconut creme.

If you are interested in this delicious recipe it can be found here.

 

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