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Very exciting weekend ahead

Wait, what blog is this? Who am I? Where have I been? Ha ha!

Sorry for the sporadic posts about who knows what all the time. I feel like that’s the new purpose of this blog. It’s no longer a food only blog, no longer a chronicle of my past weight loss or the many races I have ran, but instead just random — just like my life :)

This weekend there are some very exciting things going on that I felt the need to tell you about.

First, today, the very first Trader Joe’s is opening in Louisville (first for Kentucky too)!

Image courtesy of Cardinal Cam blog

Notice the teeny sign at the bottom and then check it out in the background :) If you are interested in seeing what it’s like right now, check out Ashlee’s photos on or search #traderjoeslou on Twitter.

I’m waiting until Monday to go because I saw the pictures of the line this morning for the grand opening (you would have thought it was Black Friday) and my good friend Mari says to avoid that place at all costs on the weekends. And when Mari tells you something, believe her ;)

Another cool thing going down this weekend is the Mighty Kindness Harvest Hootenanny at the Louisville Nature Center (across from the Zoo).

It’s a free community festival featuring all sorts of things — music, art, crafts, food, coffee, workshops, yoga, massage, etc. I will be there with the Louisville Vegetarian Club selling vegan baked goods and of course, promoting a plant-based diet.

Photo courtesy of Louisville Vegetarian Club Facebook page

There will be trick-or-treating, food trucks (can’t wait to eat Morel’s again!), and so much that there’s no way I could contain it all in this post. You will just have to come!

However, since I am not above a shameless plug (or two), I have to tell you my friend Kristin will be there selling her crocheted goods and jewelry at the KB&T booth :) You can also check out her esty site if you can’t make it on Saturday.

Photo Courtesy of Kristin's mom :)

Last but not least, on Sunday from 5-7 p.m. my church, Hunsinger Lane Baptist, is having a Fall Festival! And I’m in charge!

 

There will be a lot of stuff for kids as you can see above so if you or anyone you know has kids, bring ‘em on out! We will also have adults there hanging out and socializing. I’m hoping to make a lot of new friends through this event. Everything is free! This is my first year being the director and I have learned a lot already and have a lot of ideas for next year.

As you can probably guess after reading this post, I have taken a day off on Monday to recover (and make that inaugural trip to Trader Joe’s)!

Have a great weekend :) What are your plans?

Vegan cookout

In my 17 months as a vegan, I have been to many, many potlucks, a cookie exchange and other gatherings surrounded by food. It’s so nice to go somewhere and not have to say “what’s in this?” or “can I eat this?”

But it wasn’t until this past weekend that I went to a vegan cookout! And it was so much fun :)

Saturday was Derby Day here in Kentucky but the Louisville Vegetarian Club decided to have an “alternative” cookout held at Tyler Park here in Louisville. This event was sponsored by Tofurky and Rainbow Blossom (a local health food store) who both donated food items!

What a beautiful day it was!

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And the food was yummy too!

Tofurkey!

Tofurky brat on a Rudi’s hot dog bun with relish, mustard, ketchup and some organic tortilla chips with Athenos roasted garlic hummus :)

And of course, the rest of the crew brought some really delicious food to share!

Yum

Carrie‘s black bean quinoa and Seana’s vegan macaroni salad

Somebody knew my birthday was the day before and made this amazingly decadent chocolate cake with ganache and strawberries :)

Cake!

Thank you Carrie ;-)

I also had some spicy pasta salad a la Karen and these insanely addictive peanut butter chocolate chip blondies. Let’s just say I did not need to eat the rest of the evening!

I have to thank everyone for coming out and for sharing some truly wonderful dishes. You guys are so wonderful and I’m so glad to have this group in my life :)

Lunch at Cumberland Brews

This past Saturday, we had our monthly community meeting for the Louisville Vegetarian Club at a local joint, Cumberland Brews.

Photo courtesy of Cumberland Brewery Website

We had a really great discussion about how to eat “vegan on the cheap” and also how to apply that to other things we consume besides what we eat (clothing, beauty products, cars, etc). I learned a lot and it was great to hear where other people are coming from. Refreshing.

We also got to eat some really tasty food!

On the recommendation of my friend Karen, I ordered the veggie burger (which is a falafel patty!) with no cheese and some fries. The lighting was not the best but here’s a small glimpse.

CbIt came on a bun with lettuce, tomato, red onion and a mushroom, plus some guacamole I happily smothered on top. Would you believe I ate everything on that plate. It got messy, but it was so good.

Once again, I am very thankful for the LVC. If it weren’t for our meeting here, I would maybe never have known how delicious the food is (I’m not much of a beer drinker). I will definitely be going back again someday!

Cumberland Brews on Urbanspoon

Louisville Vegetarian Club meets again!

I can’t believe it’s already been a month since I last posted a meeting announcement, but this coming Saturday, February 26th, the Louisville Vegetarian Club will be meeting at Cumberland Brews starting at 1:00 p.m.

Check out the invite on Facebook and RSVP if you wish to attend!

This month’s discussion will be led by Andrew, who has a food blog of his own, Jolly Green’s Kitchen :) The topic is “Vegan on the Cheap” and I’m really looking forward to learning some new ways to save money while eating a vegan diet.

So many people assume that healthy, vegetarian or vegan means expensive. Sometimes that is true, especially if you rely on a lot of processed foods. But there are ways around it and the benefits of a healthy diet will save you money in the long run.

If you are in the Louisville area and you are currently vegetarian, vegan or an omnivore interested in the vegan diet, come on out and join us!

Louisville Vegetarian Club to meet this Saturday

Hello friends!

For those of you in the Louisville-Southern Indiana area, just a heads up that the Louisville Vegetarian Club is going to hold our first meeting of 2011 this coming Saturday, January 29th at 1:00 at the Zen Tea House on Frankfort Avenue.

This club formed just about a year ago and we have already done so many things together including potlucks, dinners out, bakes sales, a holiday cookie exchange and the Walk For Farm Animals!

Walk for Farm Animals

Photo courtesy of Louisville Vegetarian Club

On a personal note, I became a vegan in October 2009 for health reasons but through joining this group, I  have learned a lot about animal abuse issues, the environmental impact of the human diet and enjoyed even more health-related discussions.

I have also received a ton of support from like-minded people which has been such a blessing. Oh yeah, and I’ve also eaten more delicious food this past year than I can ever remember!

Check out the event on Facebook and RSVP if you are interested in joining us!

Also join the group :)

2010 Walk for Farm Animals

On Saturday, October 16th, I joined several other people from our community (including some fellow members of the Louisville Vegetarian Club) in the very first Louisville Walk for Farm Animals, benefitting Farm Sanctuary, an animal shelter/charity based out of Watkins Glen, New York (with two farm locations, in New York & California).

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The 2.5 mile route took us through downtown Louisville, past several busy areas, including the new KFC Yum! Center. As we walked along, we each carried a sign, some with just words and some with super cute animal pictures.

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We also had pamphlets and information to share with people (I even left a few about the benefits of a vegetarian diet at the Diabetes Walk which took place that same morning).

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We also got to wear these cute T-shirts! :)

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About a month before the walk, we held a bake sale at Eternal Health Yoga, where we raised over $230 for Farm Sanctuary in one weekend! By the time the walk was over, we had raised over $1,000 for this organization!

We were very pleased with the turnout (around 40 people signed up!) and the amount of money raised, especially considering this was our first year doing this walk. I can’t wait to do this walk again next year!

For more information about Farm Sanctuary and the Walk for Farm Animals, visit this link. To see more photos from this walk and other Louisville Vegetarian Club events, check out the Louisville Veg Flickr page.

Vegan night out at Meridian Cafe

I am so glad to have the Louisville Vegetarian Club!

It’s so nice to be around like-minded folks, who understand what it means to be vegan and give support for the challenges that come along with it.

But we also have some fun get-togethers!

vegclub
Photo taken from Louisville Vegetarian Club Facebook page

Last Friday, we went out to Louisville’s own Meridian Cafe, a breakfast and lunch only joint that had us in for a special six-course dinner, where we got to sample some of their vegan dishes, including a few new items that aren’t on the menu yet.

First up was some hummus with roasted red pepper and olives, served with pita wedges.

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I’m a big fan of hummus in general and this dish did not disappoint. The extra olives on top were delicious! This appetizer is currently on their menu.

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Next up was some chilled creamy lemon artichoke soup. This dish is also currently on Meridian’s menu.

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I have a confession: I am not a cold soup fan. The flavor was good, but I would’ve enjoyed it more warm. I ate the artichoke heart and a few bites but left the rest.

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Our third course was a fresh salad, made with local greens, and topped with blackberries, pine nuts, edible flowers and a vanilla vinaigrette, which was a new one for me!

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The sweetness of the blackberries went perfectly with the vanilla vinaigrette dressing. I devoured my portion! The local greens are on the menu, used in all the salads and sandwiches, but this particular dish was new.

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My favorite course of the evening was our fourth, which was smoked and deep fried tofu over a scoop of creamy spicy polenta.

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The tofu was crispy and crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, which to me is perfect. I am never able to get it that way at home, perhaps I should try deep frying? ;-)

It was so good, I could’ve eaten an entire plate of just this! They definitely need to add this to their menu.

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For our fifth course, we had dessert #1, or a palate cleanser, which was a ginger avocado sorbet served in a frozen lemon cup. :)

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I’ve had a lot of sorbets in my time and I have to say, this is the best one I’ve had. I’m a big fan of avocado and it’s health benefits, plus I enjoy all things ginger so this was perfect for me.

This was also a new dish made especially for us. :)

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And last, but certainly not least, was our real dessert: Peanut Butter Pudding Surprise!

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This was a creamy peanut butter custard served with a banana and some peanut topping. Banana and peanut butter? Did they know I was coming? Ha ha.

Obviously, I loved this! This is on the menu and you should definitely try it if you stop in. They make their own peanut butter too!

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It was an awesome night. Great food, just the right amount of every tasty dish, and great company.

Chef Mike, who also owns the place, was a great host and showed a real passion for cooking for special diets and using local ingredients whenever possible.

meridiancafe
He was an inspiration and a very sweet, humble guy. It was nice to be catered to without having to think of ingredients or asking for something without cheese.

Thanks Meridian Cafe, Chef Mike and my fellow members of LVC. I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

meatmeridian Photo by Carrie Klaus

And a big shout out to my BFF Courtney for going with me to this event. I appreciate your willingness to try new things and for supporting my interests. Love you!

Meridian Cafe on Urbanspoon

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