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Chickpea veggie enchiladas

Hello again! Not only am I shocked that I have blogged a record SIX times these past couple of weeks but that I am here again to share another food post with you. I had become so distanced from these type of posts that I was seriously considering a name change of this blog! Oh well, for now, let’s talk about what I made for dinner last night :)

I had a bunch of random ingredients at home that I wanted to use up, plus I was making enchiladas for some friends of ours who just had a baby, so I bought some tortillas and a few other ingredients that I was missing.

I based my enchiladas on this recipe from Allrecipes.com. I find it to be a great site because the recipes are simple and easy to adapt to whatever ingredients you have on hand or whatever your dietary preferences are. I made enough adjustments and substitutions that I feel like I can safely post my version of the recipe here.

Chickpea veggie enchiladas (makes 8-10 enchiladas)

Ingredients

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups of cooked brown rice (got to use my steamer again!)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Pace picante sauce (I used medium)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (you may not want to use this much, this was an accident, I opened the wrong end of the container! But it wasn’t too hot for me)
  • 1 small jar of salsa
  • Daiya shredded cheddar-style non-dairy cheese
  • Ground cilantro
  • A package or two of soft taco style whole wheat tortillas
Directions
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cook chopped onion in olive oil over medium heat (use a few cloves of garlic too if you’d like, I couldn’t get my jar open!) until soft, then add chickpeas, tomatoes, picante sauce and spices. Reduce heat, simmer and stir until thickened. Add rice and let cook a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Warm tortillas on the stove or microwave (I warmed 5 at a time between 2 paper towels for 30 seconds)
  • Spray a 9×13 (or whatever size you want to use) pan with cooking spray.
  • Add a couple spoonfuls of chickpea-rice-veggie mixture into each tortilla and roll.
  • Place wrapped tortilla seam side down in the dish.
  • Once you place however many fit in your pan (6 fit in my 9×13 pan and I had some leftover filling so I could have made maybe 4 more) pour salsa on top and sprinkle Daiya cheese and ground cilantro on top as desired.

Here’s what it looked like before going into the oven!

I should have taken an “after” picture but I’m so out of the “food blogging” mentality that I honestly am surprised I took the one above. However, trust me when I say that these were delicious! Especially when topped with Tofutti non-dairy sour cream :)

Lemongrass Cafe

Happy belated 4th of July everyone! Hope you enjoyed yourselves :)

Suzie wants one of these

Image Source

My day was spent with my mom shopping around for things to put in our new home while my husband was out with my dad and uncles shopping for all the manly stuff. It was so amazing to FINALLY close on Friday after the ordeal we went through to get this place. But now that it is ours, it all seems worth it :) Honestly, everyone warned us it would be brutal, but closing was the easiest thing we had to do!

Anyway, yesterday my mom and I were out and about all morning and finally decided to break for some sustenance before our last stop at the Peddler’s Mall. We decided to stop in at Lemongrass Cafe on Shelbyville Road in Middletown. So many places were closed yesterday that we were kind of relieved not to have to come up with a back up plan for lunch once we saw the open sign :)

Since it was a holiday, the place was not crowded at all and we got seated immediately. They also brought us some water, which was nice since it was pretty hot here yesterday. After looking over the menu for a few moments (they have a great vegetarian section and tofu or mock chicken can be substituted in almost any dish) I finally decided on the Spicy eggplant and Tofu, which looked so gorgeous when it came out, I had to take a picture!

The tofu was the perfect texture and the eggplant too! It wasn’t very spicy (unlike the spicy stir fried eggplant from PF Chang’s, which I love) but it was still very tasty. My dish came with white rice which I ate too but on my way out, I noticed a sign that said “we have brown rice now” so I will have to remember that for next time.

My mom isn’t a big fan of spicy foods so I recommended she order a pad thai dish, which she really enjoyed. Her only complaint was that the portion was huge!

Overall, I was pretty pleased with this place and I would definitely go back. Maybe I will try something new next time but I would be okay having the same thing again.

Lemongrass Cafe on Urbanspoon

Adobo Mexican Restaurant

On Monday night, a few girlfriends and I met up at the new Adobo Mexican Restaurant which has now taken the place of the old Our Best on Bardstown Road in Fern Creek. It looks exactly the same, just with a new paint job and different decor on the inside. I’m glad we chose it as Mexican restaurants are usually a safe bet for me as a vegetarian and the location was good for all of us to meet up in the middle.

The restaurant wasn’t too busy when we walked in and were seated right away. As we walked back to our table, we spotted the “Guacamole Bar” which I wish I had gotten a photo of. Basically, they make their guacamole fresh right when you order it. We couldn’t resist!

This appetizer was $8 but I swear, it was enough for the four of us and then some! Totally worth it too, I’m not kidding when I say this is the BEST guacamole I have ever had. It was fresh, creamy and even a bit spicy. Sorry, Qdoba, you have been replaced!

Like many Mexican restaurants do, they offered 99 cent margaritas on Mondays, so I decided to try one, you know, to review for the blog ;-)


It was really tasty. I usually don’t do “on the rocks” but I tried it because the frozen version was $1.99, which isn’t bad either but I thought I’d pick the cheap one this time ;-) I’m glad I did because I think I might like it better this way!

I forgot to take a photo of my entree but I ordered the veggie burrito with no cheese or sour cream. The vegetables in the burrito were surprisingly tasty and included zucchini, broccoli, onions, peppers and beans. It came with a side of rice.

Sometimes without the cheese and sour cream the dish can suffer (because they don’t try to do anything else with it) but this one did not. There was a nice garnish of lettuce, onion and spices on the side that I spread over it, plus a few dollops of guac :)

I enjoyed it very much, took the other half of it for lunch today and it was just as good reheated. It wasn’t the best Mexican restaurant I have ever been to but for a new place in a city with so many restaurants, it did stand out to me. The guacamole bar was really unique to me, I had never seen that before.

The prices were good too. For my entree, plus the drink, plus half the guacamole (me and a friend split the cost for the table) my bill came to $15 and I had leftovers so you figure that for 2 meals, not bad :)

We’ve all been bragging about it to our other friends and definitely want to go back soon. Although the veggie options are not plentiful, I’d be perfectly fine just eating the chips & guacamole!

Adobo Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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!

Pd

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 :)

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!

“Cooking for Friends and Lovers” e-book

I am very happy to announce that my friend Lindsay over at Cook.Vegan.Lover has released her second e-book: “Cooking for Friends & Lovers.”

I got to be a tester for a handful of these recipes, which was really exciting! I had planned to share on this blog before the release, but believe me when I say that there are some amazing and creative recipes in this book that you must try!

My favorite was probably the banana protein pancakes with agave glazed berries, but I really did like everything I tested. I will post pictures soon but in the meantime, go check out Lindsay’s post and support her by purchasing this amazing e-book!

Guest post: Kim’s meatless year

Hello friends! While I am still gathering my thoughts and photos on what to post next for myself, please welcome my friend Kim! Kim is a foodie and blogger who has recently decided to go meat free for an entire year and document her journey in a new blog: Meatless 365

I know many of you who read my blog are vegetarian or vegan, but I just ask that you keep an open mind and respect another opinion that may be differing from yours. I know you will :) Thanks!

Hi!  My name is Kim Davidson.  Sarah and I have been friends for about 2 years now and she has been such an encouragement to me.  I am a writer, cook, and photographer in Raleigh, NC. In addition to Meatless 365, I also post recipes, writings, and photos at my regular website, Kd316 and you can also follow my Tweets @kd316.

Sarah sent me a few questions to answer in this post, so here it goes!

1. What made you decide to go meatless?

Honestly, I woke up one day and said, “what would make people go meatless for a year?” and posed that question on social media forums.  Got a bunch of answers, but mostly: “for real? You gotta be kidding me!”  So, that really challenged me.  I said, “I can do this!”  And after that initial moment of pure will power, I knew it would be a challenge for me, a chance to spice up my kitchen, and get me excited about cooking and eating again.  Sometimes, you just get bored – even someone like me, who loves being in the kitchen!

2. What are you hoping to gain from going meatless for a year?

A new love for my kitchen and things that grow in the ground.  A new love for my kitchen: sometimes, even though I love meat, I get bored with the same things.  So, I want to try new healthy things and healthy foods in different ways.  And, things that grow in the ground: I don’t want to survive on processed foods for a year either (granola bars, etc).  I want to get natural foods in my body to help me feel and move better!  I know there are so many vitamins and minerals and other good “things” in foods that grow in the ground, so cool how God made things that would help us live better lives!  I also want to strengthen my food photography skills.  I would love to write for food magazines and use my photos to bring out the brilliant colors in vegetables and food.  There is beauty in food.  As Emerson said; “Beauty is God’s handwriting.”

3. Do you think at the end of 365 days, you will continue to abstain from meat?

I have already considered that; and I probably won’t.  But, I will eat meat a lot less than I do now (or did), but I don’t feel any food is BAD for you, but just eaten in moderation.  I will hopefully have found wonderful recipes to keep eating and trying new recipes in the years to come.  I like bbq, steak, and bacon too much to cut it out entirely for the rest of my life, and I don’t want to be kicked out of my family (my family loves meat!)

4. Has anyone asked you “but where will you get your protein?” yet?

One of the first questions I got.  Amazing, isn’t it?  Like there isn’t any protein other than meat.  I told this person, “why yes, I am!”  I love raw nuts, greens, legumes, cheese, dairy, nut butters, seafood, eggs.  So many ways to get healthy sources of real protein without going to meat or “fake meat”.

5. What do you think will be your biggest challenge in this experiment?

I love to cook for other people.  I think I will have to be creative when doing that and maybe even cook meat meals for them, which isn’t a problem.  Also, eating with my family.  My brother grills a good steak and we love bbq.  But, for this year, I’ll have to be prepared and have salmon when they have steak.  All those healthy fats and vitamins! :)

Any last words?

Happy food journey – whatever you eat.

Thanks, Kim! I look forward to following you on your journey and can’t wait to see what all you experience throughout. I hope you will do a follow-up for us at the end of the year!

Is anyone else out there going meat free this year? Want to write about it?

Queen of Sheba

Confession: Up until about a month ago, I had never tried Ethiopian food.  So, I was not sure what to expect when us girls got together and went out to Queen of Sheba here in Louisville.

After the waiter tried to talk us into ordering things other than what we wanted (how many times did we have to tell him two of us don’t eat meat?) we settled on the Vegetarian Combo for the four of us to share. We also got talked into an appetizer but oh well, it was our first time there.

273 The Vegetarian Combo included salad, and a serving each of Misir wot (“Lentil stew simmered in onions, garlic seasoned with turmeric and herbs”), Atakilt (“Sliced cabbage, onions, and carrots cooked to perfection in a mild tomato sauce”) and Gomen wot (“Collard greens, onions and potatoes cooked to perfection with garlic in a mild sauce”).

The food was absolutely delicious. My favorite was definitely lentils but I actually really enjoyed the cabbage dish too. The best part is you don’t use forks, you dip into each thing with injera (Ethiopian flatbread, not pictured unfortunately).

I would definitely like to eat this food again.

But, I think we were all a little put off by the waiter. First, he kept trying to get us to order certain things he was promoting instead of listening to what we wanted and accommodating us. He also had a little trouble splitting up the bill, which is also when we found out he actually got us to order TWO appetizers when we thought it was only one. I think in the end, we all just gave up and paid whatever it said so we could get out of there.

Granted, it was rainy, we were starving, everybody has an “off” night, and he kept our drinks pretty full. So maybe we should try to go back sometime and hope we get a different experience.

But I definitely took a copy of the takeout menu for future reference ;-)

Queen of Sheba on Urbanspoon

Bring Back Summer!

The weather has taken a turn for the cold here and the only thing keeping me warm right now (besides the dog on my lap) is fond memories of the stuff I did (and ate) this summer.

One of those things was a really great meal at local restaurant Cafe 360.

You may remember I ate at this place for my birthday dinner last year, pre-vegan, but definitely vegetarian-curious. It was under construction, dark, and they had a limited menu at the time.

But this time, I met a friend for lunch and we sat outside in the warm sunshine on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and plenty of good food to choose from.

I started off with the Spinach and Strawberry Salad which is listed as “vegan” on the menu (so helpful).

142 This salad was huge but so fresh and tasty, I devoured every last bit of it, except for the dressing, which I just drizzled on top a little bit.

I also had a cup of what was, to this day, the best vegetarian chili I have EVER had.

143 They even claim on the menu: “Our vegetarian chili will tempt non-vegetarians, trust and give it a try!” Trust me, they are absolutely right.

It was so flavorful and loaded with veggies, not just the same ol’ boring beans and tomatoes. I can’t remember everything that was in it, but the summer squash was a nice touch!

I can’t believe it took me this long to post about it, but I definitely need to go back to this place soon, for the vegetarian chili alone :)

In the mean time, let’s hope it warms up again around here soon. I’d really like to have some fall before we go straight into winter!

The Swan Dive

Have you ever heard of The Swan Dive?

I’m sure many of my vegan and foodie friends here in Louisville have. But, if you don’t fall into either of those two categories, you may not have. In fact, Josh thought I was going to a place where there were literally swans diving. Hmm…

Anyway, as my friend Courtney says The Swan Dive is exactly what it says…a dive.

Finally! :)

But they also just so happen to have a 100% vegetarian menu, a good portion of which is also vegan or can be made vegan.

I can’t believe in my year as a vegetarian I had never been to this establishment. But, I finally made it there on Wednesday night!

They had a lot to choose from and it was really hard to narrow it down but in the end, tempeh bacon won me over! :)

Vegan BLT

Sorry for the gritty picture — bad lighting!

I got the vegan BLT (which comes with tempeh bacon and Vegenaise) which came with a side. They had vegan mac ‘n cheese and french fries, but I went with a side salad specifically because they have Goddess dressing, ha ha!

For “bar food” I did not find anything to be greasy at all. What I ate was really tasty and fresh. And it was so nice to have so many options that fit my dietary preferences.

I loved it and I can’t wait to go back. Just got a few other places to try first! :)

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