Blog Archives

Back to one

If any of you follow River City Fitness, you may have seen yesterday that I have decided to go back to one blog only. I don’t know why I thought I could keep up with two separate blogs when I have enough trouble keeping up with one sometimes!

Anyway, everything I do will be over here now. Food, running, yoga, life, everything. I no longer feel the need to define my blog or have it live up to it’s name all the time. It’s just my blog, about me, and eating is just one thing I do 🙂

I have no plans to delete RCF but everything from there has been moved over here so there’s really no need to visit that page anymore. What held me up from making this decision for a long time was the fear that I’d lose my Race Recaps page, but it’s here too!

Thanks for all the support, I hope to be back to regular blogging soon! In the meantime, you can ‘Like’ this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter if you are so inclined.

Thanks!
Sarah

Advertisements

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 🙂

The Happy Herbivore cookbook giveaway!

I really enjoyed being a part of the Happy Herbivore “blog book tour” and being able to have Lindsay answer some questions for me and my blog readers. You can read the interview here if you missed it!

Now, I am really excited to announce that one of you can win a free copy of The Happy Herbivore cookbook for yourself!

This contest will run until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 4th and to enter all you have to do is leave a comment on this post!

If you are one of those that likes to get multiple entries, here are some other things you can do (if you already do any of these things just leave a comment for each one saying “I already…”):

There you have it, five ways to enter! Already own a copy? Enter anyway and if you win, give it to a family member or friend 🙂

Note: Open to U.S. and Canadian residents only per request of the publisher.

I will choose a winner randomly and announce it on Tuesday morning!

Good luck 🙂

The Happy Herbivore stops by!

If you have not heard of the Happy Herbivore or her awesome recipes yet, you are truly missing out.  To get you all properly introduced, she has offered to answer some questions for me and shares one of her recipes with you too!

Meet Lindsay, the Happy Herbivore 🙂

The Interview

See Sarah Eat: How did you become vegan?

Happy Herbivore: I went vegan while on vacation in San Fran in Dec 2006. I’d been
vegetarian on and off my entire life, (and had been veg for about year
consistently by then). I’d heard so much about veganism; all these
health benefits, that I was curious, but worried it would be too hard
where I lived. Since SF is a vegan’s town I figured I might as well
experiment where it was “easy.” I felt so good, that I stuck with it
when I got home. Seeing huge, positive changes in me — more energy,
no tummy troubles, weight-loss, clear skin, kept me going and then
when I found out about all the horrors of the dairy and egg
industries, I knew I’d be vegan for life.

SSE: Amen to that! So, what do you think are some of the biggest challenges to eating a vegan diet?

HH: You have to give up a sense of convenience, which is not necessarily a
bad thing. In my early months as a vegan I was annoyed that I could
no-longer just grab a slice of pizza, or a muffin at starbucks; I had
to pack my lunch… but one thing I’ve realized is how GOOD that is. I
used to eat out a lot and my wallet and waste line suffered for it.
Being vegan really does help me stay on track and make good choices.

SSE: What inspired you to write your own cookbook?

HH: When the opportunity presented itself, I wasn’t entirely sure I even
wanted to write one. I’d been considering it, and had just started
looking into it when I met my publisher haphazardly, but once the
project started going I got really into it. I realized it was the
opportunity I’d been waiting for: to show people that eating
vegan–and eating healthy–is easy, approachable, affordable and
delicious!

SSE: What is your favorite recipe that you have created?

HH: My favorites come and go in waves. Last week I was obsessed with the
nacho cheese sauce but right now I would give just about anything for
a carrot cake cupcake.

SSE: What new recipes/projects are you working on now?

HH: I’m in the middle of writing my second cookbook, and after that I’ll
write my third cookbook and after that, I plan to open my own
restaurant, or something. I’d really like to be on TV too! I guess I
have a lot of aspirations!

That she does!

Thank you Lindsay for answering my questions and for being an inspiration and a big help to me when I went vegan. Your recipes are some of my all time favorites (mmm, meatloaf) and I definitely credit you for helping me realize that vegan cooking doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive 🙂

Make this recipe!

Lindsay is generously allowing me to share one of her recipes with you guys, which I hope you will all go home and make right now. Seriously, this stuff sounds delicious!

Quick Queso (makes 1 cup) – Lindsay says: “It’s okay to go at this sauce with a spoon. I won’t judge.” 😉

1 cup non-dairy milk (such as fat-free soymilk)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tsp granulated onion powder
1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder or cayenne (optional)
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste

Whisk all ingredients together in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often until thick. Serve immediately.

Note: Gluten-free flours or blends may be substituted, such as chickpea flour. Also, add a 1 10-ounce can of Rotel tomatoes with green chilies for a Mexican Queso twist.

Quick Queso

Photo credit: Happy Herbivore flickr page

Biographical notes

Lindsay S. Nixon is a rising star in the culinary world, praised for her ability to use everyday ingredients to create healthy, low fat recipes that taste just as delicious as they are nutritious. Lindsay’s recipes have been featured in Vegetarian Times, Women’s Health Magazine and on The Huffington Post. Lindsay is also a consulting chef at La Samanna, a luxury resort and four-star restaurant in the French West Indies. You can learn more about Lindsay and sample some of her recipes at happyherbivore.com

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 🙂

Austin’s Restaurant

I had been to Austin’s Restaurant here in Louisville maybe three times in my entire life. I couldn’t remember much about it, other than I liked the spaciousness of the inside and that they held a lot of banquets/parties there.

So when my mom wanted to go there for her birthday celebration with our family, I decided to check out the menu.

They are known for their “contemporary Southern cuisine” which unfortunately means a lot of meat and cheese. While they do offer a “garden veggie burger” I wasn’t sure if this would contain dairy, like some other restaurants’ veggie burger choices do. (I can’t tell you how much I wish Buffalo Wild Wings would do me a solid and at least opt for the Boca vegan burger if I’m going to pay $7 for something I could make at home)

So I emailed the address listed on their website to ask about vegan options. I got almost an immediate response from the general manager, Adam, who informed me that most items on their menu do indeed contain meat and/or dairy, but that the kitchen staff would be more than happy to make a special dish for me.

I was really excited by this response, not just the timeliness, but the fact that he was willing to work with me. I’ve emailed places before and either gotten no response, a generic response indicating they did not even read my email, or in the case of Applebee’s, my email was answered by a phone call from a person who did not speak very good English.

Last Sunday when we went to Austin’s, I was the last to order and I was a little nervous. It’s intimidating when you are with 8 other people and you are the only one with a special request. I was also a little unsure of what I wanted and had hoped the waitress would recommend something or ask the chef/kitchen staff what they usually make if they receive a request such as this. She told me if I knew what I wanted, they’d make it, but they couldn’t just pick something for me. Duh, it was silly of me to think that, right?

Luckily, she sent the kitchen manager out who suggested their spinach pasta dish, minus the chicken and cheese, and with a ton of veggies added in their place. Sounds good to me!

This dish was delicious! The mushrooms were probably my favorite part, but all the veggies were just so fresh and went very well with the olive oil-garlic sauce. They even threw some asparagus in there. It was also great because I had enough for lunch that day plus leftovers!

While I was a little worried at first, I ended up being very happy with my dining experience and even my family was impressed that a restaurant would go out of their way for someone with special dietary needs. A lot of times, I am afraid to ask so I will just order a salad or a plain baked potato. But I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone this time.

If this is how I plan to eat forever, then I’d better get used to it!

Have you ever made a special request at a restaurant? How did it go?

Austins on Urbanspoon

Tofurky Pizza and Blog Evolution

I have to admit, this thing has been in my freezer for quite some time.

I was really excited when I heard that the vegan Tofurky Pizza finally came out and were being carried at my local Whole Foods Market. The best selling point for this pizza is the Daiya cheese, which is the best vegan cheese (for pizza) on the market, in my opinion. I tried it on a homemade pizza once and it was delicious.

I didn’t care much for the high price of this item (around $7) but you have to factor convenience into the cost. This would feed me for at least two meals and only took 12 minutes to cook in the oven. No time spent on preparation or chopping veggies for toppings.

I decided to get the Italian “Sausage” and Fire Roasted Veggie because a plain cheese pizza just sounded boring to me and the only other choice was pepperoni. I need my veggies! Plus, this may be the only time I try this product so I had to go all out!


The left side got bent a little bit from being shoved around in my freezer for several weeks.  But other than that slight defect, this looked pretty good!

The Good:

  • I liked that the crust was thin and got a little crispy thanks to my cooking it directly on the oven rack.
  • The vegetables were delicious!
  • Short cooking time and easy to cut with my pizza cutter.

And the Not-So-Good:

  • Even though this pizza tasted decent, it probably still isn’t worth $7.
  • There was not nearly enough Daiya cheese on this pizza.
  • The Italian sausage was just okay, I expected it to be a bit more flavorful.

Verdict?

I would probably buy this product again, perhaps another variety, if I need to get a vegan pizza to go and the store I am at is all out of Amy’s No Cheese Roasted Vegetable Pizza. The sauce they use on that pizza is so good, you don’t even need non-dairy cheese.

I had the leftovers for lunch today and I have to stick by my “just okay” review. But I’m glad I finally tried it!

Have any of you tried the Tofurky pizza? Did you like it?

Blog Evolution

I have not been blogging a whole lot the past few months and it’s had me doing a lot of thinking regarding this blog and it’s future. By the way, I’m happily taking suggestions on name changes. Ha.

I feel like in many ways, I have moved away from what this blog was originally intended for (an accountability/food journal) and that’s okay. A lot has changed in the past two and a half years that I’ve been blogging here.

But what hasn’t changed is that I still love to write and share the things I enjoy with people, which is what I want to continue to do here. I love this community!

While my weight loss is a big part of my “story” and a reason for blogging, I don’t want to focus on that so much anymore. I still struggle sometimes to maintain my weight but I’m in a good place now and have another system of accountability that is working well for me now.

I also went vegan more than a year ago and so much about that has changed my life and my views on a lot of things regarding food, health and other topics.

So anyway, please be patient with me as I work out the kinks and decide how best to move this blog forward. And if you have any advice, I’ll at least consider it 😉

Eating Animals

This past weeked the Louisville Vegetarian Club met to discuss a book we are reading: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Many refer to this book as a “case for vegetarianism” but I’ve also heard some criticize it saying that while it does give good information, it doesn’t go far enough in making that case.

Since I am still new to the whole animal abuse side of vegetarianism/veganism, I thought it was a good introduction into some harsh realities that I wasn’t aware of prior to reading the book.

I like how Foer’s inspiration for writing this book was that he was about to become a father, therefore responsible for what another human eats. That thought has crossed my mind quite a few times in recent months, as I do plan to have children someday.

We know more about food today — what it is and where it comes from — than our parents did when we were children. I’m also glad that I turned my life around and got healthy before I had children and I have enough knowledge now to get them started off on the right foot, nutritionally.

I haven’t finished this book yet, so this isn’t a review. I just wanted to share that while my intentions for going vegan were first motivated by health, I continue to read and educate myself on the other issues as well. I find that I am constantly amazed and shocked at what I am learning about the way animals are used and treated in this country.

And once I know things like this, it’s impossible to turn those images off. And there is no way I could ever go back to eating them.

As a group, we came up with the following questions/discussion topics (we=Americans):

  • Are our desires more important than those of the animals we are eating?
  • Are we being selfish?
  • Do we eat animals because we feel superior?
  • In closing: As long as we keep eating meat, we are advocating factory farming.

The superiority thing really interested me because I am a Christian and in church you always hear about how we as humans are to have “dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26)

Opinions will vary, but when I hear the word “dominion” I think of power. Authority. Ownership. Some translations will say “reign over” or “be responsible for.” In this same chapter God also provided seeds, plants and fruit trees for food. Green plants for the animals too.

Personally, I believe God entrusted us to take care of the Earth and the animals that live here with us. Take care of them. I do NOT believe this means we are to abuse this responsibility.

Have you read the book? What did you think?