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3 Incredible Cleveland Restaurants for Vegetarians

 

The hardest part about moving to Cleveland from Atlanta was my sudden lack of options for food. Atlanta is packed with options for food, no matter what you’re in the mood for – you can find it (and it’ll be delicious). Cleveland on the other hand… Not so much. Especially if you’re a vegetarian.

So, for anyone who ever finds themselves in Cleveland – here’s a list of some of its best places. And, whether you love meat or not, there’s something for everyone here in Cleveland, TN (there’s a sentence I’d never thought I’d say).

1. Gardner’s Market 

What’s the Sitch? : The moment you step into Gardner’s Market, you feel like you’re at home. Or, maybe, your grandma’s home. Either way, you’re at home here. Gardner’s is exactly the kind of place you’d expect to find in a small, southern town – if that southern town was straight out of a movie. I may have been a little shocked by this place, but my taste buds weren’t let down.

Veggie-Connection: I’ve been on a real grilled cheese kick lately, and Gardner’s has the perfect sandwich to satisfy that craving. It’s got cucumbers and an herb spread, which leave you with a fresh taste. But, it doesn’t let you down with its cheesy goodness. For a twist, try adding pepper jack (I did that last time, it was to die for).

Don’t Miss It: I can’t emphasize this enough: try the kale salad. You will not regret it.

2. Dos Bros

What’s the Sitch? : I would be lying if I said I didn’t go to Dos Bros  at least once a month. Okay, probably more like once a week. What can I say, it just doesn’t get any better than their queso! Any time I’m in a pinch for a meal, I can count on Dos Bros. They’re like the best friend I’ve ever had! They have everything: Tacos, Burritos, Nachos, and my personal favorite – the Bowl. Seriously, if you’re sleeping on Dos Bros, wake up. It’s guaranteed (probably) to become your new favorite place.

Veggie-Connection: Since everything is customizable, you can take or leave meat on anything you want to order. The best part? There’s even tofu for you die-hard veggie lovers out there. And it’s amazing.

Don’t Miss It: One word, Too Delicious: Queso.

3. Fuji Teriyaki Express

What’s the Sitch? : I have to give credit where credit is due for this one. My friend Kiersten (check out her blog here) first took me to Fuji a few weeks ago, and I’ve been hooked. This place is the real deal, y’all! If you like Thai food, you need to go to Fuji. For real!! Their curry is absolutely incredible, and so is everything else that I’ve tried there. Seriously: it’s all good. And it’s all cooked fresh. AND (the most important part), it’s all affordable!!

Veggie-Connection: You can get pretty much any dish they serve with tofu instead of meat. I usually think tofu can be hit or miss, but their tofu is actually exquisite.

Don’t Miss It: The curry. I would elaborate, but you just need to go try it for yourself!

 

As you can see, Cleveland is packed with delicious gems. Sometimes it just takes a moment to find them. Let me know in the comments your favorite places to eat in Cleveland! And, as always, share this with all your veggie-loving friends.

x Emily

 

ALMOND MILK

4 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Switch to Almond Milk

Now, as much as I love my veggie life, I’m definitely no where near committing to a fully vegan diet. I absolutely adore cheese, first of all. Also, whipped cream…. I’ll just leave that one there.

But, there is one vegan alternative I’m crazy about, and that’s almond milk. My mom is convinced milk is super bad for humans to be drinking, so she started stocking our house with almond milk years ago. I was reluctant at first, but when she started bribing me by buying chocolate almond milk, I was sold.

Now, I pretty much only use almond milk. And I think you should too. Here’s four really convincing reasons why you (yes, you) should make the switch and give almond milk a try.

1. Almond Milk is better for you!
Almond milk has lower fat count and less calories that regular milk. A lot less, as it turns out! If you’re like me and you love cereal, almond milk can be a great (healthier) alternative to your typical fat-filled milk.

It also doesn’t have any cholesterol or saturated fat, and it helps with heart health. We all want healthy hearts, and almond milk is one small way to keep that ticker pumping for longer!

2. Almond Milk lasts longer!
It’s no secret that milk sours pretty quickly. If you’re a college student, like me, drinking a whole gallon of milk by yourself before it goes bad can be a real challenge. Even the 1/2 gallons you can buy sometimes spoil too quickly. Almond milk has a longer shelf life than regular milk. This is good news, people! This is saving you money: no more milk goes to waste!

3. Almond Milk has the magic ingredient (FIBER)! 
We all love a healthy, happy tummy. Fiber keeps all of our digestive parts flowing smoothly. Almond milk has fiber in every serving, which means you can worry a little less about your stomach’s business.

I’m not a huge fan of nuts, so I love that almond milk gives me some benefits of nuts without me having to actually eat them. You gotta love nuts.

4. Almond Milk helps you, and cows too!
It’s no secret that I have fundamental issues with the way we raise animals for our own gain. Even though I can’t commit to being fully vegan, I do love that some little decisions we make can help make the world a better place. So, not only is almond milk good for you, it’s good for the cows too. And who doesn’t love happy cows?

 

Do you have any other reasons to make the switch to almond milk? Let me know in the comments section! If you like this post, follow my blog for more great content. And feel free to share this post with all your veggie (and cow) loving friends.

x
Emily

 

 

Black Bean and Rice Burrito blog post

One Incredible Crockpot Recipe for a Veggie-Friendly Burrito

It’s no secret, if I could only eat food from one country for the rest of my life, I would hands down pick Mexican food. The meat in my tacos, burritos, tortas, and everything else Mexican was the hardest thing for me to give up when I stopped eating meat (I even occasionally have a taco or two, shh don’t tell!)

So, imagine my joy when I discovered a way to make a burrito out of black beans and rice. Wow! I’m not the biggest fan of beans, so I was wary of this recipe. But, I know beans and rice are a vital part of vegetarianism, so I decided to give it ago. And let me tell you, this recipe is amazing.

What’s even better about this recipe? The whole thing can be made using only a CrockpotIf this doesn’t sound like a miracle to you, I don’t know what will!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked converted rice
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (we used a red tomato for this recipe, but any kind should work!) 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (or if you’re like me, as much garlic as you can handle!!!!!) 
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 flour tortillas (I used corn, because they’re obviously the superior tortilla. But, that’s a personal preference!) 
  • 3/4 cup prepared black bean and corn salsa (I substituted an avocado salsa for this, but whatever kind of salsa you desire would probably be delicious
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The mixture after it was done cooking!

Directions: 

  • Coat your Crockpot with non-stick cooking spray, and then put in the rice, beans, tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeño, chili powder, ricotta cheese, and water into the Crockpot.
  • Cook on the low setting for 4 hours until the rice is totally tender!
  • After it’s finished cooking, add in the Monterey Jack cheese and the cilantro.
  • Heat up your tortillas, and then fill them with the yummy goodness.
  • Put your salsa on top, and then ENJOY! ❤
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My delicious plate!

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What’s a good meal without someone good to share it with? ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I lived off of the leftovers from this recipe for DAYS. I’m not the biggest fan of eating leftovers, but these burritos never got old. They’re so delicious, I would recommend them to anyone. Seriously, you should try them as soon as you get a chance.

Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments! And be sure to share this recipe with your veggie (and Mexican food) loving friends.

 

x Emily

 

 

YOUR NEWFAVORITEPASTA

Your New Favorite (& My Old Faithful) Pasta Recipe

Besides bread, there’s really no food I love more than pasta. It’s easy to make, and absolutely delicious! And, when it comes to dinner, I always want to eat a warm meal. Pasta is something I can always whip up when there’s nothing else to eat, and I want a hot meal fast.

Growing up, whenever the rest of my family was busy and I had to make dinner for myself, my go-to recipe would always be pasta. And, I usually topped it with some sort of cheesy, creamy, alfredo-like sauce. So, the recipe I’ll be sharing with you today has been perfected over the years.

That also means there’s plenty of freedom, so feel free to make changes as you please! There’s another good thing about pasta, it leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 box of your favorite kind of pasta (my preference is angel hair, but it’s totally up to you!)
  2. CHEESE! When I originally started this recipe, I used cream cheese. Now, I typically go with parmesan, or sometimes a combination of both. You should choose based on your cheese needs and preferences (although, if you don’t like parmesan, what are you doing with your life?)
  3. Cream, half and half, or milk. You can use any dairy product for this!
  4. 1/2 a stick of butter
  5. Garlic
  6. Spices (for flavor).

Instructions:

  1. Start by cooking the pasta following the directions on your box.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare your cheese (if it needs to be scooped, or shredded). Use as much cheese as you feel necessary. If you like things to be mostly gooey, cheesy deliciousness then prepare a lot! If you like things to be less cheesy, then just make a little. Enjoy your freedom!
  3. Mince your garlic.
  4. Melt your butter in a separate pan. Once it has completely melted, put the garlic in the pan. I like things to be VERY garlicky, so I try not to cook it too much in the butter. If you want less of a garlic flavor, you can cook it down more before moving on to the next step.
  5. When the pasta is done cooking, drain it, and then place it in the pan with the butter and garlic.
  6. Stir in your dairy product of choice. Use just enough to cover the amount of pasta you’ve cooked, so there isn’t much excess in the pan.
  7. Stir in the cheese products.
  8. Add spices! I love to put cayenne pepper, salt & pepper, and basil in my dish. But you can experiment with that at your will. I love the cayenne pepper, because the spice really balances out the extreme dairy.
  9. Enjoy!

This is such a great recipe to have in my back pocket for a rainy day, and I hope that you come to feel the same way! Here’s a great meat-free recipe that isn’t annoyingly vegetarian (no tofu or anything), but is still super delicious.

If you like this recipe, go ahead and follow my blog for more good eats. Even better, share this with your veggie-loving friends. And let me know in the comments all the fun ways you change this quick and easy recipe to make it your own.

Later skaters!

Emily

summer deals!

Spicy Basil Noodles with Crispy Tofu, Snap Peas, and Bell Peppers

I love to give and receive gifts, it’s pretty much my favorite way to express love. That’s why it makes me so incredibly happy when someone gives me a gift that’s perfect for me.

This Christmas, my older brother Blake gave me this vegetarian cookbook written by America’s Test Kitchen. And, needless to say, it’s the perfect gift for me! This cookbook is so great, because it gives a lot of really practical tips to create delicious meals. It can be really overwhelming at times to just jump into cooking, but this cookbook makes it simple!

I got this recipe from this cookbook, and as soon as I saw the title I knew I was going to have to cook it. So, a few weekends ago when I was visiting my family at home, I decided to give it a try. And it was so delicious.

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Ingredients
For the sauce
4 fresh Thai, serrano, or jalapeno chiles, stemmed and seeded (I used jalapeno peppers)
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 shallots, peeled
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce substitute
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

For the noodles
6 ounces flat rice noodles
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 (14-ounce) block firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup snap peas (about 3 ounces), end trimmed and strings removed
1 red bell pepper, steemed, seeded, and sliced into 1/4-inch strips
1 1/2 cups fresh basil, preferably Thai basil

Directions
For the sauce: 

  1. Put the chiles, garlic, and shallots in you food processor and make it into a paste, pulsing it 15-20 times. Set this aside for later.
  2. Get a small bowl, and whisk the broth, fish sauce substitute, sugar, lime juice, and cornstarch.

For the noodles: 

  1. Put your rice noodles in warm water for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leave them there until they are tender. Check out this post for more on using rice noodles!
  2. Put the corn starch in a bowl. Place the tofu in the corn starch, tossing the tofu until it is completely coated in the corn starch.
  3. Heat a skillet on the stove, and put 2 tablespoons of oil into the skillet. Heat the oil until it is slightly smoking.
  4. Add the tofu to the pan, cooking it until it is crispy on all sides (turn it regularly). This should take about 8 minutes. When it’s done, transfer it to a plate and wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.
  5. Add 1 more tablespoon of oil to the pan, heating it the same way as before. Stir in the snap peas and red peppers. Continue stirring as they cook, until they are slightly brown. This should take 2-4 minutes. Move the vegetables into a bowl. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.
  6. Put the last 2 tablespoons of oil into the pan, heating it.  Add the paste and cook it until there isn’t any moisture left (about 3-5 minutes).
  7. Add the broth mixture into the skillet. Stir in the noodles, tofu, and vegetables. Add in the basil. Stir until it is all completely distributed, about 3-5 minutes.
  8. Serve and enjoy this tasty dish!IMG_5882

The hardest part of this recipe was the tofu! I really wish I had looked up how to cook the tofu a little more before just tossing it in the skillet. Our tofu really stuck to the pan, which made it less crispy than it really needed to be. When cooking your tofu, here are some helpful links on how to cook good tofu:

  1. http://www.theppk.com/2013/03/how-to-get-perfectly-browned-tofu/
  2. http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-crispy-tofu-without-deepfrying-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-201265

All in all, this was an amazing recipe! It had a lot of heat (which I love) and flavor (which I doubly love). If some of your favorite things include spicy foods, garlic, and thai foods – this recipe is for you!! I’ve been enjoying the left-overs for a while now. This will definitely be a recipe that I’ll add to my permanent file. I’m already super thankful for this great Christmas gift 🙂

 

Feel free to share this post with all your veggie-loving friends! And let me know in  the comments if you try this recipe, how it works for you. Thanks for reading!

x Emily

Welcome!

Hello world! My name is Emily, and I’m a recently converted vegetarian. My journey started a long, long time ago, so long ago, in fact, that I don’t even remember when. It started with my deep love of food.

I am a huge food snob, I’ll just go ahead and admit it. I love to eat, but more than that, I love to eat really good food. On top of that, my mother raised me with all-organic, all-natural, completely healthy foods (most of the time, anyways). “High fructose corn syrup” was worse than a curse word in my house!

On top of my love for food, I really love watching documentaries. I can give you so many recommendations for documentaries, I should start another blog just for that (kind of kidding). My freshman year of college, I stumbled across the documentary entitled Food, Inc.  This documentary can be difficult to stomach at times, but it gives a revealing look into the food industry. It was almost enough to make me stop eating meat right then and there.

In fact, I remember talking to my friend, Oliivia, about how I would love to cut out meat, but I just thought it would be too difficult in our dorm situation. Then, at the beginning of my sophomore year, I watched the documentary Cowspiracy (produced by Leonardo DiCaprio) and decided to make the switch completely. It was just the push I needed to finally commit to a meat-free lifestyle.

It has been difficult, but at the same time, it has been so much easier than I ever thought it could be. I hope that I can share the things that I’ve learned (and the things that I’m still learning) with all of you on this blog! I really can’t wait to get started 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

Emily

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