Monthly Archives: July 2013

Memphis Vegan Challenge: Bachelorette Extravaganza

Day five of my Memphis Vegan Challenge culminated in bachelorette awesomeness.

IMG_0375

The bachelorette gang walking down the streets of Memphis, looking crunk as hell.

 

My schedule for the day included:

  1. Wake up and play with dog.
  2. Hang out with mother, grab some brunch.
  3. Shower.
  4. Show up at bridal shower smelling and looking presentable.
  5. Hop on party bus.
  6. Have fun.
  7. Oh yeah, did you try to eat vegan today? If so, pat self on back. If not, try harder tomorrow.
  8. Spend the night at the Peabody Hotel, one of the best hotels ever.

I woke up. I pet a dog. I hung out with mom, and we had a sensible brunch at Jason’s Deli. As we were pulling up, I searched online for some customer comments or a company comment on what I could enjoy. I was delighted to find there were four sandwich/wrap options. I chose the spinach wrap and steamed veggies with a cup of vegetable soup (which has no animal stock or seasoning.) It was really tasty, and I’d absolutely get it again.

IMG_0372

Then, it was off to the bridal shower!

Continue reading

Advertisements

Memphis Vegan Challenge: THE CRACKER BARREL TALE

Day four of my Memphis Vegan Challenge, and I’m feeling pretty great about it. My body feels good. My mind feels good. It’s been completely manageable in Memphis, TN to order vegan food without sounding like a complete jerk. You know EXACTLY what I’m talking about:

Vegan Customer: “Excuse me, but I’m vegan. What can I order?”

Server: “Well, there are several things on the menu that have no meat. Is egg or dairy okay?”

Vegan Customer: “Absolutely not! That’s what vegan means… no animal products. Jeeze. Get it straight if you’re going to work in food services.”

Server: “Well, I didn’t want to assume. You are wearing leather shoes.”

Annoying, right? I’d like to not come off as a total ass, so I’ve been either looking online, calling ahead, or asking informed questions to the servers that don’t include, “I’M VEGAN. LOOK AT MEEEEEE! BOW BEFORE MY SELFLESSNESS AND ASPIRE TO MY SPIRITUAL ELEVATION!”

Now, not being an idiot to servers is easy when you’re going somewhere like Paradise Cafe in Memphis.  Just ask for no cheese or mayo on the sandwich, and make sure the veggie gazpoucho doesn’t include meat or meat stock. Nicely asking informed questions isn’t hard or annoying, especially when it’s done with a smile and in a timely manner. Paradise Cafe is a small place in East Memphis that focuses on healthy choices for lunch. They’ve been around since I was little, and I remember going to get fruit and yogurt plates there with my mother.

IMG_0367

veggie sandwich and gazpacho from Paradise Cafe

Then again, trying to not come across as weird at somewhere like the Cracker Barrel would perhaps prove to not be so effortless.

r-CRACKER-BARREL-SUPERMARKET-large570

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store AKA Vegan Hell.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Memphis Vegan Challenge: Day Three

Day three of the Memphis Vegan Challenge, and it’s almost a piece of cake. I don’t feel deprived. My body feels great.

Let’s get to the food.

Spelt Bagel (Gluten Free) with Tofu Spread (cream cheese substitute)
IMG_0359

I worked again choreographing at the studio out in Germantown. If you’ve been following my escapades, you’ll know that this dance studio is right next to one of my favorite delis of all time, Vanelli’s. I opted for the sandwich. Unfortunately, they were out of wheat bread, but it still tasted great. Lettuce, cucumber, tomato, pickles, salt and pepper, oil and vinegar, and mustard!

I also put chips on my sandwich because it would be weird if I didn’t. It’s just a thing I do. And you know you want to do it too.

IMG_0364 Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Memphis Vegan Challenge: Day Two

Woke up. Juiced. Put juice in mason jar so it felt more “country.” Duh, I’m visiting Tennessee.

IMG_0356 IMG_0358While going through my parents’ kitchen drawers, I found a ridiculously small Tabasco bottle. Why do they have this in their house? (Apple for scale.)

IMG_0357

Why do you exist, teeniest bottle?

Went to choreograph all day at a dance studio out in Germantown. The studio is right by one of my favorite Italian delis, Vanelli’s Deli. Grabbed a quick salad with their homemade Italian dressing and some garlic olives.

IMG_0360 IMG_0361I had to google whether croutons were vegan or not. They mostly are.

Finished a very long day of choreographing at the studio and met my parents for dinner at Memphis Pizza Cafe.

Now, I’ve been preparing myself to be super sad about missing out on the Ultimate Cheese pizza that MPC serves up so deliciously. I opted for the vegetarian without cheese. It was real purdy, and I gobbled many a slice.

IMG_0362

Verdict on the pizza: I did miss having cheese on pizza, but I realized I wasn’t uncomfortable after the meal. I walked out of Memphis Pizza Cafe going, “Wow. I don’t have that weird sinking, stomach-full-of-rocks feeling I usually have leaving this joint. Oh, I guess I came out of here feeling bad every single time I went? Weird.”

Day 2: Fine. It’s whatever. My body feels really good, but I’m more impressed with the tiny Tabasco bottle.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Memphis Vegan Challenge: Day One

I’m gonna make this as quick as I can.

I woke up after eating an amazing last supper. Had breakfast with Chef B’friend. Then, he made me the best homemade travel meal ever to take on any plane. Behold!

IMG_0351The best airplane food EVER. Succotash and quinoa in a box with shelling peas, nuts, and an apple. Healthy balance up the wazoo.

While trying to get to Memphis I had several delays, gate changes, more delays, more gate changes, and one dog in a bag for a very long time. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Last Supper: Final Meal Before Memphis Vegan Challenge

This was it. My last hoorah. The terminal supper. My final meal before I take on the BBQ capital of the world for my one-week Memphis Vegan Challenge!

Shall I have pizza covered with cheese? Shall I wolf down a porterhouse steak? Shall I combine both cow and dairy for a greasy Philly Cheese Steak? Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

My Memphis Vegan Challenge

This Tuesday, I’m puttin’ on my blue suede shoes and boarding a plane to Memphis, TN. The BBQ capital of the world. The dirty, dirty, yummy South. The fried Delta. Memfreako, TN.

And I’m going to be Vegan for the entire trip.

I hear people gasping in awe. I see heads dramatically turning, eyes wide with horror. Disbelief clouds the air like a thick fog hovering above the muddy banks of the Mississippi. Yeah. You heard me, boo. VEGAN in Memphis, the Fried-Meat-and-Cheese Mecca of the Mid-South.

It will be a challenge going to Huey’s and eschewing the cheddar on their delicious veggie burger. I may cry on the inside when my dad takes me to Memphis Pizza Cafe, and I cannot order the Ultimate Cheese. My soul will yearn for the feta block on that Castriati Salad at The Villa.

How am I going to survive this sadistic challenge?

Oh, there’s a blog on the internet focused on the exact thing I’ve got a question about? SWEET.

vegan crunk

So Bianca is an 18-year vegetarian and 8-year vegan who has this fabulous vegan food blog set in Memphis.

The best part about her blog is that she’s got a crunkalicious Memphis restaurant guide for vegans. #internetwin

Whoop that rack-of-ribs! Grit and Grind (on vegetables.) Wish me luck! I’ll let you know how it goes.

(Go check out Bianca at vegancrunk.blogspot.com)

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Upcoming Ten-Year High School Reunion: Oh, GOD, NO!!! WHY!?!?

I just realized that my ten-year high school reunion is coming up this fall. Thankfully, the universe was somewhat kind to me this morning, and I realized it’s in November. If it were at the beginning of September, I might have to make like a lemming and (metaphorically, of course) jump of the nearest cliff. IMG_0341

Combine the impending doom of the reunion and all the weddings I need to attend this fall, and it makes me want to crash diet like there’s no tomorrow. It makes me want to cut carbs and pop pills, which I can’t understand because I know that’s not the right way. It’s got to be my fear and not my better judgement whispering, “Eat only meat! I know you’re a vegetarian and don’t believe in it… but just buy a cow and eat only that for the next three months! You’ve got room in the freezer, right?”

I’m not going to crash diet. I’m not going to diet at all. I’m going to reverse the brainwashing in me that is screaming DIET! DIET! DIET! because diet’s don’t work. They. Do. Not. Work.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

These are not Tomatoes: Subway Semi-Horror Story

IMG_0327It’s hot outside, but I decided to go for a long run. My motivation: This amazing club sandwich with farmers market tomatoes and greens on multi-seed bread. Chef B’friend made it out of the leftover Quorn “turkey” roast I made last night. He placed it on the counter. I knew it was going to be so delicious, I needed to earn the right to eat its mastery.

I thought, “Yeah, I can do the usual path from my apartment in Harlem down the west side of Central Park, but I want to get out of my comfort zone.” My usual path takes me right down the C and B train line. When I get exhausted, I can just pop on the train, and it will take me back to my nice apartment in an air conditioned thing that I don’t even have to drive. I can just sit and drink water and feel safe.

I decided I’d run more east, hit up the top of the park (which I hadn’t really explored) and work my way across the park to get back to the subway home. My sandwich motivation will carry me through this hardship of newness… like a tasty, tasty overexposure filling my view for the final mile.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mayo-free Coleslaw! Warning: Seriously Addictive

I grew up hating coleslaw.

I was born hating it, and I carried a passionate desire within my child-self to destroy all that was coleslaw. This was a big deal because I’m from Memphis, TN (the BBQ capital of the universe). I hated coleslaw so much that I refused to eat BBQ for the first 15 years of my life because it was guilty by association. That cabbage-sprinkled cup of mayo looked disgusting, and I wrote it off forever until I found out there was a better way… the non-mayonaise way.

In the south, pasta salad is drenched in mayonnaise. Potato salad consists of potatoes swimming in mayo. Egg salad is mayonnaise with a side of egg. Cole slaw is not excluded from the mayo-party. It’s the host.

When I moved up to NY for college, I was ASTONISHED to find out my best friend Ray’s pasta salad recipe called for Italian dressing rather than mayonnaise. It was sacrilegious! And I liked it. Three years ago, my boyfriend informed me that we would be making coleslaw, and it didn’t include traditional mayo. With great trepidation and tremendous courage, I tried the stuff. Now, I’m addicted to it.

IMG_0317

I love this recipe because it’s super easy, super fast, and it keeps the veggies you use raw. Raw means nutrients. Delicious and healthy: Boom!

And now without any further ado, I present to you Chef B’friend’s Mayoless Coleslaw Recipe. (I’m going to share with you the completely white-stuff free version as well as the mayo-substitute version. Both are fantastic.)

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: