Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tulsa is awesome: Whole Foods

As any true grocery store aficionado knows, not all Whole Foods are created equal. Sure, they may all have couscous and flax oil, but while one Whole Food may have a magical wall of a variety of salts, another may lack a bulk section altogether. This is why it's important to investigate every Whole Foods one comes across. I am happy to say that Tulsa's Whole Foods is worth your time. I didn't investigate it as throughly as I could have (I skipped the freezer and the refrigerated sections) but I was impressed.
I have to start with the fact there was a shelf of vegan cakes in the deli section. That's right. A shelf of vegan cakes. Multiple kinds of vegan cakes. There was also a vegan sheet cake of the cookies and cream variety to take home if you so desired. I settled for a single piece of cookies and cream cake, but other options included lemon blueberry and carrot cake. Another standout in their deli section was their buffalo mock chicken salad, which I ate by itself and definitely had deliciously addictive qualities.

In addition, there was not one, but two kinds of vegan queso, Nacho Mom's and Food For Lovers. I've mentioned Food For Lovers queso before, so it shouldn't be too surprising to discover that I bought four jars. That's just how I roll. I also purchased Chocolate Pirate's Booty, which I have yet to try.
There was also a case of frozen vegan taquitos. I didn't get any because I knew my chances of getting them home intact in the approximately seven hours that it takes to drive back to Omaha from Tulsa were slim but I really wanted them, almost as badly as I want a vegan taquito case at my local Whole Foods. Get on that, Omaha.

What's awesome about your Whole Foods? No secrets among vegans!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dill and Green Garlic Pasta + More Running

For me, it isn't actually summer until I've had that first mouthful of fresh dill. This year's first mouthful was courtesy of the Aksarben Farmer's Market. Along with dill, I also picked up green garlic, cilantro, tomatoes and asparagus. When I got home, I boiled some whole wheat pasta and then proceeded to sautée the green garlic for a few minutes, then stirred in some dill, the juice of half a lemon and some diced fresh tomatoes. I stirred it all together and served it with a few cranks of pink salt. It was a great dish to begin the summer with, full of fresh dill, a mild garlic taste and bright with lemon. I also enjoyed eating it out of my favorite bowl, which smiles while you eat what is essentially his brain. Awesome. 
My bowl

As far as running, I'm back on the figurative horse. I'm still icing and elevating my knee but it feels much better and I've logged some trail time. I've moved onto the second week and as far as I can tell, each week's workouts seem to elicit the same reaction from me, as follows:
  • Workout One: *Silently praying for death*
  • Workout Two: I feel pretty darn good.
  • Workout Three: Ready for the next challenge, yo.This is schwag, yo (we all remember Manny the Hippie, right?).

I'm really looking forward to getting faster, but first I have to be able to do the distance. Anyone have good suggestions for music to run to?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tulsa is awesome: Glacier Confection

My stash
When I first started planning my trip to Tulsa, my immediate concern was what I would eat. Though I knew I would be fine with a pack of Tofurky and a trip to Subway, I prefer my dining establishments to smell a little less like the dentist. While in the midst of my obsessive googling, I stumbled upon Glacier Confection and, lo and behold, in their little sidebar read the word 'vegan'. My heart immediately went pitter patter and I began to dream of my fancy vegan chocolate. With flavors like "Bananas Foster Caramel" and "Raspberry Caramel", how could I go wrong?

Inside Glacier Chocolate
Answer: I couldn't. Glacier Confections lived up to everything I dreamed it would be. Delicious, high quality chocolate was met with exceptional customer service. An unexpected bonus was that, in addition to the advertised vegan chocolate, there was an accidentally vegan chocolate made with cacao beans thought to be extinct since 1916, and the chocolate is similar to what chocolate tasted like in the 17th to 18th centuries. That's right. They have time travel chocolate. I also purchased three vegan truffles, one Bananas Foster Caramel, one Butterscotch Caramel and one Coconut Pecan Caramel. I definitely had to go back the next day for more Bananas Foster Caramel.

 I could go on and on about how magical Glacier Chocolate is, but I will keep it simple with: it's delicious and worth the time to stop in if you are anywhere near. How often do you get time travel chocolate made by an actual Chocoletier? Not often, but in Tulsa, you totally do.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tulsa is awesome: Yokozuna Sushi

My first meal in Tulsa was at Yokozuna, located in the Blue Dome District. My first indication that this meal would be awesome was when my server informed me that they had Diet Dr. Pepper fountain pop. Unlimited DDP and sushi? Fantastic. Edamame was ordered as an appetizer, and for my main course I ordered a veggie roll and an avocado roll. The edamame arrived quickly and was literally steaming hot. The rolls also came out promptly and were both delicious. The veggie roll was comprised of cucumber, avocado, asparagus, sprouts, artichoke and red bell pepper and the avocado roll kept it simple with, well, avocado. Both rolls were fresh and tightly packed (loose sushi is my enemy). In addition, it appeared that there were items on their regular menu that were vegan or could easily be made vegan. I didn't ask because I hadn't eaten in about seven hours and wanted my food as fast as possible. I also noticed a girl drinking the largest mixed drink I have ever seen and a sushi platter (intentionally) on fire while dining in Yokozuna. Make of that what you will. If I lived in Tulsa, this would definitely be a regular stop of mine. Between simple but lovely decor, delicious food, Diet Dr. Pepper and food intentionally on fire, this place is a winner.

PS- My fortune cookie said "Ask a hobo for $20 bill. You never know."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Summer Food and C25K #2

One of the best things about summer is the produce. Fresh and readily available, summer is the time of minimal preparation and maximum taste. Roasted asparagus with lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper is the perfect accompaniment to pasta with red sauce while eating on one's deck.

In a running update, I finished my second work-out flawlessly and it felt awesome. I think I'm going to love running. Unfortunately, when I took my very first step of my third work-out yesterday, I caught my foot on the sidewalk and fell, the kind of fall where your body sounds like a melon when it hits the ground. Now, with a swollen knee and general sore-from-impact body, I'm going to take a day or two off. I feel that running on swollen body parts is generally not a good idea. Until then, I'll be hitting the weights at the gym. Lifting heavy things is awesome.

Posts from my Tulsa trip coming soon!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pantry Cleaning Party! Let's get crazy!

Not my pantry (from stock.xchng)
I'm a good intentions shopper. Even though I try to make a menu plan, make a list from said plan and then shop exclusively off of the list, what really happens is that I go to the grocery store and throw whatever looks pretty into my basket. As a result of my inspired method of shopping, my pantry is stocked to the gills with a mishmash of ingredients that were bought for recipes in long recycled magazines, on a whim or just bought in an unnecessarily large amount. This means one thing: pantry clean out time. My rules are:

  1. I may buy food from the perimeter of the store or from the farmer's market (fruits, veggies, bread [yeast is not in my pantry]).
  2. I guess I only have one rule. 

I've used most of the ingredients I've accidentally stocked up on but I'd love suggestions on sassy new ways to prepare:

  • cous cous
  • rice noodles
  • jackfruit
  • oatmeal
  • pasta (I'm a slave to marinara)
  • brown rice
  • oatmeal
  • nori
  • sunflower seeds
  • soy curls...endless soy curls

Any suggestions? Any general tips on pantry cleaning? Anything I desperately need to avoid?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm going to try out this whole 'running' thing

My trail. 
I've always been jealous of runners, mostly due to the fact that running causes me to break out in hives, making it difficult for me to run. I finally decided to stop letting jealously eat me alive and downloaded the Couch to 5K app, hoping that being forced to run in gradually increasing intervals would train my body not only to run but to run without hiving out (hive is also a verb in my world). If you haven't heard of Couch to 5K, here's a brief summary.

I completed my first workout this morning, running in early morning, 80 degree heat, into the wind. I like challenges though, so that was a good start for me. The trail by my house is a perfect, flat 1.72 miles long and I look forward to spending lots of time on it. The app was also fabulous- telling me when to stop and start and walk and run, all to music of my choice.

Any advice for a novice runner? Any tweaks for running form that I should use? Any running songs you recommend to pump one up?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dante Pizzeria Napoletana: An Inferno of Delicious

Recently, Vegan Omaha held a meet up at Dante Pizzeria with the basic premise being all you can eat pizza. I can eat a lot of pizza. However, due to matinee tickets of Les Miserables, my mom and I were about two hours late and basically ran into people as they were leaving (my life is super rough, I know). We decided to stay and try the pizza out anyway and I am endlessly glad that we did.

Dante's has quite possibly perfected the pizza crust. Thin enough that it doesn't overwhelm the toppings, thick enough to stand up several toppings and an endnote of some seriously tasty crusts. The pizza we ordered was the Pollo made vegan (Teese in place of mozzerella, no chicken) and featured green garlic, spring onions, basil, roasted red peppers and Teese. It should be noted that Dante's doesn't always have Teese but a) their pizza is good enough without fake cheese and b) they are considering adding it to their regular menu.
In addition, we ordered some warm olives and some sort of amazing mushroom dish that wasn't on the menu that day but was the best thing I'd eaten in quite some time. Unfortunately, they didn't photograph well (lots of brown), so you'll have to use your imagination.

Dante Pizzeria Napoletana is located in The Shops of Legacy at 168th and Center, so it's a great vegan option for when you have to travel way out west. Though you may have to spend a few seconds veganizing something on the menu, it will be absolutely worth it. Also, they play great music.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Food For Lovers Queso: Love in a Jar

On a recent online shopping expedition for vegan chapstick, I bought, on impulse, a jar of Food For Lovers vegan queso. All I have to

say is that it was worth every impulse penny I spent on it. Creamy and spicy, it's perfect for just dipping chips in for a little snack or for making your everyday vegan mac and cheese a little bit special. To be honest, it's so good that I really haven't expanded beyond the chips idea, but I will be stocking up to
experiment in the future.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tulsa Bound and Ready to Go

In the next couple weeks, I will be heading down to what I will assume will be beautiful Tulsa, Oklahoma to see my beloved Hanson play a show in their hometown. I have done my research, as any good vegan would do, but I'd like to see if anyone else has any tips for what to see, do or eat in Tulsa. Here's my plans so far:


Downtown Tulsa (From Stock Xchng)

  • Cafe Samana
  • Be Le Vegetarian Restaurant
  • Whole Foods 
  • Cherry Street Farmer's Market
  • Glacier Confection Chocolate


  • Philbrook Museum of Art
  • Oral Roberts University Campus

Do (I realize that 'do' could easily be replaced with 'shop' but that's okay):

  • Ida Red
  • Dwelling Spaces

Am I missing anything? Google is great, but people are better, so if there's something I must see/do/eat in Tulsa, let me know in the comments!