Friday was another day of shopping and eating out for us. We got a slower start to the day because we only had a few things we wanted to get done before meeting Aimee and Michael (who we affectionately refer to as “the kids” because we are old enough to be their parents *sigh*) for dinner at 7pm. It was nice to take our time getting moving since neither of us our morning people.
Since we haven’t had grapefruit in a while we decided that a broiled grapefruit with cinnamon and a little stevia was in order this morning. If you are taking any medications don’t forget to double check that you can have grapefruit since it is a problem with many meds.
Next Dan had his favorite green smoothie that contained: frozen banana, kale, walnuts, cinnamon, powdered ginger, ground flaxseeds, a little stevia and water to process.
I was more in the mood for savory oatmeal and made something very similar to yesterday. My plain oatmeal, which I cooked with water, cumin and garlic, was topped with: fresh baby spinach, black bean chili, ground flaxseeds, nutritional yeast, parsley and fresh tomatoes.
After Dan watched a little of the “Doctor Who” marathon we had to stop at the tea shop (Baltimore Coffee and Tea) because an unnamed little white puff ball decided he wanted to break into one of Aimee and Michael’s presents with his teeth. *rolls eyes* It is such a good thing that we love that little brat. ;-)
Since we were near Tuesday morning in Cockeysville I wanted to stop in to see what they had that might be interesting. As I have mentioned before I like to buy a few new Christmas ornaments each year. I found the most adorable little glass purse ornaments and at $1.99 each I had to buy them.
For some reason the roads were packed yesterday as were the stores. Apparently everyone was off from work and decided to go out shopping. We decided to head for home to grab a healthy lunch and then go to the Asian market before dinner since it was located on the same side of town as Great Sage.
Lunch was a microwaved sweet potato topped with: leftover black bean chili, artichokes, grape tomatoes, parsley, nutritional yeast and raw pumpkins seeds.
I made this because I wanted something filling but reasonably low in calories since I knew dinner would be more calories and fat than we normally eat.
Next we headed to the Asian market (H-Mart) where I found some great stuff. I am shocked by the number of organic items you can buy at the Asian market at excellent prices. We picked up an organic bean mix, an organic whole grain mix, organic soy sauce with three ingredients, dried shitake mushrooms in huge bags, organic soybeans (3 pounds for $3.99 … so much cheaper than the health food store), fermented black bean paste, hot pepper paste, bean thread noodles, Durian extract (who knows what I will do with that, LOL), and other things that I have now forgotten. After the market it was time to head to the restaurant.
The last three years we have been gone out to dinner with our friends Aimee and Michael for New Year’s Eve (NYE) and this year was no exception. Aimee and Michael are very busy during the year with college and working which means we only really get a chance to see them socially during breaks from school. We wouldn’t want Aimee to ruin her 4.0 GPA now would we? ;-) Michael is busy now studying for the MCATs and maintaining his nearly perfect GPA. These two are the most amazing 20 something’s we know. Both of them are brilliant, kind, nice and attractive if you can imagine. We have another friend that described Aimee as so perfect you want to hate her but you can’t because she is too nice. That comment made me laugh but I can see where it came from. ;-)
Aimee and Michael are both adventurous when it comes to food. Even though neither of them had had vegan food before they were both very willing to try it. I think they were both very pleasantly surprised by how good it was. I am hoping that since they are both interested in health (she wants to be a pharmacist and he a doctor) that they will be eating more healthy vegan meals as time goes on.
For an appetizer I ordered the “almost raw Vietnamese spring rolls” which included: raw carrot, cabbage, scallion, sesame, peppers, cashews, cilantro and herbs wrapped in rice paper which was served with a sweet and spicy chili sauce and a peanut sauce. I had one of these and Dan had the other one. It was a nice light appetizer but with plenty of flavor from the peanut sauce. I also liked the texture of the crunchy cashews inside the rolls. We would both order this item again.
For Dan’s appetizer he got the “chipotle and black bean soup”. The heat was mild and the flavor was good. The only change we would make would be to have some chunky bits in the soup. I achieve that at home by pureeing half the soup which leaves some whole beans in the final soup but still results in a thick consistency.
My dinner entrée was “risotto with butternut squash and mushrooms” (that appeared to be shitake), topped with pea shoots and walnut parmesan (very light if any nutritional yeast in the nut parm) with a spicy stripe of sauce on the plate. I ate about 2/3 of this and gave the rest too Dan since it was very filling.
Dan ordered the “Seitan Wellington” for dinner. His plate contained smashed potatoes, wilted spinach and a phyllo wrapped seitan and mushroom duxelle with mushroom gravy. This is Dan’s favorite dish at Great Sage so he “had” to order it for NYE. I had a bite and it is a nice dish with lots of yummy mushroom flavor.
Since it was a special evening we actually ordered dessert after dinner. You are shocked I know, I think I was a little shocked too actually. Dan wanted the “chocolate lava cake” which was very nice. Yes of course I had a bite I had to suffer for you or I coudn't say how it was right? LOL ;-)
I ordered the “apple strudel” which I enjoyed. It wasn’t too sweet and the apples were still a little firm. The only change I might have made was to add a few cranberries but otherwise it was perfect. I ate about 1/3 of this and Dan finished off the rest of it. Are you seeing a theme here? LOL, I have absolutely no idea how Dan eats so much and stays trim.
Overall we all enjoyed dinner and thought it was very nice. I was happy that Aimee and Michael had a very positive first encounter with vegan food.
We had another great day and have plenty to be thankful for like always. Here are my happy thoughts today:
• We had a lovely evening with Aimee and Michael. Dan and I both think the world of both of them. They are the without a doubt the children we wished we had and we are thankful to have them in our lives.
• Our trip to the Asian market was very productive. We came out with four grocery bags of mostly organic food for $80. If you haven’t checked out an Asian market near you I highly recommend you check it out. Indian markets can also be great resources if you have one nearby.
• Like always Dan and I had a nice day together even when we were stuck in traffic and shopping. It is so nice to be married to my best friend and I try to never take that for granted.
• Lunch and dinner on Saturday turned out very well. I made a pecan dirty rice that both Dan and I enjoyed and he isn’t the biggest fan of rice in general. I will get that posted for you tomorrow along with the black eyed pea caviar.
It is getting late so it is time for me to relax and watch a little movie with Dan. Our 2011 has started off well and I hope the same is happening at your house. Talk to again tomorrow when I hope to have time to catch up on my blog reading. I am very behind in the blog world at the moment after spending two of the last three days running around. Enjoy the remainder of your evening.