Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday Out for Dinner ... What a Great Meal

The picture of our youngest (Nicco aka Binky) is completely unrelated to my post. However being the proud cat mommy that I am I "needed" to share this cute photo with you.  I think my fur babies are just precious.  No bias here, LOL.

Our beautiful 75 degrees are gone. *boo hoo* Saturday morning the wind was blowing with gusts to 60mph. We were both watching the big oak trees blowing waiting for a limp to take out the power which thankfully didn’t happen.

Like usual we took our time getting moving in the morning. It is always nice to sleep in on Saturday. Too bad we can’t do this every day. There is something rejuvenating about sleeping until your body is ready to wake up.

Breakfast was oatmeal for us on Saturday. My oatmeal was savory and included: nutritional yeast, freshly ground flaxseed, wheat germ, cumin, no salt seasoning, baby spinach and raw pumpkin seeds. Dan had his usual oatmeal with frozen wild blueberries, freshly ground flaxseed, cinnamon, ginger, stevia, and walnuts. I also added wheat germ to Dan’s breakfast for the vitamin E.

Lunch was a very simple meal of black bean soup that was leftover from Thursday’s dinner. This time I topped the soup with avocado, lime zest, lime juice, cilantro and tomato. The reason I top soups and stews with something fresh is to provide a pop of flavor to contrast the mellow flavor of a long cooked dish.

We also had a marinated veggie salad of: roasted broccoli, carrot, corn, green beans, peas, red onion, red cabbage, and celery. I dressed this with red wine vinegar, course Dijon, stevia, celery seeds and no salt seasoning. I made the salad about 4 hours before the meal and that was plenty of time for the veggies to absorb the flavor of the dressing. This dish was very popular and even my parents liked it. I am always shocked when they like food without added oil. ;-)

For dinner we decided to go out to eat. Like usual we went to see Ian and the gang. Ian was still at the restaurant when we arrived. I don’t think I was there 2 minutes when he came out to hug and chat. It is so nice to have a place to go out to dinner where you are greeted with a smile and a hug or two. We did miss Corey who is having a great time in San Francisco. I am hoping he has time to go to the Millennium restaurant since I really want a firsthand report of the food. Alan (one of the owners) was also there this evening so we got a chance to catch up with him which was great since we haven’t seen him since Christmas Eve.

Alan thought I needed to start dinner with a short glass of champagne. Who was I to say no? Okay so I am not going to tell you this was healthy or even a good idea but I hadn’t had any alcohol since Christmas Eve so I don’t think this little bit of champagne was going to kill me. ;-) Sometimes it is nice to indulge but I try not to make a habit of it.

Once I stopped talking and actually sat at the table Aimee had our pot of green tea waiting for us. LOL, we are so spoiled when we go out to dinner. It is wonderful to have a neighborhood restaurant that feels like home.

Speaking of tea, since Aimee likes tea almost as much as we do we brought her some white and tulsi teas to have in your dorm room.  I will be curious to hear what Michael (her fiance) thinks of the tulsi tea. Both Aimee and I are happy that he is drinking less soda and more tea these days.

Since I had texted Aimee Friday night to let her that we might be coming in for dinner she warned the kitchen and they made a few things just for us. It is incredibly sweet of them to cater to us but I always feel guilty when they do. I hate being a bother but I try to remind myself that they like doing it and just go with it.

Tonight we started dinner with roasted pears with a sweet miso glaze that was served over greens. The pears were crispy on the exterior but tender (but not too tender) on the inside. The sauce was sweet and a little hint of salt from the miso. It was a very nice combination of sweet and salty without being overwhelming. We both appreciated the texture contrast of the crispy and tender over the mixed greens.

The next dish that came out of the kitchen was a Thai salad that contained: radish, cucumber, carrot, red bell pepper, cilantro, green onions, and jalapeno with a spicy dressing. This dish had a ton of flavor that we both enjoyed. You will be seeing my variation on this at home when I have all the ingredients.  ;-)

Before he left for the evening Ian stopped by to sit down and chat with us. We both adore Ian and love having time to chat with him during dinner. He always stops by to see us before he leaves for home. Like usual he wanted to know when we would be back. We are planning to go back when Phil (our friend from Missouri) is back in town in a few weeks. Dan and I don’t usually plan when we will be going out to dinner. It is usually more a function of what the weather is like and if Dan wants to go out.   I know this makes Ian crazy since he likes to plan our vegan meals since that is outside his comfort zone.  Could he be any nicer to us?  I hope you are starting to understand why we usually end up at our regular place for dinner.

Our entrée was a very unusual and tasty dish that consisted of a sauce of avocado and miso on the plate. On top of the sauce was sautéed mushroom and broccoli rapini that was finished with crispy leeks. The plate was also dotted with sriracha. This is not something that I would have come up with and it was very good. This is precisely why I love to go out to dinner I get recipe ideas and flavor combinations that I would not come up with on my own.

Alan thought this last dish looked fabulous, and I have to agree. He thinks they need to put more things like this on the specials menu to see how it will sell. We both think people who are trying to eat healthy will also order things like this. I hope we are right.  *fingers crossed*

Dan was still hungry after our first three courses so he ordered an appetizer sized pizza. Both of us like our pizza very thin and crispy and they know that so this pizza was nice and crunchy just like I would make at home if I were still making pizza that is. This one contained: caramelized onions, sliced tomatoes, capers, and sage.

Like usual we were at the restaurant for 4 hours. We arrived at 6:30 and left after 10:30. Is it any wonder we know everyone there? As always we appreciated all the trouble Ian and Will went to for us. Thank you guys! I hope you know how much we appreciate all you do for us.

Vitamin K information:

Sorry it took me a few days to get back to this. Vitamin K is not written about widely so I wanted to run my thoughts by my vegan RD friend (Thank you Courtney!) to confirm that I was giving you complete and accurate information. Here is what we know:

• There are multiple types of vitamin K but the most important are K1 and K2
• K1 comes predominantly from green plants but is not well absorbed typically less than 5%
• K2 comes predominantly from fermented foods (natto and cheese) but also from meat and poultry in much smaller amounts
• K2 is also created by good bacteria in the human large intestine but not in a sufficient amount for good health
• increased consumption of K2 is associated with a reduction in hip fracture
• increased consumption of K2 is also associated with a reduction in cancer mortality (with a stronger association for men and also with lung and prostate cancer)
• dietary deficiency is rare because vitamin K is recycled in the body, but it can occur after long term usage of antibiotics
• according to my RD friend our bodies produce K2 from K1 in the amount that we need for good health.

I will say that was not what I expected to find after the article at eat to defeat website pushing the consumption of hard cheese for its vitamin K2 content. This just proves that when you look into the details there is almost always more to know.

BTW if you still want to increase your consumption K2 the content in 3.5 ounces of natto is 1,000 mcg compared to 70 in the same quantity of hard cheese. Not that isn’t a typo it is 1,000 compared to 70. It does make you wonder why anyone would suggest cheese and not mention natto doesn’t it?

Happy Thoughts:

It was a good Saturday and here are my happy thoughts:

• Since I opted to go with leftover black bean soup and a quick salad that made for a very relaxing Saturday. Sometimes it is nice to take it easy and not spend much time in the kitchen. The funny thing is that how much everyone enjoys the food seems unrelated to the time it took to make it. :-)

• Dinner out was lovely Saturday night. There are times when I don’t feel like getting dressed up to go out but I always have a great time when we do. I also loved getting more ideas for things to make at home. Eating out is always a source of culinary inspiration for me. Of course it is always great to see everyone and get caught up. However there were a few people working last night that we didn’t know by name. Clearly we have not been getting there as often as we should. ;-) With spring approaching I am sure we will be correcting that problem soon. I love having dinner on the patio under the trees and that time will be here before you know it.

• It was fabulous to sleep in and get extra rest Friday night/Saturday morning. Sleeping in that one day a week is our weekly treat and we both enjoy it.

• My friend Brandi suggested that I pick up Falsies mascara from Maybelline and she knew what she was talking about. My lashes were fuller than when I use my regular Borghese mascara and the cost was significantly less. If you are getting older like I am and your lashes are starting to thin (hate that) you may want to give this stuff a try.

• I have been spending a good amount of time lately reading and learning more about nutrition and health. As you probably know this is something that I love doing. I am thankful to have the time to devote to my passion.

Signing out:

Thank you to all of you that took the time to let me know why you read the blog and what appeals to you.  Since it seems that most of you like reading about what we eat I will keep posting that.  Sometime this week I will be sharing the other items that I am considering adding and look forward to hearing your thoughts on them.  Pleast don't be shy with your opinions.   ;-)

Sunday has been a good day so far. It is always nice to spend time at home with my sweetie and the fur babies. It has been a restful weekend. Exactly the sort of thing you need to get recharged for the week ahead.  I made a very nice creamy mushroom and green pea soup that I will be sharing with you tomorrow. It is the perfect soup for a cool day.  Enjoy what is left of your weekend.  Talk to you again tomorrow.


  1. I have tried to comment on yourblog before but have never been able to - hoping this time it work. The picture of your cat is just precious :) Also, it sounds like you had a great dinner!

  2. Aw precious Binky! I love those roasted pears too!

  3. The foods and the pics are great. I have never tried spinach in oatmeal, yet. I am gonna try it one of these days when I eat oatmeal.

    Peace :)

  4. Hi Ali! I really like your idea of focusing on certain ingredients. I'd really be interested in learning more about ingredients that are more common with veggies/vegans but not so much omnis. For instance, natto, nutritional yeast, chia seeds etc. Also, I'd really be interested in hearing some types about how to plan to go on vacation,parties or eating at new restaurants.
    Thanks so much for asking us for input!
    Your marinated veggie salad is really intriguing. I need to try that very soon!

  5. I love tulsi tea! I hope your friends like it :-)

    That pear dish looks fantastic--I love roasted fruit.

    Eeeek! Sorry it took me so long to get back to you about the Vitamin K...I didn't realize you were waiting for me to do your blog post about it. Say something next time and I will be faster!


  6. I completely understand going to the same restaurant! I have a few places, too, but no one so far does as great a job as your place coming up with new things. I like that rapini dish - the sounds great!

  7. I just wanted to say I would appreciate the info on different foods. I find your blog to be very helpful at helping the rational side of my brain figure out good food choices. Still working on the emotional side that wants to devour chocolate like it is going out of style!

    I made your 'queso' with tomatoes, it was scrumptious. Thanks for blogging!

  8. I love reading about what you eat! I'm trying to go vegetarian and be more healthy and you are a real treasure trove of ideas and inspiration. Just keep doing what you do- so very well!


Related Posts with Thumbnails