Welcome to Nature Maven's Healthy Eating Healthy Planet Blog

Welcome! If you're a vegan, you'll find support and suggestions you may be able to use here. If you're a vegetarian as I was when I started this blog in June 2008, reading my archived posts may be of interest to you. If you haven't gotten here already, I hope you'll consider trying the vegan way of life, too.

As I try new recipes, learn to eat in restaurants, entertain non-veg friends and make the changes necessary to bring my life into greater harmony with the planet, I share what I learn. And little joys and other thoughts get thrown into the mix here, too.

In March 2009 after starting to read The Engine 2 Diet by vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn, I became fully vegan, to the best of my knowledge and ability, and I post entries here as I live and learn in this lifestyle. It's definitely a process of experience and discovery.

Please check out the Vegan News Headlines supplied by Google News Reader down on the right, and see my Blogroll for just a few of the choice blogs and websites I've found useful.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

New Vegan-Friendly Restaurant

We were out shopping in Lowe's today looking for hanging plants, CFL replacements for the track lighting and more, and I suddenly felt out of energy. The plan to go grocery shopping and then have lunch at home was scrapped and we headed to the closest quicky lunch spot, a Moe's Southwestern Grill that just opened in an adjacent strip mall. I was already feeling sorry for myself that I'd have to get something with no cheese, no sour cream, and probably no flavor. Well, was I wrong! They offer grilled marinated tofu as one of their "meat" selections and have a Southwestern Vinaigrette dressing that is really good, and dairy free. I had a "Close Talker" salad in a fried flour tortilla bowl, yummy but more calories than I should have had. Mr. Maven had a burrito with about half the calories of my lunch, but his came with chips and guacamole, and adding those in made us about even. Nevertheless, knowing I can have any of their entrees with tasty tofu and no cheese or sour cream and really enjoy it made my day.

I've been totally vegan about 6 weeks now, and eating out here in PA has been pretty challenging. Where I can go and eat vegan without deprivation: Olive Garden, Red Robin, Subway or our local Italian takeout place (getting a veggie hero and bringing it home to add my own vegan cheese and cold cuts), Chili's (the black bean burger's okay but not great, and the portobello fajitas are pretty good); Sweet Cream ice cream shoppe where they serve a delicious peanut butter and chocolate chip sandwich.

We go to a nice restaurant not far from the house called Robert Christian's. They have a varied menu and the chef has been willing to make me a lovely Pasta Primavera. Last time, however, despite my stressing no butter or cheese, it tasted very buttery and seemed to be sprinkled with Parmesan. Mr.Maven, an omnivore eschewing red meat now, has to put up with my ever shrinking list of options at home and out, but he's patient.

Tonight I am having Road's End Mac & Chreese for the first time. I added half a tablespoon of Earth Balance margarine and a drained can of mushrooms. I'm fixing Mr. Maven turkey meatballs and marinara over Dreamfield's linguine, and we'll share a nice salad and some mixed veggies.

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