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What I Ate Wednesday (24): Deluxe Dining Edition

Posted Feb 29 2012 8:30am

I’ve been dining out a lot lately, mostly due to special events and invitations—and it couldn’t have come at a better time, either, as I’ve been in something of a food rut as of late. So, for this week’s WIAW (courtesy of Jenn , as per usual), I decided to share photos of my restaurant noshing and discuss my experiences and the like. Enjoy!

Two weekends ago, the husband and I visited our favorite Thai haunt, Diamond Thai Cuisine , which I’ve featured here before . And of course, I ordered “the usual.”

Fresh tofu spring rolls with peanut-sesame dipping sauce. The best ever!

The usual is called Pad Eggplant, and it is TO DIE FOR. As soon as eggplant is in season, I'll post my recipe recreation.

What's so great about this restaurant is that it offers steamed brown rice--and just the right portion, too!

Then, last weekend, we eagerly returned to Sanaa’s 8th St. Gourmet , our absolute favorite /Mediterranean restaurant (and one of our favorite restaurants of all time, too!), for their Saturday lunch buffet—amazing food, 80% of which is vegan-friendly!

Clockwise from left: tossed greens salad with a dob of hummus, muhammara, and green olive tapenade on top; bulghur pilaf; a roasted mushroom & potato dish; eggplant moussaka. Of course, I went back for seconds of the moussaka! Everything was delicious, though, and I just love how balanced all the macronutrients are, too--protein, whole grains, healthy fats, and beaucoup veggies!

That same evening, we were invited out to dinner by some dear family friends. We went to Minervas , whose menu is very heavy on the meat. In fact, the menu has no vegetarian (let alone vegan) entrées. Fortunately, these friends’ daughter and son-in-law are vegetarian and vegan, respectively, so they were very much aware of our plant-based needs and also of a couple strategies for ordering. In the end, I successfully raided the salad bar and concocted a complete and satisfying (both physically and emotionally) meal—proof that vegans can find suitable options even in some of the most unlikely places!

A concoction of so many different things, really . . . greens; black olives; banana peppers; black bean-corn salsa; marinated veggie medley; pickled beets (YAY!); the most amazing balsamic-marinated baby onions; all topped with sunflower seeds. The bread basket also happily contained a whole wheat alternative to its white counterpart, and it was very tasty! Reminded me of the to-die-for whole wheat baguettes I devoured in France.

Finally, just last night, my usual group convened for our February feast. Here are the delicious dishes we shared:

Gypsy soup, containing a variety of veggies, chickpeas & green peas, sweet potato, and spices. So yummy and perfect for yesterday's chilly, rainy weather.

Whole grain pasta salad with zucchini, white beans, slivered almonds, and a tasty spice blend.

Pumpkin-almond butter "crumble" bars

Banana bread with vegan chocolate chips

Fresh fruit platter--I adore grapefruit!

~~~

On a totally unrelated note, guess who’s going to talk to Jillian Michaels this afternoon? This girl! Yes, I emailed some questions to her podcast crew, and I received an email back asking if I’d be available to call in. Oh. My. Lordy. Lou. I’m going to be chatting one-on-one with one of my fitness gurus! If you’re interested you’ll be able to find the podcast here in the near future. I highly recommend subscribing, too: they’re fascinating talks!


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