After speaking to a group of young writers, hubby and I visited Legume Kitchen and Bar in Fredericksburg, VA. We had meant to visit on Valentine’s Day but I wasn’t feeling well. We always meant to make the trip and since the restaurant was only 15 minutes away from the library, it was a perfect time to visit!
Although Legume isn’t a vegan restaurant, they had plenty of plant-based options available. We started off our meal with vegan nachos. For my entree, I ordered the Meatless Ball Sandwich and a side salad. It was a hearty sandwich made with garbanzo bean fritters, marinara sauce and vegan mozzarella. My husband ordered the coconut-green curry rice noodles meal with shitake mushrooms, tofu and bok choy. We ordered dessert, too: dark chocolate cake with rasberry torte and for him, a mango sorbet. Even though the chocolate cake wasn’t my favorite, I definitely indulged in a few bites. Everything was well-made and I am planning a trip back to Legume in the very near future.
Hubby and I did a lot of running around today so we started off our day with one of his signature smoothies. He loves making green smoothies for us and provides smoothies for his co-workers. When we got married, we both started making smoothies and juices. We also have done a couple of juice cleanses over the years. I wanted to feature a smoothie because we decided to get back to drinking them more often for breakfast.
Back from my two-week hiatus! It was good to take a break but now it’s time to get back to sharing these recipes, my writing and plant-based wellness journey. Saturday night, Jeff and I went to a friend’s house for our second vegan potluck. Our group consisted of two other couples and their combined 8 children. Since we don’t have kids, it’s lovely to visit a home filled with the warmth of laughing, playing children.
We had our first vegan potluck in December and it was such a hit, we decided to do it again. It was comforting to be around other plant-based people, share new recipes and just have some fun!
This time around, we brought shepherd’s pie and salted chocolate chip cookies made with quinoa flour (delicious!). There was also mac and cheese, Watergate salad (a marshmallow dessert), veggie kebabs, cupcakes with chocolate frosting and hummus and tortilla chips.
As with all gatherings of friends, the best part was the company. Three different couples sharing their lives, a meal and and hopefully more of a future.
2cups chopped vegetarian chicken strips or 2 cups firm tofu, cut in tiny cubes
2pie crusts (either store bought or your own recipe)
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Saute onion, celery, carrots and potatoes in butter for 10 minutes.
Add flour to sauteed mixture, stirring well Cook one minute stirring constantly.
Combine broth and half and half.
Gradually stir into vegetable mixture.
Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.
Stir in salt and pepper and tyme; add tofu and stir well.
Pour into shallow 2 quart casserole dish and top with pie shells.
Cut slits to allow steam to escape.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly and cooked through.
He added broccoli, mushrooms and cilantro, replaced the onion broth with vegetable broth and the half and half with almond milk (to make it vegan) but forgot to add carrots. We are trying to stay away from soy so tofu didn’t make it into our veggie pot pie. It didn’t matter. It was tasty..we probably should have let it sit a while longer before cutting into it but the flavor was all there. Definitely would try again!
Tonight, hubby found the recipe on a website for No Meat Athlete. He and I are considering following their meal plans for a week to accelerate the process on our wellness journey. Plus, the site is full of whole foods plant-based recipes which I would like to cook regularly. It’s so easy to fall into the vegan junk food or takeout trap. It’s delicious but ultimately costly and more calorie laden than cooking at home. Here is the recipe:
1-2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (optional)
1 Small Onion, chopped
2 Celery Ribs, diced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
¾ teaspoon Dry Rosemary
1 cup any Tomato Sauce
6 cups Vegetable Stock
1 can (15 ounces) or 1.5 cups cooked Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 bunch Kale (about 8 leaves), preferably Lacinato (Dinosaur), torn into bite-size pieces, coarse stems removed
4 ounces Whole Wheat or Alternative-Grain Linguine, broken into 1 to 2 inch lengths (or choose a bite-size pasta)
Sea salt, to taste
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Heat the oil, if using, in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the onion, celery, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of the rosemary and cook until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. If not using oil, add a few splashes of water as needed to keep ingredients from drying and burning.
Add the tomato sauce, vegetable stock, and chickpeas, and bring to a boil.
Add the kale and after about 5 minutes, add the pasta and stir occasionally. (This assumes your pasta will take 7 to 8 minutes to cook. If you’re using pasta that takes 12 to 15 minutes, add the pasta when you add the kale.)
When the pasta is al dente, remove the soup from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with the remaining teaspoon of fresh rosemary and optionally, a drizzle of olive oil.
We loved it.. not oily and filling for sure! So glad we chose to sign up for these recipes!