Monday, August 06, 2012

Eating Out-Vegan Style

Wesley Chapel, Florida

During our morning walk yesterday, we saw two hot air balloons heading our way.  Unfortunately they landed (or crashed) before they got to us.  I was hoping they would fly right overhead.

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Although Al and I are discovering many new foods and ways to prepare them, eating out is a bit more of a challenge. 

We have always eaten out a lot….mostly because I hate to cook and food tastes so much better when someone cooks it.   Smile

In the two weeks since we began our Vegan Experiment, we’ve only eaten out twice.  That’s some sort of a record for us.   At first we never left the house without bringing some snacks with us.  We were so afraid we’d get hungry and get tempted at a fast food restaurant.   Now, we’ve relaxed more and realize that the foods we are eating keep us satisfied and that we can actually pick up snacks at a convenience store if we had to.

One of our favorite restaurants is Sweet Tomatoes.  It’s like  a big salad bar on steroids. 

They have veggies, salads, home made soups and pastas, and all sorts of breads.  We wanted to take Mom out for lunch, and our choices were limited. 

At Sweet Tomatoes, we knew we could fill up on raw vegetables and salads, but we weren’t sure we would be satisfied or feel that we got our moneys worth.  We decided to give it a try.

I had to pass by some of my usual favorite things, but fortunately there were plenty of other healthy and tasty choices, many of which I had never even tried before.

Al passed up his favorite, which is their cheesy pizza bread.  He certainly could have handled a few pieces of the pizza, but he chose not to.  Good boy!

We both grabbed a baked potato, but then couldn't find anything to put on top of it.  I got the idea to spread a little of the delicious vegetarian soup on top of the potato and wow…was that delicious.  I think it was even better than with sour cream, butter,  and bacon bits!

We all three stayed vegan (even Mom)  and we all left feeling very satisfied and slightly stuffed. 

Our vegan experiment at Sweet Tomatoes worked out just fine.  We will definitely go back.  Now….can we still go to our other favorite, Outback?   Smile with tongue out

Mom is interested in our new way of eating and is giving it a try.  She has so many health problems, so maybe this will help her.  

 

After we ate, we took Mom to a local Nutrition S’mart  (health food store)  and got her some groceries.   It’s a little more difficult for her because she needs easy things that she can fix when she doesn’t feel well…..which is most of the time.   I really think a better diet would do wonders for her.  She is like we were two weeks ago….what the heck do you eat anyway?? 

It started pouring rain while we were inside, but fortunately it was a fast moving downpour, and quit shortly.  At that point we decided to forego any other shopping and get home before the bottom fell out again.  

The weather has been normal for Florida in the summer.  Hot, humid and rainy.  There is no drought going on here.   In fact we are closely watching two tropical storms. Ernesto is expected to become a hurricane and stay to the south of us, Florence is right behind, with a couple more trying to develop.   September is the big month for hurricane development and it starts to heat up in August.    Hurricane seasons ends November 30th…4 more months.

We really need to get out and do something fun.  It’s been way too long.  We’re close to some beautiful rivers for kayaking and there are some nice beaches nearby.  

The driveshaft disconnect part is in, so next week, we’re taking the new truck to Clearwater to have it installed, the tow bracket put on and the braking system transferred over.  Once that’s done we’ll be able to tow the new truck behind the motor home.   Not that really matters at this point.

19 comments:

  1. I love hot air balloons. We had a great time volunteering at the Albuquerque Balloon Festival a few years back.
    We have never tried Sweet Tomatoes. Thanks for the review. We will now stop in.

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  2. Quite the challenge eating out and stayin on track. You did well. You've even defeated the call of the Outback... :c)

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  3. We love Sweet Tomatoes. And in AZ they offer a special for seniors on certain days of the week. Keep an eye on those storms. Maybe hurricane season won't be too awful this year.

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  4. Hm. Looks like you have some spam masquerading as a comment. Usually they're gibberish, but it seems 'Gary' is selling something.
    There are days when we actually get by just fine without meat at all. Especially since I find some items a bit hard to digest. Usually that's a pretty good sign.
    I haven't gotten all "evangelical" about it just yet though. Still like a burger once in awhile, but prefer to make them myself.

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    1. got em! Gary is gone!

      We may also have an occasional steak or lobster, but for right now we're perfectly happy being vegan.

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  5. Eating out can definitely be a challenge, glad Sweet Tomatoes worked out well for you. If you like Thai food, many Thai dishes can be made vegan easily - substituting tofu for the meats and asking they leave out any eggs or fish sauce.

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  6. Hard to believe hurricane season is here. Hope they miss you.

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  7. Last night I made a big mess of grilled veggies, peppers, yellow squash, asparagus, small egg plant in my veggie grill pan. I took four
    Portobello mushrooms, degilled them, brushed them with a bit of oil and grilled them for three minutes. I removed the veggies from the tray, put in the mushrooms, (put on just a little Asiago Cheese for flavor- you could skip it for a Vegan version and maybe just splash on some Balsamic Vinegar or seasoning salt.) Then I buried the mushroom with the veggies and put it all back on the grill to heat it thru.

    No meat needed! Two each were very satisfying.

    I used less than 3 ounces of the Asiago for two servings. I just weighed the remaining cheese from the Fridge.

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    1. Thanks Merikay. Sounds good. I've been surprised at how much good food is out there that we never knew about....like hummus...yummy! Keep the recipes coming...I know you and Craig are into good foods.

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  8. Our favorite baked potato topping is fresh, delicious SALAS!!! A big potato with salas and some fresh veggies and dinner is served!!!

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    1. Great idea....sounds good and easy too!

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  9. Just not eating out as much would be great for Judy and I, let alone eating a healthy meal when eating out. You and Al are awesome. Maybe we will one day follow the path ya'l are blazing.

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    1. You'd be surprised how easy it really is. No hunger, no cravings and lots of good food. If you only knew how Al was, you'd be shocked. He was a big time meat eater and he hated vegetables!!

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  10. Good for you guys on your stick-to-itness!

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  11. Love your colorful bird shot by the way.

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  12. Glad you are finding restaurants that work for the new food style.

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  13. I'm still reading all about this Vegan lifestyle you're on and it is interesting. I'm not near buying it yet though.

    I'm just curious - did either you or Al check with your physician for advice before embarking on such a big diet change?

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    1. No Rick, but I don't have too much confidence in my doctor anyway. He's too eager to prescribe medicine and without ever mentioning diet changes.

      Watch the video Forks over Knives.....I bet you'd find it interesting if nothing else.

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