Summer Succotash

>> Thursday, July 17, 2014

Most summers, my Tennessee family meets up with the South Florida family in the panhandle. We bring our dogs, rent a beach house, take turns cooking, and watch the sunset everynight. I decided to share this Summer Succotash I made to accompany Tuesday's burrito night. It's really fresh and sweet. I sort of wung it, so measurements are really just suggestions.

2 mangos, diced
raw sweet corn (four cobs)
1 can of seasoned butter beans
2 tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
juice of 2 limes
s&p to taste

My cousin, Carey, and I were lucky enough to be the same age growing up at the beach. And now we're back 20+ years later, with Carey about to have her own little one and me about to be a godmother (!!!!!!!).

Here's some photos I've been taking over the last few days. Sorry, it was difficult to edit them down.

p.s. Despite being a Floridian, this is Oliver's first time at the beach (and he loves it).


Summer Luau Potluck

>> Tuesday, July 1, 2014

While this party actually took place at the start of Summer, I decided to time this post around July 4th in case anyone needs party inspiration. Considering most July 4th celebrations seem to revolve around grilling meat, you may want to take matters into your own hands and host your own this year!

While I love to cook, I decided to make this shindig a potluck (Which is definitely the way to go if your party is at all last minute). It takes some pressure off of you and gives you the time to focus on just a couple really good dishes and some kick ass decorations.

We ended up with burgers and dogs from the grill, potato salad, cole slaw, penne a la vodka, and a fresh fruit salad with mint and chocolate ice cream!

To throw a successful luau you will also need lots of tropical drink fixins and a Mojito Magician on call at all times.


And if you're lucky enough to have an outdoor space, hellllooooo! USE IT!

Not enough seating? Throw some damn blankets out. These nerds loved 'em!

See? Hosting is easy. Happy 4th Everyone!


Summer Zucchini & Pine Nut Linguine

>> Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cooking for family brings me a lot of joy. While most of my family remains omnivorous, they are usually pretty down with vegan food. I prepped this dish for Mother's Day dinner and it was a pretty big success. It's a nice, refreshing way to remix your everyday pasta routine. I modified this recipe from a magazine. And truthfully, I didn't keep track of measurements too much, but I think it's pretty hard to mess up. Just taste along the way and you'll be fine!


1 package Linguine pasta
Three large zucchinis, peeled
1 package pine nuts
FRESH parsley
lemon juice
olive oil

1. While your linguine cooks, toast your pine nuts in the oven until golden brown
2. Make long thin strips of zucchini using a vegetable peeler
3. For the dressing, combine equal parts lemon juice and olive oil with lots of fresh parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Process it in a food processor. Measure with your taste buds!
4. Combine pasta and zucchini in a large bowl. Mix with your dressing and top with pine nuts, extra parsley, and lemon wedges

Love you, Mom!!!


Theme Park Vegan

>> Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Vegan in EPCOT

Some of you may remember my post from the last time I visited Disney World. On that visit, I kinda wung it food-wise. But it still serves as a good guide to vegan-friendly counter service options. This time, planning ahead allowed us to eat at some really great restaurants.

The only park that we didn't make any food reservations at was Epcot. Given that they have the World Showcase, you're bound to find something. Still, my jaw literally dropped when I saw "VEGAN Mongolian Beef" on the menu in the main cafeteria area. Like, what?! How did I not hear about this in all the research I did prior to visiting? Nonetheless, it was delicious. I'm thinkin' they used TVP.

In "Morocco" you can land a pretty sweet vegetable plate complete with falafel. Not to mention, the Moroccan espresso is pretty dang yum.

And some shaved ice in "Japan". Go for the Tangerine!

Our fanciest meal of the trip was had at BOMA's Flavors of Africa, located in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. When we arrived, the chef walked me around the buffet and pointed out everything that was vegan. I could easily eat half of the dishes offered, all of which delicious. The must-try's were the mango vinaigrette and watermelon rhine salad! Our server was even nice enough to print us out recipes to our favorite dishes. 

The only area that the buffet was lacking in was dessert. There wasn't anything other than fruit. This is why I felt like a friggin' queen when the chef brought out this assortment of Toffuti ice creams, sorbet, and vegan brownie cupcakes!

Vegan in the Magic Kingdom

We also made reservations at Liberty Tree Tavern and Be Our Guest Restaurant. I've been waiting to try the Quinoa Potato burger with Tofu Tzatziki dressing at the Tavern for a while. It was definitely satisfying, but didn't necessary live up to my expectations. I think next time I'll stick with the hummus sandwich and chili from the Columbia Harbor House

They offer different vegan items during both lunch and dinner at Be Our Guest. I've only been for dinner so far, but the salad trio and quinoa vegetable plate is really great. Plus, the atmosphere is the best. 

Vegan in Hollywood Studios

We unknowingly visited during Star Wars weekend. 
And thank goodness for that.
We ate at the 50's Prime Time Cafe. First off, the atmosphere is super nostalgic and on point. You feel like you're eating in a 1950's kitchenette while the Mickey Mouse Club plays on vintage television sets. They offer a Vegetarian Spaghetti and "Meat"balls, which can be made vegan by omitting butter and subbing olive oil. PLUS! They made me a peanut butter and jelly milkshake with vanilla Tofutti! So don't forget to ask!!

But before you leave Orlando, don't forget there's some awesome local vegan spots. Like entirely vegan restaurant, Ethos! We feasted on fresh garlic knots, crispy sesame green beans, Philly hoagies, cole slaw, mashed potatoes, you name it. Seriously, one of my all-time favorite vegan restaurants. Hands down.



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