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Sunday, December 12, 2010

So We Wheat Again

I had a few run ins with that bully, Wheat last week. I don't know if Wheat is more a bully or a sweet talker, but either way, Wheat is trouble!

I went to the Loving Hut in Tampa for the first time last week to listen to a presentation from Nick Cooney, the director of the Humane League. There also happened to be a very affordable buffet for the occasion, so I hopped in line. Unfortunately, most of the offerings were pasta-based. Ho hum.
At least there was soup, which was PERFECT because it was a cold night.

This soup had an interesting consistency. It was mostly creamy. It had coconut, rice, and tofu.
I went ahead and grabbed a little bit of everything, for the sake of reviewing. (The things I do for this blog, eh?)

Another con to the offerings: too many mock meats! Mock meats weird me out a bit. I definitely did not like the meatballs, and the chicken-esque bits in that creamy pasta dish were a little too realistic (I haven't eaten meat since 1995, but those chunks almost gave me a disturbing flashback). That dish could have used more broccoli and other veggies, less weird stuff, though the sauce was awesome. (I'm not sure if this was supposed to be like alfredo sauce or not. I don't remember what alfredo tastes like!) The tofu was fine and the eggplant chunks were a bit undercooked. So really, the offerings were VERY hit or miss. This tapioca-based pudding was fun, though.

The creamy pasta with mushroom and broccoli was the best of the options.

This was my first time at the Loving Hut, and a friend of mine there said that the buffet offerings didn't quite reflect their regular menu. I'd be willing to give them another try some day.

Then the next day, a friend invited me out to pizza. Oy. Not the smartest of moves, but when a nice person invites you to get pizza, you go, am I right? We went to Mellow Mushroom. Unfortunately, their gluten-free crusts are not vegan, but their regular crust and sauce is. They now offer Daiya cheese, as well.
My friend ordered a small field salad, which I helped eat.

Hummus was also ordered (note the cucumber slices - that'd be my wheat-free dippers right there).

We ordered the pizza with the most veggies on it: the Mega Veggie sans cheese. Since it included crumbled tofu, we skipped the Daiya.

sun dried tomatoes, green peppers, spinach, mushrooms, olives, onions, broccoli, Roma tomato, and artichoke hearts. Whew! Mellow Mushroom should make the Mega Veggie available as a salad, as well.

So, between Loving Hut and Mellow Mushroom, I was quickly wheated out. I'm ashamed to admit this, but because of my schedule these days, I hadn't cooked at home in days. I'd just been eating salads, raw veggies with hummus, Larabars, and then eating on the go with friends. On Wednesday, I was happy to get back in the kitchen and whip up a couple dinners for myself: Wednesday night I roasted Brussels sprouts with bell peppers and ate it with quinoa and spinach. Thursday night I made a cozy little pot of red lentil stew, throwing in the leftover quinoa at the last minute. It all worked together nicely. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of either of these, nor of the dinner and dessert I made with my friend, D: stuffed green bell peppers and a fruit crisp. I've been slacking, folks!

I won a coupon for a free Tofurky product during Vegan MoFo and finally used it a few days ago on their Hickory Smoked Tempeh Bacon. Before trying this product, I hadn't been able to find a way to truly enjoy tempeh.

Let me say, I LOVE THIS! Granted, there is SOME wheat in it, but it's soooo good. I didn't even heat it; I just tore the strips into pieces and added them to a salad, and it was heavenly.

I will certainly be purchasing this tempeh again.
And of course, everything is better with Annie's goddess dressing.

Speaking of goddess dressing, I have turned TWO people to the ways of the goddess: a fellow vegan, and an omnivore. Goddess is quite the siren of salad dressings.

Also, check out this CLUB of Annie's I picked up at the Greenwise Market a couple of weeks ago.

BAM! You could seriously club someone with this bottle.

And it was less than a dollar more than what the normal size would cost at any other grocery store.


  1. I have the same love-hate affair with wheat. I like to eat it, but too much wreaks havoc on me! I will definitely have to try the Tofurky bacon; thanks for the review!

    Oh, I've been to a Loving Hut in NYC. It's good, not great, but better than "typical" fast food.

  2. Tapioca pudding is the best! I can't wait for the day I get to eat at a Loving Hut.

  3. First, I love veggies (cucumber, celery and carrots) and hummus as much as pita and hummus.

    Second, that pizza looks so good. Lately, I haven't been getting veggies on my pizza because they're soooo expensive per topping, and I'm on a budget. I'd rather just get veggies and eat them. I do miss a big veggie-loaded pizza though. Now that I'm working, I can afford it!

    Third, Annie's Goddess Dressing is out of this world.

    Fourth, I'm going to have to get some of that marinated tempeh.

    Fifth, Loving Hut is always hit and miss! I dream of a chain of restaurants called Vegan Around the World. That's after I become a million dollar screenwriter, vegan travel for three years and write a few books.

    Sixth, thanks for your support over on my blog.