Monday, December 30, 2013

Restaurant Review: Thai Steak House

 


I have a secret for you.  There is a place in Ozark, Arkansas, where you can get the best tofu curry I have ever had.  Josh used to work in a cabinet shop in the area when we were in college, and occasionally we'd meet down in Ozark at the Thai Steak House.  The first time we went, I was very wary from the outside, but the food is amazing.  Every time we come through the area, we try to stop.  So, when I wanted to meet up with my roommate, David, from college, that's where we went.


The menu has changed slightly, adding sushi, but most of my favorites were still there.  To this day, no other restaurant can make crispy, firm tofu cubes like this place.  We ordered tea and looked over the menu, but I knew what I wanted.



Spring rolls.  I search and search in restaurants for good spring rolls, but none are as good as these.  Ask for them without egg and with tofu (not shrimp) to make vegan, and you'll be super happy.  The peanut sauce that comes with it is amazing, especially with a hit of sriracha.  They had edemame on the menu this time, so I ordered that as well.




For my lunch, I ordered the Thai Green Curry.  They don't list tofu as an option on really anything on the menu, but they are always happy to swap out the meat.  Even non-veg heads would love their tofu.  It's perfectly cooked.  The curry arrived smelling wonderful and perfectly hot, with a small side of rice.  The vegetables were fresh and just cooked enough, and everything together tasted great.  There was just enough heat and just enough sweet from the coconut milk to make the entire meal balanced.




I know this place is a bit out of the way, even from the interstate, but it's worth the drive.  If you're headed through Arkansas, I would try to make a stop and discover this wonderful restaurant.  The owners are friendly and happy to help with questions, and you won't be disappointed.


  Thai Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Better Late than Never Xmas Recap


I know it's about a week since Christmas, but we just got back in town, and I wanted to let you know how the Vegan Christmas Menu worked out.  This was my first year with Josh's family, made even more special by our engagement, and I wanted to show them what a vegan holiday spread looks like.  It went over very well!



We headed to Fort Smith on Christmas Eve, stopping at Pho Vietnam on our way in.  It's close to Josh's mom's house, and they have the best tofu banh mi sandwiches I've ever had.  We got a couple to go and headed over to see the family.  Josh's mom and I puttered around the kitchen until family arrived that evening.  There was a big traditional spread, but I brought a huge amount of vegan food.  The curry roasted broccoli was completely eaten, so was the portabello wellington.  I tweaked the recipe, and I'm going to play with it and post it on here soon.  The salad was roasted butternut squash, green apples and walnuts over spinach.  I think I might have been the only one that ate any, but it sustained me the rest of the week.  The sweet potato casserole took awhile to cook, I had to add more liquid to get it to steam, but it was tasty.




Everyone tried the food and said it was great.  Spreading veganism one family meal at a time!  I think the portabello wellington was my favorite.  It was amazing.


This was my Christmas Eve plate.  It was nice to see another family tradition.  In my house, we do everything on Christmas Day, but Josh's family had a big party Christmas Eve.  There were cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents.  It was really nice.  My whole family lives in New England, and I see them once every 4 years or so, so being around a big family was really fun.

We spent Christmas day drinking champagne and doing puzzles.  It was nice.  We ate the rest of the leftovers from the night before and relaxed.



Thursday, we spent a lot of time with Josh's grandparents.  His grandma even made us an amazing quilt!  We grabbed dinner at Market Place Grill.  I had them veganize the asian salad, and it was really tasty.  I kept trying to make it over to McP Hot Yoga Studio, but I never made it fit in our schedule.  We played some video games and watched scary movies and spent time with Josh's family.  All in all, it was a very nice trip.

On our way back to Little Rock, we stopped over in Ozark to have lunch with one of my roommates from college in town from New York.  I'll give you a full recap on that tomorrow.


This week on the blog I'll be recapping our amazing Thai food lunch, a great brunch at our friends' fire station, our menu for New Year's Eve, and healthy eats for the week.  I'm also prepping for my Arbonne detox, and there might even be a giveaway!

Did you have a good Holiday?

Friday, December 27, 2013

Arbonne 28 Day Detox

www.arbonne.com
I'm not usually one to put a whole lot of stock in the whole "detox" craze, but every now and then, I do feel like I need to hit the reset button.  I can feel when I've been eating too much salty, heavy, sugary foods, and I crave fresh fruits and veggies.  In years past, I've done the Crazy Sexy Diet and Eat to Live.  These are more like road maps, and you create your diet from there.  The Arbonne detox I'm doing comes with a lot of things tailored to help you succeed, and it seems a little more structured.

promotional Arbonne material

Obviously this diet isn't catered specifically for vegans, but all of the products I ordered are vegan.  I'll be starting the day with a protein shake with nut milk and berries, then another for lunch and a lean green dinner.  I'm so excited to hit the reset button.  I'm also excited to take a month off from drinking.  I usually do a "No Drink January."

Here is what I found on the net as a typical day:


I will be blogging every day to give you the ups and downs, and I'm sure I'll have a recap about it at the end.  So, there might be a LOT of photos of smoothies, and I might be eating the same thing every day, so I'll focus more on how I'm feeling, what my workouts are, and that sort of thing.

I have also moved one step closer to being cleared for returning to my full workout schedule.  I have probably a week worth of healing left from my last doctor's appointment, but I should be ready to start half marathon training in January.  I also want to return to my yoga schedule and add things like BarreAmped, spinning and weekend hikes.

The cleanse will allow me to not have to think too hard about breakfast and lunch, but I will have some leeway at dinner.  I have been very excited to come up with creative and tasty dinners in the parameters of the "detox."  I started an Arbonne Detox Recipe pinterest board, and I'll be posting to that and reviewing those recipes throughout the month of January.


If you have any "go-to" clean dinner recipes, I would love to hear them!

**These opinions are my own.  I have no affiliation with Arbonne and do not rep their products.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Fitbook


A few weeks ago, I ordered a fitbook on Amazon, and so far, I love it.  I'm a compulsive list maker, and I love keeping track of my nutrition and workouts.  I am also a little compulsive, and when it comes to things like calorie counting, I get obsessed.  So, I feel like this is a nice balance.




General Idea

The book has spaces for entries for 12 weeks.  You set your overall goals for those 3 months, writing out your fitness and nutrition goals, as well as weight and measurements (if you want.)  Then, at the beginning of each week, you set smaller weekly goals.  Then, you simply track your workouts and food intake each day.  At the end of the week, you have a recap of how you did.  Then, at the end of the 12 weeks, you see how close you got to your goals.

I watched this review on YouTube, and I found it very useful!

Initial Thoughts

I really like this so far.  The notebook is a little thick, but it fits in my purse.  I really liked the pen that came with it, but it already broke.  I have a regular pen in it right now, and it works fine.  I do find myself analyzing where the bulk of my diet is (fats, sugar and grain) just after the first week.  I think it will help to make me more aware.

I will do a recap of the 12 weeks when the book is full and let you know if I plan on buying another one.


**I have no affiliation with Fitbook.  These opinions are strictly my own.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Holiday Surprise

I have something exciting to tell you....











After 8 years together, Josh and I have decided to get married. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
I hope your day is filled with as much happiness as ours.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Clean Out the Kitchen Curry


This past weekend, we were really getting ready for the Holidays (cooking, cleaning, present wrapping), so I didn't really focus on what we were eating.  Saturday morning, I was standing in the kitchen thinking... hm.. we have nothing to eat today.  So, I opened the pantry, pulled out the crock pot, and started making curry.




This is definitely a "throw everything you have sitting around" together kind of meal.  I made a base, then cooked the quinoa separately.

Clean Out the Kitchen Curry

Ingredients:

2 cans garbanzo beans
1 can Mexican rotelle, undrained
1 can hot rotelle, undrained
1 tbs coconut oil
1 bottle peanut dipping sauce 
1 can pureed pumpkin
1 can coconut water
1 cup water
2 pucks of vegan soup seasoning
1 cup raw cashews
1 bag frozen green beans
1 cup quinoa (dry)


  • Add all ingredients except quinoa to crock pot.  Cover and cook on high for 2 hours.  Put on low, you can let it cook longer but it will be ready to eat.
  • Cook quinoa with 2 cups water in rice cooker.  




This made a ton of curry, and it was really delicious.  I didn't have to add any further ingredients, because it was already very flavorful.  I might use a little less of the peanut sauce the next time, because it made it kind of oily.



Are you trying to eat the food in your house before the New Year?  Are you doing any diets to start 2014?