Posted tagged ‘Tampa’

Bye-bye, Vegan… Bye-bye.

February 29, 2012

5 months.  Not too bad for an experiment that was supposed to last 21 days.  But, ultimately, veganism and I  parted ways on Valentine’s Day 2012.

Many, many good things came out of my being vegan for a bit…. not the least of which is my newfound ability to mix in a salad now and then.  I eat much better than I used to.  I realize that the food choices I make have an impact on animals and on the environment.  I am simply more aware.

But I missed the social aspects of eating.  I already don’t drink (which is a wise, wise choice on my part…), and cutting out another social outlet (like gathering for a meal) felt really isolating.  In all of Tampa, there was one restaurant where I could get brunch… and they serve vegan brunch once a month.  If we lived in a bigger place, with more vegan options, I know I could have made it work.  But we don’t, and ultimately I decided that, for this girl, being a vegetarian who enjoys vegan food now and again is enough.  And, boy, does being a vegetarian seem super easy now!  The freedom!  The choices! Whoa!

But I do miss the vegan community.  And to celebrate them, tonight I will enjoy a vegan oatmeal raisin cookie from Whole Foods.  Everyone, raise your almond milk!  (No, for real.  I love almond milk)



So What? I’m Still a Rock Star

January 12, 2012

Amy and I got a hall pass for the night.

We haven’t been out together without Monkeybutt in months.  It sucks to ask someone to babysit in the evenings.  Jane goes to bed at 6:30.  So, basically, we are asking someone to come over and sit in our house while the baby sleeps.  And we don’t even have cable.

But tonight, a friend launched his magazine The Local Dirt.  We decided to go out and support his endeavors to raise awareness about local and sustainable foods in the Tampa area.  Amy’s folks came over to sit in our house, not play with Jane and not watch cable.  And Amy and I headed out to party it up in Ybor City.

Okay, okay.  Partying it up for me means seeing a few old friends, drinking some icy ice water and taste testing the salsa from our friend’s new salsa company.  By the way, the Mango Habanero had a lovely smoky and spicy taste.  Definitely my favorite of his offerings.

Anyway, after the par-tay, I was starving.  Just like old times leaving Ybor, except I wasn’t drunk, I wasn’t climbing into a cab, and I still remembered my home address.  But I was hungry, so we headed for the Taco Bus.  I am embarrassed to say that, after 8 years of living in Tampa, this was my first trip to the Taco Bus.  How could I have waited so long?!  It is a BUS, out of which they serve TACOS!  Brilliant!  And so very delicious.  They offer multiple vegetarian options… and they had vegan steak strips!  I ordered the tacos (flour) with vegan steak strips and all the taco veggies.  I got two.  I would happily have put back four; they were that good.  And the green salsa on the table, go for it!  It is hot, but so very tasty.

Thank goodness Amy and I got out tonight.  Turns out we both remember how to socialize a bit.  And we both still know how to scarf down food at the end of the night.  We are rock stars!   (Not really at all)


Food for Friday

November 18, 2011

Two quick food related tidbits:

1) Jane & I had delicious vegan corn chowder from Cafe Hey today.  They had a vendor booth at the Tampa Downtown Market, and they were the only place with vegan food that I spotted.  I hadn’t gotten the opportunity to try their food before today, but I will definitely be back for more!   The chowder had a smoky taste, spicy without being hot.  Loved it.

The woman running the booth said that they aren’t carrying vegan baked goods right now, because she got tired of baking things folks weren’t buying.  But, she said she would be willing to give it a go again, if enough people showed interest.  So, if you live in Tampa, go visit Cafe Hey and let them know that you’d like some vegan treats.  But then you gotta go buy the stuff.

2)  I made Spinach Artichoke pizza for dinner, loosely based on this recipe. I totally used pre-made pizza crust from Whole Foods, but it worked out just fine.  The base sauce is tasty and creamy.  The nutmeg really pulls things together.  Of course, I left the cheese off my half, and I made the sauce with rice milk.  Both Amy and I did feel like the pizza might be missing an ingredient, though.  Maybe sun-dried tomatoes (which are suggested, but I didn’t use).  Or, even better, maybe baby portabellos and a balsamic reduction drizzled over the pizza.  Try the recipe.  Overall, a winner.