Archive for August, 2012

August 30, 2012

Ethos Vegan Kitchen: An Affordable Vegan Gem in Central Florida

by ashley

There is hope for Central Florida’s dining scene after all – a late night vegan option on a Sunday! We were driving through the streets of Winter Park at 10:00 PM on a Sunday, scouring Yelp for something yummy, healthy and OPEN. When finally I stumbled upon Ethos Vegan Kitchen, I knew instantly that we had to try it. Ethos Vegan Kitchen has been in Central Florida since 2007, although recently moving to Winter Park from Downtown Orlando. They have a large, welcoming dining area and are open seven days a week until 11:00 PM. They also serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays – which I’m excited to try the next time I’m in Orlando.

If you are vegan, you must try this restaurant. If you are not vegan, you must try this restaurant. If you are a beer drinking, steak devouring man, you must try this restaurant. Ethos Vegan Kitchen is the epitome of vegan-conversion restaurants. Bring your whole family here, they will be amazed that there are absolutely no animal products in the dishes. Ethos has a great FAQ section on their website, where they explain that they aren’t interested in converting you. Believe me, you won’t need to be persuaded with food this delicious.

According to the reviews online, and Ethos’ menu, the most popular menu items are their “What’s the Dilly, Philly?”, a philly cheese-seitan sandwich, and the Pecan Encrusted Eggplant, which we tried cheerfully. We opted for the garlic knots as an appetizer and a vegan beer to drink. The biggest compliment my longtime boyfriend gave was that he couldn’t even tell the food was vegan. Coming from a big meat-rice-and-beans guy, that is a huge accomplishment for Ethos.


Oh, the garlic knots ($3.95) – I will be dreaming of you. Who cares if I had to down a pack of Altoids after, every bite was worth it. A great opening dish, the garlic knots are fluffy, garlicky rolls served with a simple butter sauce.

The “What’s the Dilly, Philly?” ($8.75), a crusty roll filled with grilled onions, red and green peppers, mozzarella cheese, veganaise and succulent marinated seitan. Absolutely, deliciously addictive. We took half home and it was even better the next morning for breakfast. Just pop it in the toaster oven, it gets gooey all over again.

Skip the Tofurky next Thanksgiving and go to Ethos – the Pecan Encrusted Eggplant ($12.95) tasted like Thanksgiving on a plate. Crispy eggplant drizzled with a sweet red wine reduction, served with the daily vegetable (I got asparagus) and mashed potatoes. I’ll ask for a bit more red wine sauce next time, which was my only complaint.  The sauce was so good, I wanted every bite of eggplant to have some.

I’m really excited to come back for brunch – and a few more times for lunch/dinner to try some of the other menu items. You just cannot beat the price compared to the quality of the food, coupled with the amazing ambience and location. I also loved reading Ethos’ website, seeing how dedicated the owners Laina and Kelly are to their business and their employees. Please, Laina and Kelly, bring your amazing food to Miami – we need an affordable vegan restaurant down here!

Ethos Vegan Kitchen

601-B New York Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789

http://www.ethosvegankitchen.com/

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August 27, 2012

Fruitabu- Someone Stop Me From Eating The Whole Box!

by jem614

I absolutely love fruit roll ups!  I don’t eat them all the time but I love chewing on some dehydrated fruit.  Starving at lunch time, I drug myself to the local store and found these Fruitabu’s on sale so I figured I would try them out.  I ripped open the package in the car and started eating it right there.

I only wish I wasn’t suffering from Gestational Diabetes right now because I would have eaten the entire package this afternoon.  The great part is that there is only 15 grams of carbohydrates so you can eat it with protein and be ok with sugar levels (if you need to worry about that kind of thing).  These rolls are sweet,succulent and grapey.  It was so hard to not have more than one at a time!  Maybe it’s my GD rearing it’s ugly head but these are the best roll ups I think I have ever had.

FruitaBu, I think I’m in love.

August 15, 2012

Vegetarian Hors D’oeuvres: Mini Quiches

by ashley

In planning for Jessica’s baby shower, I wanted to make sure that we had a good assortment of foods that would be tasty, easy to make and easy to eat. The first thing that popped into my head were mini quiches – something that I’ve made in my own home for years. They are incredibly adaptable and great to make with kids. You can come up with infinite possibilities for flavors and fillings.

 

I chose to keep mine simple for the baby shower: chives, dill, some onion and cheddar cheese. To make it more simple, I used frozen pastry sheets for the crust. If you are more versed in the kitchen, whipping up a fresh batch of pastry dough would be tastier. I had to make about 100, so I wanted easy 😉

 

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make one batch of 30 mini quiches or 8 larger quiches:

 

2 tbsp finely diced onions

2 tbsp chopped chives

1 tbsp dried dill leaves

1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

1 tsp kosher salt

3 eggs

¾ cup heavy whipping cream

1 sheet frozen pastry dough*

 

*Fully defrost pastry sheet overnight in refrigerator.

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Grease mini muffin pans (or regular muffin pans, depending on desired quiche size). On a hard, floured surface, roll out the defrosted pastry dough until doubled in size. Using a rolling cutter, or pizza cutter, cut the pastry dough into uniform squares. For mini quiches, the squares should be about 2 inches. For larger quiches, 5 inches. Lightly push the cut pastry squares into the muffin pans.

 

Beat eggs and heavy cream in a bowl, folding in the onions, chives, dill, salt and cheese once fully integrated. Spoon the egg mixture into the muffin tins, filling each pastry square about ¾ of the way. Bake until fluffy golden brown, about 10-15 minutes for mini-quiches or 15-25 minutes for larger quiches. Serve immediately.

 

August 9, 2012

Jessica’s Baby Shower – Cute Vegetarian Appetizer Ideas

by ashley

I can’t believe that Jessica is 33 weeks pregnant. So many things have changed since the beginning of Veg On The Run. We’ve ran a ½ marathon together, we’ve done a bodybuilding challenge, I lost 18 pounds, we’ve done parties, events…so many things, it’s hard to believe they all fit into such a short time span.

When Jessica took me out to dinner in February to tell me the good news, it was the first time in a long time that I cried tears of joy. I’m so happy for her and her husband, she has touched my heart the most of anyone I’ve met here in Miami. So, when it came time to plan her baby shower, I knew that I was going to do my best to make it a special occasion. One of Jessica’s best friends, Nermari, was my sidekick in putting all the festivities together. I love to cook, but I’m not the best decorator. Nermari is a decorating queen. Jessica has an entire board on the Veg On The Run Pinterest page dedicated to the new baby, so Nermari suggested we start there. We scoured the page for hours trying to best match what she likes. We ended up with a Tiffany blue themed party with a splash of orange for contrast. I knew Jessica wanted a pink cake with Tiffany blue frosting. After calling around to several Publix locations, I found that while they wouldn’t do a pink cake, they can do red velvet with blue frosting. They translated my weak request for “a pink cake with Tiffany Blue icing, no flowers and little dots on it”, into a work of art. And it was at least half the price an independent bakery would have charged.

I was in charge of the vegetarian appetizers, choosing to make mini cheddar herb quiches, phyllo mushroom tarts with feta cheese and a watermelon “cornucopia” fruit salad. All were very simple to make (recipes to follow next week), yet looked elegant at the party. We also had tons of candy, used as both edibles and decorations, chocolate cupcakes and several other treats that others brought with them. It was definitely a party to remember, and special thanks to Nermari for teaching me how to put a baby shower together. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you!

Congratulations Jessica on your first baby, a wonderful little boy. May he be everything you always wished for and more.

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