Archive for May, 2013

May 22, 2013

Beyond Meat is now served at Tropical Smoothie Cafe!

by ashley

I just received an exciting e-mail that I thought I’d share with our readers. Beyond Meat, whose products I’ve been anxiously waiting to try, are now available at any Tropical Smoothie Cafe nationwide. I will be visiting Tropical Smoothie Cafe  soon to try their Beyond Meat menu items. Below is the e-mail sent out today from Beyond Meat’s CEO Ethan Brown:

Beyond Meat™’s vision has always been to perfectly replace animal protein with virtually indistinguishable plant protein—delicious and super clean protein, at an affordable price, and on a large scale.

I am personally thrilled when we come across a progressive retailer who has a vision that shares space with our own.  Earlier this year, I had the good fortune to meet up with Mike Rotondo, the CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café, a chain of over 300 locations across the country. Within a matter of minutes, the strength of Mike’s personal and business vision of delighting consumers with healthy food and drink became clear, as did the work that we could do together.

Fast forward a few short months and I’m so pleased to announce that you can now go into any Tropical Smoothie Café across the country and substitute Beyond Meat™ Chicken-Free Strips in any chicken wrap, sandwich, flatbread, or salad for no extra cost.

With a full menu of tasty meals and real-fruit smoothies, Tropical Smoothie Café reflects our belief that eating nutritionally dense foods can and should taste great. With locations in 36 states, Tropical Smoothie is the first national chain to roll out our plant-based chicken line.

I’m passionate about this launch because I believe it represents a milestone for Beyond Meat and the people who believe in our Company and broader mission.  A national chain has now made the seamless switch from animal to plant protein easier, tastier, and more affordable.

It is my hope that we can reward Tropical Smoothie for leaning forward by enthusiastically embracing the chain and spreading the word—together mainstreaming plant protein one yummy sandwich at a time.

Visit a Tropical Smoothie Café today and tell us what you think!

As always, thank you for all your tremendous help and support.

Keep going beyond,

Ethan Brown
Founder and CEO,
Beyond Meat™

May 22, 2013

Organic Rice Cakes for Babies- Happy Munchies

by jem614

My son is still trying to figure out eating so I’m giving him larger food items to teach him.  I haven’t figured out the whole “baby-led weaning” myself so it’s a work in progress.   These rice cakes are a good step in the right direction though!

I just ordered from Citrus Lane (link here:, a service that sends out goodies once a month for your baby or child.  This month’s box came with some stacking bowls, a baby book teaching about clocks and time, some dish soap for babies, a very nice lavender tube for mom (love that they include mom in these boxes) and this wonderful little bag of rice cakes.

I’m not big on rice cakes because I think they taste like cardboard but these nifty little snacks are only 140 calories and are made of brown rice and fruit!  The blueberry and beat make them very tasty.  In fact, the hubs and I ate the whole bag once we figured out that our 8 month old needs some time to get used to eating them.  I think in a month, he might figure it out but right now he cries and gags even though he likes the flavor.

I will definitely be going out and purchasing some more of Happy Munchies food items, in fact I already have their oatmeal and puffs at home so I know their products are good.  I might just buy a few more bags for myself in the process.

May 21, 2013

The Rabbit Ear Cafe on a the dusty road to Colorado (or Texas)

by jem614

IMG_1148[1]It was late in the afternoon on a Friday when we finally rolled into town.  Shaking the sleep out of our legs, we woke the cookie up and pulled him out of his dreaded car seat.

I had looked all over Clayton, NM (all one street of it) for a decent, inexpensive hotel and alas! All I could find was the Super 8 (sad face).  Even the Best Western was $109 a night (there are approximately 2900 people that live in this town and they can afford to raise the rates that high?).  There was nobody there, why would the rates be so high?   The room at the Super 8 was less than stellar but it provided a soft place to sleep and it was close to a great restaurant (see photo).

The Rabbit Ear Cafe is New Mexican food at its finest! {In case you’re wondering, New Mexican food is a slight tweak on the Mexican favorites}.  I felt like I was home, I couldn’t believe how delicious the chili relleno was and the mexican rice was just a little soupy, perfectly tomato-y.    The place was empty, probably because they rely on the few straggling travelers that come through this town.  Two older gentlemen were there talking about old times while my child’s cries and screams echoed in the empty room.  He was teething and it’s very hard bringing him someplace that won’t send you packing when your child acts up.  Thankfully we didn’t have to worry about disturbing too much peace.  The place itself is really quite cute with signs on the wall and a cabin-ish feel.  Definitely someplace you could come in and relax to eat.

Our meal ended with a New Mexican favorite, Sopapillas.  Drizzled in honey, this is the kind of desert that would make you sell your firstborn just to have another bite.

Make no mistake, this is not a gourmet restaurant but if you want some down-home, tasty, New Mexican favorites, this is the ticket.  And look! They even have a website

May 15, 2013

Cuisine of India, Clear Lake, TX

by jem614

Cuisine of India is a popular place in Clear Lake, a city on the outskirts of Houston.  Clear Lake houses the famous “NASA” as well as the Kemah Boardwalk.  I was in Houston for business and wanted to try a few veggie-friendly places for our readers and this was the perfect spot!

For an appetizer, I tried the veggie samosas which were suprisingly lightly flavored and delicious (I say suprising because I expected a salty flavor and instead they let taste the vegetables shine through).  For the main meal, I picked the Vegetarian Delight dish, it’s about $14 and is big enough for two if you’re on a tight budget.  This dish is full of several different thick soups such as: dal makhni, malai kofta, saag paneer, peas pullao all scooped up with a fluffy peice of naan bread.  On the side they serve salad and samosas.

Of course, no Indian meal is complete without adding some chai tea!

Our service was excellent, the food took a little while but I’m assuming that’s because it was fresh.  I definitely recommend this great little place if you’re anywhere south of Houston and in the mood for some great Indian food!

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May 7, 2013

Healthy Authentic Vegetarian Palestinian/Israeli Breakfast: Shakshuka

by ashley

Healthy Authentic Vegetarian Palestinian/Israeli Breakfast: ShakshukaOriginally a Tunisian dish, Shakshuka is now served throughout the middle east and most popularly in Israel. There are many Israeli and Palestinian restaurants that serve Shakshuka, a rich egg and tomato dish which is traditionally a breakfast food (although I eat it just about any time of the day!).

The ingredients are surprisingly simple and despite its popularity through the middle east, it rarely strays from this simple recipe of eggs, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper. In order to make it as authentic as possible, you will need a nice cast iron pan to cook and serve it.

The way I like to make Shakshuka is actually quite a bit healthier, as I cut down on the oil by a lot. You can also cut calories and cholesterol by using only egg whites or taking half of the yolks out. Being that I don’t eat it very often, I usually keep a whole egg and just lower the olive oil. It still tastes delicious. I also love that it is traditionally vegetarian, so there are no substitutions necessary to experience the authentic meal. In order to make this vegan, all you would need to do is omit the eggs and substitute a tofu scramble.

Healthy Authentic Vegetarian Palestinian/Israeli Breakfast: Shakshuka

Serves 4

Cast Iron Pan

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 cup chopped sweet peppers

2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon whole cumin

Pinch of salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, to taste

4 eggs

Heat olive oil in cast iron pan over medium heat. Once the oil has coated the bottom of the pan, add the onions and garlic. Allow to sauté until translucent and starting to caramelize. Add the sweet peppers and mix until they begin to soften. Add the tomatoes and sauté for another few minutes until they begin to break up. Add the tomato paste and spices, stir to incorporate. Allow to simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring gently. Once the mixture is fragrant, gently drop the eggs onto the top of the mixture to poach in the juices. Remove from heat and serve in the cast iron pan.

This can be served as is, or more traditionally with white flat bread. Enjoy!

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