Posts tagged ‘Florida’

August 27, 2013

2013 Miami Spice Vegetarian Guide: The Beaches

by ashley

miami spice

 

It’s that time of the year again! Miami Spice offers three course tasting menus to some of the hottest restaurants in South Florida. There are two categories: Fine Dining and Luxury Dining. Fine dining is $19 for lunch and $33 for dinner. Luxury dining is $23 for lunch and $39 for dinner. We have scoured the menus and created this list of restaurants that offer vegetarian options for their Spice menus. This is a huge improvement from prior years, where only one or two restaurants offered vegetarian options. They are listening to us!

 

See our listing of vegetarian and vegan Miami Spice options for 2013 here

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April 30, 2013

SoFla Healthy Vegetarian Meal Delivery: ECO Healthy Meals

by ashley

2nd UPDATE 31st July 2014: I’ve just come off the phone with Eco Healthy and they have confirmed that they are no longer in business.

UPDATE 31st July 2014: Unfortunately ECO Healthy Meals stopped delivering to many areas of South Florida last year and I haven’t been able to try them again. Their prices have also been increased to $24-29 per day for their meal plans, which is now on par with many other meal delivery services. I have written a message to the owner to ask if they expect to start delivering to more areas in South Florida again, I will let you know once I receive a response!

Despite trying several different healthy food delivery services throughout South Florida, I’ve never found anything that impressed me enough to justify the extra cost. I enjoy cooking at home and usually can create meals that please me, and my family, without much effort. However, I would like to continue losing weight (I have kept off the 16lbs I lost originally!) and if a meal service could help with this, I’m all for trying it.

The price is what first drew me to ECO Healthy Meals. They are significantly less expensive than any other meal delivery service (save for greasy home-style cantina delivery services, which, of course, are not healthy). Jessica wanted to give them a try because she has no time for cooking with the new baby boy, and I decided I would try out lunch delivery for calorie reduction. At $9.99 USD per day for lunch it isn’t exactly cheap, but the food is very high quality. Larger packages can be purchased and reduce the price down to $8.49 USD per day.

Here is this week’s lunch menu, for an idea of what they offer. Each week you must choose your lunches, and they do offer omnivorous options, so you have to ensure you choose the vegetarian options. It doesn’t appear that they have an alternative vegetarian choices, so you get what they have mostly. I had a slight issue with menu selection, however the owner, Lionel, resolved this for me within a day.

MONDAY

Tofu, tomato and portobello napoleon with basil cream sauce

Mediterranean farro salad

Kale croquette

Flowerless chocolate cake

TUESDAY

Red wine braised mushrooms

Roasted butternut squash

Spinach salad with honey mustard sauce

Ricotta tart

WEDNESDAY

Baked eggplant with Portuguese sauce

Saffron Idaho potatoes

Tomatoes and onions salad with no oil balsamic vinaigrette

Strawberry cheesecake

THURSDAY

Wild mushrooms stroganoff sauce

Spatzle

Watercress salad with no oil ranch dressing

Fruit merlot

FRIDAY

Sesame crusted soy nuggets with soy reduction

Stir fried rice

Mango slaw salad

White chocolate pudding

I have already tried the tomato and portobello napoleon, which was quite delicious. I really enjoy large pieces of portobello mushroom and these were grilled nicely. Last week was my absolute favorite meal: the vegetable lasagna. I hope they feature this again. Today I had the red wine braised mushrooms, which were nice, but I had hoped it would have been seasoned a bit better. The desserts have been very good, with a few being spectacular (namely the apple muffin from last week and the flowerless chocolate cake). Overall the food is of good quality with a few star dishes, which is a lot more than I can say for other delivery services I’ve tried.

Yaribel, our delivery driver, is so sweet and let us take a look at the Prius ECO Healthy Meals uses. It is a great way to deliver their message of environmental awareness, along with the compostable containers and utensils they provide. This is the first service I’ve seen of its kind in South Florida. Check out their website at http://www.ecohealthymeals.com/

 

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February 20, 2013

Happiness by the Sea: BeachHouse Beanery and Cafe

by ashley

BeachHouse Beanery: Vegan Coffee House, Flagler Beach, FL While gallivanting around the north coast of Florida, I happened upon what appeared to be an unassuming neighborhood coffee house. But opening the doors to BeachHouse Beanery is like opening the door to the sun – bright colors wash this place in happiness, wafting aromas of coffee, spices and cakes fill your lungs, the friendly greetings of coffee girls beckoning you to the front register. I am told this is a new location for them, if that is true, they certainly chose a wonderful spot. It is right across from the boardwalk, and with a view of the sandy beach below. While you cannot see the ocean too well from inside the café, you won’t miss it much with the bright, inviting interior. I left telling my better half that I would love to decorate our house like this, inciting some rather unnecessary eye-rolling on his part. Think bright yellows, oranges, pinks, purples, sea foam greens and blues married with mismatching chairs and comfy wicker seats, and you will start to conjure up images of BeachHouse Beanery.

BeachHouse Beanery: Vegan Coffee House, Flagler Beach, FLThe drinks are also phenomenal – I ordered a chai tea, which was absolutely the best chai I have had in my life. I will be dreaming of their chai, cursing the four hours’ drive between my house and it. I tasted a bit of Fernando’s regular latte, as well as the strawberry shake he devoured after (I can’t say anything, I had three chai teas!). Everything was utterly delicious. I also ordered their “Meatless Marvel”, which is an English muffin with egg, tomato and cheese, served with a small fruit salad. Delicious. Other menu highlights are their freshly baked vegan cakes, we took a bit of their vegan banana bread home. They also have soysage available, for someone craving a heartier breakfast. And for your omnivorous friends, they have lots of meat options, as well. I’m sad that my stomach wasn’t able to fit in one of Pam’s Green Monster smoothies (fresh spinach, banana, mango, almond milk and flax seed), something I still regret. I will just have to try it next time!

BeachHouse Beanery: Vegan Coffee House, Flagler Beach, FLWhat I found most comforting about BeachHouse Beanery was the low-key vibe, the friendly (and gorgeous!) coffee girls, and that it is truly a “mom and pop” place. Their website has the entire story on how Carol and Jeff, husband and wife, opened BeachHouse Beanery in 2008. If you are in Flagler Beach, FL, you definitely need to check them out. BeachHouse Beanery is the ideal location for a lazy breakfast by the sea.

BeachHouse Beanery

1112 S. Oceanshore (A1A), Flagler Beach

Phone: 386-338-2484

http://www.beachhousebeanery.com/

July 20, 2011

Spiny, spiky, oozy – fruit? And as a vegan meat replacement?

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

Is it an alligator? It is a lizard? A dinosaur??

No, it’s a jackfruit! The largest tree-born, and arguably most delicious, edible fruit in the world. And when I say large, I mean it. The jackfruit can grow up to a whopping 80 pounds. That’s over 36 kilos of heavy, sweet fruit. While I have seen the jackfruit for much of my life in Florida and throughout the Caribbean, I only recently found out about its use as a meat replacement. And since I really can’t stand many “fake” meats, I knew that I needed to make a dish to see how it tastes.

Ripe, the jackfruit’s texture and flavor is like a banana, mango and pineapple all mixed together. Super sweet and perfect without any dressing. But, unbeknownst to me, the younger, green fruit has a very mild taste, meaning it will absorb flavors almost as well as tofu. What I found out after taking these photos (and making a couple recipes that you will see posted soon) is that, unlike when eating the ripe fruit, the younger fruit can be cut up in its entirety. Just peel off the skin, cut it, marinate it and eat. The ripe fruit you actually peel out the individual pockets of fruit, which are good for eating raw. Don’t try eating the green jackfruit raw, though. It doesn’t taste good and can possibly give you a major stomachache.

I bought my jackfruit from a locally-grown farm here in South Florida. I didn’t want anything too extravagant (and consequently ridiculously expensive) but rather a modest fruit. Well, apparently a modest jackfruit is 9.8 pounds, the smallest they had available. After paying $18 for one fruit, I brought it home and began examining it. I had eaten ripe jackfruit before, but never had the delight of cutting and peeling it myself. Even before peeling the stem began oozing its white liquid on everything, which consequently is actually used as caulking in some Asian countries (yes – it is that sticky and thick). So be prepared for a sticky, messy endeavor if you are trying this yourself. To counteract the stickiness, have a small bowl of oil at the ready for coating hands, cutting boards and your knife.

Cutting the jackfruit is easy, as long as you have a large enough knife. Remember this while purchasing, you’ll need to have a pretty big knife to go through some of the larger jackfruit. It’s possible without, but it creates a lot more work. If you’re eating it ripe, just cut the fruit in fourths, peel away the hard tethers, pull out the seeds and eat the soft fruit. If you’re making a recipe with green jackfruit, I’ve now learned all you need to do is peel off the outer skin and cut. You will still need to take out the seeds, however. In either scenario, the seeds shouldn’t be discarded. Keep them and roast, they have lots of health benefits and are great when added to a trail mix (which, by the way, I have a great recipe for that I’ll be posting soon).

There are a multitude of recipes out there for jackfruit, Asian and otherwise. I’ll be posting a few of mine over the next few days, which include a couple Latin recipes that are completely unique. If you have any questions about the jackfruit, or are looking for a place to purchase in South Florida, please let me know and I’d be glad to help.

 

 

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