Vegetarian at Home, Vegan Out?

Happy Hump Day friends!

Now that Wednesday is over, the week is more than half over! But, we still have two days to do something fabulous.

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I used some of that batch of quinoa from Monday to make something sweet for breakfast.

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But not before sipping on this delicious breakfast brew of Breakfast Blend by The Fresh Market. Such a classic in our house.

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Back to the quinoa, I mixed it in a small pot with coconut milk and water, plus chia seeds and agave. I added enough liquids to be more liquidy than a traditional bowl of oats so they could cook down a bit.

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Once the quinoa was to the texture I wanted, I stirred half a sliced banana in and added pepitas and coconut on top. Simple, but delish. Isn’t quinoa the coolest? So versatile!

***

Another tough day at work. Things are starting to slow down a bit now that we’re fast approaching the holidays. I’m looking forward to the next couple weeks being a bit slower and more quiet. I’m working a couple of the days, so it will be nice to be able to work in peace and really focus.

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I stayed at work till just after 6pm and then headed home in the dark. I can’t wait for daylight savings time so I can go home when the sun is still out!

Hubby suggested baked ziti with the leftover spaghetti sauce from last night so I offered to make one of his new faves – homemade focaccia! I bought a new yeast at Trader Joe’s and it immediately looked to be working better.

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I followed the same steps I’ve used before with much more success. The entire texture of the bread was different! More sticking-together than just sticky. I wonder if it helped I also added about 1/4 cup extra flour, per the suggestion of some of the recipe reviews I read online?

I also used 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour.

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The dough actually rose this time!

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Stress relief.

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A quick trip to the oven later and I had golden brown perfection!

This time, I topped the bread with a little rosemary, basil, EVOO, a dash of garlic powder and more pink salt.

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Check out this mis-shapen end. I love little signs like this that tell you something is homemade (with love). Imperfection doesn’t always have to be bad. Sometimes it’s a good thing, like here. :)

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Baked ziti. Why are things cooked/served in casseroles so comforting?

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We had steamed broccoli with the focaccia and ziti.

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Cheeeeeesy.

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“Little Trees.”

Fun fact – hubby didn’t like broccoli as a kid until a family friend told him they were “little trees.” I guess that somehow makes kids want to eat it? lol

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The focaccia was both better and worse this time. The flavor was a little off due to the whole wheat flour. I think I’ll stick with 100% AP (or with half bread flour) next time. There are some things not worth healthi-fying. lol

But the texture…the texture was SO much better! It was lighter and fluffier and gave gently when you picked it up. It was so much more tender and cloud like. Yay new yeast!

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Did you know today is National Cupcake Day? Apparently it was also in March, but who’s counting. ;)

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Hubby and I are celebrating with cupcakes from Polka Dot Bake Shop. Vanilla on vanilla for him and my fave – chocolate icing on vanilla cupcake for moi. I’m going to dig into these once I hit publish.

***

Vegetarian at Home, Vegan Out?

I saw an interesting tweet by the fabulous Gena of Choosing Raw the other day:

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Gena’s tweet got me thinking about eating styles and how I’ve actually considered going vegetarian (and often order vegetarian) when I’m eating out. I’m not sure why Natalie Portman is apparently a vegetarian at home but vegan out, but I can explain the thinking behind my eating out style. For me, it’s all about quality control. The more I educate myself about food and food production, the more I choose to eat local, cage-free, grass-fed, organic, and more natural animal products and produce. I can very easily control the types of foods that make it from the grocery store to my house, and I’m very selecting when I’m deciding on the foods to bring home. But, when I’m out, I’m trusting the restaurant to choose quality foods for me, and some restaurants make better decision than others.

There are parts of the country that are more advanced than others as far as restaurant food quality goes. Terms like “organic, sustainable, grass-fed, and local” are easily found on menus in many cities…but not mine. There are only a handful of places in my town that are known for supporting local farmers and utilizing organic ingredients. I have actually discovered a few places that, thanks to my interrogation skills (or curiosity), do use local ingredients, meats, and produce but that do not advertise such information on their web site or menus. Oh how I wish they would! These are key selling points for me when I’m selecting restaurants or things to eat at particular restaurants. Not to mention, questionable meat/produce sources are not very appealing. I’m much more likely to support a restaurant or order an entree utilizing local, healthy, happy ingredients. What about you?

Do you eat differently when you eat out than when you eat in?

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Comments

  1. says

    I love your mug! ;)

    Hmmm, good question. I don’t think I eat differently. However, my lifestyle right now almost always consistently has me eating out. Maybe once the husband and I move out, I’ll actually be able to get in the kitchen and produce some home-made dishes!

    Your foccacia bread looks delicious! As do those cupcakes! I love cupcakes. :)

  2. says

    Interesting…I’m pretty much vegetarian at home, omnivore when I’m out. I have some serious issues with the industrial food system, so I’m relatively picky about what I buy and eat. However, on the rare occasions when we eat out, I usually treat myself to whatever I feel like eating and what I think the restaurant will make well. Sometimes that’s vegetarian, sometimes its not.

  3. says

    No I pretty much each the same. I already have a limited diet, so nothing really changes : ) But I do try my best not to be a pain when going out to eat, which is one reason I do not go out much.

  4. says

    I actually do order meat at restaurants, but I feel somewhat conflicted about it because at home we eat organic, local and grass-fed beef and it’s important to me to do that. However, in restaurants, I have no idea where the meat came from. I was surprised when traveling through San Diego that it seemed a lot easier there to find better sources of meat. Hopefully Ottawa will catch up soon.

  5. says

    I do pretty much eat the same whether or not I’m at a restaurant, but I was thinking that maybe Natalie Portman eats vegetarian at home because she can choose the quality and how her non-vegan food is produced? And then at restaurants she doesn’t have to worry about whether the dairy/eggs/whatever is humanely raised. Just speculation, though!

  6. says

    I’m so inspired by your quinoa creations…I just bought some last night at the great TJ’s and I can’t wait to make some.
    When I’m eating out I usually eat something that I don’t make myself at home…which is probably why we don’t eat out too much because I love to cook at home…at least when I’m cooking I know exactly everything that goes into what I’m making and where it came from.

      • says

        I have tried it and I soooo love it! I used it in place of rice under a fresh veggie stir fry the other night and yesterday for lunch mixed with a bit of turkey, ‘shroomies, and onions…yummmmmm!
        I have yet to try it breakfast style though but I’m looking forward to it!

        • says

          Woohoo! Sounds like some good quinoa eating! I love it in breakfast to break up my oatmeal routine. Plus, I think it’s easier to go savory than oatmeal. :)

  7. says

    I still haven’t tried sweet quinoa – I love quinoa though!

    I absolutely love casseroles – so comforting especially in the winter!

    Plus I’m a sucker for leftovers.

    • says

      Def try the quinoa sweet. I don’t like how it doesn’t get creamy like oatmeal, but I do like how it’s so different that way. It helps me keep my breakfasts fresh. :)

  8. says

    I am primarily a vegetarian, but have recently gone pescatarian mostly because fish is a good healthy option to get at restaurants. I hate when the only vegetarian option is a creamy pasta!

    I definitely think quality and source matters, however, and would think that is the reason she is a vegan at restaurants.

  9. says

    Quinoa for breakfast looks great! and ooey gooey pasta sounds delish on a cold evening.

    I tend to eat vegetarian at home and flexatarian when I travel. Sound goofy, but I travel a lot for work and don’t always have a lot of choices when eating on the road. I’ve learned to be flexible with my eating in order to get all the nutrients my body needs.

  10. says

    This is such an interesting topic and as we have recently started eating out less and less it is something that I have become very aware of. I do try to select restaurants that fit our eating philosophy, which luckily in LA isn’t too hard. ;)

  11. says

    I just recently stopped eating meat (Still eat seafood)…and I do think more about what I order or even eat at home. I am a big believer in organic and eating less processed foods.

  12. says

    I always wonder when you say “cage-free” eggs on your blog what that really means. From Food Inc it looked like most chickens were raised in giant dark barns but not in cages. Do you see how the chickens that produce your eggs are raised?

  13. says

    I didn’t read all of the comments but I saw Gena’s tweet as well and figured out the reasoning right away! :) She can control the ingredients she’s using in her home…cheese/milk/butter/eggs + other vegetarian friendly things. She probably sources those through a local farmer or only buys organic. So, when dining out, she plays it safe and orders “vegan” because how do you ever know where those ingredients are sourced from when dining out. I’m sure sometimes you can find out, but not always. That was the best answer I could come up with…and I do this most of the time myself! :)

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