Hello friends! Well, I’m safely back in Maryland after a wonderful week in Colorado. I can’t say that I’m thrilled to be back home, but I sure did miss these two.
I’ll be writing about different aspects of my awesome trip over the next week or so, but today it’s all about the food.
I’m coming down to the home stretch for the vegan experiment – I can’t believe it’s been 5 1/2 weeks already! Eating a vegan diet at home is super easy, because I can be in complete control of what I cook. I knew that eating vegan might be a bit of a challenge when traveling. Honestly, it wasn’t that hard- just took a bit of planning and a little bit of Internet research.
Whole Foods was also a pretty easy choice for lunch a few days- I would make a gigantic salad and top it with various plant-based proteins.
I know that some of you are probably rolling your eyes at how much I went to Whole Foods, but honestly, I could get lunch at the hot foods/salad bar every day and not get tired of it. Plus, we don’t have them near me- I have to drive 45 minutes to get to the closest one!
On Friday, Corrie made a delicious lunch for Heidi, Kelly P. and me after we went hiking that morning. We had sweet potato and black bean chili (topped with avocado, peppers, cilantro, lime and tortilla chips). YUM.
And of course, the cookie queen had to do her thing…
These vegan chocolate chip cookies were great!
I had lunch at Native Foods Cafe in Boulder on Sunday, thanks to a recommendation from Kelly G.! I met up with Greg and some of his friends there after they went mountain biking, and Tiffany came too! I wish I had known about this place before- I would have gone there on Thursday when I hiked at Chautauqua! It was so hard to choose something from the menu. Every single item was vegan and sounded incredible. I ended up getting a raw chopped salad with grilled tempeh.
Greg got my second choice, which was a big bowl of kale, quinoa, kidney beans, fried “chicken” skewers and cornbread.
I didn’t take any photos of it, but I ordered a taco salad with tempeh “chorizo” and it was delicious!
Dinners were also easy, thanks to the many restaurants in the Denver/Boulder areas that offer vegan options. I met Kelly G. on Thursday night at Udi’s Cafe in Arvada and had a delicious falafel sandwich. We also shared an order of roasted Brussels sprouts, which were delicious! No photos were taken, but I can assume you that everything was great.
On Friday, I met Lena, Diana and Tiffany for pizza at Mellow Mushroom in Denver. (Heather made fun of me for going to a chain restaurant, but there aren’t any in Maryland and I had never been to one before! And until she said that, I didn’t even know it was a chain.)
They offer Daiya cheese, so it was easy to veganize my pizza.
And we also had some beer flights… As Greg says “thank god beer is vegan!”
The tastiest dinner of the whole trip was on Saturday night. Heather was kind enough to invite Greg and I over to her house for a wine & liquor paired dinner. Laura was also visiting, and even created one of the courses!
Heather, Kirk and Laura created an amazing meal. There was even a special menu for us to take home!
The courses, in order…
Every single bite was insanely delicious. I think the tourtire was my favorite, but that’s a tough call… They certainly spoiled us with this fancy meal.
On Sunday, we decided to stick around Boulder for dinner, since we had visited Oskar Blues tasting room after lunch.
I looked up a few options on Yelp and Leaf sounded like it would fit the bill.
We ordered some raw butternut squash “ravioli” to start.
And to my surprise, Greg actually agreed to order two different entrees to split! (he is NOT a food sharer.) We got the Applewood Smoked Tofu (I am definitely going to try to re-create this!)
And the Jamaican Jerk Tempeh.
This was good, but way too spicy. I like heat, but this was so overly spiced that it completely overpowered my taste buds. I think I had my glass refilled with water at least 10 times.
One of my other favorite dinners was with Greg and my friends Brock and Melissa at Vine Street Pub on Monday night. I had been to the sister restaurant (Mountain Sun) in Boulder during Blend and loved it, and the menu at Vine St. is exactly the same. I got the tempeh rueben, which I had been eyeing last time we were at Mounatin Sun. Again, no photos, but super delicious! Great beer, too…
Random thought: I think this is the first vacation at I’ve ever been on where I didn’t eat ice cream or frozen yogurt once. I’m sure there are some dairy-free options around, but I didn’t really care enough to look.
I do still have some hemp and coconut milk ice cream in my freezer…
Have a great Wednesday!
Do you have any dietary restrictions? Is it difficult to find things to eat when you travel?