Friday, August 24, 2007

Away from cooking

Finally we are posting again. We've had trouble over the past few days logging in, but we've finally have gotten through!

This past week we had a lot of change happening. First of all, we were supposed to go to the Grand Cayman Islands with our family for the week, but the hurricane canceled our trip! Oh well, we are sick of flying anyways and hate airports and airplanes. We then spontaneously decided to take a road trip to Austin, TX for 2 days. We also are preparing for the long semester of school, which starts next week already. Books are SOOO expensive - tip: buy used from and sell your used books there too. It saves tremendously.

Austin was nice, just extremely crowded! It's funny, because we have been city girls forever, having lived in the Houston suburbs, but we do not like the big city. Driving is so scary! We traveled a lot in downtown Austin and saw UT campus, which is in the heart of Austin. Many of our schoolmates from high school and our friends go there. I don't know how they can handle it, because they are so crammed into the city and have to be extra cautious and safe walking around busy streets. I'm glad Texas A&M University is a college town and isn't nearly as big, although it, too, is becoming very crowded.

While we were in Austin, we went to many places.

Bookpeople bookstore, which is three stories full of great books!

Ladybird Johnson's Wildflower Center - absolutely gorgeous!

Wheatsville Food Coop, a great grocery store and vegetarian cafe, similar to Central Market or Whole Foods, only smaller. One of the great foods we ate included a huge, organic, juicy, golden peach worth $2.55!

Mr. Natural's, the best vegetarian Tex-Mex restaurant! We shared two outstanding, lard-free meals - tamale plate (with a pinto bean tamale, tofu and sunflower seed tamale, and vegetable tamale) and mushroom fajitas (on whole wheat tortilla), all served with Spanish brown rice, creamy pinto beans, and a side salad with avocado dressing! If you asked us which was our favorite out of the whole meal, we could not answer because they were all fantastic!
In spite of the cityness of Austin, the great thing about Austin compared to Houston is that it is more environmental and vegetarian friendly.

Anyways, since we were preparing for vacation or were out of town, most of our food we cooked was not homemade and exciting. Sometimes, you just have to get a fresh start and completely clean out the fridge! We had simple meals, like canned soup, veggie burgers, edamames, and wraps. One day for a filling, healthy, and decadent snack we made banana peanut butter smoothies with soy milk and flaxseed meal added. It was a great treat!

After coming back from Austin we started cooking again. We made homemade whole grain pitas, from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook, which are so fun and easy to make! They pocketed nicely from the high heat. We stuffed hummus, cucumber slices, and lettuce in them for a great pita sandwich.

We used the rest of the pitas the next day when we made a My Happy Sandwich , from Vegweb. It really was a happy sandwich because it was a pita sandwich stuffed with devine avocado. It includes chunky guacamole (avocado, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, garlic) with some alfalfa sprouts and cucumber slices. The cucumber actually paired well with the guacamole because it cooled down the strong garlic/onion flavor.

So for this week's thought, I just want to say how great nature is. Let us try to be better stewards of this earth and take care of our precious land. That means recycle, reuse plastic bags, reduce waste, turn off lights to save energy, take a walk instead of drive, and eat vegetarian!

Smile, LK

1 comment:

aTxVegn said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to Austin, even though it's not the Caymans! Mr. Natural's is good, but try Mother's Cafe for good texmex, and Koriente and Thai Passion for good asian.