The former Crave & Co. now known as The Vegetable Hunter, offers vegetarian and vegan fare to our capital area. This is amazing because the Harrisburg food scene is expanding but still not even close to the “Philly” scene and the vegan options are rather limited (although doable).
We (the locals) need to continue to encourage local restaurants to embrace funky cool menus, seasonal dishes, and vegan and gluten-free options. And why wouldn’t we? The area boasts a good bit of visitors to our capital building and there are plenty of individuals working right in the downtown area that would favor good food.
The Vegetable Hunter is, as far as I can tell, the only 100% vegetarian restaurant in the Harrisburg restaurant row. Might I also add, they have kombucha flights available and oh... if a brewery is your thing, they’ve got you covered.
Okay, so I discover the only vegetarian establishment in the area- how well can they accommodate “Nicole”?
I have been wanting to try the hyped-up Han Dynasty for some time now and I found the perfect opportunity, New Year's Eve.
I had my twin and younger sister coming in with their significant others and we already determined that we would be enjoying the 2015 countdown to some salsa dancing at Cuba Libre I didn't feel like forking out a $100+ just to enjoy a New Year's dinner and I didn't want to be too far from Cuba Libre - so I went with good-old reliable Han Dynasty. I made my reservation for 6 rather easily and we found front row parking as well!
Even though the restaurant was busy (which is expected for New Year's Eve), we were seated on time and waited on with attention and care. There was not one moment where we felt rushed.
Now, because I was eating with a group and we decided we wanted to try a little bit of everything, I had to go non-vegan this night... but honestly, it was worth it and some of my favorite dishes were the fish and meat ones.
Happy 4th of July!
Being the individual that I am, I typically don't spend holidays the "traditional" or expected ways. Instead, I like to do my own thing, whatever I am in the mood for I fly with it. For me, this typically involves my family and loved one.
This year, with the 4th landing on a Wednesday and not having the following day off work, I didn't want to do anything too extravagant. I had hoped to sleep in, but..... that never happens. Instead, I laid in bed while I accomplished a good bit of work that I had been previously trying to avoid. Then I headed to the city with a friend and we grabbed a movie - of course, what else would we have chosen besides Magic Mike. Let's be honest- I could watch this on a daily basis - ladies, you know what I am talking about.
Anyhow, after the movie we took a stroll through the Park Way (Philadelphia, PA) and then hunted (seriously, it turned into a project with a gluten free, dairy free, corn free, and one with Crohn…
My addiction to hot sauce never seems to end and when I stumbled across Frankie V’s gluten-free, vegan, organic, and locally sourced (Texas area) hot sauces, my inner child started jumping for joy. Probably in comparison to how “normal” inner-children feel while in candy stores.
For me, I take excitement in searching for “healthy” (no added preservatives, sugar, oils, and garbage) hot sauce or even marinades.
And what are the odds that I would find a gluten-free and vegan option?
Frankie V’s is located in the Texas area - offering soups, dressings/condiments, salsas, spreads, hot sauces and gift baskets.
I had the honor of trying the mentioned hot sauces below. At this point, I’m ready to further investigate their other product lines because OH MY YUMMINESS!
When traveling through Sri Lanka, it was actually rare to find milk rice out and about with the locals. Mainly because it is a recipe used typically for holidays rather than an every morning treat.
However, being gluten-free and loving carbs, I was on a hunt for this delicacy and found a couple spots that would cater to my requests. Boy am I spoiled!
I enjoyed eating milk rice with either the Sri Lankan tiny-bananas and fresh local honey or with a spicy Sambol. I can't say I had a preference, as we all know I love honey and bananas but also enjoy a bit of spice to my food as well.
Upon returning home, I knew I would have to research a quick recipe and enjoy this dish more often at home, share with those I love, and dream about it at night (okay, that might be taking it a bit far, but you get my drift).
I did a little research and found a recipe that seemed to encompass most of my research.
- 2 Cups rinsed (and not precooked)
- 1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk
- 4 1/2 Cups W…
Back when I started my Ayurvedic journey, it was recommended I begin eating Moong dal. It was noted I could use it in Kitchari, porridge’s, I’m replace of rice, oats, etc. I did find it available for purcHae at my local indian grocery store and from there, started to explore ways in which to cook to my liking.
Since I have been on a rice cooker frenzy, why not give it a try? I like my Moong Dal to be on the creamy side so I added a boatload of water- when all said and done, probably a 1cup to 20cup liquid ratio.
I added simple spices (turmeric, ginger and garlic) and allowed almos a full 24-hours to cook.
When complete, I added in some stewed eggplant, onions and mushrooms and then topped with fresh cilantro and a bit of hot sauce.
Simple meals, meals that nourish, dishes that appeal to my senses.
The new job has been requiring a good bit of eating out, or catered in, lunches and I had to not only become very comfortable with expressing my eating habits with others and enhancing my ability to convey my needs with those preparing, but I also needed to find some go-to safe spots and ASAP.
Vrai, Leymone, PA - known as the true food kitchen has been on my radar for some time, so when a coworker suggested lunch, I was all for it. I was fortunate enough to have some advance notice to be able to pre-call the restaurant and discuss my needs.
Vrai was amazing and more than willing to make something off-menu to accommodate. After reviewing their menu, together, we came up with a Moroccan sauce over zoodles with steamed vegetables and a Thai slaw on the side.
It was heavenly! The presentation was elegant and my tummy didn’t hate me!
Cafe Fresco, Harrisburg, PA did a catered lunch for us and because I was lucky enough to have time to prep for this meal. I reached out to the head day chef an…
I found myself at a work related lunch with ZERO control of where we would be eating.
We walking into The Federal Taphouse and the lunch menu largely consisted of pizza and sandwhich options, instead of either freaking out, refusing to eat, or hiding my eating needs / preferences, I waited for the waitress to come around. Once she asked if our table had any questions, I jumped in, "Could you help me navigate your menu, as I am both gluten-free and vegan?". To my surprise, she had a quick reply. They would be happy to modify some of the salads (remove crutons and cheese) or create a gluten-free vegan pizza, sanscheese.
Lesson of the day, never be ashamed of who you are. Embrace your imperfections, your beauty. Allow others to know the genuine you.
Not really sure what I was feeling, I asked the waitress to surprise me, bring out anything that is both gluten-free and vegan please. A couple minutes later, I was served a beautiful kale and beet salad that they are currently testi…
Eating out and finding Nicole-Friendly places tends to get easier and easier as I develop how I approach the eating establishments and their heightened awareness for the need to accommodate allergy-free requests. Plus, I think some actually enjoy the opportunity to get a bit extra creative in their delivery.
While most recent establishments have been great about providing vegetable dishes, I was craving some comfort, spicy food.
Which led me to a local establishment, Bollywood Bar and Grille.
My new approach:
-I call and ask to speak with the manager or head chef.
-I begin with an apology that I might have a difficult request ahead of us, but I am very excited to check them out!
-I let them know that my allergies are just that, they are needed for health reasons rather than preferences and that I look forward to any and all opportunities where I can eat out socially and enjoy myself.
-I then let them know, I am gluten-free, vegan and oil-free and prefer to not have additional sugar or…
Despite my physical
appearances and love for all things fruits and vegetables, there are times when
I just want a crab-loaded childhood favorite comfort food.
Recently, I have
been craving a gluten-free vegan mac and no-cheese that would really hit home
with my childhood thoughts on Kraft Mac and Cheese and my mom's addition of
Knowing I wouldn't
be able to create the famous blue box's recipe to Nicole standards - I was
trying to find some alternatives and just ignore my mac and no-cheese desire.
But when Valentine's
day came around any my family requested homemade mac and cheese, I said to heck
with my expectations, I am going to create a life-changing Nicole-friendly
option that will have me forgetting about that blue guy.
I knew color and
texture would play a large roll into this recipe so I started with carrots and
an Indian Purple Sweet Potato. And from there, I just started looking around
and winging the recipe.
Here is what I ended
up with: Ingr…