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.
Since moving back to the Harrisburg, PA area and my new role requiring many more work lunches, I’ve been challenged with not only finding accommodating restaurants but also ones where I feel safe.
Living with as many food allergies as I do, it can be a real challenge- especially with regards to cross-contamination- to feel safe allowing someone else to prepare a meal for you.
I had told myself that the Harrisburg area would be an even greater challenge for me than Philadelphia, PA but so far- I’ve met some talented individuals.
A special shout-out to the VERY talented Chef Penny at Cafe Fresco for not only taking care of me but for taking the time to be creative and informative! It always puts my mind at ease when I know exactly what is in the food and how it is prepared. You have prepared a number of dishes for me thus far that have been 100% safe- and you have no idea how grateful I am! It was a pleasure having the opportunity to meet with you today!
The Food Mood Girl made her way to the big old city of Harrisburg PA all the way from her home-base of Pittsburgh, PA.
Okay, so in reality, it is not that far or difficult of a trip to make, but since moving back to the Harrisburg area, I still find myself surprised when I find an awesome event (especially one that pertains to good wholesome food).
The event was hosted at Absolute Pilates, Mechanicsburg PA Location. Which, as it turns out, Food Mood Girl (Lindsey) and Allison (owner of Absolute Pilates) actually know one another from their school days. What a small world, eh?
Lindsey is one of the most authentic people I have met. She is who she is and she is... and she is powerful!
While not adhering to any one diet (gluten-free, vegan, keto, low-carb, plant-based....) she does adhere to what her body is asking for on that particular day.
What an amazing gift she has given to herself, to not only honor her body's needs but to be able to define what it is her body is truly in need…
The past month- I have engaged in a number of conversations with others in regard to life and the purpose of life or more so our own purpose- how do we know we are living life’s purpose? I’ve defined my life’s purpose; now how can I achieve such? These are all difficult questions that we need to work through on our own and to toss in another monkey wrench, our purpose will change as we continue on this rollercoaster called life. When we, “society” ask for you to sit down and have these conversations with yourself- we are not asking you to become obsessed with such- don’t drive yourself crazy, just be open to exploring options and willing to take chances that help align with your purpose and happiness- because in the end, life’s purpose, no matter who you are, your life’s purpose encompasses happiness and personal peace. By no means am I an expert on this subject matter- in fact, as I am sitting here typing this out, I am personally on that journey of determin…
I have been in love with fresh curry leaves recently and had purchased an entire case of zucchini so I needed to get a bit more creative than my typical zucchini recipes.
I still had some of my vegan meatballs leftover and knew I wanted a pasta so zoodles where a must. I knew I didn’t want a nightshade (pepper or tomato) sauce but wanted something creamy.
I decided to wing it and just start making food and see where it would take me.
I dry roasted fresh ginger, turmeric, black pepper, a chuck of cinnamon stick, and curry leaves. I added in diced zucchini and let it simmer, adding water as needed. to soften the zucchini.
Once the zucchini was soft, I took half of the mixture and puréed it in my Vitamix. I poured the sauce over zoodles, added in the remaining sautéed zucchini, topped it with fresh baby arugula and vegan meatballs.
For some reason, the dish turned out a bit sweater than I was anticipating, but nonetheless, I still enjoyed it.
I am definitely adding you to my favorites list! You have gone above and beyond to accommodate my allergies and the food was creative, fresh, and full of flavor! My hats off to the chef and his wife for owning such an amazing establishment!
From the bottom of my heart, thank you! Thank you for preparing an unforgettable dish.
For those curious on what I ate, I had a chargrilled mix of veggies (cactus, zucchini, red pepper, portabello, red onion, tomato, and avocado) with a homemade spicy Mexican sauce.
I call it the Nicole Special!
I will give it to El Sol, for being rated one of the best Mexican in all of Pennsylvania, I'd say, I am sure they are worth the ranking!
Thanks for contacting MOM's - we can absolutely accommodate gluten free and vegan diets at Naked Lunch! Some more information on this is below: All Naked Lunch dressings are vegan and gluten free (they're also soy and dairy free). Our Cauliflower Stew and Butternut Squash Soup are vegan and gluten free. Our Black Bean Burger can be made vegan and gluten free by request.These bowls are vegan and gluten free: Crowder Bowl, Lin Bowl and Sushi BowlAny of our bowls can be made vegan and gluten free by request by choosing substitutes. Feel free to speak with our Naked Lunch staff, who are are very experienced with dietary restrictions and are always happy to provide suggestions/alternatives.One quick note is we are not a 100% gluten, dairy and soy free kitchen - we let anyone with very serious allergies know that.
Having moved closer to the family this past winter, I have been immersed in traditional Italian comfort food all around me.
When I lived on my own, it was a rare thing to see me prepare any traditional Italian food. Instead, I found myself exploring as many new cultural cuisines as possible.
I think some of my favorites turned out to be vegan rice paper rolls, Indian pumpkin, Miso Soups, and African Peanut Sauces.
I find that when I attend a family or friend's events, I try to essentially mimic my foods to their offerings. Meaning, if they are serving pasta, I too am whipping up some sort of Nicole-Friendly pasta dish.
Therefore, it was only a matter of time before I would be experimenting with some traditional Italian dishes.
This weekend blessed us with a gorgeous spring day and then BAM back to winter-like temperatures, freezing rain, and gusty winds. Making it the perfect day to bake until my heart is content.
I choose to make "meatballs". I mean, you can't real…