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.
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!
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…
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…
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.
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…
Here it is, after a weekend of self-indulging in some old-time favorites, some new favorites, and some fails, here is my personal and family's reviews.
Some New Products: Mozaics Chips - These are chips are made from veggies, rice, beans, and potatoes. Taste and crispness was there, but the best thing about the Mozaics? They support the Chicago Mosaic school - the first and only not-for-profit mosaic art school in America. I enjoyed the salsa variation but steered clear of the dairy options. However, my brother-in-law let me know the cheddar variety taste just like goldfish.
Green Mustache - Heck yes, gluten and vegan product!!! They brought with them their snack packs: "Cheddarish", "Parmesan" Rosemary, and "Spicyish" crackers. The entire group enjoyed these! The Spicyish and Parmesan delivered the crisp flavor profile that I have been seeking in a gluten and vegan cracker option - best thi…
As I am still finding my "home" back in central PA, I signed myself and my twin sister, up for a holistic wellness dinner hosted by Mellow Minded Café. I had never been to the venue, but you know how I am – a bit apprehensive about eating out unless needed. The food is usually not Nicole-Friendly, it's costly and typically flavorless. But I do need to get out and assimilated with resources in the area. My sister and her husband have actually encouraged my attendance at mellow Minded Café before, but I just couldn't be bothered to deal with the necessary steps I take to ensure a safe meal.
My first impression was directed towards space itself. The big plus for having parking available! The second plus for having successfully created a warm, yet hip space. You will find modern art displayed throughout the space, a large chalkboard wall menu, metal stools, and a couple family-style tables set up as well.
Prior to attending, I spoke with Amanda on my needs (gluten-free, …