Friday, March 6, 2009

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

After a few stints in various modes of transportation, I have finally arrived in DC for the weekend. Spring break has officially begun, and I have entered relaxation mode. Check out the view from our hotel room today at sunset:
What are you up to this weekend?

Backtracking to those last few days before freedom:

Those frozen artichoke hearts were calling my name again, so I made a quick pasta dish to incorporate them. Whole wheat angel hair pasta, artichoke hearts, pesto tofu, and minced garlic made for a delicious evening meal. On the side, I had some steamed snap peas and lots of greens with tomatoes. Can you tell that I was trying to use up my produce?!
The smoothie that evening was another peach-mango concoction using Nutribody protein. Tasty, as always.
As you may know, I have a fondness for vegan French toast, particularly for Tofu-Banana French Toast from the Imus Ranch Cookbook. Indeed, half the reason for my enjoyment of the dish is for the batter itself--I could eat it with a I did. (Since it is a vegan recipe, the batter is egg-free, so eating the batter does not present a threat of salmonella). Instead of using the batter for its intended use, I ate it as a pudding, into which I dipped some more of those blueberry mini waffles. I washed it all down with rice milk.
After my last class, I was in a particularly celebratory mood due to not having class for the next 10 days. I kicked things up with a BBQ veggie hash: chickpeas, garlic, zucchini, mushrooms, and Whole Foods brand BBQ. I scooped it all up with baked blue corn chips, and I used up the rest of my fresh produce in a salad with cashews and a dish of grapes.
Then I packed up my suitcase for home...I thought you all would appreciate some of my "travelling essentials."
I also packed up dinner and a few snacks for my flights that evening. Dinner consisted of a veggie bologna sandwich, an apple, almonds, and raw veggies. For snacks, I brought along a light cheddar stick with rice crackers and a small container of TJ's trail mix.
Once at the airport, I picked up another small snack to nosh on while reading Shape. Mango? Yes, please.
I arrived home late, but I needed to pack up for DC before bed. Here's a glimpse at my reading material and my "emergency breakfast kit." What are some of your travel essentials for eating healthfully?
Finally, I got to sit down and read a few blogs with my nightly smoothie: Vanilla Alive! protein with blueberries, rice milk and Nature's Path cashew-ginger granola. Ah, the comforts of home.
Before heading out to the airport (again!), I had a quick breakfast: Rudi's bagel with Sunbutter, apple, and Friendship cottage cheese with apple pie spice. Oh Rudi, how I missed you.
By the time we arrived at the train station in DC, I was starving. Fortunately, there is a "grab and go" Au Bon Pain in the station, so I snagged a few items to eat: garden salad (with sprouts!), mixed nuts, vanilla soymilk, grapes, and whole grain bread. I didn't eat all this...but pretty close.

Next up was dinner at Nora, the nation's first certified organic restaurant. I was surprised to find that the vegetarian options were rather limited (read: only one entree was meat-free). Nonetheless, I had a fabulous meal. I ordered a spicy tofu hot pot with loads of veggies and soba noodles. I drained that bowl clean:) For dessert, I ordered the coconut sorbet, aka heaven in a martini glass. Everything I ordered was completely delicious, and completely vegan, as the waitress assured me.
Whew! I am spent from all that eating. It's so nice to visit a city where eating out is a delight and stress-free for vegan/vegetarians. What are your favorite cities for dining?

Before I sign off, I want to let you all know about a special giveaway over at Blue Plate Special. Anna is offering the chance to win Raising the Bar, a book about the creators of my beloved Clif bars. In case you missed it, I recently did a review of ALL Clif bars (minus the peanut flavors)--check it out here. Obviously, I am one of Clif's biggest fans:)

Good night, all!


shelby said...

I'm totally packing my PB with me for Spring Break!!!

Mmm fabulous idea for the French Toast Pudding! Mmm

Rosalie Y said...

:D The berry tripping was a HUGE HIT. It sold out pretty early. It was so well-organized and enjoyable! Props to Dusdac! And it was the perfect way to get my couple of servings of fruit :]

Hope you're having fun in DC! I think my favorite city for dining is Montreal... I lived there for 9 years and it's just such a great town for college students/grad students/good cheap dining, as well as ethnic dining and local specialties. I miss Montreal. Durham's pretty good, too, from what I've had so far, which isn't much. I really want to go to six plates for my 21st birthday :P

Sarah (lovINmytummy) said...

I just had heart palpitations when I saw your trail mix. I wish I were kidding.

Erin of Care to Eat said...

What a beautiful view! I love how in DC you can see the monument everywhere.
Your meals are gorgeous. Every time!
My fave city for dining is PORTLAND! It's my fave city for everything actually. :)
Have a great trip!

VeggieGirl said...

I LOVE how you ate the French toast batter - so fun!!

Coconut sorbet?? Yes, please!!

**My favorite cities for dining = NYC and Chicago.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend in DC, girl!! Oh and I sent you a text yesterday, haha ;-) said...

enjoy your break :)

everything is amazing - love your snacks!

ps. my fave thing at moe's is the personal trainer salad, i love salsa, beans & veggies all mixed together ~ yum!

Kim said...

Have fun in DC! While there, you must try some Ethiopian food! Julia's empanadas are always popular, and hit up Sticky Fingers if you haven't yet =)

ksgoodeats said...

Batter as pudding to dip waffles in?! Seriously, you're a culinary goddess!

My travel essentials: protein bars, PB packets, carbs of some form, fruit :)

Fav city for dining: Chicago, hands down!

Lauren said...

Pesto tofu sounds awesome! Have a wonderful and relaxing break :)

Ruby Red Vegan said...

I have only had pesto tofu once, but it was so amazing that I am SUPER glad you remind me of it! Sounds like it would be awesome with whole wheat pasta, too!

And I am totally stealing your emergency breakfast kit idea! Thanks.

glidingcalm said...

ugh! I feel like blogger HATES me commenting on your blog! I always have troubles!

anyways, to recap what I JUST WROTE that was deleted (grrrrr) I said........

a) how ALWAYS gorgeous and amazing your food looks....and how inspiring you are to me to eat health-fully and BEAUTIFULLY. thank you for that!!

b) how im so jealous you are having so much fun in dc. but also so happy for you, and how I totally need to stock up on some good mag reading for when I go back home!


c) that your tofu meal from the restaurants sounds sooooooooo tasty!!

have a great weekend Chickpea!

Marianne said...

Coconut sorbet? Awesome!

Jaime said...

so many great eats! my mouth is just watering! those mini waffles look marvelous!

my travel snacks are kashi/clif bars! :) xoxox

CeciLiA said...

WOW great eats OVERLOAD!!!!

OMG, I'm seriously DROOLING at the sight of your pesto pasta... I must make that asap!! I love pesto anything, YUMMO! :D

Tofu banana dip + mini waffles is calling my name as well, so do you just blend tofu+banana together n that's it?!! Hehehe ...

Omg, coconut sorbet?!!! Sounds DIVINE!!! Hrmmm, I wonder if you blend frozen coconut water, you'll get sorbet in return?!! Hrmmm :/

As for fav city for dining ... Perth is pretty 'meh-ish' but maybe NYC coz there's nothing you can't get to eat in that city :D

Erin said...

I'm very intrigued by that pesto tofu. The pesto is IN the tofu? Where does one get such a product?

I'm just like you when it comes to traveling, I bring way too much food with me because I worry about "just incase". Always including dried fruit and granola bars.

ChickPea said...

Shelby: Haha--good to know I'm not the only one!
Rosalie: I am SO glad to hear that the tripping wen well!
I've never been to Montreal, but it sounds like such a great place to visit. I had no idea you lived there! I've never been to Six Plates, but I hear it's pretty awesome.
Sarah: Haha--go to TJ's!
Erin: I REALLY want to visit Portland. It seems like such a veg paradise! Have you ever been to Food Fight Grocery? I think it's in Portland, and it looks like it has amazing vegan products.
VG: Chicago is for sure a favorite for dining for me too-I haven't visited NYC since my foodie obsession began, so I need to revisit:)
LoveofOats: I've never gotten the Personal Trainer--I might have to try it next visit!
Kim: Aww, I wish I had longer to spend in DC so I could hit up those places. Next time I MUST make time for Sticky Fingers though.
K: Seriously, I am no culinary goddess--I just happen to put weird ingredients together. I am pretty sure my roommate thought I was crazy when I made that concoction.
Chicago is a GREAT dining city. You can never run out of places to eat there!
Lauren: Thanks!!
Ruby: Pesto is a great flavor enhancer to tofu!
I ended up not needing my emergency kit, but it's always nice to have on hand in case a place turns out to be not quite veg-friendly!
GC: Oh no! I am so sorry that Blogger is being a poop. I hope it's resolved soon.
Thanks for your kind words! I really appreciate your taking the time to read and comment on my blog.
Marianne: That was pretty much my reaction when I saw it on the menu...
Jaime: Excellent choices on the travel snacks...I think I could keep Kashi in business, single-handedly.
Cecilia: I just recently tried pesto for the first time...and I love it! Now I incorporate it into everything!
The tofu-banana batter includes half a banana, about a quarter block of silken tofu, vanilla, cinnamon, and a splash of non-dairy milk.
So true about NYC--you can get ANY kind of food there!
Erin: Actually, I just cooked the cubed tofu in a skillet with minced garlic, then added prepared pesto to coat.

orangepop said...

YUM! AuBonPan has a GReAT selection of grab-&-go veggie eats!
I had to go back to see what the "pudding-french-toast" consisted of, & wowowow! Deeelish!
One of my favorite cities for vegan eats is definitely PORTLAND, OR!!! Have a great trip!