Tag Archives For: engine2

25 Feb, 2014

Food Roundup

/ posted in: Food

I’m Back! For some reason the powers that be at ICANN decided that I wasn’t a real person and shut down my domain. It took 5 days to fix so I have a backlog of posts that were ready to go.

Are you ready for the most First World whine you’ve ever heard? I am so sick of eating – especially eating out. I want to be able to just wander to my own kitchen and get some food. I don’t want eating to be an ordeal. I now know that I would have been a horrible hunter-gatherer. “Oh, the buffalo are all the way over there? Let’s just skip it tonight then. I’m good.”

By the end of the trip I was forcing myself to eat dinner. I knew I was going to be hungry if I didn’t but it involved getting on a shuttle bus for a ride to a strip hotel and then walking for 15-20 minutes to go to a restaurant, eating, walking back to the bus, and riding to the hotel. By the time I mustered up the energy to go and then got back I didn’t want to write about it. So here is a quick rundown of the rest of my Vegas eating.

Border Grill Mandalay Bay

I love Mexican food and it can be tough to do vegan with all the cheese. I ended up with the avocado tacos here. The avocados were rolled in seeds of some type (sesame?) so they were a little crunchy. It was ok, not out of this world but I’m not a huge avocado fan.

They did have a huge sorbet collection for dessert. There were 7 flavor made that day. Some I couldn’t even imagine – jalapeño? prickly pear? I ended up with mojito and passion fruit. These were good.

Buffet at Wynn

I ended up at buffets for vegetables. Expensive vegetables because strip buffets don’t come cheap. Because this is Wynn there were vegan options at every station clearly labeled. At the pasta station there were no meat sauces at all and there was even a non-dairy Alfredo. I was disappointed that the only vegan desserts were a passion fruit tapioca and a mango sorbet. I thought here there would be more options.

Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s Palace

This is widely touted as one of the best buffets around. It was awful. It was just horribly run. Most food weren’t labeled at all or worse, was labeled incorrectly. I had some vegan sushi (good) but when I went back there was a new tray of obviously fish sushi with the vegetable label still over it. People in line were working together to try to figure out what they were eating. There would be a station with four dishes and five labels or a station with no labels at all. At the dessert bar every other one of the ice creams were labeled. Even with the worker having to answer, “What kind is that?” for every guest she didn’t fix the labels.

16 Feb, 2014

Using grocery delivery

/ posted in: Food

I’m lucky when I travel because my parents have a time share that I can use that gives access to small apartments or condos all over.  I’m just off the Strip in Las Vegas in a quiet hotel with a kitchen – and a jacuzzi but for the purposes of this story the kitchen is more important.

Haing a kitchen is great but I don’t rent a car for this convention.  How was I going to get food?  When I was here last year I realized that you could get groceries delivered.  I used Vons.com.  You order online and pick a time for delivery.  They came right on time and this is my haul for the week.



I mainly needed breakfast and snack food in the room since I’ll be eating other meals out. I can make smoothies and I have hummus because I’m alone. I love hummus and the husband has life-threatening food allergies. Sad. He liked hummus the one time he tried it until he had to be rushed to the ER.

Now I’m off to start getting educated at the convention. My first class is a lunch meeting but I’m bringing some Larabars in case nothing is vegan. Veterinarians seem to have more vegetarians than the average crowd but we also have more rabid hunters than other groups too. Feeding veterinarians is a delicate balancing act.

15 Feb, 2014

Travel Day

/ posted in: Foodtravel

I’m flying to Las Vegas today. It is my first time flying while trying to maintain a vegan diet.

Of course I’m carrying a lot of my own food. I have a bag of baby carrots and lots of Larabars. I have some veggie chips too.

I started out at the Akron airport. It is small with only a few food options. You can get a bowl of fruit from the Cinnabon though if you need to.

Then I got bumped from my flight! I got a $400 flight voucher and they drove me to Cleveland for my new flight.

At the Cleveland airport I found UFoodGrill. They offer a veggie burger, a tofu bowl, and a variety of veggie sides. I ordered the veggie burger and a side of brown rice.

Disgusting! Actually that’s the wrong word. There was absolutely no taste to it except for the ketchup on the burger. But, it filled me up and I was glad to have options. So, A for effort but no points for execution.

I didn’t get a chance to eat in Minneapolis because I was running to make my connection.

Now I’m at my hotel in Vegas. I have a grocery store delivering food in the morning. For tonight I’m ordering a calzone. The lady taking my order was distressed by my request to have it cheese less. “Oh, sweetie. No cheese? Are you sure?”

Hopefully it is good. Tomorrow I start my exploration of vegan food in Vegas. I know from other trips and some research that it is pretty amazing! I’ve been looking forward to this!

10 Feb, 2014

Restaurant Fails

/ posted in: Food

I had a frustrating food day yesterday.

Our kitchen was unusable because of some work being done in there.  We went out to breakfast to a local gourmet market.  (Most of the grocery stores around here have restaurants in them.)

I’ve been a vegetarian a long time.  I’m used to not having many choices in what I eat when I go out.  But there was absolutely nothing available that I could eat here.  I was shocked.  The husband asked at the counter.  The staff was baffled.  And so started a conversation that consisted of every bad vegetarian/vegan cliche out there.

I suppose you could have a salad.

Yeah, I could.  There’s nothing wrong with salad but we’ve already covered that restaurant salads are pitiful excuses for salad.

Do you eat shrimp?

Um, no.  This was followed by, I kid you not, “What about tuna?”  I was bracing myself for the ultimate question – How do you get your protein then?  When another person behind the counter stepped in.

She heard the word vegan and lit up.  Perhaps she is one of the tribe.  She recommended their veggie wrap without the cheese and mayo and substituting honey mustard dressing  “if honey is ok with you.”  I wanted to kiss her.  It didn’t end up to be the greatest meal but I was glad to just get food.

Later we had to go out again for dinner.  We were going to another supermarket restaurant but this one is super vegan friendly.  They even have vegan carrot cake.  I was focusing on vegan carrot cake.  They were closed.

We ended up at a place that has a decent veggie burger – hold all the cheese they normally top it with – with a side of “vegetable rice” that contained 5 kernels of corn in a bowl of rice.  There was no carrot cake.

I don’t think I would have been so frustrated if I hadn’t been drooling over the menus for vegan-loving restaurants that I’m going to go to next week when I’m at a conference.

I came home and whipped up some chia seed pudding.  I’ve never successfully made this before.  It always tasted like sludge.  This time it was good though.

Chia Seed Pudding Formula

1.25 cups plant milk

1/3 cup chia seeds

2 T maple syrup

Mix these all up and refrigerate.  Stir every so often until it looks like tapioca in about an hour.

You can mix in flavors as you want.  I added unsweetened cocoa powder to make chocolately pudding which makes everything better.

05 Feb, 2014

Packing Up

/ posted in: Food

Whenever I am working on eating clean I end up packing up vast quantities of food when I leave the house. For some reason I’m fairly certain that I’m going to staaaaaaaaarve and since I can’t run to a fast food place I will never, never have enough food again. This has never happened in case you are wondering. If it did, I have enough fat on me to last for a sufficient time. There is no need for me to go all Scarlet O’Hara.

Anyway, I usually have some snacking food with me in case. For a while I carried around a bag of carrots and cherries with me last summer like a security blanket. I never ate them but I felt better having them.

I’ve moved on to keeping Lara Bars in my purse. I like the peanut butter and jelly and the blueberry muffin ones. They are made with just dates and berries and nuts.

This is what I packed this morning to take to work.

There is an apple, an orange, a bag of carrots, and my lunch (rice, beans, salsa). I have the bars too. I packed this much because I didn’t trust my breakfast. I had oatmeal with an entire apple chopped up mixed into it along with some applesauce and cinnamon stirred in. Oatmeal never fills me up but this did good. I’ve had a few carrots mostly out of boredom because we are slow at work and they are sitting here.

04 Feb, 2014

Getting in greens

/ posted in: Food

This morning I ate a date before my workout. I exercise at 6 am and I am not getting up early enough to be able to have a meal ahead of time. It would probably make me sick too. A date is enough for an hour workout.

Afterwards I had a smoothie with banana, almond milk, blackberries, a spoonful of peanut butter, and spinach. I know the Engine 2 isn’t big on smoothies because they want you to chew. I like smoothies because I can put in a lot of vegetables and fruits at once. It isn’t like I’m blending them instead of chewing them. I’m blending them instead of not eating them at all. I’m not going to sit down with a bunch of spinach and gnaw on it in the morning.

Lunch is going to be salad. I used to have a problem bringing salads from home. They’d get soggy. Then I learned this tip.

You put all the toppings you want in the bottom of the bowl. I have chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, cucumbers, dried cranberries, olives, carrots, and pickles. I throw everything in there.

It takes up about 1/4 of this medium mixing bowl I use for salad. Then, if you are going to use dressing, mix it in with the toppings. I don’t always have dressing if the toppings are juicy. That’s enough flavor. If I do use dressing it is just a little bit like 1-2 teaspoons for a big salad. I add the lettuce on top. The lettuce doesn’t get soggy at all.

I like making my own because restaurant salads tend to be wimpy and small. They don’t fill you up. This is a really filling lunch.

03 Feb, 2014

Food prep for Monday

/ posted in: Food

My main barrier to eating healthy all the time is just plain laziness.

My worst time is at breakfast.  It seems ludicrous that a person can be too lazy to make a smoothie in the morning but I manage it.  I tell myself that it is too much work to go into the kitchen and make food so I’ll go to the bagel place or worse, McDonalds, on my way to work.  It takes about 5 minutes to get food handed to you.  It takes about 2 minutes to make a smoothie.  The math is not in my favor.

So, one of my goals for this week is to make breakfast an event.

This morning I sliced up a banana, an apple, and an orange and arranged them on a plate with a few dollops of peanut butter.  Look at how much food that is!

That’s one of the nice things about eating a clean plant-based diet.  You can eat vast quantities of food.  There is no excuse for being hungry.

At the same time as making breakfast I started some quinoa cooking and started baking a sweet potato.  I haven’t had a baked sweet potato since the incident when I caught the microwave on fire last May while baking one.  I guess I didn’t have one that day either, come to think of it.

Lunch will be the baked potato with black beans and salsa.  Dinner will be the quinoa (cooked with veggie broth and tomato paste) with leftover lentil sloppy joes adapted to the Engine 2 Diet by not cooking with oil and decreasing the maple syrup a bit.