Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Restaurant Review: Vitality Bowls

So I'm strolling Stoneridge Mall on Thanksgiving. Swarms of people are standing in lines and rushing into stores looking for a deal when my stomach starts to grumble. My light vegan dinner has already been digested from all the shopping cardio. So I look for something decent to put in my body that still meets my dietary needs. I see Mrs. Fields Cookies, McDonalds, See's Candy, Steak Escape, everything I wont and can't eat. Then I see the word vitality and the word bowl after it. Vitality Bowls the sign read. I quickly broke away from my friends- to check out what type of food a place with that name offered.

The menus were laid out to display a variety of Acai bowls. All of which were non-dairy and full of fruit. Some flavors came with honey, granola, broccoli, and soy milk. The menu also included salads, smoothies, sandwhichs, paninis, and other drinks. An acai bowl is staple breakfast meal in Brazil. It gracefully made its way into vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the Bay. I was utterly surprised to see such a healthy and indigenous treat being served in a mall.

The place was filled with groups of young teens all with a spoon in hand and $10 to fork over for a Vitality bowl. I had to order to see if was really as good as the crowd made it seem. For $9.99 I got a large bowl of blended acai berries topped with granola, strawberries, bananas, coconut, and honey. It was very tasty, fresh, light and fulfilling. I was inspired to make another as soon as I returned home.

Although, my taste buds were pleased I can't help but wonder will the commercializing of healthy foods degrade the quality of the product? Will the high demand for these bowls decrease the nutritional value? Are the fruits organic? Is the soy G.M.O free? Is the granola full of sugar?  Ignorance can surely be bliss when one is hungry in a mall and the only healthy option is a Vitality Bowl, but these are questions I still can't help but ask when health foods start becoming trendy.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Vegan Holiday's are YUMMY!

During the holidays countless people laugh in my face when I tell them I’m a vegan. They respond with “oooh I feel sorry for you” or “that seems boring”, and “oh how sad”. Little do they know that there are a myriad of options for vegans all year round holidays included. I am here to show and prove that vegans can have just as much fun if not more during the holidays without the extra pounds or sluggish feeling after.

 To keep it real, during the holidays I never eat with my family WHY? because every year plates are full of ham hock greens, buttery yams, cheesy bacon string bean casseroles, overstuffed turkey, and the infamous stinky chitterlings (pig intestines). There isn't a vegetable in sight that hasn't been smothered by meat or cheese. At the tender age of 13 I stopped eating most of these foods and by college I just stopped eating it altogether. During these times I would either starve or have to visit my family on an already full stomach. This year a friend invited me to her families dinner and allowed me to construct my own vegan friendly menu which she also volunteered to prepare. 

 Course One: Simple Green Salad

 Course Two: Butternut Squash Soup with Dried Cranberries 

Main Course: 
Vegan Stuffing Stuffed Bell Pepper
Baked yams
Olive Oil Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Sauted String Beans
Amy's Vegan Mac and Cheese

Dessert One: Cinnamon Spiced Baked Pears

Dessert Two: Whole Foods Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Although, I created the menu I owe my first year of eating everything on my plate to Chef Brittany, Amy's frozen Mac and Cheese (which I didn't like), and to Whole Foods for their Brussel Sprouts and Vegan Pumpkin pie.