It’s been an odd week and after a few days of freezing temps and frost, I am ready for spring. Ready to see sunlight earlier in the morning, blooms, and warmer weather. Yes, I know, we still need tons of rain. Getting out of bed on week mornings is the biggest challenge for me during winter when it’s cold and dark. But we’re getting little hints of spring in our backyard while the pups have been content to stay warm and snuggle inside.
One of these days I will get control of the pet bed chaos by the fireplace. This week has been a challenge with Leela, her blindness and deafness has been making walks more tricky and me having to carry her more. I should probably take Miko on more solo walks, but I feel bad about leaving her behind because she does enjoy outdoor time too. My mom gave me a dog stroller she used with her last dog and I need to use it for Leela, I just haven’t been able to work up the courage to be seen walking my dog in a stroller. Am I being crazy?
Last weekend we had a great board meeting for the Sacramento Vegetarian Society discussing SacTown VegFest, sharing ideas to improve next year’s event, etc. I think I will be more involved with the planning comity which I’m looking forward to.
After, I made vegan fried rice using organic red rice and shared an Endangered Species Dark Chocolate bar with Sea Salt and Almonds with hubby for dessert and I will just say that chocolate is amazing.
Monday we went on a little adventure for the holiday off work heading to Nectar Cafe in Auburn for vegan enchiladas and tacos. I also tried a new flavor of GT’s Synergy Kombucha – Watermelon Wonder. It tasted a lot like watermelon candy and was delicious! Apparently it’s not an easy flavor to find because I’ve never seen it in stores.
We made an interesting, open-minded stop on the way home. A massive Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World store opened in this area not too long ago and we’ve been curious to check it out not sure what to expect. I know it had a lot of hunting related products, but curious if it was like a larger REI with biking, camping, and other active outdoor sport products too. Well, not really. There are some kayaks and camping gear, but most departments were focused on fishing and hunting. Surprisingly they actually had a few vegan camping food pouches and it was nice and new, but overall not a place I’ll go back to.
I also got an interesting email invitation to attend a social media influencer event at a Costa Vida location in Folsom this week to try out the vegan options with a random group of bloggers and other social media influencers.
I have never been to a Costa Vida location before, but liked the clean and fresh California vibe. It’s a fresh Mexican themed chain kind of like Chipotle where you build your own custom tacos, salads, bowls, and burritos. I met up with a group of about 10 people where the manager/franchise owner introduced us to the chain and the food they serve stressing that everything is fresh and made daily while we were brought out chips and all the varieties of salsas, guacamole, and queso options for dipping. He was also very knowledgeable and the vegan options which seemed plentiful. It would be nice it they labeled more vegan options on the menu and didn’t lump vegan options under “vegetarian” on the nutritional guide since those are very different.
After trying the various vegan sauces and chips while listening to him talk and asking questions, the group was directed through the line to order a menu option to try. I could have gotten a vegan salad, but that just to not look appetizing on a chilly evening and I decided on a black bean veggie burrito. The burritos at Costa Vida are a little different than other places I’ve been because you can order a dry, “pick up” burrito, or have sauces and cheese layered on top and eat with a fork and knife. I went dry because there weren’t a lot of vegan options for topping.
After assembling the burrito, they run it through a pizza oven style conveyor belt to heat it up and crisp the top which I’ve never seen before, but liked the warm and moist texture it added to the tortilla instead of getting a mouthful of dry flour tortilla.
Okay, so the burrito is a little plain looking, it was good with kicky hot sauces and I like that it was on the healthier side with black beans and fresh veggies, not fried or loaded with oil. Costa Vida also has desserts in the form of flan, cakes, and interesting cinnamon sugar rolled tortillas with butter, but nothing vegan friendly which was fine with me.
Overall the vegan options were basic with veggies, beans, tortillas, and salsas – no tofu meat alternatives like Chipotle. But were also on the healthier side, seemed very fresh, and would satisfy those maintaining a mostly whole foods plant based diet.
There have been other simple eats this week, lots of oil free tofu veggie stir fries, spicy Thai dishes, and Kung Pao Tofu from Pho Vegan Asian Cuisine.
Boo on the weekend almost being over, but hopefully this week’s list will motivate you for the week ahead.
Have fun with this simple vegan ice cream recipe.
21 ways to think positive which I could use more of.
Chuck Carroll is nailing plant based eats on this morning show, love that the hosts can’t seem to get enough.
Picking up trash may sound icky, but it’s a practice I’m trying to adopt more on dog walks and runs.
Protecting your mind is also a good practice with fake news, crappy advertising, and fake/flawed health studies.