It has been a wonderful weekend so far and I’ve been eating like a queen! Whew, really need that long run tomorrow. :-) I met hubby for lunch at Baagan yesterday for my latest addiction – the salad trio plate. It’s a new dish with three salads on one plate and the salads are switched every week, so it’s constantly changing and a fun way to sample new flavor combos. This week was a unique sticky and slightly sweet black rice salad, golden beets and chard salad, and a delicate greens salad with tangy strawberries and creamy vinaigrette dressing.
The black rice was especially fabulous with a hearty nutty texture and fruity sweetness while the vinaigrette dressing tasted wonderful blended in with the other salads, fun dish for inspiration!
And last night we stepped out for Thai after a stressful work day, I got a simple tofu cashew stir fry dish that was very filling.
But I’m a lucky girl because I got to go to another fabulous vegan brunch today, two in one week! Animal Place, an amazing farm sanctuary in Grass Valley, CA, held their first annual Mother’s Day brunch today. For $40 per person, we got a wonderful vegan brunch with fun new vegan dishes to try, a farm tour that got up close and personal with farm animals, and fun education and history about the sanctuary along with inspirational stories about animal mothers from the farm. And a super goody bag for moms with recipe books, vegan cookies, vegan caramels, and other baked goods – my mom was spoiled!
The outdoor setting for the brunch was perfect with beautiful scenery of the rolling Grass Valley hills in a new shaded outdoor eating area at the sanctuary. And the food was beautiful! I’m a sucker for gourmet vegan breakfast foods and they had plenty! On this table are vegan quiches, sweet berry breakfast quinoa, vegan baked goods, and plenty of fruit salad.
And there was a fabulous chilled seitan salad, crackers and vegan “cheese”, and vegan pastry puffs.
My plate was very decadent! I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a cinnamon roll, the little vegan cinnamon roll from Cinnaholic was a treat! And so was the breakfast seitan using Upton’s Natural Seitan.
After brunch we got a detailed tour of the farm sanctuary that included meeting young cows that were very friendly.
And feeding apples to pot bellied pigs.
They were fast at finding and eating the apple chunks, wow!
And we got to meet a few of the adult cow residents that eagerly came to the fence to greet visitors when their names were called.
I could have watched and petted them for hours, the black and white cow sweetly cleaned and watched the younger brown cows. And they seemed like such complex and caring animals with a unique social network.
We also headed into the rescued bunny pen where we got to feed fresh basil and cilantro to the bunnies.
After the tour, they had a lovely vegan farm store setup where we could purchase veggie starters, so awesome!
For me this was the perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day. Before the tour, we got a beautiful presentation about how the farm animal residents of the sanctuary are beautiful mothers too with touching stories about a rescued dairy cow that never had a chance to raise her babies before they were taken from her on a dairy farm, but did get to raise two rescued male calves on the sanctuary. A lot of the stories and information was powerful and emotional, but beautiful and touching – a positive reminder that farm animals often taken for granted in factory farms are amazing and caring beings that want to lovingly raise their young too.
I feel very lucky to have attended the first Mother’s Day event and look forward to making it an annual tradition! It was such a wonderful girls day out with my mom and sisters with gorgeous scenery.