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Fun Facts Friday & Food Suggestions Needed

Soapbox Follow Up & Ideas Needed
Thank you all for your comments and inputs regarding my soapbox moment. I am really glad to hear that even meat-eaters get my point. Now if only the restaurant chefs got it too. I do think that a big issue is location as well. I live in a region that still believes that meat completes a meal. Most people I know don't really understand vegetarian diets let alone a vegan diet. They simply think - omit meat and the person will be happy. Sigh.

Anyway, Jason went to swim this morning and happened to strike up a conversation with the swim coach. She and her husband are apparently opening an Irish Pub downtown (close to our house). He asked about the menu and vegetarian options. She is completely open to suggestions!! This is exciting because it may very well give us a new place to hang out and eat.

I mention this (exciting to me) news, because I have no idea what to suggest in terms of vegetarian and/or vegan Irish dishes. So, I'm looking to all of you amazing bloggers to chime in and help me out. Please send me any vegetarian/vegan Irish food ideas you might have or recipes even (I'll make sure you get full credit of course).

Rest & Baseball
Today is going to be a rest day for me. I almost got up to do some kickboxing this morning, but I decided against it. My next workout on tap will be upper body weights (push muscle group) and short cardio. I knew I wasn't going to have time for the weights today, sooooo.....perfect rest day. And actually, I have some DOMS going on from yesterday's crazy workout. I know I shouldn't be, but I am often surprised when I am sore from using light weights.

Tonight we'll be going to a baseball game with friends. I'm really looking forward to it. It'll be fun - hot but fun. You do know what that really means right? No Pizza Friday. Sigh. I'll likely make up for it tomorrow though ;-)

Fun Facts Friday - Food
Moving right along to fun facts time. As I write this post, I am getting hungry. So, let's go with a food theme. One thing I have discovered since venturing into blogland is food trends. Right now I am seeing almost daily posts for vegan softserve, chia seeds, green monsters, juicing, nut butters, and dolled up oatmeal that will make you want to lick the screen. I've definitely tried out some of these "trends," recipes, and suggestions - hello almond butter. But, there are some I still have not tried. I think I must be the last blogger on the planet to have not tried them as well. So, here's my list.
1. Vegan soft serve. I even have the frozen bananas in the freezer waiting for me. I think I'm afraid I'm going to like this so much that I will quickly over indulge.

2. Green monsters. Smoothies and shakes never seem to fully satisfy me. So these just don't seem terribly appealing.

3. Chia seeds. Just not sure about these suckers. The recipes I see that use them all sound good. I know they are nutritious, but they aren't cheap.
So, am I alone? What have you seen or read a great deal about recently and have yet to try? Got any particular reasons for not trying it?   


  1. Enjoy the ball game tonight. I hope you have a great evening.

    We love vegan soft serve though our favorite is a combo of strawberry and banana. But your suspicion is right it is a little too good.

    Green smoothies don't really do it for me either. I think they are best for those that don't eat enough produce otherwise.

    Whole chia seeds that have been soaked have an odd texture in my book. Also they don't contain lignans like flax so I don't see the reason to use them in place of flax. Now if you were to ask me about hemp seeds I would say buy them. They are excellent. The taste reminds me of pine nuts.

    talk to you later,

  2. Holy crap...yeah. Ok, banana soft serve, did it and like it. Not world changing, but good. I bake with my frozen bananas or they get eaten. Just not there yet on buying the bananas just for this. Um no to the green monster. I don't like to drink my calories and seriously, I would rather eat everything that is in it before I condense it down. I am a volume girl. Hence the salads I eat! Chia seeds, I am scared. I am not gonna lie..they turn gelatinous when they hit liquid. I think someone would have to send me samples before I spend that kind of money on it. So, the trend I have seen is the avocado chocolate pudding. I am just not there yet.

    Have a great night!

  3. I feel like such a blog traitor, but I'm not crazy about the whole banana soft serve thing. It doesn't taste like softserve to me, it tastes like exactly what it is-- frozen banana! Which is fine...but it ain't soft serve :-)

    I'm not on Twitter, and I feel like I might be the only one who's not, so I guess I'm bucking that trend!

  4. I also have frozen bananas in my freezer, waiting to be soft-served! I don't know why I haven't gotten around to it. Some of the other things I haven't tried are oats in a jar, almond butter or any other type of butter that isn't peanut, and overnight oats. I think I will get around to those bananas this weekend though!

  5. AnonymousJune 25, 2010

    I am so weird about green monsters. I used to eat them ALL the time and now I just can't stomach them.

  6. Hahaha! Cute post!

    You need to make the banana soft serve girl, with a bit of coconut milk! I only have it once in a while and it is divine :)

    Chia seeds took me a while to get used to because of their "thickness" they aren't too cheap but i do know Costco now has them!


  7. I have to try a green monster and the banana soft serve. I've been reading about them for years it seems and have yet to partake. Missing out. I also am intrigued by chia seeds! Hope you have a lovely weekend, my dear!

  8. AnonymousJune 25, 2010

    I used to love chia seeds in my oats but you are right...expensive.

    No GM's for me either. Give me real food!

    I've been making banana soft serve for years...Boomer loves it LOL!

  9. I love ALL three of those things on your list! Well, chia seeds aren't my favorite, but I like them in oats every so often. And the Irish Pub is so exciting.. maybe some yummy fish dishes? That's vegetarian right?!

  10. green, i like to chew my food OR eat dessert. softserve i make a TON of ...for scott. He loves ice cream so i am happy to help veganize it. But for me, gimme somthing w/ crunch.

    Chia seeds. They are pricey and they are fun, but not a "must have" IMO

    I have not tried any of the protein cakes b/c most call for an egg and prot and me..not too good of friends :)

  11. Sorry I am no help on any recipes for the Irish Pub but I hope you come up with something. It would be great for you to have it so close by.
    I havent tried the soft serve but I love my chia seeds.

  12. Alicia @ Vegan Epicurean Thanks for the suggestion on the hemp seeds. May try those out. And love the idea of the strawberries for the soft serve.

    Sarena @ The Non-Dairy Queen LOL - I'm kind of scared of chia seeds too! And I'm with you on preferring to eat/chew. I've definitely seen the avocado pudding recipes out there as well. Since I'm not a big chocolate fan, I've not wanted to try that one out.

    Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg Traitor or not, thank you for the honesty b/c that's what I figured it'd taste like. How could it not?? I guess if you add in things like cinnamon or flavorings...

    Eunice @ Food 4 Fitness Ok you must try nut butters! I haven't done the oats in a jar either. Can't believe I left that one off the list.

    Jill @ Every Day Original Interesting - maybe you had one too many ;-)

    Kris @ iheartwellness I do love your idea of adding in the coconut milk and have kept that idea tucked away for when I do finally try the soft serve.

    Andrea @ Can You Stay for Dinner So glad to know I'm not alone!

    April @ The Weigh I Am So were you making it for you or Boomer? LOL

    Megan @ The Oatmeal Diaries I knew you did the GM. I may eventually try the chia seeds. Nope, no fish (not for me anyway).

    Averie @ Loves Veggies and Yoga I am so with you on chewing. Oh yes, protein pancakes are everywhere. I'll admit I have tried those - but I'm not vegan of course.

    Bela @ It's Life, Max it Out How do you use the chia seeds?

  13. Fun post!

    Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with Irish food at all, so I'm no help. Sorry! It is exciting that you're getting a new restaurant that is so open to offering vegetarian/vegan options!

    I used to feel the same way about smoothies - not filling enough and I'd rather chew my food. However, when I was commuting an hour every morning, they became a great on-the-go option, and now I'm hooked! I've had one almost every morning for the past year. They are just so refreshing, and they don't make me feel weighed down like some other "eaten" breakfasts. Also, they keep me full only when I load 'em up with good stuff like nut butter and chias.

    Obvs. I love chia seeds. I kinda love the gel-like texture they get when wet;), they help with my anemia, and they have protein and omega 3s. Also, I can tell a huge difference in my satiety when I put them in my green monster compared to when I don't. They really do help keep me full longer, so I'm up for sprinkling them on anything! Oh, and they're not too badly priced on - much cheaper than in our health food store.

    Banana soft serve = just okay in my book. It's a nice healthy sweet treat when I'm craving sweet and creamy.

    Another trend that I am loving is overnight oats! So quick, easy and delicious!

    Sorry for the novel - I guess I get a bit excited about my favorites:)

  14. I'm totally not Irish whatsoever (my family is eastern european Jew) but I did attend culinary school for well over a year so here what I recommend. I know the Irish are big on taters, so why not a good old potato leek soup. Its actually pretty healthy too if you dont ad heavy cream or at least go easy on it.
    Its pretty simple, sautee onions and leeks in some EVOO until soft and golden, ad peeled and cubed potatoes, vegetable stock, garlic, a bay leaf, salt and pepper and let it simmer until the taters are cooked all the way through (check with a knife or fork). Then carefully (and I cant stress this enough because I've burned my self so many time doing this!) pour in mixture into a blender or use a hand held one in the pot and blend it all up. Taste it and adjust the seasoning.
    And I think they are also into cabbage so try braising some cabbage maybe with apple cider vinegar and nutmeg.

    ok on to your trends.....
    Its funny the trends you notice from food blogging! I bough chia seeds a few months ago and they are ok. I dont really taste them but every once in a while I'll sprinkle some cause it kinda looks like sprinkles and its healthy....I'm way more into flax meal if you ask me....
    I dont actually like bananas cause when I was four, I had salmonella and they always fed me gatorade and bananas to stay hydrated (cause I was like a vomit machine). Anyhow, I have bad memories from that and they remind me of being sick so I'm a REAL soft serve fan.
    I've been digging melty nut butters and i'm curious to try hemp flour and hemp milk. Its VERY high in protein, but I'm nervous to get it cause its expensive and I'm not sure if its good for baking.
    It feels like every blogger I lurk is into protein powders and to be honest, I've only tried it once or twice. I'm afraid of buying a large and expensive tub and me not liking it. Plus, I wonder if I really need it. I'm not vegetarian so I dont see how I cant get protein from, you know, actual food.
    I havent seen anybody use it or try it, but I do want to try hazelnut milk, I saw it at whole foods and if it tastes like liquid nutella, I'm all over it!

  15. You are SO right about the whole 'meat free' beans- (from your last post- comment back to me) -I find that SO annoying. Even though I do eat chicken & fish, I do NOT eat beef & pork...and it's always like beans cooked with pig..YUCK.
    OMG- I LOVE banana soft serve- soooooo good! you should try it :)
    I also do like Green Monsters, but notice that when I have them for breakfast, I usually need a snack a couple hours later.
    And, I've never had chia seeds either. Kind of expensive for my opinion.
    Have a GREAT weekend Heather :)

  16. That'll be so neat to have some input on dishes for the pub! Unfortunately the only thing I know about Irish cuisine is that there are lots of potatoes, so I'm not really much help.

    I've only tried Green Monsters out of that list and I really enjoy them as a snack, but they would never fill me up enough as a meal!

    I still haven't tried overnight oats yet but I really want to.

  17. Candice @ ChiaSeedMe I haven't tried the overnight oats yet. Not sure if I'd like cold oatmeal... Thanks for the chia seed link!

    Eden's Eats Thanks for the suggestions! I still haven't tried hemp foods yet. I can totally see how you would NOT like bananas!!!

    Holly @ Greek Yogurt and Apple Slices I just don't understand why people feel that the must cook beans with a meat. I must be missing something LOL.

    Chelsea @ The Healthy Munchkin It's funny about the pub, I just keep thinking "potatoes" too and there must be so much more!

  18. I'm actually going to try banana soft serve tonight for the first time, excited!! I have several other things I want to try but haven't broken down because of the $, including chia seeds, hemp seeds, and cacao nibs. I will add these to my pantry at some point!

    A dream come true for me as a vegan option at an Irish pub would be a vegan shepherds pie (aka gardeners pie). My favorite meat substitute is lentils (easy on the wallet too), but it could be a fake beef of some sort as well. There is a good recipe on

  19. Sarah @ The Ordinary Vegetarian Ok you're going to have to report back on the soft serve please! I was thinking of some sort of shepherds pie too. I'll definitely check out this link.

  20. I came back to report that the soft serve IS AMAZING! I'm just sad I didn't try it earlier. Try it now!!


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