Tag: gluten-free (page 2 of 2)

Vegetarian Eats, Savannah Edition – Part 1

Isn’t it shameful that I have lived more than nine years in the Peach State, and not once have I visited Savannah? I suppose it was one of those places that we thought we’d visit some weekend but never ended up doing so. Anyway, that was rectified this last weekend when P’s cousin came a-visiting. We traipsed all around Atlanta: checking in at the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola, driving to Tucker so she could get a spiffy new haircut at Studio Sarita, tucking into South Indian fare at Udipi Cafe, Smyrna. The weekend was reserved for Savannah.

Set out on Friday evening, arrived in Downtown Savannah close to midnight. The starched sheets and covers at Springhill Suites were sweet luxury! Such a relief to fall into bed after a long drive…

Saturday was the loveliest day ever… golden sunshine, brilliant and luminous! We walked through Downtown, checking out the cool apparel and gift stores. Pacing down Broughton Street, we chanced on The Coffee Fox and decided to stop for breakfast. A good decision, indeed. Such a cool space with a huge collage wall, riveted metal swivel chairs, dark walls, wooden floors and delicious snacks and coffee. Vegan Brownie! Fig + Chocolate Scones! Gluten-free Peanut Butter Cookies! Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies… Oh Yum.

The Coffee Fox, Downtown Savannah

The Coffee Fox, Downtown Savannah

P ordered a cup of Cafe Con Leche (with soy milk) while his cousin got hot chocolate. I went a little crazy ordering Kolache with cheese, one vegan chocolate chip cookie, and a fig + chocolate scone. Well, the plan was to split them between the three of us, so not all that crazy. I sneaked sips from P’s Cafe Con Leche. It was pretty good (considering how unfamiliar I am with the sophisticated world that coffee aficianados inhabit) but I would have liked it with regular milk. Kolache is a baked sweet pastry filled with cheese. It was strictly so-so, one of those baked goodies that goes well with coffee but does not necessarily stand up to scrutiny by itself. The vegan chocolate chip cookie was The Bomb! Soft and crumbly, mildly sweet, rich with the taste of chocolate… A Most Excellent Cookie Indeed.

Our hunger sated, we tramped off. Walked along the gorgeous blue river, sauntered in and out of candy and specialty stores, took pictures with the gulls, checked out artist studios and their wares in City Market… and then it was time for lunch. Walked back to Broughton and stepped into Ruan Thai.

No sooner had we walked in and placed our orders, a huge Asian family with close to 20 members came in. The smiles on the faces of the hostesses couldn’t have been wider. At Ruan, $10.95 gets you a lunch entree with a choice of soup or a spring roll. That day, there was a choice between Coconut Soup and Lemongrass Soup. P selected Lemongrass while his cousin and I opted for a Spring Roll each. For the entrees, we went with Thai Ginger, Garlic Lover and Drunken Noodles. The food came super-fast. Piping hot, perfectly spiced, light and hearty… I think Thai food is a lifesaver for vegetarians. It is generally choc-a-full of lightly cooked crunchy vegetables, light (unless you pick the coconut-based curries), easy on the wallet. P’s Lemongrass soup was tangy and sour-spicy, reminiscent of the South Indian rasam, mushrooms and green onion added!

Ruan Thai, Downtown Savannah

Ruan Thai, Downtown Savannah

In the afternoon, we went to Tybee Island. There were few people on the beach. The wind was chilly and persistent but the sun blazed on. The light was perfect, the blue of the sky mirrored in the ocean waters below. It was a gem of a day, one that I will remember for a long time to come.

Next up… Kayak Cafe and Pakwan Indian Cuisine, Savannah!

Apple Pie for Breakfast!

Imagine an apple pie so healthy that you can eat it for breakfast every day. One that is choc-a-full of coconut, pecans, dates, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices, an apple pie that is vegan and gluten-free, spicy and sweet, healthy and nutty and all that good stuff…

I got the recipe from John and Brenda Strickland, good friends from Atlanta Unity. I believe they got it off the Internet although John couldn’t remember the source. Thanks, John and Brenda!

This is a keeper of a recipe. I have made it twice already. P loved it, so did I. I remember eating a slice for breakfast each morning! A food processor is mighty useful to make this pie unless you like to chop up six apples into tiny bits and bites. I put my cute little Kitchenaid to good use here. I had no pecans, so I used walnuts instead. Also, I used lime juice instead of lemon juice.

The first time I made it, I followed the recipe. Second time, I halved the proportions but used the same 9″ pie plate. End result? A delicious apple pie that was a sliver high. Note to self, use a smaller pie plate if you halve the recipe.

1.5 cups shredded coconut
1.5 cups pecans
0.5 cups pitted dates
0.5 teaspoon salt

In a food processor, combine the coconut, nuts and salt. Process until fine. Add the dates and process until a dough is formed. Press the dough into a 9″ pie plate or tart dish.

6 cups peeled and chopped apples
Juice from half a lemon
1 cup of pitted, soaked and drained dates
2 heaped teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Combine two cups of the apples in food processor along with the rest of the ingredients. Blend well and pour the mixture over the remaining apples. Mix well. Pour the apple mixture into the pie crust. Refrigerate for an hour or longer.


Raw Apple Pie

John and Brenda made this pie a day ahead and chilled it overnight. That’s what I did as well. It helps the pie to firm up and set. I used Fuji apples but I am sure it will taste great with other varieties as well. This is a recipe that you would have to try real hard to go wrong with. You can’t mess up this apple pie, really.

Pamela’s Delicious Ginger Cookies

Combing through the shelves at the new Whole Foods store opened in our neighborhood, I chanced upon a black-green box of Pamela’s Ginger Cookies with Sliced Almonds. And they were wheat-free, gluten-free and dairy-free. If I remember right, they were priced at $4.99 for a 8-piece box.

Ginger and molasses… Hmmm, you cannot mess up this combination. This is one delicious cookie. Molasses imparts a subtle sweetness, a little like jaggery does. Plus it works very well with ginger.

Ginger Molasses Cookie (Dairy-free, wheat-free, gluten-free)

The cookie is nice and crumbly. It isn’t as crisp as a ginger snap neither does it have the sharp flavor. This one is milder although it contains allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg as well. Oh, it contains sliced almonds too. And it’s a nice sized big cookie… 🙂

Hoping that more of these products find their way to the shelves at our local stores!

Yeah! Burger

McDonald’s in India serves up a decent veggie burger. So does McDonalds’s in UK, as P will affirm. On our recent trip to Berlin, we tucked into a pretty good veggie burger at the local McDonald’s. But the chain in the United States has no such option. I won’t hazard a guess as to why. Possibly they think that the typical audience for McDonald’s does not care for vegetable burgers?

Yeah! Burger has no such restriction. A vegetarian will leave happy after a meal at this place. We visited the Midtown location earlier this week.

The menu has countless options for bun, patty, sides, sauce, etc. It also has a nice sounding section for ice-creams and shakes. If only it was that kind of weather… In any case, my meal of burger + fries left me too stuffed to even contemplate ice-cream. Or anything else.

P got himself a veggie burger with a gluten-free bun, sliced cucumber and Vidalia onions, avocado and sunflower pesto, and a side of sweet potato fries. He loved it! I wonder what the gluten-free bun was made of.

I ordered a veggie burger with a whole wheat bun, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, grilled Vidalia onions, avocado, pepper jack cheese and sunflower pesto, and a side of gluten-free fifty-fifty (french fries, onion rings).

Not bad at all! The patty could have done with some added heft, I think. The rest of the fillings are soft anyway, so the patty itself could have been crunchier, more crisp. I think I made the mistake of adding a topping too many! Plus I wanted to pick the roasted garlic aioli sauce but went for the sunflower pesto instead. Must have been thinking of something else… hmmm. In spite of all the flavors jostling in there, the pesto was able to make its presence felt although I wonder if it was too delicate an ingredient for the burger. You want big flavors in a burger, I’d think. Pesto is subtle, fragrant and very different from the others. Or so I think.

I got terrible pictures of the burgers, sorry!

Another realization: Between two people, one side is more than sufficient. I couldn’t make a dent in the french fries and onion rings. It didn’t make sense to get it home but we did end up bringing some of the sweet potato fries home. Yum indeed.

But I managed to get nice pictures of the space. The decor is simple and elegant. They use actual silverware! A nice little cool place – Yeah! Burger.

Yeah Burger
1168 Howell Mill Rd, Suite E
Atlanta GA 30318