Tag Archives: eggplant

A Newflower in town

I have been eagerly waiting for the new grocery store to open close to my house and yesterday was finally the grand opening of Newflower in Austin so I ventured down there into the craziness, it turned out I wasn’t the only one excited about a new store. See, South Austin is the superior part of Austin in many ways but we are far enough from Wheatsville Co-op that I can’t just hop over there every time I have a craving for popcorn tofu. We have a lot of grocery stores but they all have their problems, sun harvest and randalls both have limited selection and are over priced. Central Market is fantastic but it isn’t a place you can just drop in easily and it is too easy to buy unncessary gourmet items (I am looking at you aztec dark chocolate at 12.99 a pound). HEB is the cheapest and they have the freshest produce and nearly everything I need but I hate going there because it is so crowded with children, shopping carts, hookers, and people doing their shopping for the next year that it can be an all day afair. And you can’t turn left from the parking lot and I don’t have a left turn signal so it is really the antithesis of fun.

It turns out that I have never been to a grocery store for its grand opening before and I don’t think it is something I would ever do again. Sure, there were some great deals (Boulder potato chips for $1.50! 10 limes for a dollar!) and we got a free reusable bag and a flower but I had to stalk a women with her children in order to get a parking spot and you could hardly manuver through the store because people were standing in line almost to the back of the store waiting to check out! And it is a big store. Did you know that they make seperate bread for men and women now?

Don’t worry gender neutral, transexual, and other readers there is bread that isn’t as gender defined as well as vegan at newflower. Their produce seemed really well priced, right up there with HEB and they had a full organic selection. In fact, the whole place kind of reminded me of an HEB if you just took out the junk food aisles, the candy aisles, the aisles of shaving cream, the aisels of holiday junk, and all the other stuff that makes it a “normal” grocery store. They didn’t seem to have any fresh vegan deli items or products but they did have the normal standbys, garden burgers, tempeh, seitan, tofutti, earth balance, vital wheat gluetan,  amy’s meals etc but sadly nothing new and exciting. The bulk section had really well priced nuts and flours and there was a small wine and beer section as well. Overall it was more of a “grass fed beef” place then a vegan place but if I can park there and not spend a million dollars on organic avocados I will be a happy vegan.

I felt silly taking a picture of my groceries!

I felt silly taking a picture of my groceries!

When I got home I didn’t know what to make. This is what happens when you go to the grocery store with no definite purpose! I decided to make something with the eggplant because sometimes I forget about eggplants and I made a Pakistani dish from World Vegetarian that used the Panch Phorum and amchoor that I got last week. I also made some Lemon Rice from Heaven’s Banquet which was good, but should have been a little less lemony.It doesn’t look beautiful even with the sunflower they gave me! Dan wasn’t impressed with the eggplant but I thought it was great. Instead of draining the eggplant while you salt it, the recipe called for soaking it in salt water which lead to a texture similar to cooked mushrooms. I also threw in the spinach because the meal was noticeably lacking in greens. The rice was really good and you don’t add the lemon until the very end so if you want to try it add a little at a time and see how you like it so next time I will do that. If anyone want the recpies just let me know and I will add them to the post.

VeganMoFo- V for Vegan Victory

My not-in-laws came to visit us over the weekend for the first time in several years. We went to San Antonio and saw the Alamo

and had dinner on the Riverwalk

and saw interesting Texas memorabilia

and I ate a lot of portabello sandwiches and drank a lot of beer for several days

I really wanted to cook them dinner and for weeks I have been discussing with D what we should make for them. When I got home from work on Friday I sat and talked with them about what we could do that night and I said well we could go out or I could cook some super food at home. They looked really nervous and said “well I don’t know if we would like that” I was truly shocked! Everyone loves my cooking, I even give workshops on it! The Dad is a meat-and-potatoes-no-spices guy but I still felt pretty confident that I could make something that they would love. I decided on the Eggplant Rollatini from the Veganomicon because it says in the intro, “This is a meal that impresses non-vegans every time and is for when you want to be on top of your vegan game” and I thought, perfect! Plus who doesn’t love Italian food, that is fried, and I could put spagetti on the side that could easily become a meal.

Well Sunday  night  I cooked and I cooked and everyone got very excited as the smells were wafting into the room. I knew I had won over the mom because she kept coming in every few minutes saying “what are you doing now” but I was still nervous about that dad.

The meal came out beatifully

the plate was gorgeous

and the Rollatinis were super cute

Everyone was blown away. The mom said that she was going to chain me to the kitchen and force me to cook every meal and that it was better than any restaurant. The dad stayed quiet most of the meal, but I was happy to see that he was eating and he said softly, this is really good. Then, at the end of the meal he said, “You know, this is something I would never have ordered at a restaurant and I would have missed out because it is really good” then the mom said, “and I think this is the first meal I have ever had that was all vegetables” and the dad said, not just vegetarian, no animal products at all. Its amazing”

So it was a victory for vegans and animals everywhere! They even made the connection that no animals were harmed in the entire dinner and they seemed to be excited about it!