One of my family’s traditions makes my husband livid. I mentioned how I don’t like most holiday foods (just give me the booze plz!) but I love my family’s tradition of Mexican Christmas Eve. In my husband’s defense, our tradition is pretty weak. It started because my Aunt brought a piñata to Christmas Eve since she was in Mexico. Clearly if you are going to have a piñata you are going to serve Mexican food- or whatever American’s think is Mexican food. We were kids, so the tradition went for awhile, and as we got older we all decided we rather eat tacos over… whatever people eat the day before Christmas.
One of our family staples is chalupa. Now I can safely point out- this is not authentic at all. Not even in the “it’s made with pork so a vegan version isn’t authentic” way. No apparently when my Mother and Father lived in Phoenix Arizona, she was given this recipe. It was slow roasted pork recipe with beans that she served over chips with lots of toppings. Turns out, REAL chalupa refers to the shell, not the pork like I always believed. I can say I was pretty sure that the originals weren’t being served on doritos, like we did.
I have NO idea how wide spread this dish is. I assume it is largely known in the Southwest, and after some Googling, I do get some recipes that looks like the kind I grew up with. And hey I found one that even serves it over some fritos. Now that sounds American. The funny thing is that I grew up with almost EVERYTHING being made from scratch. Occasionally my Dad would make powdered boxed falafels, and we would use the boxes of couscous with the packets of seasoning, but we never had frozen tater tots, weird casseroles (okay maybe just tuna), not even green bean casserole. So it is a little bit of surprise that we have this family signature dish that revolves around doritos. Yes you heard me.
The highlight of the dish is really just you get to eat doritos for dinner. As many people can guess- doritos aren’t really vegan. Almost all varieties have whey powder in them, except for Spicy Sweet Chili. Wanna know something funny? My Dad tends to turn his nose at all the food I make, but he LOVES the spicy sweet chili flavored doritos. I haven’t told him yet that they are vegan. But we have more options, and some that are more healthful.
Late July has some great options out there. They have three vegan flavors- Bacon Habanero, Jalapeño Lime, and Sriracha Fresca (the photos are of the Jalapeño Lime BTW.) I think I remember reading that Beanfields have ALL vegan flavors. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. But they have nacho if that is what you are looking for. You could easily just use regular old chips and there are other brands out there that make flavored chips that are vegan.
Aside from junk food, the other reason why this is such a staple in my family is that it makes so much. You can make a huge pot and it feeds an army. Even my vegan version makes a whole bunch. And they are a lot like tacos, everyone can top them in a way they like. Which pretty much means you want to serve this dish with other typical taco toppings. I am talking about salsa, chopped tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, daiya cheese, vegan sour cream, lettuce, and avocado.
There are a few methods to the madness. You can either pile your chips all on the bottom, and top it off with everything. But sometimes you get chips that are too soggy. Yuck. But I do like SOME soaking of the chips, like maybe a corner. So I like to put mine to the side, then a bed of lettuce. Pile the toppings on the lettuce, and usually the juices move over to the chips.
You also need to decide on if you should put the toppings on the top or bottom. The bottom makes everything mix up together really well, but you get to pick a choose a little more if you put everything on top. I do recommend, if anything, to put your vegan cheese on the bottom so you get it all melty and yummy. Nothing is worse than cold daiya. Well, maybe cold cow’s cheese.
Sadly it is has been forever since I’ve celebrated it. See, Jon’s side of the family usually spends Christmas Eve with each other. But I’ve told Jon that if we ever host the get together, I am making all food south of the border. He knows the threat is real since I am armed with Viva Vegan. I’m going to throw everyone off who brings over some hummus and salad to contribute to dinner. “Oh, so we are having empanadas? Do cheesy potatoes go with that?” Answer- no, and that’s the point.
I hope everyone enjoyed this weird family tradition. I can’t really trace the cultural background for the dish, and there is no real logic to having a “Mexican” Christmas Eve.
I have something to confess- I hate holidays. I mean I LOVE Halloween, but I am not fond of the food traditions for American holidays. Unless I am making my own spread, I am not a fan of Thanksgiving. It usually involves me asking my husband what he wants, and then making it. My family on the other hand- seems to love it. But if you left it to me, I would rather be eating Chinese take out. I am pretty sure last year we had no Christmas dinner planned with family members and I told Jon all I wanted to Chinese take out. He thought I was kidding. I WAS NOT. We got home from his parents, and I sulked that it was too late to get general tso tofu, and he just stared at me in disbelief. He offered to get Chinese the next day, and it is never the same.
So my happy vegan memory was when I was able to get that Chinese take out. I can’t remember the exact year, but at some point in high school, I remember spending the 4th of July with my Mother. It was pretty un-American. We ordered Chinese food, watched Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, then watched the fireworks from our front yard (barely.) *sigh* Those days are over. Especially my favorite thing about the 4th of July, the fireworks display in Red Bank has been stopped, which is shame.
I don’t know what I got that night, but there is a good chance it was spring rolls, various apps, and possibly moo shu. I don’t know when I first discovered this dish, but it is one of my take out favorites. For starters you get SO much of it. It is pretty much a veggie stir fry that you serve in little pancakes with hoisin sauce. Traditionally you use pork, but any Chinese take out place will make it vegan, or any meat of choice.
I rarely get it anymore, mostly because I might get Chinese take out once or twice a year. But making it at home is super easy. In fact, it is much faster when you use a food processor to shred all the veggies. Make prep easy, and the clean up mostly just a food processor, wok, and cutting board. To make the recipe easier I used pre-baked tofu from a local tofu factory. But you can make your own 5-spice baked tofu.
Most everything is cheap and easily accessible in an American super market. But there are two ingredients that might be hard. The American version of this dish is served with a thin Chinese pancake called a spring pancake. I’ve read reviews saying you can find these in the refridgerator section of Asian food markets. You can use a flour tortilla that you would use for a taco (that’s what I did) or you can serve it next to rice, which is the traditional Chinese way of serving the dish.
I used small oyster mushrooms for this dish, but you can use any type of mushrooms you like. I would try and stick to something like button mushrooms, shiitake, or baby bellas. Thinly slice the mushrooms so they are small and fit well in the wraps.
Okay, I know this is a stretch for the prompt. It is suppose to be something grey, which is actually pretty hard to make. I guess I could make biscuits and gravy, but that’s a regional meal that have never looked appetizing to me. But the prompt made me think right away when I worked at Animo. The owner Joe, would get there pretty early, around 5 or 6, with a 30 minute drive. So he usually asked one of the workers to make his morning smoothie.
Well, since he owned the shop, he went NUTS on the add ons. One day we figured out the price of his smoothie, and I think ended up being something like $16 smoothie. So what was in it? I remember it being something like a cup of unsweetened almond milk, a scoop of spiru-tein, spirulina, an acai puree packet, a banana, fresh strawberries, and sprouted flax seed. I kid you not when I say the drink was cement grey. But as you can see- there are lots of expensive ingredients!
My drink is still pretty intense, but not as pricey. I have pumped it with lots of awesome foods that are perfect for any pregnant lady. For starters I have a soy milk base that is high in protein, but is fortified in lots of goodies. I am getting most of my calcium from the milk, and sure it is fortified, but cow’s milk sold for humans has been fortified with vitamins and minerals as well (particularly skim milk). I have also found that soy milks are now often fortified with B12, which is a nice add on. And if anyone is wondering why calcium is such a big deal, it is pretty much the only thing that a baby “leeches” from the body. A good diet while pregnant is always strongly encouraged because what you eat makes a different of what the baby eats. If you don’t eat much vitamin K, the baby isn’t going to take if from your body. For some reason calcium is different. Technically pregnant women don’t require more calcium, but if you aren’t hitting your daily requirements, you might want to start focusing on your intake.
Then we have the more “supplemented” foods that I add in- spirulina and DHA omega-3s. Many studies show that DHA helps with brain development with children, and that is partly why you have so many people saying to eat fish while pregnant. But vegans can cut out the middle man and just jump to the direct source of DHA- algae! I toss in 10 drops of Deva’s DHA liquid vitamins. To be perfectly clear, we as humans make our own DHA. Some people speculate that it is possible that humans can’t produce enough DHA during certain times, like if you are sick or pregnant. So I take the better safe than sorry approach. You can easily leave out this ingredient.
If you have read my spirulina page, you will know that algae is really high in iron. This is perfect for a pregnant lady who needs a whopping 27mg of iron! To put that into perspective, most women who haven’t gone through menopause need 18mg, and most everyone else needs only about 10mg or less. So it is helpful to pack a big punch in one food source. One teaspoon of spirulina powder gives 7mg of iron!
Where else am I getting the iron? Well, chocolate! Yes, chocolate has lots of iron in it, but it often isn’t talked about because we normally make desserts with chocolates. This smoothie doesn’t have much added sugar or fats, so it is a healthy way to eat lots of cocoa. I like to use a mix of cocoa- one tablespoon of normal cocoa powder, and 2 tablespoons of special dark chocolate. The special dark helps keep a “chocolate” color next to the greens, but it usually has higher levels of iron than regular cocoa. So that adds 4mg of iron. What’s next? Greens! I switch the greens I add to my smoothie according to what looks good at the store. Sometimes chard, sometimes collards, sometimes kale. Whatever really. That will usually add about 1-3mg of iron.
Now this shake isn’t the only way to add lots of iron to your diet. The Full Helping has a great page devoted to the specifics of iron intake, and great combos to build up your iron intake. I strongly recommend checking that out if this is something that concerns you. Keep in mind that many pregnant women, vegan or not have problem with low iron levels. Between my two blood work tests, I have never been told I test for low iron levels. I think I have this shake to thank.
So what’s the nutrition? Well, funny thing is that keep forgetting that I am pregnant, so I added some nutritional facts on the blog earlier for Vegan MOFO, and the percentages are wrong since they are calibrated for my pregnancy needs. Oops. But I will keep that since I am promoting this drink as one perfect for pregnancy! Quick macros- 47 grams of carbs (14 grams fiber, half of the daily requirements), 10 grams fat (100% omega-3, not including the DHA supplements), and 17 grams of protein (almost 30 grams if you add two tablespoons protein powder). I left the screen capped specs below, and take note that the percentages are for a 9 month pregnant lady, so if you are an average woman, you are probably getting most of your iron from this shake (the suggested for women ages 18-40 is only 18mg, everyone else needs about 8-10mg)
I remember reading some blogger saying that every vegan cookbook has some sort of corn chowder. Clearly I didn’t get the memo. I think I’ve only made this corn chowder in my whole adult life. The recipe is originally from Vegetarian Planet, a super old school book my mother gave me when I went vegan. My mother is not a vegetarian, but you can blame her for my open mind to veganism. I probably ate less meat, and I probably ate a wider variety of food than most children. This cookbook has always been on our shelf. I never thought it was weird until my husband shot me a weird glance when I mentioned cooking couscous for dinner. I mean every small American child eats couscous right? No? He also hadn’t heard of knishes before, which is one of the rare potato foods I actually like. But then again, I have a thing for food wrapped around a dough.
Anyways, what I love about Vegetarian Planet is that the recipes are written by a meat eater, but aren’t bland. Most omnivores who make a vegan recipe always taste like it needs a little something extra, or it is so low calorie it is almost pointless. But Didi Emmons just loves vegetables, and isn’t afraid of a little fat and calories. In fact this recipe calls originally for 6 cups milk with the option of replacing a cup of milk for heavy cream. No thanks, but I like your enthusiasm Didi.
I am also not against “fake” foods, but I do like when vegan cookbooks stay away from them. Why? Well, it just makes everything seem more approachable. I think when transitioning to a new diet, having a whole new world of wheat gluten, soy products, and fake cheese can either be fun, comforting, or intimidating. I feel like if a person who wants to go vegan could easily pick up this book and cook almost anything from it without many new products (you probably would need to remove cheese, or sub soy milk/fake butter.)
Todays prompt was all about cooking with colors we rarely make, and even though the past two posts have featured some intense yellow, I don’t actually cook with that color that often. This was my attempt to make something yellow. And color perfectionist me is just unhappy with how green and brown it is. Damn my background in color theory. But close enough right?
So how does my recipe differ from the book? Well, the original recipe uses 6 cups of milk, and I couldn’t blow that much cash on a dinner! So I cut down to 4 cups soy milk and 2 cups vegetable broth. The recipe also is suppose to use fresh corn and their stalks. But I made it so you can make it in the winter, when you probably want to eat a rich cup of hot chowder anyways. So it uses frozen corn.
There are also nice chunks of sweet potatoes in there. I wanted to use a white sweet potato, but I grabbed an orange one instead. Oops. That’s the problem with my CSA, I tend to mix up my white and orange sweet potatoes up by the time I get home and they all just get mixed together. It isn’t that big of a deal except for the different cooktimes.
Anyone else use a non-vegan cookbook often?
Make a meal with complimentary colors? Yes please! I thought red and green might a smidge too easy, since red and green are found so easily in plants. But blue is practically impossible (and I find that orange is such a subjective color) that I went for yellow and purple. Sadly purple is kind-of a subjective color as well. I mean I find that that beets kind-of have a deep purple color, but some people will just say they look red.
Okay I know, I’m stretching it! But the end results does look quite impressive?
So what the heck is in my bowl? Well, clearly there is some brown rice, because I probably should be eating that right now more than white rice. Then I paired it with tandoori tofu and curried beets. I actually thought of using the recipe because of My Cat Loves Daiya, who made a batch of the tandoori tofu from Vegan Eats World cookbook. BTW she made quesadillas with them and they look AMAZING! Anyways, if you want to give this tofu a try, the recipe is available on Terry Hope Romero’s blog.
But what did I make? Well, the curried beets were my brainchild. They are pretty easy to make, and a quick side dish to put together. The longest thing was to thinly slice the beets, but you can use machines to make it easier for you. Since the cooktime and clean up for this dish is pretty easy, it makes a perfect side dish. The garam masala and coconut milk really cuts into the earthiness of the beets for any of the haters out there ^__~
As for nutrition? These guys are pretty awesome. Yeah sure, these numbers don’t seem impressive. I mean one thing to keep in mind is that I have the percentages set up for a pregnant woman (aka I need more of like everything) but if you look at the mg numbers you will find that get a good amount of bang for your buck. Especially for something that is just a side dish.
I love a good bowl. I don’t eat them often, as I tend to be the type of person who just makes one big dish. Curries, chilis, soups, stir-fries, and casseroles are more up my alley. But truthfully a well balanced vegan bowl is easy to do, especially if some prep work is done before hand. For example, I use already prepared hummus, some frozen protein balls I’ve made earlier, and the eggplant was pickled a few days earlier. All I had to do was pop everything in the oven and cook the couscous!
Funny thing is that making a dish with as many colors in the rainbow can be hard. But I tried my best here using all produce from my CSA. I love being able to eat a dinner that is almost all from the same place. So what is what in the rainbow?
- Red & Orange: bell pepper, last of the season
- Yellow: pickled turmeric eggplant (again last of the season)
- Green: green leaf, arugula, and radish greens
- Blue: the bowl- duh!
- Purple: roasted beets
- Brown: hummus & chickpea beanballs
- White: Pearl Couscous tossed in soy yogurt
Overall, it took about an hour for dinner to cook, but there was a lot of down time. The beets that took the longest to roast. It might take longer than an hour if you choose to make your own hummus and beanballs/falafels. But I strongly suggest making doubles of a falafel/beanball recipe and freezing the extras for bowls like this.
For anyone who is wondering- you will need to prepare the eggplant two days ahead of time. I am a big fan of this refrigerator pickle recipe, and it is a great way to preserve some extra eggplant from the summer. If you aren’t a huge eggplant fan, this really alters the taste and the traditional mushy texture. I personally used Wegman’s brand hummus, just the good old classic hummus, though you could go for any flavored hummus if you like. And finally the balls were the Chickpea Eggplant Hemp Veggieballs from Protein Ninja. But there are lots of falafels now that you can find in the freezer section, like Trader Joe’s.
Goodness, today just flew by. I went for my appointment (ugh, now I go to the doctors EVERY week) and did some shopping/errands, then when I got home ate, then my parents texted me that they were coming over to bring my sister’s old rocking chair. Which led to talking with my parents, then eating out, and now I am rushing to get this vegan mofo out there. Sorry I am not going to be as detailed as normal.
For my monochrome meal I am making gimbap. I know what you are thinking- Jen this just sushi. WRONG! This is Korean rice rolls. Well, not really. See gimbap is often described as Korean sandwich sushi, which seems pretty accurate. See these are really common to find in Korea. Basically you take a nori wrap and add unseasoned rice and fill it with various namuls (aka think about using your leftover veggie sides from dinner) Traditionally gimbap uses pickled radish, carrots, spinach, cucumber, egg, or cheap seafood. But over the years, the fillings have gotten to be much more “american” with additions like mayo (you actually get this often in modern gimbap), potted meats, and cheese
Unlike sushi, gimbap isn’t an artistry. How pretty it looks isn’t important. If you watch Korean dramas you will often see kids and adult main characters eating gimbap that their parents made (Pst… I suggest reading our Korean Food 101 from last year’s vegan mofo for my context.) I remember a bonding scene where to female characters talked about how they always picked the spinach out of their rolls. I personally like slicing mine, but sometimes people leave the rolled nori uncut like a long skinny burrito.
It is funny because I remember getting a homework assignment similar to this. I am not sure if it is still up, or what the name was, but there were various artistic experiments that Yoko Ono posted online. It was a really interesting interactive artist think piece, and the homework assignment was to do one of the prompts. I don’t remember what I did, but I remember there was one that was to make a monochrome meal. A lot of students did this, and almost all soon found out how hard it was.
So when I saw this vegan mofo prompt I was a little more prepared, but I was kind-of lazy. I don’t like making several dishes, but I felt like cheating saying something was monochrome if it covered in a sauce. Enter my green gimbap. The end result wasn’t nearly as green as I hoped, but still very green overall! I also fought the temptation to use a dye, and try and use all flavors. Okay, so the rice didn’t get a green as I hoped from the spirulina, and yeah the mayo and tofu is white, but hey can’t be perfect right?
Holy cow, I had a hard time telling apart the photos I took this time around. Now I am only wearing the special maternity shirts (at least in public XD) and this H&M bird shirt (they now sell a long sleeved version) fits the best for these progression photos. I am pretty consistently the same size…. but I keep gaining weight. I guess just fattening up the baby?
Unless you are living under a rock (lucky you!) you probably know about our new President. Yuck, I can’t even say that word before Trump. I mean I remember the days when Jon Stewart would make fun of Bush for mispronouncing nuclear, now our country will be run by a man who says “swatches of land” and “bigly.” Ugh. I was really upset when I woke up the day after the election, and I think a lot of it has do with having a child. I am hoping my baby doesn’t get old enough to know what a president is, so I don’t have explain who he is. I just hope that after 4 years, we get someone new and Trump will just be the new Nixon (minus the endearing puppy).
The worst part? I think talking to friends and family who seem to not understand the big deal. I get it. With our system of government Trump can’t just say “Hey, start with the blue prints for that wall stat!” and have the blue prints by the end of the month. We won’t loose Obamacare for at least another year and half, and we have lots of individual state laws that vary all over the place. So when some people ask why people are protesting, or why we are so upset, it isn’t just that Hillary lost. It is who she lost to. A man who feeds on racism, misogyny, and bigotry and another man who wants to take away everyone’s rights. Anyone who doesn’t already know, Trump maybe a mediocre white dude who’s success was handed to him the “classiest” 24-karat plate but Pence is a monster.
But it seems that hopefully, everyone who sat around complaining about Trump (aka people like me) are a little more enthusiastic about doing something about it. I want to try and get more active with local government. I probably will try and volunteer more, and hell, I might even register finally as democrat instead of an independent. *gasp* Funnily, my husband is registered as a republican, which shocks my friends. XD Although it isn’t ALWAYS true, but most northeast republicans are thought to be fiscally responsible. Though sometimes they are just jerks.
I still find it funny when some people say I look small. I have to admit, I remember when watching Rosemary’s Baby thinking “Come on, really Rosemary is THAT small with her baby? At 9 months?!” Now I am looking at my tummy and I can kind-of see how it was plausible. But I know a lot of it is because it is my first baby, and I have fairly strong abdominals from working out consistently (well, that I USE to workout consistently.) If I focus on relaxing my abdominal muscles my tummy gets pretty large. But if I don’t engage my muscles my back hurts a lot by the end of the day.
To make the whole engage and disengage the muscles weirder, my belly button is ready to pop. Somedays if I engage the core and disengage, my belly button looks like a goofy muppet mouth. I feel a little Seinfeld-y by making my belly button talk, HELLOOO! No need to take my hands to make my belly button stretch and talk. #pregnancyperks
Week 34 had my FAVORITE animal featured. A QUOKKA! OMG, I know, I was a weird American child who knew what a quokka was, but uh…. isn’t it the cutest thing ever? And if you google this guy you get a lot of selfies with them, which is because of Rottennest Island. It is packed with quokkas that seemed to get use to tourists. I am not sure how I feel about this, but I know if I knew about this place as a kid I would be trying to convince my parents to make a trip to Australia.
Week 35 is the very specific Mini Lop Bunny. I don’t really know how big a regular lop bunny is, so mini is more mysterious. But they are also pretty cute, but I can’t help but wonder if the ears are annoying for the bunny sort of like how bulldogs have a hard time breathing. Any big bunny fans? Also, if anyone has their hearts stolen by these photos, there are lots of mini lop bunnies for adoption on PetFinder.com. I just can’t even with Bettie Brown.
Oof, finding time is hard. Mostly during the work week. Luckily I work only 4 days a week, but we have been so busy I pretty much get home, cook, then just sit around feeling fried. But I am trying to go for long walks on weekends with Jon, which puts me out of breath with my stuffy nose (pregnancy symptom) and having the baby sit so close to the diaphragm (when will this baby drop to give some relief?) But the good news is that my muscles are still pretty strong and I can still curl a 14lb weight, though I should try and do more barre workouts consistently. I think it will help with muscle endurance when it comes to labor time.
Oh, and if you love body positive fitness- please donate to Lacy Davis’ IndieGoGo campaign! She is the author of the blog Super Strength Health and co-host of the podcast Rise and Resist. Passing a few bucks will help the campaign. She is 55% of the way to her goal, and every little bit helps.
We are getting there! My parents are stopping by tomorrow to bring over the fancy pants rocker my sister use to own. I think my husband was confused to why it wouldn’t fit in our car, or my sister’s until I said it was like a couch. But we will set it up in the room this weekend and hopefully pick up the toy box that sister has that matches the rest of the furniture. Which will hopefully get the bulk of the nursery all tidied up. Oh! And our closet door is finally all painted and can fully shut. Thank goodness.
Next order of buisness is framing some of the art that will be going in there. My Mom did a needlepoint of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle (my favorite as a girl, and today) and Alexa is making a painting. So I am pretty excited to see the final results.
I’ve always loved Asian culture as a kid. I always dreamed about visiting China or Japan. But as I get older, I would love visit many other places. But when I heard that Taiwan was one of the most vegan friendly countries to visit, I got pretty excited. So today I am making my dream vacation to Taiwan, including places to visit and restaurants I would love to eat at.
I don’t think Jon and I can not go to some sort of park or nature reservation while on vacation. I like walking, and I like seeing how wildlife varies from place to place. Of coarse this national park seems to have lots of historical buildings and some man maintained gardens. It would be interesting thing to see how different cultures view national parks since the United States tries to keep them for hiking and tourism, but also to preserve land for wildlife. Aside from that, there seems to be lots of springs and a volcano in the park! This would be a super exciting thing to see since I haven’t seen any before.
Part of the fun of going to Taiwan is that there are some naturally vegan foods in their cuisine. I’ve heard that there is a huge soy milk culture, mostly in drinks that are cold like boba teas. Even Happy Cow lists two vegan food stalls at their night markets. One vegan blogger wrote about all the great food they got from the Keelung Night Market. So this would be something fun that all tourists usually get to do. Things I know I want to try- Stinky Tofu, BaoBing, and Bubble Teas.
Okay, I know there are Loving Huts all over the world, but let’s face it, there are so many different locations in Taiwan- many in Taipei. I would be fooling myself to think I wouldn’t stop by one of their many locations. Plus, I am 99% sure it would much more authentic Taiwanese cuisine compared to whatever I get in the United States. They also apparently have different products, which might be a nice thing to grab to eat in our hotel, hostel, or fictional Air BnB.
I mentioned how Jon and I love to just walk? Yeah, just walking around and absorbing culture is our thing. But Taipei is a pretty new city. Many buildings are newer and shopping just isn’t our thing. Many tour guides suggest checking out Juifei Old Street which features tight roads. The area is heavily influenced by Japan, as it was mostly built during their occupation.
I usually like to keep things very traditional, and keep with only local cuisine. But I would be foolish to think that cuisines wouldn’t change and morph over time. So clearly we would need to keep with the newer restaurant trends. Ooh Cha Cha is a popular spot with vegans and it is organic and local food. Most people point out that it is more on the healthy end of the spectrum but I can imagine that there would be some twists to the foods that an American wouldn’t be use to.
Oh man do I love historical buildings. And many of the historical buildings in Taiwan are their temples. I am sure I could spend one day alone admiring the woodwork of one temple alone. There are many different temples in Taipei, so I guess if I was being realistic I would have to make a map of restaurants I want to eat at and look up which temples are nearby. But what is wikipedia suggesting as notable temples? Dalongdong Baoan Temple, Lungshan Temple of Manka, and Taipei Confucius Temple.
This is a more American styled restaurant, but let’s face it, mid-vacation I get take-out fatigue. Too many rich foods. So this would be a place to visit at the end of the trip. They serve gluten-free, raw, and very vegetable heavy dishes. By the end of the trip eating a large salad is just what we would need.
Jon and I are both big movie fans. So it would make sense to visit an old movie studio. It seems most of the attractions are of old reproduction sets. It would still be pretty cool to see all the different sets. We might have to brush up on our old school kung-fu films to make sure we can recognize some of the sets before the trip.
I am a sucker for a sleek design. This is a newer restaurant and seems to have gotten some great reviews on Happy Cow. Their food is a mix of Western and Eastern cuisine. So it really sparked my interest. Apparently you make your own dish, and pick your own veggies for your meal FROM THE WALLS. Yup, you can see all those yummy greens on that back wall. You pick your other food items like tofu, veggies, mushrooms, sauce, etc. Gimmicky? Hell yeah. But that won’t stop me from going ^__~
This museum is suppose to feature exhibits from the various local tribes. Clearly we aren’t going to be traveling far into the mountains or in the rural areas since we really only speak English. So going to a museum highlighting the rural parts of Taiwan would be an easy way to get a better idea of what the island has to offer. Hell, up until today I didn’t even know of the term Taiwanese aborigines, just showing how little I know about cultures outside of my own. But it makes a lot of sense that there would be people living on the island before it became populated with Chinese immigrants.