What Vegans Eat – Day 138 (Special Travel Edition)


Breakfast: We were off to meet our friend Dave who lives in Watsonville. Fortunately the traffic over route 17 to Santa Cruz was light. We stopped in Aptos at Whole Foods and I got a green smoothie, The Berry Blast! It’s made with coconut water, kale and lots of berries. I asked them to omit the pineapple coconut nectar which was listed as one of the ingredients and contained sugar. WARNING: When you see the word “nectar” on a juice drink it usually means there is added sugar.

Coffee Break:
Once at Dave’s house he showed us his espresso maker and he was roasting his own coffee beans. He explained that he roasted slowly, at low temperature, and never burned his beans. He offered to make us each a cup. I rarely drink coffee, once a year at most and only when I know it’s going to be special, like in Italy or in Costa Rica. I thought this was one of those special times. I was right. The espresso was smooth with not a trace of bitterness.
Lunch: Dave drove us around the area and we saw Pacific Grove, Monterey and stopped in Carmel for lunch. There is so much beauty in this area. When I saw the farm workers in the fields I savored the image. I wanted to remember it, being grateful for those who work so hard, often for so little, to bring food to my plate every day. We had lunch at the restaurant Basil. We all started with the house salad, made with heirloom lettuce, carrots, tomato, pickled onions, radishes/basil in a balsamic vinaigrette This may look like an ordinary salad, but there was nothing ordinary about it. The freshness was apparent and the dressing was so light and just right. The chef knew how to prepare vegetables.
Gary and I ordered the sides: Shishito Peppers (without the black truffle aioli); Grilled Asparagus in Petroni olive oil; Cauliflower with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts; Umbrian Lentils with Fresh Herbs. Before our meals came I got excited when I saw them bring yellow and purple cauliflowers into the kitchen. They were stunning. Everything was delicious. The vegetables were perfectly seasoned and prepared, not overdone.
Snack: We went roaming around Carmel and stopped in the toy store. The Vegetable wood blocks caught my eye and I was happy to see them Then I saw the box below containing toy blocks of the Four Food Groups. UGH! Even the USDA has long given up the Four Food Groups as a way to educate about healthy eating and has moved on to the plant-focused MyPlate. I give Melissa and Doug the thumbs down for continuing to manufacture this toy, promoting an out-of-date and unhealthy notion that we need to eat meat and dairy products.
Dinner: We picked up a few things on the way back to the pool house where we are staying. I could not resist purchasing this melon when I smelled its luscious fragrance. I cut it open as soon as we got back.
I made a variation of “Ants on a Log” with sliced bananas, sesame butter and sliced dates. I veganized the name too. I call it “Plants On A Log!” I love eating this way!

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