Monday, October 10, 2011

What Are You Grateful For?

Well. it's official.

My parents' trip has come to an end - and I can honestly say we had a great time and we didn't waste a single second! Except for our nap times when we were sleeping off massive food-induced comas.

Their flight is set for 10 am this morning and I miss 'em already!

After running around all weekend and totally neglecting my area of the East Bay, we returned "home" (to the gorgeous condo they rented) and decided to go close by for dinner :)

The sun was setting and there were even more beautiful views to enjoy...

We decided to find the balance in life by going Vegan for the evening! So, we headed to Cafe Gratitude for my parents' first veganized experience!

We were a little overwhelmed by the menu, mostly because we didn't know what to expect! Cafe Gratitude is all about delicious, vegan food that is 100 percent organic and 90 percent local and sustainable!! Super cool, huh?

We started off with an I am Aloha -- young coconut juice with a hint of vanilla bean. I typically don't like coconut juice, but this stuff was addicting.

Dad and I also got the I am Worthy -- kale, beet juice, ginger, and apple juice. Hmm... this is something that took some getting used to.  But, in theory, I enjoyed it :) Dad obviously had no problem slurping it down...

Since it was turning into a crisp, fall night, we decided to go with their I am Thriving -- a Warm Butternut Squash & Chipotle Soup for a starter -- to warm out bellies!  Wow. Dad and I both agreed we need to make this. Creamy butternut squash and a kick of spicy chipotle? Mmmm...

We also went with the I am Dazzling -- Vegan Cesar Salad with their vegan dressing. Romaine lettuce topped with chopped brazil nuts and "parmesan cheese" and capers!  Yum.  You wouldn't even believe this was vegan!


Dad and I decided to get two dishes to split!

I am Warm-Hearted -- grilled polenta with puttanesca sauce topped with cashew ricotta and brazil nut parmesan. This seriously tasted like... lasagna or pasta? But with the thick polenta. I loved this dish. We didn't end up finishing it because those vegans sure like their portions huge!

I am Trusting  -- vegan tamal with winter squash and a side of mexican slaw and black beans.  Super spicy especially with the salsa verde!

Nelly got the I am Fortified -- quinoa bowl with fresh veggies and a side of garlic-tahini sauce. Mmmm!

Who knew vegan could taste so good?
The entire time, my parents were surprised at how delicious and "fulfilling" their meals were :)

I told them they should start incorporating Meatless Mondays into their routine -- maybe even vegan Mondays?!

Of course, we had to try their seasonal layer cake dessert -- it's a raw specialty!

Lemon and poppyseed layer cake with a scoop of chocolate ice cream.

"Abundance can be had simply by consciously receiving what has already been given"

Now, I ask you...
What are you grateful for?

Good food, good times, and a kick ass family!!!

Hope you had an amazing weekend, because I know I did!

In case you missed anything:

- Dim Sum in SF
- Poggio's in Sausalito & Sam's in Tiburon
- Burma SUPERstar
- Saul's Deli & Sweets
- La Med

I'm still full!

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