I had a wonderful weekend visiting Houston and Austin. We all know how much I love Austin, but I haven't visited Houston in probably 10 years and I wasn't vegan at the time. Driving to Houston was very lovely. The leaves were changing on the trees and it was a colorful drive. Living in Los Angeles where they really isn't changing seasons, I don't think I remember ever seeing the beauty of autumn. There isn't even that many trees much less autumn leaves to see.
I started my evening joining my friend Pat at the Rawfully Organic Co-op pick-up. The founder Kristina started this co-op 3 years ago as a way for people to get high quality organic produce at affordable prices. They had everything you could ever want, many of which was locally grown. I wish we had something like this in my town! I needed to get kale and avocados for my cooking demo the following day so I grabbed what I needed then we went to dinner at Ruggles Green. There were no set vegan items on the menu, but thankfully the woman at the register new how to make anything vegan. I ended up getting minestrone soup (meh) and an overpriced salad with the teriyaki tofu on the side. The tofu was actually really delicious!
The next morning I went to the gym then went to lunch with my new friend Sabali from Vegan Comfort. We went to Field of Greens, which was recommended by many of my tweeps on Twitter. The menu was huge and full of vegan goodness. It was really hard to choose! I was attempting to eat as healthy as possible on this trip so I went for the Macrobiotic Platter. It was just what my body was craving!
After eating that delicious healthy food, I thought to myself, I would really love to try Sinfull Bakery treats. Hey, I went to the gym that morning and ate a whole food lunch so what the heck! I jumped on their website to see what coffee shops carried their baked goods and went on a wild search for something tasty. After the third place, I finally stumbled upon Black Hole Coffeehouse which had a few cinnamon buns left. I wouldn't normally eat something so sugary and massive in the middle of the afternoon, but I was on vacation 😉 I was lucky to discover The Chai Company, a vegan liquid chai concentrate made in Canada with no honey (this was super exciting after my recent discovery that Starbucks chai mix has honey). Black Hole had almond milk too. So I was a pretty happy vegan in Houston!
Sinfull Bakery sells their treats at Whole Foods in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas if you live nearby! You can also order on their website. This was probably one of the best cinnamon buns I've ever had. And the Everything Bar was delish too.
That evening I had my book signing at One Green Street. Sherry, the owner, was so nice and accommodating and her store was beautiful! She is really progressive to open an environmentally-centered store in Houston of all places. She has regular events and really encourages a community setting. We had about 30 people come out and everyone loved the Mac n' Kale Salad (Blissful Bites pg. 100). Here I am massaging my kale.
This raw kale salad turns people into kale lovers!
The next day, Saturday, on my way to Austin I stopped into the Eat Gallery with Sabali to eat a vegan all you can eat brunch lovingly prepared by the beautiful owners of Green Seed Vegan, the first vegan food truck in Houston. Yes please! It was delicious and all soy-free.
Pumpkin french toast, quinoa tempeh scramble, chard with raspberry balsamic sauce, root veggie mash with pumpkin seeds, and "chicken" fried cauliflower
Seriously, this is my kind of food! Maddie makes her own tempeh made from chickpeas instead of soy beans. The fried cauliflower tasted just like fried chicken, but better. Everything with a delight to the senses, and made my belly happy as can be!
Who knew that being vegan in Houston could be so incredibly awesome? I kind of wish it wasn't 4 hours away so I could visit more! I will most definitely be back to try the many more vegan options they have across town. If you are ever in Houston, don't you worry because you will have your share of awesome vegan meals to choose from. Looking at HappyCow I didn't have a chance to even catch a third of them!
Have you been somewhere recently that surprised you with healthy food choices? Do your vacations always revolve around food like mine?