Sunday, July 31, 2011

Some Meals I Didn't Cook

Still having computer issues -- I can only get online occasionally, for a few minutes, before it crashes again. Most of the time, it won't boot up at all. Dell is sending a guy out sometime this week to install another new hard drive. This will be the third hard drive. Even though we have a warranty (we just bought the computer in January) they won't replace the computer or give us a refund until we go through all their tech support steps. And of course they won't tell us how many steps there are left to go. Sigh.

Anyway, at least I was able to load some pics off my camera today (saved them all externally, of course!) and I realized, wow, I've been eating out a lot lately! So this post will be all about restaurant meals.

Whenever my parents visit from Michigan, as they did last month, they always want to get some Texas barbecue.  Most BBQ joints in Austin are vegan wastelands, as you might imagine.  But there is one place, Artz Ribs, that offers a few veggie options. Actually, now that I think about it, Ruby's also has a vegetarian menu.  But, Artz happens to be my parents' favorite, so that's where we went.

I ordered the grilled veggie plate. The grilled pieces of potato, squash, carrot, pepper and onion were quite tasty when I doused them in Artz BBQ sauce. They also offer a veggie burger, but I'm not sure if it's vegan.
Artz usually has some kind of live music in the evenings. I was hoping for an old-timey Texas swing band, like we saw last time, but this group was more folksy. Jackson was into it.

Up next, Guero's. This was a date night for Tony and me. I used to think Guero's was kind of gross, but then I heard that they developed a complete vegan menu, so I'd been wanting to check it out.

They must have the hottest salsas in town. I seriously can't handle them. But, as you can see from the multiple salsa bowls littering our table, Tony was not even close to being intimidated by their heat, and I am clearly just a big wuss. I did enjoy the pico de gallo, however...

...especially with a couple of these to wash it down.

Many Austinites love their margaritas, but I'm a mojito girl all the way. Love that mint.

I ordered the veggie enchiladas. One was filled with spinach and mushrooms, the other with grilled veggies. The roja sauce was delicious.

I wasn't sure what to do with the side of potatoes that came with my enchiladas, so I ordered a cup of vegan queso to dip them in. Yum! I think it's awesome that a restaurant like Guero's, which is super busy all the time and obviously doesn't need to cater to vegans, serves a vegan queso.

Next time Tony is asking for Mexican, I'll be glad to return to Guero's and sample more of their vegan offerings (chorizo!)

Lastly, we took the kids to Titaya's one recent afternoon for their first-ever Thai food experience.

When exposing my kids to a new cuisine, covering it in peanut butter is a sure-fire method to insure they will at least try it. So for starters, we ordered the spring rolls with peanut sauce...

...and the tofu satay skewers with peanut sauce.

Olivia liked tearing the spring rolls apart and slurping down the slippery vermicelli noodles. Jackson devoured the tofu, carefully dipping each piece of "tofu steak," as he called it, in the nutty sauce.

Next, we ordered a plate of pad thai for them to share.  Our waitress said that Titaya's doesn't use fish sauce in any of their dishes marked as vegetarian. By omitting the egg that is typically mixed into the pad thai, we got a completely vegan dish.

We were surprised by how much they ate! Olivia finds all noodles fun right now, and Jackson liked the sweet/sour flavor.

I ordered my favorite curry -- the sweet, mild, peanutty massaman curry. You don't have to look too hard to see where my kids get their peanut butter obsession from. The curry came in a generous bowl with plenty of nice chunks of chewy tofu.

The next day, I wanted to serve leftover pad thai and curry for lunch, but we needed something to go along with it, so I made my own spring rolls.

I soaked some tofu slabs in the Asian marinade from Veganomicon, then grilled them on my grill pan. I've really fallen in love with that grill pan. Look at those cool grill marks!

I rolled up the tofu along with vermicelli noodles, shredded carrot and cucumber, and mint leaves. 

The kids enjoyed my homemade version just as much as Titaya's -- with plenty of peanut sauce for dipping, of course! To make the sauce, I combined peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce.

I could post some more restaurant visits, but I won't press my luck -- I'll go ahead and hit "publish" now!

Have a good week!


  1. I could really get used to a plate full of grilled tofu- that's a nice big serving... mmm they would go so well in sandwiches too!!

    The big plus is the live music- that's gotta be a hit for the customers :)

    xoxo <3

  2. Oooh these meals look yummy, especially the spring rolls and satay with peanut sauce. Yum! That mojito looks nice and refreshing too...and I am definitely a margarita girl too but now I kind of want a mojito!

  3. Those are the prettiest Spring Rolls I've ever seen. Hope I get to Austin one day for some good Thai food;-)

  4. I'm a mojito, chips and salsa kind of gal myself! The food pictures looked delish - and currently has me craving anything Mexican. :)