Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Carrabas

My omnivore dining partners have always been happy with their meals at Carrabas.

Having said that, if you're vegetarian, you may find the menu to be very limited for you. Here is my recent experience (August 2017).

Given the fact that Italian cuisines are rich in vegetarian options, I was expecting to have a few choices. There were a few appetizers, like fried zucchini and bruschetta. I was hungry and wanting an entree. There was no eggplant, heartier pasta dishes, cheese ravioli--nothing at all like that.

I spoke with the server, who asked if I eat seafood or pork. I said no.

She pointed out they only offered either pizza or one other vegetarian entree--pasta with stewed tomatoes, garlic and oil. It was a special occasion and I didn't want pizza, so I ordered the pasta, already disappointed. The server suggested "building my own pasta" which, she explained, was ordering sauteed vegetables to go on top with it.  I ordered mushrooms.

The server let me know they did not have any vegetarian salad dressings--only Italian dressing. She said all others have meat in them. I was really surprised by that!

The pasta arrived with what seemed to be an entire box of linguine with 1 single button mushroom sliced thinly. It was ok but I am not a fan of large chunks of raw garlic in anything.

So to summarize, my dining partner freaking loved his meat entree. (I was wishing they would have offered that same entree with a portobello or eggplant instead of meat. I can actually think of hundreds of other ideas that would not be costly or difficult for them to pull off.) My meal turned out to be vegan. Even though that wasn't my goal (except for dessert, of course), it's always a bonus. My meal consisted of meh bread with the saltiest olive oil dip known to Man, a cocktail that tasted like Robitussin, a meh glass of wine, enough pasta to feed a family without much else in it, and an excellent slice of ricotta cheesecake.

I know it is totally the restaurant's decision what to put on their menu, and it's totally my choice to patronize that place or not. It never ceases to surprise me though, that restaurant owners don't have a smidge more to offer the 10%+ of its customers who influence whether their party goes to a particular restaurant. I know I can (and did) "get by" by finding something edible on any menu, but honestly, I'm not going to return if it doesn't taste good. It's just not worth the money and effort of going out.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Jif Chocolate Cheesecake Hazelnut Spread

In a moment of extraordinarily poor judgement, I purchased a jar of Jif Chocolate Cheesecake Flavored Hazelnut Spread.

Or perhaps it was curiosity. Nutella-like goodness swirled with cheesecake? Sign me up.

The cheesecake part is basically cream cheese flavored frosting from a can. Blasphemy.

It's basically sugar with a little flavoring sprinkled on top, but the sprinkling only happens every other Tuesday. The rest of the week, it is just sugary crack.

I can't review the hazelnut part because the taste of the cheesecake crack frosting is drowning out the hazelnut and chocolate flavors.

VERDICT: Crackety.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Gardein Fishless Filet

Another win for Gardein! Applause!



The batter is made of tapioca starch, resulting in a beer battered type texture--light and crispy. The filet itself meets my requirements--tasty, reminiscent of a comfort food, but doesn't taste too much like meat.

The Gardein website suggests fish tacos--I'm definitely going to try that.

Happy Meatless Monday!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Pseudoscience

I have long taken an interest in pseudoscience and scientific illiteracy, and its harm to society. Recently, I've been following the antics of a blogger who calls herself Food Babe. From what I see, she largely posts selfies of herself traveling to exotic places with random bits of snake oil logic underneath, along with an admonition to buy products from her sponsors. Yet she has a large following.

Recently I came across this post on another blog, glorifying Food Babe as a vegan victim of Internet bullies. I posted the following comment underneath. I wonder if it will get posted!

Food Babe author Vani Deva Hari is far from vegan. She posts about bacon, butter, cream, etc.

You are correct that she has a large number of detractors, though I do not know of any reason to believe “they” are getting paid. I know I’m not.

I do not agree with people being nasty or bullying.

Stating truths and criticizing falsehoods is responsible and appropriate. Vani has made an enormous amount of false, dangerous statements, such as the following.

-Microwaved water’s molecules say ‘Hitler’ and ‘Satan’ when they vibrate
-Flu vaccines are dangerous
-Hospitals try to make you sick by giving you unhealthy food
-GMOs are dangerous
-Airlines are poisoning the air with nitrogen

Pseudoscience and conspiracy theories are a serious detriment to society. What we need is increasing scientific literacy, curiosity and skepticism to enable people to make better choices for their health.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Creamsicle smoothie!

98 degrees and hot flashes. Necessity is the mother of invention!

I blended about 2 tablespoons of orange juice concentrate with 2/3 cup soymilk, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1.5 cups of soymilk. Fantastic!