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    Just the thoughts and cookings of a software engineer that likes to make foodstuffs from time to time in the bay area of California.
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Out and about town: Restaurants

I’ve been lacto-ovo vegetarian, this time, for a few months now.  Four month anniversary is coming up in a few days: February 23.

I don’t know instantly what to get at various restaurants but know that some are more full of choices than others. I also did some traveling lately and found that it was a challenge. If I go vegan, it’ll be more so at some places without proper planning.

Lunch
Bibimbap without meat. Korean. Dining companion suggested I ask the waitress for help. Glad I did. This was amazing. I added some of the red hot sauce that was on the table after the waitress told me that I’m to stir it around. Ooops! Amazing. I’ve already started looking up how to do this at home! Kyung Sung Restaurant, Newport News, VA

Paneer and Chickpea
Kadai Paneer without bell pepper (left) and Chickpea something (right). Indian. The photo of the second page of vegetarian items was too blurry to read so I don’t know what the chickpea thing was. The Kadai was the winner. Found this place cause Mom gave me a coupon. So glad I did. Nothing against the local favorite Nawab but this was so good. They also have a different regional concentration each Sunday brunch for $10. Agni Indian Restaurant. Newport News, VA

Create Bistro Salads
Salads. American/French. Top is “Boston Bibb Lettuces / Shaved Pears / Dehydrated Tomatoes / Sesame Cashews / Carrots / Black Pepper Vanilla Vinaigrette” and the bottom is “Fresh Fall Salad of Baby Arugula / Strawberries & Blueberries / Pomegranate Vinaigrette / Pistachios / Fried Boursin Cheese.” We had some other appetizers. Basically, we made dinner out of appetizers and salads. Here’s the menu. It was very tasty. It’s an adorable little place and since everything’s so fresh, I’m sure I could get something vegan. Create Bistro. Newport News, VA

Dill dip stuff and Kale salad
We got Menu #3 during a local “Restaurant Week” here. The above is a kale salad and a spinach pastry. As appetizer, I got the hummus. Second was spinach and cheese pastry (above). Next was Anatolian Vegetarian Plate (I think this is a picture of it… forgot already but I didn’t finish this plate, I remember that). Next was Chocolate Mousse Torte. I couldn’t finish the torte. What stood out to me — other than all the vegan selections — was this kale salad. Oh. My. Gosh. Who knew! It’s definitely on my list of things to try at home. Pasha Mezze. Norfolk, VA

General Tso's Bean Curd
General Tso’s Bean Curd. “Chinese.” Most of us know that if we go to a place that serves tofu (or some other meat replacement) we can usually get a simple substitution. Did that here. It was good. Little sweet but good. Great Wall. Chincoteague, VA

Mr. Baldy's Veggie Burger
Veggie Burger. American. The bread was stale. Place was cute. They offered a grilled vegetable sub and a veggie burger. So, had to try it. Very reasonably priced. Mr. Baldy’s. Chincoteague, VA

Greek Salad
Greek Salad. American/Greek. Oh my gosh! This salad was off the chain. It came with dolma! Seriously, this was amazing. I only wish the restaurant I go to for Toastmasters would have this as its Greek salad. So good. The dolma tasted much better than The Castle’s (in Newport News, VA) dolma. Other vegetarian options were pizza and pasta and such. They used tomato sauce so I had a wide option. The place I go to for Toastmasters uses meat sauce for pastas. Maria’s Family Restaurant. Newport News, VA

IMG_0311
Bean Curd Szechuan style. Chinese. I was hungry and in between big places (if you count Chincoteague as a big place) so thought that this would be a good lunch stop. Here’s the menu. See the funny? Yeah. A few of the “vegetable” dishes come with meat! Thank goodness they had descriptions. I usually order from that section with no worries. But this Vg 6 was awesome without ground pork. China Chefs Restaurant. Eastern shore, VA

And those are a few highlights of my restaurant travels! Eating out can be done lacto-ovo and be satisfying — though I’m still working on finding something at Angelo’s where Toastmasters meets — and with some planning/imagination, there are vegan options. Here’s to another 4 months (and many more)!

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Get out and . . .

Volunteer! Frog pumpkin

You thought I was going to say vote, didn’t you? Well, you should do that too but that’s in a few weeks. (Thank goodness. I’m tired of these political ads on the television and snail mail. So much waste. It goes right in the recycling bin.)

This weekend is a Volunteer Expo in my area. So, those that are local, please check it out! If you’re not local, maybe there is something similar happening. I think I found something I can volunteer for on weekends… I’ll post more when I know more. 🙂

Volunteer Expo, Newport News, Virginia.
October 25 : 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
1st Advantage and the Volunteer Center are partnering to give people of the Peninsula a place to go to volunteer or donate. We will have at least 25 non profit organizations in the area for guests to learn about. This event is free and open to the public.

Global Youth Service Day: Get your serve on

Global Youth Service DayI feel like the volunteer numbers are down overall. Who has time to do stuff for free? Well, I believe we make time for what is important to us. That’s probably why I have “no time” for planning my week’s meals. ::cough:: But anyway…. We have Global Youth Service Day coming up on April 26, 2008 and wouldn’t it be great to infect our youth with the volunteerism bug? The great thing about a bug is that it spreads like, well, a virus. Go get ’em!

Global Youth Service Day is the largest service event in the world. Millions of youth will participate in the 20th Annual Global Youth Service Day. VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads is coordinating the project at a local level on Saturday, April 26, 2008 throughout Hampton Roads. Hundreds of middle and high school students will volunteer in their community through environmental clean ups. – Volunteer Hampton Roads

Locally, Volunteer Hampton Roads is looking for youth that would like to volunteer. The deadline to register was April 18, but I bet there’s something to still do! Can’t hurt to try and find something for the family to do together to help our communities.

Local plants at the Virginia Living Museum Native Plant Sale

Virginia Living Museum Native Plant SaleWent to the Virginia Living Museum Native Plant Sale even though it was thundering! What dedication! It was wonderful and had a good turnout. A few of the plants that were favorites were milkweed and butterflyweed because people want to feed/grow the butterflies. I hovered around the Phlox again because I have a dream of one day having a theme garden. Phlox, Cosmos, etc.

I enjoyed looking at the not so plant like things such as the carved animals. Virginia Living Museum Native Plant Sale The eagle held up the caution tape to keep us from going near the shed. I didn’t go inside the museum to witness the Earth Day festivities with the animals though. I don’t stay away from my eye drops for too long while I heal from Lasik.

They had a great handout on the various plants that they sell and I scanned it for all to read. I apologize for the crinkle and bleeding text. It was raining and it’s very hard to take photos while holding an umbrella and keep a piece of paper dry at the same time. I recommend that if you’re interested in picking up native plants and finding out more about them that you should go to there next weekend. It’s free to check out and the prices are comparable to local nurseries.