06
Jan
11

New Frontiers

I have not been to a (strictly) vegan or vegetarian restaurant since approximately 2002.  I had ventured up to northern VA to visit my dear Pamela and she introduced me to Sunflower restaurant.  I’m fairly certain that it was my first attempt at eating tofu in the form of their Sweet & Sour Sensation and I vividly remember savoring the leftovers for lunch the next day.  Without that experience, I would not have been nearly as eager to try Quenna’s Raw & Vegan restaurant when she suggested it last week.

We visited for lunch one afternoon and were welcomed into a small, yet warm and inviting space with an open view of the kitchen and a handful of cozy tables.  It was perfect for spending a few hours catching up with one another while enjoying lunch at a slower pace.  We split the seaweed appetizer, described as

“Marinated Kush (Bulgur Wheat), Crushed Dried Hot Peppers, Onions, Garlic, and Parsley wrapped in Nori Seaweed”

The filling was perfectly spicy and very hearty.  Even splitting this dish, it would have sufficed for a full meal!

For my entree, I ordered the Mushroom Madness sandwich:

“Mushrooms, Marinated Tofu, Onions, Romaine Lettuce, Carrots, Beets, Spinach, Alfalfa Sprouts, Sesame Dressing and Tomato Sauce in a Pocketbook”

Holy moly! The veggies were deliciously crisp and fresh (the best beets I have ever had!) and the pita bread was perfectly soft with a great flavor.  I would LOVE to know exactly how she prepares the tofu as well.  It had a ton of flavor (I detected dill, but couldn’t pick out anything else) and was so filling!!  Pam ordered the Olamex burger

“Kush (Bulgur Wheat) marinated in Tomato Sauce, Marinated Tofu,Mushrooms, Onions, Romaine Lettuce, Tomatoes, Carrots, Beets, Spinach,Alfalfa Sprouts and Sesame Dressing in a Pocketbook”

This also had the kush that was in the seaweed appetizer, and a taste of the tofu that I had in my sandwich.  We were so impresssed with the combination of fresh veggies, the sauces and the bread.  I will certainly be back – I just wish there was way to successfully ship their food to Miami where Pam resides.  I know she would absolutely love it!

I’d say the full-on yumminess of those photos would be inspirational right?  It was for me, so I got my butt into the kitchen and whipped up some of my own marinated kush (bulgur wheat).

I started with this:

 

and ended up with this:

I literally giggled when I tried a bite and Belly-Laughing Bulgur was born.  It even took me only one container, one knife and one cutting board to make – so easy!

Belly-Laugh Bulgur

1 C dry bulgur wheat
2 cloves garlic, chopped or grated
1 tsp curry powder
2 Tbsps Bragg Aminos (or low-sodium soy sauce)
1 C warm water
1/2 C chopped fresh parsley
1/2 small white onion, finely diced
1/2 C shredded carrots
In large bowl (or container), pour in bulgur.  Sprinkle in garlic and seasonings and add Aminos (or soy sauce) and water.  Stir and allow to sit until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. 
Pre-soak

Post-soak

Meanhwile, chop parsley, dice onion and shred carrots. 
Stir into bulgur and refrigerate. 

The longer it sits in the fridge, the better it gets.  I’m on day #3 and it tastes amazing!  HEARTY belly-laugh amazing.  I can’t wait to use this method and change up the veggies and flavors, depending on the seasons.  I think a southwest version is on the agenda – with fresh cilantro, onion and tomatoes.  Those meat-free days are gonna be a piece of cake (or a piece of tasty tofu).

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Hi Ya’ll!

Hiya! I'm Heidi, a 28-year-old "retired" student living in Virginia. I am a newlywed and currently on the hunt for a full-time job that will use either my Biology or Secondary Education degree. In the meantime, I work in retail and at an event venue part-time. When I'm not working, I love to kill hours at the gym, scrapbook, and act as a domesticated diva to keep my hubby happy!


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