Vegetarians on Vacation.

As many of you know, it’s not always spontaneous or carefree to be a healthy eater, and a vegetarian one at that.  But it can be easy and fun, as long as you take the time to plan ahead and be prepared.  I like planning ahead and covering all my bases so that I always know that a healthy, vegetarian options is available to me. 

I’m also big on grocery budgeting, and I’ve gone on enough beach vacations to know that island grocery stores have ridiculously inflated prices.  The week before we headed to the beach, I went to Trader Joe’s and spent $100 on things like rolled oats, sesame crackers, olives, peppers, salsas, cereal, tortilla chips, nuts, and more.  I didn’t want to have to rely on what would be available down here, plus it has saved me a lot of time and $ at the local grocery store.

Last night we started with a big spread of appetizers, while I took my time to get dinner ready to go.  Our spread included sliced bell peppers, TJ’s sesame and gorgonzola crackers (two favorites), a 4-pack of flavored hummus…

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Delicious homemade pesto – made with a mixture of our leftover herbs from last week’s farmers market…

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And fantastic TJ’s bruschetta spread with chunky tomatoes, garlic, and basil…

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I toasted up about half of the Italian loaf I had picked up earlier, and topped each piece with the delicious spread.  Mmmmmm, so crusty and wonderful.  Note to self – do this more often.

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Earlier in the day while we were out running errands, I had tossed some red quinoa into the rice cooker (so easy!).  When we got home I added cucumbers, diced tomatoes, olives, herbs, and homemade dressing, to make my favorite Quinoa Tabouli

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Everyone here is happy to eat vegetarian food, and I am happy to cook, so it’s a win win.  We are going out to eat tonight and Friday night, so both nights I will check ahead of time to make sure there are vegetarian/vegan options.

For the rest of last night’s dinenr, we cut up a big head of romaine and I tossed in some additional peppers and tomatoes, and then used the leftover pesto with a touch of lemon juice and rice wine vinegar to make a salad dressing – delicious!

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Last but not least, one of my favorite things that we make at home – whole roasted carrots.  Lindsey and Sarah hadn’t had these before, and they both gave them a huge thumbs up.

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All together on the plate, and just in time to plop down on the couch and watch the Biggest Loser finale!

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And just as I headed to the couch, I turned around to the other side of the island to see the most beautiful sunset over the calm waters of the sound.

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Finished off my night with, what else?  – another Luna Pop!  This time is was Raspberry Chocolate – made with vegan chocolate chips.  I haven’t had a pop I haven’t like yet, and I’m determined to make my way through their menu board as the week continues…

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Headed out to Wilmington to pick up my friend Blake tonight!  Can’t wait for him to get here.