Archives for posts with tag: vegetarian

One of the most vegetarian friendly food types we’ve encountered is Mediterranean. From tabouli to dolmas, you can fill up on a dozen or more dishes before you encounter a meaty option. This week we looked at Fadi’s and Dimassi’s, both of which we already knew we liked.

Fadi'sVeggieSamplerFadi’s Mediterranean Grill offers many dishes, but the vegetarian sampler has to be the best idea we’ve encountered outside of a buffet. With the option to go through and point to what you want, or just leave it up to the server to give you a little bit of everything that doesn’t contain meat. Since we always like to try new things, we went with the latter option. Of course, items mixed and we found rice buried underneath the center, but the flavors are so diverse that they go beautifully together. We particularly liked the fresh mint in the fattoush, as it seemed to almost cleanse our palates whenever we had some. The cauliflower also stood out and although we were trying to be courteous and share, we each kept taking bits of it until nothing but a hole remained where it used to sit on the plate. For something as simple as cauliflower and lemon juice, that stuff is incredible!

Fadi'sFalafelOn the recommendation of a very helpful man behind a counter, we also tried the falafel sandwich. More of a wrap, really, this is quite nice with pickles, tomatoes and dressing rolled in a thick pita bread, then toasted. The chickpea patties are packed into this sandwich with enough dressing on the side to ensure every bite can drip as much s you’d like.

Serving sizes are huge at Fadi’s, so you get plenty for the price, and the food is wonderful.

If you are in the mood for a buffet, try Dimassi’s Mediterranean Buffet on Campbell in Richardson. We went through half of the buffet without encountering one item with meat, and we filled our plates with only the smallest sampling from each vegetarian offering. While one of the rice dishes does contain meat, they do a great job of keeping the dishes separate and labeling everything. We liked the dolmas quite a bit and fell in love with the baba ghanouge’s smokey flavor. Whatever you like, this is a must try buffet for vegetarians.

Both Fadi’s and Dimassi’s are equally wonderful with fresh ingredients and delicious dishes. Spend an evening or even a lunch hour at either one for a healthful meal you’ll love.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

For about three years a little Indian restaurant has stayed tucked in a shopping center off Belt Line and Central Expressway in Richardson. But Udipi Cafe is not just another Indian buffet. Everything served at this restaurant is vegetarian. Not just vegetarian friendly, but 100% meat- and broth-free vegetarian food. How have we missed this for so long?

Whatever kept us away before, we’re definitely going back now. The wait staff is a mix of people from friendly and helpful to curmudgeonly yet somehow easy to like. The food, however, is absolutely wonderful. On our first visit, we were so overwhelmed by options that we had to ask for a recommendation. Yes, it was strange and wonderful to have an entire menu from which to choose; so strange that we couldn’t make a choice.

Udipi Cafe Soup AppetizerDuring dinner, an appetizer of soup came to the table. If this is a standard item, be aware that we dubbed it “Death Pepper and Cauliflower Soup.” We felt it in our tear ducts, yet we it was extremely flavorful and we kept putting our spoons back in the bowls. Definitely try it if you can take the heat.

Per our request, our waiter gave us a few options. He first recommended a dosa, which one of us ordered, then said the mutter panner or butter paneer masala would be good. We went for the second option and were delighted with the dish.

Udipi Cafe Huge Butter Masala DosaUdipi Cafe Butter Masala Dosa FillingWhen the food arrived we discovered that Udipi Cafe is very generous with portions. The Dosa was huge, possibly the biggest one we’ve had so far. The beautifully crispy crepe is monstrous, but the filling is centered over a plate so we were pleased to find that this is actually manageable. We still had enough to take home, though. The spicy yellow potato filling definitely builds the heat, but it takes a while. The sauces are not going to cool anything down, either. This is delicious, but bring tissues if you aren’t used to spicy foods.

Udipi Cafe Butter Paneer MasalaOnce we tasted the butter paneer masala we had to ask and discovered that the paneer is made in house. It is firm, yet doesn’t crumble, and has a nice flavor on its own. The sauce is not spicy at first, but give it a minute to build and you’ll fall in love as fast as we did. Creamy and tomato based, this had a slight anise seed flavor that made the thick sauce stand out.

Udipi Cafe Buffet PlateIf you are in the mood for a buffet, come in for lunch. At about the size of any other buffet, this one holds only vegetarian dishes, so you get twice the normal variety. Try all of your favorites, of course, but be aware that they will bring you a fresh, yet slightly smaller, dosa, so save some room.

The only negative we encountered was the dessert cart not holding gulab jamun. That’s not actually a negative so much as our being spoiled by most other buffets we encounter offering it. We were honestly too stuffed for much dessert, so it’s probably a good thing it wasn’t there.

Overall, we were delighted to find an Indian buffet where we didn’t have to deal with goat meat while reaching for the spinach and we were even more pleased when we discovered the food is delicious. We will definitely add Udipi Cafe to our must frequent list. Maybe we’ll see you there on our next visit.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

We found Engine 2 when shopping on Greenling and decided to try it. After a week of eating what the recipe kit told us to eat for dinner, and a few lunches, we have mixed feelings on the plant-based meal plan. We love vegetarian diets, of course, and most of the meals are pretty healthful with a wide enough range to keep it interesting, but we found ourselves adding salt or cheese when we reheated leftovers for lunch. Leftovers are one of the great things about going through Greenling (see last week’s post) for this meal plan because the meals will feed more than intended. Although we ordered five meals for two people, we got three to four servings out of each meal during the first week.

Day 1: Nachos

Engine 2 Nachos on three plates

Plenty of food for three people, this recipe is amazing. We made the mistake of setting our broiler to low when cooking the chips, so they were not as crispy as they could have been. Then the moisture from the beans and tomatoes made the chips a little soggy, but the nachos still tasted incredible. A beautiful salsa, fresh tomatoes and avocado are perfect with organic black beans. Anything that can survive our clumsy handling and still taste great has our vote.
*added bonus: Making tortilla chips (correctly) in the oven saves a little money over buying them packaged.

Day 2: Portobello Mushrooms and Mashed Potatoes with Seasonal Vegetables

Engine 2 Marinate Mushrooms with Mashed Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables

Incredible. This is by far the favorite meal of the week. We put the marinade into the mushroom container and shook it around and poured it all onto the baking sheet. Our lack of culinary training (and apparent common sense) led to some smokey mushrooms coming out of the oven. Note for next time, don’t pour marinade all over a baking sheet. It will burn before the mushrooms cook. But, even after trying to burn the mushrooms (and the veggies, for that matter) this was amazing. It presents well and the mushrooms are tender enough to cut with a fork. The rosemary and garlic in the potatoes bring a gourmet touch to comfort food. This dish reheats well, too!

Day 3: Cauliflower Soup

Engine 2 Cauliflower Soup

Soup is surprisingly easy to make when someone else does all the prep work. This one is good, but doesn’t stand out as a favorite from the plan. We added salt to one of the three reheats (yes three, this recipe makes a large pot of soup) and that helped. Large chunks of cauliflower and potatoes give this more of a stew feel, so we thought biscuits might be in order. While they are great for sopping up the liquid, plan to eat much less than you think you need because the soup is filling and the bread will swell.

Day 4: Pasta Primavera

Engine 2 Pasta Primavera

Whatever else happens, don’t use the entire crushed pepper packet. Yowza! That’s one hot dish. But, while it did burn, we couldn’t stop eating it. Fresh kale and peppers bring texture to a pre-made organic sauce and noodles. We melted cheese over the leftovers and that helped cool it down a bit, but if you have a pallet for spice, you’ll like this meal.

Day 5: Shepherd’s Pie

Engine 2 Shepherd's Pie

Rosemary potatoes (left over from the second day) and lentils drive this dish. Good on the first day, shepherd’s pie shines in leftovers. Maybe it’s the flavors mixing or just mashing everything under a plastic lid, but something happens overnight that makes this better on the second and third day. Like the others we had from week three, this recipe makes well more than the promised two servings.

We stumbled into Engine 2 by accident, but the convenience and nutritional quality of what we found make it worth continuing. Our sample is limited, and at some point, we’ll probably buy the book and see what this diet is all about. For now, the good meals are great and the worst meals are only as bad as “meh,” so we’ll add Engine 2 to our dinner rotation. We alter the recipes with salt, oil or cheese to fit our tastes, which is probably counterproductive to any weight loss goal, but we like the meals.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

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