Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sometimes, no matter what...

Do you ever feel that no matter what you do, you just can't succeed?

I have been feeling that way lately, and not with weight loss. I just assumed that because I am living a healthier lifestyle that I am healthier. That is what this is all about for me, after all. I don't care about being skinny--I care about living a long, happy, healthy, and fit life.

I'm struggling with some of that right now.

I had a physical in November, at which they performed a lipid panel. I had elevated triglycerides before, but I was so excited to get tested again and prove to them that a vegan diet could beat anything. Well, it didn't. The results came back and my levels were quite high. The doctor told me to start taking fish oil immediately and try to lose some weight.

What on Earth does she think I have been doing here for the past 3 months?

I told her that I would NOT be taking fish oil (as I am vegan and studying fish conservation, oh my goodness) and that I AM losing weight. She seemed frustrated with me, which I reciprocated. I asked her to let me try the vegan diet a little longer, since I'd only been on it for two and a half months at the time and had already seen so many improvements. She gave me three months. I have until mid-February to lower my triglyceride levels, "or else".

So I've been trying not to eat high glycemic index foods or foods with more than 3g of fat per serving. I've been cooking everything from scratch or eating out at Chipotle, since I know they use only fresh, unprocessed ingredients. What else can I do on top of what I am already doing?

Apparently it hasn't been enough.

I had been "sick" for the past six weeks. My throat was sore and my tonsils looked like they were molding, but strangely I otherwise felt fine. I went to two different doctors and both of them prescribed antibiotics. They didn't work. Also, my blood pressure had been high both visits, which can happen when your body is fighting infection.

I started getting headaches lately, and my vision was a little off, which I contributed to the raised blood pressure. Because of that, I decided it was time to go in a third time and finally nip this cold in the butt.

The doctor took one look at my tonsils, and let out a cry of triumph. As she suspected, no bacterial infection at all--it wasn't a cold. It was allergy related inflammation, and the white stuff was dead white blood cells. She proceeded to pop out a tonsil stone and said, "See, there you have it!"

I was amazed. I constantly struggle with dust mite allergies and have had issues with tonsil stones in the past, but I didn't know that it could possibly affect me so severely. Even this morning after taking some advil and gargling with salt water and listerine, my throat feels so much better.

Which left the matter of my high blood pressure. I realized then that I had only assumed that my blood pressure had been elevated for the past six weeks during the time of my "cold", but I actually hadn't been for an entire year before these visits. I had no way of knowing that my blood pressure had been high any time before--I had never suspected.

The doctor talked to me about type 1 hypertension and gave me some educational packets about it. She said that it sounds like I am eating right, so I need to add 1 mile of power walking on top of my daily 1 mile of meanderings between classes. I then told her about my triglyceride issues, and she gravely informed me that if my primary care physician hadn't put me on heart medication already, then she surely would at my February check-in--unless a miracle happens and I can reign everything in basically overnight.

I am feeling frustrated and a little betrayed right now.

I feel like I am doing everything that I can, but that nothing I do makes any difference. Whether I have the body I want or not, what does it matter if there is a high likelihood that I'll have at least one heart attack before 50? The doctor warned me that I should do everything in my power (as though I am not already) to avoid the heart medications because it is a slippery slope downhill from there.

I am going to add in that extra mile, I am going to watch my sodium, and I am going to continue to restrict myself to low-fat and low-GI rice, beans, fruits, and vegetables. I am going to work my hardest to try and make that February check-in a celebratory one. But in the back of my head I can still hear what my primary care physician said to me back in November: "I just want you to be prepared that no matter what you do, it may not help. Because it runs in the family, sometimes you just can't do it by yourself."

Please, please, please don't let that be me...

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Hey everybody, it has certainly been a while.
We are in the midst of finals here at Virginia Tech, so I have basically been running around like a chicken with my head cut off for the past month. Not to mention that it in nine days it will be Christmas, which brings on stresses of its own. All of this equating to me not having had time to blog lately. My apologies--believe me, I'd rather be doing this!
Now don't think that I've just been fiddling around in the mean time. Oh no, I have a stock pile of photos and recipes that are ripe for posting. Seeing as my month-long vacation begins this upcoming Thursday at exactly 3:05pm, prepare to be bombarded by deliciousness.
Woven in between exams are of course a few end-of-the-semester celebrations.
My good friends, Jessica, Christina, Thomas, and me.
If you've been wondering how my healthful habits have been going lately, the answer is amazing. Sticking to vegan foods hasn't been a challenge and I've continued to get smaller and smaller. Remember that back in June I was tipping the scales at 261 pounds? Here's where I am today:
  • I am 231 pounds. That is a 29 lb weight loss! And the most amazing thing is that every single day that number continues to plummet.
  • I have lost a total of 4 inches from my bust.
  • Three inches are gone from my waist.
  • I've lost 3 inches on the hips.
  • And I am minus two inches  from each thigh.
I have to admit, I am pretty proud of that. All of the wonderful people in my life have noticed the difference, and comment on a daily basis how much I've changed. I can even see it myself when I look in the mirror.
I had to go shopping for dress clothes the other day for a presentation, and I had such a hard time. Not because nothing fit, but because I kept grabbing the size that I used to be, and everything was too big! It took about two hours at Walmart in the middle of the night, but I left with a button down shirt and a skirt--this is the first time I've worn either of those things in my adult life. Things like that just never fit before now.

Dress clothes that actually fit and look nice!

I know that I've got a ways to go still, but I am just so happy that something is finally working for me and that my goals actually seem achievable. I've got another 80 pounds to go before I reach my target weight, but realistically I haven't been at this for very long and I'm already over a quarter of the way there. I am happier with myself right now than I have been in a long time.
My friend and room mate, Carla, has to write a feature story as an end-of-the-semester project. I'm not sure what possessed her, but she decided to do a human interest story about me and my journey toward a healthy life. She is in the process of getting it published now, so I will post a link whenever it is ready. As with all good articles, it was accompanied by several lovely photographs.

Courtesy of Carla Craft.

That wraps up my progress report for now. I'll be back soon!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Creamy Avocado Basil Pasta

So I know I said just the other day that my new addiction is Garlicky Kale, but I may have found something better (blasphemy, I know). My new new food addiction is this fresh Creamy Avocado Basil Pasta. And by addiction, yes, I do mean that I've made and eaten this dish four times already this past week alone. Don't judge till you try it.

Creamy Avocado Basil Pasta

Did I mention that once again this recipe is from Oh She Glows? Best. Blog. Ever.

The most amazing thing about this recipe is that it take as long to make as the pasta takes to cook. So fast, so easy, and pretty easy clean-up as well.

Start off by bringing your favorite pasta to a boil. I find myself going back time again to fettuccine, and I recently bought a spinach variety that was wonderful as well. Check the package to find out al dente cooking times.

While the pasta is cooking, get out that handy-dandy food processor of yours. Add:
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 avocado
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp of lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large fist full of basil--about a cup
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Blend until smooth, adding an extra splash of olive oil if necessary to get that creamy consistency.

Once the pasta is done, simply drain, mix in the avocado sauce, and serve with an extra sprinkle of finely ground sea salt on top!


Note: The original recipe called for the pepper and lemon zest to be put on top of the mixed up pasta as the last step. I found that the avocado was kind of lost that way, so I started to use less of both and began blending it up in the sauce instead.

This dish also works great if you want to add some veggies. I've used spinach on several occasions, returning the drained noodles to the heat and adding some fresh baby spinach while I stir in the sauce. You just want them wilted a little bit. I bet mushrooms or asparagus would be lovely as well!

It is difficult to get this recipe exactly right, just because you can't control every factor, such as the size of the avocado or garlic clove. Play around, figure out how you like it, and enjoy!

As a last note, do not store this pasta in the refrigerator and attempt to reheat it later. Make the amount of pasta you need and store any extra sauce in the fridge. That way when you want leftovers you can quickly and easily make more pasta and stir in the cold sauce with the hot noodles.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Raw Buckwheat Porridge

Okay, so the name doesn't necessarily sound appetizing, but don't knock it till you try it! This is, by a mile, my new favorite go-to breakfast food. There is zero prep time in the mornings once you've made a big batch of this. Just ladle into a bowl, throw some fruit or whatever else you want on top, and chow down. And unlike oatmeal, I could eat this plain with no toppings or extra sugar or anything and still be 100% satisfied.

Raw Buckwheat Porridge

Beautiful, isn't it? Sweet, almost snow-white, creamy in texture, and deliciously frosty, this could ac almost pass as a very filling dessert. So good! And, wonderfully enough, so simple. The best part of all is that it is super healthy and packed with fiber.

Step 1: Soak the groats. I start with 2 cups of groats and 4 cups of water, letting them sit overnight in the fridge. You should be able to find these at any health food store, and probably large grocers as well. Make sure they are whole raw groats, not anything that has been cut or processed! Here is what they look like:

Raw, unprocessed, whole buckwheat groats.

Let the groats soak overnight in plenty of water in the refrigerator.

Step 2: Rinse the groats. This is the hardest part. When you take them out of the fridge in the morning, you'll notice that everything got a little slimy. Don't be alarmed! Like a flax egg, the buckwheat groats caused the water to congeal a little. Drain them and rinse them with a fine colander or strainer. They don't have to be perfect, just make sure they are cleaned off for the most part (you don't want slimy porridge!).

Step 3: Process everything together. Place the rinsed groats in a large food processor (I had to do mine in two batches since the one I have is tiny). Add the following ingredients and blend until smooth:
  • 1 and 1/4 cups milk (I used sweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
If you've never used chia seeds before, you can find them in natural foods stores and in the spice section of larger grocery stores. They are a little pricey, but a little baggy from the bulk spice counter will last a while and won't cost much at all.

Chia seeds.

Also, feel free to add an extra dash or two of milk as you are processing in order to achieve the desired texture. I (accidentally) made the first batch rather coarse and the second batch very smooth, and when I mixed them together the result was lovely. I like a little bit of bite with mine. Play around with it to figure out what you like best.

Step 4: Top and serve. I have found the my favorite topping is diced strawberries, but a mixture of raspberries and blackberries are lovely as well. I didn't think that bananas worked as well, but then again I am picky about my bananas. You could do any sort of dried fruit, nuts, seeds, etc. Be creative--there is pretty much no way to go wrong!

A big thank you to Angela at Oh She Glows for this recipe. That is currently my favorite website and every single recipe of hers that I've tried as been amazing. Check it out!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Veggie Seed Burgers

Much, much better than the Black Bean Chipotle Burger that didn't work out a few weeks ago, this new burger recipe comes from Angela's Oh She Glows blog. While a little on the complicated side, this burger is the perfect texture and has a yummy nutty flavor. When you've just gotta have one, this burger recipe will definitely do the job.

Veggie Seed Burgers

The first step is to saute 1/2 of diced onions and 1 clove of garlic with a tiny bit of olive oil. While that is going on, mix up a flax 'egg' by adding 2 and 1/2 tbsp roughly ground flax seed and 1/2 a cup of warm water in a bowl. Stir and set aside for now.

Add to a large mixing bowl:
  • the sauteed onion garlic mixture
  • 1 cup of oats processed into flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup of grated carrot
  • 1 cup roughly mashed cooked black beans
  • heaping 1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley (cilantro could also be lovely)
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Combine thoroughly with a spoon.

Now, in a separate small bowl stir together:
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 and 1/5 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
Dump the flax egg and the spice mixture onto the burger mixture.

Now it's time to get your hands dirty. Knead and mix until thoroughly combined. The mixture should be sticky and like a very chunky dough.

Form dough into palm-sized patties. We got eight of them.


The last step is to fry in a tablespoon of olive oil, just long enough to brown both sides, and serve with any toppings. We did avocado, tomato, and lettuce, which was really good. I am thinking that some crispy onion straws would be delicious too! We did find that the burger could use a bit of salt though, so feel free to sprinkle some on your fixin's before putting putting on the top bun.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

A big thanks to my good friend Donna for her suggestion and inspiration. I used to love to get us Starbucks coffee on the way to work in the fall. I would get a pepper mint mocha frap and she would get a pumpkin spice latte. Somehow I don't think that peppermint would be good in pancakes, but pumpkin worked out well!

Better than well, actually. These pancakes are freaking delicious. I tested them out on my mom when I made a trip home this past weekend and she is still raving about them. Me too--they were totally comfort food, and surprisingly healthy!

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Combine in a measuring cup:
  • 1 cup of milk (I use vanilla almond milk.)
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flower
  • 1/3 cup of canned pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • Spices! I used 1/4 tsp each of freshly ground: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, & cardamom.
I originally included 2 tbsp of brown sugar to this recipe and I felt that it was too sweet. You could completely leave it out or use just 1 tbsp.

The batter. Add extra milk if necessary to get the perfect texture.
Also, stirring with a whisk seems to make a difference somehow.

Then fry 'em up! I usually don't use any oil while cooking, but non-stick spray is an absolute MUST for this batch. Not really sure why...

These get especially fluffy. Be liberal with the non-stick spray or they'll mush when you go to flip them.

Serve with 100% pure maple syrup. Yum! I will definitely be making this recipe over and over again this winter. It is just so homey. Also, I found very interesting, a single can of pumpkin has nearly 20 grams of fiber. Who knew!

Each batch makes about 6 pancakes. Things go a lot smoother if you have a helper, too:

My doggie, Katie, begging for a taste. Who could say no to that face?

I created this recipe myself so let me know how it goes!

Pita Pizza

These fast, versitile, and delicious little pizzas are the perfect portion for a generous snack or light meal. Not to mention they are fun to make!

Pita Pizza

First, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Assemble your pizza starting with a pita round spread with hummus (the more the merrier).

Cooked toppings could include:
  • tomato
  • garlic
  • mushrooms
  • onion
  • olives
  • herbs
  • asparagus
  • jalapenos
  • bell peppers

Pretty much anything would be good. Next, pop it in the oven for about 10 minutes. The pita gets so crispy and turns out like a chip. Then top with whatever raw ingredients and serve.

Raw toppings could include:
  • sprouts
  • spinach
  • basil
  • tomato
I'm sure that there are many more options than this. I'll be uploading and experiments and updating with new variations as I find them.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts

Here are some things that I've learned so far along the way:

1) Keep a bag of mixed chopped veggies in the fridge. Carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, onion, peas--just about anything will work. This will save time when you're in a hurry and the mix can be used for so many things, such as a quick curry or stir-fry.

Vegetable Curry

Vegetable Stir-Fry

2) Make extra rice to keep in the fridge. That way when you cook your pre-cut veggies you can serve them over pre-made rice for a cheap, quick, and easy meal! Just make sure the rice is covered tight so that it doesn't start to dry out.

3) Buy pre-chopped garlic. Almost every savory vegan recipe I have even made calls for chopped garlic. Instead of going through the hassle of doing that every time, buy a jar of garlic and just ladle in a tablespoon for each clove called for. Save the whole garlic and chopping it by hand for your better recipes that really deserve it.

4) Don't wash or peel things you don't need to. I don't peel carrots and I don't wash bagged lettuce. Unless you can see bugs or dirt, what is sprinkling a bit of water on it going to do? Absolutely nothing. If you are buying non-organic fruit you may want to rinse off any residual pesticides or other nastiness, however.

5) Don't bother to refrigerate packed lunches. In almost every recipe that I have made to take to school with me for lunch, there is nothing in them that would spoil from being left out at room temperature for a while. So instead of fussing with a insulated bag and a cold pack, I just toss a tupperware container and a fork into my backpack. This also means that you don't have to find a microwave to reheat cold food.

Btw guys, today marks the one month mark for my vegan challenge. I've lost 10 lbs so far and am still dropping fast! Why on Earth didn't I ever do this before now...?

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Results Are In (Drum Roll, Please)

Mildly disappointing, I didn't lose any weight this very last week. I blame waaaay too many alcoholic beverages and slices of cake on Friday and Saturday (stupidly just before my weigh-in). Just because the cake was vegan didn't mean it was calorie free. But hey, I've learned my lesson, forgiven myself, and am ready to move on to bigger and better things.

So, over the course of my three week Weight Loss Kickstart, I:

  • Lost 6 pounds
  • Lost 1 and 1/2 inches of off my hips
  • Lost 2 inches off of my waist
  • Lost 2 and 1/2 inches off my bust
  • Lost 1 inch off of each thigh
  • Gained a lot more energy, especially midday
  • Stopped drinking coffee and soda almost entirely
  • Completely halted my IBS episodes
  • Started developing a better self-image, outside and in
  • Cleared my previously conflicted conscience about eating ocean life
Not to shabby, I'd say! I am feeling really, really positive about all of this. So where to go from here?

Right now, I feel like I've only just begun a really awesome adventure--there is so much more to do and learn about food (and I do love food). Dr. Barnard tells me not to say, "I'm a vegan now," but instead to say "I will follow a vegan diet for the next (relatively short-term commitment here)." So what kind of commitment will I be making?

Check out my new name to find out. Hope you'll stick around!

Banana Pancakes with Home-Made Blueberry Syrup

This recipe was inspired by post on the Hungry Hungry Hippie blog. Not having any coconut on hand, I decided to make my own version.

Banana Pancakes with Home-Made Blueberry Syrup

Don't let the home-made syrup daunt you--it is actually incredibly easy and fuss-free. All you want to do is throw a handful of blueberries in a small sauce pot (however many you want to eat), cover them only about half way with water, add two tablespoons over your favorite sweetener, and start them off at a simmer. You'll notice that as soon as they get hot the blueberries begin to burst and turn the liquid purple. Yum! Go ahead and add the juice and the finely-chopped zest of half a lemon. After about 7-10 minutes remove it from the heat. It will congeal a little bit more, so I actually ended up having to stir back in a tiny bit more water to get the right consistency. That's it! So much more healthy than the store bought kind as well. Also, you could strain this if you don't want chunks, but I didn't.
Blueberry pancake syrup reducing.

Next, mix up the pancake batter. I've stopped measuring entirely, but I'll try to estimate:
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 2/3 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp of cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp of baking powder
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 mashed ripe banana
Basically, put all of ingredients besides the milk in a measuring cup and that add the liquid and whisk until it looks right. There really isn't a way to ruin it. Them fry 'em up (no butter needed)!

These go incredibly fast, so keep an eye on them.

Then just stack, top with syrup, and enjoy! This recipe yielded six pancakes, which is enough for one ravenous person or two regular person (and I'm not going to tell you which I was this morning).

Why yes, that IS gooey banana oozing out of the center. De-freakin-licious.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Garlicky Kale

Big shout out to my friend Jessica for introducing me to this wonderful new food, which is pretty much my new addiction...

Garlicky Kale

There is just something about this dish. I've always liked kale, but I can just straight up eat this as a meal. The flavor is pungent, but it a really satisfying way like aged brie or a good crystallized Gruyere. This recipe probably isn't for non-garlic-lovers (or the faint of heart, for that matter), but for those of you who are I think you'll definitely be going back for more... again and again and again.

This recipe originally came from Brittany Mullins on Eating Bird Food.

In a food processor combine:
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
Blend until smooth. There will be itty bitty pieces of garlic, but that is okay.

Garlic sauce--the nutritional yeast makes it yellow.

Wash, de-stem, and tear into bite sized pieces one bunch of kale. This is a whole lot of leafy green, so much sure you start with a very large bowl.

One bunch of fresh raw kale.

Next, pour all of the garlic dressing on the kale and thoroughly massage it into the leaves. It is a MUST to use your hands here. Take extra care to make sure the dressing is evenly distributed. If for some reason you don't have quite as much kale, don't put all of the dressing in. It is strong enough that a little goes a very long way.

Kale after the dressing is massaged in.

As you can see, the kale has already reduced in volume. The longer it is left to marinate, the more wilted the kale will become. If you want it really crunchy, eat it right away. If you would like your kale a little more manageable, let it sit in the fridge for an hour before serving.

Also, please excuse all of my window sill photographs--I know it's ghetto. It is the only spot in the entire kitchen that isn't dark though! Oh, and as a reward to myself today I bought some pretty ceramic fire-glazed dishes. No more monotonous plates! I don't know if you guys had noticed, but it was driving me crazy.

As always, thanks for reading!


I don't know about you, but I definitely have issues with food addiction.

Usually this happens regarding desserts. If I know that there is a piece of cake in the fridge, I can't stop thinking about. I can't sleep because I am thinking about eating that piece of cake, I wake up and the first thought on my mind is that piece of cake... You get the picture.

Strangely, for the first time in my life--and I've no idea why--the sweets aren't tormenting me any more. I think it might be that I don't really have them around, and I am so busy eating so many fantastic vegetable-based dishes that I don't even have time to think about it. When my room mates have something sweet lying out on the counter it doesn't bother me either because I know it isn't vegan and so in my mind I categorize it as inedible. It is so cool to not be sugar crazy all the time.

But, alas, I knew this peace couldn't last. Last night Jessica cooked me a lovely dinner and turned me on to another dang food addiction...

Garlicky Kale.

Yes indeed. I can't stop thinking about it. I woke up with it on my mind, and now that I am attempting to start my homework I cannot focus on anything except those pungent, wilted leaves...

This is the only picture I could snag before we voraciously devoured it.

Excuse me while I make a trip to Kroger to buy several pounds of kale and a jar of nutritional yeast.

You can expect lots of pictures and a recipe to come, ha ha!

Soba Noodle Bowl

This soup is one of my favorites, but it originally contained chicken and chicken stock. A little tweaking produced a delicate and flavorful vegetarian dish that is mild enough to be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Soba Noodle Bowl

Begin by bringing to a boil:
  • 2 cups of water
  • 6 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (or more to taste)
  • 1 lb of sliced mushrooms (I used button because they were on sale)
  • 2 bunches (6oz) of buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1 tbsp of finely chopped garlic
  • 3 slices of peeled ginger (about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • freshly cracked pepper
After about 4 minutes, add:
  • 5 sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup thawed frozen peas
  • 2 generous cups of fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup of sliced sugar snap peas
Feel free to play around with any other vegetables you may have on hand, such as water chestnut, carrot, or onion. Boil two more minutes, remove ginger and bay leaf, and serve. This is one of the fastest and easiest recipes to make, especially if you buy presliced mushrooms and jarred chopped garlic. This recipe serves four, and the SparkRecipes Recipe Calculator tells me that each serving is 250 calories, has almost zero fat, and contains 3.5 grams of fiber. Healthy and delicious!


Birthday Celebrations

I am having so much fun discovering all of the wonderful foods and restaurants to go to and eat at. This past Friday we went to Kabuki Japanese Steak & Seafood and enjoyed a hibachi show.

Kabuki Japanese Steak & Seafood

The building was beautiful. The ceiling was pained with stars, there were marine fish tanks everywhere, and they had a lounge featuring a waterfall.

Cucumber & Avocado Sushi and a salad with ginger dressing.

My first experience with vegan sushi was awesome--it was super yummy and I easily could have filled up on about five of those rolls.

My delicious sauteed veggies.

The very first thing the chef did was dump a gigantic bowl of mixed vegetables on the hibachi. I thought that they would be divided amoung everyone as a first course, but I was delighted to see that they were all for me!

This is what my plate looked like when I had eaten half of my food...
The leftovers were a perfect breakfast the day after!

The "Vegetarian Dinner" was wonderful. I didn't get the soup and grilled shrimp that everyone else got, but I was 100% content and satisfied with my meal. There was a garlic sauce to die for that I basically drown my already amazing veggies in, and then there was an amazing ginger and soy sauce dressing that was particularly good on the fried rice. So, so fantastic that I am starting to drool just remembering about it. And all for only $13!

Onion Volcano

Our Malaysian chef.

And on top of that, the show was good and the company was lovely.

James, Heenal, Carla, Helen, me, and Darren.