Archive for November, 2008

So, last week I was out with some friends and we went to a well known steak house.  As a vegan, I was stuck with the dilemma of trying to figure out a menu that would suffice my dietary needs.  I have only been vegan for a couple of years now but let me tell you it always becomes a hot topic.  As everyone was ready to order a big piece of steak with their loaded baked potatoes, I was stuck with what vegetables to boil and what dressing or condiments I could add to my salad and baked potato.  As I ordered the veggies and plain salad, I was thinking how great it could be to have more vegetarian and vegan options at restaurants.  Even better with such a growth in vegans, a strictly vegetarian restaurant such as ours, Punjab Sweets, would fare very well these days. 

Lately, because of the lack of options at most restaurants many times I’ve had to resort to eating french fries, which in the long run doesn’t bode well for the waist nor is it a healthy option.  My reasons for going vegan are a mix of choice and necessity.  I consciously chose to avoid meat products however, I was diagnosed of a dairy allergy several years ago.  This one finding put a quick halt on my love for shakes, cheese quesadillas, pizzas, and many of the succulent Indian sweets I used to love to gorge on.  (Note that I USED to….which is all but a memory now 😦  ).  

I have learned that lentils, beans, legumes, tofu, different nuts, and breads are a great alternative to meats and protein.  At least if you have fresh, healthy options then the lack of dairy isn’t as noticeable.  Consuming many of these alternative options is a great way to try other foods and cuisines!  Lentils soup is very tasty when it is cooked under a low heat for awhile and simmered and the right Indian spices are added to the soup.  Lately I have been really hooked on tofu cooked Indian style and sauteed with lots of garlic, ginger, onions, and fresh ground Indian spices (garam masala).  I definitely think people would eat more tofu if they knew how to cook it with lots of flavor and seasoning, because I hear people complain about the bland taste of tofu all the time.  Personally, I don’t think I could swallow a bite of plain uncooked tofu myself!

Next time you are out in a restaurant and as a vegetarian or vegan have few options then think of any dishes that I have mentioned.  Ask the waiter if they can substitute items in the meal and allow you to have a meal that you are happy with and is diet friendly.  Good luck and let me know what are your favorite dishes at non-vegetarian restaurants or how restaurants have accomodated you in the past….


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Here I am finally blogging away today.  My friend, Sharon, who just happens to be a marketing maven and blogging specialist has been on my case for months to start blogging.   As a small business owner I find it difficult to carve out blogging time in addition to everything else I manage.   Anyhow, as we just finished with our busiest time of the year at Punjab Sweets with our Diwali festival last week, I realize how much more awareness people could have gained by their knowledge of this Indian holiday. 

Diwali is an Indian holiday where all religions in the country have their various celebrations, but it is most commonly referred to as the “Festival of Lights”.  There are significant events that occurred for the Hindu, Sikh, and Jain religion on this day.   It is celebrated by lighting diyas which are small clay pots filled with oil and a cotton string as a sign of good over evil and light pervading darkness.  We celebrate by putting on lights around our homes, businesses, dressing in our decorative traditional Indian clothes, and giving each other boxes of Indian sweets.   It’s a colorful celebration as well as very exciting for all of us and considered to be a great time to start new businesses and other ventures as well. 

We had been busy for weeks preparing the special sweets for Diwali and it was quite a sight to see as the entire store here at Punjab Sweets was filled with trays and trays of sweets.  Boxes were adorned in the front on the tables and the lines get to be so long that the customers actually get to choose their own sweets and box it themselves!  After a crazy week last week we are just settling into a normal work week here and ready for the next holiday to come!  Ahhhh….this piece of burfi is soooo good….. 🙂 

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