With the kids home from school, we need to pay a little more attention to our food.

Our eldest enjoys eating a plant-based diet. She’s not a vegan; she is careful to augment her daily protein intake with an egg, but she’s not going to enjoy the the beef- and pork-based cuisine that tends to be offered in most of the food establishments around here.

So cooking at home is a solid option.

But we went on a full-on food excursion yesterday with a trip to Charlottesville.

If you aren’t familiar with my commonwealth, Charlottesville is the home of the University of Virginia, which is a big deal university. Those students and faculty members come from everywhere and thus the food choices in the city’s restaurants are bountiful. My girl had done her research, and it paid off.

We enjoyed a great lunch at Revolutionary Soup. She had a bowl of harvest soup and a tofu wrap. I try to eat cheese with pretty much every meal and was very pleased with my grilled cheddar with avocado, chipotle mayo, and roasted red peppers. This was a heck of a lunch.

But as it turned out, we didn’t even have to go that far (admittedly, the other reason for our trip was to visit Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, which do not exist in Roanoke). Our girl also found Garden Song Eco Café, right there in our city, which not only offers vegetarian and vegan cuisine, but which is close enough to Jim’s office that he was able to join us for lunch today.

Though he sat through lunch loudly complaining that “this is way outside my comfort zone,” he managed to sample a panini stuffed with pesto, spinach, farmer’s cheese, avocado, and jalapeño relish. I had a quinoa bowl with spinach, roasted sweet potatoes, pesto, that relish, greens, and avocado. The young lady in our family had a marinated jackfruit crepe and some medicinal mushroom coffee that was supposed to alleviate stress (though she reported that it was unable to keep up with her dad and his comfort zone). Her brother excused himself from the outing.

He missed out

And if you don’t want to commit to a vegetarian experience (or, say, you want to entice your meaty friends along), Roanoke also features Bamyan Afghan Cuisine, Cedars Lebanese Restaurant, and Nawab Indian Cuisine, which are all delicious, too. And Fortunato offers a really good vegan pizza.

As I write this, it occurs to me that we’ve lived here not too long and have hit a lot of restaurants. I feel a little bad about complaining about cooking at home.

2 thoughts on “Scaring up Some Vegetables

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