Holiday Cheer! #IMSLights

Happy Holidays! I consider Speedway, Indiana one of my most favorite spots around town. I was lucky enough to spend a year after college living in Speedway with one of my close friends (YAY! She’s now getting married to the person she met while living there!!) ANYWAY.. living in Speedway truly made me appreciate everything it has to offer. I spent many summer nights at Big Woods, playing their Giant Jenga and drinking way too many 10th On Main beers. I also celebrated the Greatest Spectacle in Racing the ENTIRE month of May… both years. It was amazing! I have some of my greatest memories of living in Speedway during the month of May. So, why am I talking about Speedway in December?
I’m talking about the Greatest Spectacle in all Holiday Lights! Lights at the Brickyard is open and the lights are bright as can be. The 3-mile drive is filled with fairytale characters, Santa in his own car, and Frosty sledding down the bleachers. I’m not an expert on holiday lights, but I will say they’ve made a pretty epic 30-minute drive through the IMS grounds. Might I add, you also drive over the bricks instead of kissing them at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway! Let’s be honest, no one wants to kiss bricks when it’s 20 degrees out. 
   
Plan a night in Speedway, then head over to the IMS to Lights at the Brickyard!
 
I’ve added a few dinner/drink ideas for you, and my favorites at each spot. Enjoy!
 
Dawson’s On Main – Wedge Salad, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, or The Wheeler Pizza
Tacos and Tequila – Tortas (no meat)
Big Woods – Pulled Pork Nachos with 10th On Main Beer
1911 Grill – Tater Kegs
Yogulatte – they serve coffee // lattes // hot chocolate AND froyo … get a treat after dinner for Lights at the Brickyard
I hope you enjoy your visit to Speedway and Lights at the Brickyard! #IMSLights
Cheers,
Meg

Update On the Plant Life #30DayVeganChallenge

Ah! So I must update you as I approach the final day of my 30 Day Vegan Challenge.  When I started this crazy challenge, I ultimately said I would not change my day to day activities. My week usually consists of at least two dinners or events out in Indianapolis. I’ve had to change my outlook on these events because of the lifestyle change I’ve made. My visit isn’t always based on how all the food tastes anymore (unfortunately). I’m now looking to see what kind of vegan dish they can prepare, how well the dish is prepared, and the overall service of the restaurant.

Today I’m sharing three spots I would suggest checking out as a Vegan in Indianapolis.

Piada Italian Street Food, Keystone at the Crossing

YUM! This has been one of my favorite meals this month. The Mediterranean Power Bowl is served with a Greek yogurt drizzle, so you must request the vegan option. The bowl is packed with delicious roasted veggies including broccoli, cauliflower, and my all-time favorite, sweet potatoes. The glazed chickpeas and pickled red onions on the bed of red quinoa with harissa made the bowl very filling. Wondering what harissa is? Harissa is a hot chili pepper paste that gives the bowl a little kick.

I highly suggest Piada if the people you are going with aren’t living a vegan lifestyle. It would be very easy for a non-vegan to fall in love with their menu 🙂

 

General American Donut, Indianapolis

Say what? A VEGAN DONUT! Donut dates are better than dinner dates. Seriously, we should all jump on the train of appreciating the morning hours a little more. I was pumped to start my day with a delicious cup of coffee, this mouthwatering donut, AND my friends. This is also the only bakery I know of in the city that offers vegan donuts. I’d like to mention how much I appreciated this treat in the month of my vegan challenge. It was close to the only sweet treat I was able to enjoy all month longgggg. (no pumpkin pie.. or pecan… or sweet potato casserole… yes, this was not ideal)

Go get your Vegan Hibiscus Donut and cup of black coffee at General American Donut Company. I highly suggest hanging in the shop to enjoy your treat. It’s a hidden gem in our neighborhood! It’s like escaping the city and bouncing back to the 90’s.

Prime 47, Downtown Indianapolis

Cue that’s what I like from Bruno Mars because this was the most wonderful lunch ever. Not only did I get this at Prime 47, but Chef Patrick made this dish during a Yelp Elite Event!! I’ll forever be thankful for the introduction to this delicious vegan creation.

The dish was a stuffed red pepper with a balsamic glaze… SO FREAKIN SIMPLE!! I mainly wanted to share this dish because he wasn’t prepared to make this, nor did he have to make this for me. I can’t say it enough, but I’m truly impressed by how many chefs have been so willing to serve me a vegan dish off the menu or switching up ingredients in order for me to enjoy my meal. THANK YOU to all those chefs, you’ll forever be loved by me!! I’d also like to mention that these were not my only vegan meals out in the city. I plan on sharing a few more in my final wrap up of the 30 Day Vegan Challenge.. so stay tuned 🙂

Check back soon for the final #30DayVeganChallenge update! ♥

Cheers,

Meg

 

 

30 Day Vegan Challenge

It’s a vegan party this month & officially day TEN of the VEGAN Challenge. I’ve been to multiple events, dinners, and spent busy days wondering if I’ll ever find a vegan option. I’ve learned a lot in just these 10 days, but overall I’ve had a pretty good experience with the challenge. I’m going to break down a few of the questions I’ve been getting in the first few days of the challenge.

Why did I want to participate in a vegan challenge? 

I truly wanted to share the experience with others. I have a unique lifestyle, but I want to share with others what the vegan lifestyle is like in Indianapolis. I’ll say, it was a challenge beyond belief to regretfully decline the lobster mac & cheese at Ocean Prime and even more so, the sausage at OcaSKB. I’m one to go out to eat often, therefore it has truly opened my eyes to the tasteless entrees restaurants attempt to serve for vegans… like can I get some flavor up in here?! It was almost laughable at the efforts, but maybe a realization they need to be more aware of what is being requested of them as an establishment in such a diverse city.

What’s been the hardest thing?

I’ll mention I did not eat meat on a daily basis before the challenge. I was also very picky about my cheese. So.. let’s see.. day eight we were treated to a dinner at Ocean Prime. I love desserts, but there aren’t many vegan desserts around town. The server brought desserts out that evening and it was just a jaw-dropping ten layer carrot cake. Now if you’ve ever explored my page enough, you’ll see multiple photos of carrots cake. This was the toughest pass I’ve had out at a restaurant.

While at home I’d say eggs are the toughest. I ate eggs for breakfast as an easy and lighter option. I’m struggling to find a good breakfast that isn’t oatmeal. I also attempted grapefruit for breakfast.. bless those that can eat such a tart treat in the morning. I enjoy my coffee too much to ruin it with the morning tart taste in my mouth. If you’ve got ideas, please share!!

So… let’s be real.. what have I been eating? 

My go to snacks have been pistachios, Brussel sprouts, and carrots. I need a snack that is filling, on-the-go, and little to no prep. I mentioned before I had to rid myself of all my delicious RX Bars. The RX Bars contain egg whites as a source of protein! If you’re not vegan and haven’t had these, then I give you permission to stop reading and go get you some.

As far as my meals go, I’ve been pushing through eating oatmeal for breakfast. I bought these adorable containers for my to-go breakfasts.. so at least I’m eating in style (finding positives in the challenge). My lunch is almost always a salad. I don’t eat salads like the rest of the population. I like to add minimal spinach to the bottom of the bowl, then just pile it with everything in the fridge. I’m talking sweet potatoes, almonds, mushrooms, beans, peppers, kraut, flax seeds, granola, and raw onions. I’ve never made a ‘bad’ bowl, so I’ll keep trusting my go with the flow attitude about this creation. My dinners have been eating out almost every evening, if not then I make about the same salad for dinner too (pairs well with liquid grapes ). I’ll share about these eating out experiences in my next blog post!

Any surprises? 

I’m tired like every afternoon. I’ve heard this happens often, but I’m ready for it to be over. It’s like I can fall asleep at any moment if I sit long enough. I’m looking forward to getting my energy back to normal or better yet, more energy!

I bought almond rice crackers and they had milk in them. It was the most disappointing news of the ten days.. like why would you not use ALMOND MILK in almonds crackers.

Added protein? 

I haven’t picked up any of the Vega Shake just yet. It’s a shake I’ve used for awhile and really enjoy it. I highly suggest mocha or chocolate. I’m planning on picking this up at the market this weekend! Other than the shake, I eat obviously a ton of veggies, tempeh, tofu, and beans. I usually add buffalo sauce to my protein for a little kick.

So, what’s your current challenge? I’ve enjoyed being able to challenge myself through many different situations. I’m wondering what it will be like at the end of the thirty days. If you are vegan, what ultimately made you stick to the lifestyle?

Check back soon for comments about all restaurants I’ve been exploring!

Cheers,

Meg

Caramel Apple Upgrade

Kicking it off with a COOKING at home experience. It may be considered baking but either way, it was easy peasy.

Happy Halloween my people. How do you get through Halloween? Consuming every piece of chocolate in sight… or are you drinking your daily serving of grapes? Whatever your Halloween festivities… you need to add these Caramel Apples to your evening.

Let’s be honest, caramel is just a dark and very sticky sugar. These little gems are enjoyed without that sugary coating, but I promise these are better. Audrey Barron, Ezra’s Enlightened Cafe was a guest on Indy Style last week. She made this recipe in the snap of a finger, so I was convinced this was my kind of recipe.

The goods you’ll need

Make the caramel by mixing these ingredients in a food processor! The recipe called for only 1/4 cup of soaked date water… but I used double that (or close to it). It didn’t get creamy until I added that extra water! Let me know if you have feedback on this 🙂

  • 1/4 cup dates (pitted), let them soak in water, then you’ll want to use that same water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (Mara Natha Almond Butter)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup soaked date water

Apples

New & Improved Caramel

I made a ton of apples with this mix! The recipe mentions four apples, but I obviously used more than four apples here 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

After it’s all mixed up coat those apples with the creamy caramel! I made a pretty thick coating on all of the apples. Once all the apples are evenly coated add your pistachio topping! This adds the perfect crunch to the apples.

Small FoodieIndy cooking tip.. smash the pistachios in a plastic bag and not a garlic press. The garlic press does not work, it more just gets stuck in the garlic press and wastes time. Learn from my mistakes!

Adding sticks to the apples would look really nice! I plan on traveling with my apples and the sticks don’t travel as well as one would hope.

Again, thanks to Audrey Barron, Ezra’s Enlightened Cafe for sharing the delicious recipe. If you haven’t been to the restaurant in Bripp, then you must go. It was truly one of my favorite spots outside of the downtown area. Stay tuned for a foodie trip!

Cheers,

Meg

FoodieIndy the BLOG

 

 

Hi, party people.. foodie people.. my people..

I’m excited to be starting a blog! My Instagram doesn’t share the story behind what I do and my hopes are I can share that here. I think if I go to a restaurant and love every part about it, I’m going to want to share more than a sentence about my experience. This new thing may also come up, it’s that I actually don’t eat ALL of the time. I’ll be excited to share with you about what else I do! The mysteries of Meg.. but not the foodie? (I don’t think that’s a real thing)

Why did I start an Instagram about food?

Ah, I love food and talking to people about it. So flashback two years ago, when I was a wee college grad, fresh into the ‘real’ world. I moved back to Indianapolis, after spending four years in Southern Indiana for college. I started my job as a teacher in August of 2015 and quickly realized I needed a new hobby outside of my career. I picked up running and then never picked up any other hobbies. I should have taken this time to maybe pick up sewing or something. I wasn’t that practical and just kept running. I was going out to eat ALL THE TIME and photographing the pretty plates along the way. It was a casual thing and maybe more of an annoyance to everyone else around me.. weird thing, but I don’t remember knowing anyone else that took photos of their food! WHAT?! A time came when I had accumulated like hundreds of these darn food photos and I wasn’t doing anything with them.  My dad had this awesome idea, which was to create a website like Zomato. I obviously didn’t follow that yellow brick road because it was clearly already a success story. The second idea was to start an Instagram page. I’d like to take credit for the Instagram handle, but my dad actually thought of it. Cheers to my father for the creative mind! When I first started the account, I was also making recipes at home. It was fun to share, so I may try to add a few to the blog too! I’m not a good cook, but I’d like to consider myself a smart cook. A smart cook just creates recipes and the other cook follows. Cheers to my fellow smart cooks! It started in September 2015 and has grown since! I’ve met wonderful friends along the way, and can’t wait to see where the new blog takes me. AND that’s it, the short and simple story as to why in the world I have an Instagram feed with food pics.

Check back weekly for updates on where I’m at around the town. Want to comment? Please do so. I’d love to know what you want to hear about!

Cheers,

Meg