Restaurant Review: Cakes and Ale

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It’s Saturday night!

For the last three weeks, we have tried to make dinner reservations at a new to us restaurant called Cakes and Ale in Decatur which is only about 10 minutes from our apartment.  We finally got a reservation for tonight, but it needed to be early enough so that we would be back home in time for the KU game tonight.  KU is Tyler’s and my mom and dad’s alma mater.  ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK! 

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It is 8:30 which means we made it home with time to spare before the game starts at 9:00.  This also means that I have enough time to tell you about our date night at Cakes and Ale.  Decatur is a happening place!

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The weather is perfect right now!  I love seeing people out and about enjoying life.

Cakes and Ale is a restaurant and a bakery.  The restaurant is located on the corner of a very busy square in Decatur, so they get a lot of traffic. 

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For dinner, I ordered the polenta cake with roasted root vegetables, kale salad, and a wood fired egg.  Right up my ally!  The flavors were to die for!!!  I little bit of everything made for the perfect bite.  The only thing that I did not like about my entrée was that the polenta cake was fried.  Bummer…oh well!  Their entrees are small, so we savored every bite.  I guess it is typical for people to order a few things for the table. 

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Check out that perfect egg!

Tyler ordered the halibut with farro and seasoned veggies.  He really enjoyed the textures and flavors of the dish.  Oh, we did share a carafe of wine from Italy.  Our waiter suggested it as a smooth wine, and we really liked it.  We both agree that wine tastes better at a restaurant.  What do you think?

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After dinner, we both ordered a cup of coffee.  We didn’t order dessert (we rarely do) because we knew that we were going to head down the road to get a blizzard from Dairy Queen!  Yippee!  We used to go to DQ once a week when we lived in Kansas City, but we do not live by one in Atlanta which is a good and bad thing.  Anyway, our blizzards are in the freezer, and we will eat or devour them once the game starts.  Oh boy!

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Can you see the steam?

We did walk through the bakery after dinner.  Just like the restaurant, the décor is really neat.

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One more thing…check out our new hot and cold bag from Whole Foods

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It’s tip off time!  Hold on to your hats KU fans.  Good luck!

Have a great night and rest of your weekend!

would you rather have a small plate of something wonderful or full plate of something that is just okay?

who do you think will win the big dance?

Mindful Eating

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Hello! 

We are having somewhat of a lazy morning, but we are planning to head out for a walk and a trip to either Whole Foods or Starbucks to get our coffee fix.  The pollen is pretty bad around these parts, so the earlier we get out the better!  My nose has been itching like crazy.

Yesterday, I jumped on the opportunity to go to a special event at Exhale in Midtown.  The workshop was called Mindful Eating with David Orozco.  March is National Nutrition Month, so it is fitting that they offered a class on nutrition specifically around fitness.  I , of course, signed up right away and ate up every minute of it.  David is amazing!!!  He is their in-house registered dietician.

What pictures come to your mind when you think of mindful eating? 

Maybe this…

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Or this…

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How about this?

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Whether eating mindfully means eating well, taking the planet into consideration, or slowing down while you eat…these are all aspects of eating mindfully.  David focused on mindful eating for fitness which is not very different from eating for overall well-being.  The only difference is making sure that you are fueling properly for your body before and after your workout. 

David highlights three important things when it comes to eating for fitness.  They are when to eat, what to eat, and the importance of timing.  I don’t want to rewrite all of the information that he gave us, but I will tell you that it is worth your while to do some research and go through some trial and error to figure out how to fuel your body to super charge your workout in order to reach your fitness goals.  Some need to eat more while others are eating enough but need to balance things out throughout the day.  Think whole foods Smile.

Interestingly enough, my cycle instructor quoted someone the other day during class.  She said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”  I completely agree.  A huge part of what I have learned in my wellness coach training is how important goals and, consequently, plans are in achieving your dreams.  As David said, “It is all about balance!”  LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! 

If you rather satisfy your sweet tooth with a piece of this…

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Versus this…

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Then go ahead! 

Just

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and think before you eat anything.   If you are going to have a piece of pie then ENJOY it and be done.  Bottom line, find your healthy balance. 

Most of the time I practice mindful eating.  I am working on really slowing down and chewing my food.  My big takeaway was that I need to fuel with whole foods after my workouts.  My gym is 20 to 30 minutes from our apartment, so I don’t get home until 45 to 60 minutes after my workout.  I am usually starving.  David suggests eating a meal (if it works out) versus a snack.  He also said to listen to my body!  I am not as hungry after teaching yoga versus taking a cycle class.  Also, be sure to eat a little more protein after a strength workout. 

Lastly, dieting is a no no!!!

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Focus on being mindful and aware when nourishing your body. 

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I hope your found this post to be both fun and informative.  If anything, maybe it is making you think about whether or not you are eating mindfully.  Nutrition is very powerful.  Eat whole foods as much as possible!

Ommmmm!

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Note:  All of the pictures came from here…http://www.google.com/search?q=mindful+eating&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=szS&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvnsb&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=_Q5vT-vGAqi42wXE_5nyAQ&ved=0CGkQsAQ&biw=1252&bih=585

what does mindful eating mean to you?

Sweet Potato Lasagna…What???

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Lasagna was one of my favorite dishes when I was growing up.  It is so wholesome, and I loved the leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day and the day after that.  It was not uncommon for me to request it as my birthday dinner. 

The lasagna I made today sort of resembles the lasagna that I loved as a kid…only this recipe calls for two secret ingredients and is vegetarian.  Even though Tyler likes meat and cheese, he is looking forward to dinner tonight.  He is always up for trying something new and different! 

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Cashews and sweet potatoes!

I learned about this lasagna recipe after watching Forks Over Knives and The Engine 2 DietBy the way, I highly recommend watching this film!  It has a lot of great ideas such as using ground cashews in place of parmesan cheese.  I found the recipe online, and people are raving about it!  It took me about 45 minutes to prep the lasagna, but it is well worth it! 

Here is the lasagna after I added the smashed sweet potatoes, spinach, and sauce. 

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The lasagna is ready to go into the oven!

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After I put the lasagna in the oven and cleaned the dishes, I prepared the cashews to be sprinkled on top.

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My first batch turned out well, and my second batch turned out almost like cashew butter…oops.  Every mistake is just a lesson to be learned, right?!

Now, what you have all been waiting for…the recipe! 

Engine 2 Raise the Roof Vegetarian Lasagna

(adopted from The Engine 2 Diet)

Ingredients:
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 small head of garlic, all cloves chopped or pressed
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 can corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 package Silken Lite tofu—> I used Cannellini beans.
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 2 jars pasta sauce
  • 2 boxes whole grain lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained—> I used fresh spinach.
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • 6 roma tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 cup raw cashews, ground
Preparation:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Sauté the onion and garlic on high heat for 3 minutes in a wok or nonstick pan. Add the mushrooms and cook until the onions are limp and the mushrooms give up their liquid. Remove them to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Reserve the mushroom liquid in the pan. Sauté the broccoli and carrots for 5 minutes and add to the mushroom bowl. Sauté the peppers and corn until just beginning to soften. Add them to the vegetable bowl.

Drain the silken tofu by wrapping in paper towels. Break it up directly in the towel and mix into the vegetable bowl. Add spices to the vegetable bowl and combine.

To assemble the vegetable lasagna :
Cover the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole with a layer of sauce. Add a layer of noodles. Cover the noodles with sauce. This way the noodles cook in the oven, saving time and energy. Spread the vegetable mixture over the sauced noodles. Cover with a layer of noodles and another dressing of sauce. Add the spinach to the second layer of sauced noodles. Cover the spinach with the mashed sweet potatoes. Add another layer of sauce, the final layer of noodles, and a last topping of sauce. Cover the lasagna with thinly sliced roma tomatoes.

Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with the cashews, and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Let lasagna sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 10 – 12 servings of sweet potato lasagna.

Dinner

I teach hot yoga on Monday nights which means that I do not get home until 8:00.  There is nothing better than having dinner ready to go when you get home late.  All I have to do is steam some green beans, and reheat the lasagna. 

I was going to wait until tomorrow to post about dinner, but I could not wait to share this recipe with you!   Are you all as excited as I am to watch The Voice tonight?  It is so good!

do you prefer meat or veggie lasagna?

have you used nuts in place of dairy?