Vegan Potluck Brunch & A Lazy Sunday

Hey there! Happy Monday! How was your weekend?

I spent half of mine with Stepfanie’s cats.

Cat

Oh, and with Stepfanie.  She was there too.

Stepfanie- The Flexible Kitchen

The last time I saw Stepfanie was when we drank kombucha together at Rosetta’s in February, so I was thrilled when she invited me to her vegan potluck brunch this past Saturday.

I was also super excited to try out a new vegan recipe I saw in Vegetarian Times magazine a few weeks ago: Warm Potatoes with Garlic-Turmeric Sauce.

Warm Potatoes with Garlic-Turmeric Sauce

More on the food in a bit though… first, cats.

I got to Stepfanie’s place a little early, and instead of politely keeping her company while she got things ready, I chose to take 5,000 pictures of her cats…

Cats

In her beautiful, bright living room…

…and on her awesome screened-in balcony…

Cats

Priorities. I’ve got em down.

Stepfanie finally lured me away from her cats with the promise of an adult beverage.

Belvoir Fruit Farms

Because Saturday brunch calls for Elderflower Sangria…

Raspberry-infused ice cubes

…with raspberry-infused ice cubes.

Topped off with white wine and sparkling water…

Elderflower Sangria

Oh, and rosemary-infused ice cubes, because Stepfanie’s a frickin’ genius.

After I drank all of the alcohol a little bit, Stepfanie’s other guests began to arrive and then it was time to FEAST.

Vegan Potluck Brunch

And Stepfanie truly did prepare a delicious feast! I wish I could hire her as my private chef.  Either that or show up at her house every night for dinner. I think she’d be cool with that. Right, Stepfanie?

Seriously though, just look at the menu she included on the invite:

‘Elderflower Sangria
Vinho verde, Elderflower Cordial, Rosemary

Hibiscus Iced Tea
Lime juice

Curried White Bean Hummus
Crudites: Cucumber, carrots, radishes

Mini BLT Pitas
Dulse Bacon, Avocado

Marinated Kale Salad
Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette, Pepitas, Dried Cranberries

Black Sesame-Ginger Quick Bread
Matcha Coconut Cream

I sort of felt like I was going to a restaurant and not to my friend’s house.

Potluck Brunch

She also made an herbed vegan butter and herb crackers FROM SCRATCH.

Potluck Brunch

She ended up using a tempeh ‘bacon’ on the BLTs because she thought Dulse (seaweed) might be a little too intense for those new to vegan food.  I ate 12 three. I also tried the Dulse ‘bacon’ and really liked it but I’ve also been a vegetarian for six years and am used to plant-based substitutes. I can see how it might be weird for those who aren’t.

Here are my potatoes one more time because they were soooo good.

Warm Potatoes and Garlic- Turmeric Sauce

The grocery store didn’t have fingerling potatoes so I just used small multi-colored potatoes. I also couldn’t find purple cabbage and I was in a bit of a rush (I went grocery shopping the morning of the brunch…oops) so I grabbed a container of pre-shredded cabbage and carrots. It worked out fine. I think those were the only changes I made to the recipe and everyone loved it!  Definitely try it if you need a quick, easy vegan side dish or a potluck dish.

My plate:

Potluck Brunch

Times 3.  Because, brunch. Duh.

Stepfanie’s friend Sara brought these delicious Vegan Chocolate Balls:

Vegan Chocolate Balls

And I ate them all. Just kidding, I had one. Yum!

Here’s a picture of Stepfanie and me to prove we’re friends and that I didn’t just crash her brunch.

Stepfanie and me

Me: Hey, I’m here for brunch! I brought potatoes!!

Stepfanie: …but we didn’t invite you. I don’t even know who you are.

Me: Whatever. Just take a picture with me for my blog, or else…

::crickets::

And then there were more pictures of cats…because cats.

Cat

Cat

Stepfanie kicked me out when I threatened to steal all of her pets. Just kidding, I left when the party was over, like a normal guest.

It was a great time and I can’t wait to do it again! I love that I’ve made so many new, awesome friends in Asheville through blogging.

Sunday was pretty lazy. I only took two pictures the whole day. I slept in and Jeff and I took our time getting out of the house.  Eventually, after lounging around and eating breakfast, we decided to head over to Lake View Park in North Asheville.

Lake View Park, Asheville, NC

Even after six months of living in Asheville I am still completely blown away by the fact that we live in such a  beautiful place.  We walked the perimeter of the lake and just soaked in the 75 degree weather and the gorgeous mountain views.

We were hungry for lunch by the time we were done walking and headed over to Clingman Café in the River Arts District to grab a couple sandwiches.

Clingman Cafe, Asheville, NC

I ordered the Chickpea Salad Wrap: Chickpeas, Onion, Celery, Pickles, Dill & Spices with Romaine Lettuce, Roma Tomatoes in a Wheat Wrap

As a vegetarian, sometimes I miss tuna salad but I’ve found that chickpeas really do make a great substitute. I’ll have to recreate this at home because it was so delicious, especially with those chips stuffed inside (don’t judge- you know you do it too).

We spent the rest of Sunday lounging, meal planning and deciding on a wedding invitation design.  My best friend/Maid of Honor, Dara, is designing our invites and I can’t wait to see how they turn out and what our guests think.

Today I’m going to Aqua PT and then to check out a restaurant downtown for our rehearsal dinner! Plus grocery shopping. Best. Day. Ever.

What did you do this weekend? Do you love where you live? What is your go-to potluck dish? Let’s chat!

Have a great Monday! <3

I’m linking up with Marvelous Monday!

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Come To Asheville. We’ll Feed You Well.

Hello! Happy Monday!  Did you have a good weekend? What did you do? Where did you go? Who did you see?

More importantly, what did you eat?

I ate this:

Sunshine Bowl, HomeGrown, Asheville, NC, Rosey Rebecca Blog

And this:

Crimini, Kale, Roasted Garlic, Red Onion, Mozzarella Pizza, All Souls Pizza, Asheville, NC, Rosey Rebecca Blog

And this:

Breakfast Tacos, W.A.L.K., West Asheville, NC, Rosey Rebecca Blog

The End.

Just kidding.

Seriously, though, I uploaded the pictures from the weekend off my camera and the only non-related food pics I had were of these new shoes I got at REI yesterday.

Keen Sienna MJ Canvas in Everglade from REI

Cute, right?

Anyway, Jeff’s mom and stepdad came to visit for the weekend and, according to my camera, all we did was eat good food.  Our dining adventures started on Friday night at Jerusalem Garden Cafe, a Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Asheville.

Wine, Jerusalem Garden Cafe, Asheville, NC, Rosey Rebecca Blog

I snapped this picture of the waitress pouring wine and then promptly dropped my camera onto the table and decided that was the only picture I’d be taking that evening.  We had a wonderful time though. There was live music, a belly dancer and lots of hummus and falafel. I ordered the Vegetarian Moroccan Cous Cous and, trust me, it was delicious.

On Saturday morning we went to brunch at HomeGrown, the restaurant that’s catering our wedding in October.

HomeGrown, Asheville, NC, Rosey Rebecca Blog

HomeGrown, Asheville, NC, Rosey Rebecca Blog

I absolutely adore this place and am so happy to have them be a part of our wedding.  They source all of their food from local farms and businesses, and are a Green-Certified restaurant.

From their website:

“We take all the extra steps to make sure that our restaurant is as easy on the environment as possible. It’s a work in progress and always will be, but some of the stuff we do is pretty cool. We have solar panels which heat our water. The packaging we use for take-out is all made from highly renewable resources and is compostable. The dinner-ware we use in the restaurant is all reusable. Then, there’s that buying local food thing. And, we compost pretty much everything both in the kitchen and “post-consumer” in the dining room.”

I started with a fresh-squeezed OJ mimosa. Obviously. I think it should be against the law to not have a mimosa with brunch.

Mimosa, HomeGrown, Asheville, NC, Rosey Rebecca Blog

This was 99.9% champagne. I watched her pour it.  Have I mentioned that I love brunch?

I got the Sunshine Bowl with Tempeh for breakfast.

Sunshine Bowl and Chorizo Scramble, HomeGrown, Asheville, NC, Rosey Rebecca BlogSunshine Bowl w/ Sautéed Sesame Greens, Quinoa, Peppers, Two Eggs, Mushrooms, Onions, Pickled Onions, Sriracha Saffron Aioli  with Tempeh

Absolutely amazing.

Jeff ordered the Chorizo Scramble.

Chorizo Scramble, HomeGrown, Asheville, NC, Rosey Rebecca BlogChorizo Scramble w/ Three Eggs, Peppers, Onions, Pepper Jack, Cilantro Crema & Crispy Tortilla

We also split a delicious house-made biscuit with local blueberry jam.

Jeff’s mom ordered the Huevos Rancheros and his stepdad ordered the Farmer’s Scramble. Plus bacon and a biscuit to share.

IMG_5557Huevos Rancheros w/ Cheesy Grits, Country Taters, Corn Tortilla, Ranchero Sauce & Two Local Eggs *** Farmer’s Scramble w/ Housemade Mozzarella, Three Eggs & Seasonal Veggies.

Two words: Food. Coma.

After we ate our weight in delicious food, we took a drive out to show my future in-laws our wedding venue and then spent the afternoon wandering around downtown Asheville shopping for a rehearsal dinner space.  It was a very wedding-themed day.

We were finally hungry again around 7 and headed to All Souls Pizza in Asheville’s River Arts District for dinner.

 All Souls Pizza, Asheville, NC, Rosey Rebecca Blog

There was a bit of a wait, so we ordered drinks at the bar to pass the time.

Hi-Wire Spring Ale, All Souls Pizza, Asheville, NC, Rosey Rebecca Blog

I ordered a Spring Ale from Hi-Wire, a local AVL brewery.

Then it was time for pizza!

Crimini, Kale, Roasted Garlic, Red Onion, Mozzarella Pizza, All Souls Pizza, Asheville, NC, Rosey Rebecca BlogCriminis, Kale, Roasted Garlic, Red Onions, Mozzarella

All Souls is my favorite pizza place in Asheville so far. Their crust is super thin and crispy and they use a wood-fired oven. They mill their own flour and polenta and us e local and seasonal ingredients.

Jeff ordered All Souls’ special pizza, topped with lamb meatballs, broccoli rabe, and local parmesan cheese.

Lamb Meatball, Broccoli Rabe and Fresh Local Parmesan Pizza, All Souls Pizza, Asheville, NC, Rosey Rebecca Blog

Jeff’s mom and stepdad shared a tomato and mozzarella pie with pepperoni, olives, and mushrooms.

And if that weren’t enough, there was also this:

Chocolate Layer Cake, All Souls Pizza, Asheville, NC, Rosey Rebecca Blog

WHAT!?

OK, I definitely have separate stomach for dessert. I mean, how could you possibly turn down a triple chocolate layer cake with espresso buttercream frosting?

The answer is you can’t.  And that’s that.

We had a pretty lazy Sunday morning.  Our weekend guests headed home early and Jeff and I just hung around our apartment until lunchtime, when we decided to check out West Asheville Lounge and Kitchen (W.A.L.K.), a restaurant we’ve been meaning to try for a while.

W.A.L.K., West Asheville, NC, Rosey Rebecca Blog

W.A.L.K., West Asheville, NC, Rosey Rebecca Blog

We got there early enough to catch the brunch menu and I had a really hard time deciding what to order.

I finally decided on two Vegetarian Breakfast Tacos. I added avocado, of course. Who do you think I am?

Vegetarian Breakfast Tacos, W.A.L.K., West Asheville, NC, Rosey Rebecca BlogScrambled eggs, potatoes, spinach, avocado topped with cheese and salsa fresca in a corn tortilla

Jeff ordered a Turkey BLT and a side of ridiculously delicious, cheesy grits that I stole half of to pour all over my tacos. No shame.

After lunch we headed to REI where I tried on every shoe in the store and ended up with the lovely pair of Keens you saw at the beginning of this post.

But in case you forgot, here ya go:

Keen Sienna MJ Canvas in Everglade from REI

You’re welcome.

The moral of this post is Come to Asheville. Hang with us. We’ll eat, drink and go shoe shopping. What more could you want out of life?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to Aquatic PT to swim off all of my delicious eats from the weekend.  Other workouts on the agenda this week: spinning, yoga and the 30 Day Shred. Gotta get ready for next weekend when my friend Jen will be visiting from DC and we eat everything in Asheville all over again.

Did you splurge this weekend? What workouts do you have planned for the week? How do you entertain out-of-town guests? Let’s Chat!

Have a Great Monday! <3

I’m linking up with Marvelous Monday. :-)

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