Yesterday I headed to Nevada City for a vegan meet up at The Fix for Foodies hosted by Kayle of Cowgirls & Collard Greens. I’ve been there before, but it’s been awhile, so I jumped at this opportunity to hang out with familiar vegan friends and meet new vegans. Nevada City is about an hour drive for me, but a beautiful drive through tree-lined mountain roads into the foothills and a relaxing change of scenery after a busy week at work. The patio was set up nicely for the group and they prepared a special menu for us and took orders ahead of time so everything would be ready when we arrived, it was nice.
I got the Strongwich with sauerkraut and a vegan avocado Caesar salad and the presentation was a lovely display of freshness and vibrant colors.
The blend of sauerkraut, nutritional yeast, and dulse flakes made for a wonderfully tangy and savory flavor. The raw bread slices was very thick with a hearty, nutty texture – delicious. And filling!
But I still had room for a vegan doughnut after. Kayle had a surprise visitor stop by after lunch, Kleo of Kleo’s Doughnuts with her amazing vegan creations. Kleo is a teenager with a side business of making and selling vegan, gluten-free doughnuts at the local farmer’s market to save money for college. So we all had to buy one of course. :-) I got a cute little s’mores doughnut which was a delicious graham cake doughnut with marshmallow chocolate icing – amazing. And a rare splurge for me. :-)
It was a great time, I adore all the vegan meetups to meet and hang out with new vegans and hear their stories on how long they’ve been vegan and how they came to be vegan. There were some interesting long term vegans/vegetarians at this meetup, including one that tried every diet under the sun over the years before going all vegan and it was great hearing her humorous stories about the various diet fads she tried including the disastrous meat, meat, and more meat Atkins-style diet.
Afterwards, I did a little shopping and exploring before starting the long drive back and had to stop at this shop.
Lots of great products and clothes, I ended up picking up hemp paper notebook for hubby and virtually spending hundreds of dollars on cute clothes and accessories.
There are a lot of eco, natural, yoga themed shops in Nevada City to explore and gorgeous views to take in.
I could have spent a few more hours exploring, but needed to get home to catch up on weekend chores.
Then create this tasty pesto quinoa recipe. I have a large basil plant that I’ve been working my way through before it dies because for some reason, we’re masters of killing basil plants in this house. This recipe uses a strong, creamy hemp seed pesto sauce that works well with the quinoa texture.
Creamy Pesto Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp. nutritional yeast
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer.
- Place 1/4 cup of water, hemp seeds, garlic, basil, red pepper flakes, and nutritional yeast into a blender and blend to a creamy texture.
- Stir mixture from blender into the quinoa, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until loose liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy. Makes 4 servings.
I paired the quinoa with a simple balsamic hemp seed salad for a pretty plate.
The flavor and texture of this dish are balanced nicely, the slightly crunchy quinoa blends nicely with the creamy sauce and the kicky garlic basil flavor bring it to life.