Good morning and happy Monday! This weekend was awesome, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
We started off the weekend by going to the Raleigh Farmer’s Market to check out the local produce. I love checking out what’s on tap for the season there– the farmer’s market is open year-round, 7 days a week.
Pumpkin season was in full swing in one of the front areas of the farmer’s market, and all kinds of pumpkins and gourds were on display.
After picking up a couple of canteloupes (2 for $5!) and some amazing cinnamon bread (all of the bread was vegan!), we made our way out to the Grand Asia Market. I love the GAM for canned jackfruit in brine and trying new fruits, so we made sure to grab some persimmons to try out this week. We also got a couple of steamed buns to try: one red bean bun and one carrot and vegetable. Unfortunately, it turned out that the carrot and vegetable one was not vegan– it had egg–, but nonetheless, the buns themselves were really good and totally worth trying.
And honestly, while the carrot and vegetable steamed bun wasn’t vegan, the fact the buns themselves were just kind of goes to show that vegan food can be found just about anywhere. But by then, we were getting pretty hungry– we tend to have lunch later in the afternoon whenever we go places–, so we decided to stop by a local Mediterranean restaurant, Jasmin Mediterranean Grill, for falafel plates. It was right along the main road we were driving, and after having tried Mediterranean food on a business trip to Alabama, Dave was excited to try it someplace closer to us!
While we accidentally got tzaziki sauce instead of tahini on both of our plates, the bowls didn’t even need a sauce. Everything was so good! I’d never had falafel before, so this was a great way to try it.
On our way out of lunch, we figured it might be good to walk around downtown for a little while. The drive to Raleigh is a long one for us, so walking the downtown area is great for stretching our legs. On the way around town, we found this sign outside of a salon. As a huge fan of Mean Girls, I have to say I thoroughly appreciated it! 😉
All around the city, you’ll find all kinds of graffiti. I love all of the art on the brick walls and buildings downtown, and I have to say, this one hit the nail on the head: Raleigh is such a diverse place with so many different people from so many different places.
Eventually, we happened upon the Remedy Diner. My aunt had recommended the diner to us before, but it had always been pretty packed when we’d walked by… and for good reason! Check this out– coconut cream pie and chocolate peanut butter pie. I only WISH I could have asked for the recipes– these two slices were the best pie we’d had in a long time.
Ugh, look at how amazing that looks. By the way, if you stop by the diner, they have soy whipped cream for their pie and all of their desserts are vegan… how cool is that?!
Dave also tried out their spicy ginger ale. If you get this, make sure to squeeze in the lemon and lime. It makes all the difference! 🙂
And for the most part, that was the food. But before we headed home, we made our way up to North Raleigh to check out Polonez Polish Market. I grew up eating a lot of pierogies and kielbasa, but most mainstream grocery stores don’t sell cheese-free (read: vegan-friendly) pierogies. Enter: Polonez. Now, for those who eat meat, the market sells a ton of different types of sausages and other Polish and Russian-specific delicacies, but for those of us who don’t? We have plenty of delicious options!
I am so excited to try these– I’ve only ever had the boxed kind in the freezer section!
After a busy day on Saturday, Sunday was a lot quieter of a day– church, playing with the pigs, and walking an 8 mile loop to get some real exercise in for the weekend.
Oh… and we made pie, so naturally, I wanted to share. I didn’t want to use a ton of sugar in making it, so I kind of freestyle-pied. 😉 Apples are already naturally sweet, so it didn’t make sense to me to add even more sweetener… at least not to the extent that I found recipes for. I also kind of wanted an apple crumble instead of a pie, so honestly… this is more of a crumble, but stay with me here.
We started off with a Food Lion pie crust. Food Lion uses palm oil as the oil in their pie crust. Unfortunately, Pillsbury uses lard in theirs, so off to Food Lion crust we went! For the filling, we peeled and chopped up a bunch of apples, then mixed them with coconut sugar, flour, lemon juice, and spices. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Just plop the apple mixture right on in the crust. I mixed together the topping ingredients with my hands because I’m an animal and it was so much easier just to do that, but I’m sure that you don’t need to do that.
I’d say it was a success, though I can’t say it would serve too many more than 6 people as a dessert. I would say, though, that next time, I’d use cornstarch instead of flour in the filling to help keep it together and soak up the apple juice.
Check out the recipe below, and let me know if you try it!
All in all, it was a pretty darn good weekend. I think that sometimes, we get so overwhelmed trying to overplan what we’re going to do on the weekend, and the less planned weekends can be some of the more relaxing ones.
Questions for you:
What did you do this weekend?
What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving recipes you’d like to see vegan versions of? I’m trying to experiment with as many as possible over the next couple of weeks in anticipation of our local vegan group’s potluck in November, and I’m psyched to bring a couple of dishes and to see everyone!