Vegan Restaurant Reviews
Transcript to Episode 009
Vegan Restaurant Reviews
Happy New Year everyone! Thank you for joining us on episode 009 of our Boondocking Life Podcast. This week’s episode we’re gonna talk about a recap of our six month’s full timing. We’re gonna share some goals for our podcasts for 2019, and then we’re going to review two new-to-us mostly vegan restaurants, and, as well, going to share a recipe for vegan pumpkin muffins, and then our Who Knew section. So, stay tuned.
Thank you for being here. And I want to let you know that because this is only episode nine of our podcast and we’re still working out the kinks with the equipment and everything, that there might be some times when it doesn’t sound exactly right, because you have to remember we’re full-timing in a camper van and we’re not in a studio. So we don’t have access to all the walls that are insulated and all that. So sometimes you might hear some sounds from outside, but that’s just the way it is because we are full-timers.
Recap of 2018
What we’re gonna talk about first is a recap of the past six months since we have been traveling full-time. We’ve both retired from demanding full-time jobs back in May and June, and then we sold our house and both cars and got rid of all of our stuff, which sounds amazing to me even when you think about all the stuff we had.
We gave some of our furniture to a young Navy family down the road, and it was so gratifying just to be able to give it away. And then we bought our Roadtrek Zion camper van and we headed east from San Diego. So, we’re gonna talk first about some of the best things and some of the worst things that have happened in the past six months.
So, Micheal, can you tell us what your favorite thing is that we did over the past six months?
Michael’s favorite thing from 2018
Traveling to the Grand Canyon, traveling to Arizona, specifically, Northern Arizona and Flagstaff area, boondocking in those beautiful forest areas. And then, going up further to the northwest and traveling down the Pacific Coast Highway. Those have been beautiful.
Okay, you only get one thing that you’re supposed to talk about that was your favorite. You can’t talk about the whole six months. But then I’m gonna tell you my favorite thing that we’ve done so far, no, is the Harvest House. And I loved being on the blueberry farm up in Oregon, where we could see Mount Hood in the distance. And then we had full range of the farm to pick raspberries and blueberries. That was my favorite experience.
Okay, so, what is the worst thing, Michael? One thing. What is the worst thing about the past six months?
The weather in Texas.
Yeah, it’s extreme, right. It’s either too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter. And we had some family obligations that caused us to be here longer than we would have stayed. But we made a choice to help out, and so we made the best of it. We used our air conditioning in the winter and we used our heat in … Oh no, vice versa. We used our air conditioning in the summer and we used our heat in the winter. And we’re happy to report that everything’s working fine in that regard on our Roadtrek Zion.
Must-have items in the RV
Here’s the next thing I wanna talk about. What is the one thing, okay Michael, the one thing that you couldn’t live without, if I threw it out you would just quit Rving full-time?
I love all the extra padding and air mattresses that we have added, because sleeping is important.
Yeah, the bed isn’t very comfortable. So we have worked for six months now trying to find something comfortable. And we had a memory foam topper, and also an air mattress underneath of that, that we got at REI. We also have one of those, not a travel sack, but it’s the other kind of bed buddy. I don’t know. What’s that called? I’ll have to check that out.
Anyway, we’ve been using that. And then I use my comforter, which is not down because we’re vegan, so we don’t use down. But it’s a poly fiber fill comforter that keeps me cool in the summer and warm in the winter. And then, Michael uses a sleeping bag because he’s freezing right now.
But the thing that I couldn’t live without if Micheal were to throw them out I would be really upset is all of the little knicky knack compartments that I have found to add some organizing to our camper van. For example, I have some magnetic baskets that just cling right on to the back-splash in the kitchen area. And then, I have some different cube things that I put above the bed so that we can just pull out the cube and not have to have clothes and things falling all over the place.
So, those were my favorite things. And then, after we have discussed our past likes and dislikes about what we’ve been doing I wanna tell you that as soon as we left San Diego our first stop was at the grandkids house in El Paso. But then we went on to Livingston, Texas to set up our domicile with the Escapees group. And we’ll talk about them and our experiences with making the transition in a future episode.
You can read all about it, though, on our website at www.vegansonamission.com, because I wrote a blog post about that back in June when we actually became full-time Texas residents.
Up next, we’re going to talk about our goals for 2019, on the road and with our podcast. So stay tuned.
Goals for 2019 – Podcast, etc
Michael’s going to start off by telling us what he would like to do during 2019.
We spent most of the time in the southwest, so we want to see the rest of the country. Also, at every site that we stop at we want to see if we can find more hiking trails to explore and really enjoy the day. And then, just personal goals for myself, really want to, at every meal, make sure I have more fruits, green leafy vegetables, and lots of water.
Well, I totally agree with those goals that Michael has set, so I’ll just piggyback on those. And I would also like to review more vegan restaurants around the country so that other people can find them and take part in finding healthy, good food along any route that they might be.
I’d also like to visit some farm sanctuaries because I would like to get more involved with the vegan activism movement, and I’m not quite sure how that’s going to come about or what it’ll look like, but that is something I’m really looking forward to. All the while, of course, promoting a whole food, plant-based, vegan diet as a way of life because Michael and I totally believe that this is the best way to eat. And as we go into our 60s we expect to stay healthy.
And then we’re going to work on podcast episodes. I wanna keep working on the recording and editing so that they sound good for you, the listener. I also want to work on learning how to do Instagram Stories because I think those are so much fun and I really enjoy looking at other people’s, but I don’t know how to do those yet. So I’m really watching some videos, watching some YouTube, getting some tips from friends, but that is one of my big goals for 2019, is I want to master the Instagram Story.
And, of course, we wanna continue to be a positive influence on the world, so we’re gonna share some of our environmentally-conscious practices during the year. For example, we like to recycle as much as we can, we reduce single-use plastics, we’d like to reduce throwaway items like paper towels and straws and other such things. And we’re gonna talk about what we do actually so that we don’t use those things.
We look forward to sharing our adventures on the road in 2019. And then, maybe you could leave a comment either on Instagram or on our website as to what your goals are for 2019. It’d be fun to see what you all have in mind.
And then, next up, we’re going to review two vegan restaurants that we found in El Paso, so join us.
Vegan Restaurant Reviews
Joy Tree Health Food, Attitude, and Lifestyle Restaurant
We just came out of the Joy Tree Health Food, Attitude, and Lifestyle restaurant over here on the far east side in El Paso, Texas. Again, it’s another one of those mostly vegan restaurants, but it was really quite yummy. And so we thought we’d try it out for lunch today. And I had a burger, which isn’t really a burger. It’s called Zeus Burger here. It had grilled peppers, mushrooms, and they said the Impossible Burger for the meat, which I think must be a brand, we’ll have to look that up. But it was really tasty. It had a nice hummus, red pepper hummus, instead of cheese. And it was on a nice vegan bun. And then, I had roasted potatoes as my side. It was about $12.49, so, again, these are expensive places because not enough people are eating vegan-like.
Michael, what did you have?
I had the vegan Buddha bowl with quinoa salad, zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, avocado, cucumber, in a cilantro sauce. And it had a southwest, slightly spicy flair to it. It was really delicious. I thought the price is, again, a little expensive, $7.99 for that bowl. But I enjoyed the restaurant. It was very casual. They served us very quickly. And I would highly recommend it if you’re in the east side of El Paso.
Yeah, and you know what else? It was nice, the menu goes from breakfast into dinner, but it’s only open from 7:00 to 3:00 a couple days of the week, and then it’s open until 5:00 or 6:00 a couple other nights, and then maybe 8:00 another one. So you really have to look on their website or Yelp it and find out what the hours are, depending on when you are coming by, you might find it closed. It’s not one of those McDonald kind of places that’s open 24/7. So please do your research before you head on over here.
But it’s right down the street from our other favorite restaurant in El Paso called Queen’s Table, which we did a review on a couple weeks ago.
Eloise – Vegan Restaurant Review
The second one is also in El Paso, and it’s a place where our son and daughter-in-law took us for our 40th wedding anniversary celebration. And it was so nice of them to consider the fact that we are vegan and we don’t eat animal products. So they found this really great restaurant called Eloise. And Michael’s going to give you a review on it.
Eloise is located in the west side of El Paso, and they are a vegan-friendly restaurant, which means they serve all kinds of food there, but they really go out of their way to make all of their meals vegan options. So, for instance, they have what’s called a Buffalo Bomber sandwich, which is crispy cauliflower with lots of vegetables on it. I had a hatch green chili curry, which was really spicy and delicious. They have Buddha bowls, they have sweet potato sandwich.
And, the interesting thing about Eloise, it’s also a bar, so they have this really fun, active bar going on while you’re sitting there eating. We really recommend checking Eloise when you’re in El Paso, Texas.
I had the beet hummus dip along with some chips, I believe, that came with it, or pita bread, I can’t remember exactly. But my only drawback about this restaurant is they still offer a meat option. And I really wish that vegan restaurants would just not do that because it gives everybody the opportunity to still eat meat when they should be trying these really tasty places and really tasty food. So maybe in the future they’ll be more just vegan.
So that was our favorite new finds in El Paso. And, up next, stay with us as I give you a recipe for pumpkin muffins.
Dr. Avery Walker, Colon-Rectal Surgeon
This section of the podcast has been dedicated to your colon as discussed by our son, Dr. Avery Walker, colorectal surgeon in El Paso, Texas. And he’s going to give you some tips on how to prevent colon cancer.
“The best way to prevent colon cancer is to start getting your colonoscopies at the age of 45. You should also make note of any symptoms you may be having, such as blood in your stool, constipation that doesn’t go away on its own, or abdominal pain, and see your doctor if those symptoms are there.
The other thing that you can do is make sure you get at least 30 grams of fiber a day in your diet to include green, leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach, peas, and beans, and always drink lots and lots of water.”
Thanks, Avery. That was very good advice.
And now, stay tuned while I get you that recipe for vegan pumpkin muffins that were a big hit.
Mary McDougall’s Pumpkin Walnut Muffins
Okay, so this muffin recipe comes from Mary McDougall’s book, The Starch Solution, which she wrote with her husband John McDougall, our favorite doctor from 35 years ago when we lived in Hawaii and we first discovered a whole-food, plant-based diet. And I recommend that you get that book and read it as soon as possible.
But the recipe I found was on Fat Free Vegan Kitchen and she used it with Mary McDougall’s permission. It’s called Pumpkin Walnut Muffins. And the only fat in it is the walnuts. Now, I have to tell you, my grandbabies are allergic to walnuts so I did not put them in, and I didn’t put anything else in there either, so they were still tasty. But I’ll tell you, the recipe is going to be on www.vegansonamission.com, that’s our website. And you can also find it again on this one I just mentioned.
But here are the ingredients that you need.
Two teaspoons of Energy egg replacer. Now, I don’t have that on-hand usually, so what I do is use a vegan flax egg. So what you do is you take one tablespoon of ground flax seed meal and you add one and a half tablespoons of water, mix those together in a very small bowl so that it gets to sit there for a little bit and become gel-like. That’s my egg.
Then you need a cup of whole wheat pastry flour,
3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour,
1/2 cup of dark brown sugar,
1 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon,
one teaspoon baking soda,
one teaspoon nutmeg,
1/2 teaspoon baking powder,
1/8 of a teaspoon of salt,
1/4 cup raisin,
one cup of canned pumpkin,
1/2 cup of Sunsweet Lighter Bake, again, I don’t have that either so I use 1/2 cup of applesauce,
then a 1/4 cup of molasses,
and a 1/4 cup of soy milk.
So, what you do is you just mix the wet ingredients together, and then mix all the dry ingredients together, and then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients just like you’re making a cake. And whisk it all up, put it into your silicone muffin cups, and they just pop out really easily. I like that better than using the paper because, again, I like to reduce the paper. But these are much easier to eat when you just pop them right out of that silicone tray.
So, again, this is from the Starch Solution by John McDougall and Mary McDougall, and it was republished with permission on the Fat Free Vegan website. And if you would like to see where it comes from, again, you can check our website, www.vegansonamission.com. And, of course, I will give credit where credit is due. But these were the best yummy muffins that we had made in a really long time.
Next up is our Who Knew section as we wind up this podcast. So stay tuned.
This week’s episode has to end with our Who Knew section because we were in El Paso, Texas visiting with the grandbabies and our son and daughter-in-law for the holidays when all of a sudden the temperature dipped and it started snowing. Oh my goodness, one night we were sitting there watching just a little bit of rain and snow, and in the morning we woke up to a covered in snow landscape.
And so, we are concerned about our RV not having the good insulation that’s needed for keeping the pipes from freezing. So we knew we needed to get out of dodge, so we headed west, and that’s why we are in Quartzsite for the New Year. We hope that you continue to listen to our podcast and follow us on Instagram at heaveninaclassb. And, as I get better in the Instagram Stories, could you please comment and let me know what you think, or give me some tips along the way? Next week we’re going to be talking all about our New Years Eve celebration and our New Years in Quartzsite. But, also, we’re going to be heading to Lake Havasu for the Annual bash with the Escapers. So we’ll give you an overview of what the Escapees is like so you can join them as well.
Again, thanks for listening to our Podcast and see you next week!
We are a retired teacher, Louisa, and a retired physician assistant, Michael, married for 39 years, who want to help busy travelers begin and maintain a healthy life-style while on the road.