At my hometown grocery store (HEB), there is a kiosk near the meats/cheese called the Cooking Connection. It’s basically a mini kitchen (oven, stove, the whole works!) where one or two chefs work handing out samples of delicious recipes and trying to get you to buy the store brand ingredients. I’ve made it a habit of stopping by the kiosk every time I go to the store because without fail, grocery shopping makes me hungry. I usually end up buying a ton of tantalizing and junky snacks that get devoured within a day or two. But, by trying a few samples instead, I save both my wallet AND my waistline.
About three years ago, after watching Food, Inc., and having an experience with bad chicken, I gave up meat. In fact, I went full-fledge vegan. Aside from honey and the occasional fish, I didn’t touch an animal product for over a year. I eventually returned to eating meat due to health problems (low body weight, not enough protein, etc), but during my time as a vegan, I had such a fun time exploring the world of animal-free recipes, products, and blogs. **Don’t get me wrong- it is definitely possible to obtain your complete nutritional needs while following a vegan diet, but at the time it just wasn’t working for me**
Up until about 10 months ago, I had never tried Pad Thai. I’m from a fairly small town that doesn’t have much to offer in the exotic/ethnic food department, so I never even had the opportunity to try it out.
But then… during one of our weekend excursions last fall, my friend Emily (who is a well-seasoned and avid Thai food fan) suggested we find a Thai restaurant. I’m always up for an adventure- especially when it comes to food so I eagerly agreed. We stumbled upon a little hole in the wall place called Simply Thai, and my life was instantly changed! I seriously had no idea what I was missing out on. Simply Thai quickly became one of my favorite restaurants, and is still one of my go-to places when I go out to eat or order in. I’m definitely missing it while I’m home for the summer!
In the summer I like to eat cold foods. Smoothies, salads, cold sandwiches, fruit… anything that won’t make me hotter than it is outside (that Texas heat is no joke). I also look for easy meals that can be made ahead or in the morning before heading out for the day. Sometimes turning on that oven or stove just generates way too much heat in the kitchen so recipes that don’t require cooking are definitely a bonus! This sandwich is amazing. And I when I say amazing I mean finger-licking, drool-inducing, worthy of the heavens good. It’s super simple to throw together and you can add or remove ingredients to make it more to your personal liking.
I’m always looking for new recipes to try, especially in the summer when I have more time on my hands. While I absolutely love cooking, long and complicated recipes sometimes end up making me frustrated. Unfortunately, it often seems like quick but healthy recipes are hard to find, but these lettuce wraps definitely fit the bill! They are super easy, full of flavor, and require hardly any work. And on a side note, let me just say how much I adore my slow cooker.