Food

5 Nashville Restaurants Outstanding for Vegetarians

My job once again provided me the opportunity to visit a U.S. city that's a top vacation destination - Nashville, Tennessee. 

Though I didn't have time to do all the touristy things - one thing I did make time for was seeking out some healthy eats. 

It's so exciting to me every time I realize that New York City isn't the only place where it's easy to find fresh, farm-to-table restaurants or establishments that focus on vegetarian and vegan fare. 

I can definitely say with confidence that the South isn't all about fried chicken and ribs. I present you with 5 Healthy Nashville Restaurants Great for Vegetarians.

Avo 

My first night in Nashville I sucked up my post-flight sleepiness and got in a quick 10-minute cab ride to Avo - discreetly located in a large storage container next to a Crossfit gym within Nashville's One C1TY mindful living development. There's a beach volleyball court just outside the doors.

Avo is the cutest little place – bright a clean inside with plants on the walls, fun light fixtures, and adorable succulents on the tables that are perfect for Instagramming with your beautiful meal avo is completely plant-based and every menu item is gluten free. Not only that, Avo uses no oven, gas, fryer or range stoves. Everything you eat at Avo is made with a blender, dehydrator, food processor and a good old knife.

 Their menu is packed with options - from a build your own salad section to "lasagna," "falafel" and raw Pad Thai. 

We split the raw taco appetizer - lettuce wraps filled with mushrooms and other fresh veggies.

I ordered the Pumpkin Curry Noodles as my entree. It was made with spiralized zucchini and kelp noodles and topped with a delicious, fresh pumpkin curry sauce and cashews. The sauce wasn't too much pumpkin or too much curry - it was light and delicious and refreshing if you're a fan of those flavors! I also loved the coconut shavings and cashews on top. 

I also ordered organic kombucha - loved it!  

For dessert, I got a slice of their dairy-free banana cheesecake. It still blows my mind that you can make "cheese" out of cashews and crust out of dates and walnuts. So good - and full of nutrient-dense ingredients. 

The portions were huge and filling despite the fact that it was a completely plant-based dinner. 

AVO 

Locale 3 C1TY Ave. Nashville, TN 37209
(615) 329-2377
Monday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. 
Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
www.eatavo.com

The Wild Cow Cafe

Another day, I was browsing through delivery food options trying to find something healthy when I came across The Wild Cow Cafe, a vegetarian cafe that also serves vegan and gluten-free options. 

There are a ton of different choices - salads, tacos, grain bowls and sandwiches. What I loved was how easy they made it to customize your meal. 

I ended up choosing the Veggie Quinoa Bowl - it came with roasted veggies (squash, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, etc.) served over quinoa and topped with garlic aioli. To customize, my friend and I added sauteed garlicky kale, grilled tofu and portabella mushroom. We got the garlic aioli on the side and balsamic vinaigrette as well. 

They were delivered still piping hot, with all our additions and dressings on the side. Everything was delicious and the serving size was huge. The only thing I was a little iffy on was the garlicky kale. The taste was a little overpowering, and it turned the consistency of the whole meal crunchy from all of the crushed garlic. 

Later in the week, we ordered from Wild Cow again and they must have been really busy because the delivery wasn't as seamless - my friend's salad came with cheese even though she ordered it without, and my dressing didn't come on the side like I requested. 

That being said - everything still tasted good. I ordered the Pistachio & Pear salad - spinach and lettuce in a Goddess Tahini dressing that was heavenly. I have yet to master making my own tahini-based dressings and was beginning to doubt whether or not I liked it - but I loved the one from Wild Cow. 

The salad was topped with quinoa, roasted beets, pears, pistachios and grilled tofu. I think I liked this even better than my Veggie Quinoa Bowl! Again, the serving size was HUGE and I couldn't finish it despite my best efforts. 

The Wild Cow Cafe 

1896 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206
(615) 262-2717
Closed on Tuesdays
Sunday-Thursday (excluding Tuesday) 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. 
Friday & Saturday: 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. pm
www.thewildcow.com

Daily Juice Cafe

Our last morning in Nashville we walked a few blocks from the hotel for a delicious ACAI BOWL. 

The Daily Juice makes smoothies, juices and bowls and though there was a long wait, the staff were super accommodating to our requests and let us more or less customize our own bowls.

I ordered the Aloha Bowl - blended berry, mango, banana, coconut milk and pineapple without the usually included coconut oil. The toppings included banana, granola, raw local honey and goji berries but I subbed the goji for hemp hearts. 

Whenever I eat an acai bowl, I'm shocked at  how filling it is! I was a very happy camper. 

The Daily Juice 

700 Old Hickory Blvd. Suite 203 
Brentwood, TN 37027 
(615) 678-8364
Tuesday - Thursday: and Monday - 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 
Friday: 7:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m. 
Saturday: 8:00 a.m .- 5:00 p.m. 
Sunday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 
Daily Juice Menu

Rolf & Daughters

Though this meal wasn't exactly on the same "healthy" level as the previously mentioned spots - I needed to include it in my round-up of Nashville because it was some of the best pasta I've had in ages. There are plenty of veggie friendly options (though we sampled our fair share of meat!) 

Rolf & Daughters is in Nashville's "German Town" and had a number of delicious-sounding appetizers. We sampled the broccoli (kale, currant, caper, anchovy and breadcrumbs) which was a very unique combination of flavors. We also had the sweet potato, testa, cashew and arugula - which I ordered without knowing what testa was. When the dish arrived, I thought it might be the wrong thing. But nope, it was thinly sliced sweet potato topped testa - head cheese. 

No, head cheese isn't cheese. It's actually meat made from pigs' heads. Uh. Glad I only found this out AFTER eat it. I cannot lie though - it tasted pretty good! I didn't LOVE it. But I didn't eat and it think, "ew gross what is this gelatinous pig head that they put on top of my sweet potato?!" 

As an entree, we went with the house specialty - handmade garganelii verde (similar to penne) with a heritage pork ragout and sarvecchio (a type of parmesan). The ragu was incredibley tender, and the fact that it was made of pork made it an instant hit with my taste buds. 

I couldn't stop raving about it the rest of the week! Not to mention the restaurant was incredibly cute and trendy inside - despite my lack of photos. Here, have a picture of downtown Nashville at night instead!

Rolf & Daughters 

700 Taylor Street
(615) 866-9897
Monday - Sunday: 5:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. 
http://www.rolfanddaughters.com/ 

Kayne Prime Steakhouse

I am not a big steakhouse person. Don't get me wrong - I love a good piece of filet mignon, and loooove baked potatoes, but going to a steakhouse is almost never my first choice. 

Yet I found myself at one in Nashville that may have changed my mind - Kayne Prime Steakhouse features a daily "Green Plate Special" that is constantly offering diners new vegetarian dishes with creativity and care. 

On the night I visited, the Green Plate Special featured a basket or potatoes and quinoa along with a spaghetti squash dish.

Both were delicious, but the real star of my meal was the salad that I started with - the farrow salad topped with apples, butternut squash, pistachio, arugula and a sorghum vinaigrette. 

Recently I've been obsessed with arugula, and whatever dressing was used on this salad was DELISH. Apparently, sorghum is a southern thing - and I was feelin' it (it's a sweetener!) 

I liked it so much that my first night back, I whipped up my own version! Except I switched the grain to green ration to make it a little more salad-y. 

I'd also like to give a shout out to Kayne Prime's popovers - which came out warm and tasted amazing with butter. I recently discovered that I have the necessary pan for popover baking -that might have to happen one of these days! 

Kayne Prime Steakhouse

103 McGavock Street
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 259-0050
Sunday - Thursday: 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. 
Friday - Saturday: 5:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. 
http://www.mstreetnashville.com/kayne-prime/

Thanks for the chow, Nashville! 





5 Recipes for a Sweet World Nutella Day

The worst thing I ever did was print a calendar of National Food Holidays. Why was it a mistake? Because now on any given morning I may wake up and say, “Ah! It’s National Cook a Sweet Potato Day, National Margarita Day AND National Cherry Pie Day – and then I proceed to try and fit all three of those things into my Friday diet. It’s not too long before I’m justifying Fry-days because… #alliteration.

This morning, I’m going to do the same thing to you by informing you that today is WORLD Nutella Day. That’s right, Nutella doesn’t get just a national holiday – the whole world celebrates this Italian chocolatey hazelnut spread on February 5. And this year, Nutella is 52 years old.

World Nutella Day

I know you don’t want to miss out on the party, so I’ve rounded up 5 Nutella recipes that you can make fairly quickly and with minimal ingredients – because ain’t nobody got time to wait before devouring that most sacred of spreads.

And remember, it’s a holiday that only happens once a year, so enjoy it!

1)      3-Ingredient Nutella Croissants

Gimme Some Oven has created some beautiful Nutella pastries using just 3 simple ingredients. In 40 minutes you could be enjoying flaky croissants filled with gooey Nutella.

 

2)      Peanut Butter Nutella Pie with Crispy Bacon & Crushed Golden Grahams

This recipe by Climbing Grier Mountain requires some commitment in the way of time and ingredients, but the combination of Peanut Butter, Nutella and Bacon is like the holy trinity.

Peanut Butter Nutella Pie

3)      4-Ingredient Ove-Baked Nutella S’Mores

Oh lawdy this recipe by The Blissful Balance had me drooling when I first saw it. I’ve been known to add a dollop of Nutella or PB to my graham cracker when making S’Mores in the summer, but with this oven-baked Nutellas s’mores recipe I can enjoy them all year long!

4)      Banana Nutella Egg Rolls

I’m a sucker for banana focused desserts and the fact that this one by Little B Cooks includes Nutella AND is Asian-cuisine-inspired really gets me excited. Plus, the ingredients are soo simple! 

5)      Banana Bread Nutella Muffins

You can always count on Chocolate Covered Katie to come up with a delicious Nutella-centric recipe. These use pretty simple baking ingredients and are sure to fill your kitchen with a dreamy smell! 

If you’ve read these recipes and are thinking, “I don’t have time to bake today!” that’s totally OK. Why? Because Nutella is one of those things that is wonderful all by itself. So grab your vehicle of choice and get that Nutella in your tummy. Pretzels or a spoon will do just fine. Hell, use your finger – no one’s judging.

Did You Know:
The original Nutella made by Ferrero was a solid block? It wasn’t until 1951 that they started producing “Supercrema” which is the creamy version we all know and love. It was renamed Nutella in 1963.

According to Ferrero – each jar of Nutella contains around 50 hazelnuts.

YOUR TURN: 
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE NUTELLA TREAT?

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispies Treats

With the arrival of Starbucks' controversial red cups it seems the world has forgotten about all things Pumpkin Spice and moved on to peppermint, eggnog and everything Kris Kringle. 

But hold on, people! We haven't even made it to Thanksgiving!

Last weekend I whipped up these seasonal treats using brown rice cereal and coconut oil to make it very ~clean eats~. And hey, I tried to keep the marshmallow usage to a minimum with some honey for "glue." 

These came out fantastic and fall-y, if I do say so myself, thanks to the addition of vanilla extract and cinnamon - and my special "frosting" of course. 

I'm no baker, but these were super simple, super quick, and were a hit at the "Pumpkin and Peppermint" party. 

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispies Treats

Let me know how if you give them a try! 

 

Restaurant Review: Bluestone Lane

Oh avocado toast, how I adore you.

Let me count the ways.

Well actually, there’s too many to count.

I love you all the ways.

I love you with feta.

I love you with chili flakes.

I love you with a splash of lemon or lime.

I love you on whole wheat toast.

I love you on white bread.

I really, really love you on Balthazar Bakery bread.

This is what I discovered last week when I took a trip to Bluestone Lane for my lunch break.

What is better than an avocado toast enjoyed outside in the sunshine on a beautiful fall afternoon with friends? Not much.

Bluestone Lane is one of those Australian café’s that keep poppingup around the cityand thanks in part to the popularity of their avo toast, they just opened their 6thManhattan location (bets as to when the first Brooklyn outpost opens its doors?)

Each location’s offerings vary – and each location is also unique in its architecture and design. Apparently, the new Upper East Sidelocation is quite the site to see! 

However, we Midtown-lunchers headed to the Bryant Parklocation, which is situated in the glass Grace Plaza Pavilion on West 43rd St. and 6th Ave.

This place gets busy, and it seems as if almost everyone is there to order avocado toast. I can’t comment on their coffee, because $5 is a little steep for this McCafe drinking gal, but word on the street is that Aussies know their caffeine. Plus, they add scoops of vanilla ice cream to some of their drinks – something that I fully support.

Though busy, the staff at Bluestone Lane put love & care into their avocado toast – nestling it in a little brown box before sprinkling it sweetly with whatever toppings you choose.

At Bryant Park, the “standard” avocado toast comes in at $7 and includes avo, lemo, salt, pepper, chili flakes and olive oil. Feta, cherry tomatoes and prosciutto can all be added for an extra price – and $10.50 will get you the whole shebang.

Strangely for me – usually a lover of toppings – I decided to opt for the plain Jane. I was not disappointed!

This Balthazar toast is seriously incredible. Soo full of seedy-goodness.

The savory avocado mashed with olive oil benefits from the burst of citrus, pop of chili and bam! of salt.

I’ve finally put it together that I, personally, am a fan of the Avocado SMASH as opposed to avocado toast.

(The whole she-bang - beautifully photographed by Kaitlin over at  California Endless Summer

(The whole she-bang - beautifully photographed by Kaitlin over at California Endless Summer

What's the difference you ask? Avocado toast usually implies sliced avocado, while avocado smash is more of a mash. 

This isn’t surprising coming from a girl who loves her guacamole and used to cut her corned beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes into little pieces before mashing it together with mustard. True story.

One of these days, I hope to make it to another one of Bluestone Lane’s locations – preferably their sit-down outpost, the Café Collective, so I can order this delicious avocado smash with a POACHED EGG.

Because if you like it then you shoulda put an egg on it.