How to Make Fattoush Salad

Hello everyone,

I love Middle Eastern cuisine. Baba ghanoush, falafel, tabouli, you name it— it’s some of my favorite food. I was craving a feel good meal this weekend, so I decided to try my hand at a classic, fattoush salad.

Fattoush (فتوش) is a levantine bread salad which originated in Lebanon, but is also common in Syria and other Middle Eastern counties. Fattoush includes toasted or fried pieces of pita bread mixed with greens and fresh vegetables. It generally also includes cucumber, tomato, and other ingredients depending on season, location, taste, etc.

The dressing is slightly sour and acidic, using a healthy serving of lemon juice and sumac. Since I didn’t have sumac, I used zatar seasoning to give the salad a full flavor. I also used store bought pita chips to save time, but I’m sure this recipe would be even better if you used homemade pita bread for the crunch. This is a deceptively easy salad to make considering the robust flavor combinations. Why not give it a try?

What’s your favorite Middle Eastern recipe?

Cheers,

Jocelyn Continue reading “How to Make Fattoush Salad”

A Vegan Visits Cancun, Mexico (& eats lots of good food!)

Hi all,

As I indicated with my last post, I’ve been a little MIA lately. Work has been extremely busy, I am looking for a house, and I just  took a vacation to Cancun, Mexico! And the latter, is exactly what this post is about!

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Continue reading “A Vegan Visits Cancun, Mexico (& eats lots of good food!)”

Cleveland Vegan Nights

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Hello everyone,

When thinking of vegan-friendly cities, Cleveland probably isn’t high on the list, but many restaurants actually have vegan night! You know that one night where they serve multiple vegan options! I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of weeknight vegan delicacies you can find in Cleveland below.

Know of a place that has vegan night that’s not on my list? Let me know!

Cheers!

Jocelyn Continue reading “Cleveland Vegan Nights”

Restaurant Review: Apteka, Pittsburgh

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Hello everyone!

I recently went to Pittsburgh to visit my family, eat some good food, and play pinball! While I was there, we decided to get dinner at a brand new restaurant from Pierogi Night founders, Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski. Last year, they launched a Kickstarter campaign for a brick and mortar restaurant named Apteka. The restaurant recently had its “soft open” and is located between Bloomfield and Lawrenceville. Apteka serves up polish delicacies which are common in certain neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, but the difference is, their menu is 100% vegan. And boy, is it good!

 

FullSizeRender_6Upon walking into Apteka, the first thing I noticed was the casual atmosphere, with low lighting, open brick walls, and tall ceilings. I also couldn’t ignore the music. It was a little odd—a cross between ambient sounds and animal noises that you might expect to hear at a meditation center or spa.

A large handwritten menu hangs on the wall as soon as you walk through the door. While I found this aesthetically pleasing, it was dinner time, and there were three other dinner parties standing in the small doorway trying to view the menu. Having a few small loose menus to pick up from the counter would be ideal. Then again. This place is pretty casual.

Once you are ready to order, you simply walk up to the counter and place your order. The server will give you a numbered card for your table, silverware, your glasses and water carafes to take back to your table.

While I went to Apteka to try the Pierogi, I knew as soon as I saw the Kanapki, I had to try that, too! The Kanapki is basically a set of three tartines. One with carrot pate + radish pickle; another with a leek + apple + mint puree; and the third with celeriac + pickle + apple + dill. The third tartine was the stand out for me. The “polish” salad mix was acidic and fresh, and kept me wanting more! I must admit, it was hard to choose. I liked all three! I sincerely hope this item becomes a menu staple!

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The Pierogi was a beautiful dish. The vibrant colors of sauerkraut and greens, coupled with the yogurt and mustard sauce over lightly browned peirogies made for a simply stunning plate of food. There were two types of pierogies included with the order—one with sauerkraut and mushrooms and the other with smoked potato and parsnip. The smoked potato pierogi was my favorite. It had a powerful flavor, but was also close enough to a traditional pierogi to taste comforting and familiar.

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Every single bite of food was better than the last! The sauces and herbs elevated the natural flavors in each dish. This food tasted like it had been perfected by true pros. Everyone at my table was highly satisfied with their meals, and nothing on the menu was more than $11. This restaurant has hit the mark on affordable food with fine dining flavor and plating!

Don’t hesitate to head to Pittsburgh and give Apteka a try. You won’t regret it, and your wallet and your tastebuds will thank you!

Cheers!

Jocelyn

Restaurant Review: Forage Public House

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About a year  ago, many of my ‘westside’ friends started talking about this new restaurant
called Forage Public House in Lakewood. I took a quick look at the menu and decided it wasn’t for me. It’s a farm to table concept, heavy on meat and dairy. What’s for a vegan to love?

I’ll admit, I was quick to judge. Perhaps it was because I’d never been to cult classic Deagan’s in Lakewood either, and after all, this is Chef Demetrio’s newest American gastropub.  Continue reading “Restaurant Review: Forage Public House”