Back in February, my mom and I took our first cross-country vacation for a break from the frigid Northeast weather. The trip landed us in the Tempe/Scottsdale/Phoenix area of AZ. Much to my delight, the area sported not only a groovy little vegan restaurant called Green, but also a Whole Foods! (As a side note, you know you’re vegan when you type “tempeh” every time you mean “Tempe”!)
Don’t get me wrong; our local co-op rocks. But as any traveling vegan knows, it can be tough to find places to eat when you’re somewhere unfamiliar. My mom is about 85% vegan and a selective omnivore the rest of the time, so she also is very conscientious about food choices. Having a Whole Foods nearby eliminated that problem. We were able to pop over there in our rental car, load up on fresh fruit and veggies and whole grain breakfast items, and return to the hotel set for the duration of the trip.
What all this is leading up to is that, while poking around Whole Foods, we discovered their selection of fresh prepared foods. These included a sauteed kale dish with various veggies and a citrus dressing that was just plain amazing. Both my mom and I loved it, and I wound up getting some to take on the plane ride home.
Later on, I discovered a recipe for Rainbow Kale Salad in The 30-Minute Vegan. Though it’s not the same as the Whole Foods dish (the kale is raw, for one thing), it sounded so delicious that I’ve been dying to give it a try.
It’s pretty, too, which never hurts. Fresh kale, shredded carrots, red and yellow bell peppers, and red cabbage with an olive oil lemon dressing. Mmm. I didn’t have any yellow bell pepper, so I chopped up summer squash instead.
It made a perfect side to Caribbean Red Beans and Rice, yet another well-liked beans and rice recipe at my house. (That one’s from Vegan Planet, in case you were wondering!) I like the combination of savory, sweet, and spicy that it has. Besides, it was a perfect excuse to finally pull out the kale salad recipe!
Seriously, if you haven’t yet tried raw kale, give it a shot. It’s crunchy and has an amazing flavor, especially when put on a veggie sandwich or tossed in a salad with other, sweeter veggies.
Question for the comments: What are some of your best vegan vacation finds?