Today was a busy day, getting ready for Christmas Eve. I started out the day attempting to try out another of the area's vegetarian/vegan restaurants, The Globe. I picked up Tara and we headed over the vegan breakfast joint. We walked in and the customers seemed really, really quiet and looked, i dunno, scared. I came to find out why very quickly. Apparently the owner (?) had come in two hours early, and the kitchen staff had been an hour late and the owner was not happy about it. While we stood at the counter examining the menu he got in a yelling match with one of the kitchen staff and he told us it would be an hour at least for anything on the menu. 'Nuff said and Tara and I headed out the door with a serious quickness. We instead headed down to one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in the area Cafe Flora, which is renowned for its brunch, which I had never tried before. We got settled in and ordered up some delicious herb tea. We decided on sharing the Winter Hash made vegan/gf and the Hoppin John Fritters made vegan/gf. It was absolutely delcious. The Winter Hash was a bunch of small diced purple potatoes, yams, parsnips, onions, etc and the "eggs" were a curried tofu scramble which had layers of flavor and texture. The Hoppin John were crunchy patties of black beans topped with vegan spicy aioli. Instead of the traditional side that comes with it, cheesy grits, they provided us with a side of roast potatoes, my favorite a balance of crisp and tender. There was also a side of amazing collard greens and mushrooms. The flavors were just great. It was a great way to start the day.
After dropping Tara off, I headed over to Flying Apron bakery to pick up a loaf of gluten free bread to serve with dinner on Christmas Eve. It was still warm and smelled delicious. I also picked up a small Honey Saffron Shortbread cookie and small pumpkin cookie (both gf/vegan) for later indulgence.
It was our Christmas Eve shopping day, so my mom and I headed up to QFC to pick up the food and prep for the big day. Whilst we were at the store we came upon some exciting things in the gluten free section. My mom spotted it first: Bob's Red Mill Certified Gluten Free Oats. Gluten Free oats in a grocery store!! I was so excited! I hadn't found any up until now and we grabbed a package of the Certified Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats. They are completely segregated from the field to the processing to the packaging. I am excited to try them and hope for the best. My baking will definitely be taking off if that is the case. We also found a gluten free vegan mac and cheese in a box. I am not one for processed food at all, but a quick view of the ingredients revealed that it was nothing more than brown rice pasta, brown rice flour, nutritional yeast and spices. I figured I would try a box. I have several recipes for homemade gf/vegan mac and cheese which I will have to try and compare. I grabbed some Marys Gone Crackers for my post-surgery (getting my wisdom teeth out on the 26th) enjoyment (i.e. to ease my stomach from the meds). After leaving my mom's I headed to PCC to pick up millet, brown jasmine rice and quinoa, as well as some ricerna yogurt (again post surgery food)and gluten free sugar cookies mix (traditional Christmas Eve dessert).
All stocked up, I headed home and unloaded it all. I decided that I wanted to go running. I was vacillating but knowing I won't be able to run for at least 3 days next week got me out the door. I headed out and down to Greenlake at an easy pace. Well, it felt super easy because I am well rested. I made it around the lake, but felt a bit of stomach upset from drinking a Kombucha a bit too close to running. I was going to just do one loop (just over 5 miles) but then said, eh, what the heck, and went around for another loop in the dark. The second lap (3.2 miles) took me 25 minutes. I ran back to the house and I felt great the whole way, which bodes well for the season. I did just about 8.5 miles, at a decent pace (about 8 min/miles). Yeah! Tomorrow morning I will be getting out in the morning with my sister and then monday I am going out with some of my friends to do some trail running.