Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 9 and 10: Our last day...until next time.

Planning out our last day was tough; not because we didn’t know what to schedule but because we knew the end was near. But rest assure we didn’t waste the day moping around! We headed back to Harry Potterville really early to ride the rides one…okay five..last times before I went around to explore and take pics of practically everything in order to waste time. We were growing super anxious as we waited for Mythos to open at 11am. With a reputation as the “#1 Best Theme Park Restaurant in the World”, Mythos had a lot to prove; especially to these two self proclaimed food critics. Prior research of the restaurant had shown that they had a vegan Pad Thai and that is exactly what I was looking forward to.

I’ve always had a knack for mythology…that’s why I took Latin as my foreign language! I love the stories, the gods and most of all, I adore the Greek culture and style. That is why the first thing I automatically noticed and fell in love with about Mythos was the restaurant’s décor. It was as if the restaurant was carved out of cave. Mythological characters elusively decorated the walls and railings while the lamps, tables and chairs displayed signs of royalty and wealth. This place clearly belonged to Zeus. 

I continued to admire the beauty of the restaurant as we sat and waited to be served. It took a while for our waiter to arrive as it seemed the pre-morning meeting was still taking place in front of the kitchen even though the doors had already opened. Once he arrived, we went ahead and ordered our drinks and our meal. I told him I was gluten-free and vegan (I was making an effort to prevent further inflammation as my gut was feeling as if it was hanging over the edge towards death…too much edible fun this week) and proceeded to request the pad thai and a refreshing side salad as an appetizer. The waiter immediately impressed us with his knowledge on the foods that were both gluten-free and vegan as he listed off the dressings that I could have. 
I mindlessly chose the soy vinaigrette, forgetting soy sauce usually contains gluten, which the waiter caught on to and told me he would check on to make sure it was gluten-free. Impressive! Of course, it wasn’t GF so citrus vinaigrette it was. He even kindly told me that the bread he brought out was also not gluten-free. I was more appreciative of this then I was annoyed. It showed that the restaurant took special diets into great consideration and had a concern for those diets that may be due to a severe allergy. Very few restaurants do this, but for those who do, they are recognized and praised for their efforts and a positive impression is automatically left on those customers who appreciate such efforts. In other words, they automatically create reoccurring customers. As I said before, sometimes the service matters more than the food.

The salad was just as I expected: light and refreshing, tangy and sweet. The Pad Thai, which came in quite a hefty size, was good. It wasn’t as “great” as I would have expected from a restaurant rewarded the best theme park restaurant in the world (maybe they were scoring more on look and theme?) but it was still good. The sauce was lighter than your typical peanut sauce in both flavor and consistency. The rice noodles were well cooked and the veggies slightly cooked, yet still fresh and crisp. Oh and it was quite spicy! Overall, it was a tasty and fulfilling dish and a nice change from what I had been eating all week. Unfortunately, though, the dish wasn’t anything unique or different and therefore, left no strong impression or desire for me to HAVE to come back. But the service alone, was outstanding, and for that, I would dine here again.

After lunch we headed back to the hotel and took advantage of the Cabana Bar…Orange Mojito? :)

The day we had arrived to the Hard Rock, we thoroughly explored the hotel from top to bottom and the one thing Tim noticed was a steakhouse (of course!) called The Palm with some pretty pricey, dry aged steaks. He looked at me with a twinkle in his eyes and all I could say was yes. After all, he had been a trooper this entire trip, making sure every place we went to had something for me to eat. I thought, HARD about when to go when I realized our last day would be perfect. My meal here was going to be light, a salad, and aye okay with me seeing I would be having noodles for lunch. So we made reservations.

The restaurant was very classy and upscale, with the walls decorated with caricatures of famous and not so famous people. Our waiter was cheery (you could tell he loved his job) and very accommodating. I ordered my salad with sautéed mushrooms on top and Tim, of course, a miniature piece of meat. Knowing it was our last meal, we enjoyed the moment, sipping on wine and already reminiscing about our favorite times at Disney and Universal. The moment was bittersweet and not to be forgotten. Our food arrived, fresh and hot. We savored every last bite, even if mine was lettuce and mushroom, and ended our night on a great note…with raspberry sorbet and crushed oreos from the ice cream shop downstairs :)

The next day we headed home. When we arrived at the airport I was shocked and excited to find some pretty vegan friendly eats available for purchase…hummus, tabouli, vegetarian wraps, etc. I grabbed an energizing acai smoothie which served its purpose well and headed home.

I missed it all and suffered anxiety for about a week until I was finally able to cope and really get back to reality. But I know this won’t be the last trip. So instead of goodbye, it’s see you later! Until next time…

Day 8: Pumpkin Juice and Natty Dreads

Today was the day! We were finally going to visit for the very first time in our lives the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I am a huge fantasy book reader! I love stories that are full of imagination and wonder and anyone can agree that the Harry Potter series provides that and so so so much more! I geeked out like crazy and after riding the Forbidden Journey and Dueling Dragons multiple times, browsing through the wands at Ollivander’s, and after trying to convince my husband to buy me a robe, which miserably failed, it was time to chow at Four Broomsticks. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much for the vegan to eat so instead I got a yummy Pumpkin Juice to go along with my raw bar that I had brought along.

The Pumpkin Juice was fantastic! It tasted very similar to pumpkin flavored apple cider; sweet and full of warm, fall spices. It was perfect ice cold; a refreshing treatment to the scorching sun outside. I just love when someone brings an imaginative world into reality and I love it more when they also bring the food into existence! Now if we could just figure out this whole spell thing…

After Four Broomsticks we headed back into the heart of Islands of Adventures and decided to enjoy the rest of the park. Crazy us even decided to walk back to the hotel and get dressed into our bathing suits, come back and ride every single wet ride back to back. We were drenched head to toe!!! It was so fun and convenient to be able to get dressed and come back as opposed to walking around in thick, wet clothes.

A much needed shower later we headed back to City Walk to enjoy an early dinner before our movie, The Avengers, started. Our choice for tonight: Bob Marley’s. During previous research, I noticed they had a decent line of veggie friendly eats so I figured this place would be a safe bet. Plus, Tim adores Bob Marley...

The atmosphere was definitely a bit different. The restaurant was located under an open air cabana with TVs displayed everywhere playing Bob Marley’s peace inspiring music. Our waitress proceeded to take our order and of course, I kindly asked what was considered vegan friendly, defining what a vegan did and did not eat. She looked at me a bit like I was nuts, and told me she did not know and would get the chef. I wasn’t going to complain with that! If anyone knows what’s in what it would be the chef!

Now let’s go back to those lessons learned..yes for a third time in a row. During the planning process for this trip, I had researched Bob Marley’s to try and determine what was vegan and what was not based on other people’s reviews. I had read somewhere that the Natty Dreads veggie patties were vegan, and so were the stuffed peppers and coco bread, so I planned on finding a way to get all three to try!

Well, when chef, Robinson Prime arrived, I explained to him I was vegan, which he responded with a head nod, clearly indicating he knew what I was talking about, and I proceeded to ask him about the options I had previously read were vegan. He corrected me and explained that the only dish that was strictly vegan, besides a salad, was the veggie patties, but only when made fresh (from the freezer). He explained, that all other patties are prewashed with an egg wash before they are baked. I told him I was all for having the Natty Dreads veggie patties which he offered to whip me up some vegan veggies on the side. He also told me he was in the process of creating an all vegan menu which left me excited to come back! I thanked multiple times for coming out and off he went to whip of my meal.

Now it did honestly take a while because my veggie patties were frozen and needed to defrost. In the mean time we eye browsed through all the shirts that were available for sale and lipsynced with the songs that were being played. After a good 30 minutes or so, our meal had arrived. It looked and smelled insanely delicious (I’m a serious Jamaican food fan!) and I thanked Chef Prime multiple times for being so helpful!

I took one bite of my Natty Dread patty, which was piping hot, and fell in love! I adored the crumbly, curried flavored pie crust and the seasoned, and should I mention, spicy, well cooked veggies inside. I also added some Jamaican Hot Sauce that was available in both Scotch Bonnet and Mango flavor which seriously added to the heat! The veggies on the side were also well cooked and well seasoned, adding more yumminess to my already awesome dish. As I devoured my food, Chef Prime actually came out to check and see how everything was, which with a full mouth, I nodded and mmmd in approval, thanking him once more and stating that I would totally be back. 

Tim looked and me and could tell I was enjoying my meal as I finished the very last bite. By that time my nose was running, my lips were burning and my eyes were watering…but I was also smiling. A good meal to end the day with.

Unfortunately, no desserts were available, but that was quite alright. I had Babycakes treats still waiting for me at the hotel to devour :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Vegan Halloween!

Well, it seems we have made it through the storm and after today, it looks like we may be able to refocus on our week…and that includes Halloween. Weeks before the holiday hits, stores everywhere stock up from floor to ceiling with candy! Even stores carrying all-natural and local foods stock up on “healthier” versions of the most favorite sweets. And as a vegan, all these treats can be quite a tease. About 4-5 years ago, Halloween was a dread for vegans who had very little access to vegan candies and sweets minus the chocolates that you may have been able to purchase online…if you knew about them. 

I remember my very first Halloween as a vegan. I was still new to the whole vegan thing and so my thought process was, if it wasn’t obviously vegan, think fruit, vegetables and whole grains, then it wasn’t and I shouldn’t touch it. And I didn’t. Plus I had mad will power and determination to stick to my vegan lifestyle…temptation didn’t faze me. The next year I was better prepared. I had discovered PETA’s vegan candy list and you bet I stole a few pieces while going through my daughter’s stash. Soon after, veganism was beginning to become more mainstream and small businesses everywhere were popping up, creating and offering candy that was delicious and best of all, vegan friendly. Vegan dreams had been turned into reality…

So if you’re a new vegan, vegcurious or even a rawsie, rest assure this Halloween you will NOT be left eating apple slices and extremely dark chocolate..that’s of course, if you can get to the store within the next 24 hours seeing as this post is a bit behind and well, Halloween is tomorrow night. Sorry… :)

Vegan candy everywhere…what, what, what to eat!?

You have two options: buy your treats or make your treats.

If you prefer to buy:

For those looking for the candy that will bring on feelings of nostalgia and past memories of dressing up as a power ranger or princess and throwing up from downing too many sweets from your pillow case, then take a peek at PETA’s candy list and have away with your favorites (Psst…Skittles have recently gone vegan!!). This list may be a bit old so check the ingredients list before digging in just to be sure.  Don’t want to end up learning you just downed a bag of treats made with boiled down animal bones (gelatin) or beetle juice (confectioner’s glaze)…eww. But what about my favorite chocolates you ask? You mean Almond Joys, Reese Cups and Snickers? Haha well Go Max Go has you covered!
I was recently blessed with the opportunity to receive and try all the candy bars currently available from Go Max Go, including a prototype that isn’t yet available in stores, and boy was I in candy bar heaven! In order to save myself from a few extra pounds because I knew for a fact I would eat them all in one day, I kindly split each one in half and shared with Ms. K. We determined that the best one was by far the prototype, Thumbs Up, which is meant to be a vegan version of the Butterfinger: crunchy, sweet and salty and peanut buttery with just a thin layer of chocolate on the outside. Butterfinger lovers rejoice!!! Ms. K was ticked when I told her it was not yet available; apparently half wasn’t enough. As for the other candy bars, here they are in order of appearance in the photo above. 

  • Mahalo -  You guessed it! The vegan sister of Almond Joy! I totally love this name better! It was very similar from what I remember Almond Joys to taste like: tons of coconut with a bite of almond and chocolate. Seriously, it takes a lot to turn me away from coconut and chocolate, so there was no doubts I loved every bite of this one. 
  • Snap! – Love crunch? Grab a Snap! This is the only actual chocolate bar within this line of candy so of course it was a nice change in taste and texture from the rest of them. I have to say, I think this is actually better than a crunch bar. Not too sweet, perfectly crunchy and the chocolate actually melts in your mouth. I was never a fan of Crunch Bars, but this one I surprisingly enjoyed!
  • Buccaneer – This one I just couldn’t put my finger on. Chocolate coated chocolate nougat? Anyone? I’m not a fan of nougat candies so I wasn’t shocked when the first bite didn’t excite my taste buds. But we all like different things right? This one may for you! 
  • Twilight – Okay, I’m geeked over the name of it, but the taste? Again, not a fan. This time, it was a chocolate coated caramel and vanilla nougat candy bar. I want to say it reminded me a bit of Rolos. The caramel made it sticky and chewy which was quite fun to eat through. I mean seriously, who doesn’t love a candy that makes your jaw hurt and teeth stick!?
  • Joker – Another nougat!? Yes, but this one has nougat, caramel AND peanuts!! Yes, my friends, a vegan Snickers bar. Chewy, sticky, crunchy, sweet and salty with a light chocolate coating…the Joker was actually my second favorite! Seriously, this one is a MUST grab!
  • Cleo – Peanut butter cups…shall I say more? The peanut butter was quite creamy and there was a good ratio between peanut butter and chocolate. As a peanut butter addict, this one passed with ease.
  • And of course, there lies the Thumbs Up…oh how I wished I would have savored you more.
So there you go. Looking for a vegan version of your Halloween chocolate favorites? Go Max Go has ya covered!

As a product junkie I do have a few more I HAVE to recommend…

Love Peanut Butter Cups? Yeah I know Go Max Go has one but so does Justin’s and I am a loyal customer (stalker and addict) of Justin’s Nut Butters. The dark chocolate peanut butter cups were my go to last Halloween and the Chocolate Peanut Butter is even better…it’s like they just took a billion mini Reese cups, melted them down and made an addicting spread that has been the demise of my waist line for the past 2 years. *Sigh* it’s impossible to cut the love between a girl and her nut butters…just have to live with it. So yeah grab one ;)

Want gummies? I adore Annie’s fruit gummies! They are not as chewy as the gummies you may be used to, but I love the super fruity flavors! Surf Sweets and Sharkies also make vegan gummies that are quite tasty…although Sharkies are more designed to be sports bites but hey you need energy to get through all that trick or treating right!? 

Lollipops? Forget Halloween, keep Yummy Earths lollipops stashed in your drawers for anytime a sweet tooth craving comes along or when you feel the midday crash is about to hit. These are by far the absolute best organic lollipops on the market. I recommend buying a big bag if you plan on sharing…

I just want chocolate! Okay, okay, you’re easy…if that is the case I recommend Nibmor’s. Nibmor’s chocolate bars have a unique flavor that isn’t present in just any chocolate bar. The cocoa really sticks out in a way that is desirable. In addition, they make a mean vegan chocolate cocoa mix made with just cocoa, coconut palm sugar and sea salt. Goodbye to the days when I had to pull out all the ingredients and whisk the cocoa til my arms burned! Thank you Nibmor gals! Why not make some hot cocoa and enjoy your chocolate in sips. Make it last :)

I am also purely, madly addicted to stone ground chocolate as well. Trader Joe’s sells an organic version that comes in Extreme Dark Chocolate and Salt and Pepper and Taza also makes a variety of flavors, my favorite being the Chipotle Chili. I swear I think it’s the texture that has me hooked. Each bite starts out grainy and crunchy and ends creamy. I know it sounds weird but I swear it’s the best! I actually have to force myself NOT to buy them because I eat the entire package in a day! It’s so bad I know. 

Of course, I couldn’t have forgotten my rawsies! After all, we have to have our share of nummy sweet treats too right!? 

There are tons of raw treats on the market right now and honestly, I’m still making my way through a lot of them. Here are some that I can honestly say I love and support:

Hail Merry’s Tarts – OMG! Yes, it’s an OMG food. Hail Merry makes the absolute best raw, vegan tarts, the best being the Chocolate Mint! They are so creamy and fudge like and the flavor of chocolate mint is one of my absolute favorites; a combination I have found very hard to find as a vegan. I have fallen madly, deeply, in love with these small little pies that they have become one my absolute must have in my fridge at all times, raw sweet treat. I mean seriously look at the line up! To die for!

Superfood Snacks – Okay, honestly, these little treats deserve their own post, but for now, here’s a piece of my undying love. Although these little treats are advertised as an energy snack, the chocolatey taste hands down can make them the healthiest, chocolatey treat for Halloween. If you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, provide you energy to get you through the 500 kids that will be ringing your doorbell, yet keep your waste slim? Then these are just for you! Unfortunately, they’re only available online…and possibly in stores in Hawaii and California, but hey, see this as a heads up for next year…or if you need a new, raw energy snack for your workouts. 

Whew, can you tell I have a sweet tooth? 

Now, if you have time within the next 24 hours to MAKE your own treats well then I have a treat for you! :) A collage of treats!

Crunchy Peanut Butter Bon Bons! 
A few months ago the Spork Sisters shared with the vegan community their awesome, delicious recipe for Crunchy Peanut Butter Bon Bons! As a peanut butter addict, I knew I HAD to make these and I must say this recipe is in definitely in my go to pile…and seriously, there aren’t too many recipes in there.

You can find the recipe on Made Just Right (A great vegan community and place to find recipes!). I must note that I normally use fresh ground peanut butter from Whole Foods which ends up being a lot dryer than the creamy peanut butter you buy in a jar. With that, I usually end up adding extra melted butter and only 1 cup of powdered sugar as opposed to the 1 ½ cups the recipe calls for. Also, I make my own bread crumbs which I feel adds a better crunch then store bought ones. As for chocolate chips, Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips are by far my favorite, but Ghirardelli’s and Trader Joe’s are great options too. Whatever you use, follow your gut. This recipe is very hard to mess up. 

In the end, you will end up with a round, crunchy, sweet and salty peanut butter cups…only way better!

Coconut Mounds!

So within my nut butter addiction is a coconut addiction. I’m sure my Filipino genes have something to do with, but whatever it is, I never, ever get sick of the flavor. So no shock I loved Mounds and Almond Joys as a kid. And then I transitioned to a vegan diet and the closest I got to a Mounds bar was eating a mixture of coconut shreds and chocolate chips. But then there was Babycakes

Two years ago, my family and I went to Disney where I was finally able to visit Babycakes located in Downtown Disney! As most of you may know, Babycakes is a very popular vegan and allergy-free bakery in NYC that makes everything from donuts, to cupcakes, to cookies...ooh and icing shots! It opened up its second shop in Downtown Disney a few years ago and you can only imagine how excited I was to hear that something vegan was being placed in my favoritest most happiest place on earth. Total win-win! 

While I was there, I tried their every day offerings of donuts, cookies, icing shots and breads. But one day they offered coconut mounds. Chocolate and coconut!? Together!? I bought one and literally fell back in bliss. It was the candy my vegan heart had been dreaming about for over 3 years. I had to pinch myself to make sure I seriously was tasting what I thought I was tasting! Of course, I ran back over and bought more to eat for later…which never made it to “later”…unless you consider 5 minutes and an hour later. But it was a bittersweet moment because I knew I would never taste them again until my next visit; and even when I visited them 8 months later, the coconut mounds were not waiting. And then a miracle happened…Erin, owner of Babycakes, posted her recipe online! **Awwww** yes heaven’s gates opened! I freaked; I shrieked; and I took my butt right to the kitchen to make them!

And wanna know when that happened? Today. Yep, October 30, 2012. 

So here is the recipe that I JUST tried. All I did differently was add a raw almond on top before I froze and dipped them in chocolate. All I have to say is…mmmmm. My Halloween this year is officially complete.

Mini Smore's!

Okay this one was a throw together. This morning as my daughter and I made vegan hot chocolate (yep, using Nibmors!) my daughter saw the bag of Dandie's vegan marhsmallows and asked for smore's. Unfortunately, I didn't have any graham crackers but I did have tons of bags of Home Free's Vanilla I thought..Mini Smore's?

I took one cookie, a couple of choco chips, a Dandie marhsmallow, which is perfect in size, stuck it in the microwave for 10 seconds, topped with with another cookie and Voila! Mini smore's!! Awesome right!?

So easy and perfect for tiny fingers..or when that smore's craving hits but all you want is just one or two bites!

As for the cinnamon rolls….let’s keep that for another post. You’ll need a day to make those. The picture is just there to add to your excuse for drooling.

Well, sorry for such a long post but I hope everyone now has some yummy ideas on how to satisfy those sweet tooth cravings tomorrow! Have a safe and happy Halloween and please share with us what your eating tomorrow night!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Raw "Cooking" Class with Gouter

I should open up this blog post right away by letting you know that this is written by Kerry and not Beth.  Our blog is called "The Split Plate not because one eats meat and the other doesn't but because we are both vegans and eat quite opposite!  Yes, there are large variations and levels of eating on a vegan diet.  In case anyone did not know the difference between our two diets:   Beth eats mostly raw and gluten free.  I, on the other hand eat a nice healthy salad every day for lunch or dinner and then swap the other meal out with vegan pizza, "chicken", tacos, and cheesecake.  Beth is much more motivated than I am to eat healthy.  In fact, Beth's main reason for following a vegan diet is for health reasons, with animal welfare and environmental impacts second and third.  My motivation for excluding all animal products from my diet and lifestyle is to avoid animal pain and suffering due to factory farming.  I do believe that a vegan diet is imperative for optimal health, however, I have a hard time putting down vegan fried "chicken" and Tofutti ice cream for whole foods such as broccoli, kale, nuts, and cauliflower.   I have to really plan ahead and force myself to eat healthy.

A few months ago Beth contacted me about spending a Saturday night in October attending a raw vegan "cooking" class at the Living Social headquarters in DC.  I of course agreed for several reasons:  #1 I love cooking classes, #2 I love "girls" nights out,  #3 I am up for any vegan event,  and #4 I need to eat more raw foods!  Beth does a great job of finding out deals in the DC area as well as any vegan events.  Between our busy schedules we had a hard time trying to figure out a good date to attend this class but we finally settled upon a Saturday night in October.  I wasn't really expecting much out of a "raw" vegan class but boy was I in for a nice surprise!

I looked up the "Gouter" DC on the internet - the host of this raw "cooking" event.  I had never heard of Gouter, with the exception of Beth mentioning her juice cleanse that was purchased from the Gouter booth at the DC VegFest.  According to Gouter DC's Facebook page they are a new business in the DC area that focuses on home delivery services for raw and organic vegan foods.  I probably had never heard of them because they are a new company and because I don't generally purchase raw foods.  I had already purchased my ticket for this cooking class and decided that it was a good idea to learn more about raw "cooking."  My instincts were right as this raw class was just what I needed!

I will admit that I was a raw food skeptic.  Beth raved about her raw food diet and the foods that she would prepare as I had already formed my opinion that I love cooked foods and having a salad with spinach, carrots, and sprouts was my extent of eating raw.  This class hosted by Gouter opened my eyes to a whole new world of vegan "cooking."

I will just begin explaining what we made with what was best - the Chocolate Chia Puddling.  I love sweets a  lot and I definitely love pudding!  We first created hemp milk out of hemp seeds which is awesome because for vegans hemp seeds provide a complete protein source as well as Omega 3 and 6, a ton of fiber, and vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium.  We ended up using this hemp milk for not only our chia pudding but for the creamy base of the main entree - zucchini pasta.  Please see the images below to have a better understanding of how awesome this food was to both create and eat!

We created the zucchini pasta with raw zucchini noodles mixed with sundried tomatoes and a basil pesto sauce.  Of course Beth being the raw food veganist that she is had already created a similar dish.  This dish brand new to me and I loved it!  I am happy to have participated in a "cooking" class that provided me with a recipe for a very healthy main course that I plan to make many times in the near future.  Moreover, the desert was amazing and a beautiful presentation.  As you can see from the picture the chocolate chia pudding was created from hemp milk and chia seeds with gave the pudding a very decadent and rich texture.  The desert was probably my favorite course to consume!    I had leftovers of zucchini pasta and the cauliflower soup but not the chocolate pudding.  I should probably backtrack to mention the amazing recipe for the cream raw soup that we made....

I  cannot forget about the amazing "cream of cauliflower soup" and I do not think that anyone else from the class can forget about this awesome soup either.    For anyone who has a difficult time eating raw/whole vegetables this creamy raw soup would most likely be a solution for incorporating unprocessed vegetables in their diet.

As a non-raw food vegan I can definitely say that these recipes presented by Gouter DC have enlightened me into the world of eating raw and I am convinced that this approach to eating vegan is not only healthy but very satisfying!  I am thankful toward Gouter DC for an enlightenment toward a healthier way of eating vegan and an easy approach in the direction of eating raw.  Their recipes were very simple, tasteful, and filling   The Living Social Class on raw food "cooking" has genuinely put me on the path toward eating less cooked and processed vegan foods by replacing these with simple, raw and "whole" vegan foods.  I am very thankful that Gouter hosted this class and I look forward to future raw "cooking" classes in DC!  If you are a vegan or vegetarian living in the DC area you should check out Gouter DC for the healthy juices and vegan snacks.  Also, don't forget to follow their Living Social classes - you will not be disappointed!