I drafted this post the night before the tragic shootings in Dallas last week so let us first take a movement to express our deepest sorrow. Our hearts and prayers are with the people of Dallas and everyone suffering from this tragedy.
Joakim’s volleyball team had qualified for the Junior Olympic National Championships last fall and we had been looking forward to the competition in Dallas ever since. We just returned and I thought I’d share how we fared trying to be plant based during the 5 day trip to BBQ Country.
We prepared by packing some plant based staples such as bars, oatmeal, coconut milk powder for coffee, nuts, and a greens powder.
The evening we landed, we were lucky enough to hitch a ride with another player and his mom over to Whole Foods. They had a fantastic raw veggie noodle bar that I should have photographed because it was as delicious as it was stunning. I’d not seen one before and have my fingers crossed that our WF in SB will create one!
They didn’t have any vegan pizza slices left as it was late, but the gal behind the counter offered to custom make us a fresh one with vegan cheese, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and sun dried tomatoes. Vegan cheese has come such a long way and I can honestly say it was beyond delicious! Joakim had spent the three days prior with a friend and had eaten a ton of cheese pizza and his face exploded with acne as a result so he definitely wanted to stay away from dairy. He’s vegan at home, but will eat cheese pizza if that’s his only option with friends. We also stocked up on fruit for the rest of the weekend.
The next day was a long one with 12 hours at the arena either playing, reffing, or resting. We subsided on bars, fruit and nuts because while there were several vendors advertising vegetarian options, none were actually made that day (nor the entire time we were there). The menu indicated things like “veggie wrap” or “vegetable crudites plate”, but when we tried to order, they said, “those were not made today.”
The following day we ended at noon and most of the team wanted to go to a traditional BBQ place for lunch. I pulled up the menu from the restaurant on my phone and saw that there were no vegetarian much less vegan options, so while it was incredibly awkward not to participate, we opted out. Luckily, Joakim’s friend and his mom decided to skip too, so we headed back to Whole Foods for a fabulous and fresh lunch from the salad bar!
The final day, on our way out to the airport, we headed over to an amazing taco place that actually had three vegetarian options! Seriously, we’re not just talking rice, beans and some soggy bell peppers and onions. There was Thai tofu, BBQ tofu, and Falafel with tahini sauce!
We all agreed these were the BEST TACOS EVER — meat or otherwise! We’re still talking about them. If you are in Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth or Chicago, definitely check out Velvet Taco! You’d think we’d be able to get good vegan tacos here in health conscious California, but they are still rare. Luckily we have Mesa Verde in SB and would love to hear more local options if you know of any.
While we were gone, Niklas took the twins to Magic Mountain for their 13th birthday and they actually found a vegan friendly place in the park called Go Fresh Cafe–Nitro. The kids loved the plant based chicken which was a pleasant surprise since they claim to dislike all “fake” meats.
And when we returned, I found this on the counter…
Niklas had made a special vegan 4th of July BBQ for the kids. Pretty good for a former meat and potatoes Swede.
Overall, I’d say both the California and Dallas bound parts of our family did pretty well during our travels. Totally worth the extra effort, that’s for sure! Oh and the team came in 17th in the country. I think they were hoping for a better performance, but it was still a good showing.