Okay, guys. This was an experience for the books… or in my case for the blog. One of my favorite things is trying new restaurants and experiencing new foods and new flavors. Since I love to cook and experiment, I always love to experience the creativity and the combinations that others come up with in their cooking. Recently, (okay, last week), I decided I was going to try going vegan for a little bit. Kind of. I have done it before and it didn’t stick. I go in and out with different “diets” and eating habits, trying to find SOMETHING that works for my stomach and my digestion. I am honestly not into the labels, fads, or stigmas that typically accompany different diet choices. I am, however, into listening to MY body and what works for me. I cut out dairy, gluten, most sugars, caffeine, and processed foods because I have learned those things are triggers for me. For some people, being vegan is a great option. For some, paleo or vegetarianism is the key. For me, I want to make sure it is a lifestyle change, and not a label. I want to choose healthy, real foods that makes my body function at its highest.
My first experience being vegan wasn’t optimal for my body. I ate waaaaayyy too much fruit, and loaded up on those sugary substances that tend to make my tummy upset. So this time, I want to take a different approach. I want to eat foods that are easy on my stomach, like veggies and healthy grains like quinoa. I also want to incorporate fish into my diet, because of the amazing health benefits and amazing protein source that fish offers. So, like I said, I am going to do what makes MY body happy. I know I need protein in order to work out and carry out my active lifestyle here in Hawaii. Fish is an amazing source, and the amount of fresh available fish here makes me realize it would be silly of me to give that up just to fit into a certain category.
That being said, I got a couple of my fellow ACTUAL vegan coworkers, and we went to this AMAZING new restaurant that I have been dying to try. My new goal is to try out all the healthy local shops here on the island, and document it here! I get so many questions about good, healthy places to here on Oahu that I figured I would do my research so I can better inform people. I have some amazing friends who share my love and passion for health & food, so it makes this exciting journey SO much better! Plus, I just love eating, so it just gives me an excuse.
Anyways, Vegan Hills. Guys, this restaurant was even better than I had expected. One of my coworkers, Gio, had already been here so had some recommendations on what was good. We also had talked to other people who had been here, so we had an idea of what we were going to order.
Just by entering, we could feel the good vibes of the place, and we were warmly greeted by the staff. We took our seats, after drooling over every single plate we saw on the tables of the customers already sitting & eating. We were starving and ready to eat.
We started out with the “Why Not Chos” which included organic corn chips, chili beans, cilantro and avocado with creamy cashew sauce, jalapenos, & hot sauce. HOLY. GUACAMOLE. As you can see from the picture below… it was an amazing creation. The cashew cream sauce was drool inducing, and something I want to try and recreate at home for sure. All the flavors worked perfectly together. Guys, we licked this place CLEAN.
Aside from that, we ordered the “Crazy for Avo” bowl which was LOADED with Hawaiian local style marinated tofu & avocado with sesame oil & tamari flavor on top of brown rice & organic mixed greens. The dressing on this was incredible and complimented the delicious tofu perfectly. The aesthetics were on point, y’all. Definitely very satisfying to not only eat but to look at as well. And yes, we were definitely those annoying people getting aaalllll the angles and standing up in order to get that perfect pic.
The last dish we ordered was the “Avocado Tempeh Melt” which we ordered on gluten free bread, and had organic kale, avocado, original tempeh bacon, and a delicious vegan cheese. I am pretty picky about gluten free bread, but I enjoyed this one a lot! This wasn’t my favorite of the three dished we ordered, but I definitely enjoyed it. There is something very satisfying about biting into a sandwich, seeing as I rarely eat them! Although this was enough food to feed a small family, we completely devoured it. And I didn’t even feel that full. What?!
As Gio and I were scurrying out to get to our 3:30 yoga sculpt class, Grace decided to go big & order the lemon chiffon cake with coconut whipped cream. Because Gio and I would be fools to give up a chance to try it, we both took a bite before we left. But one bite turned into two… two into three… and you know the rest. This cake was to die for. So moist and flavorful.
Needless to say, we showed up to class bursting at the brim. It was possibly the hardest yoga class I have experienced, and I definitely deserved it for my overindulgence. But, alas, I regret nothing. This meal was nothing short of perfection, and I have thought of it many times since. Moral of the story: if you are in the area, GO HERE! The menu is a little bit pricy, but they definitely live up to their price points and the meals are easily shareable. Worth every penny. And your body deserves to be taken care of, and treated with love. And this is definitely one way I choose to love it! Well done, Vegan Hills. You definitely met my stamp of approval.
xoxo, tessa jean.