My birthday is coming up at the end of this month. Yay! Hubbs and I have always gone out to dinner and most times a movie afterwards to celebrate. When we lived in NY we could go anywhere, have an amazing meal then walk over to one of the many theaters. What a blast! Now that we've moved to Michigan, the options are slimmer, but still great.
Hubbs and I were talking yesterday about where we would go for my bday this year, and I'm still deciding. You see, even though everything I put on this blog is vegan, I have not been vegan for several years. I have been vegetarian for almost 13 years, but I haven't been vegan for a while. So, eating out was quite easy. Now that I have decided to be vegan again (about two weeks ago), the pickings will be slimmer, which is even more motivation for us to get our vegan cafe up and running next year!!
Several years ago for my bday dinner we went to this place in Union Square in Manhattan where the Hubbs' cousin worked, called Chop't Creative Salad Company. That place is awesome! They have a giant line of literally hundreds of items you can put in a salad to make it all your own. Seriously delicious! And a vegan salad can be made literally hundreds of different ways. Check out their menu! First, you start off with the size of the salad (we got the biggest size), then choose your base: romaine, iceberg, arugula, kale or mixed greens (we chose mixed greens). And you choose from tons and tons of additions. Then they put everything in their big bowl onto a fresh cutting board (every customers order goes onto a fresh, clean board), use these huge knives and chop away. Once it is chopped to your desire, they put it in your bowl and send you off. It's a bit expensive though - for two salads and two waters, it was over $25. Thank goodness Hubbs' cousin worked there and we were able to use his discount - it ended up being about $13!
Hubbs and I raved about the salads we ate for a long time afterwards, so I decided to start making them at home, using any and everything I had in my fridge to make it even more interesting and tasty.
Koko's Chop't Salad:
Place the following ingredients into a large mixing bowl:
several handfuls mixed greens
sliced red onion
diced smoked tofu
Diced cooked beets
couple tablespoons dried fruit and nuts
handful diced seitan or other vegan protein
diced apple or other fresh fruit
Add a hefty amount of vegan chipotle ranch dressing and toss together with your hands (I never bother with chopping up the salad - it's delicious as is). That's it! Change up the ingredients and dressing and you'll have a new salad every time!