Posts Tagged ‘eco-friendly’

Don’t be Clueless about ‘The Kind Diet’

One of the best books that I’ve read in the past year is “The Kind Diet” by Alicia Silverstone. A lot of people literally judged this book by it’s cover…Alicia Silverstone, the actress, is going to write a dieting book? Oh brother. At least that’s what my brother in law thought. But no, it’s nothing like that.

I have known for many years that Silverstone was a vegetarian and an activist for all things eco-friendly so I knew that this book would be knowledgeable. And also, it’s not a diet book peeps. By diet she means “lifestyle” and “what you eat daily” not just a fad diet that you try for a couple months then drop.

I had originally picked up the book just to see what she would talk about. I guessed it would be about her diet and why it works for her, and ultimately why it can work for us. Well it is that, but more importantly it is jam packed with information about animals, the factory farms, the industry, and more. Half the book is full of facts, statistics and studies, then the other half is recipes. So really it’s a cookbook too.

And it’s funky (in a good way) because the recipes are divided into three parts. She has the Flirt section, which are recipes for people who just want to flirt and experiment with a diet without dairy or meat. Then there’s the “normal” section that is filled with your many vegan dishes. Then the last section, the Superhero is hardcore recipes for the peeps who not only can handle no meat, no dairy, but also no soy, and lots and lots of veggies and fruits. This is close to the macrobiotic diet, since a lot of things are raw and the recipes focus around local grown veggies, and not ones that are flown in from around the world.

A lot of the things that I know about veganism, animal cruelty, etc. I found from this book. I give Silverstone huge props, and respect her much more now seeing how she is actively trying to make a difference. The book also touches on our natural resources, waste, the rainforest, etc. Anytime that I need a refresher and remember why I don’t consume meat, I just reread this book. It’s such a motivator and inspiration. Below is an interview Silverstone did describing her book, why she is a vegan, and what “diet” really means to her. It’s an excellent read so if you are lounging around the pool, or sitting besides the lake this summer pick up this book. I highly recommend it.

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Maple Grove Hidden Gem!

Being that I am a frugal vegetarian foodie it’s kind of hard for me to find places to eat. Being cheap/poor often puts a dent into my dining experiences and being a vegetarian makes dining out even harder. Add on top of it that I expect the food to actually taste good and really we’re in a bind. I have found however a handful of places that meet my criteria.

My current favorite is 3 Squares in Maple Grove, MN. It’s funny because you wouldn’t expect such a gem nestled there. My husband and I currently go here almost twice a week (that may be one reason why we’re poor) and cannot get enough. They are owned by the same peep who own the Edina Grill, Longfellows Grill, Groveland Tap and Highland Grill. So if you like those places, I don’t know how you could miss 3 Squares. I was really shocked when I read some reviews on the restaurant and was amazed that some people out there don’t like it. It baffles me. There is so much to choose from, and it’s not your average restaurant fare. They offer things that I didn’t even know existed before.

For example my husband and I cannot get enough of their Pierogies.  (Little dumplings stuffed with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese. Drool.) Or how about the Walleye and Shrimp cakes? Or the big chunks of Sweet Potato Fries served with pesto aioli? Or the Grilled Meatloaf with garlic and asiago cheese mashed potatoes with sauteed garlic green beans?

Pierogie Greatness.

Pulled pork quesadillas. My husband loves these.

Like I’ve mentioned, I’m a vegetarian so what do I get there? Oh let me tell you the options! If you are a mushroom lover like me the Wild Mushroom Flatbread will not disappoint! On there you will find button, crimini and shittake mushrooms with smoked gouda cheese, mozzarella cheese and tasty caramelized onions. You can get this as a meal or an appetizer to share-it’s so good. There’s also a delicious Parmesan Crusted Grilled Cheese sandwich that is made with sourdough bread, or the Avocado sandwich which is like a very fancy (and yummy) version of the Veggie Sub at Jimmy John’s. Now my favorite…the Veggie Burger. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You would be surprised at how many places do not serve veggie burgers. A place as popular and common as Applebee’s should serve some Boca or Morningstar burgers…but they don’t. So trust me, I was excited. Best part? It’s so good. It comes with mixed greens on it with some sweet and some spicy peppers. My husband always gets his with a slice of pepperjack cheese on it and swears by it. But for the salad lovers out there, don’t be worried, there are a bunch of salads to choose from. One thats tasty as well as vegetarian is the Pear Salad, which has balsamic poached pears on it with oven roasted apples, greens, candied walnuts, gorgonzola cheese and cider vinaigrette. Is this a salad or a dessert? Both. Yum.

For the people out there who aren’t looking for anything too wild or uncommon, they do have the signature dishes we all know and love, however be prepared to be dazzled by how much better they are! Their macaroni and cheese put others to shame, and their breakfasts are often in my daydreams. (And they serve breakfast all day so you don’t have to go to Perkins to get your fix anymore!)

Fresh Strawberry French Toast!

My friend had this Brie & Spinach Frittata and said it was good!

Now onto the important stuff. Alcohol. They have a banging bar! It’s fully loaded and ready to get you to your happy place. What my husband and I love is that they serve every kind of Summit you can imagine, and it’s affordable. At $4 on tab, you cannot beat this. Especially since they also serve IPA (which is almost 9% alcohol content!) on tab as well.

And if you come during Happy Hour (everyday 3-6, or 9-close) you can get it even cheaper and $3 off your appetizers! (Pierogies and beer? Yes please.) As if this wasn’t good enough, all day Tuesday they have half off wine. (And they have an extensive list of wines for your pleasure.)

Other little things I love? The patio. The towels instead of napkins (how conservative!). The homemade lemonade with unlimited refills for $3. The changing specials each couple weeks.  And have I mentioned the pierogies?

For anyone who is looking for somewhere new to try, give this place a chance. To the people who dined here and were unimpressed…I just don’t get it! I may as well get a cot and move into the kitchen.

For their full menu and more information check out their site.

3squaresrestaurant.com

Hours:
Monday-Thursday 7AM – 11PM
Friday-Saturday 7AM – Midnite
Sunday 7AM – 9PM