Sustenio Family Style Vegetarian Dinner — pheNOMenal!

My husband and I had an amazing vegetarian dinner last night at Sustenio at the Elian Resort in La Cantera. Of course we didn’t know where we were going, and went to the wrong hotel — but we soon realized our error and trotted off in the right direction ——> the direction towards an absolutely pheNOM(NOM)enal dinner by Chef David Gilbert.

The meal was divided up into seven courses — but really was stretched more into nine. It lasted for 3 hours, and both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the company.

When the three desserts came out (yes, 3!), the were squeals from all around the table. The dessert was fabulous, as you’ll see below.

If you’re interested in attending one of Sustenio’s family style dinners, be sure to follow David Gilbert on Twitter (@BeyondtheKit), or check in with Geekettebits — who will probably post when the next dinner is available.  Seriously, the meal was well worth the price — and wait. I can’t wait for the next one.

Sustenio Vegetarian Feast | The Hip Vegetarian

What we all loved about the menu was the chef’s notes scribbled on the back. I often referred back to it while I was eating.

Sustenio Vegetarian Feast | The Hip Vegetarian

(left) We sat at the chef’s table, giving us a direct view into the kicthen. (right) Potato Chips, a little salty, which made them perfect.

Sustenio Vegetarian Feast | The Hip Vegetarian

(left) Pancakes with Smoky Sarrots, Bean Sprouts, and Herbs — served with Kim Chi. (right) Green Papya Salad — salty, sweet, sour and garlicky!

Sustenio Vegetarian Feast | The Hip Vegetarian

Heirloom Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Pepitas and Olive Oil. (right) Squash Soup with Curry Popcorn and Cilantro

Sustenio Vegetarian Feast | The Hip Vegetarian

(left) Fingerling Potatoes with Truffle and Watercress. (middle) Indian Pumpkin Curry with Cauliflower, Cardamom Raisins, Jasmine Rice. (left) Asparagus.

Sustenio Vegetarian Feast | The Hip Vegetarian

Cheese with South Texas Honey, Apple, Pomegranate, and 50 year Balsamic. (right) Family Style Dining — there was more than enough for everyone.

Sustenio Vegetarian Feast | The Hip Vegetarian

(left) Black Truffle, Chocolate Mousse. (middle) Tres Leche-Grapefruit Granite. (right) Pumpkin Spice Semifreddo


Raw Cranberry Sauce

Raw Cranberry Sauce | @HipVegetarian

Raw Cranberry Sauce | @HipVegetarian

Here’s a quick Thanksgiving Recipe gift for you all: Raw Cranberry Sauce.

I made this recipe a few years ago and never could find it again. Then just this morning I realized it was the same cooked Recipe from Williams Sonoma, just slightly modified.  This sauce is a heavenly twist on the traditional cranberry sauce out of a can.

Raw Apple-Orange Cranberry Sauce

1/2 Orange
2 Tbls Orange Juice
1 Tart Apple (Granny Smith / McInstoch / Pippin)
3 cups, Fresh Cranberries (12 oz)
1 1/4 cup, Sugar
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves

Remove skin from the apple, and core in to 8ths. Remove stem from orange on the outside. Rinse and check cranberries for firmness.

Throw everything into a food processer and blend untill you have the consistancy you like. And yes, that even include the orange peel!


I went to Nosh for the first time last night with my friend Emily over at Defining Delicious to celebrate her birthday. Nosh was recommended as the place to celebrate, because Chef Luca Della Casa (formerly Il Sogno) is now housing out of the Silo’s stylish sister restaurant.

I was really impressed with the vegetarian options on their menu. We order several dishes during each course, and were not disappointed. We had a fantastic evening sharing stories and bonding over food.

Happy Birthday Emily!

First Course @ Nosh

First Course: Tuffle Fries; Fried Chickpeas: cumin, fennel seeds, curry; Four Cheese Macaroni


Second Course (Clockwise): House Salad: arugula, carrots, pickled radish, house dressing; Butternut Squash Ravioli; Risotto and Beef Meatballs; Veggie Pizza: veggie: pesto sauce, sweet potato, mozzarella, mushroom, white onion, pine nuts

Third Course: Tiramisu; House Dessert, milk chocolate, pears, chocolate ganache; Fried Sweet Potato Gnoochi

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

Thanksgiving is upon us and if you’re like me, you haven’t even made a menu yet.  So this morning, I’ve been hastedly collecting ideas off the net and creating a Pinterest Thanksgiving Board for collecting.

So far my narrowed list below is still too long. So what do you think I should keep or delete for the big day of Thanks?

Honeycrisp Apple and Parsnip Soup

Honeycrisp Apple and Parsnip Soup

Apple Orange Relish from Williams Sonoma

Apple Orange Relish from Williams Sonoma

Mashed Cauliflower with Macadamia Nuts

Mashed Cauliflower with Macadamia Nuts

Pear, Gorgonzola & Candied Pumpkin Seed Salad via @HipVegetarian

Pear, Gorgonzola & Candied Pumpkin Seed Salad via @HipVegetarian

Butternut Mac-n-Cheese. Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2012

Butternut Mac-n-Cheese. Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2012

Honey Roasted Squash via

Honey Roasted Squash via

The Best Brussels Sprouts via @HipVegetarian

The Best Brussels Sprouts via @HipVegetarian

Squash and Spinach Lasagna. Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2012

Squash and Spinach Lasagna. Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2012

Roasted butternut & feta Wellington via BBC Good Food.

Roasted butternut & feta Wellington via BBC Good Food

Honey-Almond Tart with Orange Mascarpone via Vegetarian Times

Honey-Almond Tart with Orange Mascarpone via Vegetarian Times

Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding via @vegnews

Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding via @vegnews

For more menu ideas for Thanksgiving 2012, visit my Pinterest Board, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter to see what’s happening in the Hip Vegetarian’s kitchen as the big day approaches. You never know when disaster might strike!

Enchilada Casserole with Way Better Snacks

Enchilada CasseroleThis recipe comes from my Mom’s book. I’m not sure where she ever picked this up — probably from someone at church, after they brought the dish to potluck. Anyway it became a family staple.

The great thing about this Enchilada Recipe, is that it’s a good way to use up the rest of the tortilla chips in the bag.  You know, the ones that are too crumbled to scoop up salsa. Though I don’t have that problem with Way Better Snacks Chips — they are pretty think and don’t crumble easily.

Enchilada Casserole

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

1 Onion, chopped
1 Green Pepper, chopped

Add & Simmer for 5 minutes:
1 can Evaporated Milk
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup Rotel Tomatoes (or hot sauce)

  1. Pour over crushed Way Better Snacks’ chips (2-3 handfuls).
  2. Stir chips in.
  3. Bake 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes
  4. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and {Giveaway Closed}

My boys love going grocery shopping and helping me load items into the cart. They also love pretending they are waiters in a restaurant.

That’s why I love the Let’s Play House! Grocery Basket with Play Food set by Melissa and Doug.

This great creative toy is part of the Melissa and Doug “Terrific Twenty” List; and with the holidays just around the corner, the Melissa & Doug “Terrific Twenty” list compiles the “best of the best” holiday gifts for the 2012 holiday season, and we’re excited to share it here with you!

To celebrate, Melissa and Doug are having a 20 Days of Terrific Twenty” Giveaway on their Facebook page. Every day until Nov. 26, they’ll be giving away one item from their Terrific Twenty list to at least one of their lucky Facebook fans.

And, best of all, I’m giving away a Let’s Play House! Grocery Basket with Play Food to a lucky Hip Vegetarian follower.  This product is so popular that it’s currently sold out on the Melissa and Doug website — however when they restock, they’ll be sending it off to perhaps your small grocery shopper.

Entry is simple — Just fill out the Rafflecopter link.

This contest will be open until November 19, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. CST. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email. The winner will be given 48 hours in which to send me with their mailing address so that the prize can be forwarded to them.

Congratulations to Laura J. for winning through the Rafflecopter giveaway.

The Vegetarian received a toy in exchange for hosting this giveaway. All opinions contained within this post are my own. Thank you so much for reading and entering!

Avocado-Lemon Herb Appetizer with Way Better Snacks

Avacado-Lemon Herb Appetizer

Need a quick appetizer for a dinner party — or perhaps you just need to use up that avocado sitting on the counter that will soon expire.

Here’s an easy recipe using Way Better Snack Tortilla chips.

Thanks to my friend Kim over at The Feminest, she suggested using the Lemon Herb spice to top off this simple recipe. She stated that when they lived in Florida that they would pull avocados straight off the trees, rip them apart and devour them with this delicious herb.

  1. Place the Way Better Snack Tortillas on a plate.
  2. Using a 1/2 inch scoop, place a the avocado on top.
  3. Next, place 1/2 Cherry Tomato to the side.
  4. Sprinkle with McCormick’s Lemon Herb Spice.

Voila! You’re ready for your next dinner party. Enjoy.

Way Better Snacks — One of the Best Tortilla Chips on the Market

Not often do I come across a new chip and think “Amazing!”

That was my first thought when I starting munching on the new chips from Way Better Snacks. I was intrigued that these chips are made with sprouted grains vs. the usual corn tortilla chips I’m used to buying. I was even more impressed with the simple ingredient list on the back of each bag.  I could pronounce each ingredients and actual knew what was being listed.

The ingredients for the Sweet Potato Tortilla Corn Chips consist of: Stone Ground Corn, High Oleic Sunflower and/or Safflower Oil, Sweet Potato,Organic Sprouted Quinoa, Organic Sprouted Chia Seed,  Pure Sea Salt.

I also liked the nutritional value for each serving.  Each serving is 11 chips; 130 Calories; 7g fat; 0.5g Saturated fat; 2g fiber; 0g Sugar; 2g Protein.

I wasn’t the only fan who liked these chips. My family did too. One evening my boys hung out on the deck eating a variety of Way Better Snacks. My four and two year old gobbled them down.  In fact the oldest told his Dad to “get his own” when my husband dipped his hand into the 4 year old’s bag.  We had a lot of find trying different salsa’s and seasoning with the chips.

These chips are hearty. Not only are they wholesome, they are thick too.  Take a avocado straight from it’s skin and spread it onto one of these chips, and they won’t break. Making it wonderful to use for appetizers.

What makes these chips better, (according to the company), is that sprouting has been known to enhance the bioavailability of nutrients and aid in digestion. When germination occurs, “anti-nutrients” such as phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors are reduced or eliminated. Every serving has over 400 mg of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. The broccoli and radish seeds contain sulforaphane glucosinolate, the natural antioxidant found in broccoli.

But here is what’s best about Way Better Snacks — all their chips are:

All Natural
Certified Gluten Free
Certified Kosher
Excellent Source of Whole Grains
Low Sodium
Contains: No Trans Fat, Artificial Colors, Flavors or Preservatives

Honestly I can’t think of a chip that’s more perfect.

Over the next few days I’ll be posting some recipes that go wonderfully with Way Better Chips. So be sure to check back to get some new ideas to use with this tortilla chip of the future.

Way Better Snacks provided the product for review however all opinion are 100% The Hip Vegetarian’s.

Way Better Snacks come in six different flavors: No Salt Naked Blues; Simply Sweet Potato; Simply Sunny Multi-Grain; Simply Beyond Black Bean; Simply Unbeatable Blues; Simply So Sweet Chili. Photo: