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Mission San José

We live so close to downtown, it makes it easy to explore it bit by bit without it taking up the entire day. That was one thing that was so difficult about DC. Even though we lived really quite close, the traffic and parking made it an all day event! Sometimes I wish we had gone and done more, but honestly, I crossed off my most important item, the cherry blossoms, twice! So I think I'm okay.


Downtown San Antonio is pretty small and mellow, it almost reminds me of Salt Lake. It doesn't feel like a huge busy city. Granted, I haven't been on a Friday or Saturday night, but that's fine by me.


We decided to visit some of the Missions around San Antonio. I love the Spanish influence in San Antonio! Visiting these missions almost feel like you are in Spain! The church there was built in 1768! So much history! Such beautiful architecture and woodwork!


We ended the outing with a trip to In-N-Out. Texas really has the best of everything! 


Jackfruit BBQ Sandwiches

If you are new to the blog, you may not know we are exploring vegan and vegetarian eating. We haven't been perfect, but we can definitely tell we feel so much better with eating more plant-based! It is a hard adjustment, almost entirely rethinking how we view a standard meal, but it's been really fun to explore new ways of eating and find and create new recipes that we love!

One of our favorites so far is pulled jackfruit sandwiches. Honestly, you would think you are eating pulled pork! It has a very similar texture. And it's very quick to cook and WAY cheaper than buying meat! 

We bought canned jackfruit. Some grocery stores will carry it in their Asian section. But you want to make sure it's jackfruit in water or in brine, NOT IN SYRUP! Our favorite grocery store had it in syrup, which I failed to pay attention to, and we bought two cans. I suppose I could have given the recipe a shot with it, but out of all the reading I did online, everyone said it would be far too sweet. So we returned it, and luckily we were able to find it in brine at a little Asian store that was hidden really close to our house! I think it was only $1.60 a can, so very cheap! (1 can makes about 4 sandwiches)


Here is what you need;

Serves 4


4 Hamburger Buns

1 can of jackfruit in water or brine
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup BBQ sauce of your choice (make sure it's vegetarian)

Rinse and drain jackfruit.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook garlic and onion until browned. Once browned add jackfruit and BBQ sauce of your choice and stir to coat jackfruit in sauce.

Now, I think finding an amazing BBQ sauce is key here. We are lucky enough to live in Texas and we bought our BBQ sauce from a popular local restaurant, Rudy's. Their sauce is incredible! Definitely hunt around for the perfect sauce! Or make your own!

Simmer on low for 15 minutes, covered. Shred the jackfruit to appear like pulled pork. Cover and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
Toast buns (I used LOTS of butter here…..)
Remove lid and continue to cook on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will help it develop a more pork like texture.
Serve over slaw (my recipe for homemade slaw coming soon!) on toasted buns.

Enjoy! I hope you love them as much as we do!


Now obviously this is not a vegan recipe, but it could easily be adjusted to be so. Make sure the BBQ sauce you are using is vegan, leave off the butter when toasting the buns, and make your own homemade slaw with vegan mayo.

Either way, I hope you try this recipe, even if you aren't that interested in eating vegetarian. I think it will surprise you how yummy and easy it is! Let me know what you think!

Rio Vista Waterfall

We are LOVING TEXAS! Guys, there are so many amazing places to explore! It has so much history and so much diversity, I love it.

I read online about this free park with a little rock slide and rapids that looked really fun. It's about 50 minutes from our house. Pulling up we weren't sure what to expect. They hardly had any parking, and it was so close to the heart of town, I wondered if it was really as amazing as the photos online made it look to be.

Luckily, it really was AMAZING!




The park is along the lovely San Marco river. They have built a couple areas that are perfect for a fun time on the water. They have a little island you can walk out to, surrounded by beautiful crystal clear water. And downstream is a little waterfall you can slide down with some rapids. So beautiful and so much fun!


We have been twice now and love it every time. The water stays cool all year long, perfect for the terrible Texas heat! We are so in love with Texas and feel so blessed to get to be here and explore this beautiful state! Seriously, come visit, we will have the best time!





And we followed our day in the sun with some yummy burgers along the drive home.



Farmers Market at The Pearl

Since we moved away from Utah, over three years ago now, one thing that we sorely missed was the SLC farmers market. It was one of our favorite places to go in the summer, and in VA or DC we didn't find a replacement that we liked quite the same. That isn't to say there aren't good farmers markets there, there are quite a few in the DC area, but traffic and dealing with parking made it a pain. 

Well, I was very excited when we found a downtown farmers market here in San Antonio, only 15 minutes from our house! It wasn't as big as the SLC one, but parking was easy enough, and we found plenty of yummy baked goods and produce to take home!


We bought some yummy danishes and bread from Soy Y Luna. So good!





We shared a chorizo breakfast taco. I had chorizo once before in Utah and thought it was terrible. It was so so greasy. But here, I have had it a few times and it hasn't been terribly greasy, just very very flavorful. So yummy! I'm converted.

We also picked up some local ground beef and tomatoes. Homemade burgers have become our latest obsession, a detailed how to post coming soon!



It was also surrounded by yummy cafes, bakeries and restaurants I can't wait to go back and try out. Very cool area. I love that it's so close to where we live! Have to stop in at Baker Lorraine, voted one of the top ten bakeries in the country! So good!


Vegan Black Bean Tacos

We watched Forks Over Knives a few weeks ago and have begun exploring a vegan diet. After a few weeks of trying to implement it here and there, I feel that I could fairly easily go vegetarian, but vegan would be hard. I love eggs and cheese! I can work around meat, but I want cheese on just about everything! But, my cheese obsession aside, it's been fun to explore different ways of eating, and I do find myself feeling a lot better. 

I have started to collect some really yummy and really easy recipes that I am excited to share with you. Since this is the first one we made, I decided this would be the first one we would share! Despite the fact that it sounds pretty boring and bland, it's incredibly flavorful! I was really surprised by this dish and find myself craving it a lot! 





Here's what you will need;


1 large head Romaine Lettuce

1 onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced (a garlic press is a must have!)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper seasoning*
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 can black beans rinsed
2 cups cooked brown rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Avocado
Pico De Gallo
Lime*
Cilantro*

First, cook your rice, and your beans if you are not using canned. I'm lazy, so I used canned beans, I just make sure to rinse them thoroughly.

Sautee your onion, peppers, garlic and seasonings over medium-high heat. If you find them sticking to the pan, just add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water.  Add black beans and 1 cup of water. Cook for 10 minutes, adding more water if it seems too dry, but careful not to add too much!
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in lettuce with rice, topped with avocado, pico, lime, and cilantro.

*optional

Adapted from the Forks Over Knives Cookbook 

Hopefully you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! It is so quick and easy to whip together, and despite how simple it is incredibly flavorful! It keeps really well too and makes for a great quick lunch!



Enjoy!