I mentioned last week Cleveland was having its Second Annual Garlic Festival (sign me up please), so I went with my momma, and it was a garlicky good time.
Now before I go all garlic on you ass, let’s give a special shout out to Jenn over at Peas and Crayons for hosting our special What I Ate Wednesday party (or in my case, Saturday). Once you finish my exiting and thought-provoking post, head on over to her site to see what other bloggers are eating. Don’t forget to give Jenn some comment love for throwing this weekly extravaganza.
This month, we are “fall”ing into good habits, and I say, if you’re looking for someone to fall into a plate of good healthy food, then I’m your girl. Especially if said food contains garlic. Before I get to the actual festival though, let’s talk breakfast and lunch because you know, I needed sustenance for walking around all afternoon and hanging with the garlic heads. Sadly, that’s not me in the above photo sporting the funny garlic hat, but only because I didn’t know where to get one.
For breakfast, I had a smoothie with frozen mango, a banana, strawberries, a scoop of vanilla soy yogurt and a splash of pineapple juice. It didn’t disappoint, and when I got hungry later, I had some honey wheat toast smothered in a mixed berry jam. Why yes, those are whole berries hanging out on my bread because that’s how I like to roll. Thanks for asking.
After breakfast, I did a nice little strength training/cardio workout, which loosely translates to these things:
Say what you will about Pinterest exercises, but if you do a couple sets of these and throw in some abs for fun (Plank This), you’ll get your sweat on, and you can do it while catching up on your favorite television shows: So You Think You Can Dance….anyone else love this program?
After a workout and a shower, I got dressed because that’s appropriate and greeted my momma who drove up from New York to see me. I even fed her lunch (see how nice I am), which was a cold green bean salad with cucumbers, red onions and lemon juice, fried eggs (Protein Shout Out – Beefcake) and cheddar jalapeno biscuits (recipe to come soon, I promise).
Seriously, these biscuits are so good, my momma (extra emphasis on the first syllable please) made me send her home with a care package full of them, and like my huevos, you can add whatever you like to get your taste buds singing. I just happen to like hot peppers and cheese.
Despite the successful meal, the real fun happened afterwards when we headed over to Shaker Square for Cleveland’s Second Annual (how did I miss the first?) Garlic Festival.
Quick side rant: me and my momma drove through the hoodie hood to get there and all I saw were crappy convenience stores, fast food joints, and billboards advertising more junk food. Not a single grocery store or urban farm in sight. I have to say, it’s really hard to make the right choices when it doesn’t exist in your neighborhood. Let’s see, today I can choose processed food, artificial flavors or both. See, I told you this post would be thought-provoking. Ponder that for a minute.
Once we arrived at our destination, I simply had to take a photo in front of the giant garlic bulb. Who wouldn’t and now my life is complete. Dear Mr Giant Garlic Bulb, You. Complete. Me.
Did you know there are over 400 different species of garlic, it can be a healing salve and they grow cloves as big as my thumb? I kind of thought I had jumped into Gulliver’s Travelers for a minute there.
This festival was a blast; the weather was sunny and 72 degrees, they had live music and food demonstrations, climbing walls and haystack mazes for the kiddos, and garlic. Lots and lots of garlic with multiple tastings. Who knew there were so many different types and tastes of garlic. I do now.
They also had some beautiful produce, and I fell in love with the cute little pear-shaped tomatoes and the purple beans. I was responsible though and only brought home fingerling potatoes. Stupid responsible; Pffft.
All and all, it was a pretty fabulous event, and I can’t wait to check it out next year, hopefully rocking a little garlic bulb hat. I would look so cool in that.
Of course, I didn’t come home completely empty-handed even though I passed on the majority of the produce. Instead I picked up a few different types of garlic including a variety pack, some Tuscan Herb Olive Oil, White Peach Infused Balsamic Vinegar, and some new Polish pottery because it was just too pretty to pass up.
Despite all of our garlic munching, we worked up an appetite at the festival, so I polished off an apple (not pictured) before heading over to The Roots Cafe for dinner, where I munched on salad and a veggie wrap. The salad was exactly what I wanted: crunchy spinach, crumbly chickpeas, Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes and silky soft feta cheese all topped with fresh oregano and other herbs.
Sadly, the wrap was only just so-so. It was packed with tomatoes, white beans, cilantro and red onions, but it needed a little more crunch and some kind of dressing to pull it all together. Dessert on the other hand was a few squares of this chocolate bar, and it was melt in your mouth (literally) good.
Chocolate makes everything better, and since I successfully went ten days without sugar, I’ve added it back to the menu. All good things in moderation.
What did you eat Wednesday? What funky food festivals does your city have, and most importantly, would you have worn the garlic hat?