My friend Barb and I often commiserate about how important it is to find like-minded friends. Crazy enough as it sounds, we didn't get how alike we were until I moved 3000 miles away. We've been hanging out here and there for the past 3 years when Barbara and her family are on the East Coast.
Not only are all of our girls close in age, but their family eats very similar to ours. While sometimes they have dairy and occasional fish, quite often they strive to eat plant-based. Barbara had a great idea. She proposed that this year that we should all rent a house in the Cape for a week. It turns out, this was an excellent decision.
Knowing that we would be eating a lot at the house, I prepared a bunch of food ahead of time. I spent an afternoon making lots of goodies in my dehydrator. I brought a huge batch of granola, tempeh bacon, buckwheat bread, flaxseed crackers and bacon flavored eggplant. I also packed some of my daily essentials, the Vitamix for smoothies, organic matcha green tea, Jahmu Chai and organic coffee for my husband. I was concerned that they may not have a large selection of plant cheeses and meats at the local Wholefoods so I also brought along some favorites including Miyoko's VegMozz, Field Roast Hand Formed Burgers and Follow Your Heart American Slices. Lastly, I went through my fridge and brought all of my perishables including a fresh batch of kale, basil pesto.
When we arrived in Cape Cod, Barbara and I went out to Wholefoods to buy groceries for the rest of the week. Although I thought I would most likely have to go back again to refill on fruits and veggies, we didn't have to. It turns out Harwich Port, where we were staying, is a very easy place to eat plant-based. After consulting my Happy Cow App, I discovered that we were walking distance to J.Bar, the local vegan juice and smoothies and more joint! We also discovered a local chain, Organic Market. They have a wonderful selection of plant-based groceries and prepared foods. I wish they would expand to Connecticut.
The first night we made a simple quick dinner, a bountiful salad with a pesto pasta. On our drive from CT that morning, we had stopped at Wildflour Vegan Bakery and Juice Bar in Rhode Island where we brought cupcakes for tonight's dessert. They were fabulous! We caught up for hours and spent lots of time talking about one of my favorite topics, eating plant-based. Their kids had a lot of questions and were so open to finding substitutes to that hard to kick habit, cheese. Their youngest daughter who is the also 11 was especially interested in becoming vegan. Upon her request, my 11 year old watched the documentary What the Health with her that evening. I love that!
The week was full of fun and activity for all. Between all eight of us we ran, biked, walked, kayaked and did yoga. We went out for juices almost every morning. We brought picnics to the beach with BLATs and tofurky sandwiches.
We tried to cook as often as we could at home. We found a balance between eating healthy whole foods plant-based and yummy vacation splurges. We made lots of smoothies and eventually discovered our rental had a juicer! We all enjoyed vegan nachos, Mexican baked potatoes and veggie burgers for dinners. We made vegan s'mores at the fire pit and the kids went out for vegan ice cream. One rainy morning my husband Kirk and I decided to cook everyone tofu scrambles with plant-based sausage, cheese and mushrooms served on english muffins with vegan bacon.
We ended up eating out a bunch of times too. We had an easy time finding plant-based dishes at nearby Thai, Chinese and Indian restaurants. We used Happy Cow again when we traveled to Provincetown and found great options at the restaurants there . One evening each family went out on their own. We had eaten at a local restaurant in Chatham last year and wanted to eat there again. I had called ahead to the restaurant to confirm that they could make some of their options vegan. The woman who answered the phone said it wouldn't be a problem and to come on in. When we got there, our waitress was a bit confused on what we could order. She left our table mid order without saying anything and didn't return for a while. When she finally came back she seemed to think there weren't any options. She sent the manager by. I let him know we called ahead and they said it should be fine. I began asking if we could order some sides and make it work. He was so great. He asked if we wouldn't mind if his chef created special dishes for us. He made these lovely pastry puffs filled will lots of vegetables. It was such a treat! On our last day of vacation we found a lovely ocean view restaurant in Martha's vineyard that had veggie sushi, edamame, pasta primavera and salads.
We all had such a great time. I miss my friends so dearly. I'm thankful we spent this wonderful vacation together. I can't wait to do it again.
I've been told that it's hard to find plant-based foods in Cape Cod. At first glance, it does appear that you are in the land of seafood and fried food, but this isn't the only option. Just like adopting a plant-based diet anywhere you need to look a little beneath the surface. Once you do, you will find that people can surprise you and go out of there way to help. And if you want to have the time of your life, bring your favorite friends along for the ride.