This past Saturday, my BFF Sheridan and her co-workers at Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts in Little Rock, Arkansas organized a weekend yoga and wellness retreat. There were numerous yoga workshops but also lessons in tai chi, qigong, crystal healing, essential oils, hypnosis, and other new age-y stuff. And Sheridan asked me to come down and do a vegan cooking demo!
I drove to Little Rock — about 2 1/2 hours from Memphis — on Friday just in time for the Wellness Weekend meet-and-greet. Here's Sheridan and me! We sipped on red wine and munched on flatbread crackers with hummus:
But hummus and crackers can only take you so far. By the time the meet-and-greet was over, we were ready for a big meal. Sheridan, her partner Drew, and I went to Seigon for some Vietnamese and Thai food. I can't remember the name of this dish because it was written in Vietnamese, but it was made with sauteed tofu, curry, coconut milk, and lemongrass. So good!
Wellness Weekend workshops started bright and early at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and since Sheridan was working the event, she had to be there at 7 a.m. I slept in at Sher's house, and Drew made me the most delicious Breakfast Sandwich — Simple Truth Organic Meatless Breakfast Patty, Daiya cheese, Vegenaise, and a tofu egg on an English muffin.
Dude, these breakfast patties were the shiz. They're made by Simple Truth Organic, the generic Kroger organic brand. I'd never had them and haven't even seen them in Memphis Kroger stores, but I'm going to have to seek them out. This beats the pants off of Lightlife sausage! It seriously tastes JUST LIKE meat sausage. It was so good that I forgot to snap this picture until the sandwich was almost gone.
After breakfast, I drove to the park for Wellness Weekend and attended a tai chi workshop followed by a lesson in crystal healing and a qigong session before lunch. Lunch was prepared by Little Rock chef Travis Meyer. His selections were pretty meaty though, except for this Cuban Black Bean & Rice Puree Sandwich with Sun Chips:
The warm, spicy black bean and rice puree almost melted into the soft, white bread. It was delicious. But it was very small, like slider size. I could have eaten at least four of these! But it's probably best that I didn't eat four, because I needed to save some room in my belly (more on that in a few).
After lunch, I held my cooking demo. I made the Vegan Pimiento Cheese and the Eggless Tofu Olive Salad from Cookin' Crunk:
After the demo, I sold a few books. Then I snuck away from the event for a very special treat. You see, inside the Green Corner Store (an eco-friendly gift shop in Little Rock), there's an ice cream and soda fountain called Loblolly (named for the Loblolly pines that grow all over Arkansas). Loblolly always has a couple of vegan flavors and several vegan toppings. Plus, they have homemade kombucha on draft!
So I snuck out of Wellness Weekend and made the 20-minute drive to the Green Corner Store. That's where I enjoyed this delicious (and adorable vintage) bowl of Chocolate Sorbet with Waffle Cone Pieces and Toasted Almonds:
I followed that with a glass of iced kombucha flavored with Loblolly's homemade Earl Gray simple syrup! So good!
I arrived back at Wellness Weekend just in time to meet Sheridan and Drew as they were cleaning up. Afterward, we went to the Town Pump for veggie burgers and fries (which I forgot to photograph) before I hit the highway back to Memphis.