Author Archives: melissa


Nam Sod

Nam sod is a spicy Thai salad dish that you can eat as cabbage or lettuce wraps, it’s also just really good on it’s own.  I used to work at this amazing Thai restaurant in Georgia called Thai Palace, owned and operated by one of the coolest, most selfless and purest men I have ever met, Jimmy.  He was once a monk in Thailand, and apparently from that, took with him into his life running a restaurant in Georgia the calmest, most gentle and gracious demeanor.  We waited tables together (something I have been doing for years with all types of people) and no matter how busy or overwhelmed the restaurant got and no matter what went wrong, Jimmy was always so grateful to be there and never got flustered or upset.  I have seen and heard people be really mean to him and he’s always been so kind in return.  He’s the real deal in the way that he embodies love, and has always been a role model to me in that way.

This is a dish I learned to make while working at Thai Palace, and the flavors remind me so much of that time in my life and my friendship with Jimmy and the rest of his family.  I learned lots from all of them, not the least of which was how to cook super yummy Thai dishes!  This one has some really strong flavors, so add the dressing in small increments, tasting as you go! Enjoy!

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Country Fried Portobellos with Peppercorn Gravy

This recipe is a recreation of one of my childhood favorites and makes a super soul-satisfying meal when served with mashed potatoes and peas! Fried portobellos are incredibly hearty and meaty, which makes them the perfect substitution for the steak in country fried steak. I like to use the whole mushroom in this recipe, stem and all. Because the stems are so great texturally it would be a shame to toss them out, so we’ll dice them up and sautee them to use in the peppercorn gravy.

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Spicy BBQ Tempeh Nuggets

This is something I’ve been making ever since I went vegan about five years ago and still make on the regular. They are crispy, spicy, and totally crave-able!  Here they are pictured with my creamy Cashew Mac and stewed kale.  But I also love these with mashed potatoes and stewed collard greens, it all works so well together.  I like to dip them in the mashed potatoes or vegan ranch!  Honestly, though, these little nuggets are good enough on their own.  Hope you like them!

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Cashew Mac

I have been searching for dairy-free boxed macaroni and cheese for a long time that is actually rich and flavorful.  My search ended when I made this!  And this recipe is infinitely better than anything you will find prepackaged and just as easy to make, as long as you have a high powered blender.  Make sure to soak your cashews ahead of time and you’re on the way to super creamy vegan macaroni. It’s infinitely better than anything you’ll ever find frozen or in a box.

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Fresh Tomato and Herb Focaccia Bread

This recipe for focaccia bread is actually really simple, easy, and requires minimal kneading, the hardest part of the whole process is waiting around for a few hours while it rises. Fresh Tomato and Herb Focaccia Bread is great just dipped in olive oil and a nice balsamic vinegar, along with Italian food or sliced open for sandwiches like a fried eggplant sandwich is so good on this bread.

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Being Grateful

It seems like these days, many of us are forgetting to be thankful for what we have.  We are distracted, focusing on things we want, instead of what we already have at that single time and instance.  This is happening in all aspects of our lives, and it leads to many people disregarding the simple fact that we are here and living on this beautiful could-be-paradise called Earth.  But what an amazing and humbling thing that is to consider!  Right now though, let’s focus on being grateful for what we have on our plates.

In this modern society, with our busy schedules, we don’t seem to be finding enough time to sit down and really think about where our food comes from.  If you consciously invest some thought into everything that has gone into your meal, you can’t help but be grateful for it.  It’s incredible to think about!  Next time you eat, follow the chain of events that brought that food to your plate.  Think about all the hard work that has gone into it, who cooked and prepared it, and where it came from before that.  Think about who cleaned it, who harvested it.  Think about the farmers who nurtured it, and all the time it took to grow out there in the earth and sunshine.  All of this, ultimately just for you!  It’s basically the miracle of life right on your plate, and that, my friends, is a beautiful thing.  If you can develop this awareness every time you eat, then you are surely on the right path towards a healthy mind, body, and soul.  The whole idea is, as we foster this appreciation for food and where it comes from, our relationship with ourselves and our relationship with this wonderful, tiny planet we are trying to survive on will also evolve.

I’d like to use this blog to talk about just being aware and conscious of everything that goes into your food and your body.  I want to talk about how great it feels to be able to sit down and have a meal, that when you really think about all those things, you really will feel good about it and it will really make you feel good to eat!

Welcome to EatLoveNow!  Enjoy!