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2013 Taste of Dallas at Fair Park

Story by Cynthia Nevels, amateur chef and natural food enthusiast.

2013 Taste of DallasThe 27th annual Taste of Dallas will be held from 4 to 11 p.m., Friday, July 12, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, July 13, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, July 14, in Dallas’ Fair Park. Taste of Dallas continues to support the their official nonprofit partner, the American Heart Association, which will offer free screenings, free CPR training and heart-healthy education at the event. Soulgood will debut its new vegetarian to go restaurant at the Health and Wellness Expo in the automobile building this year. The new Health and Wellness Xxpo will feature spas to massage, yoga and Pilates, dentists, doctors and nutrition experts will teach how to lead a stronger, healthier life.

Come out to see Chef Cynthia, author of Soulful Vegetarian Cooking: A Southern Girl's Romantic Meatly Love Affair and Journey to Natural Foods on Instagram (2013, CYL Publishing) and contributing writer for She will teach you the secrets behind one of her favorite organic vegetarian recipes from her new book in a live cooking demonstration.

Click here to pre-order a copy of Chef Cynthia's new book today! She'll autograph books at the Health and Wellness Expo on Sunday, July 14th between 1:00PM - 3:00PM.  

To learn more about this year's Taste of Dallas visit and order your tickets early! Will you attend this year's Taste of Dallas? Tell us all about your food adventures at

Will you attend this year's Taste of Dallas Health and Wellness Expo?
You are encouraged to vote and also add your comments.
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In celebration of National Soul Food Month, Chef Keith “Buttons” Hicks and the team at Buttons Restaurant including investor, Herbert Hughes, hosted a stylish event at their Addison restaurant on the evening of June 20th.  Hughes provided a quick background of the vision to have a diverse social scene that would include diverse ethnicities, good food and good music.  There are currently two locations, Fort Worth and Addison with another hot spot coming soon to Houston. The celebration included several new items from Chef Buttons’ signature Southern Cuisine menu. It was thrilling to see how so many new items included fresh vegetables or in Buttons’ terms…fresh plants!   Chef Buttons shared, "It is importance for food not only to taste good but to be health conscious, as well."

The new Wedgeburg Salad includes a crisp wedge of iceberg lettuce with sliced ham, onions, eggs, tomatoes, bleu cheese crumbles and bleu cheese dressing. Surprisingly even non-bleu cheese lovers will find this starter to be quite surprising. Even vegans will agree with the absence of ham, the bleu cheese dressing had a smokey flavor that is lite and tasty.

Another starter to remember is Buttons’ Fried Green Tomatoes.  This crudité includes thick, hand-cut, fresh green tomatoes battered in Buttons seasoned corn flour, deep fried and served with an over easy egg, grilled sliced ham, red eye gravy and béarnaise then garnished with a colorful spring mix, tossed with jalapeno ranch dressing. This delightful starter will have you asking for more. 

One of the entrées featured in the tasting was Chef Buttons’ Fire Grilled Chicken and Plants. The course includes herb marinated chicken breast served with grilled ratatouille in a caper, butter, and white wine sauce.  It had a soirée of fresh vegetables including eggplant, squash, zucchini, asparagus, red onion and plump cherry tomatoes.  

Buttons is taking a new approach to combining hip, fresh whole foods and entertainment by now including theatre.

On June 24th, Buttons will premiere a Sunday night dinner and theatre event. The first presentation in Addison will feature local playwright Ty Ford’s Forbidden Love.  Coming in July, Buttons will feature its first Dinner Mystery, a type of whodunit for an entertaining interaction with dinner patrons. So stay tuned and make your way to Buttons for whole soul foods, music and cool socializing.

Have a favorite restaurant that serves whole foods, plant based goodies? Share them with us at

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In the past, getting my 4-year old daughter, who is also a vegetarian, to eat cauliflower is like changing her diaper in public. It is a spectacle. Finding creative ways to prepare vegetarian meals that children won’t turn their noses up to can be a challenge. Sometimes carrot sticks and apples with a raisin as a nose can get old and boring.

As a natural food enthusiast, colorful fruits and vegetables from the local farmers market or gets me excited. My creative juices, no pun intended, start to flow once I get into my kitchen and begin thinking about what to feed my family. I mostly think about how to create beautifully colorful and flavorful dishes. However, the poor cauliflower lacks the beautiful colors its relative, broccoli, mustards and cabbage have and its nutritional make up is quite different. For some, preparing cauliflower with mountains of cheese seems to fix the color and flavor deficiency. But, I wanted to try something different with cauliflower. I wanted the taste to shine through and for my daughter to learn to appreciate the pale treat.

When you study the cauliflower you will find it has closely bunched tight masses that appear together on stems.'s, Tricia Ellis-Christensen writes, "Cauliflower is typically white in color with light green leaves surrounding the head, while the other vegetable can be dark green or sometimes have purple streaks through it. Several varieties of both are sometimes sold under incorrect names: for instance, Romanesco broccoli is actually a type of cauliflower, and purple cauliflower is technically a type of broccoli."

While in my creative cooking mode and in much need to free up space in my freezer, I created a baked vegetable dish using frozen organic cauliflower in hopes to capture the attention and taste buds of my best food critic – my daughter. Try this recipe on for size and let us know what you think or share your cauliflower recipes at

Mama Mia Cauliflower Recipe

  • 16 oz          frozen or fresh organic cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp         extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup         diced organic red onions
  • 2 tsp           finely chopped organic garlic        
  • 1/3 cup        Italian vinaigrette dressing  
  • ¼ cup        crumbled or sliced Gruyere cheese        
  • 1 tbsp         shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp           local organic garlic powder
  • 2 tsp           garlic salt
  • 1 ½ tsp       fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp           parsley   



Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

Pour frozen or fresh cauliflower into 9” round baking dish and pour olive oil over sprouts and coat evenly. Add diced garlic, garlic powder, garlic salt and ground pepper (to taste). Pour Italian dressing over mix and toss in pan to distribute evenly. Add Gruyere cheese and distribute evenly. Lightly sprinkle shredded parmesan cheese and parsley on top, cover with foil (no holes required) and place in oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  

Remove from oven and serve warm.


Cook from your soul, eat and be happy. Story by Chef Cynthia, amateur chef and natural food enthusiast. You can find more organic vegetarian recipes in Cynthia's new book, "Soulful Vegetarian Cooking" to be released July 4, 2013 by Caught You Learning Publishing. You can find her colorful creations on