Sunday, April 10, 2011

Date Night

 I think it's important for couples to have date nights. So important, in fact, that I am willing to spend the extra time and money on it, even when times are tough!
 There are lots of studies that say going out on dates with your significant other or spouse does wonders for a relationship. Christian authors and DJ's can't say enough good things about dating. All I know is it's fun, it's tasty, and it helps my relationship.
 It's also nice to be able to get out of the kitchen when you are so used to always cooking and cleaning. My Dad used to make it a point to take my Mom out on dates because she not only homeschooled us and was alone with us all day, but then she cooked and then cleaned the kitchen for a large portion of the night.
 And it's fun to look nice every once in a while for the one you love ;)

We chose indian food for this date night because I was in the mood for some hot, doughy nan. Nan is indian bread, baked fresh and served warm and fluffy. We then chose two meals and shared them both. Each meal came in it's own dish with a large bowl of basmati rice to serve it over.
 I can't say enough good things about the indian restaurant we went to. The service was friendly and prompt. The food was fast and fresh, the bread was piping hot and cooked to order, and the flavors were outstanding. I already knew I liked indian food, but these two dishes rocked my socks off. I didn't take pictures in the restaurant because I felt a little awkward pulling out my camera and taking pictures of my food. It was served very nicely and we enjoyed the presentation, but I wasn't willing to alter the ambiance or the quiet, peaceful mood that the restaurant created by whipping out my camera. Some things are better just enjoyed in the moment. We had a lot left over, so we took it home and I took some pictures here.
 Aloo palak is spinach, potatoes and seasonings. The best thing about this dish is how creamy it was. So delicious, flavors exploding in your mouth, not too spicy. Warm and savory. No cream or dairy, or meat.  

 Yellow daal is yellow lentils with indian seasonings, green onions and parsley.

And the best part of the meal was the two servings of garlic nan
Warm, doughy, easy-to-tear, great-for-dipping, heavenly nan.

 We really appreciate how Indian food takes typical, bland ingredients like potatoes and lentils and turns it into something outstanding by using spices alone. Potatoes and spinach? How bland could that be? Extremely. But thanks to spices, it was amazing. We also really appreciate how they had an entire page of vegetarian appetizers and an entire page of vegetarian plates. I wonder if they would even offer as many meat dishes as they do if it weren't for american influence. I noticed all the employees were authentic indian, and not a single one of them was overweight. Just an observation.

We don't go out to eat too often, so when The Boyfriend and I do go on dates, we always try a new place. Our goal is to never repeat a place twice (unless it is absolutely necessary, like in the case of a thai craving) and therefore get to experience a lot of places around Charlotte. We also stay away from "american" food places, like Chilis, Fridays, Longhorn (wouldn't be able to find anything there anyway) and the typical american restaurants. So far we have done Thai at several different locations, Mediterranean, Mexican, Greek, and now Indian. Next up is Ethiopian. When I had Ethiopian food in California it was so great and I can't wait to introduce The Boyfriend to it! What is your favorite non-american type of food?

 Do you value date nights? Do you like to try new places, or have you become "regulars" at a certain restaurant?  I served tables for 2 years in high school and all 4 years in college, and we certainly had regulars, to the point where some of them would ask for my table in particular, or whoever it was they wanted to see. It was nice, but I can't imagine going to the same place every time I go out to eat.


Lauren said...

That dinner looks so yummy! My boyfriend and I really value date nights. It is just fun to make things special every now and then!

And thank you so much for giving me that link about wheatgrass! That was just too sweet. And I have the same problem with replying to comments. But just so you know I do reply to comments by posting my own under the same post. Unfortunately, like you said, people won't know I have replied to them. I think I have replied to yours in the last couple posts. I have been really appreciating your comments! Have a great night!

Jess @ Veganomics-101 said...

mmmm, nan... and don't you look cute in your 'date night' picture! can i say, thank you for being a nurse. that has got to be ther hardest job.

i understand partially about the night shift. my husband is in the air force and is on night shift sometimes and it totally stinks! it is so hard on him and he is grumpy sometimes, when usually he's the happiest, most pleasant guy. night shift is deffinitely not good for relationships- at least in our case. i only cook vegan and he likes healthy eating, just today actually he called-he's out of town- and told me he bought a ninja blender so he can make green smoothies while he's away. i love that this tough guy is excited about healthy eating. but if he could just kick the habit of the soda pop about every other day and treats and would pop a vit b12 i know he's be happier! i can't tell someone how to eat. i'm NOT a perfect example anyway. thanks for your posts!

Kari said...

Yes! love the 'going outside the box'... mixing it up... shaking it all around! and in this life, going outside my comfort level of typical patterns and habits (i.e, date nights, spontaneous actions, creative or unexpected spur of the moment events, silly surprises) is what I have so totally appreciated about the Hubby... and our 30-year relationship ;o) Feel much gratitude and connectedness with others who also experience and value this... thanks for writing about this!