…And Then They Went Out

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After sixteen days without dining out (and trust me, I had become a dining out addict before quitting cold turkey), we ended in the Eat-In Challenge with….


SUSHI!  What else?


After work was over, we met up with Isaac at the epic Ru San’s, which is now my second-to-Cowfish-runner-up-favorite sushi restaurant in Charlotte.


Ru San’s isn’t as busy /popular as Cowfish and is just as cheap.  But it’s not as ‘creative’ with all the custom rolls, which is why Cowfish reigns supreme.


Isaac was already at the table when we arrived.  He was drinking a rice sake and offered us glasses.  I was gung-ho at first…


But… YUCK!  I couldn’t sip mine.  Too strong and liquorish for me.


Beer was much better.  A Stella, please!


Isaac was also munching on this fried tofu dish.  I had two pieces – amazing! Everything tastes better fried – it’s true.  😉


The Husband and I ordered five rolls – tofu, asparagus, sweet potato, teryaki zucchini, and teriyaki asparagus.


Plus, ginger and wasabi!  I missed sushi and all the trimmings SO MUCH over the last sixteen days.

IMG_0569 IMG_0568
What’s our plan going forward with the Eat-In Challenge?  We’ll be continuing our efforts!  We are going to try to limit ourselves to one meal out a week from this point forward.  I learned some invaluable tricks over the last sixteen days – like how to better grocery shop for easy and healthy at-home dinners like ravioli or frozen pizza to get me through in a pinch. 


Plus – I think my cooking has gotten a bit more creative over the last few weeks!  Eating-in more is actually quite fun.  Dishes… of course… are not.  Dishes are another story!


Speaking of healthy eating on a busy schedule, I was planning to come home from work and make a hearty salad to hold me over until dinner, but then I saw my mother-in-law snacking on these cheese twisties.


Cheese twists > salad.  At least on the tongue!  😉


Good night, my lovelies!


What’s your favorite eat-out meal?  For me, it’s DEFINITELY sushi!  Holla to all my sushi fans out there!



  • Heidi March 2, 2011, 9:32 pm

    Mmmmmm sushi! Good choice 😀 That teriyaki one sounds amazing.

  • Rachel @ Grateful Girl Goes Gluten Free March 2, 2011, 9:33 pm

    You’ve done great on your eat in challenge. You definitely deserve this night out!

  • Julie (A Case of the Runs) March 2, 2011, 9:33 pm

    I don’t like wasabi…. or horseradish… or spicy mustard. I know, I’m weird!

    My favorite eat-out meal… oooh, that’s a toughie. I’d say sushi as well, only because everything else there’s a quick and easy way to make it at home. I’ve made sushi and it’s never quite the same.

  • Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) March 2, 2011, 9:33 pm

    Sushi’s the one thing I never make at home (anymore). I like to leave it to the pro’s… Plus, then you can eat multiple kinds of ‘fancy’ rolls 😉

  • Maryann (The Balanced Bean) March 2, 2011, 9:34 pm

    For me its either Mexican or Sushi! Congrats on going 16 days, thats a big accomplishment! 🙂

  • Zo March 2, 2011, 9:36 pm

    Glad you enjoyed your celebratory sushi. Being from/in New Jersey, I love getting diner food. The choices can be overwhelming, but it’s almost just fun to look through the menu. I often end up getting breakfast for lunch or dinner…usually because I know if I order an omelet, it’ll come with home fries…which I love (especially when they’re crispy)!

  • Lauren @ChiGalLauren March 2, 2011, 9:38 pm

    Sushi is definitely up there on my list, really any seafood because a good restaurant can always cook it better than me. But here in Chicago, my fav eat-out meal is definitely pizza!!

  • Heather March 2, 2011, 9:38 pm

    mine is Mexican yum!
    growing up we didn’t have a lot of money so eating out was a special and rare treat. Which is a good thing, b/c it taught me to not eat out a lot, and to eat at cheap places when I do.

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans March 2, 2011, 9:38 pm

    I would love it if my neighbourhood had a Cow Fish…looks so good!!!

    • Caitlin March 3, 2011, 9:20 am

      They need to franchise!

  • Kira March 2, 2011, 9:41 pm

    definitely sushi!!


  • Jess@atasteofconfidence March 2, 2011, 9:41 pm

    Sushi or pizza!

  • Karen March 2, 2011, 9:42 pm

    Mine is Thai/Laotian food. I have a fav Laotian restaurant I go to once or twice a month. As much as I love variety in my meals, when I eat out, I always crave Tom Kha Gai, or Panang or Matsaman curry!! Yum.

  • mitzi March 2, 2011, 9:43 pm

    gahhh…my boyfriend and i LOVE eating out. i don’t have a favorite – i like to eat out for anything! 🙂

  • Amy* March 2, 2011, 9:47 pm


  • Dorry March 2, 2011, 9:48 pm

    sushi for me, too! It’s one of those things that just tastes best eaten at a restaurant with all the wasabi and ginger my heart desires. 🙂

  • Ashley March 2, 2011, 9:50 pm

    I actually enjoy eating in more than eating out. I just love making up some deliciousness for the boy and I. If we do go out it’s usually something unhealthy haha.

  • Erin @ A Girl & Her Mutt March 2, 2011, 9:50 pm

    16 days of not eating out!? I’m super impressed! Sushi is the perfect celebration meal. Always.

  • amber March 2, 2011, 9:52 pm

    Wow! its been 16 days already? I’ve realized I can reflect on how much time has passed since you started a various schedule or plan (such as when you say you have 2 weeks until a race, when the race comes I get all excited and realize its been 2 weeks)! Its kind of funny 🙂
    I LOVE salads, and a ton of the eat-out ones are absolutely exquisite! Plus, its my no-fail plan for eating vegetarian in a restaurant, as cliched as it sounds. 😛

    • Caitlin March 3, 2011, 9:21 am

      haha I know what you mean, I do with that other bloggers.

  • Lee March 2, 2011, 9:52 pm

    I agree that sushi is my favorite meal to eat out. And I don’t like sake either. Bleh.

  • J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) March 2, 2011, 9:54 pm

    That sushi looks amazing!!

    Italian is my favorite eat-out food.

  • Cindi March 2, 2011, 9:54 pm

    HOLLA!!! After this baby comes out – I’m definitely going to Cowfish for some tuna!

    • Caitlin March 3, 2011, 9:21 am

      You could get veggie sushi!

  • Cara March 2, 2011, 9:56 pm

    That sushi looks amazing! I think that sushi and/or Japanese food would be my favorite to eat out.

  • Ashley March 2, 2011, 10:00 pm

    I love sushi, and yours looks so great! I also love burritos, I think that’s my favorite.

  • Samantha March 2, 2011, 10:07 pm

    After spending 6 years in Japan, sushi became one of my favorite things! Unfortunately, my husband isn’t a fan, but he still takes me out to get it at least once a month. He just finds something else on the menu. 🙂 I just recently discovered the asparagus roll – soooo good!

    Have you ever tried making your own? I never have, but I’d love to try one day.

    • Caitlin March 3, 2011, 9:22 am

      I tried to make it last month and it was a disaster.

      • Marlène March 3, 2011, 6:33 pm

        You should try it again!! I promise, if you put the rice on the inside it’ll be super easy! And you can buy jarred pickled ginger and wasabi and really feel like you’re eating take-out…

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith March 2, 2011, 10:09 pm

    I’ve always been afraid to try sushi – the concept of raw fish skeeves me out. But is vegetarian sushi just veggie rolls? No raw fish, right?

    • Caitlin March 3, 2011, 9:22 am

      Yup – get veggie rolls and there’s no fish.

  • Errign March 2, 2011, 10:09 pm

    Woo hoo for the eat-in challenge.

    My favorite food out? I like thai, usually, but any sort of good ethnic cuisine, whether it’s Mexican, Chinese whatever is a fave as long as it’s good.

    I like sashimi & nigiri like, a lot, but I still hate nori so I usually avoid sushi rolls. I need to try it again, at a place that has really good sushi…not weird NH sushi haha. That’ll be my mission while in Singapore – find sushi rolls I like!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) March 2, 2011, 10:11 pm

    I’ve never had sushi and I’m a little hesitant to try… maybe I’ll start with a non-raw sushi. 😉

  • Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete March 2, 2011, 10:13 pm

    I’m not a huge sushi fan but I do love looking at it! They are like little works of art 🙂

    My favorite meal to go out for is either a big burger from Red Robin or Chinese food — I just cannot replicate those at home!

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine March 2, 2011, 10:16 pm

    There’s a cafe near my place in NY that I LOVE. Veg food, dirt cheap. Definitely my favorite place to eat out!!

  • Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner March 2, 2011, 10:19 pm

    I love your new picture/gravatar! 😀 You are GORGEOUS!


    • Caitlin March 3, 2011, 9:23 am

      Thank you 🙂

  • Kris March 2, 2011, 10:22 pm

    I had some of those twisty things from Target too — some kind of cheddar/sourdough flavor I think. Addictive. I like the idea of eating out rather than actually going out, since I’m thrifty and I usually like my own food better. My favorite is Greek, but there aren’t many Greek restaurants here. Vietnamese and Mexican for sure.

  • Allison @ Happy Tales March 2, 2011, 10:33 pm

    I <3 sushi, too! And Ru Sans is SO CLOSE to where I live! So glad you had such an enjoyable "first" meal out 🙂

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write March 2, 2011, 10:35 pm

    Sushi for me, too. Although, I adore eating out almost anywhere – it’s just fun!

    Hubby hates sushi. *sob!

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef March 2, 2011, 10:41 pm

    i love mexican!

  • Mrs. Muffins March 2, 2011, 10:42 pm

    We used to go out a lot more but ever since having my daughter, we stay in way, way more. The last time my husband and I went out sans child was on our anniversary in December! That doesn’t stop us from occasionally picking up takeout from the Chinese place though! Still, that’s maybe once a month. I had a couple bad sushi experiences so I’m hesitant to try anything new but I’d be willing to try 🙂

  • Manon March 2, 2011, 10:48 pm

    When I go out to eat, sushi is normally my first choice….Thai is a pretty close second!

  • Jen March 2, 2011, 10:48 pm

    I’m not a fan of sake either, it tastes like cough syrup to me. My favorite eat-out meal is Greek/Mediterranean food. I love hummus and the restaurant stuff is SO much better than the plastic tub variety, and with warm pita bread… YUM!Also a big fan of kabobs, baba ghanouj, lentil soup, and of course a Greek yogurt and berry parfait for dessert 🙂

    • Caitlin March 3, 2011, 9:23 am

      Oh man, I love Greek food, too.

  • maria @ Chasing the Now March 2, 2011, 10:53 pm

    I like eating curry out, just because it’s new(er) to me and I don’t really know how to make it.

  • Ashley March 2, 2011, 11:01 pm

    Mine is probably sushi, too! Just so delicious & it’s such a pain to make at home!

  • Alex @ Healing Beauty March 2, 2011, 11:07 pm

    Sushi is definitely the best!!

  • Parita @ myinnershakti March 2, 2011, 11:16 pm

    Mexican for sure – gotta love that cheesy deliciousness!

  • SaraRM March 2, 2011, 11:17 pm


  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 2, 2011, 11:23 pm

    SUSHI!!!!! 🙂 That sweet potato one sounds AH-mazing, Caitlin!! I’d say that or gourmet pizza. Nice job on stayin’ in for Feb!

  • Lisa March 2, 2011, 11:23 pm

    SUSHI!!! that’s what I always want when we go out!

  • Coco March 2, 2011, 11:42 pm

    sushi + stella = great night

  • Lesley March 2, 2011, 11:44 pm

    I love sushi too! Spicy salmon rolls call my name all day long, but I resist. I’m not sure what my absolute favorite is to eat out though. I do it so infrequently that anything sounds good. Congrats on 16 days!

  • Claire March 2, 2011, 11:57 pm

    Everything DOES taste better fried and STILL loving the bangs!

  • KatieTX March 3, 2011, 12:14 am

    Mexican always tastes better in a restaurant! It is hard to replicate some good Tex-Mex 🙂

  • Joanna @ Drizzle of Sunshine March 3, 2011, 12:23 am

    Sushi is my all time favorite!! There is a sushi bar down here that is super cheap and it’s the revolving sushi bar. You pay $2 a plate and grab it as you see it! So fun!

  • Beatrix @ Beaglebea March 3, 2011, 12:53 am

    I’d go out for East Indian every night if I could..good thing we have no such restaurants in my small town.

  • Haley March 3, 2011, 1:06 am

    Woot for sushi!!! We don’t eat out often at all, but I ALWAYS get some type of curry when we go out (it’s a running joke with my ‘ohana). I loooove curry =)

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul March 3, 2011, 1:09 am

    Indian and sushi 😀 They just don’t come out the same at home

  • K- Anywhere There's An Airport March 3, 2011, 4:57 am

    I love the efforts with the eat-in challenge. Definitely better on the wallet… but I would go insane without our “date night” at least once a week. It’s easy to let life get away… work – run – go -go… Face time with your partner to relax decompress and connect is well worth it! Absolutely necessary for us!

  • fawn March 3, 2011, 5:57 am

    I just had my one year vegetarian anniversary and the only animal product I miss at all is spicy tuna roll. Even though I miss it I have no desire to actually eat it and a brown rice avocado roll and sweet potato roll take it’s place rather well! Sushi is definitely my favorite as well! Except my boyfriend doesn’t like it so I usually eat it alone.

    Are any other readers vegetarians in Philly?

    • Caitlin March 3, 2011, 9:24 am

      Maybe you’ll find somone!

      Check out healthylivngblogs.com too!

  • fawn March 3, 2011, 6:00 am

    Oh wait! I love mexican too!

  • Allison @ OneWhiteTulip March 3, 2011, 6:42 am

    Good job on eating in! I think I’m going to try the frozen ravioli! We’ve been trying to eat in too, after a week where we realized we’d gone out at least once, sometimes twice a day. I had to tell myself it was OKAY not to cook full blown meals, but just…eat something. Annie’s Mac and Cheese has been a lifesaver!

    I hear ya on the dishes though…ever notice that sometimes running the dishwasher makes it worse? Because then you KNOW you have to empty it, so you put it off, then the dishes pile, then you put it off some more because you know when you empty it, you’ll just have to fill it again! :eyes sinkful of dishes:

    • Caitlin March 3, 2011, 9:24 am

      I hate running and emptying the dishwasher.

      • Allison March 3, 2011, 10:14 am

        It really is awful! Although we didn’t have a dishwasher for 6 months, which was even more awful. I think dishes are just terrible. If it wasn’t such a bad idea to use all disposables, I’d buy paper plates and plastic utensils forever!

  • Lauren March 3, 2011, 6:43 am

    It’s funny because I tofu is the one thing I think taste worse when its fried. Maybe I’m having it wrong but the texture always seems to be super chewy and gross when its fried.
    Sounds like a fun night out! Always, your sushi looks fantastic!

  • Rachael March 3, 2011, 7:06 am

    Hi Caitlin,

    I have just been reading through your faq pages and came across something I wanted to point out something I have found quite a lot of vegetarians forget about or don’t keep up to date with.(also some might not be too concerned which is fair enough).

    Anyhoo point is about animal testing, for example the blusher that you use is made by a company that do participate in testing.

    I have been a veggie for 20 + years and thought I had the products I use were all cruelty free, last year I re checked and it seems these things change so much, I guess it’s all about new product development.

    For those interested ;



    • Caitlin March 3, 2011, 9:31 am

      Thanks for passing this along. I care about this issue a lot!

  • Tami March 3, 2011, 7:07 am

    i think you have tried to make sushi and it didn’t turn out so i would say that’s an ok meal to eat out…but the burgers and other “easier” meals you shoudl try to stick with making at home!

  • Tina March 3, 2011, 7:26 am

    Its difficult for me to make vegetable sushi rolls at home without making a huge mess, so I make deconstructed sushi salads! Much easier and just as delicious.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin March 3, 2011, 7:43 am

    Good call on the sushi! That’s my favourite meal to eat out too.

  • megan @ blackberries for jam March 3, 2011, 7:46 am

    My favorite food to eat out is pizza! It’s never quite the same when you make it at home, and beer on tap > beer in a bottle.

  • Cyndi @ Weightless Life March 3, 2011, 7:50 am

    Sushi is amazing, but I also love Mexican food. I can’t pass up the chips and salsa and the fact that everything is covered in cheese.

  • KT80 March 3, 2011, 8:05 am

    Do you have an idea how much $ you saved during your challenge? Way to go!

    • Caitlin March 3, 2011, 9:26 am

      I think about $100 – $150

  • Faith @ lovelyascharged March 3, 2011, 8:08 am

    I love me some sushi, but my favorite thing for eating out is Greek food. You can never recreate the awesomeness of Spanakopita or Taropita at home!

  • Carolyn @ lovinlosing March 3, 2011, 8:41 am

    Sushi is definitely my favorite thing to eat out, probably because it’s so hard to make at home. PLus it tastes SO good! In fact…I believe there’s a Living Social sushi deal today…

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) March 3, 2011, 8:57 am

    I love to go out for sushi and Bee Bimp Bop (a Korean dish) the most!

  • Hope March 3, 2011, 8:59 am

    My favorite eat out meal is Mexican! I could seriously eat Mexican every single day! Congrats on 16 days! I would LOVE to try that! However, my boyfriend always wants to go out to eat on weekends so that would never work. I’m all about saving money. I’d like to see if we could go a month without eating out. I bet we would save so much money doing so!

  • Kacy March 3, 2011, 9:00 am

    I definitely love sushi out! And Thai! Looks like a great dinner.

  • Kathie March 3, 2011, 9:01 am

    yaya for sushi!!

  • Alison @ Around the VeggieTable March 3, 2011, 9:04 am

    YUM. Sushi and Mexican are a tie for me. We try to only eat out about once per week and there is always the epic debate of sushi vs. mexican. It’s such a tough call!!

  • Amanda @ AmandaRunsNY March 3, 2011, 9:11 am

    Sushi is definitely a top eat-out choice because you can’t really make it at home. But Mexican is my all-time favorite. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was living in South America in my past lives.

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing March 3, 2011, 9:16 am

    My favorite has to be anything I can’t make myself at home. Seared tuna is probably #1. I guess I could make it – I’m just a bit worried about preparing raw fish myself!

  • Sara @ OurDogBuffy March 3, 2011, 10:00 am

    Holla back! Love veggie-friendly sushi. 🙂 I think I could eat it three times a day, every day.

  • Amber K March 3, 2011, 10:27 am

    Yeah, the only major bummer about eating at home is the increased amount of dishes. When my husband and I used to eat out for pretty much every meal we rarely had to do dishes. Now it’s pretty much daily!

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss March 3, 2011, 11:00 am

    Sushi!!! That’s plenty of reason to go out for dinner. That’s by far my favorite restaurant meal. 🙂

  • Hannah Hawley March 3, 2011, 11:08 am

    LOVE Sushi! My all time favorite eat out meal.
    My favorite restaurant is located 5 hours away, in Yarmouth MA, so I only go when I am visiting Cape Cod! I am drooling, thinking about my next visit to Inaho’s!

  • Carol March 3, 2011, 11:41 am

    My hubby and I love sushi! The last time we were at one of our favorite places, we bought a mat. Now we roll our own whenever we want! We can each have whatever we like:)

  • AllieNic@ Frisky Lemon March 3, 2011, 12:00 pm

    We definitely eat out more than I’d like at my house…but we love Japanese food of all kinds! I think my favorite out to eat meal is either sushi, or steak tips with sweet potato fries (can you tell that I have a specific restaurant in mind?)!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 3, 2011, 12:44 pm

    I love going out to get sushi! In fact, I’m actually looking forward to the Husband going out of town next week so I can get some!! 🙂

  • kristen March 3, 2011, 1:59 pm

    I have never gone out for sushi, mostly my family just makes it. I love going out for a good burger or salad. THey are always better in restaurants (maybe because of the extra fat haha )

  • Jamie March 3, 2011, 2:03 pm

    I try not to eat out that often because my boyfriend and I are super poor right now 🙁 But we did take advantage of Denver’s restaurant week to try a really great sushi restaurant. It was soo good! Love sushi

  • Stacey @ Here's to Life March 3, 2011, 3:38 pm

    Sushi is definitely one my fave meals out! And Stella is hands down my favorite beer right now (Yeungling is my actual fave but they don’t sell it out here in CO). Looks like a fun evening out!

  • Eliza March 3, 2011, 4:22 pm

    sushi!! I usually buy it on my way home and then eat it at home though

  • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy March 3, 2011, 4:25 pm

    Sushi or Mexican. I asked my boyfriend to bring over sushi last night because I was craving avocado rolls! But I never get tired of Mexican food. Guacamole+beans+ salsa….yum.

  • camille March 3, 2011, 7:03 pm

    I love sushi too! It’s totes my fav. Second runner up is anything else asian. I love asian food!

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