I had a request for a recipe that involves buffalo sauce but not with wings because she didn't like the texture of meat. I thought about what I could make and I landed on cauliflower since it is a pretty neutral, yet hearty vegetable. I lightly breaded the cauliflower, tossed it in the buffalo sauce and baked it. This is a great recipe for vegans, vegetarians, or really just anyone who likes buffalo sauce and vegetables! I have served it with a salad and baked potato chunks to make it a meal but also love making it as an appetizer with a vegan ranch or onion dip for a party!
Prep/Total Time: 30 minutes
The Brentwood Parks Trail System connects several of the City's parks with multiple marked paved paths to provide a great place to walk, run, bike, etc. They are incorporated around these parks, historic areas, YMCA, Williamson County Recreation Center and more to allow use while family or friends might be utilizing these other facilities. It is a wonderful way to tie everything together!
While I could go on and on about all of the parks, paths and trails in the area that are around, throughout and connected here, I am going to focus on the main long path that connects River Park to Marcella Vivrette Smith Park. I will get to all of these other areas in different posts. Since it is so connected, there are many places you can park and begin but for the majority of people who might want to use this path in its entirety, I suggest parking at River Park (1100 Knox Valley Drive, Brentwood, TN 37027), across from the Brentwood Public Library or you could do it the opposite way and start at Marcella Vivrette Smith Park (1825 Wilson Pike, Brentwood, TN 37027).
Starting at River Park, you have free parking plus a bathroom and water fountain, always a bonus before and after a long run or walk! This is an out-and-back paved course (9.6 miles) that you can easily cut short by just turning around sooner, or you can add mileage with the Raintree Parkway or Split Log Road paths or by adding in some of the connecting park paths (Tower Park, Concord Park, Crockett Park, Smith Park or the connecting neighborhoods). There is also a bathroom about 2.5 miles in by Primm Park and one with a water fountain at Marcella Vivrette Smith Park, as well as benches and safety call boxes along the way.
This is such a lovely traffic-free, wide path with rolling hills (total ascent of about 253 ft). The course is beautiful and scenic with a majority of it being between the woods or along the Little Harpeth River. The trail is popular but not overcrowded. It feels safe but there are definitely areas where you can be pretty isolated at times. This is a great path year-round but also might be a really good option during the summer to help shield you from the sun. Since the paths are so wide it also makes for a great group run, family walk or smooth, safe path to push your stroller and walk your dog!
You don't have to worry about too many turns on the course, just follow the trail markers to Ravenwood/Smith Park. As I mentioned, there are other parks and connectors along the way to parking areas or neighborhoods, but you won't need to make those turns unless you decide to add on extra mileage. When you start at River Park you will cross a few bridges through the woods and will eventually come to a small section of the trail that runs along Wilson Pike, but it doesn't last long before it dips back into the secluded woods. You will pass by an 1830s school house, Native American mounds, the river, farmland, train tracks, tunnels, and will then end up running through the entrance to Smith Park, by the Ravenswood Mansion and more, all the way to the beginning of the hiking trails (where the bathrooms are) before turning back around.
It's an interesting, long, wide, paved trail system that does its job of connecting several of the parks, facilities and neighborhoods around Brentwood. If you want a safe place to walk, ride your bike, or get in a long run, this is a perfect place to do it! I have attached the complete City of Brentwood Park System Trail Map below, as well as a map of my version of the 9.6 mile route.
Checkout Williamson County, TN Paths, Trails and Parks for more places to explore around town!
The Westhaven Trails in Franklin are another set of trails I am extremely excited to feature because I feel like not that many people know they exist...and not only do they just exist, they are amazing, consist of 7 trails and are about 9 miles long in total! If you live in Franklin or the surrounding area and you like to hike, walk or trail run, this is the place for you! If you have ever been to Percy Warner, I would say the trails are somewhat similar, but the ones in Westhaven might be even more intense. For example, if I go in to run 5 miles on any of the trails, I normally come out with at least 1,000 ft elevation gain, give or take a few hundred depending on the exact trails I do.
You might not know these trails exist because you access them through Westhaven, a mixed-use community, in the residential area between the houses. There are two trailheads: Wild Elm and Grassmere. Wild Elm is literally between two houses and the path starts by wrapping behind some houses before getting up into the woods. You might have passed it by and never even noticed it was there. There is a sign there but I recommend parking at the other trailhead: Grassmere. There is a lot more space between the houses on this one and more areas to park (without feeling like you are parking in front of someone else's house). This trailhead is easiest to get to if you enter Westhaven by the golf course entrance versus the main entrance.
Both trailheads start with a pretty decent ascent that lasts 1/4 - 1/2 mile before it levels out a bit. It is a good introduction to the trails in general. Most of the trails are labeled as moderate or difficult. Again, there is some pretty good elevation gain on these trails and some are pretty steep. Make sure you are prepared for that. A lot of the trails have rocks and roots and are a bit technical, but there are also some that you can crank out some faster running on, so it is a great, interesting mixture! Not only are the trails exciting, but you get amazing views and a bunch of wildlife, too! So far I have seen a coyote (just saw it running away in the distance), a turkey, deer, turtles, bird, chipmunks, squirrels and bugs. It is so peaceful and beautiful out there, besides the occasional noise you might hear from the construction being done around Westhaven, you might forget where you are! There is also a new picnic table near the beginning of the trails (about a half mile in). You will work up an appetite as you hike up the hill to get there ;) They are always working on the trails to make them even better and I really like that. Follow @westhaventrail on Facebook and Instagram to find out even more about the trails and what they do to keep improving and adding on to them!
I recommend downloading the Trail Run Project or Hiking Project app (or website) by REI or the AllTrails app (or website) before heading out there for a hike, walk or run so you don't get lost. There are also signs on the trail that let you know which trail you are on. Or you can be like me and get lost but love the adventure of exploring and figuring out where the trails end up (if you have the time). You can read more in depth about the trails so you know what to expect on each one. There are no bathrooms or water around (unless you visit one of the nearby stores or restaurants) so make sure you come prepared. Since it is Middle Tennessee, take all precautions for being in the woods, especially come spring and summer with insects/poison ivy/snakes/etc.
I really can't say enough good things about this trail. I hope you take some time to meander out that way and explore all that these trails have to offer and enjoy being in nature!
Find more paths, trails and places to hike/run/walk in Williamson County, TN here!
This is my new go-to for a quick, healthy, cheap, super tasty dip to bring to a party! It is sooooo easy to throw together! It looks and tastes indulgent but it is just full of veggies and beans! I have another version that uses avocado and is great, but that one is more like a hybrid spinach artichoke dip/guacamole. This one tastes like the real deal and no one will believe it is vegan! Make this before your next party, I promise it will be a hit!
Prep/Total Time: 10 min
I like creating recipes and using ingredients that are a little surprising or unique. I think it is fun and important to be willing to try new things. You never know what you might like! These bars are a fun way to eat quinoa, vegetables and fruit in bar form for breakfast, a snack or dessert! Plus, they are only sweetened with fruit, not sugar! I always like making recipes that sneak in as many vegetables or fruit as possible. You could easily replace the carrot with zucchini for a zucchini bread bar or omit the veggies and add chocolate chips or just include more raisins for a sweeter treat since as the recipe is, they aren't super sweet. Play around with the ingredients and see which combination you like best. While I used an egg, these could quickly be made vegan by subbing in a flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal mixed with 3 Tbsp water). Make these on the weekend and freeze them in individual baggies for a quick grab-and-go breakfast or snack/dessert during the week!
Prep/Total Time: 40 min
Like this recipe? Check out more of my recipes and meal plans + thousands of others with the Prepear app!
I am a food loving, activity seeking health coach who resides in Franklin, TN with my husband and two sweet dogs (Lola & Penny).
I believe everyone should eat balanced and not cut food groups if you don't medically need to. All foods can fit in a healthy diet. Unfortunately, I have to avoid gluten and also limit myself with dairy, so my goal is to provide healthy, gluten-free/dairy-free recipes so EVERYONE can enjoy all foods, even if you do have to cut out certain food groups. My recipes are encouraged for everyone to eat, not just for those with sensitivities/allergies! Most of my recipes can be easily converted by using real dairy and whole-wheat in place of my allergy-free substitutes.
Looking for something specific? Everything can be found by category under the "Life" and "Recipes" sections on my website or you can search below.