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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sundries Sunday

Toasted gluten-free bread w/ melty (!) cheddar Daiya and baby spinach.

Pretty much the same, with tomato and one slice had mashed avocado instead of spinach. With black pepper.

To break things up a little, here's my walk to the train one morning, down Bushwick Ave. I dunno, I liked the light.

Probably (hopefully) the ugliest/most monochrome meal I'll feature on here. Leftover mashed Korean sweet potato and tofu with Braggs and red pepper flakes. It was tasty and filling though.

Also leftovers. The lentil salad mixed with the kale salad from Christmas. Plump little goji on top. I realized while eating this that I got my family to eat raw kale, hemp seeds, and goji berries and I smiled.

One night I went to my friend's house in the pouring rain. This is McCarren Park in Greenpoint.
Last night I went to the same friend's house in the snow. This is (basically) the same viewpoint:


I like Greenpoint for a lot of reasons. They have nice health food stores. One day I stopped in coming home and bought these:

The Chai kombucha was SO GOOD. Oh man. (It's also the slightly higher alcohol content!) But I can't find that flavor anywhere else! I even looked again today and didn't see it. I also really like the ProBars. The ingredient list is super long but the bars are tasty and (yes, pricey but) actually decent for a meal replacement. They keep me full for a long time.
One more breakfast, and one more Greenpoint door photo that I think all you vegan cat owners will appreciate:


I don't know when I'll be able to post next but til then, Happy New Year to all of you!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Very Vegan Christmas

Hello, friends. Hope yr holiday (or at least yr day off) was filled with peace and cheer and good food. my brother got into NY from LA last night right before we headed off to midnight mass. I passed out at the folks' house last night at about 2:30 and woke up and had tea, a chunk of bread and 2 clementines I brought for breakfast.


The day before, I had prepared "the best lentil salad ever," which I've made before. No surprises this year.


Also those Union Square Cafe roasted bar nuts with rosemary:


This afternoon I prepared raw kale salad (with red onion, goji berries, and hemp seeds in holiday colors). I guess there's not a great solo shot of that, but here's the above along with a plate of roasted red peppers and steamed leeks that my mom made.


My dad was in charge of sauteed mushrooms (shiitakes, creminis, and bellas) that he made with shallots and either port or Madeira and lotsa olive oil:


There were also roasted sweet potatoes - both Korean and yams:

 

It was a lot of food. I only took this one plate and was pretty stuffed, and my mom had bought even more vegetables that she didn't prepare. (I should mention there were only six of us at the table - my aunt and uncle came as well.) Here is my plate:


(Oh yeah, also some raw snap peas.) Unpictured wine and champagne.
Dessert was a little less of an ordeal. There was non-vegan apple-cranberry pie and I brought Newman Alphabet cookies to make rum balls.... When I realized I had forgotten the rum, I just ate the cookies.

 

Speaking of pet(lt)s, some quality cat time was had. Haxan supervising the kale:


Sleepy Christmas Eve cats:


And perky Christmas-morning-investigative-wake-me-up-at-seven Cicero:


That's all, folks. Hope you had a good holiday and a very punk rock Christmas (or whatever.)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Days, They Never Stop

Before the photos get to out of hand: Recent Eats:

Breakfasts:
Half of a banana bread/chocolate chip muffin schmeared with sunflower seed butter

The last of Terry's chia pudding with goji berries

Juicey juice.
Lunches:

Hearty Lentil Vegetable Soup from Whole Foods with oyster crackers before I remembered I dislike those crackers.

A very bizarrely colored salad from the Whole Foods bar - mixed greens on the bottom, curried acorn squash slices, satsuma/fennel/carmelized onions. It was rainy today so I took this in the WF cafeteria, crammed next to a stranger - hence the bright lights and the quick shot.

Paradis done good again. This is mustard greens (first time I ever knowingly ate them!), chickpeas, roasted Brussels sprouts in tahini sauce with pine nuts.
And a dinner that was meant to be lunch (I brought it to work and forgot about it over the weekend. It still smelled okay two days later, so I ate it. It was good - and I'm not dead. Yet.)

I mean, it looks a little sad but whatever. Chard, sprouts, tomatoes, red bell pepper, zucchini, carrot, sunflower seeds with Braggs.
Another dinner:

Falafel sandwich from Oasis in Williamsburg. Nothin to write home about, but saved my stomach on a very very hungry night.
The end, besides all the alcohol and snack bars I've been eating. And the chocolate chips with walnuts I had for dessert today.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Treats

Gah! Not too many photos recently but I'll show you some treats and things I've been working on gifting since IT IS THAT TIME.

                                  These are for RECIPES. For OTHER PEOPLE. Hopefully.
See? I even started on this one. This is Holiday Spiced Rum from Vegan Food Gifts, which I bought for myself.... but I had to! To make gifts for other people! This is the Bacardi rum with cinnamon sticks, fennel seeds (!), allspice berries, ginger, nutmeg, and maybe some other stuff. Still figuring out who to impress with this one, and who will let me taste it. Now this tincture just has to sit for 5 days. Not as bad as last year's bitters, which I had to start two weeks before it was ready!
I did a baking test run of mini banana bread loaves using the recipe from Vegan Holiday Kitchen (which I'm pretty sure I ALSO bought for myself last year.)


These came out well, although the book never really gives the measurements of the mini loaves and I think mine are smaller than whatever Nava Atlas used. I had to bake them for a little longer (maybe 10 minutes) and also had batter enough for one in a muffin cup. That was okay by me, though, because then I could taste test :)
Also, it was my birthday recently and I picked up this raw cacao cup as a treat:


It was pretty good. A little too much raw cacao at once though; kind of bitter but the cup part was tasty.
I feel like I've been overdoing it recently with the treats and booze. I bought some ingredients to make a treat for a friend and just found myself snacking on them until I didn't even have enough to make the stupid things. Does anyone else have that problem? Yuck. Hopefully tomorrow will look a lot greener.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

YOU KNOW

I prepared a salad and packaged it up into three salads so I have no excuse to spend money on lunch while letting vegetables wilt at home.


The base of both of these is raw chard, tomato, red bell pepper, zucchini, and carrot. Added alfalfa + clover sprouts to each. Nooch, balsamic vinegar, and sunflower seeds to the top salad; cooked lentils and Braggs to the bottom.
That said, the day before salad prep was an incredible salad from Paradis:


Oh MAN guys. This was arugula, raddichio, "winter slaw" - basically shredded carrots and red cabbage, roasted peanuts, marinated black beans - whatever that means, they were tangy and like what I imagine fermented black beans to taste like, roasted cauliflower and black sesame seeds. A gingery-peanutty-soy sauce dressing came on the side, but the salad itself was already so flavorful I didn't use much. Spot on.
A very beige snack:


Black pepper gf Mary's Gone Crackers and kalamata olive hummus.
Another snack a different day: satsuma, Pink Lady apple.


A different chia pudding, this recipe from Terry Hope Romero. I'm really getting into the chia puddings.



So, some pretty nicely incorporated raw stuff but sticking with the standard miso way to end the evening:



See y'all later.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

NYC Vegan Tour: Candied Nuts

I'm pretty sure candied nuts are a year-round New York City street corner favorite but I especially think they fit in well with the holiday season; they remind me of "chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." They're a street food that's a little classier than pretzels with mustard and the holidays make me want to be a little classier than everyday.
This is a doubly New York food because although candied nut recipes abound, I opted for this recipe from the Union Square Cafe cookbook, which adds a bit of cayenne AND rosemary! The Union Square Cafe is a well-known restaurant in the city that's been around since 1985 and is very involved the NYC food community. There were a couple mixed reviews on the recipe, but I love rosemary so I rolled with it.


I doubled the recipe (except for the rosemary and salt since I was using salted Earth Balance), so as to be able to share. The nuts I used were cashews, walnuts, almonds, and pecans. It's incredibly easy, makes yr house smell incredible, and really impresses people. The recipe says they're best served warm, which I can see being great if yr at a bar with some wine, but I really liked them best the next day when the (vegan) butter had cooled and hardened up with the brown sugar.
I brought a cupful to my friend last week who told me he spent the next night scraping the sugary/salty/spicy/rosemary-y dust out of the container and into his mouth. Hahaha. So, win, I think. Hey! These'd also make a good food gift since holidays are coming up, ya know.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Boston Vegan Tour

Well, this is a sort of pathetic tour of Boston as food but it is what it is. The daughter of a family friend from Baaaaath, England has been staying with my parents during an internship the past 4+ months and as her internship has just ended, she's been wanting to see more of the Eastern seaboard states. Her parents actually met in Boston while working at MIT and I have some family and friends up there so we went together for a short weekend trip. It's good to escape New York sometimes. A lot of times.
We took the Bolt Bus out from near Penn Station.


I got a coffee while we waited.


Ate a Carrot Cake Gnu bar on the bus and read Zadie Smith's new book, NW. I LOVE Zadie Smith and this book is great so far.


We arrived and walked the wrong way down Mass Ave into Roxbury instead of Cambridge, trying to find a recommended restaurant (BIG DIFFERENCE for those of you who know Massachusetts. We decided it was the wrong way when we hit Boston Medical Center, which houses a drug rehab center...). We were getting really hungry so I snacked on some raw nuts I had brought for emergencies like GETTING LOST IN ROXBURY.
Along the way back towards Cambridge we stopped at a couple used record stores (couldn't help it), the MIT campus and its school museum, and found the intended restaurant, Plough and Stars. It was apparently still too early for food (kind of okay by me - bar food is not usually the most vegan), but we got a beer (I got a Harpoon IPA - when in Mass, you know) and listened to some live Irish music, warming up and recouping for the continued search for food.


We continued up Mass Ave towards Hahhvahhd Square and finally headed into the Grafton Street Pub and Grill. We split a pitcher of sangria made with red wine, apple brandy, pomegranate juice, apples and pears with vanilla and cinnamon. It was incredible. I really ought to drink sangria more often. Or, these days, mulled wine. Oh boy.


I ordered the hummus platter, which came with warm pita, roasted red pepper strips, a generous dollop of creamy hummus, and arugula with spiced olives.


Really good, but kind of the only vegan item on the menu. I almost got the roasted beet salad without cheese but salads always disappoint me with their size for their price unless it's at a veg-friendly place.
Three of these as dessert.


The next day, I had some coffee and bread at our (very kind!) host's house and we headed out to the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum with my aunt. It's an incredible house and an incredible collection. A Rembrandt and some Singer Sargent paintings always stick with me. A new wing was added just this year with a restaurant, and we ate lunch there. It was not very vegan friendly and, as may be expected from a museum, expensive. I had a mixed greens salad with heirloom baby carrots and shaved fennel. It was good and pretty but ya know. No picture though since I had checked my bag with the camera in it.
Then we walked over to the MFA, just across the street. (By the way, I've also eaten at the
MFA and they are a little less snooty about their food. I think I had a pretty nice cup of gazpacho last time.)

                                          (Part of) Day and Night, Antonio Lopez Garcia

Anyway, we spent the rest of the day walking around. Some random shots:


Yeahhh that's basically it. It was a short trip, and not incredibly well planned because I'd been so busy this week. The whole rest of the day I ate some sweet potato fries and more beers. Boston, I love ya, but it does take more planning to find a decent vegan meal than it would to stumble upon in New York. I'll be back, if only because I still have 5 bucks on my Charlie card.
What are you guys reading? Planning any travels soon? Taking in any cult-cha (as they say in Boston)? Okay! See you tomorrow back home in New York. Cheers for tonight.