Winter Storm blizzard Juno had us homebound.
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Though trusted Lonnie predicted many more inches, the final accumulation was about 10″.IMG_4358

It barely hit the garden gnome’s knees.IMG_4372

Of course the shoveled pile was much more impressive.IMG_4394

For lunch, scratch-made seitan.IMG_4374

And chocolate brownies to get rid of the DandiesIMG_4398

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IMG_4320In advance recognition of heading to state #49 this summer, I finally finished my United Great States commemorative necklace.

IMG_4323Another batch of granola bars.

IMG_4328A visit to Three Brother with my sister. Crab cake benedict.

IMG_4346Did you know that Girl Scout Thin Mints are vegan now? I had to hear this a dozen times from my Girl Scout students. Happy to see the familiar V-labeling on their site.

IMG_4344When my niece the Girl Scout delivered those cookies, the cats were petrified. Well, all but one.

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I feel like January always flies. In the gung-ho of setting productive routines for the new year, time is used optimally. And so it is moves swiftly. Here are some photos of its food choices.

I did a week of gluten-free-ness, which started with these gluten free pancakes. IMG_4255

And my lunch, soba noodles and a bunch of crispy veggies with a orange miso dressing.IMG_4267

I ended the week with what I had been craving, a big bowl of pasta with garlic bread. It was so good that lil’ Chipwich wanted to join us.IMG_4292

Rainbow carrots. If I see them available, I buy them. These bright, beautiful babies would roast lovely but only after some coriander and cumin seed precip.IMG_4301

Doused in a lemon tahini sauce–delectable.IMG_4306

And more roasted veggies–fingerlings and the almighty Brussels mingle for double deliciousness.IMG_4308

And with my ton of pumpkin butter I made from scratch, I made us waffles for dinner. There’s nothing better than sweet breakfast for dinner on a cold winter’s night. IMG_4316

 

How beautiful, a coconut. In each part and in all its forms.

The meat of a coconut–rich, buttery in a way that no other plant food is. And what a wonderful idea to make jerky from that hearty, nutrient-packed coconut flesh. Thankfully CocoBurg, a Brooklyn-based maker of three varieties of raw, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, Paleo coconut jerky, already perfected it. I was lucky enough to sample the original, ginger teriyaki, and chili lime coconut hides.

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The original flavor was where I started. Delicious: salty, peppery, just enough chew… CocoBurg catches something primal in these strips, with varied widths and curling edges. I feel like a coconut hunter. I guess its the Paleo thing.
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Next, the chili lime. I was worried that the different flavor would mean simply a different seasoning. But this chili lime kick penetrated the coconut jerky throughout. DSC_0013

The ginger teriyaki is my absolute fave of the three. This coconut jerky packed a huge punch of vibrant flavor. Though I know the texture of jerky is part of the pleasure, I may give in to the urge to finely dice a strip or two to wake up a variety of sleeping foods.DSC_0012

Coconut jerky in all its glory. Thanks, CocoBurg!
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Ever notice that the start of the year flies in one big chunk? It’s already January 17. So here are so pictures of recent food within the weeks of TCB.

IMG_4141Ground dates are such a delicious, sweet accompaniment to chocolate. And these scratch-made date caramels from Oh She Glows are pure heaven.

IMG_4127Winter is a time for warm-inducing curry with hearty veggies and red lentils. Throw whatever you need to use in the mix, like this long-stemmed arugula.

IMG_4133I don’t shy away from soy products. And after years, I finally feel like I prepare tofu well, like this pressed for a week Balsamic marinaded tofu. Scrumptious. (And clearly I don’t shy away from olive oil either.)

IMG_4136This sandwich, made from the tofu above, my homemade sunflower oil mayonnaise, and the background sushi’s pickled ginger, was a perfect Sunday lunch.

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Who would have ever thought that White Castle, purveyor of sacks of itty bitty beef sliders, would offer its customers a Veggie Slider, an old school veggie burger from Dr. Praeger, king of the visible veggies veggie burger? Now, I have never really loved a Dr. Praeger’s patty, but I appreciated its availability in “normal” supermarkets. I appreciated knowing for sure it was totally vegan, at least prior to their egg-made gluten-free patty. I appreciated when caring folks would pick me up a box at barbecues. And I guess I appreciate the Dr.’s partnership with White Castle. PicMonkey Collage

After confirming from White Castle’s allergy/nutritional information that the Veggie Slider and its steamed bun was free of egg, dairy, fish or the almost-exclusively-animal-derived saturated fat, I decided to throw caution to the wind and support this veg-friendly effort. They are made, after all, with a designated veggie grill, though it was hard to get a glance of it, and have their own green Crave boxes. IMG_4238

We dined inside to get the full effect of the White Castle experience: dated formica booths, harsh light and a crowd of waiting guests similar to the OTB crowd. No one but we were there kind of ironically. I got the plain Veggie Slider, not fully trusting the “Sweet Thai Sauce” for some reason. And the fancy ketchup dispenser was empty. I ate ‘em plain, most trepidatious about the soft, heavily conditioned bun. Dough conditioners are the creepiest of ingredients. IMG_4239

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There is Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burger patty, in all its bean-y glory. It was good to see the patty dryish. If it had been cooked on the hamburger grill I would know visually and olfactorily. IMG_4240

After news of this vegetarian option hit the interwebs, there have been reports of that suspicious bun being non-vegan. And I verified this after eating the bun unfortunately. Oh well, it’s not like I’d ever return to eat it again even if it were 100% vegan. I still thought it worth it to post. As far as my veganhood, it’s unfazed by an unintentional slip. You live then learn more often than you learn then live. If it were an intentional slip, that’d be troubling.

Scoring some primo seats for a Brooklyn Nets game, that included all food, I made it my mission to find all the vegan eats at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn’s newish, rusted arena on Atlantic Avenue. Oh, and there was a basketball game on, as well.IMG_4178

Like most arenas, there are slim-pickings for vegans, even in Brooklyn. Most of what I ate were snacks and sides. It’s a shame that even eateries that offer vegan options at other locations don’t carry their veg goodies at Barclays. Like Calexico, who offers a tofu taco at their fleet of food trucks. At the arena, I settle for chips and guacamole/pico de gallo.IMG_4160

Upstairs on the suite level food court, an Asian-inspired cold noodle dish, ready to go in a traditional take-out container poked with chopsticks. It was a welcome medley of flavors and fresh veggies, a break from starchiness.IMG_4158

The hot buffet option for us VIP-ers offered amazing Brussels sprouts and garlic new potatoes. The pretzel was grabbed just because it was there and free of charge. There was also salad bar offerings available… but this quick pre-game food sampling had my belly hurting. IMG_4156

I just had room for an unseasonal fruit salad. It’s pretty sad that there was nothing that resembled a vegan main in all of the arena. I guess there isn’t much a market for it? The line for the Juniors cheesecake booth confirmed this.IMG_4175