A Successful Green Monster

Yesterday was a beautiful day in NYC. The weather is finally taking a turn for the better, and it finally feels like summer again. I woke up later than usual craving a bowl of oatmeal. I added soy yogurt, blueberries, groud flax, and a big blob of almond butter.

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Wanting to spend some quality time in the sun, James and I walked down Broadway and enjoyed lunch at Amir’s Lebanese Kitchen. We both ordered the falafel platter.

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Admittedly, I was not expecting the platter to be so huge. I ate three of the falafel balls, and left the rest for James to finish. The falafel wasn’t that great, especially when you consider the relatively high prices here. From now on I think that I’ll make the trip to the LES for really good, really cheap falafel.

Later in the day, I made salsa verde. After husking the sticky and somewhat greasy tomatillos, I cooked them in veg broth for about 20 minutes, added cilantro and lime, and threw them into the food processor. Very easy to make, and the variation of ingredients is endless.

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I must have been in a cooking mood, because I also tried my hand at making fresh almond biscotti. I took the recipe from veganomicon, and due to availability, left out a few ingredients.

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Look at all of those almonds! I’ve really been obsessed with almonds lately. The biscotti, despite being a little brown around the edges, turned out great. James ate two of the biggest ones immediately.

Dinner was a simple bowl of miso soup with tofu and baby bok choy.

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Following dinner, James and I met a couple of friends at a new place down the street called Haakon’s Hall. They advertise very cheap drink prices, and as a result, they don’t offer any drink specials. While the prices were good compared to the rest of NYC, for the Upper West Side they were pretty average. Noticing that the wine prices actually were really cheap, I ordered a glass of Cirillo Pinot Grigio. I had never heard of Cirillo wines before, and honestly, I will never try them again. First of all, this is how my wine was served:

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No, that is not water. It is wine. Really. I was only able to take one sip. Passing the glass around the table for all to try, the undrinkability was confirmed. I gave up on the wine and ordered a pint of Blue Point Toasted Lager. Much better. Haakon’s Hall has very friendly waitstaff, and the interior decor is sophisticated yet relaxed. It almost feels cozy. I do recommend the place for drinks, just as long as you stay away from the wine.

Today I did much less cooking. James and I walked down to Fairway Market to restock our produce. Before going in, we enjoyed the view of the Hudson river and New Jersey, both of which actually looked pretty and clean bathed in sunlight.

A couple of weeks ago, I tried to make myself a green monster smoothie. In order to mask the flavor of spinach, most variations call for banana. Banana? Am I the only person in the world who doesn’t like bananas? Because I’ll try anything once, I put almond milk, spinach, flax, and, holding my breath, 1/2 a banana into my blender. Telling myself that it really wouldn’t taste that bad, I lifted the glass to my lips and gulped. Blech. I still don’t like bananas. So, when I saw people adding silken tofu to their mix, I decided that this might just be the answer to my banana problem. The real reason I wanted to go to Fairway today was to pick up a pack of Nasoya Silken creations, vanilla flavor. I blended together 2/3 cup of the silken tofu, a big handful of spinach, some ground flaxseed, and a few dashes of soy milk. Problem solved! A green monster for beginners is just what I needed.

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My GM was accompanied by a bowl of fresh cherries

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And a little bit later a cup of Goji Green loose leaf tea. My mom had sent me this a while ago, and today was my first time trying it.

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The mix of blue cornflower blossoms, goji berries, and green tea is beautiful. My friend Holland would classify this as an aesthetic tea. I generally like strong, sometimes even bitter tea, so I was worried that this would be too sweet. However, the green tea was the prominent flavor with just a hint of goji. Very refreshing.

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Wanting to try my salsa verde, I made rice and beans for dinner topped with tomatoes, black olives, green onions, and tofutti sour cream.

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I’m really looking forward to my morning run tomorrow, and I’m hoping to increase my mileage this week. We’ll see how it goes!

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