The Lunch Diaries: Part 1

I was tasked with grabbing some new lunch ideas for my homie, Mow. Mow is a new momma and wants to eat less meat overall. Starting slowly by decreasing your meat/dairy intake can sometimes be easier than going balls to the wall I’M A SUPER VEGAN I HATE EVERYONE NOW WHERE’S MY CAPE? Believe me, I was an angry vegan when I first started, and no one wants to be that stereotype (or be friendless). I salute those that want to enjoy Meatless Monday or have lunches without meat. Let your meat-free flag fly and try these lunches on for size!

Mow wanted something easy to prepare (see: new momma), super hearty, and something that could stick to her ribs. The first thing that popped into my head is one of my go-to lunches: the tuna salad.

I don’t exactly have a recipe for this, but here’s the deal: grab a can of chickpeas and drain and rinse those little boogers. Mash those bastards up as fine or as chunky as you prefer. Add some Just Mayo (or your favorite vegan mayo of choice), chop up some sweet pickles, add a splash of yellow mustard (the condiment of the Gods), maybe some garlic powder, and salt and pepper. This is totally customizable according to your tastes and needs. Make this stuff on a Sunday night and keep it in your fridge at work. This will last for about 3 lunches for me, especially if I don’t make a sandwich but instead dip it up with these chips:

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Holy shiza, these are good. They are hearty and delicious and tasty as hell! Dip dip dip til your heart’s content.

Mow also eats a ton of lunch meat. I actually never got into the vegan lunch meat world because I never ate a ton of lunch meat when I ate meat. But here are some suggestions for you and Mow to try:

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We are SUPER lucky to be living in a world of vegan lunch meat. Get thee to your grocer’s “healthy and cold” section, near the tofu and tempeh, and get some delicious vegan meats. If you hit up the Whole Foods, be sure to peep their selection of dairy free cheeses to go along with your meats:

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Field Roast is the Cadillac of the vegan meat/cheese world. Get a hold of some Chao and get to cooking some grilled cheese sandwiches and wipe away your happy tears with the bread. It’s that simple. ALSO! We are lucky to live in a place where a friend of mine makes her own vegan cheese and sells it to the masses. It’s delicious and sold all over Atlanta.

I have never made a vegan chicken salad but I’m dying to try these new recipes from Peta, Beyond Meat, and The Sensible Vegan. In fact, I’ll make one (or two or all) of these and report back.

Sometimes though, not all the time, but sometimes, you need something really meaty. Sometimes you need to bite your teeth into a burger and wince from the beauty of it all. If this is the lunch you desire, and you have a microwave at work, buy this shit immediately and keep a stash in your freezer:

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Yes, these are from Kroger. Yes, these are the best frozen veggie burgers I’ve EVER HAD. Bring some bread to work and have everyone at work ask, “What are you eating? Damn, that smells delicious. THAT’S VEGAN?” as you cackle and slap them all in the face and sashay your way out of there.

 

Decorating Apartments You Don’t Have Yet and Other Musings

I’m moving into a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment in a few weeks and I’M SO EXCITED. As in: I cannot stop buying stuff for the apartment that I do not live in yet. I’m trying to control myself…I’ve banned myself from going to Target because that place is like walking into a giant pit where all my money leaves my body. You guys, the other week I went into Target to buy ONE THING (the new Ben & Jerry’s vegan ice cream. Have you guys tried it??) and then I blacked out and $86 later I find myself in my car wondering what happened. But it was all stuff I NEEDED for the new apartment. There was a green garden gnome fortheloveofgodalmighty. Ahhhhhhhhh ugh. So I can’t go to Target anymore, or Walmart (they had a $5 mirror that I had to have), or apparently any store in Little 5 Points (there were these Atlanta-themed coasters that called to me from inside of a hippie store), or shop at Amazon, or Etsy, or a thrift store, or anywhere else that sells items for purchase. All of this is to say that I have a problem and this is my cry for help.

Let’s talk about some new foodz!

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Check out that VEGAN caption!

I found these bad boys at Walmart and had to try them. They taste like a buttery blueberry muffin, which is to say I inhaled two of them and broke the speed of sound.

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Go, Kroger!

Kroger has really stepped up its vegan game, in my opinion. These patties are HUGE and seriously delicious. I had one for dinner last night and will eat another for lunch today. I highly recommend these.

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Yum!

You may or may not already know that Earth Balance makes sticks of vegan butter. These are perfect for baking because the measurements are already on the side. Or, if you’re like me, they’re perfect to bring to work and keep in a baggie so that you can butter your blueberry waffles. DON’T JUDGE ME.

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I ate the entire box.

Please tell me that you already know this: Thin Mints are vegan! Welcome to swim suit season, thin mint eaters!

What new products have you guys tried?

Raw Revolution Organic Bars: Get Ready to Crave.

So here’s the deal. I have been super lucky (in many a way) lately. I just had a week off to do whatever I wanted before starting my preplanning week at school. I just paid off my credit cards (HOLY SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS. What am I, a responsible adult? Who should I talk to about this?). And I have been able to snag free samples of goodies to review for you, dear reader. I have eaten, spit out, regretted, and dreamed of many a food so that I can tell you all about it; the good and the bad. And I just had to pause my busy “Devil’s Advocate” watching/dried cranberry eating/putting clothes away kind of rocking Thursday night to tell you all about these bars cause I am seriously jonesing for one right now. If they were sold on the street corner, I would steal change from my parents’ wallets to go get one.

I speak only of the Raw Revolution Organic Bars. These all vegan (praise the universe!) bars are high protein, high fiber, and low sugar. I was lucky enough to be given the Creamy Peanut Butter & Sea Salt, the Mixed Nuts, Caramel & Sea Salt, and the Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt bars. The texture of the bars was not what I was expecting…sort of thick like a nougat. You can bite into the actual ingredients, though, which was delightful.

I always get super excited about eating chocolate, because I thought that when I went vegan that chocolate would simply leave my life without saying goodbye and then we would see each other in the grocery store and give those awkward waves and nobody is happy about that and then chocolate would ask me out for coffee and I’d be all strong and self confident and say “Sorry, I’m dating someone” even though I’m not but it doesn’t matter because I’m a better person now. But for reals, I love the chocolate even though I’m not supposed to. So the Dark Chocolate bar was DELICIOUS and rich and filling and wonderful. Did you guys know there’s a Dark Chocolate Brownie one? UGH. I know what to ask for on my next birthday.

I have been craving these bars since I last ate them, which feels like years ago and my chocolate tank is super low. I want to try the Coconut Delight and the Cherry Chocolate Chunk and the Spirulina Dream.  These bars are delicious and wonderful and you all will love them, too. Have these bars hit your lips yet?

Not so fine print: I was given these bars to try for free but all metaphors and figurative language and love for chocolate are mine. 

GoPicnic or Go Home.

I distinctly remember when my brother and I went to the movies on New Years Day and saw GoPicnic meals at the food counter. It struck me as odd to have such a healthy choice of snack available at the movies as it sat next to spilled popcorn and malted chocolate balls. In fact, I’m pretty sure (I’m absolutely positive) that my brother and I laughed at the healthy option as I ordered a giant Coke Icee that I still do not regret to this day.

Hindsight, they say, is 20/20 and I have never been happier to admit that I am a fan of the GoPicnic meals and sing their praises loudly. It all started at the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo  and it’s been deep love ever since. I was lucky enough to snag a few to try and tell you guys about.

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The first one is the Edamame Kale Dip and Plantain Chips. It is also comes with chocolate chip cookies, a fruit and nut mix, and a fruity peel apart thing. Believe me when I say that I want 1200 of those fruity things…they’re like how I remember fruit roll-ups to be but 100 times better. Like a fruit explosion in your mouth! The chocolate chip cookies were outstanding; not soft and chewy, but crunchy and firm. I personally don’t like the fruit and nut mix so I pass it off on starving friends. I think it’s too gingery or something. The plantain chips are to die for; I would be happy eating those for the rest of my life. Sadly, I have found most of the dips in these boxes to be super duper acidic, like there’s too much vinegar or something. You know when it hits you in the back of the throat and in your cheeks? No? Oh. Me neither.

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The next one I tried was the Sunbutter and Crackers one. This kit had chocolate chip cookies and a fruity peely thing so you know I was happy. It also had applesauce which was a nice addition. If you’ve never tried Sunbutter, it’s delicious. It took some time for me to get used to it (it’s made from sunflower seeds instead of peanuts) because it has a distinct taste. There was plenty of Sunbutter to put on the multi-grain crackers. This kit is by far my favorite.

I have also tried the Three Bean Dip and Tortilla Chips kit (again, what’s going on with the dip? Way too vinegary for my taste) and the Black Bean Dip and Plantain Chips (I’m starting to wonder if this is just my own problem, because this dip was no bueno, too). GoPicnic has a whole line that is vegan that you can check out here and they also cater to vegetarians, gluten-free, kosher, and non-GMO. They sell at Krogers, Target, and apparently movie theaters. Now that I’m avoiding popcorn like the plague, I may buy one of these the next time I see a movie (don’t forget about the giant Coke Icee). Try them and tell me what you think!

 

Super Duper Large Fine Print: These two GoPicnic Meals were provided to me but all awesome opinions and stellar writing are my own.

 

Ardenne Farm’s Blueberry Muffins: Or, Why I Can No Longer Bake At My House.

I found out about Ardenne Farm’s products at the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo. I listened to the representative long enough for my brain to explode: I could make vegan blueberry muffins at home. See, friends…I was raised on the blueberry muffin. You know that box mix with the crazy blueberries in a can and you add some oil and eggs and put them in muffin wrappers and then you slice each one when they’re still hot and add a pat of butter because you’re from the south and you do such things and then you eat 4 of them? Ahhhhhhh those were the days! And I thought those days were long gone.

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Enter Ardenne Farm’s Blueberry Muffin Muffin Mix. With completely natural ingredients (I’m giving you the big thumbs up, Gluten Free Flour Blend!) this package is 100% gluten free and vegan from jump. The recipe for the muffins calls for milk, oil, and eggs to be added to the mix and blueberries. Unsweetened Almond Milk? Check. Oil? Check. Vegan Eggs? Ehhhhhh well, I’ve never actually baked anything vegan that needed “eggs” before. So I ran to my trusty favorite site and searched  for a flax egg recipe. Lo and Behold: the perfect substitute to the egg! Minimalist Baker provides the key to my heart, in many ways. Search their site for all things yummy, quick, and low ingredient count.

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I was all set to go on a Friday night and soon the muffins were baking away and rising like the good universe intended. I did have to bake them longer than the recipe calls for, perhaps due to a 20 year old oven. Within mere minutes the house smelled like my childhood: doughy, hot, steaming balls of crisp-on-the-outside-but-soft-in-the-middle blueberry muffins. Basically, this was the best Friday night ever. I could barely wait to let them cool enough so that I could slice each one open and add a pat of Earth Balance butter, just like my mom does.

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Finally, I was ready to taste. The soft, gooey inside, yellowed with butter and oozing blueberries made my taste buds dance. The crisp outside filled my heart with delight. I stood there, over the sink, and jammed two muffins into my mouth before my brain could catch up. I ate three more for breakfast the next morning. I brought some to friends and then ate the rest on Sunday.  I don’t know if I’m making it quite clear, but these muffins were to me what the muffins of my childhood were: perfect, warm globes of sweet blueberry joy. Delicious, quick, simple. Now it’s a battle to not buy them every week. Check the website to see where you can buy them or snag some online!

NOT SO FINE PRINT: I was given a free box of these muffins to try, but all opinions and delicious descriptions are my own.

A Long Weekend and a Short Trip.

First of all, is anyone watching “Broad City”? I’ve only seen a handful of episodes, but it took all the strength I had not to title this post “YASSSSS QUEEN” and do a moonwalking shimy out of here. It’s been a while since my last post and I attribute it to frequent baby freak-outs about possible future employment and basic life predicaments. But you guys don’t want to hear about that, do you? I take that silence as a giant HELL NO and so I will now talk about the most important thing of all time: FOODZ.

The crew and I were total slackers when it came to a new restaurant on the scene probably because it’s in Alpharetta: Vito’s Pizza and Ristorante. We finally set a date and made it happen. When I say that this tiny place brought THE HEAT with vegan Italian food, please trust me. When it comes to restaurants with so many vegan options, we all tend to want all the things and order too much and are too full and regret nothing. Here’s what we got:

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The menu! Check out all of the vegan items!

A delightful side salad that came with my lunch.

A delightful side salad that came with my lunch.

We HAD to share the crab cakes!

We HAD to share the crab cakes!

GARLIC ROLLS

GARLIC ROLLS

Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti

Homemade Cheesecake

Homemade Cheesecake

Here’s the deal, people. I’m gonna be super honest with you all. Have you guys been to Provino’s? The place where they serve the endless amounts of garlic rolls swimming in vats of melted butter with chunks of garlic floating? I have been so tempted by those damn rolls before that I’ve come thisclose to saying “Eh, I’ll go back to being vegan tomorrow….shhhhhhhh no one will ever know….” And now, they’re here: vegan garlic rolls that melt in your mouth and leave you weeping for more. I’m surprised a riot didn’t break out between us friends as we grabbed for the last one. The crab cakes were breathtaking and will be added to the menu soon. My baked ziti was phenomenal. Do I even need to talk about the homemade cheesecake? I didn’t think so. I wish it was sitting next to me right now.

Immediately after eating and being so full that I thought I might die a slow, yet satisfying death, I ran to the H Mart to get my dumpling fix on.

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The great thing about the H Mart is, aside from it pretty much rocking my face off, that you can buy a 50 pack of dumplings for the low price of around $5. Vegan dumplings. DUMPLINGS. I don’t know about you, but I would be tickled pink if I could only eat dumplings every single day of my life. And now I do! Oh, joyous day!

Last week, my mom and I had to make a quick run to Mobile and be surrounded by a slew of German-Alabamian family members as we celebrated the life of my mom’s uncle. It was an overnight trip; only enough time to rest a bit, eat a ton, and hug plenty.

Southern food at its finest.

Southern food at its finest.

We were both pooped when we got home. I was just alive enough to hit up the glorious Loving Hut and eat until my heart’s content:

Energy juice!

Energy juice!

Wonton soup!

Wonton soup!

Golden tofu!

Golden tofu!

Ugggghhhhhhhhh. The ways I love Loving Hut are many, but I wish I had that wonton soup in my hands at all times. Oh, and I got some cake to go because YOLO.

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I woke up early the next day to hit up some meditation at my Tibetan Buddhist Monestary. I haven’t been in FAR TOO LONG but that is changing.

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Afterwards I met a friend for lunch which equaled tacos, guac, and margaritas because that’s how Holy Taco rolls.

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Those vegan tacos were money. They had pickled radish on them! A revelation.

For dinner, I went to my friend’s house and helped them cook some vegan goodies:

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We had sauteed Brussels sprouts with onions and tofu, kidney beans with tofurkey kielbasa, and a medley of kale/edamame/tofu/sunflower seeds/hoison sauce. When I tell you all that I love people that love to eat, it’s the honest truth. We chowed down on this grub like it was our last meal and we didn’t want to share.

Fun news! I will have some product reviews coming up soon, so get those mouths ready to water. Happy Wednesday to us all, and a special shout out to all of the teachers who are finishing their school years! You guys deserve to sit on your couches for a minimum of 7-12 days and watch marathons of old school Real World.

 

PlantBasedATL Meetup: Desta

The following words can properly describe our experience at Desta for the PlantBasedATL Meetup:

Delicious. Amazing. Fresh. Quick. Wonderful. Full. Fun. Tremendous. Flavor. Awe. Sunshine. Smiling. Community. Inspiring.

Basically, you should have been there. The service was on point, the weather was glorious, the staff was welcoming, and the food….oh, the food. My mouth just started watering thinking about the food. Do me a favor, will you? Because we’re friends? When you drive to Desta today on your way home from work, sit on the patio and order the Vegetarian Platter. You too will soon eat like a queen:

WHAT.

WHAT.

Not to worry, they will keep the injera coming:

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I legitimately just wiped drool away from my mouth. Don’t forget about the sambusa:

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These are Ethiopian spring rolls filled with lentils and spices and fairy dust and hopes and dreams. Dip them into that special spicy red sauce if you dare.

We had such a great time that no one wanted to leave. I had the bright idea to stay long enough to get hungry again just so that I could order the platter a second time, but it was not to be (also I’m pretty sure Desta does not recommend this).

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HEY QUEEN

HEY QUEEN

Book Club represent!

Book Club represent!

New friends!

New friends!

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Did you see all the platters ordered? Do you see all of the smiling faces? Desta, eating with my hands has never felt so right. We will be back!

 

The Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo!

I was just tickled pink on Saturday to be an official blogger at the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo! I had no idea what to expect and for some reason I was really nervous, which inevitably made me sweat too much for being in a climate controlled building. Good thing I had my ride-or-die with me all day long, Beevy. Not only is she an omnivore with no allergies and basically had no real need to be there, but she came to support me and get free goodies like she was trick-or-treating. I’m not joking, folks…they were giving away SO MUCH FOOD that Beevy and I had to make a trip to my car to unload at one point because my shoulder hurt. MY SHOULDER HURT FROM CARRYING AROUND ALL OF THE FREE FOOD. Do you hear me, universe? Can every day be the GF&AF Expo? Please? I promise not to go crazy at the Sprouts booth again (Maybe. Actually, I can’t promise that. I have no self control when there’s free popcorn around).

First and foremost, Massel was the blogger sponsor and gave all of us a giant box filled with Massel goodies. I had never heard of this brand before but now I am in love. In the gift box was a huge assortment of vegan bouillon and stock in chicken, beef or vegetable flavors. I cooked a tofu scramble on Sunday morning with the liquid chicken stock and it tasted like scrambled gold. An amazing product. Isn’t it great how far vegan products have come?

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When you entered the expo, everyone was given a goodie bag that had some great stuff in it (all of which I have dutifully tried just for you, dear reader).

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These Snapea Crips were soooooo good. Like, really really good. I was sad that I had the trial size, to be honest. My mom has said that she found these at Publix but I can neither confirm nor deny this as I never shop at Publix.

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This is the first time I have had any of the “squeeze” products (like a “Go-gurt” or whatever it’s called) and I’m going to be completely honest with you all (please sit down and stop eating if you are): the texture made me think of diarrhea. I’m sorry! It was seriously my immediate thought. Highly disturbing and I sort of felt like I was lied to.

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Oh, Go Picnic. You have made a fan out of me. I’ve seen these products before and have quickly passed them by. They also had a booth set up at the expo and they are amazing enough to have not one but two vegan meals. These are non-GMO, gluten free little powerhouse portable snack/meals. I was not prepared for how much I like these. They package everything separately (which can create more waste, as Beevy pointed out, but maybe you can recycle it?) in these super cute and playful bags and they even give you a game inside the carton. They had me at dark chocolate and tangerine orbites. Oh, and the package with the edamame/pepita/sunflower seeds? Why haven’t I had roasted edamame before? It is a complete revelation in my life.

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We had SO many other foods at the expo and I will feature some in future posts. Here are some honorable mentions:

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Freedom cereals: quite delicious. We’re talking about a vegan chocolate rice crispie type cereal, people. Also I saw these at Kroger last night so that made me very happy.

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Perfect Bar: so yummy. A delicious alternative to other bars you’ve tried, this is a family-run company that makes balanced nutritious fuel. The almond coconut one is the only one that’s vegan but I am proud to say that it was indeed super lovely.

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Raw Noble vanilla bean mousse pie: a cashew based mouthful of wonder. They even have a chocolate flavor, and a key lime flavor, and a coconut flavor, and why aren’t I currently eating this?

Here’s the deal: I have never felt more like a hoarder than I did when I left the expo. BAGS of food littered my car with only my shame to keep it company.

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I’m not joking. I would feel bad except that I don’t. Overall, the expo was amazing. I met so many super nice people, I tried way too many new products, and my pals Holly, Daniel, and Mercedes came to hang with Beevy and I!

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Beevy is missing from these pictures because she is allergic to something she ate (at the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly expo) and the irony is not lost on me.

PlantBasedATL’s Second Book Club Meeting: Skyping with Food

We were oh so lucky on Saturday to be greeted with sunshine, wonderful smiling faces, and a TON of delicious food. Who are we to complain? We dug in and prepared for our second Book Club meeting! We read Matt Miner’s graphic novel “Liberator” for this round, and I for one am so glad we did. I’ve only read one other graphic novel in my life (“Maus“) and while I do consider myself slightly nerdy, I’ve never delved into comics or graphic novels (save for Archie and that fool, Jughead). So this choice was particularly exciting for this nerd.

I cannot recommend Liberator enough, or Matt Miner for that matter. Liberator centers around animals activists that try to liberate animals from a furrier. I cannot wait to get my hands on his “Toe Tag Riot” comics because this is the description: “TOE TAG RIOT is: A tongue-in-cheek horror/comedy series about a punk rock band cursed to become zombies whenever they play their music. Being that this is a band of ethical punk rockers, they use their “zombie superpowers” to take on racists, homophobes, sexists and, eventually, the Westboro Baptist Church”. HOLY YES, right? Not only do I love zombies (I’m on Season 4/Episode 8 of the Walking Dead and am contemplating buying the complete graphic novel set like a loser) but don’t you just love that these zombie’s are taking on the bad people of the world? That’s the kind of zombie I would want to be.

Skyping with Matt Miner!

Skyping with Matt Miner!

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We were extremely lucky to have Matt Miner along for our Book Club meeting via Skype and he lovingly answered our questions and was an amazing host. We learned about his dog rescue program that he runs in New York and all about what makes him a generally awesome person. After the Skype chat, we all talked about Liberator  some more and then began to feast:

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My plate (yes, I went back for seconds)

My plate (yes, I went back for seconds)

Sigh. Doesn’t it just warm your heart to see all of this food made my hand for this wonderful Book Club? The mac-n-cheese was DELICIOUS as was Chef Billy’s homemade potato salad (we live and die by the age old adage of #allthecarbs). I wanted to live on that table forever and ever and keep eating it all, especially the homemade apple crumble.

We’ve decided that the next book we read will be Sherry F. Colb’s “Mind if I Order the Cheeseburger?: And Other Questions People Ask Vegans” and I am SO excited about this one. Anyone is welcome to join us for the next PlantBasedATL Book Club meeting or any of our meetups! We welcome all who are open minded and also hate being hungry for any length of time.

Gatlinburg, New Products, and A Wicked Case of the Binge.

I can be honest here, right? I can say things and you guys won’t judge, because this is a judge-free zone. You would never judge me for, say…being in such a severe binge watching marathon of the Walking Dead that sometimes I’m thinking of that show when I’m listening to people talk? Or that when I was in Gatlinburg this past weekend and passed cabins I would wonder if they would be a safe haven in the case of a zombie apocalypse? Right. JUDGE FREE ZONE. So you again will not judge me for having watched 13 episodes between Friday and Monday or for texting a friend “Dude. Does the Governor come back in season 4? He simply disappeared in the final episode of season 3 (unhappy face emoji).” I can’t help it. It’s an excellent show with a great cast and a fascinating plot line. I also blame the fact that I didn’t have cable for years on my recent binge.

Moving on. Gatlinburg is beautiful and nestled quaintly in the Smokey Mountains. I actually said out loud “I’ll bet these mountains would look beautiful in the Fall”, to which my parents both said “Mmmmmm, yes” and I realized I was 84 years old and needed to grab a rocking chair and head for a porch. We saw a male turkey (a tom) doing his mating dance for two lucky hens who emphatically ignored him. Nature, amiright?

Tom!

Tom!

On Saturday we made a fiercly delicious breakfast and I found these cinnamon rolls (Immaculate Cinnamon Rolls) at Kroger that are vegan. They were amazing! The whole fam enjoyed them. I also tried a new bacon by Sweet Earth (if you see their burritos in the freezer section of Target, buy them! They’re delicious) and I really was not a fan. I think I’m coming to grips with the fact that I really do not like seitan all that much.

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Brunch!

Brunch!

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After lunch on Saturday I took an amazing nap because that’s what I do best. I woke up to everyone hangry and ready to eat. So we headed into Gatlinburg’s center to eat some widely mediocre Mexican food and enjoy horrible service. I had the veggie fajitas with no sour cream and no cheese. Bonus: they had eggplant and portobello mushrooms in the fajitas! (though I absolutely hate mushrooms and threw them aside, I thought it was nice that they were an option)

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Saturday night we pulled out the Jello jigglers that my sister-in-law made for the nephews and we couldn’t help but notice that the seemingly innocent space shapes had taken on a life of their own:

IMG_1720Don’t see it? Lemme help you.

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Hmmmmm. Interesting, isn’t it? I’m pretty sure it’s a space ship, but they couldn’t do better than this? What are we teaching the youth of America??

On Sunday we headed home after a relaxing weekend in the mountains. We stopped at Jaemor Farms and I proceeded to lose my mind. You know those kinds of “off the interstate” places that offer all different flavors of candies? Jaemor has it:

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They also have a giant section of fresh produce so I helped myself to apples, kale, cucumbers, spinach, sweet potatoes, and fresh sourdough bread.

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I couldn’t help but to buy some boiled peanuts there and then enjoyed the most Southern of dinners I may have ever had:

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I’m drooling just looking at it. Farm fresh tomatoes, sourdough bread with butter, corn, fried okra, and boiled peanuts. HOLY YUM. Heavenly.

Two other new products I have tried recently include the Salted Caramel Gelato by Dream and the Macaroons by Hail Merry.

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I’ve loved Hail Merry since last year’s Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo mostly because of their amazing products, but also because the people were sooooo nice. Note that the macaroon bag was empty because I ate them all. The Dream gelato was delicious albeit slightly too sweet for me. I do love caramel but not as much as my mom, who I’m pretty sure would like an I.V. drip of caramel flowing into her body at all times. That’s normal, right?