January is the New June

How has your January been? My January has been awesome. I have seen some awesome shows, cooked some great food, got some new exciting cookb...

How has your January been? My January has been awesome. I have seen some awesome shows, cooked some great food, got some new exciting cookbooks, and have been sporting the most badass winter gear. Like, my winter gear game is at an all time high. One of my favorite parts about winter is the clothes I get to wear. I bought 7 new pairs of socks, 2 pairs of new vegan boots, and a few new vegan sweaters to keep super warm. And oh, what a collection of scarves and hats. On point, friends.

I know it's January but I have been making salads like it's June. I have been making all the salads from Salad Samurai, aiming to make all the ones from the Winter chapter by the time the season leaves us. This one is actually from the Fall chapter, and it's called the Collard Sweet Potato Crunch Bowl. It called for cubed sweet potato but I had roasted mine whole and it was too soft to cube. So I just scooped it on top and it was none the worse for it. Those Sriracha and Smoke Pecans are really addictive. I had extra from this salad and I totally ate them all at work the next day. I shared. Swear.

I got Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen for Christmas and have made a few things from it already. This is the White Lasagna with Butternut Squash. It was really good. It has tofu ricotta, an alfredo sauce and pureed roasted butternut squash. Alex is really not into any of those things so I had this all to myself the whole week. I shared with my coworker, who as of late has had vegan aspirations!

Alex does, however, really like Mexican food and he helped me make burritos the other night. I made spicy lentils with some taco spices and tomato sauce, some saute├ęd diced onions and peppers and rolled them inside along with some avocado slices. Some brown rice and black beans on the side, and other than the large quantity of food, there's not too much to be ashamed of, healthwise. Not that it has ever really stopped us before, but I have been aiming for healthier alternatives.

 Speaking of appropriate winter gear, I received some new winter boots today! They are from Native Shoes, a Canadian company based out of Vancouver, and all of their products are vegan! I was in search of a vegan "bean boot" and these looked to be a good fit. They are similar in style but without the leather and shearling. They had a bunch of colors but hardly any that were left in my size. This color combo seemed acceptable enough, and after trying them on I love them!!

The first thing I noticed was how lightweight they were. I was concerned that they weren't going to be good for walking through slush and snow and rain and all the stuff that I walk through, so to test them out and see if they worked before cutting the tags off, I filled the bathtub with about 3 inches of water and walked around in them. I even ran the water all over the my boots up and over where the laces are and my feet still stayed dry! So I'd say run to their site and pick out a pair! Hopefully they restock soon and more colors will be available in normal sizes. 

More from Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen, these are the most amazing vegan meatballs I've ever had. They are embarrassingly simple with only mushrooms, onion, breadcrumbs, and brown rice. I think that's it. I added Italian spices but that's not really extra work.. They definitely are fried, though. I haven't tried baking them yet, but I definitely will. They are only pan-fried, but a little too fried for my weeknight comfort. I have made them at least 3 times and haven't had the heart to bake them yet because they are so good fried. Usually with vegan meatballs, you have to make them small, lest they fall apart. With these I made big giant Italian-sized meatballs and they were amazing. 

While in curry-mode I made this sweet potato curry with adzuki beans and cauliflower from
Isa Does It. It was a thai-inspired curry with red curry paste and lots of lime. It was very seasonal and delicious.

I made this salad from Salad Samurai but this is actually from the Spring chapter. It's the Green Curry Lentil Salad. It was super spicy but good. It was sweet from the pineapple and crunchy from the toasted coconut. I added Lemongrass Tofu to the salad even though it didn't call for it because it was dinner. Everybody wants a little tofu in there when they eat a dinner salad. If they don't then tell them I said Yes they do.

Okay this one is definitely from the Winter chapter of Salad Samurai. It is called Sesame Noodles In The Dojo. I have been to Dojo in the West Village on Terry's recommendation and was not a fan, but then after reading the intro to this salad recipe learned that they overhauled their entire menu and the restaurant sort of fell flat. The Dojo she once so highly recommended is now just a really generic pan-asian sort of place. These sesame noodles are a tribute to a dish once prepared so well by the restaurant back when. Plus noodles? In a salad? I'm there. I added Beyond Meat but this really didn't need it.

Speaking of noodles in salads, here is the Pad Thai Salad with Asparagus and Tofu from the Spring chapter. I know, I can't stick to the right season! What gives? This salad was pretty good but the asparagus didn't shred into ribbons the way I thought they would and were a barely noticeable addition to the salad for a pretty good amount of work. It took forever to shave the asparagus spears, and most of the asparagus was left behind once they couldn't be shred anymore. Maybe the really big husky stalks would have worked better for this, but I always find the skinny ones in the store. The salad overall was good, but benefitted from some Golden Mountain Sauce drizzled on top!

I've been doing my best to keep making smoothies, which is really no problem, aside from the time it takes to peel chop, blend and drink. I have been kind of in a protein-shake-mood lately. I have finally been able to work out again after my shoulder injury healed. Well -- it didn't exactly heal. I got shot up with some concoction of steroids at the doctor and was put on a high dose of anti-inflammatory drugs. It feels pretty good most days by now. I am hoping by the time I go back I will not need any further treatment. In the meantime I have been cranking out the Chaturangas and planking until I drop. I made Alex do a 45 minute Nike Training Club workout with me this morning. It was fun to work out together yet funny. Do couples work out together? Or is that supposed be separate?

In conclusion I have been keeping busy this winter with my favorite activities, like cooking, yoga, seeing shows, and playing bass. And making ravioli. These have a lentil & ricotta filling. Putting my ravioli pan to use!

Enjoy the rest of the season! There's much more fun to be had before it's over <33

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  1. I'm already in awe of all your cooking and working out (and bass playing!) and then you pull out the "ravioli pan." I mean, I didn't even know such a thing existed. Hopefully I'll get to those meatballs sometimes soon so I don't feel like such a slacker in comparison to you.

    1. Haha the meatballs are life-changing. I mean I have made about 10 different types of meatballs and these are so simple and so good. The ravioli pan is cool, but it can be more trouble than it's worth. You have to be really delicate with the dough when you push them out of the mold. The bonus is that it lets you put more filling in that you would be able to put if your forego the pan. But more filling, more better, right?!