Early May Foods, Running, and Beer Friday

Last week, John and I finished watching the last season of Buffy. I had to start reading the Hunger Games to fill the strong-heroine-shaped void it left in my heart. I have to say, I made a lot of fun of Buffy at first, and the sixth season really was a downer, but it's a great show and I'm glad we came back to it. Watching Buffy and reading the Hunger Games makes me want to exercise.

Running has just included a lot of maintenance runs. I'm not going to start training for the half quite yet, so I'm just focusing on building some good mileage, and doing more strength training. We have a fairly busy June and July planned, so it'll be tough to get in a fun summer run in the mean time. Between the theory conferences, friends potentially visiting (please visit! yay!), the engagement party (more on that to come), and helping my parents move, we kind of have a lot planned.

So instead of running, let's talk about the best foods best foods we've had recently.

 First up, the tahini-miso pasta sauce from Daily Garnish.

I loved this. Just looking at the picture is making me drool. It's so much creamier and more flavorful than any vegan mac n' cheeze I've had, though it's not really trying to be mac n' cheese. Given the opportunity, I would eat three or four shovel-fulls of it right now.

Next up, Jerk (Vegan) Sloppy Joes from PPK

With some roasted taters and a Duvel on the side, and with coconut-creamed spinach on top. The anise in the spinach and the thyme and other spices in the "meat" made these taste so beefy! We couldn't find the fake meat it called for, so we used Gardein Beefless Ground (oddly missing from their website), and it worked perfectly. The only thing about Gardein and similar wheat-based meat products is that you have to be careful not to over cook them, or they turn into something like a rubber eraser. So I lessened the cooking time all around, and they turned out fantastic. We will definitely have these again.

 Also, Eggplant and Provolone Pizza with Green Olives from Smitten Kitchen.

John picked this recipe as a surprise when he was making our meal plan/grocery list, and I was thrilled that he did. I would say that I think our eggplant slices were larger than the ones on Smitten Kitchen, and I would have preferred smaller pieces of eggplant in general. Also, the provolone was a bit like a salt bomb to my stomach. But it's a tasty, indulgent recipe. It would be great cut into small portions for a finger-food appetizer.

 Then we made this Roasted Beet and Farro Salad from Daily Garnish.

The dressing has OJ in it, so we had some on the side each time we ate it. The recipe calls for golden beets, which we couldn't find. The red beets turned the whole thing a florescent shade of pink. We used couscous instead of farro, which our grocery store didn't seem to have. I really liked this recipe hot, instead of cold, and with the root vegetables and soft couscous, it was kind of like comfort food.

And finally, we had Beer Friday yesterday with these Veggie Masala Burgers in the style of the same ones from Trader Joe's, via Daily Garnish.

We've made this recipe a couple of other times, and every time, I like it more. Delicious with a little mayo, some salsa, and especially good with an avocado. They also went really well with Harpoon Leviathan we drank.

Beer Friday has been John's...thing for the past few months. He's in a Beer Renaissance (there have been other Renaissance periods for both of us. For me: running, then cooking. For John: running, peanut butter, coffee, and now beer). Sometimes Beery Friday is just one beer with dinner, but yesterday the weather was nice, so we had a couple on the porch, too. For John it's just a nice way to end the work week. The new official slogan is "Beer Friday: Come as you are."

On the left is the Harpoon Leviathan that I mentioned. Next, the Harpoon UFO, which is basically like a wheat beer brewed with some orange rind - perfect for warm weather. Third you can see the Arrogant Bastard Ale, which completely lived up to it's name. Neither of us liked it enough to ever buy it again, but I'm glad we tried it. The taste is just way too bitter for my liking. And last, the Yazoo Heffeweizen, from a fun brewery in Nashville that we visited with Kira two summers ago. Also perfect for summer.

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