14 December 2006

Foods I'm Really Excited About

First, a food I was really excited about, until I ate it, when I became less excited, but still fond of the idea:

Candy Cane Tootsie Pops. You hear that, and it sounds perfect - like a peppermint mocha on a stick. But then the candy cane part takes too long (I'm not biting), and it starts getting more peperminty and less sweet. When you get to the chocolatey center, it's back to great, but there's just too much peppermint candy to get through. So sad. It had such promise.

Now, moving on to the good stuff...

Morningstar Farms Mushroom Lover's Burger. I am a mushroom lover, and this is my fuckin burger. These things are so freaking good. I don't care if you think vegetarians are the harbingers of the apocalypse, you can't deny that these things are delicious. And the mushrooms, the love of which brought you, shamefully, perhaps, to the vegetarian food case in the freezer aisle, these are no pulverized, unrecognizable bits. Whole big bites of mushrooms. On one of those buns you bought when Food Emporium was out of every good kind of bread, generously ketchupped, it's a few minutes of bliss between reading dialogue samples from really depressing plays.

Goya Rice & Beans Mixes. I've lately been trying to expand my repertoire of too-broke-for-food meals. PB & J and instant oatmeal just weren't cutting it any more. I also start to feel ill after a few days without a single vegetable. (Which complicates my eating-for-$3-a-day plan.) James has actually been eating the Rice & Black Beans mix for a while now, since he won't cook anything that's more involved than 1. boil water 2. add mix 3. stir and cover. I love them because aside from being tasty, they're rather good for you - protein, vegetables (if beans and green onions count), and $1.50 a box. And one box, that's about four lunches. That's a 40 cent lunch. And that is what working in non-profit theatre is all about.

I also get a kick out of the Rice & Red Beans mix. Like the black bean mix, it's vegetarian, but it does include "ham flavor," which is hydrolyzed soy protein, yeast, and salt. So here I am, not having eaten pig since I was fifteen, eating rice and beans that tastes like ham. It's surreal. And delicious.

Candle 79. Okay, not something to throw in your cart at your next trip to Gristedes. But still, must be mentioned. Even though we're descending into really intense vegetarian dirty hippyism here with the gourmet vegan fare, this food is so freaking good that I'll risk reliving my boss' reviling when he found out my dirty secret. Or one of them. Anyway. Candle 79. Site of my last two years' birthday dinners, and much happy-dancing in my banquette seat because the food is so amazing. Warm wild mushroom and arugula salad in horseradish cream dressing; a guacamole tower with chipotle black beans, caramelized onions, roasted sweet potatoes, and salsa fresca; seitan piccata creamed escarole, garlic mashed potatoes, oyster mushrooms, in lemon-caper sauce; poached pear and reisling-cranberry ice cream. And, by the by, all vegan, which is a vegetarian lactard's dream, unless she wants an omelet. Seitan is the place's specialty, and you wouldn't think wheat gluten makes a tasty entree, but the way they cook it, pan-fried or however else, it's reminiscent of chicken breast (or so the meat-eaters at the table told me) and completely delicious. The prices are mostly prohibitive, to me, but maybe if I eat enough boxes of Goya rice & beans, I can save up to be able to go there more than once a year.

1 comment:

anna said...

i always wanted to go to candle 79. alack, i'll have to settle for trying those burgers. cause i'm a serious motherfucking mushroom lover.

and i wish i could invite you over to my vegetarian co-op for dinner. so cheap, so good, but so in iowa city.

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