April 24, 2013

A New Post from Hally - I Know, It's Crazy!

Oh my goodness. I am posting on The Odd Couple Eats! It has been so long that this feels completely surreal!

I don't know if anyone is still reading this (though my stats seem to suggest that people are), so I just wanted to pop in and say a few words. It has been a full year since I last posted, and I never gave any explanation for the discontinuation of The Odd Couple Eats. So basically, I'm the worst ever.

In a nutshell: I decided to go back to school and this meant that my life got way busier than anticipated. Aside from being short on time to post, I have also been short on time to cook. Without cooking, a blog like this doesn't make much sense. I also began to feel a bit limited by the scope of TOCE. I know other vegan cooking blogs successfully integrate topics other than food, but for whatever reason, I just haven't felt I was able to do that here.

BUT, I wanted to let you know that I have launched a new blog called Bootstrapping It. This is a place for me to pursue my creative writing and just talk about all kinds of wacky things. I cordially invite you to check it out!

Meanwhile, I have no plans to take TOCE down. I hope people continue to use my old recipes and enjoy the content. As summer approaches and I get a break from school, I hope to be back in the kitchen and will try to post a few new recipes here! Thanks for supporting my endeavors and for being on the journey with me!


April 11, 2012

Food Truck Review - Cinnamon Snail

I'd been hearing about this organic, all vegan food truck called the Cinnamon Snail for awhile now. Based out of Red Bank, New Jersey, the snail makes it way to different neighborhoods in Manhattan every Monday-Friday, serving breakfast and lunch. Sometimes they also appear at special events in the outer boroughs. Reading about their menu on-line was enough to make me drool: sandwiches like the Lemongrass 5-Spice Seitan and the Red Curry Grilled Tofu Banh-Mi; Raw Pizza; a Fiery Southeast Asian Salad; and of course, the pastries. Their name "Cinnamon Snail" refers to their giant cinnamon rolls, but they also serve a delectable variety of donuts, danishes, cookies, etc.

The only problem is that they go on a hiatus every Winter. I waited patiently through the cold months until they finally hit the road again. Last week I read that they'd be parked in Midtown West, pretty close to my work. I strapped on my tennis shoes and set-off in search of the bright red truck. The walk was longer than expected and by the time I got there, it was around 12:20, prime feeding time. The line was already developing. People had heard about the Snail and they were hungry.

On this particular day, they happened to be set-up in front of Random House and people were pouring out of that building in droves to stake their place in line. (Proud to report: no line cutters! Yay, Random House!) As I squinted to see the menu from my place in line, I heard others raving about what they'd ordered on previous excursions. I could see the pastries in the case at the front of the truck... they were so close, yet so far away. I busied myself on my iPhone and within about ten minutes, I was at the front of the line. I decided to order a bit on the healthier side and went with the Maple Mustard Tempeh Sandwich. But no vegan can resist a dessert, so I added a Vanilla Bourbon Creme Brulee donut for good measure.

Another ten minutes later, I had my order in hand and began the trek back to the office. The sun was beating down and I was hungry, oh so hungry. I was tempted to sit down on the sidewalk and scarf down my food right then and there, but a meal so special deserved the proper environment in which to be enjoyed. I patiently made my way through mid-town and finally arrived at my desk. I tore in. 

Why yes, I am available for hand modeling. That scab should heal soon. (Ugh.)
On one hand, I was hoping the sandwich wouldn't be too good, because it would only lead to a deepening desire for Cinnamon Snail in the future. But those hopes were dashed. This thing was delicious. The bread seemed homemade and was lightly toasted, the tempeh was marinated to perfection and was layered with fresh kale, even fresher tomato, and grilled onions. It even smelled fantastic; I caught a few co-workers peeking over their cubicles to see what the heck I was eating.  

I told myself I'd save the donut for later in the day, but two minutes later I decided that was dumb. There could be an earthquake. We could all be dead later in the day! The donut didn't fare too well in my walk back to the office, so I'm sparing you a picture, but it tasted pretty darn good. The grease stains on the paperbag it was in were a reminder of the calories being consumed, though. I think next time I'll order a simpler dessert. This was a bit too much of a sugar rush for a weekday afternoon.

How do you find out if Cinnamon Snail will be in a neighborhood near you? The best way is to follow them on Facebook and Twitter where they update you with their scheduled locations. Try to go early or late to avoid rush hour, or be prepared to wait 20-30 minutes. It's worth it.

I see they are parked on 47th and Park Avenue today... that's pretty close to work. No, I will eat my leftovers like a good girl. Maybe...

March 28, 2012

New Contest Winner

Hello! So Katie, the original winner of my Blissful Bites by Christy Morgan giveaway, never contacted me. Sorry Katie, I tried to give you lots of time to respond, but I had to choose a new winner. The new winner, chosen at random is...


Who wrote: "Fresh fruit is absolutely blissful!"

So many fruit fans around here! And I'm one of them.

aschwitters, please email me at hally dot thornton at gmail dot com as soon as possible and a new cookbook will be on its way to you! Have a great day everyone!

March 26, 2012

Recipe Testing

Just a quick peek at some of the recipes I've been testing for Isa. That's a homemade peanut butter granola bar with a smoothie that I had for breakfast one morning.

Don't they look pretty all browned in the pan? I didn't even really know you could make granola bars at home. And they're GOOD.
These are the Lunchbox Chocolate Chip Cookies. They're quite healthy (well, at least they're not unhealthy) and so yummy. Can't wait for the cookbook to come out so all of you can try the recipes, too! Have a great Monday!

March 25, 2012

Recipe - Zesty Chickpea Salad

You know the old saying, "Opinions are like a**holes; everybody's got one"? Well, chickpea salad recipes are to vegans like opinions: everyone has their favorite way to make it. I decided this week to come up with my own and I've gotta say... I kinda killed it!

In my pre-gan days I loved tuna salad from a certain deli in Tucson. One of my friends who worked there said that the secret to really good tuna salad is fresh dill. Since then I've been using fresh dill in everything I can sneak it into, I adore it! It is one herb that doesn't get enough love, so I knew it would definitely make it into my chickpea salad. I also like a lot of crunch in recipes like this, so I used celery, green onion, and (the dark horse ingredient) diced red pepper. I love the way the peppers burst in your mouth with each bite, they really add an unexpected flavor here. Finish it up with some fresh lemon, vegan mayo, salt and pepper and layer it on toasted multigrain bread with tomato and lettuce. SO GOOD.

I'll let Johnny's words speak for themselves: "Next time you make this, don't change ANYTHING." "You have to blog about this." "This is one of the best sandwiches I've ever had!" Oh, and we ate this for dinner two nights in a row. Unprecedented in our household! I served it the first night with a simple vegetable soup and the second night with roasted sweet potatoes. I had a ton of leftover cilantro in the fridge, so I made a cilantro pesto to go with the potatoes. Stayed tuned for that recipe in my next post! 

Zesty Chickpea Salad
Serves 6-8

2 cans organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
2 tbsp fresh dill, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
5 tbsp vegan mayo

In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas until they are nearly all broken up, leaving a few whole. Add in all other ingredients and stir to combine. It's as simple as that!