4 x 3 = 12

For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus snack, here were my top three eats for this week…

breakfast{1}  The 2nd best* thing I ate all week – Vietnamese iced coffee.

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Café du Mondé coffee with chicory from our trip to NOLA with sweetened condensed milk.  Yum City.

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b{2}  A killer smoothie.

How pretty is this purple??  Frozen soursop and blueberries with cow’s milk and vanilla pudding mix.

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b{3}  Double chocolate oat bowl.

Oats, chia, freeze-dried strawberries, chocolate chips, and chocolate-covered cacao nibs.

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b{warning}  Do not recommend: this oatmeal drink box.

The flavor was way too artificial.  Adam tried a plain one and loved it so it’s probably the caramel flavor that’s the problem.

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lunch{1}  Cafeteria sandwich.

Turkey and cheese.  I mostly prefer to pack lunch for work but I hate trying to pack sandwiches so this is a great cafeteria option when I’m in the mood.

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l{2}  Yogurt bowl.

Coconut Greek yogurt with pink grapefruit is this year’s new favorite combo!  I snacked on the vanilla granola and chocolate coconut milk on the side.

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l{3}  Baked potato bar.

I topped my spud with cheese sauce, salsa, black beans, bell peppers, red onion, jalapeño, and cilantro.

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snack{1}  Caffeine overload.

Iced latte with chocolate-covered espresso beans.  Full disclosure – I drank a sugar-free Red Bull around this same time and spent an hour or two pretty sure I could hear colors.

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s{2}  Cheesy bagel.

I toasted half a poppy seed bagel with butter and cheddar-gruyere/parmesan-gouda.  Eaten while prepping dinner because I just couldn’t wait.

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s{3}  Yogurt bowl with my favorite citrus.

Maple yogurt with Heritage Flakes.  Plus a Sumo Mandarin.

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dinner{1}  Let’s be real, the very best* thing I ate this week was nachos.

Four-cheese nachos with black beans and roasted garlic salsa.  Duh.  But no photo because we ate them in bed in the middle of the day (<–fabulous) and my main focus was on keeping them away from the dog.

d{2}  Gojuchang turkey rice bowls.

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Brown rice with cilantro, lime and butter / roasted cabbage / ground turkey sautéed with spring onions and cilantro and a sauce made out of gojuchang, brown sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar / black sesame seeds and lime juice on top.

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d{3}  Cheesy eggs.

A scramble with cheddar-gruyere and parmesan-gouda.  Plus baby carrots for a quick veggie on the side.

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d{warning}  Do not recommend: the altered quinoa soup I blogged about last weekend.

I see why Cooking Light only used a quarter cup of grains, by day 2 our leftovers were very well-hydrated quinoa with not a drop of broth to be found.

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Walking Weekend

I didn’t watch any of the game, but my weekend sure was super.  Saturday morning Adam and I woke up extra early and went into the city to watch the sunrise.  We parked in Dumbo, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, wandered around lower Manhattan, and then walked around Chelsea.  Then we took the subway to Park Slope, did a long loop through our old neighborhood, and walked back through Fort Greene to our car in Dumbo.  Throughout the day we ended up walking >11 miles.

Of course, the minute the sunrise started getting gorgeous my camera started dying/getting too cold to function.

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We punctuated our walk with stops for coffees and desserts, but most of it went unphotographed due to my technical difficulties.  Highlights included a dulce de leche iced coffee from Terremoto turned into an affogato with a scoop of goat milk tahini ice cream from Seed + Mill.

I did manage to get a shot of breakfast #1, at the Oculus.  We split a “hell of a nerve” from Joe and the Juice – banana, elderflower, and strawberry juice.

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Plus pastries and lattes at Eataly (with sips of Italian cola).  I got a cream filled croissant; the pastry wasn’t flaky enough for me but the cream was fantastic and I ate it out with a spoon!

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And I had to Instagram breakfast #2 at Santina.

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I had a fantasmic egg sandwich.  Fluffy egg on a soft bun with tons of fontina cheese and green chiles.  I pretty much swooned after every bite.

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Friday’s breakfast was a smoothie.  Frozen strawberries with plain Greek yogurt and chocolate-mint soy milk.

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And Sunday I made an egg sandwich at home.  Smoked gouda and a fried egg on a brioche bun.

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Another highlight was dinner at Pig Beach.  We loved their vibe and their great 90’s music playlist <== we listened to “Pony” by Ginuwine!  There weren’t a ton of menu options for me so I ordered some sides and then got some from Whole Food’s hot bar later on.

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Macaroni and cheese, yummy purple cole slaw, and buckeyes for dessert.  Plus a 10/10 vodka soda and an amazing drink with vodka, honey, and rosé.

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I may not have watched the Super Bowl, but I definitely spent Sunday making and eating on-themed foods!  We had nachos with buffalo chicken on TJ’s honey butter chips.

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Muddy Buddies – made with Biscoff cookie butter instead of peanut butter because I’m bringing them into work at there’s a nut allergy.

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And I used a fun product sample from Moore’s Marinades to make my buffalo chicken baked pasta.

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I used their Blue Cheese Buffalo Wing Sauce – instead of putting in hot sauce and blue cheese separately – and my pasta came out great.  P.S. heat haters, this sauce is more tangy than spicy and I recommend it for wimps too.

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Have a super week!

Chocolate Strawberry And Banana Date

A short post for a short week; here were my top five tastes…

Snack-pack lunch at work.  Crispy broccoli, jerky(1), baby carrots, and a Cara Cara Orange.

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I am a sucker for limited edition Oreos(2).  I always eat them by splitting two in half to make one double-stuffed cookie.

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Homemade dinner, chicken with bbq sauce, roasted asparagus, and another killer potato(3) recipe from Serious Eats.

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Dinner out with a friend, I finally made it to Taïm  and I loved it.  We had sandwiches(4) and smoothies(5).

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  1. Smoked Salmon Maple Stick from EPIC
  2. chocolate-covered strawberry limited edition Oreos
  3. cheesy onion, bacon, and potato gratin
  4. pita with balaganoush, tahini, Moroccan carrots, and pickled cabbage
  5. date, lime, banana, and soy milk

Long Weekend Top Five

I had a very enjoyable weekend, including two fancy brunches and one entire day spent watching tv and eating nachos with a dog lounging in my lap.  There have been some very enjoyable eats over the past four days too.

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Here were the top five…

{1}  The final serving of my new favorite coffee combo.

Texas pecan cold brew + sweet buttercream creamer + ice + a straw = a very happy Emily.  Adam loved it too.

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{2}  Brunch at Gristmill in Park Slope.

We adored it and will definitely be back for dinner.  They are known for their garlic knots and that morning they had an everything garlic knot for The Loxness Knotster – with pastrami smoked salmon from ACME, cream cheese, ricotta,  and dill.

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I  got a Brunch Punch – with rum, lemon-lime shrub, grenadine, cinnamon, and clove.  It was so pink!

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Plus spicy potato hash with carrots, arugula, and poached egg.  This dish was soooo balanced and just a joy to eat.

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{3}  Brunch at Sunday in Brooklyn in Williamsburg.

I had an egg sandwich on brioche with gochujang aioli, crispy potatoes, and cheddar.  Plus a toasted oak soda with a shot of vodka.  <– such a genius idea that the owner came by and nodded his approval.

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{4}  Super soup.

Served with ridiculously cheesy buttered toast.

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Yellow onion, celery, green bell pepper, and carrot sautéed in evoo / white miso / low-sodium chicken broth / shredded turkey breast / pesto tortellini.  The soup was super easy since I already had the cooked meat in my freezer.  I boiled the pasta in my broth and it came out great.

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{5} Okonomiyaki aka Japanese cabbage pancake.

Thank you, Serious Eats, for introducing me to another new yummy thing.

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Served with quick salads of celery, red bell pepper, basil, and green onion, in a mustard vinaigrette.

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My pans stick so my okonomiyaki came out in pieces, but you could hardly tell once I smothered it in toppings!  Cabbage and Japanese sweet potato pancake / fish sauce aioli / gochujang / roasted seaweed / black sesame seeds / green onion.

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Next week is going to be less exotic but more cheesy, I’m making a gratin!

Hello, 2017!

How is everyone’s year going?? So far, the word for my 2017 is tasty.

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Here are some culinary highlights from the first week…

Coffee first, always coffee.  Espresso roast and chocolate milk before work.

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I also had the best iced latte of the year from Birch; their shots are extra strong and roasty.

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Adam and I both had Monday off of work and we started our new year with a trip to Serendipity 3.

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Veggie chili for my lunch.

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I kept lunch boring because I was focused on the main event – sundae funday!  A giant scoop of peanut butter pie with hot fudge and bananas.  <– swoon city

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Work lunches were centered around a box of free product review samples I received from ips snacks.  The snacks – crisps and popcorn – are all made with whey protein and pack at least 5 grams of protein for </ 150 calories.

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I have to admit that I liked the snacks a lot more than I was expecting to.  The salted popcorn was honestly the best bagged popcorn Adam or I have ever tasted!  It was filling, satisfying, and totally delicious.  The chips would rate poorly if I compared them to chip-chips, but score a 9/10 as snack crisps.  Very few snacks, especially ones that pack less than 200 calories, keep me full enough in the afternoon that I don’t consider gnawing my own arm off on the train, but these did the trick.

I packed crisps and fruit to pair with toasted turkey and cheese cafeteria sandwiches.  BBQ chips and a cara cara.

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Sea salt and black pepper chips and an Asian pear.

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Snack attack.  Popcorn and a honey kolsch.

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Yogurt bowl with plain Greek, chocolate tahini, sliced snap dragon apple, chia seeds, cinnamon, and sweet and spicy pecans.

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I was killing it with dinners this week.  Three different veggie-forward, flavor-loaded, 10/10 dishes!  When I made fried green onions last week I saved the infused oil and that’s what I used for cooking this week.  First, a simple salad to start off the new year.

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Oak leaf lettuce, TJ’s Greek-style feta dressing, cucumber, dill, and roasted chickpeas.  With hibiscus kombucha on the side.

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Next up, spicy cabbage salad with turkey and peanuts from Bon Appétit.  I only ever read this magazine on plane rides but this recipe alone would be worth the subscription cost!

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I doubled up so that we could get 4 big dinners out of it, and roasted the cabbage so it was less voluminous, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly <– something I rarely do.

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Served with cheesey breadsticks, aka pizza dough rolled up with an obscene amount of cheese.

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Finally, I tried my hand at shakshuka.  Based loosely on the recipes from Serious Eats and My Name is Yeh, my version had red bell peppers, red jalapeño pepper, and serrano pepper.

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Served with hunks of sourdough.

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I’m excited to do a little more exploring in the kitchen this new year.  My meal plan list for the next month or so includes menemen, mapo tofu, kaya jam, okonomiyaki, and chilaquiles!

Biscuit Brunches

Did everyone have a good weekend?  I had two days off with the husband so mine was fantabulous.  We had two great brunches, cooked two tasty dinners, accomplished all of our to-dos… the weather even held out for us.

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Have you registered your Starbucks card yet?  This was free.

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This coffee – a triple shot maple iced latte from Bittersweet -was better though, probably because we bought it with a giant chocolate chunk cookie that was both doughy and crispy.

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Brunch 1 was at The General Greene in Fort Greene.  Adam went there a few weeks ago and has been raving about the biscuits.  I thought mine tasted like cornbread.

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I drank a Middleton – whiskey, mezcal, lime, luxardo cherry, and earl grey syrup.

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And ordered the Huevos Salvadorenos.  Sunny side up eggs on bean and cheese pupusas with salsas, crema, and curtido (a fermented cabbage relish).  Plus yucca fries.

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Brunch 2 was bbq at Blue Smoke in Flatiron.  FYI – that’s a cold brew coffee with bourbon maple cream.

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I also had a mind-blowingly good Milk Punch.  It tasted like melted egg nog ice cream!

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And a bright eyed sandwich, aka the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever eaten.  Fried egg, pimento cheese, and spicy fried chicken on a biscuit doughnut.  Runny egg and pimento cheese might be the best thing ever and the person who decided to make a biscuit doughnut is obviously a genius.

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We checked out the new Smorgasburg location at Skylight One Hansen on opening day.

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The space was gorgeous but way too hot and with too many opportunities for bottlenecks to form.  Worth it though, for this scoop of toasted nutmeg ice cream from Malai.  It was scrumptious.

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Sunday’s afternoon treat was winter melon bubble tea with boba and grass jelly.

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I was excited about two new recipes and actually cooked us a real dinner both nights.  Prep-work sustenance was pumpernickel pretzels and pumpkin beers.

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Cooking Light’s black eyed pea cakes.  Topped with a relish of sautéed red and yellow bell peppers and turkey bacon.  Plus broccoli.

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Sunday’s dinner was even better though, and I didn’t even follow a recipe.  I spent three hours cooking up this turkey bolognaise and the time commitment was worth it!  Best sauce we’ve ever had.  Served on orecchiette pasta with roasted zucchini on the side.

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Have a great week!

Working Weekend Wrap-Up

No traditional weekend for me, my only day off was Thursday.  I’m actually working straight through this Thursday – 7 days in a row – which means next weekend will be a three-day extravaganza!  It’s hard to complain about 7 days anyway, my last year at Buff State when I was doing school/internship/part-time job there were a few stretches where I went 30 days plus without a true day off.

The past 4 days in numbers –

  • glasses of iced coffee – 7
  • packed lunches – 0
  • product reviews* – 2
  • desserts – 10 billion
  • books read start to finish** – 1

notes: *the products were both sent to me free of charge and neither company gave me additional compensation for this post; **the book was a murder mystery that I actually hated but needed to know the ending to

Here are the highlights…

Key lime cookie from Schmackary’s.

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With white chocolate, pistachios, and cream cheese icing.  The middle is the best part.

Three new dark chocolate flavors of Nonni’s Almond THINaddictives* – Dark Chocolate Banana Almond, Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond, and Double Dark Chocolate Almond.  FYI – hit up their Facebook page for a new flavors giveaway.

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They are 70-80 calories per pack (2 thins) and crisp but not too crumbly.  I though the double chocolate flavor was a bit plain but the cherry and banana had great notes of tart and sweet.  This week I paired them with my coffee but I’m also looking forward to crumbling them into yogurts.

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That combo is killer, Grady’s is thick and sweet and it makes my heart sing.

Traditional breakfast.

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Potatoes, scrambled eggs, and (turkey) bacon.  Covered in ketchup because I grew up in St. Thomas and we put ketchup on everything.  <– real talk, I didn’t know that ketchup wasn’t an automatic pairing for chicken wings until I went to college; now I mostly use other condiments but scrambled eggs always get ketchup

The cafeteria is pretty grim over the weekend but Friday I did eat this seafood feast.

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Fried shrimp, potato wedges, and vinegar-based cole slaw.  We had leftover ice cream from our birthday party and I taught my coworkers about Australian iced coffees.

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They loved it!

Since I didn’t have my yogurt lunches I got my probiotics in the form of Health-Ade Kombucha*.

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Their small-batch (2.5 gallons) fizz is organic, vegan, kosher, and gluten-free.  They do their fermenting in glass containers only and the bottles are fantastic and just begging to house a handful of wildflowers.  Health-Ade generously sent me a case of Ginger Lemon.

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I have to confess here that I actually kind of hate ginger.  Nonetheless, I found the kombucha to be very enjoyable.  The flavor behind the spice was very “clean” and just sweet enough.  I still wouldn’t buy this flavor once I finish my samples but I will damn sure scoop up Pink Lady Apple or California Grape the minute I spot them.  P.S. I brought a bottle to a ginger loving friend and she said it was hands down the best kombucha she’s ever tasted.

Date night in Hell’s Kitchen.  My NCIS obsession finally paid off for Adam – I took us to Donna Bella Bake Shop because it’s co-owned by Pauley Perrette (aka lab tech Abby).  We had a dreamy lemon bar and this delectable brownie with a cookie crust and ganache on top.

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We walked past Room Service and decided to do Thai for dinner.

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That guava mojito was terrible and weak.  But the crispy duck salad wasn’t half bad.

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I ordered the Pad Noh Mai for dinner, shrimps, minced chicken, fresh basils, Thai chili, and bamboo shoots with herbs chili paste garlic sauce.

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The menu promised spice and it delivered.  I wouldn’t recommend this restaurant though, Hell’s Kitchen is a bastion of excellent, authentic Thai restaurants and you can do better.

I cooked!  A real dinner, a stew, made of vegetables no less.  I put the crock pot to work for me, filled to its brim.  Onion / garlic / carrot / kale / red bell pepper / white beans / red lentils / diced tomato / veggie broth.

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I didn’t bother to season or brown anything so the end result was a little bland, but topped with melted cheese it was hearty and satisfying.

Three down, four to go.