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Now that you’ve made the Abundant Harvest Salad, you need a creamy, bright dressing to complement all of those beautiful flavors and textures. Enter, Lemon Tahini Dressing.

1/3 cup tahini
juice of 1 large lemon
3 scallions, thinly sliced
kosher salt and black pepper, optional, to taste

1. In a small bowl, combine the tahini with 1/3 cup water and the lemon juice. Stir until smooth.
2. Add the scallions to the bowl and stir.
3. Season with salt and pepper, if using, to taste.

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A few weeks ago, I found myself in Orlando, Florida for a wedding. No, I didn’t go to Disney, and yes, I cried through the entire ceremony, and of course I danced. Ohhhh, did I dance. But I also had some fabulous vegetarian food at Dandelion Communitea Cafe. Not only was it delicious and satisfying, it was a revelation. I had one of the best salads I’ve enjoyed in a long time, and my S.S. had a killer Flutter Nutter sandwich, made with almond butter, homemade fluff and sliced bananas.

If you ever find yourself in the Orlando area, it is worth a special trip to the cafe. If you don’t, you can try my attempt at their salad, the Abundant Harvest:

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on a bias
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced in a bias
1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
corn kernels from 2 ears of corn
4 oz sprig mix, or other salad green
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cups cooked quinoa
Pumpkin seeds, toasted, to garnish

1. Combine the carrots, celery, broccoli, chick peas, corn kernels, spring mix, and tomatoes.
2. Fold in the quinoa.
3. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.
4. Eat. And do me a favor–make this the main course. There’s a good deal of prep, and it’s glorious. It deserves to take center stage.

vegan kitchen sink salad

But wait! The dressing! Tune in tomorrow for my take on the Green Goddess dressing served with the Abundant Harvest at Dandelion Communitea Cafe (like what I did right there?).

As much as I love cooking, I look forward to the nights of ordering takeout, eating in my underwear and watching TV. And nothing rounds out the experience like a hunk of cake. That’s where Dao Palate comes in.

It’s a vegan joint in Brooklyn, and it’s my new favorite place to get delivery. I’ve only gotten a few dishes so far (I’m sure that’ll change by tonight), but I have sampled (scarfed) their peanut butter bomb more than once. I even ordered it–and only it–after eating Dao Palate leftovers, because the cake didn’t make it to the fridge.

It’s that good.

Brooklyn Heights was in desperate need for a cozy, neighborhood cafe with halfway decent food and coffee. And Brooklyn Heights got just that with the opening of Iris Cafe.

But it’s more than just decent–it’s damn good. The coffee is Stumptown and French pressed, the specials are bold, and the salads refreshing and satisfying, especially when paired with the complimentary hunk of bread with butter.

The only problem is finding space to sit. Go during off hours when you can eat with leisure, enjoy the decor, and eavesdrop on the entertaining conversations of the rich and hip Brooklynites.

And be sure to get a Nutella bar. You’ll thank me later. And then you’ll hate me forever.

Surprisingly, I’ve had some good barbecue in Brooklyn. It’s not something I make myself, due to the lack of a cohesive kitchen, grill, outdoor space, time, etc. Thankfully I’m not too far from this place:

The Smoke Joint in Fort Greene serves up some solid barbecue. The pulled pork is reliable, the smoked chicken is a great vehicle for both the sweet and spicy homemade barbecue sauces, the fries are done right and dusted with spice rub, and the beef short ribs are more than decent.

I’m not talking about food that is going to completely blow your mind. But for Brooklyn, it does a good job of satisfying my need for smoke, grease, and fall-off-the-bone meat. And, they serve Porkslap.

Fette Sau. It’s the type of place I dream about. Images of meat adorn the walls; beer tap handles are replaced with kitchen utensils that are better suited as props in a horror movie; meat is served on sheet pans; draught beer can be purchased by the gallon. Do I really need to say more?

I guess I could go on about how salty, smoky, tender, blah, blah, blah the meat was. I could rave about the beer selection. I could also get down to the excruciating details, like that there are no napkins but rather rolls of paper towels to catch the juice running down your chin. But I’m even starting to bore myself.

The bottom line is this: Fette Sau (did I forget to mention that it is German for ‘fat pig’?) is worth the trip out to hipsterville in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. And it’s worth the long wait (though, since there are separate food and booze lines, I recommend sending a friend to grab some drinks to pass the time). Well worth it.

Hamden, Connecticut doesn’t spring to mind when I think of great places to have a meal. In fact, Hamden, Connecticut doesn’t spring to mind when I think of anything, really. In the past few months, however, I’ve been spending a good chunk of time there, and thankfully, there’s MiKro.

On Whitney Avenue, in a small shopping strip of sorts, you’ll find this little beer bar wedged amongst a UPS store and a pizza joint. The beer selection is wealthy yet manageable, the menu is sophisticated but not pretentious, the barkeeps know their stuff, and the food—oh, the food. I can easily say it’s the best food I’ve had in Hamden to date, and I don’t see it falling from that position.

Head to MiKro and order one of these:

And once you get to this point:

Order another.