Xmas Feast

I might’ve been guilty of forcing family members to enjoy  a taste of Veganism this holiday season. I did make sure it would be super tasty. This was my second Tofurky Veggie Roast made in the last month. I had already come up with an idea before actually reading their instructions/recommendations. I was glad we were on the same page.

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I made two different feasts a couple of weeks apart. Both being very similar, the first being a trial. It took me quite a few minutes to make sense of my notes, but I think I got it. I think we’re good. Let’s go!

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The only mistake was not being sober enough both instances to take a decent picture. My tastebuds, however, took a few amazing photographs.

Trial Xmas Feast ingredients:

  • ⓋraⓋy or GraⓋy

  • Tofurky Veggie Roast, thawed
  • Veggies
  • A beer or two to help the brain to think freely

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ⓋraⓋy or GraⓋy ingredients:

  • Chipotle/Chili/Paprika seasonings
  • Fresh Garlic/Turmeric, minced
  • SeaSalt/pepper/Sage/Savory
  • NutritionalYeast/LiquidSmoke/BrownSugar
  • Oil/BalsamicVinegar
  • Water
  • Onion/Celery/Carrot/Mushroom/Radish, super diced
  • Serrano, deseed or not for more spice, super diced

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GraⓋy grooiness:

  • Heat oil and add Turmeric & Garlic and slightly brown.
  • Add super diced Veggies and stir for 10 minutes.
  • Season, add Balsamic Vinegar/Liquid Smoke and cook for a few more minutes before adding water.
  • Simmer and cook down before blending for smootherness.

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Veggie Mix ingredients:

  • Brown Rice, dry
  • Carrots, baby
  • Celery, chopped
  • Onion, sliced or diced
  • Potato, chopped
  • Lightlife ‘Sausage’ & ‘Beef’, torn
  • Raw Cashews, smashed
  • SeaSalt/Pepper/Fennel/Rosemary
  • Broth/BalsamicVinegar
  • Lentils, dry

Mix. And don’t worry about getting those Cashews too smashed. They can hold their own.

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Use a casserole dish and fill with Veggies. Make Veggie Roast fit in the middle of Veggies and cover with GraⓋy. Save GraⓋy for afterwards, also.

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Very tasty and a job well done; deserving some tinkering for a Xmas meal.

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Xmas Feast ingredients:

  • GraⓋy
  • Tofurky Veggie Roast, thawed
  • Veggies
  • I refrained from a deliciously good beer until party time, but be my guest!

GraⓋy ingredients:

  • Broth, veggie of course
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt/Pepper/GarlicP/OnionP/Paprika/ChiliP
  • Fresh Garlic/Turmeric, minced
  • Oil/LiquidSmoke/NutritionalYeast/BrownSugar
  • Soyrizzo
  • Serrano, deseeded or not, diced
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Mushroom, super diced
  • Carrot, super diced
  • Celery, super diced
  • Onion, super diced
  • Bell Peppers (green,yellow,red), super diced

I wanted to go with a mexican warmer Gravy, cooking down all of the flavors for some time before blending.

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Veggie Mix ingredients:

  • Brussels Sprouts, sliced
  • Potato (Sweet and Russet), chopped in-skin
  • Carrot, baby
  • Onion, sliced or diced
  • Salt/Pepper/Rosemary/Fennel
  • Broth
  • Beans (I used Northern), undercooked
  • Brown Rice, dry
  • Tofu, extra firm
  • Vegan ‘Bacon’, sliced

Mix. Same as my Trial Feast, let this baby cook and intensify its wonderful flavor.

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Couldn’t be happier of the Xmas Feast’s results.

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I hope y’all had a wonderful Christmas! Onto the new year!

ⓋLT Science

I’ve been vigorously trying to construct the perfect ‘blt’ever since finding Sweet Earth ‘Bacon’ in early December for the first time. It is a great product and will continue to purchase it. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that any ⓋLT is not perfect unless I have made my own Vegan bacon or Seican. I have a recipe map already made up, just need to pull that trigger and kill some plants! I truly hate plants and hope that they all die.

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A ⓋLT (Vegan BLT) is common sense and easy to make and configure. I did make Vegan Island Dressing.

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Vegan Island Dressing ingredients:

  • Vegenaise, mmmm (64) @ $9.98 = $0.16 per serving
  • Cucumber, deseeded & diced (4.5) @ $0.70 = $0.16 per serving
  • Radish, diced (7.5) @$1.19 = $0.16 per serving
  • Celery seed = $0.05 per serving (probably less)
  • Seasonings: GarlicP/OnionP/Paprika/Salt/Pepper/Sugar = $0.05 per serving
  • Shallot, diced (4.5) @ $0.72 = $0.16 per serving
  • Sriracha (96) @ $2.97 = $0.04 per serving
  • Balsamic Vinegar (32) @ $2.97 = $0.10 per serving

Prep, Mix & Spread. For roughly 88 cents per serving and for the number of servings you can have, the punch in the mouth of flavor compared to cost is unreal. Making a Vegan BLT with Vegan Island and pairing with a nice (local) IPA hits the spot so hard.

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The only things that I can recommend for awesome VLTs are:

  • Use fresh Veggies
  • Use good Bread
  • Toast the Bread
  • And prep your own Veggies
  • Use your imagination 🙂

CAUTION:

ⓋLT pictures and adaptations to follow…

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I’ve also found it better to use the Vegan ‘bacon’ right out of the package. I hope everyone takes pride in the Quality of their pictures as much as I do. QUALITYoverQUANTITY. Have fun & be healthy! Happy SUNDAY!

Battle

Many folks say that things happen for a reason. Prove it on an astronomical level and disprove that shit just happens. There is a huge difference from cause and effect and fate, basically being the difference of air and water between all living beings. 

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Tonight’s ride attempt was a fail. Hence, my battle. I am not a prancy-everything-has-to-be-perfect, cyclist. I am a grinder and a true sport. I got off of work early today to follow that with having a beer with my boss. I decided to ignore the wet atmosphere generously dampening my world and suited up to hop on the Fat Bike.  I, first of all, encountered a flood I was not going to ride through. I unclipped left and couldn’t unclip right and immediately noticed that I lost a screw.

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The Elements and Technology hit me hard. Using the Fat Bike and my one free foot for balance on a damp slight slope was not easily achievable for first to get my foot out of my Bontrager cycling shoe and two to then remove my shoe from the Crank Brothers Eggbeater pedal to better protect my cold foot from the cold wetness. I threw in the white flag and walked the bike home. I am thankful for this happening close to home. I am thankful for bringing beers.

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I have lost a battle, however, I will win the war.

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#RIDEON

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LBⓋ 11/10 Roasted Potatoes

LBⓋ = Low Budget Ⓥegan

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MERRY CHRISTMAS, y’all!

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Good food, good beer, a bit of time on my CROSSMAS bike (2014 TREK CrossRip aka HULKRIP) and not to mention quality family time is the perfect balance of greatness for I to strive this holiday season.

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My sisters were mentioning that I need to write a cook book. I failed to mention all of you wonderful people that I annoy and torture with my deafening words and blinding pictures on WordPress. I will, however, take it into consideration.

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It is oftenly easy to get ahead of yourself (myself) and experiment with food. Which is great, but not the best thing to do with family as your test bunnies unless you do not like them. There is nothing wrong with keeping things simple. I made Roasted Potatoes and a mastered experimental dish that I’ll get into another time. I will seriously not be climbing into the casserole dish with all of that glorious food consuming space waiting to be embraced inside of my tummy. Apologies for any misleads. I have an idea for bread, but decided to hold off and do that concept as a project just for myself. Crafting your (my) Ⓥ experiments before sharing is ideal. And it pans out. Happiness and joy to follow. Nothing is more satisfying (to me) than showing off a successful experimental dish you (I) constructed.

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LBⓋ 11/10 Roasted Potatoes ingredients:

  • Red Potato (15) @ $2.49 = $0.17 per serving
  • Sriracha (96) @ $2.97 = $0.04 per serving
  • Balsamic Vinegar (32) = $0.10 per serving
  • Seasonings: Salt/Pepper/Oil/Rosemary/Basil = $0.08 per serving

Potato Process:)

  • Chop potatoes and from a decent distance, throw into large mixing bowl;)
  • Add everything except Basil and mix.
  • I put on baking sheet and wrapped with foil.
  • I baked for 60-75 minutes before removing foil and broiling slightly to finish.
  • Garnish with Basil and transfer to be made presentable.
  • At a whopping $0.39 per serving, this is a simple no-brainer for a side dish.

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Happy Crossmas!

2015 Cycling

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I’ve been riding bicycles pretty regularly since 2009. Where the cycling relapse, in college around and about Southern Illinois, begun and I have been evolving into a decently average bicyclist since.

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EⓋolⓋe –

verb (used without object), evolved, evolving.

3.

to come forth gradually into being; develop; undergo evolution :

The whole idea evolved from a casual remark.

4.

Biology. to develop by a process of evolution to a different adaptive state or condition:

The human species evolved from an ancestor that was probably arboreal.

 I’ve made many Gran Fondo’s, metric centuries, imperial centuries and mudfulness’ towards becoming a better cyclist. Why not have a hobby that menatlly and physically stengthens you. Why not obtain and flourish a sense of adventurism.

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Remember when you were a child and you actually remember how enjoyable your days were? Have you ever experienced a sobering permi-smile joy as an adult? There is an ongoing group of peers who (including myself) have had that same childhood sense while riding a Fat Bike. A Fat Bike is a massive sand, snow, creek venturing MTB (mountain bike) machine. In this group I had the first Fat Bike. It may have been low end, but it worked for a few kilometers. Now, I’ve ridden with almost ten differently owned FATBIKES. It is unreal in the snow. UNREAL IN THE SNOW.

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I’ve been concentrating on the mental aspect of cycling rather than the physical demands for years. At work, on a walk, in the pool, just anywhere, I try and bring myself to breaking points. I want to have an unbreakable mind. I put myself through extremely aggitating scenerios that I will not prematurely specifically blog all over your face.

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I did a Gran Fondo (110 km) Fat Bike ride and it was mentally draining.

Fat Bike Hike

What’s next? 🙂

Be happy. Be adventurist. Be healthy. Live and challenge yourself.

iGeek

I feel (not sure if it is true or not) I am modest when it comes to things that I’m talented with. I am not a super hero, otherwise I would not have a surplus of blog material without a blog motive. You know, when you subconsciously map a recipe for an idea of blogging and then go about your lifestyle creating awesome material to write about and then find it difficult to catch up and to find motivation to publish.

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I have noticed different moods for my brain that is better at dealing with different activities. I do like to write, but not all of the time. I’ve been doing my own style of writing since high school. It might have been an abundance of horrible poetry, but it wasn’t all garbage. Random writing has been a staple of my lifestyle for some time for whatever life brings. Coinciding with writing is playing Chess. I tend to want to write and play chess more in the winter during less climately inviting conditions are presently outside. When I am more active outside, I don’t like to write or play chess. I may have just madeup the word “climately”.

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I watched Searching for Bobby Fischer in 1994-95. I started playing Chess in fifth grade homeroom at age 11, in 1996. I continued to play chess until present day where I play Chess With Friends, a mobile Chess app, everyday. I have lost matches many of times and to me, that is the best way to learn.

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My all-time winning percentage on Chess With Friends is 70% and I believe I started in 2009-2010. I am in no way a Chess grandmaster, just a dude that is decent at Chess.

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I refrain from considering myself a nerd. I am a geek, a person who likes nerdy things, but can still party like a rock star.

To me, there is not a better game out there that at the same time prepares your mind for the biggest game, life. It’s never too late to take up a new game, lifestyle and/or hobby.

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Successful Strategy

“If you woke up and didn’t learn anything today, why the fuck did you wake up?”

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Work hard. Play harder.

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(not sure why I cannot remove ‘food’ from this category)

 

I & M Canal’s Issue

The Illinos & Michigan Canal united the East Coast to the Gulf of Mexico with easier access as of 1848. According to Wikipedia, since 1964 eight engineered canal locks were designated a National Historic Landmark.

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I’ve been getting to know this historic path extremely well since 2012. I documented a ride in September, 2012 that did not show any signs of a washout. I only documented aftermath of a fire that burned a field. And I have experienced and taken at least one decent bicycle ride via I&M Towpath that was washout-free. I remember this individual ride because of pictures and it was my contemplation process of ending a relationship. Without any detours or hazards, it was a free-thinking and relaxing ride.

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In September the following (2013) year, was my next documentation of the I&M Canal. The towpath and I became close from then on. Ever since 2013 the same washout has been between Utica, IL and Ottawa, IL like one side is Mexico and the other the U.S with neither claiming the territory resulting in ultimate neglect..

Starved Rock State Park

There has been washouts along the Illinois & Michigan Canal, but have been fixed. There has been a near washout along the Hennepin Canal and even that has been fixed.

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And then.

Hennepin Canal

The most West part of the I&M Canal does contain a rich Irish and Polish heritage equalling a poor catholic culture with a life involved around hefty drinking and vices.

Illinois Valley History

Furthermore, The I&M Canal provides immense opportunities for various activities from walking, running, adventurism and cycling. To pass the washout in and concludes risking injury, breaking the law, taking a high traffic road, and/or traveling extremely out of the way defeating the purpose of a worry free environment in which to roam.

I have heard IDNR has projected the project at a cost around $300,000.

Local businesses have offered to fund and construct permanent results only to be turned down. I’ve had about enough of this hazard/annoyance/apathy/lack-of-government-help

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There has even been rumors of the BEAUTIFUL Starved Rock park to be promoted to a National Park. How is this neglect possible just outside of this unique beauty?

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Just hoping for a miracle. Please share.

Happy Monday!