My trip to Rockport was okay. We left on Friday the 18th and came back on Sunday. I had last Monday off and we were planning to stay until Monday, but by then we were ready to go home. The main reason was that it was too cold and wet to do anything other than sit in our tiny cabin and read. The first night we got there was rather unpleasant. We arrived pretty late, and the heaters in the place weren't working. We finally had to tell one of the managers about it. It turns out that the circuit was tripped. He was able to get them running. Meanwhile, it was pouring outside.
Saturday was a little better. It was still pretty cold, but it stopped raining. We went to a wildlife preserve and saw whooping cranes and armadillos. There were supposed to be alligators there too, but it was too cold for them to be out. On Sunday, we went home, but not without stopping at Green! It was so delicious (but not too healthy!). I ordered sesame chikin with brown rice and a salad. My dad had zucchini enchiladas, brown rice and sweet potato fries and my mom had the popcorn tofu po boy with french fires. My dish was fantastic! The brown rice was great also, and had lentils in it. I tried the sweet potato fries, french fries and tofu po boy, which were also great, though the tofu po boy was a little too salty for me. I did not try my dad's zucchini enchilada(dairy cheese!). I also got a soft serve soy ice cream for dessert, which wasn't very good. I prefer oatscreme from Dhaba Joy!
While we were there, we made Chickpea Ratatouille from Vive Le Vegan using Chickpeas we cooked in the crockpot. I didn't realize beforehand that it had to be baked, so we didn't have anything to cover it with, but it still cooked in the right amount of time. I left out the vinegar and oil. It was very tasty and we had leftovers that we had to haul home in our cooler.
A day or two after we got back, since we still had some chickpeas (we cooked two pounds!) and some spinach that was getting old, we made Chickpea and Spinach Curry from Vegan with a Vengance. My parents enjoyed it, but I found it rather bland and the spinach had a slimy texture. Maybe one reason for this was that the recipe called for 2 TB of fresh ginger, and we barely had 1 TB.
After that, we STILL had some chickpeas, so we made Curried Garbanzo Beans . If I was forced to pick a favorite recipe, it would have to be this one. I have made this recipe several times. It can be a lifesaver when I'm short on time but demand something flavorful. It can't get much simpler than this-heat some spices and garlic, add chickpeas, mash, cook for twenty minutes, cut up some lemon, cilantro and tomato while wait, then mix them in when it's done cooking; serve. That's it. You can even leave out the lemon, cilantro and/or tomato if you really need to. The spices make it very flavorful, and it has a nice, thick and mushy texture, sort of like a thick dal. After we finish all the chickpeas, we made Chipotle Corn and Black Bean soup again.
On Saturday, I had my first UIL competition of the year! Our team actually went to two before this, one in November and one in December, but I had to take the SAT 1 and SAT 2 and had to miss both of them! This meet had very difficult tests, and we had to compete against 5A schools. Normally we only compete against other 4A schools. I didn't place in any of my math events, but I got 4th place in Science. In fact, I tied with the 3rd place winner, but there was a tiebreaker. I have another competition in two weeks. There will be less schools, and no 5A schools, so hopefully I will do better.
Last night I had dinner with the members of Royal Co-op. Having dinner with them is part of their application process. If I go to UT next year, I definitely want to live either in this co-op or the House of Commons. It is a great alternative to the dorms. Most of the dorms don't even have a kitchen, and you're required to buy a meal plan if you live in the dorms. Plus, the co-ops are about $2000-$3000 cheaper a year, even if you have your own room! And, these two serve only vegan food! The only catch is you have to do 5-6 hours of housework a week. But that can include helping cook the meals, which I actually enjoy.
I was pretty nervous about the dinner, but it went well. I'm pretty shy. They seemed like friendly people, and since most of them are vegetarian or vegan, they probably have many of the same interests as I do. Plus, several of them are science majors! The meal served was delicious and pretty healthy- gumbo from Veganomicon, salad, brown rice. For dessert, they had pineapple upside down cake.
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