mexican molletes ftw.

I’m coming at you with a new series, friends! It’s called “Meatless Monday” (original, I know). Every week, I plan to post a quick and easy, real-life meatless recipe Elliott and I often eat during the week or on the weekend in hopes that, if you are aboard the Meatless Monday bandwagon, want to get on it or just need a little inspiration in the veggie department from time to time, this will help set off some creative sparks.

Why am I doing this, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

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cherry, maple & walnut granola.

I have a running theory that if I was a superhero (or, more aptly, a superheroine), my Kryptonite would be homemade granola. I’d be able to climb tall buildings effortlessly, travel for miles in a single leap and save cats stranded in trees with no more effort than it takes to lift my pinky finger — but even one whiff of granola, and I’m a goner. True story.

So you can imagine how difficult it was for me to make this homemade cherry, maple and walnut granola this past weekend and force myself to not eat all seven cups in one sitting. Even now, I stare at the photos longingly, wishing they would invent a computer screen like that television in “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” where you can grab a real candy bar out of it, and where Mike Teevee gets divided into a million pieces — but that’s not important.

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churros and chocolate.

Look at my wit! Look at my skill! Look at how I took two different types of food and made them into one!

OK. Enough on that. I cannot tell a lie: I made a blunder. A culinary blunder. And yet one that turned out to be just as delicious, albeit not what I had intended.

If you’re not catching my drift here, these here churro “fries” were not meant to be fries at all. Sure, they were meant to be made into warm, deep-fried pillows of deliciousness, but as churros — actual churros — not as crispy, cinnamon-sugary strings.

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cheesy chicken & broccoli stromboli.

I’m starting anew.

With the way life has been lately, it’s the only way to go. I’m not complaining — in fact, I’ve learned more about myself, about others, about life in general these past couple of months than I have in a long time, and I am grateful. It’s another step in the process of growing up, I guess (“If only someone had told us when we were in high school how tough it is to be an adult!” my friends and I say. Ah, hindsight is 20/20).

So, instead of crawling back into a cave, where everything seems comfortable and easy and unobtrusive (and yet, ignorant and stagnant), I’m pressing forward. And I’m taking this stromboli with me.

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rutabaga fries.

Perhaps these aren’t the prettiest things. Perhaps they look a little bit bland, or boring, or like they were covered in rocks.

Fortunately, none of these are true. But this is most definitely a recipe that can’t be judged by its looks. It’s what’s inside that counts anyway, as is the case with most things.

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zucchini corn pancakes.

I’ve been feeling a lot lately. Nostalgia, pain, joy, sadness, exhaustion, exasperation, peace, ambition, complacency, anxiety — it’s been quite the week, the month, the summer.

You can imagine that, with all those things floating around in my head in addition to normal day-to-day life, I’ve been doing a lot of staring into space. In short, my brain needs a break.

While I’m sure any sane person would take the opportunity for down time to read, or sleep, or go for a bike ride, or sit in front of the television all day watching a “Mad Men” marathon (which I, too, am wont to do) — when I need to decompress, I go to the kitchen. And when I need to feel comfort, I make pancakes.

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