COLORFUL KALE SALAD WITH TOMATILLO DRESSING

I never thought I’d consider getting a haircut an oddly intimate experience. Intimacy is reserved for people you’ve dated, family members, a handful of good friends. Probably a doctor or two. Maybe, the woman who gives you bikini waxes. But never hair stylists. Or so I thought.

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VEGAN BLACK BEAN SWEET POTATO QUESADILLAS

I successfully made it through 5 years of living in New York without a mouse problem. Sure, there were the pantry moths and that teeny-tiny roach infestation in my building and a rogue “what the FUCK IS THAT” every once in a while, but as far as I knew, I had gone through my life here without a single Mickey or Minnie in sight.

Until last week.

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VEGETARIAN CHILI CHEESE FRIES

During my senior year of college, I noticed that I was peeing all of the time. Like, all of the time - upwards of 20 times a day. I couldn't sleep through the night without getting up to pee, and having to go up and down a lofted bed made it a whole ordeal. I drink a lot of water so I thought that was why, but something seemed amiss. I went to the doctor to get a check-up for my summer job and mentioned my issue. He sent me to a urologist, who sent me to get an ultrasound. It came back abnormal, so off to outpatient surgery I went.

To make a very long story short, it turned out there were cysts in my bladder. And they weren't even paying rent to live in there! The doctors had never seen anything like it before, which made me very special, but also made me very scared. When I woke up from the anesthesia I was crying because of how freaked out I was. I couldn't really see, so I can't picture this part very well, but one of the nurses gave me a bag of cheez-its to eat post-surgery, either because I asked for them or she intuited it because nurses are SAINTS, but then I started crying more because my mouth was so dry that I couldn't eat the cheez-its. It was a rough day.

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VEGAN MINESTRONE SOUP

Editor's note: Today, we have a very special guest blogger, Alyssa's mom! She's the brains behind this majestic soup, so we thought it was only appropriate that she share her inspiration with us. On a related note, give your mom a call today!

When my daughter, Alyssa, was little she loved to help cook in the kitchen. Being the neat freak I am, and hating a mess, I was always reluctant to let her help. Alyssa takes after her Maga (grandmother and my mother). Translation: both are a tornado in the kitchen.

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VEGAN NACHOS WITH ROASTED CORN GUACAMOLE + SALSA VERDE

Here at Gateau | Gato, we love nachos. LOVE them. When we're together, if we aren't cooking, photographing, writing or editing, there's a pretty good chance we're drinking beer and wine, respectively, eating nachos and talking about the scorched dessert that is the New York dating scene. What is it about nachos that makes them such happy food? How did we get so lucky, to have this amazing dish on offer at most bars with a happy hour? Do they come from the heavens with the angels and scary babies and whatnot?

Not exactly, but their history is still pretty cool!

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CRUNCHY NOODLE SLAW + HONEY VINAIGRETTE

I really hate mayo. Like, I just hate it so much. Actually, most squidgy, gelatinous, off-white substances freak me out. If I had a nickel for every time I heard "that's what she said" after a statement like this, I wouldn't be rich because inflation is REAL, but I would have a pretty hefty chunk of change.

What would I do with said hefty chunk of change? I'm not sure, but I can tell you what I wouldn't do: BUY MAYO.

I just don't get it. Why ruin a perfectly delicious sandwich with a slathering of this sad, strange substance? My freshman year of college some friends and I did a late-night Jimmy John's delivery when we were all totally sober and my veggie delight sandwich had been smeared with mayo by mistake. Veggie delight my ass. I gave it to a friend who ate it gleefully, while I slumped on the couch and rued the day mayo was ever created.

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PORTABELLA-VEGGIE FAJITA BOWLS

I can’t tell you how much I love Mexican food.

It combines all of my favorite things – cheese, spice, corn and avocados and can be eaten with your hands. It's my go-to drunk/pre-drunk/drinking/non-drinking-but-just-hangry food (just ask any of my kickball teammates). If I could eat bottomless nachos and never feel sick, I would sign my soul away to the cheese-covered devil.

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VEGAN CORN CHOWDER

The post-college, pre-kids stage is a time when friendships feel crucial. Especially since I'm living in a separate state from my family, I rely on my friends (and boyfriend, but that's for another time) for the day-to-day social interactions and trouble-shooting. Over my time in New York, my friends have accompanied me to various doctor's appointments that have felt scary, and I have done the same for them.  Yes, we are adult women who are perfectly capable of going to the doctor's on our own.  That isn't the point; the point is that we are there to support each other through the parts of life that are happy and exciting of course, but also scary and upsetting.

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