I have always enjoyed the taste of fresh ginger but lately my taste for it has grown into a passionate love.  When I make a recipe calling for minced or grated fresh ginger, I find myself adding a little more than instructed.  Fortunately, H loves ginger too!  He always comments on it when I make stir fry, a dish which, for me, is not complete without fresh ginger thrown in.

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Aside from the bright, sweet, slightly spicy flavor, I love ginger for its versatility.  It sparkles in foods both savory and sweet.  It also boasts a number of incredible health benefits.  Consider this description, excerpted from the World’s Healthiest Foods database:

“Historically, ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. In herbal medicine, ginger is regarded as an excellent carminative (a substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas) and intestinal spasmolytic (a substance which relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract). Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects.”  Read more about ginger here.

For our holiday party this past year, I baked Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting, from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (my go-to dessert book, obviously).

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Here they are, served alongside a little vegan nog (check out the reflection!).  Can you say decadence?

I loved these!!  While they were a little on the spicy side for the kids that stopped by the party, they were well-received by the adults.  And they looked beautiful, if I may say.

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Also, a week or two ago I had the most incredible Thai dish from Lanna Thai, a diner right down the road from my office.  First of all, yes, it’s a Thai diner. The place is adorable.  It’s got maybe 5-6 tables and some stools at a counter, metal siding, the works.  But it’s Thai!!

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Second, they have great lunch specials, with excellent portion sizes and a good number of veggie options.  Third, the food is outstanding.  I have tried their Tofu Prik Pow, a perfectly sweet and spicy veggie and pineapple concoction, as well as their Tofu Red Curry (the control dish by which I judge all Thai eateries!), which was sweet and creamy with perfectly cooked vegetables. My favorite yet, however, was the Tofu Pad King, the ginger dish.

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This was SO GOOD.  A world of flavor, perfect texture to everything…I can’t say enough good things about this and I kind of wish I were eating it right now.  I thought I had a bunch more menu items I was going to try from Lanna but I might just be stuck on Pad King from here on out…

P.S. – Look at what came in the mail today!!Om Nom Nom Sampler photo iphone004_zps647c77dc.jpg

It’s the six-cookie sampler pack made by Om Nom Nom Cookies that I recently bought from Vegan Cuts!!  Clockwise from top left: Spicy Mexican Snickerdoodle, Ultimate Peanut Butter, Gluten-free Chocolate Chip, Orange-Zested Chocolate Chip, Cranberry-Walnut Oatmeal, and Red Velvet.  Of course, there is no gingerbread flavor so I really have no excuse for including these in this post other than my sheer excitement.  I don’t even know where to start!

Thank God I’m training for a race right now.