Asian food · broccoli · comfort food · corn · dinner · easy · healthy · lunch · mushrooms · pasta · Ramen · vegan · Vegetables · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

“Homemade” Vegetarian Ramen

It can be difficult to find good ramen as a vegetarian. I’m lucky to live in an urban area with access to various ramen restaurants, but 90% of what is offered is meat based. Then again, 90% of all restaurant foods are meat based. The struggle is fucking real.

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Fry those little fuckers on every single side. Trust me, it’s worth the wait.

When Cortney came to visit last summer, I decided to take her to United Noodles, which is an Asian market in Minneapolis. It’s the one that T first took me to back when we were still figuring out if we were dating or not (check it out here). At the time I was completely fascinated by all the products, and ended up focusing hard on the sweets. Mochi is one of my favorite foods, but it can be hard to come by in the Midwest. This place housed a plethora of mochi options. None of which were as good as the fresh shit in Hawaii, but I digress. Despite not serving fresh mochi, it’s the best Asian market in the cities as far as I know. Since Cortney is Hawaiian, I knew it would be of interest to her. We ended up deciding to make ramen at home, which I didn’t think was possible. She had a plan, and showed me exactly what we’d need. Without her, this recipe wouldn’t exist. She knew the good miso paste to purchase, and which noodles were best (I didn’t take a pic of those – sorry!), as well as how to add the “right” toppings. Of course, we also loaded up on all the bomb-ass Asian snacks (Ube mochi to be specific, as well as Pocky sticks, and various cookies). It was a goddamn feast when we got home!

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Last week T got a hankering for ramen, so we made the trip back to United Noodles. I picked up all the ingredients to make some veggie ramen at home (even opting to omit the tofu to speed up the process – that shit can be time consuming), all while he was loading up on the prepackaged dried shit. When he said he wanted ramen, he meant instant. It still blows my mind how frequently he’s counting those as a meal without adding a single vegetable. Is anything really a meal when a vegetable isn’t included? Oh wait, this is America. Sigh. Nevermind.

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This is the good stuff. If you can find this, use it. If not, don’t panic. It’s just soup. Calm the fuck down. Any miso paste should be fine. 

If you want to simplify things, you can always leave out the tofu. If you eat meat, you can always add in meat. It’s not that fucking difficult. This is a sort of “figure it out as you go and don’t be a dumbass” type of recipe. It’s not specific amounts meticulously measured out, but rather a lot of throwing in things that you think will taste good. If it’s something you enjoy in other things, add it here. Some people think it’s weird that I like to add corn. To those people I simple say, “Fuck off, and make your own ramen.”

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“Homemade” Vegetarian Ramen

4 oz extra firm tofu

4-6 tablespoons miso paste (to taste)

4 cups water

Salt and pepper

16oz Noodles (dried or fresh are fine – can easily be found in any Asian market, or the Asian foods section of larger grocery stores), follow cooking directions on packaging

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Any or all of the following optional toppings: boiled egg, green onions, enoki mushrooms (see photo to right), bok choy, seaweed, frozen corn, bamboo shoots, any dark leafy greens, broccoli, chili oil, sriracha, etc (the sky is the limit – go nuts)

Bring water to a boil and add in miso paste. Stir and simmer until fully dissolved into water. Taste to see if you need a little more (I like mine a bit stronger). Simmer for a few minutes.

For the tofu: Place between 2 layers of paper towels and place a heavy plate/pan/book on top. Wait about 20 minutes to allow the weight of the plate to squeeze out the excess water. Cut into 1-2″ cubes. In a hot skillet (over medium to medium-high heat), drizzle enough oil to cover the surface (I like to use olive oil with a splash of sesame oil for flavor) , and evenly distribute the cubed tofu. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Fry for a few minutes on each size, trying not to move things around too much. It can get smokey depending on the type of oil you use, so be aware of that and lower the heat if needed. After a few minutes, those little fuckers should be browned on one side. That’s when you flip ’em all over. I like to brown all sides of the cube, but that’s up to you. I just love ’em extra crispy.

Place a handful of cooked noodles into a large bowl. Ladle over some of the miso broth and top with tofu and veggies of choice. Drizzle with any hot sauce or chili oil you like, and dig in!

Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? Anyone else have a go-to recipe that is a lot easier than it looks? Comment below!

Did you make this recipe? Post a photo and tag @kelseyskitchen23 on Instagram!

comfort food · dinner · easy · healthy · pasta · Sauces · squash · vegan · Vegetables · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta

Ya’ll know how I feel about fall, right? It’s not my jam. I just don’t give a fuck about the leaves. They end up all over the streets and sidewalks, which means I step on them, and little bits inevitably get stuck in my legwarmers. I know what you’re thinking… But, Kelsey, the colorful leaves are just so pretty. Ugh. (Insert eye-roll emoji) I really couldn’t care less.

I do, however, love love love butternut squash. I discovered it only a few years ago while making simple vegan soup, as well as some bomb ass mac and cheese. This was not a food I grew up with, as the number of veggies my mom likes could probably be counted on one hand. The one time I had any type of squash was at my high school best friend’s house, and it was covered in cinnamon, and around Thanksgiving. While I liked it in the moment, I don’t love when squash is made to be very sweet (which is also why I generally don’t like sweet potatoes, because I always think they’re going to taste like regular potatoes, and then I feel like I’ve been fucking lied to). It feels like they should all be savory, so I’m completely thrown off when they’re sweet.

Last week was Thanksgiving, which, as a foodie, is my fucking jam. I love the start of the holiday season so much. Especially because it also signifies the end of autumn, so everyone can just shut up already. T thought it’d be fun to have all 4 of our cats under one roof for the holiday weekend. He suggested it several weeks ago, but claimed ignorance when I reminded him last Sunday, full on acting like I was a goddamn nutcase for suggesting such a thing. To which I responded with, “Not my problem, man. We’re doing this. It’s already decided.” He may or may not have had a few drinks when initially thinking it was a good idea, but that’s not my fault. So we did it. I lugged over my 2 cats, along with all their shit, and all the ingredients for the full spread of food I insisted on making for Thanksgiving despite the fact that it was only the 6 of us (and 4 of us were felines). I absolutely could not be talked out of making every single side dish. I even made pumpkin shaped (sort of) dinner rolls from scratch, which was enough of a project on it’s own. Since I’m terrible at reading the recipe all the way through before starting, I accidentally ended up with 30 motherfucking dinner rolls. THIRTY. Let me remind you that there were a mere two humans to feed, and we had a full menu of vegan turkey (the only thing I didn’t make myself, and by far the least delicious thing on the table), mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, and some fucking homemade apple pie in addition to those dinner rolls (for pictures of the end product, check out my instagram – @kelseyskitchen23). We also had 3 cats and one monster of a kitten to work around in all of this (Let’s be real, Bourdain had to be put away for most of the cooking, otherwise he’d have sneaked off with all the butter).

I had no real plan or order to things when I started cooking, and I was doing it all in T’s tiny ass box of a kitchen with no windows. This also meant that I had to bring over every single ingredient, since, of course, he doesn’t have and fucking standard pantry staples outside of salt and pepper. He also had 1/3 of a bag of flour, which we had to use for the dinner rolls, gravy, and pie. We used all but maybe 3 tablespoons of that bag of flour, and I am simple NOT okay with cutting it that fucking close. When it got to be time to mix the pie filling together, I realized I had forgotten the cinnamon and nutmeg at my place. This led to a full-on melt down fueled by the fact that I was starving and hadn’t had any wine yet. I mean, what kind of fucking holiday was this? I fell into T’s arms on the couch, crying and yelling about his lack of kitchen supplies, as he reassured me that it was going to be okay. He said that we didn’t have to make pie. This sent me into a full on feeling of pure rage. Of course we’re going to make the pie – I already have a dozen apples in the fridge! And the pie crust was made last night! What the fuck am I supposed to do with it if we’re not making pie today?! WHO DOESN’T HAVE CINNAMON IN THEIR HOUSE?

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We drove back to my place to get the spices. When we got back to his place, I downed a glass (or two) of wine, and immediately felt better. We got that fucking pie into the oven, and I went to work on the side dishes.

Of course, then the pie filling dripped onto the bottom of the oven, which subsequently started billowing out smoke. I turned off the oven, and T held a giant fan above his head to blow the smoke away from the smoke detector. He had to hold it there for a long time (it wasn’t light) to clear out all the smoke.

I poured myself another glass of wine.

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I think even Bourdain was okay with the lack of butter.

This recipe is creamy and decadent without an ounce of cream or butter. I know – it blew my mind, too. When it’s the star of the recipe, I don’t often know how to handle a squash’s sweetness. This recipe goes full-on savory with onions and garlic. It really would have been at home on the Thanskgiving table last week, but I was too proud to cook something “simple.” Don’t be like me. Make this your next holiday tradition.

Anyone else have a frustrating (or fun) Thanksgiving cooking story? Leave a note in the comments.

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Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta (originally found here)

1 medium butternut squash, cut into 1/2″ cubes (about 3 cups)*

Olive oil

A handful of chopped fresh sage

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 cups veggie broth

12oz linguine (or long pasta of your choice)

Salt and pepper (always)

Place a large pot of salted water over high heat in preparation for the pasta. In a separate large pot, drizzle some olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in the sage and let it fry to a crisp, stirring a couple of times. Once it’s crispy, transfer to a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Set aside. Using the same pot, drizzle a touch more olive oil, and throw in the squash and onion. Let it cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss in the garlic and let it cook for another few minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until it has reduced by about half. The squash should be soft at this point.

While the squash mixture is cooking, boil the pasta until al dente (following instructions on package, or be fancy as fuck with some fresh pasta). Reserve 1 cup of the pasta liquid (don’t forget like I did!).

Take the squash mixture, and blend it in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste (be generous!). You may have to do this in batches. In a large skillet, place pasta + sauce over medium heat. Drizzle in some of the pasta water and toss until the pasta is evenly coated with sauce. Keep adding pasta water to thin it out. Mine still ended up being super thick, but that’s okay. Try not to judge yourself.

*Pro tip: Roast those squash seeds with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Then throw those little fuckers on top of the pasta for some added crunch! (Follow my recipe for pumpkin seeds)

 

 

baking · comfort food · cupcakes · dinner · easy · gluten free · healthy · lunch · mushrooms · pasta · potluck food · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

Mushroom and Oat “Meat”balls

The snow situation has been out of control lately. Last weekend Harriet (my cat) and I decided to hibernate at the boyfriend’s place while a blizzard raged outside. Is there anything better than eating comfort food, snuggling inside, and watching Netflix for hours while it snows like mad outside? Yeah, actually… it gets better when you add booze. I drank nearly an entire bottle of vodka over the course of the weekend, mixing it with grapefruit juice and laziness. We spent our time in various reclined positions on the couch, watching anything we could find on Netflix or HBO Go, only getting up to refill our drinks or play a rousing game of Super Mario Brothers. We also got up once to give all three cats “meowtinis” for the fluffy one’s birthday, which was really just tuna and tuna juice in a martini glass.

This is the only photo of these two getting along. Not pictured: The birthday boy (he doesn’t give a fuck about tuna, and just wanted his crunchy treats)

The plan was to stay Friday and Saturday night, then get the hell out of his way on Sunday morning. He and I walked out to my car Sunday morning, and found it under a mound of snow. It took 30+ minutes, lots of pushing, the help from a bobcat (that didn’t help AND scratched my car, me almost crying, then my BF finally maneuvering it that last few inches out of the snow. I was trying to get to Acro, but wanted to stop home first to shower. I wasn’t going to have time for a shower, but would still have time to clean up at home and change cloths. WRONG. There were two snow storms back to back, and this was the second one. That means that there were tons of open parking spots on my street, but they were filled with so much snow that my car wouldn’t be able to get into them (much less out again).

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ARE YOU SEEING THIS?

I would not be stopping at my apartment due to lack of parking, so I had an extra 20 minutes to kill. Filled with rage, I drove over to the fancy grocery store for a latte and a cupcake. I walked into the store, past the bouquets of flowers, $40 teddy bears, gourmet cheese, fresh baked bread, and made a beeline for the bakery counter. There were perfect little cupcakes lined up behind the glass, and I wanted one. There was no one at the counter, so I took my time making my decision. After circling the display several times, I made a choice. Chocolate cake with salted caramel buttercream. But where the fuck is the bakery clerk to help me? What the fuck is happening right now? While the individual cupcakes are behind glass, there are 4 packs of cupcakes sitting out for anyone to grab. Since my rage level was already at capacity, I ripped a 4 pack from it’s stack, and stomped to the register. When I got to the car, I decided to share the other 3 cupcakes with my acro friends.

When I got to acro, I decided I wanted to eat another cupcake after class. Seems silly to share 2 cupcakes with a group of people. So I decided to leave them in my car for whenever I had a cupcake craving next (they would obviously be gone within a day). I referred to them as my car cupcakes, and stand by that as one of my best ideas to date.

I wish upon you all the joy of car cupcakes.

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Mushroom Oat “Meat”balls

24oz mushrooms, finely chopped (if you have a food processor – use it!)

1/2 to 1 onion, finely chopped

1 cup breadcrumbs

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup quick oats (or regular oats pulsed in the blender a couple of times)

1/4 cup parsley

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons parmesan

2 eggs

Olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Chop the fuck out of those mushrooms (and onions). This shit took me nearly an hour. Twenty-four ounces is a LOT when you’re chopping. So maybe invest in that food processor before embarking on this journey. Or just cut the recipe in half like a normal human. When you’re done chopping, throw the onions into a large skillet along with a drizzle of olive oil and crank the heat to medium-high. You ever play that Wii game Cooking Mama? It’s like that right now… you gotta time it right otherwise everything gets fucked up. The original recipe says to cook the mushrooms first. Well, that’s bullshit. The onions take longer to cook, so get those rolling first. Stir ’em around a bit and let ’em cook for a few minutes. They’ll start to soften and become slightly translucent. That’s when you want to add the mushrooms. Let everything cook down. Once it’s all starting to brown slightly, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Now it’s time for the garlic. Once you’ve added the garlic, you’ve only got maybe 3-4 minutes before it burns. I suggested cooking for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, and then removing from heat. Scoop everything into a large bowl and add all the other dry ingredients (wait to add the eggs!). Stir it all together. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl, then mix into everything else. Grab a spoonful of the mixture and roll around in your palms until it forms a ball. Line up as many balls (lol) as you can onto a greased baking sheet.

Original recipe says to refrigerate for 2-12 hours. I did not do that. It turned out fine. This recipe also makes an obscene number of balls. I believe it was about 32 total, which is great if you have a large family or a potluck to attend. I do not, so I shared with my boyfriend and only baked a few at a time (keeping the mixture in the fridge for a few days). You could also just cut the recipe in half.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Throw ’em on top of some pasta,  maybe stuff ’em into some French bread for a meatless meatball sub, or crumble some up onto a pizza. Get creative! Then shove as many balls into your mouth as you can!

dinner · easy · healthy · lunch · mushrooms · pasta · quick · vegan · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

Vegan “Cheesy” Pasta and “Hot” Yoga

Y’all. I did a hot yoga class today, which ended with me panting, sweaty, and shamelessly in child’s pose. Fuuuuuck. Adding heat makes a huge difference. I spoke to the teacher after class and mentioned that I’d never done hot yoga before. He made it a point to emphasize the fact that this was not, in fact, “hot” yoga, as real hot yoga is done at 105 degrees. This was a mere 98 degrees. NBD.

Fuck.

The flow wasn’t even that hard! This has kicked my ass on a whole new level.

Also, can we discuss the mirrors for a second? My studio doesn’t have mirrors, and I prefer it that way. Why do I need to stare at my sweaty ass for an hour? It just makes me feel worse about myself. I mean, I’m sure the mirrors are technically to help with the students’ alignment, but who are we kidding? Some people are just never going to understand alignment, and don’t give a fuck. And if they really want to learn, isn’t it more about how it feels in their body? They should be able to find the alignment without looking into a mirror.

I really hate mirrors when I’m sweaty and in workout clothes. Especially in Warrior II. Fuck. My ass is out of control in that pose, and my belly sticks out. I know, I know… body positivity. And I’m 100% fine with it when I don’t have to look at myself struggling and covered in sweat. It’s the looking at myself in these poses that starts to make me self conscious. Logically, I know these things don’t matter, and I am worthy of love and acceptance. I know that. But fuck. Baby steps.

I made this pasta the other day with simple ingredients that I already had on hand. I know nutritional yeast isn’t something most people just have lying around, but I had it because I’d been meaning to try it. It had been sitting in my fridge for a few weeks when I finally made this pasta. It is definitely not the same as cheese. But it’s still really good! Give it a shot, and just add cheese if you must.

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Vegan “Cheesy” Pasta

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1 handful mushrooms, chopped

1/2 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half

10oz pasta (choose your own shape!)

1 1/2 cups veggie broth

1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk (I used cashew)

A large handful of baby spinach or chopped Swiss chard

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (found in the bulk aisle at any co-op or Whole Foods)

Garlic powder

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Drizzle some olive oil into a large pot and toss in the onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder (go easy!). Saute for several minutes, until the onions brown slightly. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Pour in the broth and milk. Stir in pasta and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. The liquid will absorb and thicken. While still hot, add in the spinach and mix until fully wilted. Finally, sprinkle in the nutritional yeast and mix well. Top with basil if you’re feeling fancy (I didn’t have any on hand).

Love yourself no matter what you look like in silly yoga poses.

comfort food · dinner · easy · healthy · lunch · pasta · quick · soup · Vegetables · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

Spinach Tortellini Soup and New Year’s Resolutions

I fucking hate New Year’s Resolutions, but I always secretly make one anyway. I mean, not that that is exclusive to January 1st, though. I always think that starting tomorrow/next week/next month I’m going to start being healthier/more active/more organized/thinner/smarter/more well read/somehow better than I am. It doesn’t matter how much I advocate for loving yourself just as you are, society has still been telling me my entire life that I’m not good enough. I certainly don’t need the reminder every fucking January that I’m still not good enough. Fuck you, January. You don’t know me.

Self love is a constant struggle.

So, in an effort to exercise more (because I want to, not because some shitty-ass Instagram post told me to), I have been taking more aerial fitness classes (and by “more,” I mean two so far). Aerial seems like something I’d be good at… it seems like something that would come naturally to me. I have a strong yoga practice and have been doing AcroYoga for the last year and a half. I’m familiar with being upside down, and I’m pretty bendy. But I’m also heavy. And I haven’t really worked on my upper body strength a whole lot, so…

Fuck. I’m so bad at it. I took a class the other day that was taught by a teacher trainee. Walking into the ice cold studio, I was greeted by a woman in Lululemon workout gear, curled hair, and a full face of make-up. She smiled and bounced over to me, which caused nothing on her body to move at all because she was clearly 0% body fat. There’s nothing wrong with looking like a marble statue! Nothing at all! That’s just not what I look like, and I can only handle so many discouragements when entering a new fitness class. We started with some “warm-ups.” I feel like she kept emphasizing the fact that we were just “warming up”, which made my panting, sweaty ass feel like shit. She referenced our abs several times, and I was like, “What? Where?” as I glanced down at the soft rolls of my belly as I did standing planks while desperately clinging to the aerial silk. I sloppily attempted to pull my entire body weight forward, while maintaining the reverse plank in mid-air, and I kept thinking, “Dear, God, please don’t let me fall backwards before we’ve even gotten into the silks. I can’t handle that kind of humiliation today. I’m far too delicate.”

Once we got “warmed-up,” we got into some of the aerials (poses/moves with our entire bodies in the silks – often involving being upside down). Fuck yes. This is the shit I’m here for. Bring on the inversions! The first one involves hanging upside down with the silk supporting me at my waist. Okay. Great. Got it! Then she had us “crochet” our legs in the silks for added support, so that we could then reach for the silk above our feet, and pull ourselves all the way up into a seated position. You’re following this, right? Because I’m not. Literally everyone else in class just pulled themselves up like it was fucking nothing. But me? I’m over here using all my ab strength just to reach for the fabric. I literally can’t do a pull-up. Not even one. Never could. It’s just not in the cards for me. So pulling myself up from an inversion feels insurmountable. I’m just dangling there, trying first with my right hand, then my left, which is starting to make the silk sway back and forth. I grab on with both hands (finally), and pull with everything in me. Nothing happens.

Let me try that again.

No luck. At this point, I am swaying back and forth while grunting. Everyone else is resting comfortably in their makeshift chairs as the instructor has them practice doing pretty poses in the air. Fuck you guys.

I gave up and just hung upside down like that’s where I wanted to be.

Later in class there was the “vampire pose,” which consisted of pulling up so much that your entire upper body goes all the way through (with the silk wrapped around your waist) and you land in the silk, but parallel to the floor (like if you were pretending to be Superman). The instructor did it very quickly, and it honestly just looked like a great way to break my face. Fuuuuuuuck that shit. I’m out.

During Christmas week I made this soup to make sure I had something other than cookies to eat. It’s so simple and lovely, and makes the apartment smell like cozy winter evenings. Try it – you’ll love it.

 

Spinach Tortellini Soup

1 medium onion, diced

2 carrots, peels and sliced

2 stalks celery, diced

“5 ounces” baby spinach (just grab some big handfuls)

8 ounces (about) frozen tortellini (No, I did not make that shit from scratch. I’m not Martha Stewart, and I’m okay with that.)

8 cups veggie broth  (Make your own! It’s easy! Just boil shit!)*

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

A few sprinkles of dried parsley

Optional: Shredded parmesan to serve

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large soup pot (it’s easiest if this is all done in the same pot – duh). Throw in the onion, carrots, and celery. Saute until cooked through (a few minutes), stirring occasionally. Add a little salt and pepper. It’ll be more flavorful if you let the veggies brown a little bit. Stir in the veggie broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Add in the frozen tortellini and simmer until they’re warmed through (I mean, just pay attention). Once everything is ready, then finally add in the spinach. It only takes a minute or two for it to fully wilt into hot soup. Sprinkle with parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with some shredded parm (I’m usually a big cheese advocate, but this isn’t super necessary if your tortellini already has cheese in it… which it should, or you’re doing it wrong).

Eat up! You’ll need your energy for humiliating yourself at your next fitness class.

*Not literally.

Asian food · Dating · dinner · easy · lunch · mushrooms · pasta · quick · Sauces · Stir-fry · vegan · vegetarian

Asian Noodle Stir Fry

So this recipe was originally labeled as “ramen,” but I thought that was doing a disservice to ramen everywhere. I couldn’t call it that… that’s not what it is. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s fucking delicious. But it is not, by any means, ramen. Ramen is that beautifully and painstakingly crafted soup with the pork or beef broth and the soft boiled egg on top that you lovingly stir in until it melts and becomes one with the broth. Fuck. I miss ramen so much. And the pork buns that go with it. Sigh.

I repeat: This is not ramen.

I’m a lot of things, but I’m not a fucking liar.

This recipe was so much fun for me. Here in Minneapolis the weather is starting to warm up. I went shopping for this recipe on one of the first nice days of the season, which meant walking around my neighborhood enjoying the “warm” breeze on my face (Minnesotans in the spring have a pretty fucked up view of what is warm). I have 2 Asian markets within a couple blocks of my apartment, and I almost never visit them. Seems silly, since they both contain mochi… my one and only true love. I got to visit both while shopping for this blog post… only because I ran out of arms to carry all the delicious bottles of sauces at the first one, and I couldn’t find a fucking basket. Rather than be a normal human and ask, I just purchased what I could carry and left. This included an impromptu box of mochi, obviously. Not just regular mochi… but mochi fucking rolls. This was very exciting. I ate all of them in 2 days. I’m not sorry.

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So I bought all my shit… from 2 separate Asian markets… and commenced to cooking (in a borrowed wok because I’m a disaster). This was so fucking easy and fast! Go make it right now. You’re welcome.

Dating update: Sighhhhhh. I’m so embarrassed. So I went out with this guy a few weeks ago. We went out for drinks, and then later on the same day (but after leaving and having dinner with friends), he invited me over to his apartment to play Super Mario 2 on the Wii. If you’ve ever played Mario with me… you kind of see where this is going. It’s like I have fucking Tourette’s Syndrome or some shit. I literally cannot stop the swear words from leaving my mouth every time I play any Mario game. I warned him ahead of time… he was cool with it. I even kept it fairly under control! And by “under control,” I mean that I didn’t string all the curse words I could think of into one long curse word this time… I just yelled out the normal ones. You know, classically appropriate language/behavior for the 1st (and a half!) date. But it doesn’t stop there. I got so riled up when I couldn’t beat one of the levels that I threw his Wii controller into his lap…. which housed a glass of beer. You see where this is going. That controller didn’t stand a chance. It landed right in his beer, completely killing the sensor (and my dignity). Luckily, this dude was really chill about it, and even thought it was funny. It took everything in me to not cry out of shame.

Since I’m a “seize the opportunity” type of person, I used this scenario to my benefit. I texted him 2 days later with a photo of the 3 different colored Wii controllers that I have, and asked which color he wanted. See what I did there? Made it all cute and shit, and snagged an excuse to text (#nailed it). Thanks to my ingenuity, we hung out again this weekend. And we played Wii again (I wore the strap at all times). In fact, I brought over a couple of controllers because I knew the only other one he had was kind of janky (and one was obviously for him to keep). Everything went well!

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That is… until I got home. I accidentally stole his janky remote because it’s the same color (pink) as my extra controller! UGH. Now it looks like I am trying to trick him into seeing me again. Fuck that shit. I don’t play those games. If you don’t want to see me, I am not here to try to convince you. But now I’m sure that’s what he thinks, because what the fuck else would he think? I mean, seriously. I texted him to let him know that I had it and that it was an accident, but I can’t say anything more than that without sounding completely nuts. FUCK. Why does this shit keep happening to me?! Goddammit. Logically, I’m like… he probably understands and it’s fine. But the other part of me is all… omg, he thinks you’re nuts and playing annoying games. And yet another part of me keeps reminding myself that this was 2.5 dates and who the fuck cares?!

Anxiety is real, y’all.

Asian Noodle Stir Fry

2 packets of instant ramen (minus the flavor packet) OR 3 squares of the vegetarian noodles from the Asian market

1.5 cups red cabbage, shredded

1 cup snow peas, sliced in half at an angle

1 carrot, julienned (lol jk, just grab a handful of matchstick carrots)

1/4 cup red bell pepper, julienned (just slice ’em however you like)

5-7 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1 cup bean sprouts

Green onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons canola oil (I actually used olive oil)

1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine

Ground white pepper (I used black pepper)

Siracha

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook for about 45-60 seconds. Use chopsticks or a fork to break up the noodles. Drain, rinse, and set aside. Whisk together the soy sauces, sesame oil, white/black pepper, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. In a wok over medium high heat, add the canola oil along with the garlic, cabbage, carrots, peppers, and mushrooms. Saute for a couple minutes. Next, add the Shaoxing wine and snow peas, and cook for a few more seconds. Top with the cooked noodles and sauce, tossing thoroughly. Add the bean sprouts and green onion. Serve with extra chopped green onion to make it pretty. Squirt a bunch of siracha on top, so it doesn’t matter if it’s pretty.

Don’t steal Wii remotes unless you want your date to think you’re a weirdo.

OR

Embrace the weird and hope someone likes it!

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comfort food · dinner · easy · lunch · pasta · quick · vegetarian · Yummy

Election Night Anxiety Cooking

I ordered one of those Hello Fresh meal/recipe deliveries because my friend got me a coupon for a free week trial. I was just in it for the free food, but it was actually pretty cool. And it was nice to have something fairly easy/fool-proof to cook on election night, when my anxiety was peaking, and I was unable to concentrate.

The service sends out these 3 neat little boxes with all the ingredients I need for a recipe (also provided) tucked inside. Everything is measured out for me, and the recipe lists every step with a photo. Idiot-proof. What should have also been included, since it was election week (and they fucking knew it), was a bottle (gallon) of fucking wine. I had to provide that for myself. What a bunch of bullshit.

I recognize this is a food blog, so I should keep things light.

I’ve never been good at following rules.

While I realize that things are not quite as dire as they seem, I am deeply disturbed by the election results (as many of us are). I have seen people feel frustrated or angry or disappointed after elections before… that’s normal. What I’ve never seen before is the overwhelming fear, and the sense of mourning. I’ve never been afraid before, and I’ve never seen people so scared of their new leader. I know this happens, but I’ve never lived it. And I recognize how ignorant that is. I’m realizing that I still have a lot to learn, especially considering that I live in an isolated liberal bubble called the Twin Cities. This was a wake-up call for sure. I never thought Trump stood a chance in hell… that the whole thing was a cruel joke. My blissful ignorance lead to a very rude awakening last night, and now I’m left raw and terrified.

When it comes down to it, I know Trump cannot just walk into the White House and make sweeping changes overnight. It doesn’t work like that. And that’s not the thing that scares me the most (though I do worry). He is hateful toward many groups of people, all of whom have very real emotions surrounding this election, and all of whom I am genuinely scared for. But I can only speak for myself, and my personal fears in regards to Trump. The one thing I just can’t seem to wrap my head around, of all the things we know about him (all of the horrible, disgusting things), is the fact that he is accused of sexual assault.

We have elected a rapist as President of the United States.

Are Americans really so uncomfortable with the idea of a woman in office that we have elected a man that is not only accused of sexual assault, but who openly brags about it? What does that say about us?

A challenge to Trump supporters:

I am a sexual assault survivor (and I’m sick of the stigma that goes with that, so I’m posting in on a fucking blog). I challenge you to listen to my story, look me in the eye, and tell me again why you think Trump will be a good president.

And, no, I don’t want you to imagine it happening to your mom, sister, daughter, wife, etc. Our identities as women are not dependent upon those relationships (and not all sexual assault survivors are women). We are humans. We exist, therefore we matter. I am a sexual assault survivor, and I am one of millions. And we all matter. You just elected our abuser as president.

Tell me again how sexual assault accusations ruin a man’s career.

The one silver lining to this shitshow of an election is the fact that people are riled up. We want change, and we won’t go down without a fight. I urge those of you feeling lost and scared to reach out to your friends, family, and community. Rise up. We will not be silent. Band together and work toward change. Find a cause that speaks to you, and support it in any way possible – volunteer, donate, make phone calls, sign petitions, write letters/emails to state representatives. Make your voice heard. All is not lost. We have each other.

And we’re going to be okay.

If anyone gives a shit about this recipe from Hello Fresh, here you go…

Oh, and the photos look like shit because I just don’t care this week.

One-Pot Tortellini Wonder20161108_214903

2 cloves garlic

4 oz kale (or just a bunch), washed and de-stemmed

1 cup milk

1 packet veggie stock concentrate (I suspect a veggie bouillon cube/teaspoon would work too)

2 oz Pesto

9 oz fresh cheese tortellini

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup shredded parmesan

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

All the wine in the house (not for the recipe, but to drown one’s sorrows)

Preheat oven to broil. Take a drink of wine. Thinly slice kale (or chop manically into little pieces), and mince garlic. Take a drink of wine. Grab an oven proof pan (or a regular one, but then transfer tortellini to a baking dish when it’s time to broil) and heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and let cook for about a minute before adding the kale, along with a splash of water. Drink more wine. Season with salt and pepper and stir for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add the milk, veggie stock, a splash of water, and pesto. Stir well to combine, and add the tortellini. Cook, stirring often, until sauce thickens. While this is cooking take a drink of wine, and mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan in a small bowl along with salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Once the pasta is cooked, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs mixture and broil until browned on top.

Maybe eat it. Maybe just drink more wine and pass out. I won’t judge you.

**If anyone is feeling depressed/anxious/suicidal or like they might self harm, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1‑800‑273‑TALK (8255). They are available for anyone in emotional distress. Never hesitate to ask for help. I know this is a scary time, but we will get through it.