miso chicken ramen

I had my first bowl of ramen in March 2016. I could not believe I had gone 21 years without ever having ramen that wasn’t Maruchan instant noodles! It was a shockingly different dish from the salty, thin broth-ed soup of my youth. As I had more experiences with ramen and became more interested in cooking, I was excited to find a recipe for ramen that I could make. LOL! If anyone else has looked into making ramen from scratch at home, they know it is a long and fussy process. Fortunately, there are versions of ramen in between traditional and instant. This is one!

Though I aspire to eat entirely vegan, I also prioritize wasting as little food as possible, which means that I sometimes eat meaty leftovers that no one else wants. In this case, I had some shredded chicken on hand from a friend who was going out of town and wouldn’t be able to eat it. I was craving something warm and comforting, and decided to try my hand at a ramen-y noodle soup. It turned out to be really delicious! The broth was rich, savory, and salty, and everything else was nice and simple. I think this could pretty easily be made with tofu or mushrooms if you want to make it vegan-friendly. Otherwise, everything else is vegan! It was really satisfying, and very easy to make. I’m excited to look around for more pseudo-ramen recipes. If you’re looking for a vegan, full-on ramen experience, though, here’s a recipe that I haven’t tried but that looks delicious from Serious Eats. Enjoy! Continue reading miso chicken ramen

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recipe test: shiitake bacon

Recently, I made a soup that called for small chunks of ham. Instead of ham, I decided to try making shiitake bacon to top it. I’d had it at restaurants, and it’s incredibly good: smoky, crispy, caramelized, and salty, it makes an effective and delicious vegan vehicle for umami.  It’s also truly simple and quick to make!

No, it does not taste exactly like bacon, but it can replicate some of the key things that bacon brings to a dish: the crispy meaty texture, the smokiness, the saltiness, and the umami-ness. I chose to use it to replace the small amount of ham because it was comparable in size and texture; a larger ham hock, for example, would also give you some gelatin from the bones, so this would not be a good replacement for a larger, meatier meat.

This was was a great complement for my tangy, creamy soup (I will post that recipe soon!), and would be great on a salad, on sandwiches, mixed with roasted veggies like brussel sprouts, or in an omelette/scramble-type dish. And probably in a lot of other things too! It’s so yummy!  Continue reading recipe test: shiitake bacon

foodie face masks

Using food as a beauty product is very ~hawt~ right now, and I, too, have been swept up in the foodie beauty zeitgeist. What makes me feel more unjustifiably self-satisfied than smearing yogurt on my face and knowing that I “made” my face mask myself (store-bought ingredients notwithstanding)??  Absolutely nothing! If you also want to get in on this trend and feel like a fresh Stepford wife, read on. Continue reading foodie face masks

freakin’ delicious granola bars

I am not a breakfast person, not because I don’t need or want it, but because I don’t really live a “get out of bed in time to make yourself breakfast” life. On weekends, I love making myself a late breakfast/brunch, but during the week, I just haven’t figured out how to motivate myself to start my day with food, instead of the snooze button. That’s why these granola bars RULE. They are actually really yummy, they’re filling (for a not-real meal), and they keep me fuller than, say, an apple or toast (my other go-to breakfasts…smh). These are easy to eat quickly, in-transit, or at your desk (or in the bathroom if you need to sneak it…).  Full disclosure: the overhead for this recipe is a little expensive, BUT you can make soo many granola bars with them, and they are ingredients you can use in a lot of other dishes, too! Continue reading freakin’ delicious granola bars

super easy super rich vegan dark chocolate milk

To me, chocolate milk has always been the height of simple pleasures. It’s rich, creamy, and sweet without being too much of any of those things. I don’t drink it a lot anymore; I hadn’t found the homemade kind (i.e. not pre-made) to be as satisfying with non-dairy milk. It’s too salty or too thin or has a weird aftertaste. UNTIL TODAY.

There is no mind-blowing trick. I used a hot chocolate recipe I’ve been using forever that I think was originally on the back of a Hershey’s cocoa powder tin or something and made it cold.  This recipe is just really freaking good. Especially if you like darker chocolate. It uses a lot of cocoa powder, so I think maybe it was so overwhelmingly chocolatey to my tastebuds that they weren’t mad it was almond milk (no weird salty taste!). It’s also super easy! Slightly more time-consuming than Hershey’s syrup and milk, but this is worth it to me (although Hershey’s syrup is still good af and definitely hits the spot for nostalgia). Continue reading super easy super rich vegan dark chocolate milk