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

4 tips for avoiding foodie cultural appropriation

My bf made the above video to go with a script I wrote! I think it’s safe to say most of us have, at some point, felt unsure about whether instances of potential cultural appropriation really were that. This video is about food, in particular, but the lessons can apply across many types of cultural expression. A longer version of the script (which hopefully will clear up questions that anyone may have after watching) is below. Enjoy!

Continue reading 4 tips for avoiding foodie cultural appropriation

cucumber toast / the best dressing in the world

Since I was very young, I’ve loved cucumber sandwiches with cream cheese. When I started eating fewer animal products, I stopped eating cream cheese, and the grocery stores near me don’t sell vegan cream cheese. RATS! No more delicious cucumber sandwiches for me, I thought.

But then I realized cream cheese isn’t the only delicious thing in the world.  For instance, my mom makes a really yummy dressing in the summer, when her garden explodes with cucumbers.  So I’ve started eating a lot of cucumbers on toast with this dressing to get my cucumber and cream cheese sandwich fix. It’s not exactly the same, but the dressing is creamy and tangy, so it hits the spot.

The dressing uses mayo, which is not vegan, but it’s possible to buy vegan mayo, and it’s really easy to make yourself! I will put a few recipes for vegan mayo below. This dressing goes really well as a sauce on other sandwiches too, and tastes great with roasted artichokes and green salads. Enjoy!

Continue reading cucumber toast / the best dressing in the world

avocado tahini toast

This recipe was inspired by an avocado toast I had when I last went home to Ann Arbor. I got potato tacos (which, incidentally, were good as hell) and a side of avocado toast with tahini and cucumbers, which turned out to be an absolute monster. The bread was so thick, it was too big to fit in my mouth vertically. I was uncomfortably full after the meal, but I couldn’t get that avocado toast out of my head… It was love at first bite! (Has anyone thought of that joke before? Highly doubt it!) The nuttiness of the tahini complemented the subtle sweetness of the avocado, and the creamy textures of the tahini and avocado were interrupted perfectly by the crunch of the cucumbers. The only thing I wished for was some heat, so I added some red pepper flakes and cayenne to my version. This is perfect brunch food because it doesn’t take you to a painfully full place (unless you also eat it with a full plate of tacos) but it does keep you full until din din. Try not to get too big of a head for making yourself fancy avocado toast though (ha ha!).

The picture here is an earlier version of the toast in which I just sliced the avocado instead of mashing it; I also ate half before I remembered I wanted to take a pic. Anyway, not that important. This recipe is extremely flexible, so live your dreams.  And if anyone is in Ann Arbor looking for a hawt bite, check out Avalon Café and Kitchen! Their food is so good—I highly recommend their potato tacos, avocado toast, and shakshuka. Continue reading avocado tahini toast

chickpea mushroom toast

I knew I was going to like “Mushrooms and Garbanzos on Toast with Cider and Thyme” before I tried it. It hits a lot of my favorite food tastes and textures: crispy bread, browned mushrooms, tart vinegar, sautéed shallots, fresh herbs. I was right. It’s so delicious.

I’ve made it 5 times in the last two weeks. It’s so easy and quick, it tastes amazing, it’s filling and feels hearty, it’s cheap, it’s vegan. I’ve made a few of changes to mine from the original recipe on Food52, sometimes for taste, sometimes for budget: I use fresh rosemary instead of thyme, sherry cooking wine instead of hard cider, onion instead of shallot, corn starch instead of arrowroot starch, baby bella mushrooms instead of shiitakes, added garlic, and I don’t have poultry seasoning so I use a combination of spices to replace it.

That sounds like a lot of changes, but the spirit of the food is the same. You should play around with it too and find the yummy toast that speaks to you!  You could add non-dairy milk to make it creamier; you could increase the proportion of liquid to make more gravy; you could change up the spices; you could add vegetable stock; you could do this with lentils; you could change the kind of mushroom. You can do anything! You’re in charge.

Enjoy! Continue reading chickpea mushroom toast

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

resolving tensions between animal rights and human-focused social justice movements

I had a phone call with my mom the other day, and she told me she had listened to a podcast that talked about the animal rights framework and the animal welfare framework.  She said that she isn’t really on board with animal rights, if by animal rights, we mean that animals and humans are entitled to the same rights and that we should not legally or morally distinguish between animals and humans.  She wants to prioritize humans; she thinks that because we have so many problems with each other already that need to be addressed, why add a whole other axis of oppression to fight?  Continue reading resolving tensions between animal rights and human-focused social justice movements