Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Noodles any day, any way

For the first few days of this week, I'm saving my pennies by cooking my meals at home. This doesn't mean I can't start to dream of ingredients I will buy or second trips I will make to certain restaurants.

As I look ahead to the yummy and new food to be eaten (read: letting the purse strings loose for the weekend), I'd like to revisit some tried and true recipes that have often made my tummy happy in the past.

Tonight, it's all about a staple food. Potatoes? No. Rice? Not this time. Noodles? Yes, please!

I was first drawn to this soba noodle recipe a year or so ago when I had access to the Cooking Channel. It tastes yummy either hot or cold.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Being vegetarian on a budget, Part 1

Now that I'm living in New York where the cost of living is higher, I'm wondering how someone with no/low income can stick to the healthy vegan/vegetarian lifestyle (read: not just consuming bags of cookies to stay full). I'd like to save my pennies until I find a job up here, but I also want to try the numerous options of vegan/vegetarian fast and slow food New York has to offer. 

As I mentioned in my previous post, I want to check out all the vegan/vegetarian hot spots in Brooklyn and NYC and see how well I do in replicating the tastiest of them in my own kitchen. (More to come on this later). But until I have my own kitchen, I’m going to relive the positive vegan experiences I’ve had thus far in my first three weeks of living here.

Drool Memory #1
I made a risky decision to come up to New York with no job and no apartment—but I figured it'd be easier to secure the two once up here. So for my first week here, I stayed with a friend in Brooklyn Heights. Before coming up, I had read about Vegetarian Ginger and made excited preparations to visit even before I knew how I was going to transport my stuff from D.C.

Stopping in one evening for dinner with the friend I was staying with, I was not disappointed. I ordered the Pineapple Soy Protein with brown rice. I’m not usually a fan of brown rice but it was cooked in a manner where the deliciousness overpowered the “nutritious” (read: what I normally find dry) taste. The pineapple (and mango) soy protein portion was pretty tasty—a nice combination of fruity and salty. The prices weren’t bad either. About $10-12 for a good portion-size entrĂ©e.

The presentation of my dish was lovely. I certainly did not expect it to actually come out in a half-pineapple casing.

While I enjoyed the experience of eating out of a pineapple, I found this dish a little too fancy for the everyday fake-meat craving. What made me go back for seconds was actually my friend’s dish—the General Tso’s Soy Protein. After tasting just one of her “medallions” of soy chick’n, I went back the next night to get my own. The next time I’m in the area, I fully intend to visit again and check out the rest of the menu—that is if I can resist the urge to go back for more General Tso’s…

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Let's talk food...a.k.a. let me introduce myself

There’s a reason religion and politics are often too taboo to bring up at the dinner table, but food—whether discussed at the table, during a long commute or inside your own head whilst pretending to be focused on your downward dog in your overpriced yoga class—should be a uniting force.

I am a firm believer in discussing current and next meals early and often. This was made most evident to me recently as my best friend since first grade told me that every gchat conversation I hold involves some discussion of food—whether it’s an inquiry into what said friend had for dinner or my own rambling about the latest best thing I’ve tasted.

Lately, I can’t stop talking about my fear of gaining 20 pounds now that I’m a Brooklynite. My hunger for more, MORE! deliciousness grows. My latest goal is to check out all the vegan spots available in Brooklyn and test the replicability of the tasty bites in my own kitchen. Even though I’ve done the vegetarian thing for 15 years now, non-dairy cheese still eludes me. And don’t even get me started on venturing into my own vegan baking. For now, I’m sticking to the savory.