I’ve been meaning to make this post forever but haven’t because I don’t have pictures for it. Also it’s not really a recipe cause I never measure anything. But the food concept is awesome and it should exist out in the interwebs picture or not. Maybe you dear imaginary blog reader can make this and take a picture and send it to me. That’d be a dream, just like this food.

Step 1. After making soymilk dry your okara. I put it in the oven on the lowest setting, or while I preheat something else, or leave it overnight in a cooling oven. Also on those rare sunny days in Portland it only takes a few hours to dry outside. If you don’t make your own soymilk you can use the tiny TVPs. I usually make a about 1/2 cup at a time but it stores really well so sometimes i do big batches.

Step 2: Soak okara in veggie broth. Add optional chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds (other nuts would probably be good too, those are just the ones I’ve tried so far). Sometimes i add in leftover rice I need to get rid of.

Step 3: Add spices. I use a generous amount of chili powder, a good amount of paprika, cayenne to taste, fresh diced onion and garlic or powdered versions, a splash of apple cider vinegar, a tbsp or so of oil, and a lot of salt (it just makes things taste good okay?). Again this is just a food concept and not a recipe so this still works if you are missing some of these things. Also tapatio helps fill in for any missing ingredient.

Step 4: Fry! I use a cast iron pan, use lots of oil. When the color darkens and the onions are translucent it’s done.

Most of the time this is my exciting taco topping. But sometimes we add potatoes, corn and peppers and make a okarizzo hash. I used to eat that on bread and call it sloppy jose.

This is my most favorite food concept so I hope you enjoy it. ❤

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Tips for spending less time in the kitchen

As evidenced by the lack of posting over the summer/fall/winter sometimes we get busy.

1. Writing a meal plan.
This makes feel like an old person and is super nerdy but so worth it! I started doing this as part of trying to make David take his lunch to work more. So this has saved me time and money. I’m stupidly addicted to my gmail calendar so I put the meal plan on the calendar along with any day before things I’ll need to do to make food like soaking beans or going to the store.

2. Making meals that share one item but are different. David doesn’t like eating the exact same thing every day so I trick him by making a huge pot of chili then having chili dogs one night, sending chili mac in his lunch, and having chili nachos (you can probably make up a recipe just from the name but maybe someday ill post one too) for dinner.

3. Food processing garlic/onion/spices and leave some in the fridge or freezer. I eat raw garlic on everything. It probably is hard for people near my breath but at least I’m hardly ever sick. Anyways I like to buy huge quantities of garlic then peel and throw all the cloves into the food processor and put some in the fridge at the beginning of the week. I put even more in the freezer so I can just chip away some when I need garlic in a recipe.

4. Casseroles and one pot meals with leftovers. I was too picky of an eater growing up to ever touch a casserole but now that I’m grown up they are so cool. I can take all the weird things I have on hand, combine them with something tasty and hide some good for you foods put it in the oven and have a main dish for a few meals in under an hour.

5. Clean as you go and don’t make excessive dirty dishes! Credit for this tip goes to my mom. Doing all the cleaning at the end is hard. So while your waiting for things (cooking has a fair amount of waiting) pick up anything you’re not using anymore. Anyone with a smallish kitchen is forced to do this already.

6. Have the right kitchen tools and use them. I inherited a small food processor about a year ago and it has saved me sooooo much time. Cutting things by hand can take so much longer. Scooping beans with a small sieve instead of trying to drain the water out with a spoon so awesome. But I won’t be properly following this rule until I have a vitamix blender and can stop wasting time with my inferior blender.

So that’s all I got for now. What are your kitchen time savers?

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David’s birthday!

When I first met my boyfriend, we used to cook together. But I’m much more efficient in the kitchen so eventually having him help was holding me back. So now I make pretty much all of our food. When left to his own devices, David will do things like put ketchup on a cracker. Boys. One of the real food David can make himself is sandwiches. So for his birthday I decided his party would be a big huge sandwich bar. I always make way too much food, but this time it was intentional so that David would have leftovers to make himself food for awhile. So without further ado here’s the food:
davids bday sammy party

Now I’ll attempt to list what all is there. Cause I heart lists and food. This should be good.
fresh red onion, lettuce, cucumber tomato and red bell pepper
caramelized onions
3 types of lunch meat from vegan dad‘s blog
tofu bacon
follow your heart cheese (purchased in bulk thanks to jaime’s and my food buying club!)
gallon of vegenaise (tip, don’t try to freeze this for later it will separate)
gallon of sauerkraut
gallon + of pickles
gallon of pepperoncinis
20ish loaves of daves killer bread
potato salad by jaime
cole slaw by jaime
bahn mi by laura

It was lots of food. Less than a week after the party, david decided to cut wheat out of his diet. I think we just recently finished all that bread, but I still have some meats. Love you boyfriend!

Here’s the epic sandwich I made. You can tell how heavy it was my the strain in my wrist in this picture
davids bday sammy party

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Back to the kitchen

So it was summer and like reasonable a Portlaner I spent way less time standing in front of a warm oven and online making blog posts. Instead I was out in the garden and at the river and eating lots of food outside for various holidays and whatnot.

But now its cold again, and I’m about to be unemployed so I’ll have tons of time for blogging! First off, what I did last summer:

So I expanded the garden rows some. Here’s some pics. (Maybe while I’m unemployed I will try to become a better photographer, all my photos look like tons of green, which I guess it what it looks like in real life but still doesn’t make a good photo)


One of the plants I was really excited about what Perilla or Akajisho. I’ve mentioned before on the blog about my huge plum tree and my efforts to make food out of all of the plums. This is two days of picking up plums during the peak season. SOOO many plums.


One of my favorite plum foods is umeboshi, which is a Japanese pickled plum. I was lucky enough to find a recipe here at just hungry http://www.justhungry.com/homemade-umeboshi-japanese-pickled-plums. Well one of the ingredients was red shisho leaves. I had asked around some for buying the leaves dried or in a produce section but hadn’t found anything so when I was at a Japanese grocery store I asked the cashier and she showed me that they had akajiso in seed form! Even better! I started the seeds a little late but I had nearly enough for the recipe. Here’s a pic when they were just starting.

Also featured, some spinach, parsley, onions and beets in the background.
I tried to make the plums but didn’t follow the directions exactly cause I got super busy when I was supposed to be harvesting them. They seem a little hard but they aren’t supposed to be at their peak till year 5 so I’m going to wait and try them later. Next year I’ll have more time and do better!

My most popular plant was amaranth. I’m definitely gonna grow it again next year. Mine were super small (I think they got a little root bound and I’m still in the process of improving my soil) but I still got over 1/2 cup of grain. I think next year I can make my amaranth growing more efficient this year, it was super fun to sort the seeds from the husk. Also it’s real pretty.


I think I had the first ripe tomato of anyone I knew. but its sorta not winning cause the reason the tomato ripened fast was cause it had end rot. 😦
first ripe tomato

I had a very successful looking pie pumpkin plant. I planted it on top of last years compost pile so it was super rich soil like those plants like. It grew super long.

Thats probably like 25 feet? There were lots of pumpkins on it.
But lots of them got soft before they were ready to be picked. I ended up with 3 pretty big pie pumpkins. I know the small is supposed to be better, more sweet and tender but they weren’t ready to be picked until they got huge. 2 made one pie after i roasted them cause they were super watery. I still have the monster pumpkin left to eat.

Well that’s most of the garden pictures I took last year. Gotta go to dance class. Next post. Davids epic sandwich bar birthday party!

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Some Okay Photos of Food Being Made

by the sun and the moon and the earth.  Oh, and me, what with my weedin’, waterin’, and wuvin’.

Think I might let this one flower.  Don’t worry– there’s plenty more for me to eat.

Evil, delicious blackberries creeping over the hedge.  Chickens’ favorite.

Picked the first zucchini of the year last night.  Ate it alone as a snack not 5 minutes ago.  Need to plant 3X more zucchini next year.

It’s ripening!  Whoa.  When did it become this time of year?  I’m not ready yet!

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Today’s breakfast featured 4-minute egg provided by Noodle, balsamic-vinaigrette dressed mixed greens provided by The Garden, toast, and a cold cuppa provided by that guy I’m married to.  Great way to start a day off.

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Japanese Food Party

There was so much food. And so many pictures of food. And I’m not sure I remember how any of it was made. So, here it goes.

The night before I started on a huge batch of soymilk cause that was David’s and my favorite Japanese convenience store snack.
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Tons of soymilk

After filtering the soymilk, I added sugar and flavorings. I went with green tea, black sesame and banana. David made me signs.
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I do remember how to make the soymilk cause we made it again a week later. You can tweek this based on how sweet and flavored you wanted it. For 1 Quart of soymilk, I used about 1/4th cup sugar and 1/4th teaspoon banana flavor. I used this

For the green tea flavored, I used a weird ice tea mix that had matcha in it because all the matcha was really expensive.
For the black sesame, I ground up about 1tbsp of seeds and mixed them with the milk. That one settled some and needed shaking before drinking.

I also made mochi for the first time. I used this recipe from Just Hungry, a great blog with many unique recipes.  So basically you make some sweet rice, put it in a plastic bag, and  mash it! schwinn and misc 006 My bag of mashed rice (and my super cute nori cutters).

I wasn’t able to mash it really hard cause the bag started breaking, but it was easy to mash anyways. At the same time you also make tsubuan, from Just Hungry.  Also really easy. Then the only slightly tricky part- you make a tiny pancake of mashed rice on a piece of plastic wrap and put a spoonful of tsubuan in the middle. Then you use the plastic wrap to make the rice wrap around the beans and make a cute ball.
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And then you roll it in toppings! I used black sesame and the matcha ice tea stuff that was left over from the soymilk.   Amanda Sparkle made them pretty on a plate for me. Nom.schwinn and misc 031

The only thing is that I made these the night before and left them in the cabinet cause the fridge can make the rice dry out, but they were a little stale by the time of the party so I’d suggest making these as freshies as possible.

And then there was the gyoza…
Things started out well. I made a filling of okara (my new replacement for tvp– post to come), ginger, garlic, cabbage, carrots and really whatever veggies were around chopped up small.
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Then I started the gyoza filling factory. I wanted to make a ton cause i knew they would be yummy.
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That plate there was where the problems began. Once I had a whole layer of gyoza, we were short on plates so I started stacking the gyoza. Over 100 gyoza later, I was ready to start frying them, but they had all stuck together. It was really stupid to think I could stack and then unstack them gyoza, but I was making tons of food (so please forgive the mess in the photo) and wasn’t thinking straight. After all that work, I wasn’t willing to give up on them, so I decided to fry them all as one big gyoza.
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It’s front and left/center of that photo. It went well with Laura’s (vegan, macrobiotic) GIGA PUDDING.

Other foods!
Amanda made inari and rice balls and put it on the plates all pretty.
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And seaweed salad
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I made a soba salad with ume dressing, but I didn’t like it so I’m gonna tweek the recipe before posting.
We also rolled some sushi.  And Jaime brought over the deep fryer….
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Sushi roll, tempura-ed and fried.  Pretty much all the food at the party got battered and fried. I know I ate tempura mochi, sushi, giga gyoza and tried to eat tempura giga pudding, but Jaime said  it was a deep fryer near disaster.

There was a lot of food. I’m probably still forgetting things but I’m sure no one has read this whole thing anyways. So much food my stomach hurts thinking about it.

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